Opting for the Best RV Autoformer: A Buyer’s Excellent Choice for a Voltage Boosting Product Solution

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best rv autoformer

Owning a Recreational Vehicle or commonly known as RV, is probably one of the finest things to have when you love going out on adventures, road trips, or when you just want to have fun outdoors. With the convenience of typical amenities like the kitchen, a bathroom, and of course, a cozy sleeping quarter, passengers can relax and enjoy the ride. Types of RVs include motorhomes, campervans, travel trailer coaches, popup campers, and truck campers.

Some Recreational vehicles include luxurious features like water heaters, televisions, and satellite receptors. And oh, air conditioning too! While it offers an alternate or temporary accommodation, RVers should always have a solution in protecting their vehicles. 

Traveling to different places like RV parks, campgrounds, and alike is great, but it also comes with unexpected challenges. With the growing RVers this past year, your chances of hooking up to a faulty park power are high. Energy fluctuations and under-loadings are quite common now and thus increase the potential hazard for your vehicles’ electronic system and appliances, including microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioners, computers, and everything that uses electric supply and charging. 

While it’s normal for people to get confused with the usage of the surge protector and autoformer, they do different but essential things for your trailer coach. An autoformer can be a combination of both an autoformer and surge protector, or it could be two separate gadgets. It acts as an electric supply stabilizer. When it detects an electric supply input that is lesser than usual, it automatically gives the boost your trailer needs to prevent damage. However, a surge protector or spike suppressor will protect your electric system from fluctuations, voltage increase, and progressive spikes.

Editor’s Choice: Top 3 Product Picks for Best RV Autoformers

It’s essential to know and choose the top-performing autoformer available in the market. After all, it is a vital electricity controlling tool for your RV. Below are our top 3 picks for the best autoformers based on quality, function, and value for money. 

Top Pick for Overall Power Solution Top Pick for Excellent Price Deal Top Pick for Excellent Boosting Power
1. Hughes Autoformer RV220-50SP 50-Amp Voltage Booster SP 2. Hughes Autoformers RV2130-SP 30-Amp Voltage Booster SP 3. Power Master VC-50
Hughes Autoformers RV220-50SP 50 Hughes Autoformers RV2130-SP 30 Power Master VC-50
The RV220-50SP features an "All-in-one" Solution for your 50-Amp RV. It comes with a built-in Advanced Surge Protection for up to 4,800 Joules (Replaceable Module). The RV2130-SP is an "All-in-one" Solution for your 30-Amp RV. It’s lightweight and has a built-in Surge Protection for up to 2,400 Joules (Replaceable Module). The Power Master VC-50 is a voltage controller with higher boosting power of 12% compared to others. It has built-in surge protection that can rival high-end competitors and offers up to 3,580 Joules of protection.

Product Comparison

Searching for the best RV autoformer may be a bit overwhelming at first. To help you further determine the perfect solution for you and your RV, we added two more models. Here follows the collected information that will make it easy for you to compare and assess available options for you.

Product Name Capacity Electric supply Boost (volts) LED indicators Price
Product Name 1. Hughes Autoformer RV220-50SP 50-Amp Voltage Booster SPHughes Autoformer
RV220-50SP
Capacity 50 Amp, 12,000 Watts with 4,800 Joules of Advanced Surge Protection
Electric supply Boost (volts) Can automatically boost up to 10%
LED indicators Complete LED Power Diagnostics
Product Name 2. Hughes Autoformers RV2130-SP 30-Amp Voltage Booster SPHughes Autoformer
RV2130-SP
Capacity 30 Amp, 3,600 Watts with 2400 Joules of Advanced Surge Protection
Electric supply Boost (volts) Can automatically boost up to 10%
LED indicators Complete LED Power Diagnostics
Product Name 3. Power Master VC-50Power Master VC-50
Capacity 50 Amp, 12,000 Watts with 3,580 Joules of Surge Protection
Electric supply Boost (volts) Can automatically boost up to 12%
LED indicators Simple fault and status LED indicator
Product Name 4. Hughes Performance RV22050Hughes Autoformer
RV22050
Capacity 50 Amp, 12,000 Watts
Electric supply Boost (volts) Can automatically boost up to 10%
LED indicators Simple fault and status LED indicator
Product Name 5. Southwire 30 and 50 Voltage RegulatorsSouthwire Super Guard
Voltage Regulator
Capacity Available in 30 Amp and 50 Amp versions
Electric supply Boost (volts) Can automatically boost up to 10%
LED indicators Simple bi-colored fault and status indicator

Top 5 Best RV Autoformer Product Reviews for 2020

Selecting an excellent, high-quality RV autoformer for your trailer coach should not be overlooked. Settling with a subpar item would do you no good, especially on items that use electricity. To widen your options, we gathered and collected information for these brands. So, let’s start!

