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Old 06-30-2022, 12:57 PM   #1
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Soft Startup rv surge protector

Hi Happy frog-ers,

I am interested in installing a soft start in my TT.

The first choice is the typical unit that you install in the AC unit itself and if I went with this unit what make and model would you recommend?

I then noticed that there is a device that just plugs into the shore power plug and it does both the soft startup and a surge protector.

https://softstartup.com/

Any feedback or suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 06-30-2022, 01:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Vibe101 View Post
Hi Happy frog-ers,

I am interested in installing a soft start in my TT.

The first choice is the typical unit that you install in the AC unit itself and if I went with this unit what make and model would you recommend?

I then noticed that there is a device that just plugs into the shore power plug and it does both the soft startup and a surge protector.

https://softstartup.com/

Any feedback or suggestions?

Thanks


Innovative idea and great alternative to spending time on your roof, but very pricey at $899. The Micro Air Easy Starts I installed this past March were well under $300 each when I bought mine and only took less than an hour of roof time to install. Better be sure to secure it well against theft to the power post when camping.

For just about the regular price of one of these, I not only installed two on my RV, but also have a Hughes Watchdog EMS, which is a big step up from a surge protector. For all three I spent about $750 total.

I think this will be a good, competitive alternative to roof mounted Soft Starts and Easy Starts if they can manage to get the price under $400 tho.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:07 PM   #3
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One Vote for Microair Easy Start 364

Sorry, shoulda gave you my official recommendation. I installed the Microair Easy Start 364's on my two Coleman Mach 15 AC units. Installation was so easy and the process to train the system is fool-proof. HIGHLY recommend them to anyone.

I also researched the SoftStart RV alternative and I don't think you'll regret installing this one on your roof either. I only went with the Microair Easy Start instead because I was able to get them for $289.00 each earlier this year, while SoftStart RV raised their price per unit to $335.00 when I was looking to buy.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:27 PM   #4
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Kinda cool. I typically don't like combining functions, preferring separate protection and dedicated feature sets, but - if it works well - nice concept. $899 MSRP is a complete non-starter, but the introductory price of $599 is *starting* to be competitive with premium EasyStart and a Progressive Industries surge protector. For my dollar: I'd still go separate items, and bolster my solar and battery banks.

Full disclosure: I went with a Microair EasyStart on myColeman Mach 15 AC (paired with their EZ Touch thermostat), and a Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X for electrical protection on my little Roo.

Note, the comparison chart seems a little less-than-Accurate on their website.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:07 PM   #5
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Kinda cool. I typically don't like combining functions, preferring separate protection and dedicated feature sets, but - if it works well - nice concept. $899 MSRP is a complete non-starter, but the introductory price of $599 is *starting* to be competitive with premium EasyStart and a Progressive Industries surge protector. For my dollar: I'd still go separate items, and bolster my solar and battery banks.

Full disclosure: I went with a Microair EasyStart on myColeman Mach 15 AC (paired with their EZ Touch thermostat), and a Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X for electrical protection on my little Roo.

Note, the comparison chart seems a little less-than-Accurate on their website.


I agree its a great solution if you have physical limitations that prevent you from going on your roof to install one. But, if not, I'm in the same camp as you of having separate solutions for the jobs. If this product is fried saving the RV from a surge or lightning hit, you lose both functions.

You recall what you paid in total for both Microair products and your EMS?
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:25 PM   #6
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very undecided if i would deal with this company


No phone number
the address is a ups store?

NetworkRV LLC
7378 W. Atlantic Blvd.,
Box 366
Margate, FL 33063
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:25 PM   #7
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Opinion

Looks interesting, but I'd say a bit overpriced. If a surge hits the system, I don't see any indication that "surge protection" is valid. Often a surge takes out the surge protection components and they have to be replaced. If that is even possible. A dual unit like this would likely be a one-time surge only and toss away. Many are.

I just purchased and received a 30A surge protector. Upon further examination, there is no indication that surge protection is active. I'm returning it for one which should have an indication that surge protection is live and working.

Again, many surge protectors are one-time only. Of course, small brief surges may not destroy the surge protection components. But without some indication, how is one to know?
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:35 PM   #8
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very undecided if i would deal with this company


No phone number
the address is a ups store?

NetworkRV LLC
7378 W. Atlantic Blvd.,
Box 366
Margate, FL 33063


I believe this product is made by the same folks as SoftStart RV. The main SoftStart RV home page is promoting the rooftop option or the pedestal option for your AC systems. Had to look twice at it to be sure.

https://www.softstartrv.com/
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:49 PM   #9
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Looks interesting, but I'd say a bit overpriced. If a surge hits the system, I don't see any indication that "surge protection" is valid. Often a surge takes out the surge protection components and they have to be replaced. If that is even possible. A dual unit like this would likely be a one-time surge only and toss away. Many are.

