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Monitoring 120 volts while camping

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My blog is dedicated to folding trailers (AKA PopUps or PUPs). Hopefully non-PUP owners will find some of the posts of interest/value.

Ill cover equipment, modifications, maintenance, camping stories, and of course SPUTs (Stupid Pop Up Tricks). Please forgive my rants & raves and posts on my camping buddy my granddaughter.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I try and keep the post short but augment them with pictures from my SmugMug gallery.

Enjoy.

He Ruide
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Monitoring 120 volts while camping

Posted 07-15-2009 at 04:13 PM by heruide
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Last year I purchased this monitor from Camping World. It is made by TRC (Technology Research Corporation) and monitors power (voltage and frequency) from either a CG post or generator. It also provides an audible alert in case of hazardous electrical conditions, such as reversed polarity or bad ground, while the display shows cause of alert. Finally it functions as a surge suppressor (300 Joules, 10,000 amps).

Some of you may wonder Why did I purchase this monitor? Well Im always concerned that the voltage at a camp ground could drop below 102 volts and cause damage to either to my AC or converter. Of course there are better surge protectors with built in voltage shut offs but they cost a lot more and typically are located at the CG post or elsewhere where you can't see the monitor.

This unit doesnt shut off the current but sets off an alarm of course you have to be nearby to hear it but then I dont run the AC when Im not near by so it is a good option for me.

Anyway, after purchasing it I realized that I did not have a convenient place to put it as all the outlets in my E3 are close to the ground. I even tried placing it in an extension behind the microwave yes for all you camping purist I do have a microwave to heat up leftovers and quickly heat water for a cup of tea but it was still out of sight and if Im not careful out of mind.

So I set about to make a stand for the monitor.

Now that means heading to the hardware store my source of inspiration and walking up and down the aisles waiting for that Moment when things fall into place.

In this case the easy part was getting an outlet box and cover, receptacle, base and cord. However, I struggled for a while trying to find a way to mount it so that it would be at a 45 degree angle. I will not bore you with all the things I thought about including picture frames etc.

So I kept walking up and down the aisle having to say over and over to the very kind Home Depot employees

No I dont think you can help me find what Im looking for.

Anyway as I was making my umpteen stroll though the electrical section in the corner of my eye I saw a swivel light holder. It was different than others in that both ends of the swivel mechanism were threaded. The smaller end ( inch) was the same as the outlet box but the other end was larger. So it was off to the plumbing section and thank god for standardization as the larger end was a regular inch thread. So moments later I had gotten a short inch nipple and a to inch bushing and we were in business. On my way to the cash register I stopped by the paint section to get a can of gray paint to change the brass fittings to the same gray color as the rest of the electrical material. However in the end I used gray paint from a craft store.

This is the first prototype. However, I thought that a gray version would match the dcor of the Evolution and has proudly taken its place by the clock and the coffee maker that DW insists she needs to start the day off right.

Of course not to be wasteful I will still use the rest of light fixture as a light but without the ability to find tune where the light bean is directed.

Ruide
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