Wednesday, March 22, 2023


RVelectricity™ Newsletter Issue 39

October 7, 2021

Brought to you as a public service by Support comes from our sponsors, advertisers and the contributions of readers, who believe that an educated RVer is a safe, happy RVer.

Subscribe to one of our many online newsletters (including this one) about RVing.

Read back issues of this newsletter and many other articles by Mike Sokol on Warning: There is a lot to learn here.

Welcome …

By Mike Sokol

Welcome to my monthly RVelectricity™/NoShockZone™ Newsletter, published the first Thursday of the month. In this edition you’ll find an invitation to schedule an RVelectricity 101 or MasterClass for your own RV rally or group. And yes, I’m out doing in-person seminars after a 16-month hiatus due to COVID-19. In addition to on-site seminars, I’m also doing Zoom and YouTube Live webcasts, and answering interactive questions from those groups. Currently I can accommodate up to 300 attendees in Zoom, and an unlimited number in YouTube Live.

Also, I’ve received a lot of inquiries about my Electric Vehicle Towing Experiments. I don’t have any immediate loaner EV test vehicles scheduled this fall, but I do have promises of an F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, GM Hummer and possibly a Cybertruck. They likely won’t arrive until the first quarter of 2022 due to manufacturing delays, so in the meantime I’m drilling down into other issues that will affect all EVs, not just ones that could tow a travel trailer. Ever wonder where we’re going to get all the lithium we need for batteries? Then read my piece below on the Salton Sea Lithium Extraction Project.

Finally, on Road Signs I’m republishing one of my most viewed articles about the time I wrote a letter to Dave Barry on limiting the choices of mustard in the store condiment section. And DB himself responded to me twice… The first time only took a few weeks, thanks to the swiftness of the U.S. Postal Service and a postcard. But the second time took 20 years for him to respond via email. Really, I have an answer from Dave Barry exactly 20 years after my first contact with him. Who knew that electrons were so slow?

So pull up a chair and fire up the media player of your choice.

Let’s play safe out there… 

P.S. And just a quick note
that this newsletter is made possible by the voluntary pledges of the readers of We could not bring this to you without their support. If you deem what we provide to you here and at to be of special value and would like to be a part of our effort, please consider pledging a voluntary subscription. More information is here. We will include you in special emails, articles and videos exclusively for our supporters.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to join my popular and very informative Facebook group, RVelectricity. (More than 17,000 members and counting.)

Thunderbirds (and Mike) Are Go, for seminars…

I’ve done in-person RVelectricity seminars for three major rallies and shows in the last 2 months!

Well, it took 18 months, but it looks like live RV shows and rallies are back. And I’ve done in-person RVelectricity™ seminars at three big events: the Airstream International Rally in Lebanon, TN, the Forest River Owners Group (FROG) Rally in Goshen, IN, and the Hershey RV Show in Hershey, PA.

In case you’re wondering, I just had to include a picture of one of my favorite sci-fi marionette television shows from the ’60s. How many of you remember Thunderbirds Are Go? That and Astroboy were two of my childhood favorites. Yes, Mike is Go as well.

Yes, I was careful!

I’m fully vaccinated and I did my best to maintain social distancing, as I care for my 92 year-old father and often have my 10 year-old granddaughter visit. Both have health issues, so I certainly don’t want to take any chances with giving them COVID. But all is well so far, and my seminars were fully attended (up to 200 per class).

I’m booking 2022 seminars NOW!

I’ve already begun booking my in-person seminars for 2022 (as well as a few late 2021 dates), so if you want me to consider doing an RVelectricity™ 101 or 3-part RVelectricity™ MasterClass™ for your rally, please contact me. So tick-tock, now is the time to schedule an RVelectricity™ seminar for your group or Rally.


Yes, I’m still doing Zoom and YouTube Live seminars

I’ve recently added more overhead cameras in my office/studio as well as better lighting, so my virtual Zoom and YouTube RVelectricity seminars are better than ever. I can easily accommodate up to 300 Zoom attendees, and my YouTube Live seminars can have an unlimited number of attendees.