1. Hughes Autoformer RV220-50SP 50-Amp Voltage Booster/ SP - Editor’s top pick for overall power solution

If you still think that having a spike suppressor would suffice to save your electronic appliances and internal circuits, well, you might need to think again. The RV220-50SP is one of the best RV autoformer as it is not just your ordinary electricity booster. It has built-in surge protection made for an all-in-one solution. The RV220-50SP has the same reliability and features of its predecessor; it now comes with an advanced surge protection solution for up to 4,800J. You don’t need to purchase a separate spike suppressor anymore. We can say that it is the only original, patented, and leading “All-inOne” RV Power Solution in the market. 

This operates on 120-volt systems with a capacity of 12,000 Watts for 50-Amp trailers. If your trailer has a four-wire cord, you should use this version. It’s simple to use, just plug it into the trailer park electric supply system or to an electrical pole of a trailer park then connect your trailer coach to the device.  

Like any energy-boosting solution, this product is weather-resistant and not water-proof. You should not let it collect water, for it might damage the item. We strongly recommend covering it, especially during heavy rains.  Although some reported that this model endured the heavy rainfall, it’s still advisable to keep it away from any source that might damage the item.  

If you decide on keeping it out from the rain, you can purchase an optional mounting kit. The 50-Amp hard-wired kit contains a 5-foot, 50-A male plug and female receptacle service cord. Please make sure that you place it in a well-ventilated area when you mount it inside.

A low electrical supply situation is just as hazardous to your rig and on-board electronics as a spike. It is excellent at creating a barrier between your motor trailer and the park’s electric pole. It automatically monitors the electricity levels being loaded in the trailer to stop possible electric spikes. 

In case of a massive spike of electricity, it will take the hit and ensure that your trailer is safe from possible damage. If this happens, the spike suppressor can be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. But of course, it must be under the manufacturer’s warranty. You must not try to tinker or troubleshoot it by yourself, doing so may void the warranty. 

The RV220-50SP weighs a bit lighter than RV22050. It only weighs about 35 pounds. It doesn’t take too much space and is easy to store in the trailer’s storage compartment. It has up to 4,800 J of protection, which is a standard for all high-quality spike suppressors. Although this can be a bit pricey compared to its competitors, this UL certified hardware is a great investment due to its quality and reliability. No wonder it got high ratings and great reviews.

PROS

  • All-in-one power solution with a built-in surge protector for up to 4,800 J
  • It comes with a lock to keep it secured to the park electric supply receptacle.
  • Can be mounted inside your trailer
  • Easy to set up and use (plugin and use)
  • Compatible with adapters or “dog bone” cables
  • Can withstand any weather condition
  • Fully automatic; will boost electric supply up to 10% when needed.
  • It has real-time light indicators for diagnostics and monitoring.
  • Comes with a three-year limited warranty

CONS

  • Not compatible for recreational park poles with GFCI outlet
  • Some recreational park owners might not accept the use of any electric supply boosting machine due to misconceptions.

2. Hughes Autoformers RV2130-SP 30-Amp Voltage Booster/ SP - Editor’s top pick for best price deal

Like the 50-A version, RV2130-SP is another excellent pick for the best RV Autoformer. It provides both advanced electricity booster and spike protection technology. It is designed to operate on 120-volt systems but with 30-Amp specifications and 2400 J spike protection. This is used if your trailer coach uses a three-wire cord.

The RV2130-SP 30 Amp voltage booster with surge protection has a complete and real-time light power diagnostics. If the electric supply drops below 113 volts, this will boost up to 123 volts, and the line boosting light will appear. It will continuously boost 10% until the electric potential gets to 90 volts, which is the minimum amount of volts. Once the park electricity rises to 115 volts or above, the boost mode will turn off. 

The package comes with a free security cable lock to prevent theft and is used to ensure that it is safely secured to the supply receptacle. In case of damage and malfunction, the spike suppressor module is replaceable. During heavy rains, keep it covered or place it on a higher ground level. This item is weather-proof and not water-proof. It only weighs 21 pounds and is easy to store in your trailer compartment.

In addition, you can purchase (optional) the Hughes Autoformers 30A KIT Internal Install Mount Kit 30. It is a mounting kit containing a 5 foot, 30-A cord with male plug, and a 30-Amp female receptacle for the service cord. If you want to mount the RV2130-SP in a ventilated space inside your trailer, this kit is a great option for purchase. The RV2130-SP is a great price-quality ratio for 30-Amp trailer compatibility.

