Detecting When Shore Power is Lost

Detecting Lost Shore Power with RV Whisper

Many RV owners want to detect when their RV loses Shore Power.  The reasons for concern include:

  • Pet Safety 
  • Food Safety
  • Battery Maintenance in Storage

RV Whisper provides two ways to detect when shore power is lost from your RV so alerts can be sent to your phone:

The Power Watchdog Surge Protector is the best way to detect lost shore power and should work in all RVs.  The Battery Voltage Sensor will work in most RVs.  Read the details below.

Battery Voltage Sensor (BMRV1)

Battery Voltage & Temperature Sensor (BMRV1)

If your RV does NOT have solar panels and does NOT use Lithium Batteries, then you can most likely use the BMRV1 battery voltage sensor to detect loss of shore power.  When connected to shore power, most RV Converters will be maintaining your RV Battery voltage at 13.2 Volts or higher.  When shore power is lost, the battery voltage will usually drop below 13.0 Volts after a few minutes. An RV Whisper Alert can be sent when the voltage is below 13.0 Volts for more than 5 minutes. 

However, note that if you use solar panels to keep your RV batteries charged, this technique will NOT work because the voltage may not drop below 13.0 Volts if shore power is lost during daytime; the solar panels may keep the battery voltage higher.  Also, if you have generator auto-start, the generator will most likely keep the Battery Converter running, until the generator stops running.

This battery voltage monitoring for detecting shore power loss can work with all types of Lead-Acid batteries (Flooded, Gel and even AGM).

Unfortunately, the Battery Voltage technique will NOT work with Lithium Batteries.  Lithium Batteries behave differently than Lead Acid batteries and the voltage will not drop below 13.0 Volts quickly like with Lead Acid batteries.

So if you have solar panels or Lithium Batteries, then you will need a Power Watchdog as your shore power sensor.


Shore Power Sensor – Surge Protector (Power Watchdog)

Power Watchdog 50 Amp

Power Watchdog Surge Protector – For a foolproof way of detecting shore power being lost from your RV, add any one of the Power Watchdog brand of Surge Protectors to your RV as another “wireless sensor” to your monitor station. When adding a Power Watchdog as a wireless sensor, appropriate alerts are automatically created for you including a shore power lost alert.

The Power Watchdog from Hughes Autoformers is the only RV Surge Protector / EMS that uses a Bluetooth phone app.  RV Whisper and Hughes Autofomers have a technical alliance so that RV Whisper can connect to any Power Watchdog device and monitor AC Volts, Amps, Watts, and KWH.  The Power Watchdog EPO devices also can let RV Whisper know when there are problems with the campground wiring such as Open Ground and Floating Neutral.

Being alerted to “Shore Power Lost” gives you an early warning system that the RV inside temperature and/or the RV fridge temperature may soon reach unsafe levels. Your pets and your potato salad will thank you.

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