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Old 08-17-2015, 01:38 PM   #21
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Just got off the phone with Progressive! The EMS is certainly a must have! It watches for "Everything Abnormal", electrically speaking; and, seems to simply be a 'gate-keeper' allowing or disallowing power to the coach.

As I understand the Autoformers add another valuable layer of protection by monitoring voltage and boosting when voltage is low. Example: my refrigerator needs 115v and 6amps. When voltage is less than that the amperage increases which strains the electronics and ultimately shortens the life span or burning them out immediately.

Me thinks both the EMS AND Autoformer are mandatory with $200K+ coaches and all the modern electronics involved.

$340 for an EMS and $550 for an Autoformer. Cheap insurance IMO! Check out this video, I think they do a good job explaining "why" we need an Autoformer.
http://youtu.be/E2NdhNa-ZTQ

Thanks again for all your valuable input. Y'all's experience is invaluable to us newbie-first-timers! Let me know your thoughts on the Autoformer!


--Nathan
2016 38a
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:49 PM   #22
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Why would you need both? The hughes autoformer unit has surge protection built in. I always plug in the autoformer to check the power supply prior to plugging in the coach. The autoformer has lights on it that indicate a bad electrical connection. Let me know. Thanks....Roger
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:04 PM   #23
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I use both surge guard and hughes autoformer. The HA has surge and spike protection, but does not evaluate a circuit for safety like the ems or surge guard do, so that i why I use both. One recent event that I attended was the FROG rally at Goshen. I do not know whether i needed boosted, but it was nice to know that the ability was there.....we only had 30 amp service and my coach uses 50 amp. Here is what Hughes says:
Why Do You Need An Autoformer?

Hughes Autoformers are designed to increase voltage to your RV and help eliminate low voltage damage to your appliances. Unlike a boost transformer, the ‘sense circuit’ in the Autoformer will adjust the output based on the load demand. For this reason you can run additional appliances on a 30-amp input. For example, a coffee pot and microwave each draw 1200 watts. Add wattage for the converter and/or a refrigerator – about 800 additional watts – and now you have 3200 watt demand. If you are only getting 100 volts from the supply, the maximum wattage would be 3000 watts. In this case, the Hughes Autoformer will boost voltage to give you 3600 watts to your RV!
The Autoformer output will self-adjust depending on the demand. With the increase in the voltage to the RV (through the Autoformer) the amperage demand will be lower and the overall performance will be greater. Your appliances will operate smoothly and efficiently without premature wear and damage to motors and compressors. With an operation range of approximately 94 to 125 volts input, the Autoformer will boost your RV voltage to safe & efficient levels.
Appliance failure can be costly, as well as frustrating and inconvenient. Many AC motors burn out due to higher-than-rated current draw caused by low voltage. This wasted current could be better used to operate another appliance at the same time the AC is being used. With low voltage you generally can’t run anything else without risk of damage.
How Does it Work?

At first we are tempted to say very ‘well’. But this may not be the answer you are looking for!
Autoformers are used in industries to stabilize voltage and lower the operating cost of equipment. The Autoformer has 5 windings: 2 primary and 3 secondary. All models have surge and spike protection. When the unit is in Automatic and the park or input voltage is 116 volts or below, the output is 10% over the input. When the input is over 118 volts, the output is 2% over the input.
The Autoformer DOES NOT take power from the park.
It does not affect the park or input voltage, or make electricity.
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
An Autoformer running at full output (50amps) will use 1 amp, but will cause appliances to cycle more often and run cooler. This will use less total power from the park.
Enjoy Your Autoformer Knowing You Are Doing Your Part For The Environment.

Also, they are on sale for $548 with a free volt meter at their site. This is less than I paid.


Rich
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:14 PM   #24
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The auto former can actually correct a low voltage condition
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:21 PM   #25
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The EMS is like a Belt and the Autoformer is like Suspenders. Most of us use a belt and some both. I have the Progressive EMS and no Autoformer.

I can see the value of the Autoformer and if one wants both and can afford it, then that is great. I could have used the Autoformer when down in FL at my wife's sister place with a long extension cord. The extension cord not being too beefy, dropped the voltage so that I could not run even one AC
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:33 PM   #26
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I use on the autotransformer

At our seasonal campsite on the Ohio River voltage is below 120V when the park is fairly empty. Add in a few Class A's, some big fivers and a multitude of TT's and on a hot day like yesterday the nominal is 105. My autotransformer keeps us at 114-115 most of the time, rarely see 112. Mornings are closer to 120 until the AC's start up. (All sites are 30A max). Its uncommon to have surges here but sagging voltage is a way of life.

However, I think the EMS offers a level of protection that isn't available on the autotransformer. I'm not sure what would happen if we lost neutral or ground at any campsite when using the autotransformer, probably need to research this issue. I agree with the other comments, $350 is great insurance to prevent an electrical catastrophe from poorly maintained campground power systems.
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:36 PM   #27
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gasman: It seems as though with the EMS surge guard that you would be doubling down on the surge protection with both. I don't have a problem with cost of the surge protector, it's just that I don't want to waste money either. Let me know. Thanks Roger
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger2650 View Post
gasman: It seems as though with the EMS surge guard that you would be doubling down on the surge protection with both. I don't have a problem with cost of the surge protector, it's just that I don't want to waste money either. Let me know. Thanks Roger

Roger, my thought is that the autoformer doesn't have the ability to do some things that the surge guard or ems does such as:



Automatic reset on power restoration.
Multi-mode surge suppression
Automatically shuts off the power when the following is present:

  • Open neutral
  • Reverse polarity
Caution indicator light indicates:
  • Miswired pedestal
  • Reverse polarity
  • Elevated ground voltage

128 second reset delay protects A/C compressor.



Rich
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:56 PM   #29
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I have both.

I started with just the Progressive surge/low voltage protection (hard wired). From all the articles I have read it's a must have and personally I think all manufactures should be required to install them at the factory.

I then bought a Hughes Autoformer after staying at a campsite that had very low voltage (107) from the get go. We couldn't run the AC since it would cause the under voltage protection to kick in. Also running appliances and other electronics at low voltage can cause damage. Even though people have said they have never had an issue I just don't wont to rick my investment and ruin a trip due to bad electricity. So far the Hughes Autoformer has helped at 3 camp sites we stayed at during our cross country trip.

My 2 cents, a Surge/low voltage protection is a minimum. Just think of it this way if something happened like a power surge and it fried your electronics in your RV/Trailer how much would replacing or repairing cost you? I have seen people post their bill after an event and having the protection is far cheaper.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:20 PM   #30
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Thanks Rich (aka gasman94) I purchased it from amazon for 329.00, free shipping and no tax. Expected delivery 8/24/15. Everything you indicated made a lot of sense. We just can't get enough protection for the coach. There are a lot of CG out there that are questionable. Thanks again for getting back so quickly. Roger
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