Protecting your RV from shore power electrical issues doesn't have to be super complicated. Sure, you will read about people who claim they have camped for 30+ years without any type of surge protector and never had a problem.
Then you have the unfortunate ones who plugged in without any protection and fried their entire rig on their first trip. It's funny, even some campground owners will stare at you like you're a nut-job if you try to show them that they have an outlet with reverse polarity or whatnot.
Just because Brother Joe offered the campground owner to do some electrical work in exchange for staying there doesn't mean it was done right. Thank god he watched some YouTube videos and now thinks he's a qualified electrician.
The next campers to come along to that site (you) unfortunately are the victim of Brother's lack of knowledge. The campground owner won't be responsible if every electronic device in your rig fries.
Watch the below video from Progressive Industries to learn about the striking differences you need to know. There are multiple ways your RV's electronics might fry while connected to power at a park or any type of plugged-in location.
This causes an extremely large voltage spike that will really test an RV surge protector '. The best way here to avoid any potential damage, even if you have an RV surge protector ', is to unplug until the threat has passed.
(More about this later) However, your power protection device might end up fried, causing you to need to purchase a new one. All it takes is an electrician with just enough lack of knowledge to do the job incorrectly, and you're screwed.
The wire ran, exposed, to a household outlet that just sat on the ground in my yard. I remember feeling a 'tingling' sensation at times when I touched things like the frame of my RV (also knows as a hot skin condition).
You're in a full campground with tons of energy-sucking RV's using big air conditioners. If your RV doesn't get enough voltage (below 104 VAC), it can cause serious damage to your electric system.
Do you want to pay for a hotel if you are a full-timer, and wait weeks, but likely more like MONTHS, to have it all fixed? Let's look at some things you need to know about to get a good surge protector, or EMS (Electrical Management System).
The RV electrical protection devices reviewed on this page come in two different flavors: You might plug your computer, TV or other sensitive electronic device into a power strip at home.
It comes into play if there is a large voltage spike (think lightning strike) that can cause catastrophic damage to the connected electronics. After all, a surge protector (unlike an EMS) does not guarantee to save your rig from damage.
This means an EMS will detect this as open ground and not let power 'flow' to your RV. The Progressive Industries neutral ground bonding plug that Mike references in the above video is no longer available.
It is up to you to look at the LED indicators and decide if you should plug your rig into the power source (pedestal). The more features your electrical protection device has, the more potential disasters you can avoid.
Reverse polarity Open ground High voltage (above 132 volts) Low voltage (below 104 volts) High and low-frequency protection (from a misbehaving portable generator) Amperage usage readings Current and previous error codes The bottom line: Spend the extra money and purchase an Electrical Management System.
Among the other specifications found in the above surge protectors' for RVs reviews, you will see the joule rating displayed. One of the MOST important factors when looking at surge protection for RVs is the response time.
In other words, how quickly the camper surge protector will respond, for example, to a sudden voltage spike. You want this to be an incredibly small number so that the power supply issue doesn't have a chance to damage your RV.
The Progressive Industries surge protectors' for RVs have a response time of less than 1 nanosecond (one billionth of a second). So while Progressive Industries might have a lower Joule rating than South wire, it doesn't matter.
The Progressive Industries unit will have disconnected from the faulty power source before the excessive energy needs to be dissipated, thus protecting your RV. This is one of the many reasons we picked Progressive Industries as having the best RV surge protectors'.
Note: Both Progressive Industries and what was previously known as Technology Research have been acquired by bigger companies in the past couple of years. We hate to see these types of changes, especially when there are only two major players in the RV surge protector field.
Progressive was started in 1999 by a full-time Over who saw a need to provide superior electrical protection to RVs with more sophisticated electronics. They used to be based in North Carolina, but since being acquired by Power Products, LLC in late 2017, their headquarters has been moved to Wisconsin.
Producing a full line of RV surge protection' products, Progressive Industries used to stand out in a few very important ways. Unfortunately, since they were acquired by Power Products, LLC in late 2017, this has changed.
They also have reduced the availability of their technical support to normal business hours, Monday through Friday. Progressive Industries continues to be the only company that JUST produces RV surge protector products.
While Progressive Industries line of RV surge protection' products are a bit more expensive than the competition (generally just a few dollars more), we think that the superior customer support and a few KEY better product features justify this increased cost. In fact, they offer a whole multitude of both civilian and military electrical items.
Technology Research is part of South wire, a large wire and cable manufacturer. Recently they have been transitioning the RVsurgeprotector line of products over to the South wire name, moving away from the Technology Research brand.
As a larger corporation, South wire doesn't offer the level of product support that Progressive has been known for in the past. Both Progressive and South wire offer lifetime warranties for their RV surge protectors (the units themselves).
So, yeah, while the South wire Connected Equipment Warranty sounds good, it's got too many 'outs' for the company and really seems more like a marketing ploy to set themselves apart from the competition. Our number one brand choice for your RV power protection is Progressive Industries.
Both companies manufacture surge suppression and Electrical Management System (EMS) devices to protect your motor home, travel trailer, 5th wheel, van, or toy hauler from shore power electrical issues. Below are three different lines of RV surge protectors' that Progressive offers.
We hope this doesn't greatly affect the product performance, quality and customer experience, but time will tell.) One install and done Fully protected from all power issues No worries about theft Can usually get to it from inside.
No going outside in bad weather to read monitor Cheaper than the portable EMS by Progressive Lifetime warranty They no longer offer 24/7 customer support (just Monday through Friday, normal business hours), but do have a reputation of being the most customer-friendly company making surge protectors' for RVs.
Customers from bloggers to Amazon reviewers are all happy with Progressive's EMS system. This is the perfect solution for someone who wants a hardwired, permanently mounted EMS.
