RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-09-2017, 06:22 PM   #61
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Minnesota ( wishing we were boondocking in the New York Catskills )
Posts: 567
Surge Protection - Electrical versus Electronic devices

Several previous posts have said things like "our folks never had a problem in their past 40 years of RV'ing" ... and many people have been doing fine without some form of protection.

There IS A DIFFERENCE between "Electrical" and "Electronic" devices.

Electrical devices - resistive or reactive loads - incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, transformers, AC and DC motors, SIMPLE Transformer-based power supplies, space heaters, electric water heater, Mister Coffee.

Electronic Devices - television set, radio/stereo, anything with an LED or LCD screen, LED's themselves, the switching power supply in your 3-stage inverter, the switching power supplies for just about everything nowadays - computers, device chargers, anything with transistors / "chips" / circuit boards, "Solid State," etc. ( THAT last part means the "brain board" in the fridge, water heater, slide control, auto leveler, thermostat, blah blah blah.)

Could go on "forever" but perhaps the above begins to paint the picture.

THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT - As already alluded to, "Everything" nowadays seems to have a switching power supply - solid state devices - AND / OR some kind of COMPUTER in it - from the digital clock on Mr. Coffee or Mr. Keurig, all the way to that quad-core laptop or tablet or phone device that has more computer power in it than the entire IRS had in all of it's data centres ten years ago - and all those "Brain Boards" previously mentioned. ALL OF THESE ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE VERY SUCCEPTIBLE TO SURGES AND SPIKES.

Thirty years ago ... it was easier / cheaper to build motors, heating devices, refrigeration compressors etc. to withstand anticipated voltage swings and brown-outs - low voltage. As is the case with so many things, lighter and cheaper is now the "better" way to manufacture. What this point means, is that motors, air conditioners, etc. from years ago would tolerate overheating and high-current operation caused by low voltage, much better than their modern equivalents. THESE DEVICES ARE SUCCEPTIBLE TO DAMAGE FROM EXTENDED LOW-VOLTAGE OPERATION.

Let's just take it at face value that if an expected 120 Volt service is connected to a 240 Volt Line ... Bad things WILL happen.

Of course there are many sorts of possible scenarios and other failure modes ... but in this attempt to distill down the differences between "back then" and today ... there is a compelling argument towards the value of a protection / power management system.

A parallel but separate discussion would address other failure modes - a more complete overview of reasonalble risks we see every day.
__________________

Jeff and Abby
Fur Babies - Xandra Sophia (GSD) and Neo (Min-Pin Mutt who thinks he is a cat)
2015 Tracer Air 235 (previous 1994 Veri-Lite 1130 TC)
1998 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab - 360 - 46RE (Built)
Jeff_and_Abby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 06:25 PM   #62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 123
Well spoken

Sent from my SM-G935V using Forest River Forums mobile app
RickyD929 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 09:08 PM   #63
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 6,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_and_Abby View Post
Several previous posts have said things like "our folks never had a problem in their past 40 years of RV'ing" ... and many people have been doing fine without some form of protection.

THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT - As already alluded to, "Everything" nowadays seems to have a switching power supply -

Thirty years ago ... it was easier / cheaper to build motors, heating devices, refrigeration compressors etc. to withstand anticipated voltage swings and brown-outs - low voltage. As is the case with so many things, lighter and cheaper is now the "better" way to manufacture. What this point means, is that motors, air conditioners, etc. from years ago would tolerate overheating and high-current operation caused by low voltage, much better than their modern equivalents..
. So what makes you think that if we mentioned we've been camping for 30+ years that we aren't currently camping with modern equipment?

I'll admit I sometimes like to argue both sides of an discussion. Is an EMS a good thing to have? Yes. Is an EMS NECESSARY for proper, safe RVing? No. I have met very few folks that actually have one.

As for the argument older parks have older type wiring, we have found most have upgraded their infrastructure or they are no longer in business, or rated low.

Do I want one? Sure! But seems like there are always other items of higher priority to me that want that $400+ first.

So I will keep checking the pole for correct voltage before I plug in and feel perfectly safe. If we get a fluctuation that actually damages something, we have insurance.

