When was the last time you took a look inside your ATS? Have you ever looked at it?
One of the leading causes of fires in an RV is loose connections/wires in your ATS.
What is an ATS?
It is the decision maker on who feeds electricity to your RV(assuming you have two ways of making that happen, aka you have shore power cord AND a generator, as this is the most common setup).
If you’re connected to shore power and start your generator(and assuming you don’t have to unplug from shore power to plug into generator, my 1987 Mallard you did have to do that with the on-board generator as there was no ATS), who wins and feeds electricity to the RV, since you don’t want BOTH feeding it.
The answer is it depends on how it is wired up and the circuitry. In my case, the generator always wins even IF connected to shore power at same time.
So the questions begs to be asked, should you start your generator if still hooked to shore power?
Well the answer (and you will find people on both sides of the fence on this one) is it depends.
Mike Sokol from the noshockzone.org explains ATS great in the following article, here is all the info you want to know about ATS: https://www.rvtravel.com/rvelectricity-automatic-transfer-switches-101/
Here is what mine looks like from outside, the inside and the specs on it.
As you look at all of the wires, you want to make sure there is nothing burned, turning brown due to over heating, etc. Follow the link above to Mike’ info on how to test you ATS.
Keep in mind, you’ll be working in a live electrical panel with lethal voltages, so if you’re not qualified for this type of testing, find some who is, to perform the tests for you.
Happy reading and be safe out there with electricity.