PROS

  • All-in-one power solution with a built-in surge protector for up to 2,400 J
  • It comes with a lock to keep it secured to the park electric supply receptacle.
  • Can be mounted inside your trailer coach
  • Compatible with adapters or “dog bone” cables
  • Easy to set up and use (plugin and use)
  • Can withstand any weather condition
  • Fully automatic; can manage and boost electric supply up to 10% when needed.
  • Real-time light indicator for diagnostics and monitoring
  • Purchase includes a two-year warranty.

CONS

  • It has a lot of light diagnostics compared to the 50-Amp version; some might find it confusing.
  • Not compatible for recreational park poles with GFCI outlet
  • Some recreational park owners might not accept the use of any electric supply boosting machine due to misconceptions.

3. Power Master VC-50 - Editor’s top pick for best boosting power

The VC-50 Voltage Controller is another great option. Manufactured by InnoTechV, its features rival other competitors like RV220-50SP. It has a built-in surge protection system providing up to 3,850 J of protection. The VC-50 has a bigger boost of up to 12%, redefining the standards. It has an operation range of approximately 94 to 125 volts and will self-adjust if needed.

An optional hard-wired kit is available for purchase if you plan on mounting the VC-50 internally. The hard-wired kit includes a 5-foot, 50-A female receptacle, and a 50-A male plug. You have to pay an extra 80$ for the package. 

Given that the VC-50 is capable of internal switching control, I didn’t like that it lacks light indicators. You are left to rely only on four lights to read the electric supply situation. But then again, the VC-50 promises a competitive performance and problem-free operation when it comes to protecting your Recreational Vehicle. It is a bit heavy, and it may be challenging to move it by yourself because it weighs 40 pounds. Even with the weight of VC-50, this item does not take much space. The VC-50 is less expensive compared to high-end all-in-one system solutions.

PROS

  • Built-in Surge Protector
  • Easy to set up and use (plugin and use)
  • Weather-resistant
  • Fully automatic, will boost electric supply by up to 12% when needed, higher than competitors.
  • It comes with a two-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.

CONS

  • Although not the heaviest, 40 pounds is still a bit challenging.
  • Limited light indicators
  • Some recreational park owners might not accept the use of any electric supply boosting machine due to misconceptions.

 

4. Hughes Performance RV22050

Wanting a reliable and high-quality product is necessary to protect your electronic machines. RV22050 is a 50-Amp autoformer that provides safety to your electric system by keeping the electric supply flow in your device from going above the safe threshold. It features a “sense circuit” that automatically turns on the 10% boost when the electric supply is less than 117 volts. It then turns off when the electric supply reaches 118 volts. 

An optional mounting kit (Item code: 55-3893) can be used, including a 5-foot cord with male plug and female receptacle for the service cord. 

Humidity and unwanted moisture is not an uncommon problem in RVs. Although the RV22050 is built to withstand these conditions and can be used in all types of weather, please note that this is not water-proof. Therefore, allowing water to sit in may damage its circuits. Be careful in placing them near sprinklers. 

Although this autoformer is easy to set up and use, its weight is a bit of a problem. The RV22050 is heavier than other models. You might need a helping hand when deploying it.    

PROS

  • Easy to set up and use (plugin and use)
  • Can withstand any weather condition
  • Fully automatic; will boost electric supply up to 10% when needed.
  • It comes with a three-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.

CONS

  • Heavier compared to others (weighs 42 pounds)
  • Limited light diagnostic indicators
  • It doesn’t support all motorhome precision systems.
  • Some recreational park owners might not accept the use of any electric supply boosting machine due to misconceptions.

5. Southwire 30 and 50 Voltage Regulators

If you’re looking more on durability, the Southwire Super Guard 30 or 50 Voltage Regulator or VRSG is for you.  The versions 10176 (30A, 120V) and 10175 (50A, 120V) offer stable and reliable electricity supply to your Recreational Vehicle or travel trailer. It helps prevent under-voltage damage to your electronic gadgets. 

The 30-Amp VRSG is for a single-phase 2-wire services, while the 50-A version, on the other hand, is for split phase, 3-wire services. You can use the 50-Amp version on 120/208V, 3-wire networks as well.

When you experience an electric supply drop of 110V, it will go into the boost mode and automatically increase the output by 10% over the input of electric supply. You’ll notice a red illumination in the fault indicator panel. The VRSG will remain in boost mode until the incoming electric supply drops below 90V. 

