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Old 03-17-2015, 11:41 AM   #1
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Surge Protection on Interstate

Other RVers have warned us to purchase one of those surge protectors costing several hundred dollars to protect against bad campground power where we might burn out our expensive built in electronics.

Is there anything already built in to the Interstate to do this, other than fuses of course.

Is this a real risk?

Would appreciate feedback, experiences, product recommendations etc.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:47 AM   #2
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Maybe not just surges--we have camped with shore power to break camp in the morning with low batteries, an indication to me that the shore power wasn't working or at least not properly. Despite the "light" being on next to the plug.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camlivy View Post
Maybe not just surges--we have camped with shore power to break camp in the morning with low batteries, an indication to me that the shore power wasn't working or at least not properly. Despite the "light" being on next to the plug.
Or it could mean that your inverter/charger wasn't turned on. Pedantic explanation ahead— you have been warned!

Just plugging into shore power doesn't charge the batteries; without the inverter/charger turning that 120vAC shore power into 12vDC power, all of your 12v appliances and lights were draining the house batteries rather than working from shore power, and none of the shore power was going into the batteries.

I don't know if that can happen with the Magnum inverter/charger, but it is possible with the TrippLite inverter/charger, which has a three-position switch on the front of the unit (Auto/invert, off, charge only). The three-position switch can be in "auto/invert" and the unit will detect the incoming 120vAC power and convert it to 12vDC power, and switch back to "Invert" mode when the shore power is gone. If the unit is in "Charge only" mode the inverter/charger will detect the incoming 120vAC power and convert it to 12vDC, but will not switch back to "Invert" mode when the shore power is gone. But if the unit is "Off" then it just sits there, and the 12vDC side is completely isolated from the 120vAC side.

—End pedantic explanation.

I've made the mistake of leaving the inverter in the "Off" position by accident (once) and it did exactly what you describe. Shore power working, but batteries discharging.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:00 PM   #4
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Yes, it is a real risk.

See this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...or-130571.html

And no, there is nothing "built in" that will give you the kind of protection you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camlivy View Post
Other RVers have warned us to purchase one of those surge protectors costing several hundred dollars to protect against bad campground power where we might burn out our expensive built in electronics.

Is there anything already built in to the Interstate to do this, other than fuses of course.

Is this a real risk?

Would appreciate feedback, experiences, product recommendations etc.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:20 PM   #5
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Surge

Buy it, don't think twice and use it 100% of the time, even at home. Progressive industries, lifetime warranty and they are about $300. Again, save yourself the headache of making the wrong decision here. Buy it, use it always. Think of it as the AS condom. Protect yourself.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:28 PM   #6
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Recently at a rally where one guy had this big thing plugged into the power supply so I had to ask what it was. Got a long story about damage and expenses as a result so now uses the high end protection. In fact he said right then the voltage at the park was 105, getting dangerously low. His story got me worrying.

Coincidentally my recently ordered TRC SurgeGuard Model 34830 from Camping World just arrived today and is laying on the dining room table. You have to go up to the expensive model for high/low voltage protection.

It all comes down to how much can you afford to lose, both your time and your wallet. A really bad surge or voltage variance could take our the AC, microwave, fridge, and water heater. Low voltage will burn out the AC. I decided a few hundred to save me the cost and time (which I really value) of repairs should something bad happen was worth it for me.
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