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Old 09-01-2015, 09:14 AM   #41
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Ok Ok I am convinced too. Even though we boondock 75% of the time we are going to get one. I assume Wally World, or any RV supplier will have one?

I am now wondering if I should plug into my genny plug too? Low voltage or surge could happen right? I do not have a transfer switch. When I run off the Genny I plug my 30A chord into a receptacle inside my electrical compartment. I could put the portable SP in between
I use a portable unit and just plug it into the generator and go. With a hard wired unit it is not an option, same thing, just plug and go. Anytime I hook up to any power source I have it in line, even at home. It can't hurt anything so why not?

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Old 09-01-2015, 10:09 AM   #42
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the images i posted was from our trailer which was not protected.
merely plugged into the power block at the site.
it was an open ground issue? (I'm not an power guy)

The campground attempted to blame a power surge across town for the damages however the owner knew exactly where to dig the next morning to find what I photographed and sent to my insurance company and lawyer when their insurance company refused to pay any of our collective damages.

What the dug up was an alunimum ground cable which was chaulk powder that had been attached to a copper line - no coating for protection against deterioration and was merely electrical taped - some 10 yrs earlier.
I called in a buddy of mine who just happened to be the areas Chief Electrical Inspector and he had them rip up all the work they did in the previous 10 yrs (all done without permits apparently)

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Articles.asp?ID=279
gives the reader a solid comparison on what units protect against and what they don't
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:03 PM   #43
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:20 PM   #44
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I don't want to discuss surge protector or not or what brand, but the better ones also protect from power surges caused by lightning and that's why I prefer a portable unit it will stop the meltdown well outside my trailer if - heaven forbid - it ever happens.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:22 PM   #45
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I prefer a portable unit it will stop the meltdown well outside my trailer if - heaven forbid - it ever happens
Any protector that meltsdown or even fails was not doing protection. Two parameters apply. 'First' is its maximum current. Only some claim to conduct at least 50,000 amps. A protector must be at least that robust to protect from multiple destructive surges such as lightning. And to not be a fire threat.

'Second' is the low impedance connection to earth. Not safety ground; earth ground. That connection should be at least less than 10 feet. Unfortunately, the impedance (ie length of that connection) is not discussed. That impedance determines the 'second' consideration - protection during each surge.

For that completely different surge called lightning, linemen errors, or due to stray cars, the relevant considerations are protector life expectancy and effective protection during each surge. This is completely different from other anomalies such as 200 volts on 120 volt lines, reverse polarity, floating ground, or brownouts.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:15 AM   #46
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That type protector is only needed when low voltage would be a problem for powered on motorized appliances. If motorized appliances are not on, then low voltage is not a problem. Then this type protector need not protect anything.
I have a Progressive EMS. I don't know what you thought I was talking about, but the EMS does much more than just protect against low voltage. More importantly, it protects against a missing neutral which would fry everything in a 50 amp rig and protects against reverse polarity and missing grounds which could fry people!
Whenever you have low voltage, your powered devices pull more current in an attempt to get the power they need. This will cook non motorized devices as well as motorized devices.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:35 AM   #47
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Whenever you have low voltage, your powered devices pull more current in an attempt to get the power they need. This will cook non motorized devices as well as motorized devices.
It is an international design standard even 40+ years ago. Electronic devices will operate on any low voltage without damage. Or just power off. Tom MacIntyre demonstrated same:
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We operate everything on an isolated variac, which means that I can control the voltage going into the unit I am working on from about 150 volts down to zero. This enables us to verify power regulation for over and under-voltage situations.
... they can and will regulate with very low voltages on the AC line in; the best I've seen was a TV which didn't die until I turned the variac down to 37 VAC! A brownout wouldn't have even affected the picture on that set.
Another design standard has this expression, in capital letters, in the entire low voltage section: No Damage Region.

Low voltage does not damage properly designed electronics. Otherwise even power off would cause hardware damage.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:34 AM   #48
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When Does Poor Power Quality Cause Electronics Failures? | Sags/Swells/Interruptions content from Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine



