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Old 07-20-2015, 12:45 PM   #1
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
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Surge protection/EMS, portable or hardwired?

Reading this thread:
Is my 30 amp Cable Toast? got me thinking.
I know there could be other things that caused the issue in the above thread, but for arguments sake, lets say it was a surge.
In a case like this, would a portable unit be better? Since the portable unit would be between the campers power cord and the pedestal, when it cut the power, then nothing would be coming through the power cord.
With a hardwired unit, the power would still be running through the cord to the EMS. Meaning that if it is an over-voltage situation, then the potential is there to cause damage to the power cord and receptacle on the trailer. In this case it just resulted in a few burned prongs, but worst case scenario could be much more damage.
Any thoughts? Am I over thinking this?

2016 Flagstaff 23LB
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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You might be overthinking this, but then again, maybe not. If his issue was high resistance in the plug to trailer connector the portable EMS might not "see" that, as it would be just another load. An internal EMS would be able to see the problem as the resistance would cause a drop in voltage. I don't know if it would be enough to trigger a shutdown or not.

With that being said I feel I should relate an incident I encountered a couple of years ago. I was camp hosting and one of our regular long termers was having a problem with his EMS shutting him down at odd times sometime days or weeks apart. He swore it was the park but I convinced him that it wasn't. Eventually I traced the problem to his crossover switch. (is that the right name? The switch for genny of shore) anyway, When I opened it up I found a loose neutral wire. It was white but brown on the end. So even though it was past the EMS it was still causing it to trip. I did not like the unit he had because all it would tell you is that it tripped, not why. If it had told me why it tripped I think I would have found the problem sooner.

Joel K
Southeast AZ
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:07 PM   #3
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Good point jk. If it was a high resistance in the plug to trailer connection, the hardwired internal EMS may or may not shut the power off to the unit as you said, either way the issue at the connection would still be there. I guess neither the hardwired or portable unit would solve that.
On a facebook RV page someone posted a pic of their camper that burned up while they were away. They were still investigating the cause of the fire but I have to wonder if a situation like the one in the original post could cause a major fire after a prolonged period of time.
I am kind of surprised no one else has weighed in on this. Maybe I should have asked "Which surge suppressor should I buy?"
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