In the event of incoming electric supply, below 90V, this will trigger the VRSG in bypass mode. A green illumination of the bi-colored status lights will indicate this. An over-voltage situation is indicated if it rises to 133V. The bi-colored status lights will indicate whether it is a bypass or boosting mode, an open neutral and ground are detected, and phase reversal conditions. 

The VRSG is made to be heavy-duty and durable. It has a weather-resistant enclosure for protecting it from any weather conditions. Please note that it is not water-proof. Another downside of the VRSG is that it doesn’t have a surge protector. You will need to buy a separate item to save your equipment from fluctuations and energy spikes. Southwire offers a wide range of surge protection solutions.

The VRSG offers a compatible mounting bracket if you choose to place it inside your trailer. The hard-wired mounting kit includes a 5-foot, 50-A cord with a male plug and a 50-A female receptacle to allow the VC-50 for internal mounting.

PROS

  • Easy to set up and use (plugin and use)
  • Durable
  • Fully automatic, can manage and boost electric supply by up to 10% when needed.
  • It has a weather-resistant cover, with built-in mounting feet to protect it from collecting water.

CONS

  • Heavier compared to others (weighs 42 pounds)
  • No built-in surge protection, it does not protect you from faults and fluctuations.
  • Some recreational park owners might not accept the use of any electric supply boosting machine due to misconceptions.
  • It only comes with a 1-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.

 

What is an RV Autoformer, and how does this device work?

An Autoformer is a combination of the words “Automatic” and “Transformer”. It must not be confused with autotransformers.  It is essential to recognize the difference because an Autotransformer is illegal to use on a Recreational Vehicle based on the National Electrical Code. An RV autoformer is just an electricity boosting device, so it’s safe and legal to use.

An autoformer is a particular type of transformer that stabilizes the electric supply whenever it detects energy spike or low voltage. It automatically senses electric supply fluctuation and then matches the requirement of the load. It can detect open ground, reverse polarity, and open neutral too, which can cause overheating of wires.

In case of a massive spike of electricity, it will take the hit and ensure that your trailer is safe from possible damage. If this happens, the spike suppressor can be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. You don’t need to worry about buying a new unit or a separate surge suppressor.

A common misconception about this innovative machine is that it pulls electricity from the park’s electric source, which is really not the case. To simply put, this product works by automatically adjusting the energy supply flow into your trailer and regulating the electric output based on your actual load demand. 

Purchasing a voltage boosting system with a built-in surge protector is an excellent investment. Not only will it save your trailer coach’s appliances from damage, but also it would prevent the risk of changing all your electronic devices. Electronic appliances like air-conditioning, television, or microwave will be in risk of damage just because you have no choice but to plug your trailer coach in an unpredictable park pole without protection.

Things to consider when buying an RV Autoformer (for any voltage)

1. Capacity: Is it compatible?

You must always check the right item for your Recreational Vehicle.  If your trailer coach has a 4-wire power cord, you should purchase the 50-Amp autoformer. On the other hand, if it has a 3-wire cord, you should use the 30-Amp version. You need to compute the total energy load you need based on the electronic hardware and machinery you have on your trailer coach. 

It automatically changes the volts and amps relationship of the devices connected to your trailer coach. It lessens the electric current requirement by boosting the energy when needed. Since electric machinery usually works better on higher energy supply with less electric current, it minimizes the overall electricity usage from the park’s electric source.

RVers can convert to a lower voltage on the outlet using available adaptors appropriate for your autoformer. For instance,  it can run on a 30 or 20-Amp electric supply source when using an adapter to a 50-amp trailer. It will then boost the energy supply when necessary. A helpful reminder, be careful not to overload the electric current park source. 

Usually, typical electric machinery runs smoothly at 1200 watts. If you add the total wattage needed for your trailer, including televisions, refrigerators, and air conditioning, you’ll realize the increase in wattage. Your RV can now support the extra load because of the boost. Make sure you’re not buying an autotransformer.

2. UL listed: Is it UL certified?

Underwriter Laboratories or UL is a third-party certification company that certifies manufactured items intending to make a better and safer place for both workers and end-users. It was founded in 1849; they have been around for over a century. The National Electrical Code or NEC requires that all electronic items operated in a building must be tested by an NRTL or a National Recognized Laboratory; basically, that means UL listed. Although this does not apply to your personal use items. UL certifications are mostly for any fixed electric equipment placed within a home or a commercial facility. 

