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Old 12-12-2014, 09:14 PM   #1
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Question Surge Protectors - To buy or not to buy?

This has probably been discussed at length, but I couldn't find a thread.

What are everyone's thoughts on surge protectors? Good idea? Do you have one? I'm thinking of getting one, especially if I go to a CG I was at last year where the power was suspect. Seemed to go low voltage at times, although the owner said the line i was on was all new. And at least the power pole was new.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:19 PM   #2
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There are a number of surge protector threads listed in 'Similar Threads' at the bottom of this page. The inexpensive ones that you see in the shops will probably not protect you from low or high voltage. They will protect only against surge, reverse polarity, and open ground.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:37 PM   #3
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I have this one

http://m.campingworld.com/shopping/i...y-30-amp/58464

As far as I know it is a good one. It is reassuring to see amps and volts when you check. You quickly learn what looks right for the current load. Especially volts. It is nice to know that voltage drop isn't there.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:42 PM   #4
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Assuming you do not leave heavy loads on while out of the trailer (like the A/C), what is the downside of just using something like this and diligently monitoring it?

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Old 12-12-2014, 11:06 PM   #5
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I have this one hardwired and all my shore power (not generator input) runs through it. It will not only protect against surges but also low and high voltage, and a bunch of other stuff. Keeps bad power from ruining your expensive stuff. They also have a portable version. I highly recommend having one of these.
EMS-HW30C 30 Amp Hardwired EMS with Remote Display
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:21 PM   #6
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Hi, I have a portable 30 Amp model surge protector and only use it when I think there is going to be a thunderstorm. I have only used it a few times.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:31 AM   #7
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We have the same surge protector and we use it all the time, on the theory that we can't predict when a surge will hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FollySteve View Post
I have this one

Portable Surge Guards With LCD Display - 30 Amp - TRC 34730-003 - Surge Protectors - Camping World

As far as I know it is a good one. It is reassuring to see amps and volts when you check. You quickly learn what looks right for the current load. Especially volts. It is nice to know that voltage drop isn't there.
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Old 12-13-2014, 05:08 AM   #8
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I use the same one as FollySteve. Cheap Insurance. I have never had an issue with power at any of the campgrounds I normally stay out (other than no power). But I have seen the results $$$ of a voltage spike that burned up several thousand dollars of electronics on a motor home.

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Old 12-13-2014, 06:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTTinNJ View Post
Assuming you do not leave heavy loads on while out of the trailer (like the A/C), what is the downside of just using something like this and diligently monitoring it?


Nothing rong at all....I've used one for years.

But 'letric is pretty much faster than any of us and I doubt you could get to the plug fast enough or beet the lightening to the to the pole.

The one I use, I didn't go the hardwire route, 'cuz if it did do it's job and had to be re-maned it would be a bit easier.
Also too, HWing would preclude using the trailer after a problem until the unit is removed for repair......I tink?

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Old 12-13-2014, 06:52 AM   #10
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Yea. I guess I was thinking more about the brown out situation. Could use a surge protector without brown out protection in combination I suppose.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:01 AM   #11
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:58 AM   #12
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I vote to buy ...cheap insurance if the power source is mis-wired or prone to surges. What are your electronics worth?
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:17 AM   #13
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It all boils down to whether or not you like to gamble, and the odds are winning (or losing) are probably predictable after some research. The odds of benefitting from a surge protector varying greatly depending on where you camp and plug in your trailer. However it all boils down to this:

if you can afford to buy one and don't want to risk the expense and inconvenience of your trailer being extensively damaged or perhaps melted into a aluminum blob, then don't think twice, just get one. If you can't afford to buy one, then you probably shouldn't have a travel trailer, unless its your home. In that case, you probably better save up and then buy one, because you could lose everything you own.

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Old 12-13-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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We have found campground power unreliable at times, not bad but not always good. Low voltage is a larger concern to me than surges, but we use one of these to cover many possible faults.


Portable Surge Guards With LCD Display - 30 Amp - TRC 34730-003 - Surge Protectors - Camping World
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #15
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We carry both the 30 impound 50 amp TRC portable surge guards so we have the appropriate one for the power pedestal that is available. The digital display reflects the loads in amps and on the 50 amp model shows the load per leg which has allowed me to have each air conditioner on separate legs for load balancing.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:03 PM   #16
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At one time we owned a fiver. We stayed at a reputable CG and plugged into their site pole. BLAM! $5000.00 in damages with fried wiring and destroyed appliances.

