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Old 09-12-2019, 09:32 AM   #1
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Best surge protector, or EMS

Hello,
this question has probably been asked 1000 times but..

I have a RockWood 30 amp travel trailer. What are your recommendations for a surge protector, or EMS? Cost is a factor, so be gentle please.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:42 AM   #2
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I would say the Progressive Industries is the best EMS as well as surge protector. They are a little more expensive than some of the others but their units are top notch and there support is also number 1.
Just make sure you know what any surge protector is going to protect you from. The cheaper ones are only surge protectors and will not protect you from miswiring or over or under voltage. In short know what you are buying.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #3
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https://www.rvtravel.com/no-shock-zone-introduction/

Good reading here, he is what you call an expert in electrical!
At his seminar he recommended Southwire brand as the best.
Cost is not what I would use as a deciding factor when it comes to electric.
People have died from poor pedistal wiring.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:52 AM   #4
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I have an article just for that:
What Surge Protector is best for my RV?

Hint: Progressive Industries EMS. I talk about pros/cons to hard-wired vs. portable and give links to purchase.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #5
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Is it a surge protector, or a glorified reverse polarity detector?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ View Post
Hello,
this question has probably been asked 1000 times but..

I have a RockWood 30 amp travel trailer. What are your recommendations for a surge protector, or EMS? Cost is a factor, so be gentle please.
HELP! Okay so I have read about 100 reviews now. Both companies, Progressive Industries and Southwire (Technical Research) sell "surge protectors" for right around $100. Both CLAIM to be surge protectors and test open grounds, reverse polarity, and miss-wired pedestals. But some customer reviews claim there IS NOT surge protections. Other customers who give it 5 stars sound like they just assume it works because they have had not problems.

Here is a copy and paste of the specs of the Progressive Industries SSP-30X

Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection. Miss wired Pedestal Indication. Surge Failure Indicator.
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, Thermally Protected
Rugged Pull Handle, Brighter 3-Color LED Indicator
Lifetime Warranty.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ View Post
HELP! Okay so I have read about 100 reviews now. Both companies, Progressive Industries and Southwire (Technical Research) sell "surge protectors" for right around $100. Both CLAIM to be surge protectors and test open grounds, reverse polarity, and miss-wired pedestals. But some customer reviews claim there IS NOT surge protections. Other customers who give it 5 stars sound like they just assume it works because they have had not problems.

Here is a copy and paste of the specs of the Progressive Industries SSP-30X

Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection. Miss wired Pedestal Indication. Surge Failure Indicator.
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, Thermally Protected
Rugged Pull Handle, Brighter 3-Color LED Indicator
Lifetime Warranty.
Key word is detection. This model SSP-30X will detect wiring faults and illuminate an Led to indicate a fault. It will still allow power into your rig. A True EMS will not only detect faults but prevent bad power from ever reaching your rig. Much better solution as it is keeping a eye on things 24/7 including when you are not present. Well worth the extra $$.

Surge protection is always in place on either a surge protector or EMS system.

I use the Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C hardwire 30 amp unit. I would not be without it. Just did what it's supposed to do yesterday due to low voltage in the campground.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
I have an article just for that:
What Surge Protector is best for my RV?

Hint: Progressive Industries EMS. I talk about pros/cons to hard-wired vs. portable and give links to purchase.
Being new to campers and all, I bought what the dealership recommended and it was a Camco Power Defender 55301, around $250. Is this a substandard unit that I should feel the need to replace? Is that Progressive Industries unit a much more safe and longer life product? I'm not sure if mine is a 1 time protection unit that goes bad after say a lightning strike, or if it resets to be used again? I know mine will cut out due to low/high voltages and self reset... but lightning hits may destroy it... or may destroy all of them?


This one plugs in and then you wait 2-1/2 minutes and if all things check out, you hear an audible relay click and it will transmit power. If anything is not right, you will not get power passed to your cable as the relay will not close.

This what they sold me a couple months back when I bought the Apex from them...

PowerGrip - Voltage Protector


Power Grip - Voltage Protector - 30Amp

Item #: 55301
Nowadays, RVs have all kinds of sophisticated electronics onboard. Microwaves, televisions, refrigerators, cell phones and computers all run off of your RVs power source, and all are at risk of high or low voltage and a power surge or spike. Repairing a
  • Protects your RV from dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (<102 VAC) voltage levels
  • Automatically disconnects from dangerous voltage and reconnects after power stabilizes
  • Shows faults for reverse polarity, open neutral, and other power pedestal wiring issues
  • Integrated surge protection: 2,450 joules power rating for 30 Amps
  • Diagnostic lights for visual indication of fault
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry0071 View Post
Being new to campers and all, I bought what the dealership recommended and it was a Camco Power Defender 55301, around $250. Is this a substandard unit that I should feel the need to replace? Is that Progressive Industries unit a much more safe and longer life product? I'm not sure if mine is a 1 time protection unit that goes bad after say a lightning strike, or if it resets to be used again? I know mine will cut out due to low/high voltages and self reset... but lightning hits may destroy it... or may destroy all of them?


