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Old 10-26-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
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Surge protector needed?

Do I really need to buy a 30 amp and 50 amp
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrdevine View Post
Do I really need to buy a 30 amp and 50 amp


What are you talking about?
A surge protector is designed for lightning strikes and high voltages.
You may be tallking about a plug in that will drop out when voltage i the parj gets too high or too low then yes. Oh most of these devices also have surge protection for lightning strikes.

You can get away with not buying one but if you plug into a pedestal that has loose or worn plug it can cause problems. Also if you go to parks in mid summer when everyone has their AC on the voltage may be low which can cause problems.

The biggest and most expensive device that can be damaged is the refrigerator control board and that is a few hundred bucks.

Most people spend a few hundred on something like this.
If you have a 30 amp plug on your RV the get a 30 amp.

Portable Surge Guards With LCD Display - Product - Camping World


This is what I use in my motorhome
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cdrdevine View Post
Do I really need to buy a 30 amp and 50 amp
No you don't "really need" to buy any surge protector, but you might receive better feedback if you gave more information as to your situation and/or your reason (s) for asking.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Do I really need to buy a 30 amp and 50 amp
Nope!
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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assuming you're talking about a surge protector, i don't have one but i rarely camp with hookups.

if i stayed in RV parks that had hookups, all the time, i would buy one. you never know how consistent a park's power system is and it's good insurance.

as for 30 or 50, depends on what RV you have, since you didn't post that info.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
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I got a surge protector for my MH and at one RV park in Texas this last summer every site I was sent to by the owner showed a reversed polarity when I plugged into them. I got a refund and went down the road to the next park which I had no problem with. They are good insurance.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:51 PM   #7
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Ditto about being good insurance. Lot's of people don't have any problems with not using one but I rather not take the chance.

Once I picked one up I was happy because it came in handy the second time I used it. With the campground being only a year old I wouldn't expected all the problems they had. Of course it was *100+ for the July 4th holiday.

My unit is 30 amp so I have the 30 amp SP.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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But why are these things so expensive? Why can't a handyman make one cheaper? Are there any DIY plans somebody could share?
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
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Not cheap for sure.

The time was right when I brought mine. It was on sale for the lowest price of the year at CW and I had a $75 off coupon. I also went with the portable unit because of price.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Surge Protectors

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Originally Posted by tinkerreknit View Post
But why are these things so expensive? Why can't a handyman make one cheaper? Are there any DIY plans somebody could share?
Very good question, 1st time I've seen it posted here. Most surge protectors use a series of Varistor's to clamp spikes in supply voltage. I first saw them commercially in the early 1980's. Problem is they don't clamp sustained over voltage and more importantly they do not stop the effects of lighting strikes nearby. Way too many joules to clamp down in that case. I was curious like you why they are so expensive. We first used them in Radar installations with volt inputs and 5K + outputs. Mfg would blame the generator voltage spikes ruining their equipment. I took a failed spike protector home and "opened" it. It took hours using a good set of chisels to find the inside workings of this "surge protector". Amazing the electronics were set in epoxy pour, but with granite rock pebbles inserted in the pour and cure. Purpose was to keep people out. I discovered the unit cost us thousands of dollars and it was made of Varistor's worth $20 bucks. I guess the rest was in research and development? Just ask yourself, do I need one at home? CG use the same grid your home does. Low voltage is another issue not covered here.

You can buy varistor's in any electronic supply houses. Just size for the voltage/amperage your using and enclose. Make sure to design a bypass in your design case of failure.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #11
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A word 'surge protector' describes many different devices. An answer is not possible without first defining the problem.

For example, polarity reversal does not cause damage. But is an indicator of poorly trained workmanship that might create other undetected problems. But reverse polarity does not cause damage. A protector typicaly does not protect from polarity reversal.

Increased or decreased voltage, not harmful to electronics, may be harmful to electric motors. Some protectors only disconnect from AC mains when voltage changes too much. Those use switches; not varistors.

Current spikes that might harm electronics are typically hundreds of thosuands of joules. Two protector varieties exist. One located near appliances would somehow absorb that energy. Another connects that energy harmlessly to earth. Must be located as close as possible to the AC power pole earth ground. Not safety ground. Earth ground. Earth is where hundreds of thousands of joules (ie lightning) are harmlessly absorbed.

Those two devices both use varistors. Difference is whether those varistors connect short (low impedance) to earth.