Having a product that is UL certified, guarantees that it is designed and manufactured with high-quality materials. With this certification, buyers are sure that they’ve purchased excellent quality merchandise. It means you set high-standards on the hardware you are buying. It ensures that it will keep your trailer protected from unstable electricity supply from the outlet and into your trailer’s electric machine or device. 

A well-made electric supply stabilizer is an excellent purchase to help save your expensive electric machinery from damage and people around the RV park. Its reliability in protecting your electronic hardware from wire overheating due to unpredictable changing of electric load and sudden energy spikes, especially in an overcrowded park, will give you a worry-free experience. 

We still recommend that you avoid overcrowded recreational parks with electric potential less than 114 volts. Trying to connect it to an electric supply panel with volts just right at the 114-volt line with many trailers plugged into the same electric system may not be an excellent idea. It can damage electronic machines that are sensitive to electric potential difference drop. 

Buyers should be aware of purchasing substandard merchandise, it’s less expensive but can risk damage not only to your vehicle but also to the passengers.  You shouldn’t compromise your standards when it comes to electronic items.

3. Brands: What are the good brands I can trust? 

Hughes Autoformers 

The Hughes Autoformers has been an inspiration for the innovation of high-performance solutions when it comes to autoformer industries. We can say that they introduced the idea of protecting RV appliances from damage due to abnormal energy supply conditions. It’s stated that since 1995, They became the industry leader in providing high-quality RV electricity boosting solutions. Founded by an avid RV enthusiast, the company created and designed the first under-voltage solution to the problematic and unstable RV electric requirement that usually occurs on RV parks. 

They manufacture their products at their modern facility in Southern California. Customer support is commendable; they processed my issue and got a fast reply.

The Hughes Autoformers is the only U.S. patented voltage boosting solution available today.

InnoTechRV 

InnoTechRV is a division of WiPath Communications specializing in the supply of innovative hardware and accessories suitable for outdoors, camping, and Recreational Vehicles or RV enthusiasts. Although they are known for providing their merchandise online, InnoTechRV is a multinational company with real facilities for warehousing, manufacturing, and customer service facilities in Cumming, GA (USA), Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney, Brisbane and Perth (Australia) and Shenzhen, (China). 

They have been providing solutions for 20 years. They spent time researching cost-effective merchandise to provide solutions suitable for their target market, including emergency services, utilities, healthcare, and transportation industries. What’s more, they manufacture accessories for your Recreational Vehicle too. 

Southwire

Southwire’s success as a company is based on hard work, innovation, and social responsibility. Southwire is a family-owned company, and its roots extend back to the year 1937, Mr. Roy Richards founded the Richards & Associates (R&A) to erect electricity poles. Their facility is located in Carrollton, Georgia. They are known for manufacturing wires and cables used in the distribution and transmission of electricity across America. 

Southwire produces hardware and machines focusing on electricity transmission in RVs, such as power cords, connectors, and of course, that includes electricity regulators. If you have questions, they attend to your concerns and reply quickly.

4. Pricing: Will the price meet the quality? 

Choosing the right autoformer for your recreational vehicle requires careful and meticulous planning and can be quite challenging. After knowing the capacity needed for a smooth and safe operation for your appliances, you can now try to look at the pricing and availability. 

It’s okay to look at the most popular brand used by RV enthusiasts. Some may even be loyal to a specific brand because they have been proven to produce high-quality merchandise. Remember that buying an RV autoformer and surge protector for your Recreational Vehicle is a long-time investment.

You should not be afraid to look at other brands too. Always ask and look for the specific details needed for the type of trailer you have. You can also read other people’s reviews and ratings on the merchandise you are eyeing on.    

5. Set-up and operation: How easy is it to use?

As a customer, we all wanted to buy something easy to use and install. Especially if you’re a first-time user, we suggest you always read the user manual to ensure you have a complete guide on how to install and use it. By looking at the weight, you will have an idea if you need an extra hand to lift and position them properly, whether inside or outside your trailer compartment. 

Some models have their cable and lock so you can securely place it into the electric supply pole. In addition, it’s a simple solution for theft.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need it?

Plugging your Recreational Vehicle into an overcrowded and old recreational park electric supply pole is not rare. Doing this risks the electric machinery and gadgets to potential fluctuations, dropping or increasing energy supply transmission, open ground, reverse polarity, and open neutral, thus damaging and deeming your gadgets useless. 

As the voltage drops to a certain level, it automatically boosts a 10% increase in volts, keeping your recreational vehicle and its expensive appliances in safe and optimal performing conditions. It can monitor the park’s circuit for damaging conditions. If they are detected, it will alert you of the problem. 

