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Old 05-01-2014, 01:01 PM   #1
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Surge Protection

I have a 2014 27FB International. I need to install 50a surge protection (EMS system). Is it practical to install a hard wired unit in the trailer or is it best to use a portable unit? I like the idea of having the display inside the trailer where I can see it. Also, has anyone had experience with the Progressive Industries EMS series units?
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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It may be the "grass is always greener" type of deal...but I bought the progressive 50 amp portable unit...working fine....but kinda now wish I had the hard wired unit....but when I bought it the logic that prevaled as persuasive for me was:

* if it fails, you can while camping just hook up direct with no difficulty
* no installation needed

For me it just seemed overall more simple a solution...and I am happy to have it but still wonder if I would have liked more the hard wire install....

Quesiton for people storing their units pluged in....how do you keep the portable unit shielded from all the dirt and poisture...? I assume putting a bag around it would be a bad idea or some plastic and such...but though I would ask and do a tiny hijack here
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #3
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I have the 30 amp portable unit also. We inherited it from the previous owner and have used it just once. He used it several times and had no complaints. I assume it just sits on the pole and does its job without any interference from me (once you confirm the lights are red-1 on, red-2 off).

The unit is sealed as far as I can tell. There's nothing in the instructions for maintenance or protection. I've emailed Progressive to see if it's OK to just leave on the pole. I do think I'll invest in a small chain and lock just to keep honest people honest and not lead them into temptation... amen.

I'm not a fan of plastic bags because they can make it worse by collecting and holding water, submerging the connection and / or box. For the price I figured they are sealed from the elements with an "O" ring of some sorts.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #4
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I'm not a fan of plastic bags because they can make it worse by collecting and holding water, submerging the connection and / or box. For the price I figured they are sealed from the elements with an "O" ring of some sorts.
The thing you need to seal is the socket where your shore power cable hooks in. Since the surge protector plugs into the service pedestal under cover, your shore power plugs into the surge protector exposed to the elements, and the last thing you need is water dripping into the connection.

If the weather forecast calls for rain, I loosely wrap that connection with Saran wrap, rubber-banded at the top and left open at the bottom. That seems to keep the rain out of the surge protector's socket without trapping condensation.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #5
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Same decision

We went through the same choice last year just about this time. Due to time restraints and such we chose to go the portable route instead of the built in with the 50 amp EMS.
Long story short, with in first few days we had to replace the unit (it was bad when we go it). Easy process, one quick call and progressive sent us a new one. A few months later, the second one failed due to moisture getting in to it (LOTS of rain!). But no problem, a quick phone call, and again we had a new one in a few days.
The new one had a much better seal to prevent moisture and has worked well for almost 5 months now, in ALL kinds of weather WITHOUT any plastic bags or wrap around it (which will not only increase moisture, but heat also!).
As far as not having the readout inside, a quick glance out the window has proved more than sufficient! And believe me, after the first failure, much less the second, I sure was glad that I chose NOT to have a built in unit.
And I was glad I went with the Progressive unit! If you are overly worried about it being exposed, you could put it in a compartment, and run an cord to it, but the new one has a GREAT seal and does fine.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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The thing you need to seal is the socket where your shore power cable hooks in. Since the surge protector plugs into the service pedestal under cover, your shore power plugs into the surge protector exposed to the elements, and the last thing you need is water dripping into the connection.

If the weather forecast calls for rain, I loosely wrap that connection with Saran wrap, rubber-banded at the top and left open at the bottom. That seems to keep the rain out of the surge protector's socket without trapping condensation.
Thanks Pro' that's exactly what I was looking for. For the faulty power protection they give us a connection open to the elements.

The other thing I wonder about is leaving this expensive plastic box out in the sun for months on end.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:13 PM   #7
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The thing you need to seal is the socket where your shore power cable hooks in. Since the surge protector plugs into the service pedestal under cover, your shore power plugs into the surge protector exposed to the elements, and the last thing you need is water dripping into the connection.

If the weather forecast calls for rain, I loosely wrap that connection with Saran wrap, rubber-banded at the top and left open at the bottom. That seems to keep the rain out of the surge protector's socket without trapping condensation.
I haven't been on but one trip with the device but I never wrap my Christmas light cords and it has rained plenty on them. I never wrap the cord on my bass boat and it gets plenty of water on it without any issues. Last year I found my neighbor's extension cord connection laying in the lake and his charger was still running. I went to the outdoor plug and pulled it out with my gloves.

Personally, I don't see the need but I don't see any harm either. If you're going to be hooked up to the post for months on end I think I'd opt for a hard wired connection instead of the portable. If you're unplugging and it's wet I'd flip the breaker before grabbing the wire.

If you use the portable one, consider making something out of a Rubbermaid container, hinged top, putting the Progressive connection inside. That will keep the sun, dirt and rain off of it long term.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:15 PM   #8
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I had/have the 30 amp. Had from the sense that the first one saved my A$ due to electrical problem and have sense it was replaced by the mfg.
As for the protection from the elements at the shore cord and surge protector I have the black box that locks them together. This also provides protection from theft
Doug,you have an interesting theory about heat and the black box and the black surge protector. I haven't had a problem,but I can see where someone in hotter locations could.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:07 PM   #9
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Roadtech -
I have the HW30C - 30 Amp Hardwired System and have never had an issue. Installs in 30 minutes. If you ever need to service/replace it, Camping World carries them. All it take to replace is removing a few screws. If you have the room, why not hardwire it and eliminate one more item from the checklist. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:44 AM   #10
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if they cant see it they cant steal it, i went bilt in.works fine.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:04 AM   #11
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Not 50 Amp... However, the 30 Amp Surge Guard from TRC installs the same as the 50 Amp with the external display. I recommend hard wire over the external. Both sore power and Gen go through to ensure no damage to internal electrical systems. The display show count down and is easy to scroll through to see errors and source problems.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:03 AM   #12
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I wasworried about theft and weather, so I installed the hard-wired 50 Amp SurgeGuard inside the rear trunk of my trailer about two years ago. I am not anelectrician, but found the install to be easy. I have not had any problems withthe unit.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:12 AM   #13
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If these surge protectors actually protect from, say a lightning strike, are they trashed and inoperative? That's an earlier story I read here and so bought the portable unit. We can unplug and scrap it, and plug back in to continue electrical service.

Actually I don't use the gadget all the time, some campgrounds are much more suspect than others. And if the weather is calm.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:04 AM   #14
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If these surge protectors actually protect from, say a lightning strike, are they trashed and inoperative? That's an earlier story I read here and so bought the portable unit. We can unplug and scrap it, and plug back in to continue electrical service.

Actually I don't use the gadget all the time, some campgrounds are much more suspect than others. And if the weather is calm.
I think that's the case, Doug. The unit "sacrifices" itself to save your trailer.

I use mine all the time. Even in a great campground with newer looking equipment, our unit shut off power when the voltage dropped too low (as the campground struggled with all the ACs running in a hot summer day).
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