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How many of you have and use a Hughes Autoformer? We have at least one campground we visit routinely (only option near two of our grandkids) where the voltage, during the hot season, constantly drops below 104 volts and the EMS takes us off-line. I really wished we had one this last time! Have you found the Autoformer to be reliable and perform well?

Thanks!

 

Rob

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I honestly would not be without our Hughes . It's a 30 Amp model .

Our Monaco is a 50 Amp rig , but we regularly visit 30 Amp sites . That's when the Hughes really shines . It allows us to lead a pretty normal life without too much concern . 

We've had it for the last 11 years . I bought it used , so I have no real idea how much older it is . It just keeps working .

I will add that we always run a 50 Amp Progressive surge protector .

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31 minutes ago, Pat & Pete said:

I honestly would not be without our Hughes . It's a 30 Amp model. Our Monaco is a 50 Amp rig, but we regularly visit 30 Amp sites.

@Pat and Pete,

I'm guessing this means you do NOT use it when you're on a 50amp pedestal?  Is there a reason you haven't done this, or simply because you seem to need it most on a 30?  I'm wondering, as I've been considering an autoformer, as well, if the 50amp version, with a dogbone to a 30amp pedestal is a viable combination.

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4 minutes ago, Will B. said:

@Pat and Pete,

I'm guessing this means you do NOT use it when you're on a 50amp pedestal?  Is there a reason you haven't done this, or simply because you seem to need it most on a 30?  I'm wondering, as I've been considering an autoformer, as well, if the 50amp version, with a dogbone to a 30amp pedestal is a viable combination.

The Hughes web site says it's fine to use a 50 amp Autoformer with a 50 amp coach on a 30 amp pedestal - they even have a YouTube video of how to do it and what to watch for.

Rob

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1 hour ago, Second Chance said:

The Hughes web site says it's fine to use a 50 amp Autoformer with a 50 amp coach on a 30 amp pedestal - they even have a YouTube video of how to do it and what to watch for.

Rob

Buying new , I'd go the 50 Amp Hughes . If it's sometimes a little too much , so what . 

Better a little too much than not enough .

I went with the 30 Amp because that's what we needed at the time . Then as now , there seems to be a lot more 30 Amp sites than 50 . But , I think that's changing , moving forward . 

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2 hours ago, Will B. said:

@Pat and Pete,

I'm guessing this means you do NOT use it when you're on a 50amp pedestal?  Is there a reason you haven't done this, or simply because you seem to need it most on a 30?  I'm wondering, as I've been considering an autoformer, as well, if the 50amp version, with a dogbone to a 30amp pedestal is a viable combination.

About our use on 50 Amp pedestals : In the 12 years we've been full timing , there definitely have been times when power has been out . The original surge protector we started with did it's job very nicely for the first 9 - 10 years before it burned out . I have replaced it with the same model . 

So far , we haven't had a single appliance go bad or shut down when on 50 Amp , other than the total power outs . 

Maybe we've just been lucky . 

Edited by Pat & Pete
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We recently bought a place in the Yuma Foothills. And the three to four block area around us, seems to struggle with delivering proper voltage during peak usage time. Our 45' Coach is a Heavy Electric User, and we could not run all three roof system AC's off of the lower voltage. Our previous coach we used a Hughes Autoformer, putting it inline permanently installed in the coach. So we bit the bullet and ordered a new Hughes for the new to us coach. It bumped us back up to useable power voltages, and we could run all three roof airs (And of course, other electrical loads, such as AquaHot Dual Elements, at the sometime.). 

One thing I like about the newer Hughes, is the module that can be replaced, IF a spike takes it out... (We'd 'toasted' a Hughes in the Yukon in either 2013 or 2014... And so we like this modular approach to damage control!).

We will be mounting out Hughes inline permanently inside the coach later this year.

(And our new to us neighbors, said that it had been a gradual decline in power availability - as more and more of this areas of the Foothill's were converted to manufactured homes and or stick & brick's homes... Many have made request with APS to beef up capacity...).

Best to all,

Smitty

 

 

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As an option to the portable device you bought, you may be able to have installed a buck/boost transformer that is designed to do what you are needing.  And it can be left on your lot for others to use should you decide to rent it.

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2 hours ago, rpsinc said:

As an option to the portable device you bought, you may be able to have installed a buck/boost transformer that is designed to do what you are needing.  And it can be left on your lot for others to use should you decide to rent it.

We are mobile full-timers and don't have a lot - but thanks.

Rob

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  • 2 weeks later...

When we park, 1st thing I do is plug in my Progressive Dynamics EMS.  I check the voltage on both incoming lines.  If low, I pull out my Hughes and plug it in.  Even when initial reading are OK, I check a couple of times during hot afternoons when electric usage is high.  We have only needed it a few times to boost voltage, but when we needed it, it preformed. 

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1 hour ago, TexasPSDX said:

When we park, 1st thing I do is plug in my Progressive Dynamics EMS.  I check the voltage on both incoming lines.  If low, I pull out my Hughes and plug it in.  Even when initial reading are OK, I check a couple of times during hot afternoons when electric usage is high.  We have only needed it a few times to boost voltage, but when we needed it, it preformed. 