This one plugs in and then you wait 2-1/2 minutes and if all things check out, you hear an audible relay click and it will transmit power. If anything is not right, you will not get power passed to your cable as the relay will not close.

This what they sold me a couple months back when I bought the Apex from them...

PowerGrip - Voltage Protector


Power Grip - Voltage Protector - 30Amp

Item #: 55301
Nowadays, RVs have all kinds of sophisticated electronics onboard. Microwaves, televisions, refrigerators, cell phones and computers all run off of your RVs power source, and all are at risk of high or low voltage and a power surge or spike. Repairing a
  • Protects your RV from dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (<102 VAC) voltage levels
  • Automatically disconnects from dangerous voltage and reconnects after power stabilizes
  • Shows faults for reverse polarity, open neutral, and other power pedestal wiring issues
  • Integrated surge protection: 2,450 joules power rating for 30 Amps
  • Diagnostic lights for visual indication of fault
IMO, if you have it already- it's good. I wouldn't go out and swap it out.

None of these units are going to fully protect against a direct or nearby lightning strike. That's just too much power going through them. They'll all be killed by it. And, I'm unsure of each's warranty in that case. (But hell- you'll have an insurance claim any way.)
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:49 AM   #9
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I understand that cost is a factor, especially when outfitting your entire rig. However, a true EMS is like insurance: you may never need it but, if something happens, you'll be glad you have it.

Many folks have never used one and have never had a problem; they will advocate not getting one. Some folks HAVE run into problems and they (1) ponied-up the bucks for repairs then bought an EMS or (2) already had an EMS and it handled things. A gross generalization to be sure.

However, it's your choice - but if you DO choose to purchase an EMS, go for the best one you can get. We bought our PI EMS from a fellow camper for less than $200. He had converted his RV from 30A to 50A and put it on the Marketplace.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #10
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Progressive Industries EMS. You can get either external (portable) or internal (installed) which has an added monitor panel.

Please note an EMS (electrical management system) has many more features than a "surge protector." It checks the campground receptacle for various faults such as open ground, high voltage, low voltage and other problems that can damage your RV circuitry.

"Surges" are really voltage peaks that can fry your electrical and electronic equipment. That's a one-time event that will destroy your EMS or surge protector instead of your RV equipment. An EMS operates to protect you from the moment you plug it into the socket until you disconnect your RV and depart.

If a problem is encountered, the EMS will shut off power to the RV until the problem goes away, but in some cases you will have to shut the pedestal off and turn it on again to reset the power. While that seems annoying, it just protected your equipment, for example protecting your A/C motor from operating in a low voltage environment which can damage it. If it shuts off repeatedly, you are plugged into a bad system and should disconnect and move, or run on battery or generator to protect your RV systems.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
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Look up the Power WatchDog with EPO from Hughes Autoformers. Another fantastic surge protector. And not to bad of a price.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:25 PM   #12
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I have the Hughes "Power Watchdog 30 Amp Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector with Auto Shutoff". Amazon has them for $229.


Description:
30 amp Power Watchdog Smart Surge Protector + EPO (emergency power off) offers a powerful 2,400 Joules of advanced surge protection for your coach. The Power Watchdog + EPO is the world’s first smart surge guard and surge protector with built-in Bluetooth connectivity so you can monitor live park power conditions on your smartphone in real time! Get text alerts of dangers before something catastrophic happens. The new EPO (emergency power off) units will automatically SHUT DOWN power if there are dangerous conditions of too high or low voltage, open ground or open neutral as well as more.


The RV Geeks on You tube did a segment on this product.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ View Post
HELP! Okay so I have read about 100 reviews now. Both companies, Progressive Industries and Southwire (Technical Research) sell "surge protectors" for right around $100. Both CLAIM to be surge protectors and test open grounds, reverse polarity, and miss-wired pedestals. But some customer reviews claim there IS NOT surge protections. Other customers who give it 5 stars sound like they just assume it works because they have had not problems.

