Wednesday, February 1, 2023


RV Electricity – Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.): Is there anybody out there? Part 3

By Mike Sokol

Dear Readers,
In order for me to get sponsorship support for my Just Ask Mike (JAM) session articles that are published here, I need your help. I’m getting conflicting reports about how many of you read my articles in my Just Ask Mike (JAM) sessions, and my other columns. Some of our search engines say it’s as little as 250 readers when these columns are first published, while others say it’s more like 2,500 readers or even more, and I have no idea. And these search engines don’t tell me anything about the technical level I’m writing at.

So I’m asking you to complete these polls which I’ll use to adjust how many JAM Session articles I write per month, and to what level of technical difficulty you want them.

Please take both polls. And even if you filled out a similar page on one of my other columns, please fill these out as well.

PLEASE NOTE that if there is an ad below each poll they are auto-inserted by Google and I have no control over what appears in that space. So just because it shows up in my article does NOT indicate that I endorse whatever is being advertised. (Plus, we may be getting rid of those ads below the polls, if they’re still there when you view these.)

Please answer both polls.

*If there is an ad above, it is auto-generated by Google and is not necessarily an endorsement from Mike.

*If there is an ad above, it is auto-generated by Google and is not necessarily an endorsement from Mike.

I’m running similar polls in my RVelectricity column in the RV Travel Newsletter on Saturday, Feb. 29, and the RVelectricity Newsletter on Sunday, Mar. 1, so please watch for them there. And please fill this poll out even if you’ve completed a poll in another one of my columns, since they pertain to different articles or newsletters.

Also, read my interview in the latest RVbusiness newsletter HERE which just published on Friday, Feb 28.

And I’ll do a poll later about which RV Rallies and Shows you think I should present at. But for now, the polls above will be sufficient. Thank you very much for your help with this.

OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.

Let’s play safe out there….



Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.



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2 years ago

Using Chrome, added to allowed list for popups, still no polls.

2 years ago

I use the the EFF’s Privacy Badger to block trackers. If you had not written that there would be polls I would never have seen them. I had to temporarily disable Privacy Badger to see your two polls.

Perhaps your problem with the readership count is how readers are being counted. Maybe the script is being blocked because it uses third-party cookies, the script does not use HTTPS, or the script is located on a domain that is flagged by ad blockers so it never loads?

Privacy Badger is blocking seven trackers on this page:

Kim Christiansen
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray

Hi Ray,

All of those scripts are tools we use to make the website run better and offer up the services that we do.

We encourage all of our readers to read our privacy policy. The button to agree to and link to our privacy policy is shown at the bottom of every comment before you can post it. That link is also found at the bottom left of every page.

We follow GDPR guidelines (the European privacy law) because it’s the most comprehensive privacy law available. So we list all of the data we collect, what data we share, with whom, why and for how long that data is held. If appropriate, we link to our partner sites so you can read their privacy policies as well.

Long story short, we recommend that you disable script and ad blockers for our site. Script blockers because scripts form an integral part of the website. (Like all modern websites, we rely on other companies to help us bring you

We also politely ask that you not use ad blockers on “Politely” because we’re not huge fans of advertising on the web ourselves and we ask because advertising plays an important role in funding the content you see on We try to keep our ads as relative to RVers as we possibly can.

I hope that helps lay it out there for you. It’s your decision, of course. It’s your computer and we totally get blocking scripts. But in some cases, that means missing out on a number of website features that others get access to.

Kim Christiansen technical

2 years ago

Poll worked for me, no problemo.

2 years ago

The biggest irritant I have is when someone asks for advise and all these experts chime in with their “opinions” with so many being “dead” wrong but the OP doesn’t know any difference so it scares the crap out of me someone will try these stupid “opinions” and get hurt or killed.

Rennie Hynes
2 years ago

Hi Mike – how can I monitor how much electricity my camper is using (i.e. actual kilowatt hours used over time) other than just taking my camp hosts word for it? I want to be sure that I am only paying for the power that I personally use.
I appreciate any assistance you may provide me here…and also appreciate your informative, monthly newsletter!
Thanks again-

Mike Sokol
2 years ago
Reply to  Rennie Hynes

You need something like this Meter Maid if you’re using 30-amp shore power, but I think it’s a lot of money for a fairly simple function.

I have one of these digital kwh meters for my own testing, you’ll just need to mount it in an appropriate box with inlet and outlet connectors. Note that this will work with a 50-amp/240-volt service as well:

I’ve seen a few RV owners use one of these mounted on a DIN rail in a sealed box. If you get one of these for your 50-amp shore power make sure it’s rated for 3-wire, 120/240-volt service.

Alain Tasse
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Renny, Mike, I just bought one of these AC meters to measure actual power consumption in the travel trailer to get better idea of which appliances can or can’t be used at the same time on the same circit or while fridge, a/c etc are in use. Real power usage seems to also be counted as long as power is not disconnected. Also bought a DC meter with a 300 amp shunt to better meter battery usage while occasionally dry camping. Only one group 27 battery, no solar, no inverter, no generator. Love to live dangerously I guess. Both meters have same faceplate an go for about $20 each. Will install this spring, only then will know if money waisted or best investment yet.

-ac current voltage amperage power energy panel meter lcd display ammeter voltmeter multimeter with split core current transformer ct ac 80-260v 100a (ac 100a meter split core transformer) $19.99

-dc multifunction battery monitor meter, 0-200v, 0-300a (widely applied to 12v/24v/48v rv/car battery) lcd display digital current voltage solar power meter multimeter ammeter voltmeter $22.99

Boy, how I wish I knew how to cut and paste links on my tablet!!

Both sold by morninggroup on

Mike, what’s your take on these? Was looking for simple and functionnal metering gadgets that wouldn’t require mortgage needing to be renegociated. Thanks for your ttime.

Mike Sokol
2 years ago
Reply to  Alain Tasse

Both look like they could do the job, but the AC current meter will only work on 30-amp AC power. If that’s what your RV is using and you feel comfortable installing it, then it looks like an inexpensive monitoring solution. Same for the DC monitoring system, just be aware that since it utilizes a shunt to measure the amperage, you’ll need to be careful installing it. Make sure to remove the negative battery terminal first to prevent welding a wrench or screwdrivers to the frame with disastrous results.

Tim Ettleman
2 years ago

The polls did not sponsorship pop up on Mike’s email today

Albert Whigam
2 years ago

No poll links

2 years ago

Keep up the great information! It is appreciated when photos and diagrams are a part of the article. Pictures can say a thousand words. I think many others who read your articles can agree.

Mike Sokol
2 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

Luckily, one of the classes I took while studying Mechanical Engineering was drafting. Now, this was in the early ’70s prior to any kind of computer graphics, so I leaned how to create simple but effective drawings with a lead pencil and vellum paper. Same for drawing schematic diagrams once I began studying electrical engineering. But once computers became available for graphics in the ’80s and ’90s, I began experimenting with AutoCad and Corel Draw. I still use Corel Draw to this day, which is what most of my graphics and diagrams are created on. Glad you like them.

2 years ago

The polls links were not working for me. I was unable to see either one.

2 years ago

Mike, Needed a choice of “all of the above.” Some days I know stuff and other days stuff knows me,

Mike Sokol
2 years ago
Reply to  tom

Same for me, seriously. Some days I can understand the most complicated mechanical/electrical devices and failure mechanisms with almost no effort at all. While on other days I’m at a complete loss to figure out almost anything. So like the rest of you I have good days, and bad days. The good days can be very good, while the bad days can be quite frustrating.

Will B.
2 years ago

Keep ’em coming, Mike!

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