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Old 12-09-2019, 10:52 PM   #81
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One reason I installed an EMS is because some significant systems are computer-controlled and have no manual backup: slides, awnings, water pump, outside lights, tank heaters, etc. Fortunately the Onan generator can also be started manually. Heck, even the jacks have electronic controls.

I didnít opt for those types of controls and I would prefer they not be there but it is what it is. Iíd rather not get stuck somewhere at an inopportune time.

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Old 12-10-2019, 04:34 AM   #82
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There is another reason for having an EMS that I did not see mentioned. How many times have you had power go off during a storm and quickly return? If that happens with the AC on, the compressor could be energized at the wrong time in it's cycle and be damaged. An EMS has a built-in time delay to allow the AC compressor to normalize before restarting. That just covered the cost of the EMS.
We hardwired ours. It is a PI unit and comes with a short delay, but that can be changed to a 116 second (Odd number I know) delay by removing one jumper inside the unit.

I opted to remove it for the longer delay to insure the AC units do not start up while winding down as you mentioned.

For those who dont' want to buy one, DON'T buy one. Just don't chastise those of us who have one.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:51 AM   #83
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I compare it to a vehicle's seat belt. By the time you realize you need one, if NOT already in place, the damage will already be done. Unless the $200 ~ $500 you'll spend up front will be a true financial hardship, I'd recommend getting a GOOD model and USE IT REGULARLY. I have the Surge Guard Model#34950 (for 50A service) Made by Southwire. You should ALWAYS check a power pedestal BEFORE connecting to it (using a DMM). My Surge Guard unit performs the necessary checks in under a minute and alerts me to any problems. As already mentioned, low voltage is a common problem that can cause expensive damage in an RV. The one time expense of a quality Electrical Management System (EMS) is, in my opinion, worth the cost. One "save" and the unit will have paid for itself. If you're on a very tight budget, it should be something on your "want list". A quick Google search shows Walmart selling Surge Guards for $221.51 (30A model) and, $292.22 (50A model). 50A models can be used on 30A outlets via a 50 ~ 30 adapter (and vice versa). In case you're not aware, you should ALWAYS shut the circuit breaker off BEFORE you plug into OR disconnect from a pedestal. Plugging / unplugging to an energized receptacle will cause sparking / arcing which, over time, will damage your equipment (as well as the pedestal receptacles). An EXCELLENT book on RV electrical use and safety is Mike Sokol's "No Shock Zone" available as a paperback or ebook at Amazon. Mike regularly write articles for Chuck Woodbury's Excellent newsletter :RVTravel.com (which, in my opinion, should be required reading for all RVers).

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Surge-Gua...?selected=true

https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

https://www.rvtravel.com
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:01 PM   #84
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After many years of not thinking I needed a surge protector a blown converter and $800 replacement changed my mind. I wouldnít be without one now. Our converter was fried when a camper plugged his rig into the shared power post and some how shorted out a row of power posts. The result was 4 rigs with blown converters or GFCI circuits. Insurance covered the damage but we couldnít use our rig for a while .
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:23 PM   #85
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"if a surge protector is necessary, why are they not included as part of the RV and installed at factory"

I got a chuckle from this, and I dont mean this as picking on this response, but my first thought was, "my RV didnt come equipped with a water regulator either, but I sure as #### wont be camping without one...". Like most things, people arent going to be swayed from their position on it. If you want one, use one. If you dont want to use one, dont use one. We are approaching 100 responses, and the only thing that is clear is that this is a personal preference, no different than choosing which color tow vehicle to drive. Do what makes you feel comfortable. I may be the minority, but I tend to enjoy these types of threads, to see the varying reasons for why people choose to go the direction they went. Why they use one or dont. Why they use a modified version (like installing the portable inside a compartment), etc.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:14 PM   #86
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It's like a lot a things in life that is a waste of money except for the one in a million that will wish they had one if needed. We are full timers and were in a COE in FL when the daily thunderstorm hit and lightning hit a tree across the road from us and the MH under the tree and completely fried his electrical box inside the unit, said he didn't believe in those EMS units and was a waste of money until now. They have been camping for 12 yrs and never needed one "until". We purchased our "Progressive" before our 1st trip for peace of mind if nothing else. As always Have fun & Be safe
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:26 PM   #87
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This thread reminds me I need to dig out my hard hat with the meteorite proof coating and start wearing it all the time, just in case
I would probably use an EMS if someone gave me one, but since that won't happen, I'll just continue to rely on my regular insurance to cover anything that happens.
There is always something better to spend that $400 on.....
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:51 PM   #88
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Hey Catalina Wine Mixer,

I don't know if you need one or not. I installed one(Progressive Ind. EMS-HW50C) for my camper. I am just one piece closer to having one of everything. After all of the stories that have been told here, I can't add a new one. If you want one get one.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:05 PM   #89
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I bought this one and installed it in about a an hour. I installed right behind the fuse panel.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:04 AM   #90
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So much info and first hand experience, than you.

Iím looking at the following:

Surge guard 34930
Progressive PT30x

They are both resettable if they trip right? Itís my understanding that some are one time use.

Any others to consider?
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:55 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Catalina_Wine_Mixer View Post
So much info and first hand experience, than you.

Iím looking at the following:

Surge guard 34930
Progressive PT30x

They are both resettable if they trip right? Itís my understanding that some are one time use.

Any others to consider?