"The impact of voltage sag

We can hardly assume our electronic hardware operates from a distribution network with zero internal impedance, receives a pure undistorted sine wave, and never sees line voltage variations of 55% from nominal. Yet that's exactly what many electronic system manufacturers think when designing their power supplies.
The combination of utility- and locally generated disturbances results in no such modest limits. Most utilities are permitted line voltage reductions (brownouts) to cope with seasonal demands. In addition, large motors accelerating high inertia loads, spot welding, and other loads act to further drop the voltage level delivered to our power supplies.
Computer shutdowns and sag-induced logic errors aren't the only problems. Damage to the DC power supply is a greater danger. Reduced input voltage can cause excessive power supply heat dissipation, resulting in short equipment life. What's behind this overheating? While trying to maintain constant DC output as the line voltage declines, the DC-to-DC converter circuit has to draw from the reservoir capacitor. With line voltage reduced, this capacitor experiences deep discharges between the twice-per-cycle charging periods (see The DC Power Supply: How and Why It Works).
Now, electrolytic capacitors aren't designed for deep discharge — and they're not designed for the resulting large terminal variations. So, the excessive capacitor charge and discharge currents cause internal heat dissipation, which produces dielectric stress. This condition results in reduced mean time between failures (MTBF). In addition, rectifiers and DC-to-DC converter switching transistors draw high-peak currents, which raise their junction temperatures. These temperature excursions take a toll on semiconductor longevity."
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:35 AM   #49
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Thanks westom, I wasn't aware of the design standard. Of course the qualifier says "properly designed electronics". I'm not convinced all RV's have such. I know the crummy sound system in my RV burned up before I bought my EMS. It could very well have been a surge or just a component failure. We had left it on when we went out to help our crazy dog cope with our absence. I don't know where the picture is anymore, but there were crispy components in it when I opened it up. This was the excuse I needed to buy the EMS and a Denon sound system!
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:48 AM   #50
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Any protector that meltsdown or even fails was not doing protection. Two parameters apply. 'First' is its maximum current. Only some claim to conduct at least 50,000 amps. A protector must be at least that robust to protect from multiple destructive surges such as lightning. And to not be a fire threat.

'Second' is the low impedance connection to earth. Not safety ground; earth ground. That connection should be at least less than 10 feet. Unfortunately, the impedance (ie length of that connection) is not discussed. That impedance determines the 'second' consideration - protection during each surge.

For that completely different surge called lightning, linemen errors, or due to stray cars, the relevant considerations are protector life expectancy and effective protection during each surge. This is completely different from other anomalies such as 200 volts on 120 volt lines, reverse polarity, floating ground, or brownouts.
taken from post earlier
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:54 PM   #51
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Thanks westom, I wasn't aware of the design standard. Of course the qualifier says "properly designed electronics". I'm not convinced all RV's have such. I know the crummy sound system in my RV burned up before I bought my EMS. It could very well have been a surge or just a component failure.
By far, the most common reason for failures is manufacturing defects. We all saw a perfect example: electrolytics that were made with counterfeit electrolyte. Those capacitors were failing years later in computers and numerous other electronics.

Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 40% intensity. ATX standards require computers to operate even at voltages that low. If voltage drops further, a computer's power controller simply powers it off - no damage.

Purpose of a power supply is to operate on many voltages both avoid and below what is harmful to motorized appliances. Normal voltage for properly designed (therefore more robust) portable electronics is anywhere from 85 to 265 volts. Which means that electronics should be OK even at higher and lower voltages.

That cited article invents 'weak' electrolytic capacitors. If electrolytics were that sensitive, then normal power off (that causes deep electrolytic discharge) would routinely destroy them. Most electronics continue to draw power until electrolytics have deeply discharged. If electrolytics were so sensitive, then incandescent bulbs at 50% intensity would mean all electronics fail. It does not happen.

Low voltage is problematic for motorized hardware - not for electronic hardware. Utility will cut off power if voltage cannot be maintained - to protect motorized appliances. Tom MacIntyre demonstrates what has long been standard design so that even power off does not damage electronics. Most failures are traceable to manufacturing defects. Observation then wants to blame something else using speculation without design knowledge and numbers - such as surges or sags.
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:39 AM   #52
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Westom you cited that "Low voltage is problematic for motorized hardware"
so the same would be same for High Voltage for motorized hardware i would presume?
I'm not an eletrician by any means - ive arc welded a few screwdrivers in my days...

if so i wonder why UST power would state that:

"Voltage Too High, Too Low

Voltage that is too high can cause premature failure of electrical and electronic components (e.g. circuit boards) due to overheating. The damage caused by overheating is cumulative and irreversible. Frequent episodes of mild overheating can result in the same amount of component damage as a few episodes of severe overheating. Like slicing a loaf of bread – you can have many thin slices or a few really thick slices – but when you get to the end, you’re done.
Motors can, on the other hand, often benefit from voltages that tend to be a little bit high. The reason is fairly simple. As the voltage level goes up, the current is reduced and lower current usually equates to less heat generation within the motor windings. There is a point where the voltage level supplied can be so high as to damage a motor but this level is far higher than that for electronics.
Keeping electrical and electronic components cool tends to insure their longevity. Slight reductions in voltage levels may permit many electronics to perform perfectly well while minimizing their temperature. Of course, the same is not true of motors.
Just as higher voltages can help reduce motor operating temperatures, low voltage is a major cause of motor overheating and premature failure. A low voltage forces a motor to draw extra current to deliver the power expected of it thus overheating the motor windings. The rule of thumb for motors is “for every 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) a motor is operated above its rated temperature, motor life will be decreased by 50%”.
More than motors and circuit boards are at risk for damage when voltage levels are bad, but chronic problems with either is often an indication of a voltage problem."

