Circuit Protection

Circuit Protection

Information

SmartPlug Connector

The camper attaches to shore power via a 30a SmartPlug connector.

If you have the Magnum Charger / Inverter then you are only wired for 110v. Do not plug into a higher voltage outlet like you might find in South America or Europe for example.

In truth, this plug is not very smart. Previous iterations had a breaker, which was removed. The ‘smart’ seems to be the fact that there is a clip which holds the plug in place and that the connection is tight and waterproof. That’s about it.

To that end it is recommended that you obtain extra circuit, voltage and surge protection. 

smartplug

Problems

Reverse Polarity Warning

The XP has an issue (not XP’s fault) whereby it loves to make your rig / camper live with electricity. Shocking! (sorry!)

As you head south, a lot of the shore power plugins have a) no ground and b) reverse polarity.

I would say reverse polarity is at least 50% of shore power sockets we have tried. Open ground is probably up to 80 or 90% (We have a circuit analyzer)

Because of the way it is wired, if you plug the XP into a reverse polarity socket, with open ground, then it can make the truck live. You will get a buzz of the truck / camper. If you are using a faulty high powered device this could be quite dangerous.

I think this is because US / Canadian code dictates that the Camper neutral needs to be connected to earth in the truck. (I think! – maybe someone electrically minded can assist?) Euro vehicles use a separate arc breaker instead I think.

Marcus Tuck gave me a fix (and some education, which I may or may not have relayed correctly here). If you are heading south, carry a short ‘reversed’ extension lead. Basically, a short extension cable that has has one end rewired the wrong way round. This ‘flips’ the reverse polarity shore power back to correct polarity.

Doing this up north will likely mean you can do it with some nice chunky wiring and decent male / female plugs at either end.

(James Young)

 

 

Tips

CAMCO DEFENDER

This small plugin device allows you to check a shore power socket prior to plugging in your camper.

It uses a 30amp connector, same as your SmartPlug. Just plug it in prior to plugging in your SmartPlug and it displays either an ‘all good’ or an error code – for example: if there is no ground, reverse polarity or similar. It also has surge protection.

If there is an error then it still works. The downside is that you could create an issue, the upside being that if you decide the issue is ok to live with you can still get power. Visit their website > CAMCO POWER DEFENDER

I would consider this a ‘minimum’ level device. There are a lot sturdier and more proficient (and more expensive) options on the market.  

(James Young)

camco power defender