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Autoformers


rving4us

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As soon as the house sales we are going full time in the RV. My question, How many of you use a Hughes Autoformer or equivalent? and do you feel it is absolutely necessary. I have a progressive industries surge and spike protector. I was just wondering if any of you found the need to have the power boosted very often.

Thanks,

Cary

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We have enough solar panels to make it easy to simply disconnect from poor power and still run everything but the A/Cs. And if we need A/C that bad we can go somewhere else (or start the generator). We do have the Progressive Industries 50A EMS (the portable version) so that will protect our unit from under- or over-voltage issues by tripping off.

 

WDR

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In 10 years of full timing and 1 year of snow birding we were only in one park where an autoformer would have been helpful to have.

 

That was in Clifton CO at the RV Ranch RV park in a record setting hot summer. The park was built many years ago and the 30 amp service was not up to modern RV usage. I ended up using my 50 amp to 30 amp pigtail so I could use one leg of the 50 amp receptacle. The 50 amp wiring was added much later and when everyone turned their ACs on the voltage didn't droop nearly as badly as the 30 amp.

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While caring for elderly parents we spent a few months in an older park with low voltage. The voltage would often drop to between 100 and 105. I purchased a 50 amp Autoformer for use while there, and it solved the problem. That's the only time in 16 years of full timing I have needed one.

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We volunteer a lot in parks and church camps. We use Passport America while traveling from one volunteer job to another. Some of these parks tend to be older parks and sometimes seem to have low voltage. I have had my Hughes A.F. for several years and it has been helpful in many of these instances.

 

This is just one other thing I don't have to worry about.

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I have used a Hughes(OK) a Frank's(Junk) and now a PowerMaster(Best) in my over 15 years of Full Time.

I do have it mounted in the same compartment with a 30 AMP TRC surge protector with the Low/High cut off.

 

Even at my winter spot with usualy good 120-122V.

When my rear AC come on dropping it down to 111V and then I turn the micro on in will dip to 108V.

PowerMaster cuts in and V jump up to 110V.

 

It helps when at older campgrounds in the summer. And everyone is running a AC pulling Volts down to the 110-105V range.

And my Volt monitor starts to alarm. Even with the autoformer it helps to turn off the electric water heater and switch to gas or the frig to gas.

 

I wouldn't be without my autoformer. And I recommend a Digital monitor

Anyone without one may not know if they need a autoformer or not at any campground.

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We were in two parks where we know the Hughes helped us. I have no other idea how many other parks we were in where it helped us without us knowing.

 

Ours was toasted on our trip to Alaska last year. I have not replaced it yet, as I'm stubborn and want to see if the interior damage is as bad as it looks.

 

We're traveling now with TRC, and so far so good. We do have a robust battery bank and solar panel system, so still have not decided if I will replace the Hughes if it really is unrepairable (Indications are that it will not be fixable.) If we do, I will probably go with the mentioned PowerMaster. Or, may just wait and see if another older version of the Hughes pop's up for sale used somewhere. That is how we got out last unit, and it was a good buy for us.

 

No right or wrong on this. Do always have adequate protection for you electric hook up, IMO, that is a must have. If you have a high level of need to always assure power under adverse/fragile/older park systems - the Autoformer's do the job and can make a difference.

 

Best,

Smitty

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We started full-timing 4 years ago . By the middle of the second summer we had a Hughes and wouldn't even think about not having one . We also use Progressive Ind. protection . Appliances are just too expensive to have to replace .

 

Where ever we 'camp' , folks ask what that grey box is . Generally , they say they want the info for getting one for themselves .

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I have a 30 amp version and used it some in a few campgrounds. I never did get a 50 amp version when I moved to a 50 amp RV. I have not found that 50 amp service generally has low voltage. I'm quite sure that some do, but none I have encountered.

 

IF I encountered a low voltage service I'd likely just run off my inverter and charge simultaneously with my converter (I have both methods of charging available to me). With my solar and converter I have more than enough charge capability. And the converter does not "care" about low voltage - it trucks along fine at even 90 volts.

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We've had our Autoformer for over 15 years. We don't use it a lot but it sure makes life easier when you get into a park where the plug ins aren't up to snuff. We found some supposedly "good" parks in Florida this winter sure had bad power and our AF saved us. Hugs, Di

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IF I encountered a low voltage service I'd likely just run off my inverter and charge simultaneously with my converter (I have both methods of charging available to me)..... ....And the converter does not "care" about low voltage - it trucks along fine at even 90 volts.

This makes sense. The charger would probably not be providing full rated output on reduced line voltage but enough to keep the batteries charged as long as you aren't running electric heaters off the inverter or something.

 

WDR

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This makes sense. The charger would probably not be providing full rated output on reduced line voltage but enough to keep the batteries charged as long as you aren't running electric heaters off the inverter or something.

 

Or ACs -- which I've found is typically when an autoformer is needed.

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