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Bob
2 years ago

We have a 2016 Pheonix Cruiser 3100. Drove it from Florida to Alaska and back. Over 17000 miles in 5 months. Three months in Alaska with some very rough roads. (Top of the World Highway ). Lots of camping in hot Florida. Never a single problem. Did a factory tour, talked to other owners all of whom raved about quality and reliability. We will never have any other brand.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob, I just toured the Phoenix Cruiser factory and was very impressed. If I were looking for a new coach, to downsize a little, I would strongly consider one of its models.

Solar Steve
2 years ago

I am puzzled by the frequent articles on increasing water flow at the faucet. Foor anyone boondocking, minimal water flow extends useful time of the freshwater tank, especially in small RVs. And showering, the hot water can last for 2 people’s showers, without ever having to do the on and off shower method. I carefully remopved the large hose showerhjead and replaced with one that gives a good spray on less than 1 gallon a minute. The amall type with a quarter coin sized brass disc in it with about 12 small holes for the water spray.

Wolfe
2 years ago
Reply to  Solar Steve

You’ll find there is a persistent schism between “living” folks who want their RV to run like their house, and “camping” folks who want to eliminate the wastes of assuming constant shore connections.

$1.5K popups and $1.5M pushers read this same list. The writers favor the latter end.

Chris G Stamper
2 years ago

I have a Coleman 2018 and over half of the plug outlets is set up on a GFCI circuit. It started shutting down or losing power to these plugs when using with phone chargers and xbox with tv. No GFCI was tripped, so bought a Southwire GFCI tester and tested my house before using it in the camper and house worked good but camper showed hot and neutral reversed. Took and looked at all plugs affected and all was wired same and panel was wired correctly, question is does the tester work differently in the camper than house?

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
2 years ago

The outlets on an RV should measure exactly the same as in a house, assuming your shore power cordset is connected to a properly wired pedestal outlet. But you are correct that a reversed hot-neutral on a branch circuit can cause GFCI tripping. I’ll be doing an advanced article on GFCI theory and testing in a future RV Electricity newsletter, so stay tuned.

Omer Murray
2 years ago

I just found this, I am not that computer savvy. I wanted to reply to several articles I have read in the past issues and found no way.
Could you leave reply links with the articles and with the people responsible for the issues?
I have read the stories about poorly built RVs and I wonder if you could do one on reliable manufacturers.
BTW, I found you several months and I love your publication.

Mike Sherman
2 years ago

The link to the article on skunk encounters does not work.

john stahl
2 years ago

Sherry, There are no good RV’s to buy. They all have problems. You are lucky if you get one with only a couple problems. They build RV’s fast and pretty but not with much quality.

Sherry Dawson
2 years ago
Reply to  john stahl

I don’t agree. I have owned two RVs in the past–the Winnebago Class A had nary a repair issue the whole time I owned it. I still have the 1986 VW Camper my mother bought new, and the only repairs it’s ever needed were normal engine repair over a 32-year period of regular use. The camper portion is still pristine.and working perfectly.

I specified that I am looking for a used Class C Toyhauler. I don’t want anything younger than 2008. I will not buy a new one for the reasons you stated. I will do extensive research on anything that interests me, do a thorough inspection and test drive, camp in it a night or two, and hire a professional inspector before I make any offers.

Sherry Dawson
2 years ago

Chuck, I found the complaint letters from RV buyers very helpful as I’m shopping for an RV. However, I would LOVE to see recommendations from RVers about the good ones! Since most people complain about the new rigs, I think a lot of us would like to know which older units would be a good bet. Could you do a short article and ask for comments from readers telling us what they have (or had) and liked? Or ask the question however you think would get the most responses?

I will buy a used Class C toyhauler, and would love to see who has one they love. They aren’t as available as Class A Toyhaulers and fifth wheels, so I have fewer choices and can’t afford to make a mistake.

Thanks for any help you can offer. I LOVE this publication.

Richard Davidson
2 years ago
Reply to  Sherry Dawson

Bought a 1997 Newmar 11 years ago. Still going strong and hardly any problems. They don’t build em like they used to. I see you said you don’t want anything newer than 2008. That’s a good point to start I think. If you want an older coach go with the known better manufacturers. Newmar, Winabago, Barth, etc.

Sherry Dawson
2 years ago

Thanks for the recommendations, Richard.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

Watched the Charles Karult video. It’s interesting that we look at the ‘registers’ of the emigrants as interesting and fascinating history but if someone does this today they are labelled as destroying nature. Of course, we already had a BIG discussion of this recently so we don’t need to start all over again. I’m just sayin’ . . . . .

Sam Kline
2 years ago

Your point about using the Sperry Connector checking device sounds good but looks like it is only configured to test 110. How do you check 50amp plug in?

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam Kline

Sam, we got the open ground code on our surge protector. We used the Sperry to confirm. — Chuck

John Hiler
2 years ago

My god, this is the 21st century. A simple light on the water-sewer console, Green ground ok, Red defective ground. Probably a five dollar fix at construction…

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler

You can get a basic version of a ground tester inside of your RV by simply plugging in a 3-light tester. However, it won’t test for over or under voltage, and it certainly can’t disconnect your RV from an improperly wired pedestal. There’s just no cheap way out of it.