The RV autoformer prevents your ACs, microwaves, freezers, and other machines from overwork (these electronic merchandises tend to overwork if they are getting an under-voltage output from the electric supply source). When the electric current increases due to electric supply drop, expect an electrical malfunction on electronic items operating inside your trailer coach. It prevents the problem and automatically boosts the electric potential to a safe threshold. 

It works as a great buffer between the park’s electric pole and your Recreational Vehicle. Using this power solution system protects you from replacing damaged, expensive electronic hardware again. Spending time and funds to replace damaged equipment is both exhausting and bothersome.

How does an abnormal electricity supply affect my trailer?

Based on Ohm’s law, as the line usage increases, the electric potential difference drops. When the electricity being transmitted drops, a more electric current is drawn from the electric supply source. With these conditions, your trailer coach may experience sudden dimming lights, a dramatic reduction in airflow, breakers popping or worse, pushing the electric current to a breakpoint risking excessive motor heat that may cause danger to the passengers and start a fire. Even a 5-10% drop in potential electric transmission can exceed the motor’s full load (service electric current level included). Most motor failures are due to overheating.      

Are there different types of RV Voltage Boosters?

There are two types available based on the current capacity. These are the 30 Amp and the 50 Amp versions. You should check what capacity is compatible with your trailer’s current rating. 

Another categorization is based on its features and specifications. Some are just basic electric supply controllers. Others have two features, stabilizing the electric potential difference by increasing the volts upon detection of abnormal voltage drop and having a built-in spike suppressor feature that protects your motorhomes or trailers from electricity fluctuations and spikes. This kind of all-in-one power solution is a great option, especially if it comes with a replaceable spike protector. You don’t have to purchase two separate things.

Overall, using electronic hardware like this will give you a worry-free outdoor adventure when it comes to dealing with unpredictable energy fluctuations and other related electrical problems that might harm your prized electronic hardware and devices.

Is an Autoformer legal to use?

The term autoformer is not the same as an autotransformer. Autotransformers are electric transformers with one winding. A common application of an autotransformer is to interconnect circuits operating in different voltage classes. Portions of the same winding act as the primary and secondary winding. The NEC banned the use of autotransformers in recreational parks and alike. Autotransformers should not be mistaken as autoformers. 

Technically it is just a step-up transformer made to boost the electric supply to your trailer coach when necessary. They are UL certified, legal, and safe to use. Some Recreational Vehicle parks do not accept electric supply boosters because they think it works the same as an autotransformer. Their electric system might be old or weak and possibly unsafe for your Recreational Vehicle. 

Some RV park owners have a misconception of how this item works. They think it pulls electricity away from the park’s electric supply source, but it really does not. The recreational park owners who believe this prohibits the use of any electricity boosting tool. 

How do I test the voltage in the trailer outlet if it’s good or not?

It’s important to make sure that your machine is working properly. You can use a few different electric measuring tools like multimeters and voltage testers to test the energy supply in the outlet to your trailer. All you have to do is plug it into an outlet in your trailer coach, and it will tell you what the current electricity supply is. Small voltmeters can be inaccurate by several volts, making it even lesser than true reading. 

It is designed to boost a recreational park’s electric supply output, measuring less than 113 volts. It goes to bypass mode if it measures above 115 volts. While this is the park electricity, your trailer coach may read less inside. The electricity at the park pole may read 117 volts while the volts is really 111 volts or less. The percentage of energy loss within the wiring usually happens. 

Plug-in analog meters are only accurate within 2 to 4 volts. Digital voltmeters or multimeters are far more accurate than analog meters. Remember not to leave the meters plugged in all the time. You may use it only when testing the supply in an outlet. We recommend that you ask for professional assistance, especially if you are not comfortable using a meter when measuring electric supply. 

The electric energy to an outlet will always depend on the number of electric devices plugged in, length, or size of the wire from the panel to the plug. If you measure the electric supply in the coach on the same outlet that a heater or microwave is plugged into, you will get an inaccurate reading due to a voltage loss in the wire connection. The volts reading will not be to the coach. Instead, it will be the reading of the circuit your meter is plugged in.

If you are experiencing a large drop in electric supply, check the wiring, especially the neutral or white wires in your trailer. It might risk your expensive electronic hardware like AC or refrigerators getting damaged due to a burned plug or cord. You can try checking the male plug at the RV park pole for any red discoloration. This discoloration indicates a high resistance connection. If you notice a large drop on the electric supply when you plug electronics like your television or water heater, the wire could be too small for the load, and you may have too many things connected on your electric circuit or a loose connection. You can check the volts easier by using a voltmeter at several places in your caravan.

