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Old 04-03-2012, 05:22 AM   #1
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Power surge protection

Hi there, I'm an owner of a 2011 international 27fb. I'm wondering how many folks carry and use surge protection devices when hooked up to shore power? What are the chances that bad power from RV parks will result in damage to electronics, really?

thanks
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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I use a Surge Guard 34730. Prior to using a surge protector, I had a converter failure that I believe was caused by a surge.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:51 AM   #3
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I use one on my interior electronics - purchasing one for exterior use as well...
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #4
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I use one that includes a built-in polarity monitor. I bought it before my first trip, and have never hooked up to shore power without it.

The chances of damage from a surge are admittedly slim, but the surge protector is a lot cheaper than repairs to (or replacement of) electronics, and all it takes is one lightning strike somewhere between the electrical substation and my RV…
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:59 AM   #5
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Hi there, I'm an owner of a 2011 international 27fb. I'm wondering how many folks carry and use surge protection devices when hooked up to shore power? What are the chances that bad power from RV parks will result in damage to electronics, really?

thanks
I don't carry one and have written here and there at length about how the cheap ones don't solve any problem that most RVers actually have, and how the expensive ones cost more than the cost of repairs to the damage from the problem they're supposed to prevent.

I connect my computer and other electronics to the 12v side which isolates them better than any of the fancy contraptions.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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The chances of damage from a surge are admittedly slim, but the surge protector is a lot cheaper than repairs to (or replacement of) electronics, and all it takes is one lightning strike somewhere between the electrical substation and my RV…
I don't think that's true.

I've never seen an overhead shore power connection. That is, every shore power connection I've ever used has been connected to a transformer installed at grade via cabling installed below grade. A lightning hit on the primary side of a transformer so installed won't result in a surge at the RV large enough to damage anything.

Surge protectors owe their popularity to RV technicians who find it more convenient to blame problems with air conditioners (especially) and any other electrical component on "power surges" rather than sloppy design, materials, and workmanship on the affected component.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:16 AM   #7
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A lightning hit on the primary side of a transformer so installed won't result in a surge at the RV large enough to damage anything.
Easy enough to find out one way or the other. A surge protector is good against ONE surge and then it has to be thrown away. I'll keep using my surge protector since I already have it. If I never experience a surge then the protector should last as long as I do, and I'll have wasted my money.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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For me, it is more of a protection against low voltage. But, Jammer, I am not sure what you are saying about the transformers. There are still TONS of pole mounted transformers here in the midwest.

I've never paid much attention to them up your way.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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Sure plenty of pole pigs out there on residential properties developed before the widespread switch to underground utilities in the 1980s.

But the thing is that I've never seen one supplying a campground. So maybe people should be buying up surge gaaardz for their stick houses.

For a campground with more than just a few sites, it's an economic and engineering necessity to place the transformers close to the campsites. In the Minnesota state park system they seem to have settled on a more or less standard design where the transformer(s) are placed on the opposite side of the main campground access road from the campsite loops. The primary feed to the transformers is underground. They usually run around 6-8 pedestals per loop all with underground wire.

The c of e, county, and commercial campgrounds I've been in have had more variability in how they do their wiring but in every case the transformers supplying the campsites have been pad mounted and fed by an underground primary.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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Jammer - I think you might have just saved me a few hundred dollars, I agree that it appears there would be less of a chance of damage, home electronics can be protected as they are in the home with local surge protection...
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