Here is a copy and paste of the specs of the Progressive Industries SSP-30X

Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection. Miss wired Pedestal Indication. Surge Failure Indicator.
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, Thermally Protected
Rugged Pull Handle, Brighter 3-Color LED Indicator
Lifetime Warranty.
That is a correct description of a surge protector not an EMS. surge protector about $100.00 EMS about $300.00
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNtraveler View Post
"Surges" are really voltage peaks that can fry your electrical and electronic equipment. That's a one-time event that will destroy your EMS or surge protector instead of your RV equipment.
Not necessarily. The Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs) that actually provide the surge protection can handle a lot of transient surges, shunt (short-circuit) them to ground in a fraction of a second and keep on providing protection. You'll never even know it happened. I have a whole-house surge protector on my home because of the high-current motors and pumps.


Quote:
An EMS operates to protect you from the moment you plug it into the socket until you disconnect your RV and depart.

If a problem is encountered, the EMS will shut off power to the RV until the problem goes away, ...
Correct and the good ones will actually check the power for a short period of time before allowing it to flow. The Progressive EMS has a default 15-second delay from the moment you flip the breaker on the pedestal until the power actually turns on in the RV.

If your air conditioners do not have a built-in delay for power interruptions, the Progressive unit can provide that protection by preventing the power from coming on for three minutes (I think it is) by moving a jumper wire inside.

The big difference between a pedestal-mounted unit and a hard-wired unit is that the hard-wired unit also checks for defects in your power cable and plug. A pedestal-mounted one may not be able to do that. So if your own plug goes bad or the cable has a loose connection in your lug, the pedestal-mounted inits likely cannot protect you from all of the damage that will cause.

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Old 09-12-2019, 12:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dbutton View Post
https://www.rvtravel.com/no-shock-zone-introduction/

Good reading here, he is what you call an expert in electrical!
At his seminar he recommended Southwire brand as the best.
Cost is not what I would use as a deciding factor when it comes to electric.
People have died from poor pedistal wiring.
X2. I was also at Mike's seminar. He said that up to about 2 years ago Progressive was the best on the market. Then the original owners sold the company and there were some perceived changes to the warranty. Also at that time, PI slowed down or eliminated their R&D. Mike states that Southwire has continued their R&D and now have a better product. This isn't to say the PI has bad product, just that Southwire has continued to improve theirs.

FWIW, I use a PI hard wire 30 amp unit that I bought 3 years ago and it has disconnected me a number of times when there was low voltage. I think low voltage is a bigger issue than surges are. Low voltage will reduce the life of anything with a motor in it - especially an AC unit.

With what I know now, I would probably by a Southwire unit.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:08 PM   #16
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Not necessarily. The Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs) that actually provide the surge protection can handle a lot of transient surges, shunt (short-circuit) them to ground in a fraction of a second and keep on providing protection. You'll never even know it happened. I have a whole-house surge protector on my home because of the high-current motors and pumps.
A MOV will degrade slightly with every surge it suppresses. That is one reason why buying a used surge protector can be a gamble depending on how much surge energy it has absorbed in its life.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:11 PM   #17
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"The big difference between a pedestal-mounted unit and a hard-wired unit is that the hard-wired unit also checks for defects in your power cable and plug. A pedestal-mounted one may not be able to do that. So if your own plug goes bad or the cable has a loose connection in your lug, the pedestal-mounted inits likely cannot protect you from all of the damage that will cause."

X2. This is important.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:41 PM   #18
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Thanks for all your input

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ View Post
Hello,
this question has probably been asked 1000 times but..

I have a RockWood 30 amp travel trailer. What are your recommendations for a surge protector, or EMS? Cost is a factor, so be gentle please.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks everyone for all your great input. I believe I found a solution with a Progressive Industries EMS.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:29 PM   #19
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A MOV will degrade slightly with every surge it suppresses. That is one reason why buying a used surge protector can be a gamble depending on how much surge energy it has absorbed in its life.
Yup, except technically it does not "absorb" the surge; it conducts it to ground. The one in my home has two green LEDs. When one is not lit anymore the unit needs replaced.

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Old 09-12-2019, 05:32 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone for all your great input. I believe I found a solution with a Progressive Industries EMS.
If you're going to install it yourself do yourself a favor and wander over to Harbor Freight and buy a cheapo cable cutter. It will have long handles and the cutters to make a clean cut.

It may not be as important for a 30-amp cable but it's definitely worth the cost for a 50-amp cable even if you just use it once or twice.

Pay close attention to the instructions and watch a video if any are available. Things have to go in certain places.

Ray
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