Your RV Electrical System is Similar But Different From Your Home!

A lot of folks do not know the main differences between an RV power system and a home power system. There are a lot of similarities but yet a lot of differences as well. In a home electrical system the incoming power is very consistent with only small fluctuations in voltage. The same cannot be said for the power systems in an RV park. Connecting to a power source at a park can often cause issues with your RV power system. If the power is not consistent you could wind up causing damage to your delicate electronics. In a home environment, you can be assured that the power coming into the residence will likely be consistent and not adversely affect your components or appliances such as your AC system or computer. In addition to the AC power, your RV also has a DC system that is used when you are on battery power.

Often times you can issues with power systems at older parks. Sometimes the wiring inside the pedestals can be defective or problematic. This can include things like loose wiring, poor grounds or even the potential for reversed polarity. Any of these issues could lead to damage or even a fire. You should also check the electrical system in your RV periodically for damage. This can include testing outlets and switches to be sure they are all working properly. A damaged outlet can cause arcing that could potentially cause a fire within the wall of your rig. Unlike a home, an RV can spread a fire very quickly which is why it is very important to have your electrical system checked on a regular basis.

Another issue that can occur that can cause serious issues for your appliances is under or over voltage. Most appliances require between 102 and 132 Volts to operate properly. If the voltage goes outside of those variables, sever damage can occur. These fluctuations in power can cause your appliances to have a much shorter life span than expected. It is probably more likely that you see less voltage at a park then you will see over voltage. If the power system at a park is overworked because of a lot of power consumption, this can lead to less than the optimal 120 volts needed for most appliances. One solution to this problem is to get a shoreline auto generator start and monitoring system. A product such as this can automatically start your generator when the shoreline power gets too low. It works kind of like a UPS works for a computer system. If the power threshold gets too low the battery in the UPS takes over and keeps the power at an acceptable level. The same thing happens when you have a monitoring system installed in your RV. This will greatly extend the life of your appliances.

Lightning can be an issue almost anywhere in the country during the summer months. Simply using a surge protector will likely not offer enough protection. There are a wide variety of protection devices that you can install between the pedestal and your RV to help harden your protection. It should be known that no product can offer protection from a direct lightning strike.  A direct lightning strike is simply too powerful and will overshadow any protection devices you have installed.

As you can see, your RV electrical system can be exposed to some very harsh conditions that a normal home electrical system does not experience. With regular maintenance and the proper protection, you can help to greatly extend the life of your delicate electronic components and appliances.