Maybe I will get an EMS someday, but I don't think it's critical to have one.
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 09:34 PM   #64
King of the Road
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 556
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
functionally the trailer will work just fine without one, as long as your electrical source meets all specs at all times. but this just doesn't happen! I have been at a campground where there was some weather nearby and suddenly a flash of lightning, a thunderclap, and no power to the entire campground. none of our stuff was damaged. other people around us had issues. was it a fluke or did our ems system function as designed and protect us? I may not know for a absolute fact which it was, but the ems earned a gold star that day at least in my mind. there are many, many comments on the forum about hardwired vs portable. there are pros and cons. you will have to research and decide. but get the full ems system (not just the lower end surge protector). it protects from many more conditions. I would tell you to get one that displays the amps going through it. this feature has been very helpful in diagnosing or researching the electrical devices installed in the trailer. progressive industries is highly recommended due to the lifetime warranty and superb customer service. I have used their customer service and I can truly use the word superb to describe it.
Same exact thing happened to me just a month ago at a Colorado State Park. Middle of the night, I didn't know it until I got up at 6am. I was on batteries and propane, no problems at all after the power came back on at 10am. People behind me with a half-mill Class A Rock Star Touring rig had many many electrical problems, including damaged Residential Fridge, big screen LED TV and their laptop.

Lightning strike on a power transformer blew it up and sent a power surge down through our Loop.

Thank God for my EMS by PI
__________________
2016 Crusader Lite
Single slide
2013 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Tow Vehicle

2016 days camped = 91, 2017 days camped = 109
Dano1955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 09:44 PM   #65
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoArt View Post
Hello,
I am wanting some input into how important a Surge Protection plug has been for folks.
Are these needed because you are loading in heavy power needed items like a TVs or several computers at the same time?
I wondered if any one has had an electrical power surge that might have been prevented because of the Surge Protector?
If I needed one of these....I have a 102A Rockwood would I need more than the 30amps? What is the "enhanced diagnostics" Surge Protection? Is it needed?
What brand/ mark would folks recommend purchasing?
Does Rockwood already have a Surge Protection device already in the trailer?

Thanks in advance I know I have a lot of questions.
Your A-frame model number does not match any Rockwood A-frame I know of. Assuming you have an A-frame, the following applies

1. There is no built-in surge protection.

2. Standard, only the fridge (in AC mode), the microwave, the Cool-Cat A/C, and the converter operate on 120V AC. Of these, the fridge will not be harmed by low voltage.

3. There is no space in an A-frame to mount the internal PI, especially the display. You are pretty much forced to use the portable model, which some say is a theft magnet.

I personally don't have a surge protector or a TPMS on my A-frame. Some would say I live dangerously.

Fred W
pgandw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 10:17 PM   #66
Senior Member
 
CC75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Near Dallas
Posts: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoArt View Post
Hello Again,
Wow! This is a very active interest to a lot of folks.
I appreciate all the comments.

Another question
If I choose to purchase one of these expensive EMS and it is just out there by the pedestal. How are you protecting it from not being unplugged and walking away with someone else?
I have had mine installed inline with a remote status display. It won't walk away. Display helps with power management. I can tell how much voltage and/or amperage my electrical appliances are using. One of my best upgrades.
CC75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2017, 11:40 PM   #67
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 145
Someone mentioned thieft. While reading many blogs on this topic,
I have never heard of any but who knows. I made a cable medium guage
Stranded wire with those "bolt nuts" making loops on each end. I always
secure my Progressive unit with this and a good lock. I know it sounds
OCD but when it looks like rain I cover it with a piece of heavy plastic with a bungi cord around it. Also I transport it in a padded bag to protect it from being bounced around my rig on bumpy roads.
robbdrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 12:02 AM   #68
Senior Member
 
great white's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 662
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
...Do I want one? Sure! But seems like there are always other items of higher priority to me that want that $400+ first;..
Just for accuracy here, the EMS 30 A is not $400.

It's $187 without the display and $217 with the display. The 50A is $257/$307.

That's if you are in the states. Exchange taxes and shipping to Canada gets a little more "pricey". I know, I've recently felt the "sting" of bringing one in from the states.

If you want the portables, the 30A model is on sale right now for 78 bucks: http://www.bestconverter.com/RV-Surg...ors_c_192.html

Even the most expensive portable (50A with rain cover) is still only $ 113.

__________________

2011 Flagstaff Classic Superlight 831RLBSS "Atrium slide"
Husky Centerline Hitch
2016 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew, Lariat Sport, Max Tow package
great white is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 08:14 AM   #69
King of the Road
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 556
Quote:
Originally Posted by great white View Post
Just for accuracy here, the EMS 30 A is not $400.

It's $187 without the display and $217 with the display. The 50A is $257/$307.