Thanks. We have a hard-wired PD 50 amp EMS with a display inside near the distribution panel, so we have constant voltage monitoring and the protection of the EMS. My plan is to do as you do - only use the Autoformer when needed.

Rob

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1 minute ago, rynosback said:

This is what I did with mine. You can connect or disconnect it when ever you want. It keeps it safe, dry and no one is aware that you have it. As I have heard that some parks do not permit autoformers. 
 

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f29/autoformer-mod-20791.html

I'm trying to figure out how to do something like that without too much changing of things - my 50-amp cord connects to the trailer on the outside rather than inside a bay.

Rob

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23 hours ago, Second Chance said:

I'm trying to figure out how to do something like that without too much changing of things - my 50-amp cord connects to the trailer on the outside rather than inside a bay.

Rob

Then put a plug before the transfer switch or before the wires get to the panel. 

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On 9/21/2022 at 3:51 PM, rynosback said:

This is what I did with mine. You can connect or disconnect it when ever you want. It keeps it safe, dry and no one is aware that you have it. As I have heard that some parks do not permit autoformers. 
 

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f29/autoformer-mod-20791.html

We've never found a park like that^ . 

 

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On 9/22/2022 at 4:52 PM, Pat & Pete said:

We've never found a park like that^ . 

 

I personally have not either, but people have stated that they have. But sometimes it is also better to ask for forgiveness then permission. And they way I have it set up, you would never know that I even have it. 

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On 9/21/2022 at 2:51 PM, rynosback said:

As I have heard that some parks do not permit autoformers. 

When Autoformer was new there were a lot of parks that had such a rule because they believed thatthe Autoformer somhow was stealing power from other RVs, or at least that was the excuse given. That came about I think from a misunderstanding of how an auto-transformer works, which is the item at the heart of the Autoformer. I have not heard of that happening in probably 10 years or longer. Education is perhaps reaching even the remote RV park owners. 

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16 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

When Autoformer was new there were a lot of parks that had such a rule because they believed thatthe Autoformer somhow was stealing power from other RVs, or at least that was the excuse given. That came about I think from a misunderstanding of how an auto-transformer works, which is the item at the heart of the Autoformer. I have not heard of that happening in probably 10 years or longer. Education is perhaps reaching even the remote RV park owners. 

Kirk,

If you read on Hughes' site, they state specifically that the Autoformer is not an auto-transformer.

Hughes Autoformer

The misfortune of the similar naming has caused a lot of confusion. An autotransformer (in this case "auto" meaning self rather than automatic) is a transformer that uses a single winding and core with multiple taps.

Autotransformer Wiki

The Autoformer is a different animal and does not use that electrical configuration.

Rob

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14 hours ago, Second Chance said:

If you read on Hughes' site, they state specifically that the Autoformer is not an auto-transformer.

None the less, it does pretty much the same function, but my point was and is that the Autoformer does not steal power from other RVs in the system, which as the myth that some park management used to belive and so ban their use. 

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Good mornin Second Chance; FWIW as I have no specs data or wiring diagrams, it's my understanding the Hughes product IS NOT what I call a Tap Changer method of voltage regulation in which case over and under voltage was automatically corrected by switching the secondary over to different taps off the transformers primary IE TAP CHANGERS.

 One OTHER method of voltage regulation involves using a transformers heavy iron and magnetic material TO STORE ENERGY IN THE MAGNETIC FIELD which can be used/discharged in cases of low INPUT voltage (like a brownout) to boost its OUTPUT voltage if needed. As Energy = Volts x Amps x Time and if the transformer stores ENERGY in its heavy magnetic material field, if the INPUT voltage were to drop the transformer could draw from its stored energy and/or draw more INPUT CURRENT to maintain the correct OUTPUT VOLTAGE. If ? thats how the Hughes works (not saying yes or no) one could consider it to be using (call it stealing if you like) more CURRENT in order to raise/maintain voltage at the Hughes owners site ???      I would NOT consider it as taking/stealing DIRECTLY from your neighbor, but taking it FROM THE PARKS DISTRIBUTION........HOWEVER drawing excess current can cause voltage drop AT YOUR NEIGHBOR and rest of park.. A sematic problem perhaps but the laws of physics prevail and Energy = Volts x Amps x Time and its possible to draw more current in order to increase voltage in a device but is that how a Hughes works ??????????????

 DISCLAIMER i have no specs data or wiring diagrams so I DO NOT know if the Hughes works like that. IM ONLY SAYING its possible to draw MORE CURRENT (from the park maybe steal/drop/lower  neighbors voltage if you like) in order to maintain output voltage at the Hughes owner site  

  If anyone knows exactly how the Hughes works PLEASE LET US KNOW. I do think it could draw more current thereby cause voltage drop at other sites in the park ???

 John T Retired yet ever curious engineer open to learn.  

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