Both formats are live webcasts with interactive questions, and both are recorded for later viewing at any time by your group members. And it’s always free to everyone who wants to watch.

I already have some sponsorships for 2022

Since I have a few sponsors for my in-person and virtual seminars, many of them can be completely free to your rally groups. But you need to contact me now to get on my 2022 calendar. And the in-person seminars are typically SRO (Standing Room Only) so you’ll need to provide the biggest room you can get. I guess you all really want to know about RV electricity. Please email your contact and rally information to mike (at) with the subject “seminar” and let’s discuss.

When a storm wipes out your power, a car generator comes to the rescue
Why drag around a heavy generator and smelly gas cans if you only need extra power occasionally? Use your vehicle anywhere — camping, home power outage, etc. — for portable power with a lightweight CarGenerator! Runs quietly, like your vehicle idling. Works just like the new Ford Pro Power (non-hybrid) onboard generator but using the vehicle you already own! Read Mike Sokol’s comparison of Ford onboard generator versus CarGenerator or learn more and get a special discount at

GoGreenRV™ (Future Shock)

Where will we get our lithium from?

I’m continuing my in-depth look at the EV industry, and testing electric vehicles for towing capabilities, etc… But I’m also reporting on even bigger issues, such as where will the needed lithium for batteries come from?

While all the car manufacturers are giddy with promoting their new electric cars, SUVs and trucks for 2022/23, one of my first questions was availability of lithium. So I went digging (figuratively) and found out that we may have a way out of depending on imported lithium from foreign countries.

And at the same time it might be possible to reduce the environmental pollution of traditional lithium mining by 98%. Yes, the U.S. could soon supply 1/3 of the entire world’s need for lithium, and reduce the mining pollution down to 2% of current mining technology.

Interested in the future of lithium mining in the U.S.? Then read more about the Salton Sea Lithium Extraction Pilot Program HERE.

And you might even get to hear me play some great ’60s tunes on the keyboard when I drive a Volkswagen I.D. Buzz from Maryland to the Salton Sea. Get our your bell bottom pants and tie-dyed T-shirts, ’cause this is going to be far out, man!

Email me at mike (at) with your questions.

Not enough power to run your air conditioner? Think again!
When the summer heat arrives and your 110 power is from a small portable generator or a 20-amp household hookup, you’re out of luck running an air conditioner. That is, unless you have a SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and makes running your A/C possible when you never could before. Order at a discount. Money back guarantee if not 100% satisfied. Read more

More videos from Mike… 

No~Shock~Zone articles 1 thru 12

Here’s No∼Shock∼Zone Part 2, on digital meters, which was originally published back in 2010. Each month I’ll republish the next Part on a different RV electricity topic until you’ve read all 12 sections. Want to read ahead? Then you can buy my RV Electrical Safety book online, which sells thousands of copies every year. I wrote it specifically for RV consumers who want to know more about how their electrical systems work. So don’t worry, this will be painless.

RVelectricity™ – Electrical safety for RVers – Part 2

Digital meters

Few things are more mysterious or more useful than a digital meter when you need to troubleshoot an electrical problem in your RV. Here’s my article on how to use a digital meter. And yes, you need a digital meter for your road kit. Read more HERE.

Mike’s gadgets!

DeoxIT D5 to the rescue!

I know I sound like a broken record, but a clean connection is a low-resistance connection, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid overheating and even melting down your shore power cord. While DeoxIT seems pretty expensive, you only need a spritz every time you hook up, and even at that rate a small can of it should last years. I’ve used DeoxIT on my most delicate and high-current connections for music shows (on half-million dollar mixing consoles as well as lighting power connectors) and it’s never let me down.

Learn more or order at Amazon.

