RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Multimeter recommendation?

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Multimeter recommendation?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 5  
Next
Sponsored By:
Kansas couple

Minnesota

Full Member

Joined: 04/05/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking to buy a multimeter, as my rig's refrigerator doesn't work on electric but still works on gas. There is power to its outlet (of course, that would be too easy of a fix..) and I know my next steps will involve going to the circuit board. I'm looking at the Klein Tools multimeters they sell at Home Depot. Noticed the CL 390 can measure DC amperage. Would this be something to have, or is measuring DC current not that important? If not, then I'd go with one of the less-expensive models. I'm open to thoughts and input. Thanks!

Seon

Lake Camanche, CA

Senior Member

Joined: 07/02/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buy a cheap Harbor Freight meter if that's all you're doing.

https://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multimeter-63759.html

larry cad

ohio

Senior Member

Joined: 05/23/2004

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 06:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buy the best you can afford. Frequently, when you have an electrical problem, others here can suggest tests to be made to find the problem. You may not know how to do the tests but others can guide you through it. Meter readings are essential for a rapid solution. No meter, no solution.

Also, in the course of doing the above, you will learn tricks to put in your memory bag.

P.S. having an amp meter can be very helpful.


Today is my personal best for most consecutive days alive.

Our Travel Blog

Roger10378

Goodrich, MI.

Senior Member

Joined: 05/29/2008

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 06:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How much amperage does it measure? Most low to mid priced meters will only measure small amounts of amps so that function is largely useless. As noted above just buy something cheap as it will do more than most of us need.


2005 Cardinal 30TS
2007 Chevy 2500HD D/A

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2003

View Profile



Posted: 11/25/21 07:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is the meter a clamp-on amp meter? I rarely use my amp meter, but it's very handy to have. The Harbor Freight meters will do a decent job for simple continuity and voltage testing, but nothing sophisticated. The level ability of the meter should match your level ability. [emoticon] For simple continuity and voltage testing, a HF cheapo will work as well as a $150 Fluke. But if you need more...


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

Senior Member

Joined: 03/16/2008

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DC amperage is very hand around an RV where nearly everything is DC. Is this a clamp on amp meter or do you have to insert the probes into the cirucit? I prefer the clamp style as it's much easier to use and will read much higher currents. If you ever need to measure DC current from a solar array or to an inverter you will appreciate the clamp DC meter.
I wouldn't buy anything electrical from HF. If you're going to invest in a tool invest in a good one. Fluke is the top of the heap but I'd take Klein, Southwire, or Ideal any day.
Keep in mind, with cheap HF meters, you will have live electrical power flowing thur this device. A cheap meter that blows up in your hand is a really bad deal.

Kansas couple

Minnesota

Full Member

Joined: 04/05/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the comments!

I didn't mention this in my original post, but I am closing on a house next week so I figure even if I didn't have the refrigerator issues, a good multimeter will still be very useful.

Roger--according to the info on Home Depot's page, the 390 can measure up to 400 amps DC.
fj12ryder--it is a clamp-on meter. My electrical knowledge is a bit limited but I do know I want the ability to measure current in addition to volts and resistance.

otrfun

On The Road

Senior Member

Joined: 09/08/2012

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 11/25/21 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have Fluke and Amprobe clamp-on meters we use primarily for accurate current measurements. For quick, general troubleshooting we generally use one of 3 or 4 red Harbor Freight VM's we picked up for free a few years ago (currently sell for $6.99). DC volts read to .xx and they're reasonably accurate.

There are a number of inexpensive clamp-on ammeters with test leads for measuring DC and AC voltage, that also have capability to measure both DC *and* AC current (using the clamp-on, not the test leads), available on Amazon. IMO these units are the best, all-around, single device for general RV troubleshooting.

Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

Senior Member

Joined: 10/30/2015

View Profile



Posted: 11/25/21 07:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That "390 meter" from Home Depot would serve you well.

MNRon

Tennessee

Senior Member

Joined: 08/18/2007

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 11/25/21 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m an EE and have used lots of lab equipment for my job. At home I have a couple of DVMs and even an old analog one with a clamp-on current measurement capability. With that said, easily 80% of the measurements I’ve taken at home or RVing are simple voltage measurements (both AC and DC); the other 19.99% are resistance measurements (usually just looking for continuity); and the last 0.01% are current readings. My recommendation is to get a voltmeter and carry it, if it’s a cheap one it will probably do everything you ever desire; if you buy a nice expensive Fluke you’ll be able to admire it and be proud of it, but RV use probably won’t distinguish between the two.


Ron & Pat
2013 Silverado 3500 Duramax SRW
2019 VanLeigh Vilano 320 GK

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 5  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Multimeter recommendation?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.