Make-Your-Own Surge Protector - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2011, 07:43 AM   #15
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Surge Protector

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
There are different types of UPS systems . One uses the battery only as a backup power source, better ones have the battery across the load at all times (or floating on line) which eliminates voltage dips & spikes . Tripp makes a good UPS but they cost more .
The last ones I bought were for an automated assembly line. They were 1.0 KW and cost about $800.00 ea

As the only things in our Boler running off the battery are two small lights and the CO2 detector and we bought battery-operated LED mini-lights and both a battery-operated CO2 detector and smoke alarm we were thinking of not buying a new battery. (We got the trailer last month and there was no battery in the case.) Can't think what possible use it would be. Our main concerns are: (a) tripping the campground breaker when the small microwave is in use and (b) having a power surge fry our wiring, notebook computer or small LCD TV. We don't plan to run the bits and pieces concurrently and have no AC, so am wondering at what point costly surge protection would be overkill. I was thinking that perhaps a simple powerbar from the computer store would do for this first trip. Thanks for your advice!
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie and Claude View Post
As the only things in our Boler running off the battery are two small lights and the CO2 detector and we bought battery-operated LED mini-lights and both a battery-operated CO2 detector and smoke alarm we were thinking of not buying a new battery. (We got the trailer last month and there was no battery in the case.) Can't think what possible use it would be. Our main concerns are: (a) tripping the campground breaker when the small microwave is in use and (b) having a power surge fry our wiring, notebook computer or small LCD TV. We don't plan to run the bits and pieces concurrently and have no AC, so am wondering at what point costly surge protection would be overkill. I was thinking that perhaps a simple powerbar from the computer store would do for this first trip. Thanks for your advice!
Reading your original post, I've concluded that you are worried about electrical problems inside of the trailer. Until you get a fuse box, your best bet is a power strip/surge protector. I'm assuming updating the electronics are extremely high on your to-do list as soon as you return home.

Regarding higher demand appliances like your microwave, TV and coffee maker, you'll need to get an inverter. http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&gc...ower+inverters They are not all that expensive. They will plug into your "cigaret lighter" outlet. Do you have a "cigaret lighter" outlet?

Without an inverter, your appliances won't work.

Personally, I'd replace your coffee machine with something that will work with or on the propane stove. I have a french press, which works great. I also have a malita (hand drip) coffee carafe. Both of these appliances require hot water - no electricity! Several FGRVers have stove top Italian Coffee Makers or plain old camp fire peculators. You also might want to consider packing a small, propane powered BBQ to use instead of the microwave. I'm suggesting this as a way to bypass electricity until you rewire your camper and add a fuse box.

I'd also use the (please purchase one) inverter to recharge your notebook PC in your car. Then you won't have to plug it into your trailer.

After you get some of your initial trailer purchases behind you, you can consider how important it is to protect yourself against electrical problems originating at your camp ground's hook-up box. Because you don't have an AC, the do-it-yourself surge protector should work well for you and save you $$$.

Think of the money it will take to replace your refrigerator. Compare that with the $75 cost in supplies to build a surge protector.

Having said all that, you don't have to get a surge protector immediately. Yes, you are taking a chance every time you hook up. But that doesn't mean that you camp site will have bad wiring. Take care your your internal wiring. If there are other things you need to do with the traller like ... fix some leaks, install a heater ... the surge protector can take it's place on your to do list.

Good luck with your decisions and ... have a great trip!
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:35 PM   #17
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Surge History

Though the past is not a guarantee of the future, it is certainly an indicator.

In the last 11 years we have camped between 2 and 3,000 nights. We have not once had an electrical failure while camping due to voltage spikes, lightening strikes, or campground wiring.

We do NOT have a surge supressor.

We do have two 100 watt Cigarette Lighter Inverters. We keep one in the Tow Vehicle and one in the trailer. The one in car is sometimes used to charge the computer but more often to charge our cell phones that we forgot to charge the night before.

On the other hand we did have a laptop charger blow out in the house last summer simultaneously with a lightening strike. It's always smart to unplug expensive electronics during lightening storms, even with surge protection.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:55 AM   #18
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Name: Bonnie and Claude
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Boler 1300 Electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
Reading your original post, I've concluded that you are worried about electrical problems inside of the trailer. Until you get a fuse box, your best bet is a power strip/surge protector. I'm assuming updating the electronics are extremely high on your to-do list as soon as you return home.

