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Old 02-25-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
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Hard wired or plug-in Surge Protector

Neebie to the Air-life. Friend (retired United Airline mechanic) told me to for sure get a surge protector. He will wire it in for me (for beer). Any comments on advantages/disadvantages to either type.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
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I opted for a 30a portable......

Progressive Industries, Inc.
Electrical Management System
Operating Instructions for: Model EMS-PT30C Rated at 120V/30A
Manufactured by: Progressive Industries, Inc. 414B Airport Boulevard Morrisville, NC 27560 (919) 462-8280
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......very well made, weather resistant with all the features I felt were necessary.

Bob
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
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If you feel one is necessary (I do not) the wired in ones have far more capacity to absorb jolts than most plug in ones.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
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I got the Progressive Industries 50a portable

EMS-PT50C

I opted for a cable to secure the portable surge / voltage protector. Cables only help with opportunity type thefts. Most people in campgrounds are pretty honest. A hard wired voltage protector would be a more secure option, but I liked the portable unit with display. If you are going to be buying a surge protector -- make sure you get one with the voltage protection.

The Progressive Surge Protector with Voltage Protection saved my brother's rig a couple of weeks ago. He was in a state park and the voltage protector kept shutting off the power to his trailer. A guy in the park had a volt meter and found that the voltage was coming in at 170 volts.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I'm certain that an airlline mechanic is a little more particular about "surges" than the typical camper. The consequences are probably more severe at 35,000 feet. I'll probably have him wire it is as I plan on keeping the trailer for many years.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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I think they do the same job.

The portable could be stolen or (oops) left behind.

If the hard-wired unit burned out protecting the trailer, you're without power until it's fixed.

There was a story that the hard-wired units could overheat to cause fire inside the trailer if protecting a lightning strike. Anyone have the facts on this?

doug k
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:02 PM   #7
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How about an almost hard wired unit, mount it safely inside and have only the cable not protected. Hanging a piece of electronics on the utility pole is inviting problems, whether it is forgotten, removed or damaged by weather.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:20 PM   #8
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Surge Guard

I have used the portable 30 amp Surge Guard by TRC. I also use the universal lock hasp to deter theft. Since the surge protector locked to my power cord there is less changes to forget it when we break camp.


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Old 02-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air-Hed View Post
Thanks guys. I'm certain that an airlline mechanic is a little more particular about "surges" than the typical camper. The consequences are probably more severe at 35,000 feet. I'll probably have him wire it is as I plan on keeping the trailer for many years.
Have you picked a unit out yet?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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I use the cord end unit with the hasp lock in post #8, so it can't be forgotten. I also wrap a bike cable lock tightly around the power pedestal above and below the hasp so, unless the cord is cut, it is not easily stolen by the casual passerby.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I think they do the same job.

The portable could be stolen or (oops) left behind.

If the hard-wired unit burned out protecting the trailer, you're without power until it's fixed.

There was a story that the hard-wired units could overheat to cause fire inside the trailer if protecting a lightning strike. Anyone have the facts on this?

doug k
Here is a post I made on it. Unfortunately the link to RV View magazine no longer works. In that situation, a couple had been sitting in their RV when lightning struck nearby, and they smelled something and realized that their surge protector was on fire. They put it out with an extinguisher. The letter was framed as a victory, and apparently a CW in Tennessee or somewhere like that has it mounted on the wall to demonstrate how great they are. Sure, it saved their appliances, but only because they happened to be there when it hit - if they were out exploring, they easily could have lost their entire camper.

The argument against my comment was that a fire could occur when the surge hits the appliances. Perhaps that's true, but the only fire the letter writers reported was their own, from the surge protector itself. Sure, other people lost microwaves, air conditioners, etc., but I'd still rather have to replace a couple of my appliances than have a fire in my Airstream.

So, my suggestion is that if you're getting one, get one that plugs in at the pole and don't permanently mount it in the camper.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFL View Post
How about an almost hard wired unit, mount it safely inside and have only the cable not protected. Hanging a piece of electronics on the utility pole is inviting problems, whether it is forgotten, removed or damaged by weather.

?????

Don't the new units have an "extension" shore power cord?

Wonder if theres room to plug the portable SP inside the compartment?

Bob
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:57 AM   #13
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Ultimately, a surge protector is sacrificial. Most are good against ONE surge, and then needs to be replaced; very few will provide protection against multiple surges. For me, it's a no-brainer; portable is easier to replace once it's been fried while doing its job.

Get one that's UL-1449 Type 1 or Type 2 rated for at least 1000 joules, but a higher joule rating is better.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:27 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for the input. I think I will go with the plug in and some type of security lock, although I have never had anything stolen in a campground (probably just lucky, or the NRA sticker on the trailer). Makes sense if there is any ype of problem with the unit that the plug in is "safer" and easier to remove/replace. These forums are a great source of help for us new kids.
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