How to set-up and use an Autoformer?

If it’s your first time using and handling this kind of item, we advise that you seek help from a professional electrician to do it for you. This type of item is just like any other electronic system and should be operated with the utmost care. It can be used outside near an electric supply post, under your Recreational Vehicle, or in a ventilated storage compartment.

If you are confident in handling an autoformer, you can do these simple steps to install your plug-style RV autoformer. 

  1. When you place it on the ground, the handle must be facing upwards.
  2. Turn off the park circuit breaker (always check if it’s turned off)
  3. Plug it into the park outlet, make sure it’s properly connected, creating a tight fit.
  4. Turn on the recreational park circuit breaker and check in the diagnostics if the light indicates that it is turned on. If it is not on, do not use the electric supply source, and you should report it to the park authorities or personnel instead so they can check it. 
  5. If the light indicates that the device is on, it is safe to use. You can now turn the park’s breaker off again and plug your RV into the autoformer.
  6. Turn on the park’s electricity. Lights should remain lit at all times. Usually, green light shows that it is boosting the supply and doing its job. 
  7. Some manufacturers offer optional mounting kits if you want to install it up either inside or outside the storage compartment. Using the kit makes it removable for service or if you’re going to transfer it to a new rig in the future. 
  8. Do not, in any way, try to modify or attempt to hard-wire it to your trailer as it could compromise not only the condition of your electric circuits but also jeopardize the safety of the passengers inside. Some manufacturers tend to void your warranty when modifications are done. 

What is the right sequence when using an RV autoformer with a separate spike suppressor?

If you are using an individual RV autoformer and a surge protector or spike suppressor, you should first plug it into the pedestal, followed by the spike suppressor and then the RV. If you connect the spike suppressor first, the abnormal drop of energy supply from the pedestal will cause it to keep shutting off and inhibit it from its operation.  

What does the term “weather resistant” or “weather-proof” mean?

If the manufactured merchandise is advertised as “weather resistant” or “rainproof”, this electronic hardware is usually designed and manufactured for outdoor use. But RVers should note that a weather-resistant merchandise doesn’t mean that it is also water-proof unless stated. These electronic merchandises must not be submerged underwater. Letting water sit in will damage the item. You still need to cover it during heavy rains and place it somewhere where flood or high-pressure water systems like sprinklers can’t reach.   

Is it safe to use an extension cord?

Yes, but only if it’s the proper specification and size. To avoid an electric supply drop, use a larger wire for long extension cords. For 30-Amp service, use a 10-gauge wire or larger. If you are using the 50-A version, you can use an 8-gauge wire or larger. Please note that the wire size is larger when the gauge number is smaller. When you use an extension cord, it should always be between the autoformer and the park receptacle. The wiring in many trailers is smaller than the wires used in homes. With this, the motors need to be lighter and smaller. Using incorrect wirings can cause overheating and, worse, fire.  

While the electric source at the Recreational park connection may be enough, the voltage in the trailer coach may be lower, and sometimes it can be by several volt differences. Keep in mind that the further you move away from the electric input, the smaller the wire, and the greater the load, thus leading to a dropped electric supply. It is prevalent for some RV campgrounds and caravan parks to reduce as much as 10 volts.  

Should I use it even if I use a surge protector for my RV?

Yes, surge protectors or spike suppressors work differently. Using a spike suppressor provides a safety barrier for your RV electronic hardware by things like lightning and faulty wiring. It can save your electronic hardware from sudden spikes due to overheating, open ground or neutral, and or miswired pedestal that causes an electric shock, melting of wires and plugs, damage to electronics, and also can produce fire. The voltage booster’s primary usage, on the other hand, is to increase the electric energy needed in case of under-voltage situations. Having an unstable electric supply can overheat circuit boards and can further damage the electronic hardware in your trailer coach. 

The electric supply regulator or booster is not a protective solution against the open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, or electric spike that might develop during operation. As Recreation vehicles continue to become costly, so does the need to protect your investment. Due to the damage and repair expense caused by these electrical issues, many RV manufacturers have begun adding hard-wired spike suppressors in their models.  

Any tips on how to properly maintain and clean the machine?

Cleaning and making sure that your unit works in its optimum condition might seem easy and simple, but you need to do some precautionary steps too. 

First, you must make sure to disconnect any electrical connection from the outlet. This prevents any energy spike from damaging the electric circuit inside and the item itself. 

