Checking Campground Pedestals
Courtesy of RVing For Newbies and RV Mentor & Inspections
Equipment needed: NCVT (Non-Contact Voltage Tester)
Optional Equipment (30 amp or 50amp circuit tester), IF you do NOT have an Electrical Management System(EMS)
- DO NOT TOUCH the campground electrical pedestal with either hand.
- Turn on the NCVT and have it in either hand.
- Using the NCVT, touch the OUTSIDE of the pedestal box: top, sides and bottom. If it is plastic, it will not beep. If it is metal, it will more than likely NOT beep. That is what you are checking, no stray electricity on the outside of the box. Be careful do to NOT slam the NCVT as it could beep, touch the box gently.
- Using the NCVT, touch the front door of the box, that will give you access to the inside of the cabinet, the NCVT should not beep.
- Put your open hand into a back pocket or behind your back. You are going to do this as a safety thing. Why? Your hand could clamp down on the case (muscle tenses/tightens up when electricity goes thru it) and you wouldn’t be able to let go.
- Using back of your other hand, touch front door of the box, feel any tingling? You should not.
- Now you may open the box. What do you see?
- Circuit breakers: Yes, or No?
- Yes, continue with step 10. No, skip to step 11.
- Look at the breakers inside, are they all off? If yes, while NOT touching the outside case/door, turn them all on and do the test from Step 3 again using the NCVT to touch all around the box listening for the beep denoting stray electricity, be sure to touch the cover also. Once done, and you got no beeping and turn off all the breakers and go to Step 12.
- The breakers are located elsewhere and are probably already on, so since you tested the box, it should be safe, this is an unfortunate situation, why? Well, if a breaker would trip, you will need to contact the campground staff to get it reset.
- Do you have an Electrical Management System (EMS)? Yes, make sure breakers are off (if they are in the box), plug in the shore cord for your RV and turn breaker on, you are done, the EMS will do the evaluation of the receptacle for you, you can skip rest of the steps coming up. If you don’t have an EMS, go to next step, Step 13 and we should talk.
- Pull out your 30-amp (or 50-amp) circuit tester, plug it into the appropriate receptacle, turn on breaker and look at the lights to see if the receptacle is wired correctly. If wired correctly, turn off breaker, plug in your RV, turn on breaker and you are done.
- If you don’t have a circuit tester, you can do a partial test using your NCVT.
- NCVT checking of receptacle (with breaker on).
- Take your NCVT and touch it in the “L” holes (see pics below/next page), 50A has 2 holes, NCVT should beep, meaning there is electricity there.
30 Amp Receptacle
50 Amp Receptacle
- Next test the N (Neutral) hole, should not beep.
- Last is the G (Ground) hole, should not beep.
- If you find any of those that beep when should not, or do not beep when it should, STOP, contact campground staff.
- Turn off breakers, plug in your shore cord and turn on breaker. – END OF DOCUMENT