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Hughes Autoformer 6

Hughes Autoformer – Never worry about spikes again

Never worry about low power situations again
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
$356 to $548
  • 80%


Summary:

Many modern RVs have lots of sensitive electronic equipment installed, whether it is high definition TV screens or complex computer-controlled system monitors. In America, all of them are designed to operate on 120-vot systems. Even appliances like air conditioners and water pumps can be damaged by an unexpected electrical surge that can cause havoc on the equipment, often rendering the devices worthless.

Campground power systems can be unpredictable, especially in older RV parks. Some parks set up utility poles on a chain, which means that a problem with an RV a few sites away can can certainly impact other RVs hooked up to that same power chain. As people plug in and unplug, or turn appliances on and off, the amount of power available on the system can fluctuate. If one RV pulls too much power, it can reduce the amount of power available to other RVs connected to the same system. A low voltage situation is just as destructive to on-board electronics as a power surge.

RV owners have the ability to protect themselves and their rigs by using a Hughes Autoformer. The device works to create a buffer between the electric pole and the RV. It constantly monitors power levels to prevent spikes and surges. Plus, when it detects a low voltage situation, the autoformer boosts the power coming into the RV to ensure a stable energy load.

Using the device is as simple as plugging it into the park's power pole, and plugging the RV into the device. One common misconception campground owners have is that the devices work to pull power away from the park. The company told me that's not the case, and actually protects the park by lowering the number of amps required by the RV since the device increases the voltage available.

Hughes' website notes "What it is doing is changing the voltage – amperage relationship, lowering the amperage and raising the voltage. Since appliances run better on higher voltage, lower amperage, less overall power is used from the park, and better service is enjoyed from your RV."

Still, expect some push back from RV park owners who don't understand how it works. In fact, some parks prohibit the use of autoformers entirely.

The biggest benefit for using an autoformer is for RVs with 30-amp power supplies. The device allows some additional appliances to be run on a 30-amp connection because the autoformer will boost the wattage availble to run the appliances without requiring more power from the park.

The device is heavy, about 35 pounds, but doesn't take up a lot of space in a storage compartment. The included power cord is long enough for the device to sit on the ground and reach the power receptacle. It comes with a lock to keep the device secured to the power pole.

Hughes Autoformer 2 Hughes Autoformer 4 Hughes Autoformer 5

Pros

  • Very easy to set up and to use — plug in and use
  • Works in the background. Users don’t need to adjust any controls
  • Can be used in all types of weather
  • Fully automatic to boost power by up to 10 percent when necessary
  • Indicator lights show when the device is providing a power boost
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • 30- and 50-amp models available
  • Made in America

Cons

  • The device is heavy, about 35 pounds for the 50-amp model
  • Some campgrounds prohibit using the devices thinking that they interfere with campground power levels. However, the devices don’t create energy or pull more energy than the 30- or 50-amp power than the site allows.

About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor of Let's RV and the editor of RV Daily Report. A Wisconsin native and father of three grown daughters, he is now based out of Arizona and travels the country in his Winnebago Adventurer motorhome interviewing industry professionals and interesting RVers alike. He can be reached at editor@letsrv.com

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