  • We all know that water and electricity don’t match together, you must avoid using wet cloth in cleaning. Use a dry and clean cloth instead to wipe any dirt collected.
  • It must be placed on a ventilated area on your trailer compartment. You can lay it on its side to fit the compartment, although this is not usually preferred. 
  • You may find small holes under the cord and plug of the unit. These are for condensation drainage. Please make sure that these holes remain open and are not blocked in any way. 
  • If you think that there is something wrong with your RV autoformer, make sure that you contact a professional electrician or the manufacturer’s customer support and wait for their reply. Doing this would prevent you from doing further damage to the unit. It may lead to premature replacement or, worse, voiding the warranty of the item. 
  • Use this unit only as to what it is designed to do. Do not use it for any other purpose other than what is intended. 
  • Do not seal the holes or the edges with silicone or any other material. 
  • Removing the lid cover or making any other alterations will void the manufacturer’s warranty. 
  • Store it in a place with less humidity after using it.

Where to Purchase?

You can buy it in your local home improvement stores like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Lowes. Although sometimes this merchandise is not always available at your local stores. Another option is to buy them through retail stores. You can also process an order at  Amazon.com or from the Brand manufacturer’s website like Hughes Autoformers or InnoTechRV. The purchase process is the same as any item you purchased online.

Thoughts and Conclusion

When somebody buys a Recreational Vehicle or RV, they may think that the only electrical protection they need is a surge protector. Your RVs’ electronic appliances require more protection compared to home electronic hardware. 

Traveling around places and staying in a comfortable sleeping space with our family and friends is one of the greatest things the trailer can provide. A trailer coach gives so much comfort to its passengers. Motorhomes or trailer coaches provide a spacious area for sleeping quarters, a working kitchen or cooking space, a built-in comfort room, and a toilet. And probably the most awesome thing is that you can bring your home entertainment with you. It’s a perfect way to relax and chill with your friends and family. The Recreational Vehicle lets you enjoy things you enjoy at home but in an outside environment. 

With that said, it is only right that we similarly take care of your RVs and the appliances you use in it. Several factors can affect the electric supply in RV campgrounds, trailer parks, and other locations where an RV owner connects their trailers to the outlets. Potential electrical challenges can occur when a trailer coach shore power cord is connected to a pedestal for 120V electric current. So it is important to realize that no electric appliance is guaranteed against these problems, especially a sheer intensity of lightning, for instance. 

There are cases where lightning struck nearby an RV campground, and the RVs with spike protection and units were unharmed. Although there are still some cases wherein the spike suppressor melted down but left the trailer coach okay. So, having a voltage booster and a spike suppressor is really a great investment to make sure that the passengers, electronics, and the trailer are safe from electrical damage, fire, and destruction.

An RV owner must be aware that the electricity quality in RV parks is subjected to wide electrical fluctuations. This often happens to old RV parks and overcrowded coach owners. The intensity of electrical loads, faulty wiring, unmaintained or undersized electric system connections, deterioration of electric wires and powerline, bad weather conditions all affect the quality of electricity entering your RVs. 

Under-voltage is more common during high temperatures or weather conditions and is even worse if associated with an overloaded recreational park electrical system. These factors make the trailer coach plugged into an outlet susceptible to receiving insufficient electricity and thus doing further damage to your equipment. A downside is that it can’t be used to reduce a progressive spike in electric supply. Pairing a spike suppressor to this item is the right solution for this problem. Spikes can cause overheating and possibly causing a fire. 

In certain instances, a power spike might actually damage the item while protecting your trailer. In this case, it would likely be needed to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. Do not attempt to fix it by yourself. Some may come with a replaceable built-in spike suppression module, but of course, you need to ship it back to them for replacement or repair.  

Even with the progressive RV technology and pricing, you must not hesitate to protect your Recreational vehicle. And since it would only cost you more, especially if you have sophisticated electronic circuitry with expensive appliances ranging from air-conditioners, microwaves, coffee-makers, heater, and other entertainment systems like televisions, computers, and gaming stations. A single faulty wiring in the power line can cause significant damage to your RV’s appliances. 

Hughes Autoformers claims that it can actually save power in the Recreational Park. Using this autoformer can help run your RV appliances more safely and efficiently. In some cases, an AC unit might pump out at least 25% more airflow with a 10% energy boost. This extra airflow lets your AC unit cycle on and off more often than their under-voltage neighbors. All electricity supplies weaken when the RVers have their ACs and other necessities running. 

A well-informed decision in choosing the perfect product can help a camper from worrying about wasting time and resources. Don’t wait for accidents to happen. It might be late for you to realize what you have been missing because you don’t have it in your RV. Having this brilliant power system solution will make adventures and travels with your RV worry-free, safe and efficient because it really works wonders!

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