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Old 01-16-2021, 08:24 AM   #1
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50 Amp Surge Protectors

Good Morning Everyone!

My wife and I are getting excited about the upcoming season where we will be full-timers for 6 months beginning April.

I am wondering what you all think about RV surge protectors. Are they worth the money? Do the sub-$100 dollar ones work as well as the others?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:36 AM   #2
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We have the Hughes 30 amp surge protector and it does a great job. It's also bluetooth so I have the app on my phone. It has saved use a number of times for over current. It's the portable one and does great. If I would of had more room I would of got the hardwire version.
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:45 AM   #3
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I installed the EMS-HW50C. It is an "on board" EMS. The portable ones can be a target for thieves.

https://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-hw50c
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:49 AM   #4
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if you are comparing the sub $100 ones to the ones costing multi hundreds you are comparing apples to oranges! the sub $100 models are surge protectors only. they do not monitor or take action based upon incoming power voltages. the more expensive one monitor voltage levels and interrupt incoming power should the voltages fall out of the acceptable limits, either high or low.
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboss View Post
I installed the EMS-HW50C. It is an "on board" EMS. The portable ones can be a target for thieves.

https://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-hw50c
https://www.masterlock.com/personal-use/product/8419KA I have one of these for our surge protector.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:24 AM   #6
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Yes, getting a good, quality surge protector is a worthwhile purchase. Beats the cost and time to get your RV serviced to replace any of the appliances and other electrical components.

I recommend staying away from the less expensive protectors on the market for some of the reasons already mentioned. When you're ready to buy one, there are plenty of sites online where you can get 10 to 20 percent off of one. I bought mine from Campingworld because it was the best price on the web at that time, plus I got a 20 percent off coupon, so the tally for it wasn't so bad.

I use a 50 amp Hughes Autotransformer Watchdog, which has been outstanding. Most other lesser expensive protectors will need to be discarded if you experience a large surge that fries the circuitry, but this one has a field replaceable power arrestor, so you don't need to trash the entire protector. The Watchdog will cut power when it encounters a sag or spike, and continue to monitor power until the condition clears. Once it detects clean power, it waits 60 seconds before returning power to your rig automatically.

This unit also has bluetooth incorporated allowing you to monitor power from your phone. You can set and configure the power setting parameters to monitor and use it with advanced RV monitoring systems (RV Whisperer) that will text you when power is out to your rig.

Only downside to a more expensive protector, other than cost is you'll probably want to secure it to the power post when camping to discourage someone from walking off with it.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:26 AM   #7
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We don't have a surge protector.....yet. Been camping for decades and until this new rig, haven't really needed one as those prior RVs were mostly non-electronic in nature. For example....our fridges were the ammonia gas type (non-compressor), jacks were manual or used electric mechanical switches to engage, etc. Sure there the TVs were electronic but I didn't worry much about those.

Fast forward to new rig....electronic everything it seems. Control panel for the hydraulic lifts, lighting, etc etc. And even the fridge is now residential which would benefit from high and low current protection. That said....we're looking and will probably get the Hughes Power Watchdog come the next camping season.

LOTS of great threads on this topic. Use the mighty search button and just type "protector" into the search field. You will have hours and hours of reading.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:30 AM   #8
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This is usually discussed about once or twice a year and usually at great lengths.

Surge protectors are mostly like insurance policies. Peace of mind.

Some folks have camped for years not using one and have never had an issue.

Other folks would never plug in unless they had one.

Have there been reports of someone's surge protector 'saving' them.... sure... and just as many reports of no issues without.

Only YOU can decide.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brilithos View Post
Good Morning Everyone!

My wife and I are getting excited about the upcoming season where we will be full-timers for 6 months beginning April.

I am wondering what you all think about RV surge protectors. Are they worth the money? Do the sub-$100 dollar ones work as well as the others?

Thanks in advance!
Thank you all! I have some reading to do. Was an English Ed major in college and have a bit to learn about electricity I guess... And, will most likely be looking for a solid protector.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brilithos View Post
Thank you all! I have some reading to do. Was an English Ed major in college and have a bit to learn about electricity I guess... And, will most likely be looking for a solid protector.
Progressive Industries is the benchmark that others are measured by, and they offer a lifetime guarantee. Not many others do.

Being that you were an English Ed major, would you be satisfied by just getting by, or would you rather excel? Same here.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:43 AM   #11
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The sky is NOT falling! These are manufactured and sold merely because folks will buy them, not that there is any need for them.

I've yet to read/learn about any camper damaged by so-called surge. If it occurred it would wipe out every camper in your typical state park. Likewise at home where the power company is always trying to sell these like them trying to sell insurance to protect the wiring between the power pole and the house.

