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Author Topic: camp ground wiring  (Read 1182 times)

Frank DeWitt

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camp ground wiring
« on: August 15, 2017, 09:07:30 pm »

Spotted at a camp ground in PA
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BrianHenry

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 12:01:58 am »

The old male-male jumper trick. Now with more Romex.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Ryan C. Davis

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 12:40:22 am »

My favorite kind of cord, the classic "dead man". So punk rock.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 01:54:48 am »

Spotted at a camp ground in PA


I wonder how much of this kind of thing comes from people just having no idea what an inlet is and why this way is dangerous.  Of course this is why most people should be hiring professionals and everyone should get inspected on work completion.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 08:21:11 am »

A lot of campground wiring is done by personnel called "work-campers" or sometimes "workampers". These are typically RV owners who do day work at campgrounds in exchange for a free camping spot. In general there's no formal training for any of the jobs they perform which could range from filling potholes in the road, pulling weeks, or replacing campsite power pedestals. I've seen some of them working on installing new electric service boxes and other functions that should be performed by a licensed electrician and inspected.

Of course, you get what you pay for, so there's some pretty dangerous wiring at a lot of campgrounds in the USA. To help figure just how widespread the problems are I ran a survey on RVtravel.com last week which asked how many of my readers had experienced power problems at campgrounds. The numbers show that 58% of the nearly 600 who responded had seen low or high voltage, reversed polarity, or a failed ground in a campsite pedestal. You can read the full article and survey responses at http://rvtravel.com/campground-power-pedestal-failures-reader-poll-included/


 

Tim McCulloch

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 03:27:44 pm »

You needed a selection for "WTF is open ground, reversed polarity?"
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Mike Sokol

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 03:39:04 pm »

You needed a selection for "WTF is open ground, reversed polarity?"

Sad, isn't it? But I have a few hundred articles posted on these RV websites explaining what it all means and how to test for it. I still get dozens of emails every month asking why a campground technician can't explain why they're feeling a shock and telling them not to worry about it.

Mark Cadwallader

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 04:11:58 pm »

Wait, simply not killing (too many) people isn't a reasonable business strategy?  Since when?  (End sarcasm.)
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David Pedd

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 04:48:54 pm »

Spotted at a camp ground in PA


No problem as long as they're using a "null-AC Cord".
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 06:02:19 pm »

I have to say each time I see one of these type situations posted here, it amazes me. I'm never as shocked when it is in a country like India but in a country as litigious as this - wow!
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 06:33:50 pm »

I have to say each time I see one of these type situations posted here, it amazes me. I'm never as shocked when it is in a country like India but in a country as litigious as this - wow!

This is not meant to be disparaging-simply factual as I respect people choice to live and set priorities as they see fit.  Most of the people doing work like this do not have enough assets to interest a lawyer.  If they are not a licensed contractor that is obligated to carry insurance, they have no insurance coverage-so no money there either.

Too many people are content to get the AC working or the lights on as cheaply as possible.  Honestly, most of them just simply do not understand, unfortunately-so they just figure if someone can make it work they know what they are doing.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2017, 08:09:56 am »

Too many people are content to get the AC working or the lights on as cheaply as possible.  Honestly, most of them just simply do not understand, unfortunately-so they just figure if someone can make it work they know what they are doing.
Electricity is such a big mystery to most people, that if someone can hook up a 3-way light switch and make it work, they're an expert.

Next week begins my first classes at Shenandoah University, and I'm teaching basic audio electronics again. I'll spend multiple classes just teaching the concepts of what voltage and current are and how resistance makes it all work. After that it's capacitors and inductors and filter circuits.

Most people confuse voltage and current, as in "turn off the current", or "there's no current in this outlet", instead of using the word "voltage". I'm still convinced that if you don't understand the basic relationships between, voltage, resistance and current, you shouldn't be wiring or measuring anything. As I've noted here before, my dad has a drawer full of Harbor Freight meters that he's blown up because he pokes the probes in a 120-volt outlet and spins the selector switch around until he measures something. Of course it's going though DC volts, Current, and Resistance on the way around to the AC Volts section, so most of the time it just takes out a fuse. But he's had a few of them "smoke", and I'm sure if you put one of these cheap meters on a high-voltage circuit with significant current it would turn into shrapnel. And yes, dad has rewired plugs on his RV before, one time creating a hot-skin voltage condition.

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 01:43:37 am »

Electricity is such a big mystery to most people, that if someone can hook up a 3-way light switch and make it work, they're an expert.

I guess I'm an expert.

Back in the 1990s, I had created a web page that described how to wire three-way switches. I referenced it on some Usenet (remember that?) newsgroups.

It would get several thousand hits a week.

(Sorry, the page no longer exists. There are plenty of others now, so no need to resurrect it.)

And, yes, I can properly wire a three-way switch without looking at a diagram. I could even add in a four-way switch if I needed to.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2017, 02:44:46 pm »

I guess I'm an expert.

Back in the 1990s, I had created a web page that described how to wire three-way switches. I referenced it on some Usenet (remember that?) newsgroups.

It would get several thousand hits a week.

(Sorry, the page no longer exists. There are plenty of others now, so no need to resurrect it.)

And, yes, I can properly wire a three-way switch without looking at a diagram. I could even add in a four-way switch if I needed to.

I built a display for grade school science fair demonstrating 3 and 4 way switches using knife switches (and low voltage.) 

BTW There are wrong ways that work.
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frank kayser

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2017, 04:26:46 pm »

After all this time with Mike relaying horror stories about campground power, and I wondered how basically an entire industry of independents all could have such electrical problems.  It just did not make sense.


Enter the "workamper".  That explains everything.  As long as he didn't die doing the repair, it must be OK work!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: camp ground wiring
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2017, 08:45:58 pm »

After all this time with Mike relaying horror stories about campground power, and I wondered how basically an entire industry of independents all could have such electrical problems.  It just did not make sense.


Enter the "workamper".  That explains everything.  As long as he didn't die doing the repair, it must be OK work!

Considering some of the "work" I uncovered back when I flipped houses with a partner, much of the campground stuff we've seen here is relatively benign.

How about a home sub panel where every wire is red?  Hot?  Red.  Other hot?  Red.  Neutral?  Red.  Ground?  Red.  How about we put the in-wall electric oven on the sub?  Check!  Oh, and the electric cooktop?  Ditto, and put the rest of the kitchen on the panel, too! And then we'll feed that sub panel with a 60 amp breaker and all-red #10 wires.  I couldn't rip that out fast enough... and this was some of the higher quality work I encountered.

Mike has far more observation of campgrounds as I'm pretty new to RV camping (and my tent camping never had electricity unless we generated it somehow) but I suspect the main problems come from grandfathered practices/materials/methods and lack of maintenance, presuming the design/work was up to Code when it was installed.

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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut
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