RV Polarity Testing
Before you plug your RV into the campground electrical power, it’s important to first check it for the right polarity and voltage. Even it’s a campground you’ve been to before, it’s a good idea to check it every time for electrical issues. Power issues can not only cause your appliances to fail, but it can also cause expensive damage to your RV.
These problems can be avoided by checking the electrical source before plugging in at the campground.
How to Check the Electricity at a Campground
You can use a simple voltage tester to check the power outlets for proper voltage. A 30 amp outlet at a campground should put out 120 volts. This type of meter will show a variance of 112-120 volts as the safe range and if the voltage is too low or too high, it will show it in the danger range.
In order to check for proper polarity, you can use a simple plug-in electrical outlet tester. This will test for an open neutral, open ground, ground fault interruption, or an open hot wire. Likewise, even if you verify the campground power is good, it’s advisable to use these tools inside the RV too, to monitor whether or not the power changes while you’re there.
If you find any problems with the power pedestal at your site, tell the manager, and request to move to another site.
Protecting Your RV from Reversed Polarity and other Electrical Problems
Every RV should have a surge protector that includes voltage protection. While a surge protector is not cheap, it will be cheaper than the repairs that might occur from a power problem, such as reversed polarity.
A surge protector will protect your RV and appliances from:
- Power surges
- Reversed polarity
- High and Low Voltage
- Mis-wired power pedestals
Be sure to get one matched to your30-Amp or 50-Amp system. You can get a surge protector that can be plugged into the campground power pedestal or one that can be hard-wired into your RV. If everything is OK with the power, it will light up and let the electricity flow into your RV. However, if there’s a problem, it will block the electricity from going into your RV, and warning lights will come on. If the electricity is allowed to flow, the surge protector protects the RV from power surges. It will also completely shut down the power if the campground voltage surges or drops to certain levels.
Before you plugin, always check the polarity and voltage, to ensure the safety of your RV electrical system.