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Post Info TOPIC: Autotransformers...


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Autotransformers...


Good Afternoon All:

 

I have been researching autotransformers today and wondered where some of you have them physically located and where are they wired into your system electrically.  What make and model transformers do you have.  It appears the autotransformer manufacturers have taken the same philosophy as the house paint manufacturers in that there seems to be as many different autotransformers out there as there are different paint colors from Sherwin-Williams.  With so many sensitive digital controllers in so many of the gadgets in the house that stay alive all the time, we likely should expect more failures of controllers running off commercial power in some places at peak times.

 

One point I thought about is, as our RVs become more and more power hungry, we generate more and more heat in our power equipment bays.  And as we add equipment, we also further restrict, or disrupt, air flow.  Heat damage is cumulative just by the nature of the beast.  And there are power losses given up as heat from every power conditioning piece of equipment that I've ever met.

 

Have any of you installed fans and/or cut holes and installed registers, or done anything to address heat build up and/or better air exchange?  A large enough capacity autotransformer to be worthwhile would add a little heat to an already warm equipment bay.  And if we keep this up, we'll need to air condition the darn bay.  Not!  But with two inverters in there and a converter not far away feeding a large battery bank, plus a transformer, I'm guessing we certainly wouldn't have to worry about anything freezing in that bay.

 

Dave



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Dave



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My Autoformer is a Hughes ... it is external so not “installed”. We’ve had it for 3 years.

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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My current TT doesn’t use more energy than my past RV and much less than when my TVs were not LEDs. My energy use isn’t ever increasing so don’t need an energy diet.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & 2020 Silverado LTZ Z71. 300 watts WindyNation solar w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county camps. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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LarryW21 wrote:

My current TT doesn’t use more energy than my past RV and much less than when my TVs were not LEDs. My energy use isn’t ever increasing so don’t need an energy diet.


 Autoformers protect your rig from low RV park voltage.  Has little to do with how much energy you use.  Air conditioners, microwaves, refrigerators all suffer when the park voltage is low ... which doesn’t have anything to do with your rigs consumption.



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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Ron, i know what an autoformer does. I was responding to the OP’s comment...

“One point I thought about is, as our RVs become more and more power hungry”

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & 2020 Silverado LTZ Z71. 300 watts WindyNation solar w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county camps. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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LarryW21 wrote:

Ron, i know what an autoformer does. I was responding to the OP’s comment...

“One point I thought about is, as our RVs become more and more power hungry”


 Ahh, my bad ... but, to your point, an autoformer won’t really help with that either.  Didn’t mean to offend.  An autoformer is really a “one trick pony” ... if your pedestal isn’t “off” on voltage, it’s not going to do much for you.



-- Edited by RonC on Tuesday 3rd of March 2020 07:26:01 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Thanks folks.

Ron, I looked at the Hughes RV220-50SP Autoformer. That is an impressive little unit. I don't know if you have it, but it now comes with an internal surge protection module that's replaceable. How nice is that? I don't know when they added that. It seems they don't offer it without the surge protection module. So if you don't use it all the time, you still need a plug in surge protector to use when not using the autotransformer. Or just go through two surge protectors when you use it if you already have one hard-wired into your power circuit.

Do you use it all the time, or just if you determine the shore voltage is low? Since commercial power is pretty dirty and the voltage can vary all over the place during the day, you can pretty well bet that if it's 100 degrees outside and the park is full of big RVs, the voltage is going to be down below 120V. I would be concerned about leaving the transformer outside at the pedestal. I'd be afraid it might "grow legs" and walk away. How do you protect yours from "growing legs"?

Hughes does caution that if you use it from inside a compartment, it needs to be in a well ventilated compartment. Hughes also touches on low voltage causing higher current flow. Some folks may not realize it, but as voltage goes down, current draw goes up for the same appliance load. That's just the nature of the beast. That increased current draw creates more heat. In extreme cases of significantly low voltage, bad things can happen. All consumer appliances I've seen in this country are rated at 120V. So at 110V, we're already at higher current draws than what appears on the sticker on the appliances.

Boy, oh boy. If I had known how much work it would be to get the RV set up with all the gadgets, I might have just continued to go to work at the radar site. NOT! lol.

Yes Larry, you're right of course.  I was referring to what seems to be a trend of larger and larger RVs with more and more gadgets using electrical power being available as options.  Some builders of production model fifth wheels even offer a 7kw generator set now as an option.


 Dave



-- Edited by Dave MW on Wednesday 4th of March 2020 10:42:32 AM

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Dave



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Our older 50AMP Hughes Autoformer is inside a compartment since we have a power cord reel in its own compartment with the automatic transfer switch.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
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We recently bought a new Hughes Autoformer (the one with the surge protector built in). I used the old one, and intend to use the new one, every time I hook up. The new one gives you a "go-no go" light system and low voltage and surge protection are often "an event" so you never know when it will occur.

 

I cover mine with a plastic tub ... it's not water proof so that accomplishes two things (1) protection from rain (2) disguises the unit so it doesn't look like much but an upside down tub.  I have never locked it to the pedestal or secured it in any way ... 3 years, so far so good ... but we do stay in 4 star or better RV parks.  I set the unit on 2x8x12 wood blocks to keep it off the ground, put the tub on and put several 2x8x12 wooden blocks on the tub to keep it from blowing away.

 

Regarding theft in general ... when we first got our rig I made sure all the basement doors were locked and all was secure.  After about 6 months I quit locking the doors.  Maybe I've just been lucky and some day somebody will steal my extra sewer hose.  Never had a problem with theft.

 


-- Edited by RonC on Thursday 5th of March 2020 03:31:29 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Thursday 5th of March 2020 03:54:28 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Thursday 5th of March 2020 03:57:43 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Thursday 5th of March 2020 03:59:14 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Thursday 5th of March 2020 04:02:16 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Where are you, Ron, and is the sewer hose in good condition? lol



-- Edited by LarryW21 on Thursday 5th of March 2020 09:06:22 PM

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & 2020 Silverado LTZ Z71. 300 watts WindyNation solar w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county camps. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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LarryW21 wrote:

Where are you, Ron, and is the sewer hose in good condition? lol



-- Edited by LarryW21 on Thursday 5th of March 2020 09:06:22 PM


 Location is secret and the sewer hose is “lightly used”😂😂😂



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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Noticed you asked about autotransformers not autoformers.

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2003 Teton Grand Freedon  2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3 SOLD     2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L singled, ultrashift,  hauling a 2016 Smart Passion

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