The surge protection portion of ALL EMS units and ALL surge protectors is a consumable item. Protection is provided by gizmos called MOVs. They die a bit with every surge until all capacity is consumed then must be replaced.

EMS units that disconnect your RV from the power source due to over/under power, mis-wiring, etc. are acting as a switch. When the issue causing the disconnect is gone, it will restore power. This capability will work nearly forever, everything breaks eventually.
Your EMS manufacturer may replace the surge protection MOVs once they are consumed, probably for a price. Send it in for repair.

I THINK the MOVs may be user replaceable on some hard wired EMS units.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:49 PM   #92
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Surge protection

I never used them in the first few years of camping but do now as I read about multiple issues others have
Imagine in a large rv park where huge rigs with their dual air conditioners and/ or electric heaters blasting away
Power will ultimately fluctuate a lot. Same with water pressure and using an inexpensive pressure regulators
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:05 PM   #93
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Yep, RV forums are excellent for dissemination of information, opinions, AND the sale of accessories that you may or may not need
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #94
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Protection

Both are good units. I have and prefer the Progressive Industry's brand. It was made in America, I have never heard any negative comments when dealing w/ warranty or use. It has saved us 1 time in 3 years-low voltage.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:50 PM   #95
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I have a PI EMS and use it even with my home hook up or generator (trust this even less than campground power). It tripped once for low voltage at a campground. I believe someone on my loop had an inductive stove that dropped voltage just enough. I am not sure if it really saved me from anything. I have surge suppressors on my home and they have saved me at least 3 times that I know of so better safe than sorry. It is insurance and a personal choice. I agree with Fred's risk profile analysis as to if it is worth it for you to purchase.

I have a question for those with autoformers....Doesn't the autoformer have surge built in as well? I get why you want one or the other so no need to justify them I just thought the autoformer would cover the voltage spikes and drops and the surge function would be cheap to add to it that they would include it. I also would assume they don't play well together...if you put EMS first it cuts power before boosted, after and you can be over voltage when boosted? I am asking. I dont know but would like to. Maybe we save the OP and others some money if they only have to buy one.
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #96
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I have a question for those with autoformers....Doesn't the autoformer have surge built in as well? I get why you want one or the other so no need to justify them I just thought the autoformer would cover the voltage spikes and drops and the surge function would be cheap to add to it that they would include it. I also would assume they don't play well together...if you put EMS first it cuts power before boosted, after and you can be over voltage when boosted? I am asking. I dont know but would like to. Maybe we save the OP and others some money if they only have to buy one.
Some models do and some do not. Mine does, the Hughes Autoformer with "SP" as part of its model name: https://hughesautoformers.com/produc...ter-and-surge/

The autoformer is connected between the PI EMS and the pedestal. If the incoming voltage is low then the autoformer boosts it and the PI EMS sees normal voltage. The autoformer does not over-boost the voltage. That model also checks for bad pedestal wiring. I hard-wired both of them. (Well, the autoformer is permanently mounted in the electrical bay but technically is not "hard-wired".)

You can find them on sale sometimes as part of other sales. I grabbed mine from Camping World online because they had the Hughes Autoformer on sale and they also had a discount code at the top of each page. While the verbiage said the discount code could not be used with back-ordered items it took the code and I paid under $500 total.

Why did I spend the money? On our very second trip we kept having low voltage cut-outs (and it was) so we kept losing one half of the coach and an air conditioner or the other half depending on the day

Ray
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #97
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Yes, autoformers do have surge protection. Autoformers will inform you with lights of good connections. Autoformer's will not stop the flow of electricity if there is a problem with the shore power. If you don't pay attention the the lights the bad wiring goes straight to your RV.

Autoformers don't stop the flow of electricity on the high end. They just continue to bust high voltage by 2% instead of 10%.

Best protection is Autoformer in front of EMS.
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:14 PM   #98
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... Best protection is Autoformer in front of EMS.
The best protection is never plug in to shore power!

Of course that goes along with don't ever fill your fresh tank, don't drink the campground water, only pull with a diesel 1 ton dually, never leave your outside lights on overnight, don't poop in the toilet, don't walk on the roof, never touch the sewer hose without gloves, never run the refrigerator on LP going down the road... oops.. my tin hat just fell off!
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:49 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Catalina_Wine_Mixer View Post
Hello all,

Lets talk about surge protectors. As a newbie to the TT/RV world I have questions

1. Do I need a surge protector?
2. Do you use one?
3. What do you use/recommend?
4. Why do you recommend that one?

Thanks!
1. Need? No.
2. Yes, I do.
3. Progressive.
4. Reviews and warranty.


In 3 years, I have never had it shut me down. But it only takes one bad pedestal to do major damage. It's just another insurance policy. Last year, my Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X died because it somehow got water inside. Progressive replaced it.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:09 PM   #100
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Do you need a surge protector?

A lot of folks posted that that don't use surge protectors or haven't ever had a power problem in years. I see it like health or life insurance. We don't always need it but its there when there is a problem. Those folks that never had a problem at RV parks never experienced major power fluctuations. Imagine in the heat of the summer in Florida where all the RV parks have those huge class A rigs blasting their double AC's on. Or in the freeze of winter where everyone has their electric heaters on. I've read RV parks blowing circuit breakers and having small fire problems in the power circuits during these times. I myself also never had a problem yet and have been camping for 20 years. Same with a water pressure regulator. Better to have one than blow the internal pipes inside your rig. Phil
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