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Old 12-05-2019, 06:44 AM   #1
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Surge protectors....do I need one?

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!
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
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!
Yes, yes, progressive and because I think it is the best there is.
Mike
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:54 AM   #3
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Only "IF" you want one. I've had TT's since 1984 and have never put one on a single TT we've owned. If you feel better with one, then by all means get one. Totally a "personal preference" type of thing.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:22 AM   #4
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Do research. Be sure you buy an
EMS ($200-300) and not just a plain surge protector. ($75-$100). Low voltage is the most common problem in the campgrounds.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:40 AM   #5
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Do research. Be sure you buy an
EMS ($200-300) and not just a plain surge protector. ($75-$100). Low voltage is the most common problem in the campgrounds.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:45 AM   #6
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Where does this surge protector go? At the point of connection to shore power? Or inside the RV before or after the converter/inverter? Do some good converters have built in surge protection?
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:51 AM   #7
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Where does this surge protector go? At the point of connection to shore power? Or inside the RV before or after the converter/inverter? Do some good converters have built in surge protection?

You decide. Progressive has both. If hardwired inside then put it anywhere between where the power cord enters the trailer and the main panel.

Btw my storage area has power spikes up to 135v. The progressive disconnects power to avoid trailer damage when this happens.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:55 AM   #8
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Do you need one? Probably not. We’ve been RV camping for over 20 years without a surge protector, mostly hooked up to campsite pedestals, and we’ve never had a problem with power quality.

Having said that, I will soon be installing a Progressive EMS anyway, just to try it out. That brand was recommended by others on this forum.

You can install portable units in-line with your power cord at the post, or hard-wired units installed internal to the camper just prior to the converter. I chose to go with an inside unit for convenience and no worry about theft.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:40 AM   #9
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never had one, don't 'need' one, and have seen a lot of less-than-normal electrical situations and still have never had any adverse effects....100,000+ miles plus over 5 yrs.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:59 AM   #10
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Do you need one? Absolutely not.
But if you want one, or having one will provide you peace of mind, then by all means, buy one. They are a form of insurance.
A few years back several members of our fairly large RV group invested in them. After a few years, only one is still religiously using the EMS. The rest either included them as part of the package when selling their old RV and didn't replace them for the new RV, or just sold the EMS. Why? They all said they were a bigger PITA then they were worth with false or unneeded alarms causing frequent power interruptions. And , if I remember correctly, they were all Progressive EMS units.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalina_Wine_Mixer View Post

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. I think so. We have a Progressive Portable which you attach to the campground post and then plug into that. The advantage for me is that if you can test the electric connection BEFORE you back up and hook everything up.
2. Use ours all the time. It has detected reverse polarity many times and protects from low as well as high voltage.
3. This one.... but there are many lower price ones available.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
4. Liked the features. We've found that low voltage and reverse polarity are the main problems we've found in campgrounds.

Can you do without one? Probably. We just didn't want to take the risk with all the electronic in our rig.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:35 AM   #12
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Recommended yes .... need no .... BIL been camping 20 years says it is a waste of money ... I have one
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalina_Wine_Mixer View Post
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?
1. Need, no. But it's like condoms and insurance, it's there in case crap happens.
2. Yes, I've used one since I went fulltime. For the 4 years of RVing prior to that, I didn't have one.
3. I use the Progressive Industries Electric Monitoring System (EMS). Surge Guard also makes an EMS that I would consider. Their products used to be substandard with quite a few reports of them "burning out" but the build quality seems better these days.
4. PI was the gold standard for a long time.

One campground I frequent has a sign at their guard gate that says they're not responsible for faulty electric and recommend the use of an electrical protection device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perseid88 View Post
Where does this surge protector go? At the point of connection to shore power? Or inside the RV before or after the converter/inverter? Do some good converters have built in surge protection?
See this article for the pros and cons of portable vs. hard-wired:
https://learntorv.com/what-surge-pro...est-for-my-rv/

Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
They all said they were a bigger PITA then they were worth with false or unneeded alarms causing frequent power interruptions.
Depending on your view of low voltage, I can see the statement of "unneeded alarms". Some folks are perfectly fine running their system on voltage in the 90-105v range.

But, I've never experienced false alarms and I've been in a couple hundred campgrounds and campsites in the last 4 years. The only false reports I've ever heard of are faulty units that were found at time of installation and that's pretty rare. Otherwise, I've never read of other reports of false alarms.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:37 AM   #14
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I can't/won't speak for anyone else... but I think I need one. My Progressive EMS 50a hardwired unit has flagged low voltage a few times. On the other end of the spectrum, mine flagged high voltage (138vAC) several times in one night. Would 138v hurt my stuff? I dunno. I'm no electrician - but I didn't like the sound of it. The next day, COE park staff ran all campers out and closed the park saying high water had gotten into their power center.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:05 PM   #15
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Yes, yes, progressive and because I think it is the best there is.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:41 PM   #16
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Been RVing for 30+ years and never thought much about a surge protector until this last summer. While in N AZ (pinetop) we experienced a lightning storm which took out a tree about 100 yards from our trailer. It hit a tree but wiped out everything electrical inside a nearby trailer (about 8 feet from the tree). That kinda scared us so we bought the progressive EMS unit. a couple weeks later we had another lightning storm which hit one of the trailers nearby taking all its electrical components down. Our EMS shut us down due to high voltages but protected us.



Besides the protection provided, I love that I can see the voltage and more importantly amp usage on each leg every few seconds. It provides information and peace of mind and I no longer have to worry in the frequent Arizona monsoon thunderstorms.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:01 PM   #17
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Definitely Progressive. They stand behind their product 200%
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:04 PM   #18
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EMS

I think it depends on where you camp. If small Mom & Pop campsites, Yes. As others have said, get an EMS. I have a EMS, life time warranty {Progressive?} if it gets fried. The EMS is an insurance policy, it sacrifices itself to protect your expensive electronic equipment, as will a surge protector. It does a lot more as it checks for low power, polarity and low voltage when connecting to power. Mine has a 30 second test it runs when connecting, if voltage drops in the night it will disconnect and then reconnect. Mine was an error number that comes up, low power is the most common. We travel 3-4 months of the year, about 1 time a year we will see a problem. If you get one, get a good 6' cable lock to go w/ it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 03:24 PM   #19
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EMS

I use an EMS only because of a previous trailer that I had plugged in at my home I burned out the converter in the trailer and a tv in my house. I know parks are not wired as good as my house. That is why I have one.
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Old 12-05-2019, 03:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Do you need one? Absolutely not.
But if you want one, or having one will provide you peace of mind, then by all means, buy one. They are a form of insurance.
A few years back several members of our fairly large RV group invested in them. After a few years, only one is still religiously using the EMS. The rest either included them as part of the package when selling their old RV and didn't replace them for the new RV, or just sold the EMS. Why? They all said they were a bigger PITA then they were worth with false or unneeded alarms causing frequent power interruptions. And , if I remember correctly, they were all Progressive EMS units.
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