This is always a good question when you have not heard about a company for some time. Those companies that make products for RVs and other applications come and go. Some go quietly and you simply never hear of them again. Is Hughes Autoformer one of them?
According to their website which is copyrighted to 2023, the answer to this question is no. They are still in business and making top electrical products for RVs and other uses. Their products are still good so it is unlikely they will go out of business any time soon.
To learn more about this company and what an autoformer is, just continue to read our article. It provides the best information about this company so you can decide if you want to use their products or not. Take a few minutes to get this needed information.
Many experienced RVs may already know everything there is to know about this product. But for those newbies and for those people who haven’t heard about this device, an autoformer is a combination of two words.
Those two words are automatic and transformer. Most people have probably heard of a transformer and know what it does. Their duty is to stabilize the voltage and make equipment cheaper to run.
The difference between a regular autoformer and one for an RV is that the latter device is specifically made to work with RVs. That is the only difference between these devices.
There are 2 different types of RV autoformers. One is made to work with 30 amps and the other is designed to work with 50 amps. You just pick the option that fits your RV’s electrical system.
Then you have some models that come packed with different features. Some of those features include dual-purpose, power surge protection, park circuit monitoring, and a voltage booster.
While you may not have to use it on a regular basis, having one in your equipment storage just in case is the smart move to make. You should cover all your bases as you never know when you run into a campground with electrical hook-up issues.
If they are, it would be news to Hughes. We saw a representative of their company post a reply on Trust Pilot and the reply was dated to Oct. 2022. We have seen a couple of mentions that they went out of business but their website is still operational.
Their website has no notices stating they are out of business and they are still offering products for sale. Then according to a 2023 review website, Hughes is still the autoformer to use whenever you need one. They do not mention that the company has gone out of business either.
There is no industry news stating the demise of the company. What all this circumstantial evidence points to is that the company is doing well and you can still get Hughes Autoformers at a decent price.
One of the main issues you may find is that it may not be suited for extremely high electrical surges. This is understandable as electrical power can surge at a very high level and most autoformers won’t be designed to handle such power.
Another issue some owners may have is its weight. When you are constantly worried about meeting weight restrictions, the autoformer may be a bit on the heavy side. You may have to get rid of another item to accommodate the weight of this device.
One non-owner issue is that the company may have wired the device wrong and sent them out in that condition. Those devices may have slipped past quality control and as one owner found out his autoformer, the device would not work.
It turned out that the wiring error keep the two electrical legs from working independently thus the problem. The good news with this issue was that Hughes Autoformer paid the shipping both ways and repaired the device for free.
One final issue would be a relay. It seems that a specific relay would get hung up and the only way to dislodge it and get it working again was to pick it up about 1 inch and then drop it on the ground.
The shock should be enough to get the relay working again.
According to the company, this problem exists only when there is a problem with the campground or RV park power supply. If you are getting more than 116 volts from the park or campground supply then the device will not boost. The device is set to boost when the voltage drops below 155 volts.
If the park or campground power is below 95 volts, then the device will not boost. It just goes into bypass mode. Then, in this case, there may have been a power surge, even miles away, and the device is damaged protecting your appliances.
When that happens, return it to Hughes and they say they will fix it for you.
According to Trust Pilot 87% of the owners who reported or reviewed their experience with this product, gave it 5 stars. However, an unusually high 1-star review is also recorded on this review website. It hit 9% for that level.
It looks like owners either love or hate this device. The owners we read about on the RV discussion forums did not have a problem with this device. One came out and said that they loved it. They said it was the best autoformer they have owned to date.
As for one top best autoformer review lists, there were 3 Hughes models on their list. What that means is that the company does make a good product and some owners were very happy with the customer service they received.
This seems to be a well-run company that looks after its customers and stands behind its products.
The Surge Guard comes with a limited lifetime warranty while it is said that the limited warranty for Hughes is just 2 years. The Surge guard also automatically shuts power to your RV when it gets below 102 volts or above 132 volts.
While the Hughes autoformer with surge protection will boost power when it reaches between 95 to 115 volts. Hughes does make true surge protector devices and they do the same as any other true surge protector.
The trouble with comparisons though, in this case, is that there are many brands that use the label surge guard on their products. They all do about the same thing. They are a power management system and not an autoformer.
The 2 are actually not the same product. You would have to compare the Hughes Surge Protector devices with Surge Guard devices and not transformers.
The best place to go to get a manual would be the Hughes company directly. You can see what they have to offer at this link. This link takes you directly to the manual and you can download it or read it online. How you access it is up to you. It is free and that is the best deal.
Next, you can look at the information at this link. It offers a Hughes manual download. It seems to be for the 50-amp model. There is a one-page preview on that web page and a download button to the top right of the screen.
This website is good as it also has related manuals if this is not the one you will need. There are not a lot of options available for this manual but these are the two best.
So far, most owners have contacted the company if they need help repairing any problems. They have received top customer service according to them. The manual does not offer any troubleshooting tips or guides that we have seen.
It is only a 12-page manual so there is not going to be a lot of information available in it. The website has a technical support page but they also warn you not to return the device without proper authorization.
We have not seen many places that offer to repair transformers on the internet but we are sure there are enough around to get the service you need. Read their warranty page closely to make sure you understand what is or isn’t covered.
It seems that the company is alive and well. When we rechecked the Trust Pilot website the latest review only stated three days ago which puts the company in fine working order as of the end of April 2023.
You really have nothing to worry about if you are owning or wanting to buy this device. It seems that the company will be around for some time yet. If you have doubts use the website link above and contact them directly.