John Hiler
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

There is probably an app and a cable for your I-phone that will test for ground and voltage…The low power probably won’t kill you – the lack of ground will…

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler

No, I’m pretty sure no such cheap app exists. The FLIR Pro camera plug-in on my iPhone costs $400. And I do have a new Southwire digital meter with a bluetooth connection that will display the voltage, amperage and ohms remotely on my iPhone. But it ain’t cheap. A standard digital meter is as cheap as it gets for right now. However, if someone wanted to build a bluetooth connection and app into a 50-amp plug along with the appropriate circuity, that would be pretty handy.

Wolfe
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

There are plenty of cheaper options, but there is always a trade-off of convenience and thrift. For several hundred dollars you get a plugNplay surge and fault-disconnecter, and many think that’s worth that price for safety with little effort.

For under $5 you can get a basic voltmeter, 3-light plug, and voltage detector — but you’ll have to remember to USE THEM. For $7 I get fulltime voltage/amp/watt…. monitoring and alarm, but I have to switch off the breaker if it rings. With an arduino and relays, its easy to duplicate from scratch the automatic Progressive units for a few bucks, but you do your own soldering and coding… Money vs effort… Choose your balance.

Mike: I could make that bluetooth device under $10… Wanna go into business? I currently use an LCD or OLED on my PMS, but pumping serial over BT is trivial…

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

It’s all about the learning curve. While guys like you and I can easily use a meter to suss out an outlet, most casual users do it with some degree of difficulty. And some users will never learn how to measure a receptacle properly, due to the fear factor of electricity or perhaps a general distaste for learning new technical things. So lets assume that a campground will have the guy or gal who escorts you to your campsite do a test on the pedestal. Do you really want them to break out the meter kit and poke around in the outlet with the meter leads? Wouldn’t it be better for them to plug in a gadget that would qualify the outlet(s) in 10 seconds with a go/no-go indication? I personally use a SureTest Analyzer and a few adapter plugs, so I not only get voltage readings, it also calculates voltage drop and impedance of each of the wires at the push of a button. However, interpreting that amount of data takes a serious amount of studying. I think a simple go/no-go indicator would be much better. And no, a 3-light tester you can get for $5 is not a comprehensive test.

Wolfe
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

“Don’t stick the pokey bits in the zappy slots?” LOL.

Yes, the 3 light needs at least a voltage and some RPBG detection added. I’ve made my own 1-plug instant checker, but I keep wondering why its not already available retail? Really cheap to make…

Jeff
2 years ago

Was with a group camping and our Progressive industries 30amp unit shut the electricity off due to low voltage. Told the other members of our group and all but one checked there voltage and found low voltage. The one that did not stated that our Progressive industries 50 amp unit shutting off the electricity was the reason that he would not have one since his wife would get upset over the electricity being shut off.
Found out later that in the next 6 months he had to replace the AC, microwave,TV,converter and the mother board on the refrigerator,

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Without an advanced surge protector between the campsite pedestal and your RV’s electrical system, it can be subject to all sorts of over-voltage and under-voltage conditions, much of which can damage your RV’s appliances.

Jeannie
2 years ago

Don’t waste your money on the Rub-Away-Bar like I did. It doesn’t work!

Dave G
2 years ago

Chuck, thank you for your great newsletter!

Your article about testing the power at your site is right on but needs to point out the recommended tester with out adaptor(s) only tests the 15/20 amp receptacle, many RV’s use the 30 or 50 amp plugs. Just because one receptacle tests good does not mean the others in the box are good.

I have a built in Progressive industries 50 amp unit. We were in a private campground in California a few years ago when it indicated there was a ground issue.. when the PImunit indicates an issue it does not allow the power to get to the rv’s Electrical system without a manual override. The CG manager tried to tell me it was a problem with my meter, she said that they had other people report the same condition and that they had checked and it was OK. I told her that it was my health and safety and I trusted the device, so I wanted to move. A second site tested the same way so I moved to a 3rd site in a different row, no problems. It turned out the entire row had a ground issue. Two things I learned, trust your instruments but verify your findings, and do not let someone talk you into a potentially dangerous situation!

Dave Piposzar
2 years ago

Electric pedestal problems reminded me of a state park in WV where my built-in voltage meter on the motorhome kept showing less than 100 volts of AC available. While that might be ok for lights, it sure isn’t for AC or the microwave!! The ranger and I checked multiple sites in the loop with the same problem. So everything might be wired ok and still be a low voltage nightmare. I asked other campers in the area if they checked their voltage and most looked at me like I had two heads, and then had no idea where to find their meter or had units that didn’t have them. Are today’s shore power intakes equipped today voltage/amp meters??

Wolfe
2 years ago
Reply to  Dave Piposzar

Here’s how to test 30 and 50A pedestals with a 3-lite, voltmeter, NC and probed-voltage detector:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p37z_G9CLRo

As far as post-plugin voltage monitoring, I also installed a *$7* V/A/W/KWh/Frequency/PowerFactor meter in my trailers… anytime I have hi/low V or total Watts (important not overloading when on genny), it blinks and sounds an alarm. $7 insurance!

Here’s installing a simpler just V/A meter a while back (install is the identical for the 6-way):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4PYb-d0wok
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVOSfbhoPYs