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You will find 2 or 3 RV Product Reviews each month. We will give you the low down on each product, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! What our Customers are saying.... What your Neighbors are saying.... What YOU are saying... Honest and Reliable RV Products Reviews can be found right here every month. Send in your Reviews anytime you choose to.. Maybe you will find your reviews listed here. csrvparts@gmail.com

ASA Introduces Two-Way Speaker for RV Market
September 26, 2017 by RVBusiness

Elkhart, Ind.-based ASA Electronics announced the introduction of the JWMS350 two-way acoustical speaker, offering more options for seamless RV installation, according to a press release.
The speaker, featuring a single-hole surface mount install, can be installed either horizontally or vertically to create a unified look when paired with JENSEN’s new line of wall-mount stereos.
When installed vertically, the speaker fits with the JWM60A and when installed horizontally is paired with the JWM70A stereo.
The speaker’s one piece metal grille adds to the overall high-tech appearance. The stereo is finished with snap side bezels to hide mounting screws for a more polished look and feel.

ASA Introducing ‘App-Ready’ Wall-Mount Stereo
September 25, 2017 by RVBusiness

Elkhart, Ind.-based ASA Electronics announced the introduction of the JENSEN JWM70A wall-mount stereo that is app-ready and features Bluetooth connectivity.
According to a press release, RVers can wirelessly pair any Bluetooth-enabled smart device with the JWM70A and stream their own personal music library. In addition, the jControl app, available as a free download for both Android and Apple devices, turns a smartphone into a wireless remote control. It includes the “industry-first” independent volume control of three speaker zones, allowing for louder volume outside and a softer sound in interior living areas. jControl will sync with the JWM70A to remember preferred settings and the stereo’s 18 FM and 12 AM radio station presets.
Notable tech features include a USB input capable of charging iPhones and Androids and an easy-to-use DVD player that supports a wide variety of formats. The jCOM HDMI interface allows the DVD player to communicate directly with JENSEN TVs to automatically detect DVDs.
The wall-mount stereo is finished with beveled edges on the control panel to add a sophisticated modern look while hiding the stereo’s mounting screws. The JWM70A is complete with a front audio auxiliary input, two video outputs, an RCA output, and a clock with alarm and sleep timer.

 

 

VALTERRA WATER PRESSURE REGULATOR

I purchased this water regulator because the cheap one included with the RV gave too little pressure to have a decent shower. The Valterra Water Regulator has much better flowability and is adjustable to my preferences. I usually set it at around 50 PSI and that gives us good pressure and flow in the RV for showering. Furthermore, I have the piece of mind that the rigs plumbing is protected from excessive pressure that may damage the pipes and fixtures.

Valterra Water Regulator

The unit is made of brass making it durable. So far I have had it for a year and a half and used it during stays at over 100 campsites and it has held up well. I really like the gauge as it gives me an instant read on what the campground pressure is doing . The brass threading and casing seems to be well machined as I haven’t had any issues with leaks. – Ray Burr

Valterra Water Pressure Regulator

As you can see in the photo above there is an adjustable screw you can use to set your water pressure for your RV.

*Review Update*

Well, I lost my Valterra Water Regulator. ?? Was leaving the campground at Thousand Trails Palm Springs and got to talking to someone while packing up, got distracted and left it on the water tap. So, I decided to give another cheaper unit a try. It was one that was pre-set for 50 PSI with no meter or adjustable. No matter what the campground pressure was I couldn’t get the RV toilet to have decent flow and showers were weak. Disgruntled, I coughed up the extra money for another Valterra Water Regulator and loving the flow and pressure once again. This time, I’m gonna hang on to it. Added the item “Do we have the water regulator” to the RV Checklist“.

 

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CamcoTesla UMC Extension Cord via Camco 50 AMP 30' PowerGrip

Tesla UMC Extension Cord via Camco 50 Amp 30' Power Grip

 

The gas crowd has a leg up on us. There, I said it. Every time they go to fuel up their cars they find each dispenser to be road-accessible, surrounded by ample room to park and the hose on the dispenser can reach either side of their car. But wait– don’t go trading in your Tesla just yet! You can still run over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house… just remember to pack this:

Tesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord

Whether you’re digging behind bushes to access your parents’ dryer outlet or carefully inching your Model S close to rusted farm equipment in hopes of reaching an ancient welder’s plug at your crazy uncle’s place, remember that the juice you use is cheaper than gas and the car is a lot more fun! What you need then is a way to bring the power more conveniently to your car… and this is the solution.