That's if you are in the states. Exchange taxes and shipping to Canada gets a little more "pricey". I know, I've recently felt the "sting" of bringing one in from the states.

If you want the portables, the 30A model is on sale right now for 78 bucks: RV Surge Protectors

Even the most expensive portable (50A with rain cover) is still only $ 113.

Just for accuracy here..Ummm, nope. Those are surge protectors, NOT the EMS. Here's from Amazon and the CW site itself for the PT-30C ems and (new, less expensive) PT-30X

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...v_style_name=0
EMS-PT30X 30 Amp EMS with Surge Protection - Progressive EMS-PT30X - Surge Protectors - Camping World
__________________
2016 Crusader Lite
Single slide
2013 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Tow Vehicle

2016 days camped = 91, 2017 days camped = 109
Dano1955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 08:15 AM   #70
Senior Member
 
Kenny kustom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,467
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0801.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	282.2 KB
ID:	144276

Best of both worlds.

50A ems and Hughes autoformer.
White display is incoming shore power voltage. Ems displays power after autoformer.
__________________
2017 Dynamax Isata 4
Kenny kustom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 08:23 AM   #71
King of the Road
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 556
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbdrell View Post
Someone mentioned thieft. While reading many blogs on this topic,
I have never heard of any but who knows. I made a cable medium guage
Stranded wire with those "bolt nuts" making loops on each end. I always
secure my Progressive unit with this and a good lock. I know it sounds
OCD but when it looks like rain I cover it with a piece of heavy plastic with a bungi cord around it. Also I transport it in a padded bag to protect it from being bounced around my rig on bumpy roads.
Have a cable lock that I use t secure my ems to the power station.

The PT-30c came with a steel connector to use with a cable and lock.
__________________
2016 Crusader Lite
Single slide
2013 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Tow Vehicle

2016 days camped = 91, 2017 days camped = 109
Dano1955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 10:38 AM   #72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 122
Excuse me, but I do have a A102 Rockwood A-frame.
JoArt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 11:37 AM   #73
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 23,325
Many of the replies are from owners of large RVs, that have way more room than your A-frame.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 12:40 PM   #74
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoArt View Post
Excuse me, but I do have a A102 Rockwood A-frame.
I apologize, I was wrong. When I bought my A122, it was the smallest model available. A second Google search turned up the floor plan for the A102. Congratulations on a fine A-frame, and welcome to the group.

As far as the PI electrical protection, as I said I don't have one. We generally go to public campgrounds that have electric during the summer so we can have air conditioning. The Cool-Cat is the 120V appliance most at risk. The microwave is cheaper than a good surge protector, and it's not usually operating. As I said, the fridge is just a heating element, so under-voltage isn't going to bother it. Although I'm sure it can happen, I've never heard of a converter being cooked by under-voltage.

As for lightning surge protection, nothing is guaranteed although good surge protection is better than nothing. It's like bears in Alaska. Most surges from nearby lightning strikes can be thwarted by a good surge protector. But when it's not your day, it's not your day.

My personal cost/risk analysis places the portable PI on my dream list of equipment, just in front of a TPMS, but behind a set of Carlisle tires speed-rated for more than 65MPH. They are expensive items that I hopefully will never need.

Again, happy camping. Thank you for informing me about the A102.

Fred W
pgandw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 02:09 PM   #75
King of the Road
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 556
Bottom line. They are not technically needed. Many factors involved, cost is not the least of them.

Do you have insurance? Do you get the cheapest, most basic insurance on your car, home, life? Maybe yes but probably no in most cases.

TPMS, EMS and even upgraded tires/brakes are really just insurance. They can be costly, but insure against ruined vacations and trips due to blown tires, damaged RV or appliances/electronics. Advanced warning systems, stabilization of electricity and tires/axles/brakes can give you peace of mind and notice that something is not right and should be checked ASAP (meaning now).

