Pedestal Power

What’s this? Cold floors?

End of August and the overnight temperatures have already started to fall. We check the forecast and if the temperatures are going to drop below 12 degrees Celsius — low fifties for my American friends — then we turn on our in-floor heating system. Until the cold weather starts to hit harder in the next six weeks or so, the in-floor heating is usually sufficient to keep the coach comfortable.

When we woke up yesterday, the floors were cold.

Sigh.

Something was not right in the coach. And we haven’t moved it since we arrived to our site in May.

I checked our power control monitor system. Much as I suspected, we were running off batteries. No shore power.

I like to keep our inverter running as a form of uninterruptible power. The coach will seamlessly switch from shore power to batteries in the event of an outage. However, we can only run off the batteries for so long before they need to be recharged.

Why did we not have shore power?

Yesterday was a very busy day. I was on sound for our livestream at our church and I was also on live sound for three outdoor services. I left the coach at 7:30am and didn’t get back until 7:30pm.

It was 7am when I discovered we had a power problem.

I went to the pedestal and recycled power. Basically I switched the circuit breakers off, unplugged the cord, checked the plug, re-inserted the cord and turned the breakers back on. The line showed active at the pedestal. The end of our 50-amp plug has a green LED that illuminates when it sees power.

We then checked our Surge Guard. Line 1 and Line 2 lights were on. The delay light was not blinking.

The manual highlights the Over/Under Voltage Protection feature: should voltage drop below 102V or rise above 132V for more than 8 seconds, power to RV is turned off.

The troubleshooting guide suggested a power problem. Hey, I already knew that we had a power problem!

I wasn’t able to spend any more time on trying to resolve the problem as I had to leave. I told Lorraine that I strongly suspected that we had a pedestal power problem and that she should contact the park to get it resolved.

We had a pedestal problem. The voltage was low on the one side which caused the surge protection system to shut off power to the coach. The park acted immediately and had the power restored within an hour or so.

Checking the pedestal circuit for power is relatively simple if you have a multimeter.

This video describes the process:

Thankfully the power problem was straightforward to resolve.

Lorraine thought we might have a more challenging problem to resolve like the one described in this post when we had our inverter malfunction. I was concerned that the surge protector may have failed. That would have been a costly repair.

Mechanical issues in a coach can always be resolved. Some issues can be resolved quickly and at no cost. Many issues take more time to resolve and some can also be very, very expensive to fix.

Good to wake up to warm floors this morning.

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