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Old 06-19-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
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Do i really need a 50 amp surge/ems system?

We recently bought a new Arctic Wolf 265dbh8 and it has a 50 amp cord coming out of it. However, per the Forrest River literature, it sounds as though the only reason they put a 50 amp cord on was in case you decided to add a second A/C unit.

So with that said, do i really need a 50 amp surge/ems system if i don't have or intend in the near future to get a second a/c unit?

I've never used a surge/ems system on any camper in my lifetime, but seems like it could be a wise investment.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:49 AM   #2
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I have a 50 amp unit and often camp in a spot with only 30 amp service. In 10 plus years of camping I have never used a surge protector. If you have a 50 amp camper and downgrade to 30 amp you will rarely have issues. The only time I have had problems was when the air was on and I was making breakfast with coffee pot and griddle on and wife did her hair.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:54 AM   #3
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Yes, even though you don't have the 2nd A/C I would still get a 50A EMS. The reason being that a 30A RV has one 110v 30A leg and a 50A RV has 2x 110v 50A legs. As such, it's not actually just a 20A difference, it's a 70A difference with the legs combined. The second A/C would likely use the second 50A leg and the rest of the RV uses the first 50A leg so you could still potentially pull 50A off the first leg, but if you have a 30A EMS then it would be overloaded and shutdown.

Always make sure the electrical system is properly matched and that you are never stepping down your supply, only step up. Some folks use a 50A -> 30A adapter in a pinch but they have to be careful so that they don't keep tripping the 30A breaker.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:05 PM   #4
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It is a wise investment to have the EMS and I would go with the 50amp yes it will cost more but then maybe you might just decide to add the 2nd air especially if you head south or west during summer months. It also depends wheather you have a 15000 btu ac or did it come with ma 13500 btu ac. Later RJD
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie1280 View Post
We recently bought a new Arctic Wolf 265dbh8 and it has a 50 amp cord coming out of it. However, per the Forrest River literature, it sounds as though the only reason they put a 50 amp cord on was in case you decided to add a second A/C unit.

So with that said, do i really need a 50 amp surge/ems system if i don't have or intend in the near future to get a second a/c unit?

I've never used a surge/ems system on any camper in my lifetime, but seems like it could be a wise investment.
Yes you do need the 50 amp EMS, since as you stated the RV is already wired for 50 amps which will have TWO incoming hot legs, each capable of 50 amps. In comparison, a 30 amp system only has ONE incoming hot leg capable of 30 amps.

Your 50 amp RV will have a split circuit breaker panel, with some stuff wired to L1 (one leg) and other stuff wired to L2 (the other leg). It won't just be the air-conditioners. See this example pic below for L1 on the left hand side of the main, and L2 on the right hand side of the main.

You have to have an EMS that protects both legs (L1 and L2)






This link will help explain the differences between a 120 volt 30 amp system, and the 120/240 volt split phase 50 amp system.

https://www.rvtechmag.com/electrical/chapter3.php
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:22 PM   #6
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I edited my above post with more info and pics. You can look at your distribution panel in your RV to see how they have things wired to both sides (L1 and L2).... thus the need for a 50 amp EMS to properly protect/manage both sides/legs/lines.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:33 PM   #7
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yes, while the nomenclature of the RV Industry is '50amp RV service', it is really 100 amps....

don't just look at your new coach as only an additional 20amps..... it's 70amps more! and
that let's you do a LOT more, ALL at the same time, than traditional 30amp service.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:00 PM   #8
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"50 AMP" RV service, being actually a 240 volt service, can suffer from excessive voltage on one leg due to an "Open Neutral Fault". This cannot happen on a standard 30 AMP RV service, which is only 120 volts. For this reason, an EMS is a reasonable idea for 50 amp hookups. INFO HERE:

Open Neutral
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:11 PM   #9
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Ditto....YES you need one.
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
"50 AMP" RV service, being actually a 240 volt service, can suffer from excessive voltage on one leg due to an "Open Neutral Fault". This cannot happen on a standard 30 AMP RV service, which is only 120 volts. For this reason, an EMS is a reasonable idea for 50 amp hookups. INFO HERE:

Open Neutral
I will second this and say an EMS is much more important with 50 amp service than with 30 amp service. Unless you always plan on defeating the 50 amp capability by using a 30 amp dogbone.

Anyway, with 50 amp service you have 240 volts going into your RV even though all circuits are just 120 volts. So thru faulting wiring at the CG it is possible for your 120 volt circuits to see 240 volts accidentally. I know of other Rvers that have fried their microwave, converter and TV at a minimum due to this overvoltage. Also A/C if it is running. Even if you use a voltmeter to verify correct wiring prior to hooking up, a fault can happen at any time and you are the looser. Cost of repairs will exceed the cost of a good 50 amp surge/EMS system.
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