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Old 01-16-2021, 11:49 AM   #12
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...Some folks have camped for years not using one and have never had an issue....
Well, in 2020 our Hughes Autoformer detected problems twice (one open ground and one open neutral). Maybe with the heavy use that campgrounds are getting these days such problems are becoming more common. In any event, I wouldn't plug in without being sure that the pedestal was problem-free.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:50 AM   #13
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Will I had a surge protector that saved my old Cougar 5ER, electronics and everything else that was electrical. One of the campground power poles that we were staying at took a lightening hit, my trailer was two units away from the lightening strike. Several other trailers had their electronics fried that were near the pole that was struck.

After the lightening strike there was no power to the TV, AC unit and Micro wave and so, forth. So, after the electrical storm passed I went outside with my FLUKE meter to check to see if we had any power at the power pedestal, that was when I notice the fried surge protector.

There are several different brands being sold, read the reviews on them and pick one that will sever your needs. Some like the new flange Bluetooth features that some surge protectors offer and other don't see the need. Bluetooth adds extra cost and complexity to the unit. Only you can decide if it is worth the cost.
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
Progressive Industries is the benchmark that others are measured by, and they offer a lifetime guarantee. Not many others do.

Being that you were an English Ed major, would you be satisfied by just getting by, or would you rather excel? Same here.

I'm going to disagree with Ken based on information provided by Mike Sokol (RVelectricity.com)a couple years ago at the FR International Rally. Mike recommends the Southwire product. According to Mike, up until about 4 years ago, Progressive WAS the benchmark, then the original owner/developer sold the company. The new owners have de-emphasized R&D to their detriment. Southwire's team has come up with an additional protection for a problem that occurs inside your trailer and are patenting it.

Prices are about the same for Southwire and Progressive as are warranties. Both have lifetime coverage EXCLUDING failure of the surge suppressor MOVs. MOVs are sacrificial and by design can only absorb X amount of surge energy. Once they exceed that amount, they are no longer functional and must be replaced.

What is the bigger decision to me is whether you want the internal or external model. Lots of arguments supporting both. I went with an internal to prevent me from screwing up and leaving it somewhere. That and it's one less thing to handle during setup and take down.
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:57 PM   #15
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I have had the south wire surge guard 50 amp for 4 years due the amount of electronics in our wildwood 5th wheel. They are on sale at camping world fir about 50% off. It is good insurance and I have seen quite a few sketchy power posts. Many others on their site are quite handy. I just want to pull in and plug in
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:05 PM   #16
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The portable ones can be a target for thieves.
There was a thread here not long ago that went on for miles and miles about this. Nobody posting in that thread had either their EMS stolen or, even, heard of one being stolen.

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Old 01-16-2021, 03:57 PM   #17
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Well, in 2020 our Hughes Autoformer detected problems twice (one open ground and one open neutral). Maybe with the heavy use that campgrounds are getting these days such problems are becoming more common. In any event, I wouldn't plug in without being sure that the pedestal was problem-free.
Not arguing anyone's need for a BIG$ device but a $5 plug in tester will check for open grounds and open neutrals. EVERYONE should carry one to check the pedestal before plugging in.

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Old 01-16-2021, 04:45 PM   #18
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Yes get a good one. I purchased a cheaper one and it failed. Took out the microwave, inverter and I forget what else. No problem with the new surge protector $350 range. You can lock them if external in line. I cover mine up out of site theory.
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:04 PM   #19
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There is a difference between 'surge protectors' and 'electrical management systems'. The main difference is the EMS has ability to detect low voltage which is not good for things like air conditioners.
Haven't used an autoformer, but they seem like a good product.

The specs on these things vary widely, so read them carefully and pick the one that fits your needs. We have had our EMS detect open ground and reverse polarity. We prefer the portable ones so that we can test the outlets before we get settled. If we find a bad post, we can test ones around us before we contact the office to change sites. We also had a fried EMS due to lightning strike near the rig. Definitely cheaper than trying to replace all our appliances.
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:15 PM   #20
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Check with vom at start of campout only guarantees conditions at that moment in time. Will not cover damage incurred during storms where lines could get hit by lightning. Smaller campgrounds have to adjust their transformers at to to compensate for changing loads, this is why I invested in an EMS. Mine has saved me three times with breaker being bad on one side of 50 amp at COE campgrounds and once on open neutral. In hurry to set up in drizzling rain one November. Well worth the investment to keep camping rather than having rv setting on yard waiting on dealer to secure warranty parts.
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