I just purchased and received a 30A surge protector. Upon further examination, there is no indication that surge protection is active. I'm returning it for one which should have an indication that surge protection is live and working.

Again, many surge protectors are one-time only. Of course, small brief surges may not destroy the surge protection components. But without some indication, how is one to know?


You make a good point about the effects of smaller, brief surges that don't completely fry the circuitry of the power protecting function. If it still worked afterwards, but I'd not feel comfortable with the reliability of it with soft starting both of my AC units. Especially after arresting a series of smaller surges, or spikes caused by a nearby lightning hit.
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Old 06-30-2022, 04:01 PM   #10
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Conceptually it's neat, but it does not help with an inverter based system where you don't have shore power. Admittedly not many folks do that, but I am one that does. I went with the MicroAir Easy Start version.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rhumblefish
Note, the comparison chart seems a little less-than-Accurate on their website.
This chart? Yes, I also noticed the comparison line of "UL Listed" is missing because only Micro-Air's EasyStart has that.

Ray
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:51 PM   #12
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Damn, $600? We got the Easy Start Bluetooth for just over $300. I never thought the bluetooth option would be useful, but, if you ever need to do a relearn procedure, you don't need to get up on the roof, and open the A/C to press the reset button. Handy. The install didn't take too long, and it lets us run the 13.5k AC on our Firman 2000w generator, or from a 20A circuit in the garage.
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Old 06-30-2022, 09:41 PM   #13
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I just installed soft start today and was very easy to install took less than an hour and that includes breaks because it was so hot out got it for 319 from soft start rv.
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Old 06-30-2022, 09:44 PM   #14
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Damn, $600? We got the Easy Start Bluetooth for just over $300.
If someone has two A/C's, that new pedestal product can handle both of them so the price difference gets a lot closer.

It seems like a pretty sophisticated device but I'm unsure how it deals with both A/C's starting almost at the same time or how it doesn't get fooled by a residential fridge.

Separate units deal with each A/C, well, separately. If someone has a 13.5K and a 15K A/C, how does a single unit work efficiently with both? Perhaps it has some fingerprinting capability.

My guess is that efficiency is sacrificed for ease of installation. Or it acts like an inrush current limiter. When it sees a huge peak it does its thing for some milliseconds regardless of what is actually causing the inrush.

Their FAQ also has a few weird answers but the FAQ may be work in progress. For example, it says it may work with two A/C's, not that it will.

And it says it will work with batteries and an inverter but that would require a big rewiring so the SoftStartUp could be between the inverter and the A/C units. That part is not in the FAQ answer.

It is an interesting idea for sure. The mobile app mentioned in the FAQ has some nice capabilities.

Ray
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:04 AM   #15
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You recall what you paid in total for both Microair products and your EMS?
Dug actual totals and sources up for you, buddy:

--------------------------

Micro-Air EasyStart 364 - Soft Start - ASY-364-X20-IP - $280.00 from hutchmountain.com in Feb of 21 (it's 299 now). If you DON'T get the thermostat (it's expensive), I'd think about trying to get the bluetooth easy start, just for additional data from the unit (currently sold out at Hutch Mountain).
Note: I also sprung for the install kit for an additional $10.00, worth it, imho

This was part of a slightly larger order that had a $30 discount, but a $28 shipping cost, so shipping was essentially free

--------------------------

EasyTouch RV 352 Black Thermostat | Micro-Air ASY-352-X01 - 235.14 @ marinepartssource.com in June '21 + free shipping. (it's ~232 now).

--------------------------

Progressive Industries Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector - $280.14 from Amazon.com June '21 with free shipping/prime ($279.99 now).

--------------------------

so, all said and done ~800 (plus my time/work to install - easy and fun, tho), but the separation and benefits were worth it to me (also you're adding a digital wifi+bluetooth controllable thermostat that is made to work in tandem with the EasyStart).

Likewise, I'm setup with significant solar/battery/inverter to be offgrid indefinitely (from a power perspective), so a pole-based softstart won't work for me, unless I plugged my trailer into my inverter just to run through the all-in-one device... so that's a nonstarter.

Were I to do it all again, I think I might consider hardwiring a 30amp EMS into the Roo - it's a slightly tempting theftable treat, and I'm carrying it anyway. I'd also want to make provisions to be able to bypass the EMS - for some just in case flexibility.

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:18 AM   #16
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Dug actual totals and sources up for you, buddy:

--------------------------

Micro-Air EasyStart 364 - Soft Start - ASY-364-X20-IP - $280.00 from hutchmountain.com in Feb of 21 (it's 299 now). If you DON'T get the thermostat (it's expensive), I'd think about trying to get the bluetooth easy start, just for additional data from the unit (currently sold out at Hutch Mountain).
Note: I also sprung for the install kit for an additional $10.00, worth it, imho

This was part of a slightly larger order that had a $30 discount, but a $28 shipping cost, so shipping was essentially free

--------------------------

EasyTouch RV 352 Black Thermostat | Micro-Air ASY-352-X01 - 235.14 @ marinepartssource.com in June '21 + free shipping. (it's ~232 now).