THE ULTIMATE TESLA UMC EXTENSION CORD
Tesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord-Box

Camco makes a number of heavy duty electrical extension cords and plug adapters and are based in North Carolina. However, Tesla does not endorse the use of anything other than their own HPWC or UMC, just so we’re clear. Unfortunately my friend’s HPWC won’t reach from Pennsylvania to New York and the UMC is similarly limited. Even in my own garage it can barely make it from the nose of the car to the tail and many times parking away from home but within the car’s own length of a plug isn’t possible.

Given that you will sooner or later have to “plug’r in” farther than your cord will reach, the question is how to do so safely. Let’s rule out a Doc Brown inspired hood-mounted solution and try to match as closely as we can the wiring that the outlet itself would have. A fully permitted and legit 50 amp outlet (NEMA 14-50) is what most of us have for home charging. Depending on local codes you might have 8 gauge wire in there but typically codes will dictate 6 gauge for a continuous 40 amp draw while charging. The Camco PowerGrip cord uses the same 6 gauge wire wrapped in an impressively rugged covering. Same wire, same plugs, same performance. Your Tesla won’t even know the difference from home cooking.

Let’s talk numbers (with apologies to vegan electrical engineers for my pedestrian approach– though admittedly they are a small demographic). If you’re looking to buy a nice steak you can shop by the pound or by the cut. Different prices apply to different cuts, obviously, but the hunk of meat you need remains the same. The Camco cord costs about $100 for 30' which is about $3.35/foot (accounting for some loss due to the plug ends). Current prices in my area for similar gauge, by-the-roll 6-gauge electrical cable (same stuff I use to juice my garage 50 amp plug) works out to $1.78/foot. A handy fellow could probably make a similar cord for about a third less cost… but it won’t have the same rugged construction and won’t be as durable and safe. Copious amounts of electrical and duct tape might approach the durability but by then you’ve emptied your 401k on tape. That’s not nearly as much fun as a trip to Paris in your 90s. The premium cost to have Camco do it for you is only about 20% without accounting for your own labor. That’s a pretty modest upcharge for such a well built product. A different cut of steak that’s worth spending a few bucks more to get.

A DEEPER LOOK AT THE CAMCO 50 AMP 30' EXTENSION CORD
Camco makes this same extension cord in several lengths and in smaller gauges (like for a 30 amp run). There’s also a host of adapters and you can craft a very impressive knot of connections if you really want to freak out the spectators or impress your girlfriend. My wife frowns on both approaches so we’ll be keeping this review to the cord itself.

A “touted” feature of the Camco on its labels are the “PowerGrip” handles on the ends. Look at that muscled hand asserting it’s dominance over all things electric!

Tesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord-Grip

Reality bites a little bit in this case. I’m not a huge guy and the PowerGrip couldn’t fit my 4 fingers in it without visions of the fire department being summoned to pry me free with their Hurst tool. You certainly could not wrestle the cord with any degree of comfort using it this way.

Tesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord-Small-Grip

Take a moment to sit cross-legged on the floor and summon up your inner Oregonian (you’ve surely done this already if you’re a Tesla owner in a snow state): — and there, you’ve got it, the proper grip for the PowerGrip. If you want to show off your sophistication, keep the pinky extended like it’s high afternoon tea.

Tesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord-90deg-PlugTesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord-90deg-Plug

The 90 degree plug angles are potentially the biggest flaw in the product. I’ve seen more than one stove outlet installed so close to the floor that plugging in wouldn’t allow for enough clearance to bend the stiff Camco cord. It’s a small possibility but worth asking about before you dismantle your Aunt’s kitchen in the middle of holiday feast preparations. A bigger problem is the angle on the female end. Whereas the male end provides some strain relief when plugged in to a conventional outlet, the female end just entangles the cord and costs you a little length. I think it increases the chance for it being a tripping hazard and probably stresses the connection with the UMC unnecessarily. A straight plug would be better for anyone who can’t quite “get there”otherwise– even better would be a way to positively lock the connection so it can’t be worked loose.