The owner had an electrician check the wiring of the pole immediately, and he found no "problem" ! (?)

We had a $500.00 deductible.

Now we not only use a portable surge protector at all times, but I check the polarity and voltage/ amperage of every pole where we plug in.

We also use a digital monitor ( shown above) inside the unit because many CG's cannot supply consistently correct voltage.

Remember too that a thunderstorm can be five miles + away from you, but still represent a real threat via lightening.
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:32 PM   #17
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So we use the aforementioned surge guard, and when we're actually drawing on a 30 amp feed, we also use this voltage regulator: http://www.amazon.com/Technology-Res...dp/B00A0RANJ6/

They also make a 50-amp version. It's quite a brick, but we like the extra protection - it could save our heat pump from low-voltage damage. This item boosts voltage by as much as 10% (e.g. from 95 volts) before it gives up, turns off the power to your rig and waits for better conditions before resuming the power feed.

The Progressive solution may be more cost-effective since it protects both against surges and low voltage, but we didn't know about it then.
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:42 PM   #18
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In May 2013 I plugged into power at an RV park in Alberta Canada. Two hours later while preparing dinner my microwave quit working. Long story short, I only had battery power. Every RV repair I called said two weeks before I could get repair. I was enroute Alaska and didn't want to waste two weeks. A repair facility near Edmonten agreed to take me in the next day. The manager of the RV park found a short in his electrical box.
The rear of the plug where you attach the power cord was fried. Of coure there was not enough slack in the wires to simply change the plug. The tech had to beat out the backs of the cabinets in the vanity to feed enough slack to attach the new plug.
Five hours and $600 later I was back on the road.
I now have a high end surge protecter.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:39 PM   #19
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If you have expensive electronics that could be damaged with a voltage spike, buy a good surge protector. You may also consider getting a conditioner/filter that keeps the needed volts and amps at a near constant. They are somewhat pricey. Its all about how well you want to care for your sensitive electronics.
Surge protectors DO NOT remedy voltage drop. It's Bad news for AC compressor, Fan motors etc. Remember that the closer to the end of the line in a RV park, having campers on the same run using their equipment at full load can cause an undetectable drop that can heat things up. A hand held VOM is essential to "see" what is going on.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:59 PM   #20
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"Surge protectors DO NOT remedy voltage drop"

They don't remedy, they PREVENT damage.


EMS-PT30C
High/Low Voltage Protection:
Whenever AC power falls below 104 volts, or rises above 132 volts, the EMS automatically shuts down power to the RV. The EMS will monitor the power and once the AC power rises above 104 volts, or below the 132 volt level, the time delay indicator flashes for the preset time and then automatically restores power to the RV.
Time Delay for A/C Compressor:
If the AC power is interrupted, or the EMS detects a fault condition, the built-in time delay is activated. There is 136-second (02:16) time delay.
3-Mode Surge Protection:
This feature provides full surge protection L-N, L-G, and N-G. Total Joule rating is 1790, 44,000A surge current. Response time of <1 nano second.
Surge Indicator:
In the event of a power surge, and the surge protector circuit is damaged within the EMS, L-N or L-G, the digital display error code will read E-10. This indicates the EMS needs to be serviced.
Reverse Polarity Protection:
If AC power is a reverse polarity condition, the EMS will not allow power to the RV and the error code will read E-1.
Open Neutral Protection:
If AC power has an open neutral condition, the display will not light, and the EMS will not allow power to the RV.
Open Ground Protection:
If AC power has an open ground condition, the EMS will read an error code of E-2 and power will not be allowed to the RV.
AC Frequency Protection:
If AC power frequency deviates +/- 9 hertz from 60 cycles per second, the EMS will shut down power. An error code of E-7 will be displayed when the frequency is high; and an error code will be displayed when frequency is low.
Accidental 240V Protection:
If 240 volts is detected when plugging into AC power, the EMS will NOT allow power to the RV. If this condition occurs while power is applied to the RV, the EMS shuts off power instantly. The display will read the voltage and E-3 for the error. (NEVER BYPASS THE EMS WHEN THIS OCCURS.)
Display:
Continuously scrolls all of the AC power information, including voltage, current, frequency, error codes and previous errors. Each reading is displayed for two (2) seconds.

Semper-fi

Bob
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