Regarding higher demand appliances like your microwave, TV and coffee maker, you'll need to get an inverter. power inverters - Google Search They are not all that expensive. They will plug into your "cigaret lighter" outlet. Do you have a "cigaret lighter" outlet?

Without an inverter, your appliances won't work.

Personally, I'd replace your coffee machine with something that will work with or on the propane stove. I have a french press, which works great. I also have a malita (hand drip) coffee carafe. Both of these appliances require hot water - no electricity! Several FGRVers have stove top Italian Coffee Makers or plain old camp fire peculators. You also might want to consider packing a small, propane powered BBQ to use instead of the microwave. I'm suggesting this as a way to bypass electricity until you rewire your camper and add a fuse box.

I'd also use the (please purchase one) inverter to recharge your notebook PC in your car. Then you won't have to plug it into your trailer.

After you get some of your initial trailer purchases behind you, you can consider how important it is to protect yourself against electrical problems originating at your camp ground's hook-up box. Because you don't have an AC, the do-it-yourself surge protector should work well for you and save you $$$.

Think of the money it will take to replace your refrigerator. Compare that with the $75 cost in supplies to build a surge protector.

Having said all that, you don't have to get a surge protector immediately. Yes, you are taking a chance every time you hook up. But that doesn't mean that you camp site will have bad wiring. Take care your your internal wiring. If there are other things you need to do with the traller like ... fix some leaks, install a heater ... the surge protector can take it's place on your to do list.

Good luck with your decisions and ... have a great trip!
We once had a summer cottage burn to the ground so yes electronics are really high on my priority list. The trailer does not have a 12V outlet. It does have three 120V outlets which are connected in a daisy chain (the main power source attached to the first one, the second outlet wired off the first, etc.) We had it looked at and were told the wiring appears to be quite new. When we return a friend who used to build trailers and who runs a trailer repair service for campgrounds will do an inspection and tell us what we need and in what order--from a safety standpoint--we should do the work.

I did buy a power inverter for the Dodge Caravan but it won't be much use in charging things once we setup in Texas for 4-6 weeks. We have taken it to Quebec City for a weekend trip and the coffee maker and small cube space heater worked fine on the 120V. I would have used just a filter holder and a cup to make coffee but my husband claims it isn't hot enough when it's done and he doesn't like warmed up coffee. Happily he only drinks once mug a day. (Shame to waste the counter space for the 4-cup coffee maker, eh?) We bought a small Weber BBQ and a Coleman Sportcat heater. I am vegetarian (oddly so was the previous owner) and eat raw foods or "zapped" stuff when it's cold out. We may regret installing the microwave but at home and in our Glendale (parked in a campground for the past 13 years) we use the microwave daily. In preparing our wishlist we looked at what we do on a day-to-day basis and tried to eliminate all the STUFF that has crept into our lives.

Will check on the surge protectors when we're Stateside and will look up the do-it-yourself version.

What a difference going from a 33' (stationary) trailer with a slide-out and all the amenities to a 13' trailer we plan to tow! Naively we thought we'd buy it, hook it up and go. Great learning experience! Really appreciate all the comments folks have posted on this site as it has helped enormously.

Bonnie
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Though the past is not a guarantee of the future, it is certainly an indicator.

In the last 11 years we have camped between 2 and 3,000 nights. We have not once had an electrical failure while camping due to voltage spikes, lightening strikes, or campground wiring.

We do NOT have a surge supressor.

We do have two 100 watt Cigarette Lighter Inverters. We keep one in the Tow Vehicle and one in the trailer. The one in car is sometimes used to charge the computer but more often to charge our cell phones that we forgot to charge the night before.

On the other hand we did have a laptop charger blow out in the house last summer simultaneously with a lightening strike. It's always smart to unplug expensive electronics during lightening storms, even with surge protection.
Thank you! That is very reassuring. We don't have any 12V outlets in the Boler but can, in a pinch, use the inverter we bought for the van.
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