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Old 04-06-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Location: Seal Beach, Ca.
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Surge Guard

We are full-timers living in an RV park and don't travel much at all yet. We pretty much stay put. At some point, we do want to use it to travel around.

I saw an advertisement for a "Surge Guard" which is basically a surge protector for your entire RV. So my question for the RV forum group is if this is really even necessary? Does the rV already come with a surge protector of some kind? We haven't had any power issues where we are but maybe would if we travelled more.

I have seen some posts about upgrades talking about adding an inverter. Why would that be a good idea? Sorry, just not sure what that does for you?



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Old 04-06-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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A surge protector is a VERY good idea for the RV. To the best of my knowledge, very few RVs come with one.

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Old 04-06-2011, 11:32 AM   #3
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Location: Windsor, Ontario
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I have aften wondered the same thing.
I have ordered a small TT, and I asked my dad (retired master electrician) about surge protectors etc....
He said not to worry about it, ( I wont be using alot of electrical appliances in the trailer) and to just get small $7 ones for maybe the laptop; or if I was only using 110V I could put a small one outside on the connect to my trailer.
I will however get a voltage meter.

If I was like you and had a large unit with many appliances, I would probably get an outside surge protector (supressor), but idk how much they would cost. I know a surge protector for a house is 1k so........?

Another thing to consider is voltage drop, so if the power outlet is far away from your unit, (at most Ontario PP campgrounds it is 100ft away) you will not be getting the full amount of power from the source. Not a concern for me and my needs though.

I'm sure we will get alot more different answers and I am curious to see what the others will say about this.

2010 Dodge Ram 1500
2012 Rockwood 2306
DH (Alan), DD (Madison) and Zoey the lab,
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:34 AM   #4
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We just ordered a surge protector along with tire pressure monitors. We'll let you know our reactions when we get it and use it for a while. I look at the surge protector as kind of an insurance policy. Hopefully you never need it, but if you need, you'd better have it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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Location: Upperco, Maryland
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They may be included in the Higher End Motorhomes but not on the Georgetowns. I bought the following when it was on sale with free shipping 3 years ago.

Technology Research Corp - Portable 50 amp Surge Guard - Surge Protectors - Camping World

It was under $300 at the time.

2007 Georgetown 370TS

Driver: Charlie
Navigator: Sheri
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #6
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Two concerns Georgetown50

1. Not sure how long you're been full-timing in an RV park, but your signature says you joined in back in 2009. If your rig (not sure if it's a motorhome or trailer) has been idle most of that time. make sure you really go over it in great detail when you start travelling. There's a lot of moving parts that may have been dormant for a long time.

2. BTW......not aware of RV's coming with surge guards as standard equipment. Surge protectors are like a lot of other things we do for insurance purposes. Our hope is that you'll never need it, but you'll be glad it's there if you do. Although you may have not needed it where you've been all this time, when you travel around, and each place is different and a place you can't control, the variety of power requirement and provisions at each park could be dangerous. Just think about how much you have invested in electronic goodies in your RV........TV, microwave, air conditioners, computer plugged in, kitchen appliances, etc. Pretty much any place that is a sticks and bricks home, is situated where the customer base is pretty much the same all the time. When you move around camping all the time, a campground never knows how many customers they will have, nor how many appliances they will have running from one day to the next. Can you be certain their power will always be regulated so as to NOT cause overpowering or underpowering to your rig?

Ken and Terry
2010 Georgetown 330TS being pushed by our
2017 GMC Terrain toad (4 wheels down)
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #7
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I'm an electrical engineer and an RV'r so here is what I did and why....

I purchased a combination surge protector and voltage booster. If the voltage goes too high it cuts off the power, if it goes too low, it pulls more amps to maintain the voltage.

My logic:
- RV power systems are complicated and hard to troubleshoot / repair. Lots of wires in lots of odd places to trace.
- RV campgrounds are routinely under powered. Many were wired decades ago before rigs with multiple AC units and washer/dryers were pulling in.
- Low voltage can be just as bad as high voltage, especially for AC compressors
- Other campers may do strange things to their power PODs and complete trash your RV
- The camper before you may have done something strange to your power POD and then you plug in and it trashes your RV
- I spent $1600 on a computer and $50 on a UPS/surge protector, so $500 for a $100K RV seemed reasonable.
- I really like to camp and really hate to spend my vacation time troubleshooting repairing my RV while I'm paying to stay in a campground, soooo it's cheap vacation insurance.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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I'm waiting for a used one under 100.. Since my 320 is still under its 7yr warranty I'll risk it a bit longer It's not the SURGE I worry about, its the "under-voltage".
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:35 PM   #9
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Was at a campground last summer where the voltage was low. If it was not for my Progressive unit, I would not have known about it. No telling what would have happened if it continued that way for several days since it was hot and I was running both AC's. They couldn't fix the problem and I had to change sites.
Tom and Margaret
2014 Berkshire 390bh-60

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:02 PM   #10
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I bought my Progressive unit from Lawrence RV Accessories. They seem to have the best price.

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