Tesla UMC Camco 50amp Cord Weight

Thirty feet of power cord weighs in at 23 1/2 pounds, but since the Model S is over 16' long it doesn’t make much sense to bother with a shorter cord. After all, if the problem can be solved by simply turning the car around you’re not really gaining a lot of capability. The shorter cords are still bulky to travel with but do have a weight advantage… but if you’re running off to Grandma’s house you’re going to weigh more coming home anyway. Potentially a lot more if your family can cook like mine. If not, then a too short extension cord would be the least of your life’s disappointments and I want you to instead picture me enjoying my gravy and pie… which I will ship to you for a generous donation towards a P85D.

Camco 50 amp vs UMC cord

Speaking of bulk (and NOT speaking of my unspeakably dirty Tesla), check out the size differential between the two cords. Even from Sasquatch height the circumference is massively bigger comparatively.

Camco-50amp-Cord-vs-Tesla-UMC

Grab a tape measure and you’ll find your eyes don’t deceive you– the Camco is at least double the thickness of the Tesla cord. That should put to rest any concerns of the wire overheating under prolonged charging but it does come at a cost: flexibility.

Tesla-UMC-Camco-50amp-Cord-Coils

Stretching the cord out leaves lots of stubborn coils that will have you twisting the night away to take advantage of the full length. I also have grave concerns about trying to jam a cold-frozen cord back into the car after a night’s charge– but again, both of these issues are not the fault of Camco. Any extension cord of this size will have similar drawbacks.

THIS IS A QUALITY PIECE OF KIT AND YOU’LL HAVE PEACE-OF-MIND DRAGGING AND SCRAPING OVER ALL SORTS OF UNIMAGINABLE OBSTACLES THAT WOULD SHRED THE TESLA CORD.
All plugged in you can see the 90 degree angle that works so well on the wall outlet end becomes a confused electrical interchange when connected to the UMC adapter. They’re both angled the opposite way from each other– not a huge issue unless the resulting loss of nearly a foot of potential length is the difference between driving away or being marooned with a pouty face.

Camco-50amp-Cord-vs-Tesla-UMC-LossCamco-50amp-Cord-vs-Tesla-UMC-Loss

With the PowerGrip linked in between wall power and the UMC there’s a price to be paid in energy loss on such a long run. The car continues to pull 40 amps continuously and there are no overheating concerns but the amount of power getting to the battery is down to 28 mph charge rate.

Just to verify I wasn’t “mis-remembering” I redid the charge with the PowerGrip removed and at the same benchmark I was back to pulling 30 mph as a charge rate. The 2 mph power loss doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker to me. From completely empty to completely full that would be a difference of 40 minutes, but as a destination charging solution I would expect to be sleeping anyway. 40 extra minutes? Bring it! I’d still be sleeping off the prior night’s meal anyway.

To better illustrate what kind of range extender the Camco cord really is, I moved Serena out from her cozy garage to the end of the cord plus the UMC. The added distance gets me to the top of our “scary driveway”– Oh, it is — you should see it through the windshield on an icy/snowy day with the house ready to catch you at the bottom. This does illustrate another use– and using the cord as an inclement weather solution might be appealing to some of you (and it certainly is rugged enough for that) but for me, the likelihood of getting sideswiped by a snow plow or sledding car means I’ll be doing this dangerous descent no matter what the weather.

Putting a 25' tape measure down for scale, you can see that the cord really does live up to the 30' claim. Add in the UMC (which is about 18') and a margin for safety-slackness and you’re still counting a good 45' total length. That’s a large buffer that I can’t imagine being insufficient for any destination/travel charging obstacles you might encounter.

Indeed, the only major downside is the possibility of repacking a cold cord. Temperatures were in the 40s the day I tested this particular setup and even after a few minutes it was noticeably stiffening. I predict jamming it back into a compact coil could require more than one helper as you both wrestle this “anacorda” snake back into its tie-strap. Cord handling problems would also be true for any other cord, of course

 

Come back next month for more Reviews.

 

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