Spike from generators are best solved inside a generator's design. Least expensive solution is a little more expensive generator that does not create those voltage variences and spikes. Protectors are not designed to avert continuous spikes such as from a generator. Protectors are for infrequent anomalies that might otherwise be destructive.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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To the OP

If by chance you are asking if you need to buy both units (30 amp & 50 amp) the answer is no. What RV do you have?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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My surge protector from progressive was about $80 for 30amp. Shows reverse polarity, open neutral, and open ground.

And reversed polarity CAN cause problems- # 1 you can be shocked- many things ground through the metal in them that you can come in contact with. # 2 ground and neutral is not made to handle the same load as positve side and can cause a fire, besides that my surge protector wont allow power to the trailer if reversed- so I'm not camping there.

Surge guards, power protectors and voltage regulators (which are much pricier) are different than a surge protector though some have the surge protection- some you have to use both for full protection.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom
A word 'surge protector' describes many different devices. An answer is not possible without first defining the problem.

For example, polarity reversal does not cause damage. But is an indicator of poorly trained workmanship that might create other undetected problems. But reverse polarity does not cause damage. A protector typicaly does not protect from polarity reversal.

Increased or decreased voltage, not harmful to electronics, may be harmful to electric motors. Some protectors only disconnect from AC mains when voltage changes too much. Those use switches; not varistors.

Current spikes that might harm electronics are typically hundreds of thosuands of joules. Two protector varieties exist. One located near appliances would somehow absorb that energy. Another connects that energy harmlessly to earth. Must be located as close as possible to the AC power pole earth ground. Not safety ground. Earth ground. Earth is where hundreds of thousands of joules (ie lightning) are harmlessly absorbed.

Those two devices both use varistors. Difference is whether those varistors connect short (low impedance) to earth.

Spike from generators are best solved inside a generator's design. Least expensive solution is a little more expensive generator that does not create those voltage variences and spikes. Protectors are not designed to avert continuous spikes such as from a generator. Protectors are for infrequent anomalies that might otherwise be destructive.
I would be very carefull of some of this advise and ask an electrician about it.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #15
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I am going to have to say that I recommend a surge protector. I have know a few people that have had pretty major electrical issues from surges at campgrounds. One was my former service manager at my tire store. He lost a lot of the wiring to the main circuit board. Had to replace the wiring to it and the board itself. I had a surge at a campground in Lancaster and it melted the surge protector. I can only imagine what it would have fried if I didn't have one. So, my opinion, get one, worth the money. I am sending one to the dealer to have it hardwired in my 320- that is one order.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #16
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Expense is in the eye of the beholder, $70,000+ MH is an expense that I'm willing to pay $200-300 to protect. Remember your home has a grounding rod driven into the ground at the electrical meter to protect it. So I guess you could get real cheap and drive a cooper rod and wire into the ground everytime you set up at a camp.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #17
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Yep cheap insurance for sure.

That's Also why you need to know for sure that the ground and neutral are wired properly, since we can't have ground rods we are only grounded through our cords and trusting our power post.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:59 PM   #18
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Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable Surge Guard - Surge Guards - Power Protection - Electrical

this is the one I use..... and good insurance? I don't think I would ever plus into any power source without first plugging the surge guard in.... I like this particular one because it uses the integrated polarity tester to the check the status of the source prior to use.... I blew the fuse and a GFCI in my old trailer and had to replace an outlet and a fuse..... not doing that again.....
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable Surge Guard - Surge Guards - Power Protection - Electrical

this is the one I use..... and good insurance? I don't think I would ever plus into any power source without first plugging the surge guard in.... I like this particular one because it uses the integrated polarity tester to the check the status of the source prior to use.... I blew the fuse and a GFCI in my old trailer and had to replace an outlet and a fuse..... not doing that again.....
I too recommend the Progressive Industries product. I would strongly recommend the EMS (Electrical Management System) not only a surge protector but measures voltage high and low, open neutral, open ground, reverse polarity, time delay for A/C compressor. I prefer the hard wired version with the remote display so I can see what the voltage is at any time.

This summer my Progressive EMS-HW50C possibly saved me an air conditioner compressor as the temperature outside was 107 degrees F, older COE campground with less than adequate electrical power, many big rigs with two A/C's running full force, voltage would go down less than 104 volts. The Progressive unit would shut power off power to my rig until voltage went above 104. I moved to another area of the park where there were not as many campers and on a different electrical run and had no problems. Thanks to the Progressive EMS I still have a A/C compressor and some of the folks in that campground probably are having theirs repaired.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:16 AM   #20
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ok ........ a question We currently have a 50 amp surge protector. Next weekend we are camping with 30 amp. Do we plug the 50 amp into the RV then connect the 50/30 thingy in??? We never plug in without the surge protector. Just not sure with a park that is 30 amp!! I hope this makes sense! Thanks.........
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