Best Outdoor Surge Protector

Ellen Grant
• Thursday, 19 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Whether its human error, lightning, or a surge from the power plant you don’t want that blowing up your RV. Considering the investment we make in our RV rigs, a good surge protector is a no-brainer for peace of mind.

surge protector air
(Source: thewirecutter.com)


Hughes Autoworkers PWD50-EPO-H at a Glance : Style: EMS Hardwired Amp: 30 or 50 Available Features: Bluetooth Connectivity Max Surge : 4,800 Joules Right out of the gate you’ll notice that this unit has the single highest max surge rating of any we’ve looked at.

If a problem is encountered the unit automatically shuts off, enters a self-check cycle with 90-second delay, and sends a smartphone notification. With as much or more protection that any other device on our list and advanced modern features, I think the Hughes Autoworkers lineup deserves a serious look.

This piggyback style surge protector is a basic model that gets the job done without breaking the bank. One plugged in the surge protector uses a set of 3 LED lights that flash or remain solid in various configurations to represent statuses.

These statuses may indicate reverse polarity, open neutral, or other common wiring issues. Taking a big step up we’ll move into the world of EMS/ surge protector combos.

First off, note that this unit is also available in 50A rating so if you’ve got a bigger RV power draw check that out. Progressive Industries does include a Lifetime Warranty on this product though I can’t say how good their customer service is.

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(Source: www.ganderoutdoors.com)

If you like the corded style surge protector but want to stay on a tight budget, check this out. It’s a simple LED-style circuit checker with a built-in surge protector at a price that will blow away dedicated EMS systems.

If your budget can’t support a dedicated EMS unit with digital circuitry, the simpler LED status lights of this piggyback plug make a good choice. With a max rating of 2,100 Joules it’s got more protection than many high-end EMS units.

During the 10-second startup sequence this unit checks and analyzes everything about the circuit it’s plugged into. Note: Security ring on the cord allows you to lock the unit.

With a price comparable to mid-range piggyback EMS units, this hardwired model packs most of the same features. Upfront there is more work since you’ll have to wire it into your RV’s existing main power line.

If you’re looking for a second option on hardwired RV surge protection, check out this South wire model. With a max rating of nearly 2,500 Joules it’s a step up in total power protection compared to the Progressive Industries model we looked at earlier.

surge amp protector protectors southwire guard rvs camping
(Source: blog.campingworld.com)

That said, however, it does use the simpler LED light readout to indicate statuses instead of the remote LCD. Like other South wire units it shuts down when detecting a problem and enters a 128-second cycle to automatically turn the power back on if it’s safe.

In the world of portable living buses, there are essentially two amperage options. Additionally, the vast majority of RVs here in the US operate on 30 amps of current.

Amperage is a measure of the total amount of power all the devices in your RV can draw. If that happens a surge protector or circuit breaker steps in to kill the power.

Therefore, it do you no good and, in fact, is very dangerous to plug a 30-amp rated RV into a higher amperage circuit. Usually, a basic surge protector uses some type of mechanical-electrical device to disconnect power if a surge is experienced.

An electrical management system, or EMS, is a more advanced digital device. Probably the best way to ensure your surge protector is protected itself is to look for something called an IP rating.

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Whatever the case, a surge protector can save you from blowing out wiring, starting a fire, or damaging appliances in your RV. Because surge protectors are more sensitive and, in the case of EMS units, “intelligent” than the breakers at the pedestal they can save you precious milliseconds when the power jumps.

In the world of RV surge protectors, there are basically two styles: onboard and piggyback. It’s all too common for unsavory folk to snatch a piggyback plug right off the pedestal.

Unless you’re very confident with your electrical skills I’d advise taking it to a certified dealer to have these installed as any small mistake can fry your RV. Additionally, they’re usually installed inside the RV and bolted down, so it’s very unlikely anyone would run off with your multi-hundred dollar surge protector or EMS.

Solutions range from a simple padlock around the cord clipped to a chain around the pedestal all the way to advanced cable lock systems for expensive models. If your surge protector doesn’t have a built-in cable lock slot then try the padlock and chain.

