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Old 07-10-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
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Surge and Low Voltage protector

I am thinking about upgrading my electrical protection and looking at Progressive Industries' portable and hardwired units for my FC25. Would prefer a hardwired unit like the HW30C but where would this be placed in the trailer? Has anyone used this in a late model 25 that would like to share some insights.

Thanks!

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Old 07-10-2016, 12:03 PM   #2
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Philosophically, we prefer the portable units. This is because the single purpose in the life of this unit is to sacrifice itself to protect the trailer. It may last many years, but when it finally gets fried by some random shore power incident, I want to be able to toss it in the trash and plug in a new one, without any drama.

If you're more handy than us, or if you put that particular unit in an easily accessible location so it's no big deal to replace it, then this may not be an issue for you.

We currently own a TRC 30 amp unit (https://www.amazon.com/Technology-Re.../dp/B002OUVL6G), but will also consider a PI PT30C (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AL23TC) when the TRC unit makes its ultimate save and then has to be replaced.
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:26 PM   #3
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I agree with the portable approach. I got the PT50C and it has already saved me from a couple of low voltage situations.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/0...protector.html
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:45 PM   #4
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One more thing we do (call us belt-and-suspenders folks) is to plug one of these into an outlet in the trailer whenever we're connected to shore power. We also use it to test the shore power outlet before we connect anything to the post: https://www.amazon.com/TRC-AECM20020.../dp/B001O2SQXQ

We also have a TRC Voltage Regulator to help ensure good incoming shore power voltage (it's really a transformer that would help keep the heat pump running safely on good voltage during what would otherwise be a sag that would cause the protectors listed here to shut off incoming power). However, that device recently fried itself. Maybe some really nasty spike or something burned it out, hard to say. If we can, we'll replace the internal circuit board and put it back in service. We have a call in to TRC to see whether that's possible.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:17 AM   #5
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I have been using this and so far so good.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:19 AM   #6
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I have a Progressive Industries portable surge protector.
It provides peace of mind.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:39 PM   #7
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Personally, I use the portable version. Two reasons: first, if you have a true surge, like lightening, the PI module will save your butt. But, it is also self destructive in nature and must be sent back to mfgr. for a 'free' new surge suppressor element. Second, if you intend to use a Inveter type generator, like Honda 3000i or 2000i ( and Yamaha equivalents ) ( not your average just straight utility generator like you would buy at Lowes) you MUST disconnect the PI module from the circuit. Meaning you can't use them with out possibility of ruining your power module. And PI states this clearly in their manual and I called and they confirmed. Inverters have floating grounds and it confuses the PI modules. On the other hand, Honda and Yamaha inverters produce such clean power there is no need for a power module like PI.

PS: the PI module has saved my A/C many times this summer from brown outs. Couple of my neighbors in Stanley, ID were not so lucky. Both ordered PI modules after the fact. Expensive lesson.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #8
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BTW, if you use a TRC surge protector, here's how to tell whether the surge protection aspect of your unit is still working:

How do I know my surge protection still works?
The surge protection does not usually fail unless there is a direct lightning strike. If this happens, there would likely be other obvious damage; otherwise, the surge protection should last indefinitely. On models 34830, 34850- the SURGE (No protection when lit) LED indicator will be lit
Quoted from here: http://www.trci.net/media/165647/507...uard%20faq.pdf
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
We also have a TRC Voltage Regulator to help ensure good incoming shore power voltage (it's really a transformer that would help keep the heat pump running safely on good voltage during what would otherwise be a sag that would cause the protectors listed here to shut off incoming power). However, that device recently fried itself. Maybe some really nasty spike or something burned it out, hard to say. If we can, we'll replace the internal circuit board and put it back in service. We have a call in to TRC to see whether that's possible.
Rocinante illustrates an example why sometimes adding protection and voltage regulation can unfortunately result in a less reliable system. When you add additional components, you're introducing loss in the system which results in a small voltage drop due to the connections and internal switches inside the protection device and voltage regulator. It easy to imagine a situation where the voltage sag during compressor turn-on would trip the under-voltage indicator and be perfectly fine had there been no protection device.

I tend to view these devices like insurance and my motto is that it's usually not worth buying insurance for things you can afford to pay for yourself. Sure, there may be times when these devices save you from a costly event, but I'm willing to take my chances and pay for any damage should the unfortunate occur. I suspect I'm not the only one.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:55 PM   #10
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Surge and Low Voltage protector

The last time I did a full repair from an RV power surge, it was over $10,000!!! The owner had a hard-wired TRC unit that had a key operated bypass which was activated. He certainly paid dearly for that bypass!
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
The last time I did a full repair from an RV power surge, it was over $10,000!!! The owner had a hard-wired TRC unit that had a key operated bypass which was activated. He certainly paid dearly for that bypass!
But we'll never know if not having the additional losses created by having the TRC unit in the first place would have resulted in $10,000 of damage.

Lew, I expect you have many war stories to tell, but I suspect there are many folks like me who don't bother with these systems and enjoy problem-free Airstreaming
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:27 PM   #12
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These things are insurance. You won't need them, until you do. You can go years (or forever) without an electrical surge. You can go years without an accident. Doesn't mean some insurance isn't a good idea.

The possibility of surges (or voltage drops) is relatively high. And given the high number of electrical components inside our trailers, putting one of these things on seems like prudent insurance. I've already seen two voltage drops at my permanent camp site, and this is a well respected, well built site. I would expect worse once i start travelling.

I hope to never need it, but for me its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:41 PM   #13
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I buy insurance for things that I have to, like car insurance, and I buy insurance for things that I can't replace myself, like house insurance. But I always avoid buying insurance for appliances and things I can afford to replace myself because the insurance companies know that the failure rates are low and the total cost of repair is going to be less than the premiums they charge. They know they will profit statistically, so likewise, if I avoid these unnecessary insurance premiums, I'll too win in the long run, but get hit with an occasional repair bill.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:49 PM   #14
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I can agree with that. But in the case of a surge protector, it cost me $350 for a 50 amp model. So I paid $350 to protect somewhat north of $350 worth of appliances. It was a one time expense that is not recurring, unless I get hit with a surge at which point the device is warranted for life by Progressive Industries.

Between the fridge, the two TVs, and lights, and electrical connections, the converter, the inverter, and all the other stuff that could suffer from an electrical surge, $350 is cheap insurance. YMMV.
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