Last Month’s Posts

Dangerous, even deadly, RV hot-skin causes: Part 1
Is this the beginning of the end of noisy built-in generators?
Hershey RV Show – If they build it, will they come?
Hey, Hey! The 2021 Hershey Show is this week!
A tale of two welder outlets, and what can go wrong

Last Month’s JAM (Just Ask Mike) Session posts:

How to store a lithium battery for the winter
Too much Ninja® Foodi™ Air Fry Oven amperage?
Power two trailers at the same time with the ProPower 30-amp outlet
May the torque be with you … (includes torque value charts)
Emergency generator CO poisoning reminder

Best book on RV electricity, hands down!
Mike has taken his 50+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that should be essential reading for all RVers. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. Learn more or order.

Road Signs

By Mike Sokol

In case you missed it the first time around, here’s one of my 36 previously published Road Signs articles. No, it’s not really about actual signs (well, sometimes it is). These are just my observations of things while I’m traveling, gigging, or simply working on some project around the house. No, that’s not me in a mustard bottle costume, but it could be….

Dave Barry and my mustard rebellion

I don’t just write for the RV world. I sometimes interact with celebrities (well, sort of…). Here’s what I sent to humor columnist Dave Barry in early January 2000. Yes, that was more than 20 years ago. And yes, he answered me back TWICE in two decades. So I’m on a roll – or should that be a “bun”?

December 31, 1999:  Literally hours before Y2K takes out my word processor.

Attention Dave Barry,

As a writer for a number of professional worldwide audio magazines my writing reputation must remain unsullied. This is so my readers will believe what I say and not compare my writing to, say, a Dave Barry column. With that thought in mind I’m enlisting your help to bring something to the attention of the great masses of the unwashed. (Now there’s a picture.) And since your reputation is already so sullied that even when you tell the truth everyone thinks you are lying, you’re the perfect mouthpiece.

Read more…

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.

Email me at mike (at) with your questions.


Editor: Mike Sokol. publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we may occasionally get something wrong.  So always double check with your own technician, electrician or other professional first before undertaking projects that could involve danger if not done properly. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

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Cary Graus
1 year ago

Mike, Could you discuss the proper way to connect a Battery charger/maintainer to say 4-6volt house batteries in series parallel configuration ? It is winter storage time and us newbies want to make sure we keep our batteries in good shape.

Mike Sokol
1 year ago

I just signed an NDA with an EV motorhome designer. I should be able to release some info early 2022.

1 year ago

And Mike, you are not member of the great unwashed?

Mike Sokol
1 year ago
Reply to  friz

Well, I was playing 60’s music back in the ‘60s. ✌️☮️😁

Robert Vines
1 year ago

Great article on lithium. I suggest you look at cobalt. It is a far greater risk at constraining EVs than lithium.

Robert Wohlrab
1 year ago

Mike, I know you are checking into a lot of EV’s for their towing. However, what about us motorhome owners. As I understand it, none of the upcoming EV’s will be able to be towed wheels down. The EV makers should consider this or they will be missing out on a very big market.

Mike Sokol
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Wohlrab

Stand by…

Mike Sokol
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Wohlrab

Ford has a recent patent on recharging EVs while towing, which I think would be great. I’ve asked for an interview about this…

Bob P
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Since we all know there’s no such thing as a perfect machine, and you always get less out than you put in, I would think an EV motorhome pulling an EV toad recharging while being towed would deplete more electricity being used by the motorhome than would be charging into the toad. I could be wrong, I once was wrong when I thought I was right but that turned out to be wrong as I was right. Lol

Mike Sokol
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob P

I think an EV Toad would work best towed behind a gas or diesel MH being used as an exhaust brake to recharge it while the MH is braking.

Terry Treman
1 year ago

Mike! So glad you are back at it. Thank you for what you do, trying to keep us amateurs safe and educated. It’s a tough job.
Regarding DeoxIT D5, I purchased a can on your recommendation…no complaints, but a question. After I use it, the male and female terminals still continue to build up a green tarnish. Is this normal? Should I ignore it, other than giving it a quick squirt?

Mike Sokol
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry Treman

Sounds like it needs a good burnishing with emery paper. Be sure to clean it well afterwards, then use DeoxIT.

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