--------------------------

Progressive Industries Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector - $280.14 from Amazon.com June '21 with free shipping/prime ($279.99 now).

--------------------------

so, all said and done ~800 (plus my time/work to install - easy and fun, tho), but the separation and benefits were worth it to me (also you're adding a digital wifi+bluetooth controllable thermostat that is made to work in tandem with the EasyStart).

Likewise, I'm setup with significant solar/battery/inverter to be offgrid indefinitely, so a pole-based softstart won't work for me, unless I plugged my trailer into my inverter, and wastefully make 120v out of 12v, just to run through the all-in-one device, so it's really a nonstarter.

Were I to do it all again, I think I might consider hardwiring a 30amp EMS into the Roo - it's a slightly tempting theftable treat, and I'm carrying it anyway. I'd also want to make provisions to be able to bypass the EMS - for some just in case flexibility.

Hope this helps!

Damn, for less than what it costs (at the regular price) for the pedestal SoftStart RV, you got quite A LOT of extra goodies....way more than I did, for sure. Really like the looks of the Easy Touch Thermostat that I currently don't have in our rig.
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:47 AM   #17
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Were I to do it all again, I think I might consider hardwiring a 30amp EMS into the Roo - it's a slightly tempting theftable treat, and I'm carrying it anyway. I'd also want to make provisions to be able to bypass the EMS - for some just in case flexibility.

Hope this helps!

Yeah, my Hughes Watchdog connects to a post and is a tempting target too and probably would've done the same thing if I were given a do-over. Only thing we can do is make it hard as hell to walk off with, but not impossible with tools.

I lock my Watchdog EMS to the pedestal with a Master Python cable lock to start. 50amp cables are also VERY expensive to replace these days and mine is completely detachable from the RV and pedestal. So, I also have a short combination bike lock threaded thru the handle of the 50amp cable and thru the handle of the Watchdog where they connect. I then enclose those connected handles with the bike lock inside a Camco power ball (see below). The outside of the Camco ball is then locked with another padlock to keep someone from walking off with the 50amp cable. It's an extra plus that the ball keeps the cable to EMS connection a few inches off the ground and dry during wet conditions.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:51 AM   #18
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Damn, for less than what it costs (at the regular price) for the pedestal SoftStart RV, you got quite A LOT of extra goodies....way more than I did, for sure. Really like the looks of the Easy Touch Thermostat that I currently don't have in our rig.
Well, I definitely wanted to support MicroAir for a superb product set AND their dedication and commitment to our part of the industry. I was also out hunting bargain prices, adding up shipping costs and the like, figuring wholesale costs would work their way back to the manufacturers. All new, all purchased on my credit card (which has a warranty doubler). Trying to be smart about it all as an investment. Plus I sorta saw all these things as really important to me and my peace of mind + comfort: electrical protection for the rig (!) and AC when offgrid.

Admittedly, the thermostat is kinda frivolous (and fairly pricey) but – gosh darnit – don't you just WANT one of them little things? (way better than playing with the little piece of plastic trash that came OEM):
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:58 AM   #19
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Only thing we can do is make it hard as hell to walk off with, but not impossible with tools.
Smart moves. I generally like to benefit from the honesty of people and the trusting nature of the camping environment, but there are a few folks who need help being honest.

My Progressive EMS has a built in cable attachment (the metal tab on the cable btw the plug and the body of the unit) that I can use to lock to either a power pedestal or the rig or whatever presents itself.

Our last outing had us urban camping in downtown Milwaukee's fairgrounds, too, with enough unsavoriness around to make me happy to exercise some security precautions. Like you said, it's not enough to be completely secure (*nothing* is), we just need to make it difficult enough that a would-be thief is deterred and looks elsewhere for easier pickins.

I kinda like that camco ball. The boating world has trained me to be lazy and comfortable with an internal cable drum to extend out to the power pole at the dock, but that's not going to happen on my little guy. I usually wrap the extra power cord around the rear bumper mounted spare, and rely on that for some 'off the ground' protection as well as slowing down a would-be power cord thief.
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Vibe101 View Post
Hi Happy frog-ers,

I am interested in installing a soft start in my TT.

The first choice is the typical unit that you install in the AC unit itself and if I went with this unit what make and model would you recommend?

I then noticed that there is a device that just plugs into the shore power plug and it does both the soft startup and a surge protector.

https://softstartup.com/

Any feedback or suggestions?

Thanks
Interesting device. It would be good for people who don't want to climb on their roof to install the soft start or pay for an install.
I guess my only caution would be that it doesn't protect the rig from things like 'low voltage' as our EMS does.
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