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Old 04-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #1
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Electrical Management System/Surge Protection

I recently bit the bullet and purchased an expensive Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C. At he very first RV park I tried to use it the unit failed to connect and gave me an error code indicating an "open ground." This RV park is what I would call a high end park. It's in it's second year of operation and very well maintained. With that in mind, I decided I must have a defective unit. I continued my travels and to my surprise the unit worked perfectly at every other park I visited. With that in mind, I contacted the first park I stayed at and told them they may have a safety issue with their wiring. They checked their pedestals and found they did indeed have open grounds. They were very grateful and said they would have the wiring repaired immediately. I'm a little surprised with all of the high end motorhomes, 5th wheels, etc., frequenting this park the wiring issue wasn't identified earlier. I'm glad I shelled out the bucks for EMS/surge protector.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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Many high end RVs do not have a line monitor/surge protector. You did the right thing by buying and using yours!!!

I have repaired many thousands of dollars of damage due to open grounds or lost neutrals on these expensive units that did not have a unit like yours.

Good job!!!!!!


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Old 04-16-2016, 11:11 AM   #3
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You might have saved a life!

We use our Progressive EMS all the time and have found many problems with provided electric at parks. It doesn't matter how high-end the park is, there can still be electrical issues that would ruin your electronics.

Every few years there is always a death caused by an open ground situation. It pays to be safe.
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for your post! I bought one of these units to use with my new Airstream. Next weekend is the first trip when I will use it. Makes me feel more secure after reading your post.
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:59 PM   #5
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Electrical Management System/Surge Protection

We always use a cheap ground fault tester before plugging into any shore power. We also just ordered this TRC item from Amazon. It checks for ground faults, etc. and displays voltage. We'll use it on the pillar before we back / pull into any site, and then we'll keep it plugged inside the trailer where we can see it.

TRC AECM20020-3-012 Electra Check Digital Monitor for All AC Power Sources, Black with White Face https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001O2SQXQ/

We also use a TRC voltage regulator and surge protector while plugged in, so we hope we're protected. Yeah, it costs a few bucks, but far less than the potential repairs.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:24 AM   #6
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Where is this device integrated into the system? Or is it just a plug-in apparatus?
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:15 PM   #7
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We have used a hard-wired Surge Guard 3450 in our Airstream for the past 7 years. At a rally in UT last year, also at a two-year old 'upmarket' RV Park, we could not get the Surge Guard to connect to the power pedestal after repeated tries. Turns out there were some serious connection issues (of course just at our pedestal). The park's maintenance personnel spent some time at the pedestal and the junction box further back to the main power and found an open ground.

This was just the latest benefit of the Surge Guard. It has detected other open grounds and low voltage issues in other parks, both high and low end. This was a great investment and gives us piece of mind no matter where we power up.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:13 PM   #8
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Anything electrical scares the beejeebers outta me...So a question for you experts from an electrical-neophyte; If one was to test at the pedestal using a digital AC line voltage meter and polarity tester, e.g merely plugging into the normal 20 amp outlet on the pedestal rather than the 30 amp, would or could the voltage meter/polarity tester be able to detect issues that might be present at the 30 amp outlet?
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:54 PM   #9
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Maybe, maybe not. You might have to pull some current to see a voltage drop from a bad connection. Also the 30 & 50 amp plugs are on different breakers in the pedestal so problems could be hidden from you. Most of the time one of those cheap testers that you plug into an outlet in your trailer will tell you most of what you need to know. It would be best to understand how your RV is wired and what outlets are on which breaker and which leg if you have 50amp service. I have seen live skins even through GFI's so you never can assume anything. Most of the time though the little plug in three light testers and a Kill-A Watt are enough for me.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:24 PM   #10
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What would the hook up scenario be in the case of having to use the adapter for a 30 amp service? Would you still be able to use the 50amp surge protector since it is for a 2 pole service?
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:33 PM   #11
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Good Job!
I will follow suit but have a built in GFCI and a Circuit Tester upgrade in our '58
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splyb View Post
Where is this device integrated into the system? Or is it just a plug-in apparatus?
In our case the voltage regulator and surge protector are plugged in, not integrated into our RV's wiring. You can buy a version of the surge protector that is installed in the trailer and you would then integrate that into your shore power input, but we did not do this. We like that we can easily replace a component if it gets burned out by a bad electrical situation.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
In our case the voltage regulator and surge protector are plugged in, not integrated into our RV's wiring. You can buy a version of the surge protector that is installed in the trailer and you would then integrate that into your shore power input, but we did not do this. We like that we can easily replace a component if it gets burned out by a bad electrical situation.
I completely concur!!
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:31 PM   #14
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We hard-wired our Surge Guard and it fits nicely in a cabinet over the bed. A simple 30 min job. Nothing to plug in at the pedestal, and it is out-of-sight/out-of-mind doing the job. Also it is not subject to theft, although I understand anti-theft hasps are available to 'lock' the plug-in types to the pedestal.

In any event, these Surge Guards and their competitors are a great idea!
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