Naturally here we want the fastest time possible to protect your valuable electronics and electrical equipment. In this case, most surge protectors will be listed in Joules as it’s the common unit of energy used for this measurement.

surge protection pv device power protector solar 800v
(Source: www.alibaba.com)

At a basic level, the higher the number of Joules a surge protector is rated for, the more energy it can handle without being overwhelmed. If a surge protector is hit with an amount of energy greater than its max rating it may fail.

Commonly a max rating of 1,000 – 2,000 Joules may be found on a wide range of surge protectors for the home. To let you know the status of your RV power every Em or surge protector has some display type.

These will flash or stay steady in some combination of colors to indicate the current status. It allows units to connect to your phone wirelessly and send you status updates in real time about what’s happening with your RV power.

Don’t take a chance with an RV surge protector that is not certified by Underwriters Laboratory or (UL). This seal of approval by Underwriters Laboratory tells you the surge protector passed rigorous testing, so you can trust that it’s going to perform the way you expect.

Due to the power demands of an RV, these beasts must be made from much larger components than in-home devices. This is achieved with heavy-gauge wire and the standard 3-prong angled plug style found on your RV mainline.

(Source: the-power-of-it.com)

Note that in some cases and with a good surge protector you can also be guarded against drops in power that can cause damage to appliances. Any properly designed power box at the RV park should have a dedicated 30-amp or 50-amp breaker.

To protect your RV from rapid and extreme changes in power you’ll want to use a surge protector. Inside your RV you’ll also want to make sure that any relevant plugs have a FCI outlet.

A: If you’re worried about someone running off with your piggyback style surge protector, it might be worth spending the extra money on a lockable one. Some models feature a sturdy padlock hole allowing you to add security.

Some surge protectors can be wired straight into the electrical system on your RV so there’s no external plug-in device. Of course, wiring the surge protector wrong means more problems than you started with, so contact a service department if you’re unsure.

It’s not unheard of (though rare) for Rivers to find faulty wiring at the panels on their sites. Try to limit your use of devices if you’re plugged into 30-amp service otherwise you’ll overload the circuit.

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(Source: www.homeantenna.com)

OutsidePursuits.com earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. The best surge protectors should protect your devices from power spikes, have plenty of outlets to handle all your electronics, and have multiple types of connections like USB and Ethernet.

If you want something more robust than surge protection, you should also take a look at our full list of the best uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Protect up to eight different electronic devices and two USB-powered phones with this surge protector power strip from APC.

It is built with a 6” cord that has a convenient 180-degree rotation right-angle plug that can be adjusted for devices in different angles. At no point should any device lose power as long as they are connected to the battery and surge outlet.

That is more than enough time to save open files and shut down without risking data loss. Along with surge protection, Overpower offers ECO mode which maximizes energy efficiency.

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(Source: www.homeantenna.com)

Another surge protector with a unique design, this cone-shaped unit works well in offices where cords are coming from multiple desks. The built-in, power-stop technology prevents power transmission if the surge protection is compromised, guaranteeing your equipment remains safe.

It has a six-foot cord and a UL-listed 15-amp circuit-breaker that keeps appliances safe, as well as an EMI noise filter that eliminates annoying buzzing from electronics caused by dirty power. This six outlet surge protector power strip from Amazon is as simple and cost-effective of an option as you can find.

The strip has a 790-joule, three-line surge protection rating that guarantees your smaller devices (think smartphones and lamps) will not fry. If you have a whole host of devices you need protected from sudden surges, then this Fashion power strip is perfect.

The 100V-2450V surge protector provides standard current and quality is guaranteed by the fireproof ABS plastic and PVC copper cable to help with overload protection. The Overpower CP1500PFCLCD is a UPS and surge protector that might seem like overkill, but if you have a lot of valuable electronics like a computer, gaming console, Wi-Fi router, and other devices to protect, this surge protector will give you the time to safely shut those devices down in case of a power outage.

There's even a color LCD panel to show you information like battery capacity and load level, so you can monitor your network. Final Verdict bestsurgeprotector to get is the reputable APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA UPS (view on Amazon).

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(Source: www.homeantenna.com)

Coaxial and Ethernet connections aren't recommended, because they can introduce noise and lower your data speeds, but a surge protector that includes high-speed USB charging ports can come in handy.

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