The old adage holds true with these. Better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them...../

I have all of these and they are well worth the cost. To me, safety and security outweighed the cost. I sacrificed elsewhere (one 12 pack a week instead of two, LOL) until I could bite the bullet and make the purchase. Look at it this way. Do you go to starbuck for coffee? How many times a day/week? $4 a pop, skip that. If you go 5 times a week = $20. Times 20 weeks, you just bought yourself a PI PT-30C ems portable. Do you really need coffee flavored milk 5 times a week?
__________________
2016 Crusader Lite
Single slide
2013 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Tow Vehicle

2016 days camped = 91, 2017 days camped = 109
Dano1955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 02:10 PM   #76
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 123
LOL

Sent from my SM-G935V using Forest River Forums mobile app
RickyD929 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 02:31 PM   #77
Senior Member
 
great white's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 662
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano1955 View Post
Just for accuracy here..Ummm, nope. Those are surge protectors, NOT the EMS. Here's from Amazon and the CW site itself for the PT-30C ems and (new, less expensive) PT-30X

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...v_style_name=0
[url=http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/ems-pt30x-30-amp-ems-with-surge-protection/102484&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&scid=scplp 102484&sc_intid=102484?utm_campaign=SC_Shopping_Hi gh&affiliateid=6313&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkPvxlOX-1AIVg2x-Ch0GuAhNEAQYASABEgJ3QfD_BwE]EMS-PT30X 30 Amp EMS with Surge Protection - Progressive EMS-PT30X - Surge Protectors]
With all due respect, the ones I posted are not just surge protectors. For the 78 bucks, you get a little more than just surge protection:

Quote:
The Smart Surge 120V/30A provides 3- Mode, 825 joules and 22,500 amp surge current rating. The built in surge status indicator tells user surge protector is functioning properly. The integrated circuit tester checks for: Reverse Polarity, Open Neutral and Open Ground prior to use.

Sleek, compact, portable design makes it easy to use.

No installation required. Designed for outdoor use.
.

But only a little more. Certainly not the full blown portable ems you linked to, but pretty good for 78 bucks.

And it still doesn't negate the fact that an ems 30a is not 400 bucks (as it was made out to be), it's $187.

Anywho, this is turning into a "Ford vs Chevy" type discussion so I'm just going to bow out at this point.

__________________

2011 Flagstaff Classic Superlight 831RLBSS "Atrium slide"
Husky Centerline Hitch
2016 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew, Lariat Sport, Max Tow package
great white is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 02:40 PM   #78
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 6,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by great white View Post
And it still doesn't negate the fact that an ems 30a is not 400 bucks (as it was made out to be), it's $187
Actually I was talking about a full blown EMS 50amp, and even on sale they are pretty close to $400 total. Especially if you get installed, or buy what you need to install it.
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 02:41 PM   #79
King of the Road
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 556
Quote:
Originally Posted by great white View Post
With all due respect, the ones I posted are not just surge protectors. For the 78 bucks, you get a little more than just surge protection:

.

Certainly not the full blown portable ems you linked to, but pretty good for 78 bucks.....

Yep I understand that. But with all due respect your post indicated the links are for EMS 30A but were for a high grade surge protector. Many people don't understand the difference. And when someone mentioned he can't afford the $400 for the PI EMS, your statement was "They don't cost $400". The PI EMS does, but their enhanced surge guards do not. There is a reason for that.
__________________
2016 Crusader Lite
Single slide
2013 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Tow Vehicle

2016 days camped = 91, 2017 days camped = 109
Dano1955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2017, 02:44 PM   #80
Just as confused as you
 
Scrapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: south central Wisconsin
Posts: 4,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
I apologize, I was wrong. When I bought my A122, it was the smallest model available. A second Google search turned up the floor plan for the A102. Congratulations on a fine A-frame, and welcome to the group.

As far as the PI electrical protection, as I said I don't have one. We generally go to public campgrounds that have electric during the summer so we can have air conditioning. The Cool-Cat is the 120V appliance most at risk. The microwave is cheaper than a good surge protector, and it's not usually operating. As I said, the fridge is just a heating element, so under-voltage isn't going to bother it. Although I'm sure it can happen, I've never heard of a converter being cooked by under-voltage.

As for lightning surge protection, nothing is guaranteed although good surge protection is better than nothing. It's like bears in Alaska. Most surges from nearby lightning strikes can be thwarted by a good surge protector. But when it's not your day, it's not your day.

My personal cost/risk analysis places the portable PI on my dream list of equipment, just in front of a TPMS, but behind a set of Carlisle tires speed-rated for more than 65MPH. They are expensive items that I hopefully will never need.

Again, happy camping. Thank you for informing me about the A102.

Fred W
Converters can be destroyed by reverse polarity or a short to ground. Don't ask how I know.
__________________
Richard & Jill
2014 Flagstaff 832IKBS Classic Super Lite
2018 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Z71 4WD All Star Edition
Camping since 1989
Car Shredder Op/Tech, Scrap Metal Recycling - retired
I deserve hazard pay when camping with my relatives.
Scrapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:10 AM.