AVR Guide: Voltage Too High, Too Low | UST

either way.
my unit is surge protected by one of the best units on the market...
a couple years ago we discussed a German manufacturer that had devised a surge protectin unit that could also go out and draw power during a loss in voltage from the line - causing other campers units which were not protected to loose critical eneregy.
seems right that I should destroy someone elses enjoyment and capitalize on their not being smart enough to spend 300$ to protect themselves at a campground...
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:11 AM   #53
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either way.
my unit is surge protected by one of the best units on the market...
a couple years ago we discussed a German manufacturer that had devised a surge protectin unit that could also go out and draw power during a loss in voltage from the line - causing other campers units which were not protected to loose critical eneregy.
seems right that I should destroy someone elses enjoyment and capitalize on their not being smart enough to spend 300$ to protect themselves at a campground...
What unit are you using?
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #54
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We have the Progressive Industries Portable Electrical Management Systems (EMS) 30 amp hard wired unit

Progressive Industries RV Surge and Electrical Protection industry lea

provide full RV protection against all adverse power conditions. You will feel secure with multi-mode surge, voltage, polarity and lost/open neutral protection. Each unit includes a digital display, scrolling continuously through the power source information: Voltage(s), current, frequency, error code, and previous error code (if applicable). Replacement parts are simply plug-and-play, making repairs quick and easy. As with our portable models, the computer is driven by state of the art microprocessors. Should the software ever change, EMS owners can receive a free upgrade at no cost.

the "RVupgrades" link i posted earlier shows 2 popular styles and manufacturers and mre importantly the differences in protection and warranty.

I don't work for either of them but i know PI products works for me.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:32 AM   #55
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I am familiar with the progressive. You mentioned a "German manufacturer that had devised a surge protectin unit that could also go out and draw power during a loss in voltage from the line". I thought you had something else other than the Progressive unit.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:12 AM   #56
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howie70 if you look back a couple of years ago in the forums on surge protections you should find the makers name
Forest River Forums - View Profile: Herk7769 might remember it
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:21 PM   #57
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Westom you cited that "Low voltage is problematic for motorized hardware"
so the same would be same for High Voltage for motorized hardware i would presume?
120 volt motorized appliances will typically work on any voltage variation of maybe 8%. That means voltages above 130 volts and below 105 can be hard on motors. Meanwhile electronics with universal power supplies (ie all portable electronics) might work on any voltage from 85 to 265 volts. Lesser designed electronics should be just happy even at 130 volts (so we design it to withstand at least 140 volts).

High voltage, low voltage, blackouts, reversed polarity, floating ground, and open neutral are some anomalies that RV camper protectors would be designed to detect. No surge protector can detect a missing earth ground. Surge protectors in homes (ie power strips) typically ignore these anomalies. The word 'surge protector' is very subjective. Protectors for RVs are for anomalies more commonly found in campgrounds.

BTW lightning is not one of the more common anomalies.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:37 PM   #58
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Surge Protector- yes or no?

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I have a portable and I bought a 25' 30amp extension cord on amazon for $30.00. I keep the surge protector locked in the storage compartment while the extention comes through the wall. No surge protector exposed to theft.

I like this idea! Gonna check our set up and see if it's doable for us. Ours is locked to our cable but we still worry when we're not about. Have been in a campground and had fellow camper's surge protector go missing. I felt bad, but like everyone else around us, we were busy. We were setting up and didn't see a thing.


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Old 09-03-2015, 01:59 PM   #59
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I agree, it's an excellent idea. But most 50 Amp cables have the twist connector on the trailer side, that doesn't work with the surge protector and changing out the plug would cost a fortune .
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:14 PM   #60
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Protectors for RVs are for anomalies more commonly found in campgrounds.

BTW lightning is not one of the more common anomalies.
which brings us back to the original topic of surge protection for RV's in campgrounds.

You wouldn't have the stats for RV's damaged without surge protection units installed vs those with wrt lightning strikes in campgrounds by chance?
or how many campgrounds actually get struck with lightening in general.


as a rule of thumb i bring my awning in during storms and unplyug off the power outlet when a storm roles through.

I even turn off my water supply when not at the trailer because I have heard of peoples toilets overflowing and flooding their unit with black tank mess as well, not becasue this is going to happen to me but its better to be safe than sorry.
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