They will then reconnect (after a 136-second delay to prevent air conditioner compressor damage) power to your rig once the problem is resolved. It continually scrolls through (on a 2-second delay) vital electrical information including line voltage, line frequency, amps being used, current error code and previous error code.
Normally the display is mounted in an outside compartment so that you can monitor the electrical conditions when you first plug into shore power. To install, first make sure that the 30 and 50-amp circuit breakers are shut off at the power pedestal.
Then go ahead and plug your RV power cord into the appropriate receptacle on the pedestal. Turn your circuit breaker back on and observe the LED screen to check for line condition.
During this time observe the LED display to make sure no fault has been found. Assuming no-fault, the unit will start providing shore power to your RV once the 136-second countdown is complete.
Continually scrolling LED display indicates incoming line voltage, amperage use, power frequency (Hz), any error code and any previous error code Open ground and reverse polarity detection and protection (won't provide power to your rig when these conditions are detected) If an open neutral is detected, the unit will not light up and no power will be supplied to your RV If a low voltage or a high voltage condition is detected for over 6 seconds, the unit will disconnect power to your RV. Once normal voltage is detected, a 136-second timer will initiate before reconnecting power.
More expensive than a hardwired EMS Easy to steal if you don't lock it Use only in vertical orientation In addition to providing great surge protection, these units will detect a wide variety of electrical issues and immediately shut off power to your RV.
We have chosen Progressive Industries electrical management systems as number one for their superior products and their backing of their surge protector for RVs. They frequently cite that when they called about an issue, Progressive Industries was happy to send them a new part or new whatever was needed, free of charge.
Additionally, these portable Progressive EMS's will continually monitor the pedestal electrical wiring to detect for open ground or neutral and reverse polarity. If one of these conditions is detected, the EMS will instantly shut offshore power to your rig.
If a voltage or wiring fault is detected and then corrected, the Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X/50X will start a 136-second timer before automatically restoring power to your RV. Assuming no-fault, the unit will start providing shore power to your RV once the 136-second countdown is complete.
It will then continually monitor the electrical power quality and instantly react as necessary. Flip on your circuit breaker to provide power to the unit and observe the LED readout.
Continually scrolling LED display indicates incoming line voltage, amperage use, power frequency (Hz), any error code and any previous error code Open ground and reverse polarity detection and protection (will not provide power to your rig when these conditions are detected) If an open neutral is detected, the unit will not light up and no power will be supplied to your RV If a low voltage or high voltage condition is detected for over 6 seconds, the unit will disconnect power to your RV. Once normal voltage is detected, a 136-second timer will initiate before reconnecting power (prevents air conditioner compressor damage).
They remain focused on product quality and making their customer happy. With a reputation for great customer support, they are committed to making things right if they at all go wrong.
Progressive RV surge protectors (Because they are not electrical management systems) will only provide active protection against voltage spikes such as those caused by lightning strikes. It will notify you of electrical line issues such as open ground or neutral and reverse polarity.
But the 35530/35550 are permanently mounted (hardwired) inside an RV that utilizes 30 or 50-amp service. The Surge Guard 35530/50 doesn't include an LCD so you can see what is happening with your power supply.
Once permanently installed in your rig, do the following to utilize your new Surge Guard EMS: Will disconnect power to your RV if there is a high or low voltage problem, an open ground or neutral, or if reverse polarity is detected.
If a detected fault is corrected, the unit will automatically start a 128-second timer before reconnecting power to your RV. Optional LCD to view incoming line voltage, amperage use, whether shore power is being supplied to the RV and what faults are present if any.
The South wire Surge Guard portable electrical management systems have two advantages over their Progressive Industries counterparts. The South wire Surge Guard 34950 portable EMS (50 amp version) can check the RVs wiring for an open ground condition.
Something unique to the Surge Guard 34950/30 is that it will shut off power to your RV if an overheating plug or receptacle is detected. If the electrical issue is no longer present, the TRC Surge Guards will start a 128-second timer before reconnecting power to your RV.
Turn on the 30 or 50-amp circuit breaker and observe that the LED display is counting up to 10 seconds (built-in delay before connecting power to your RV). Assuming no faults are detected, the Surge Guard 34930/50 will provide power to your RV after the 10-second delay.
2-line LED display indicates incoming line voltage, amperage use and whether power is going to the RV. Will disconnect power to your RV if there is a high or low voltage problem, open ground or neutral, or reverse polarity is detected.
Once the normal voltage is detected, a 128-second timer will initiate before reconnecting power (prevents air conditioner compressor damage). Power will be disconnected from your RV if there is an overheating issue detected at the plug or receptacle end of the unit.
The South wire Surge Guard 44280 and 44290 RV surge protectors will inform you, via LED lights, if there is an open ground or neutral, or a reverse polarity situation. To use either of these surge protectors, first make sure the 30 and 50-amp circuit breakers are shut off at the pedestal.
Plug your RV power cord into the female end of your surge protector. Finally, flip on the circuit breaker and observe the LEDs on the front of the Surge Guard 44280 or 44290.
This indicates no electrical wiring faults present at the power pedestal. If the unit senses an overheating condition of either the plug or receptacle, the 'overheat' LED will illuminate.
Get an electrical management systems (EMS), not a surge protector Get Progressive Industries over South wire if you can (though both brands do a great job at providing the electrical protection your RV needs) SOME kind of protection is better than nothing Kelly Beasley is co-founder of Camp Addict and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the Ring lifestyle.
As a full-time Over since May 2015, Kelly's playful writing style helps make learning about the sometimes dull subject of RV products a bit more interesting. Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Gender brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy-to-understand fashion.