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Old 06-04-2019, 05:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Docbutch View Post
My wife and I are conflicted about the need for a surge protector when hooking up to shore power. Many say yes. Many say no. Thoughts and comments please on the need and if needed which one.

They don't do much good. I don't have one. I've written about the reasons in the past:


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ml#post1131553


Key points to keep in mind:
* Lightning hits are not a major problem in modern campgrounds where the wiring is underground
* Surge protectors will not protect you from the sort of large surges that are responsible for burning up all the electronics in people's trailers. These surges, usually caused by mistakes by electric utility linemen, will burn up the surge protector as well as everything else.
* Over- and under-voltage are not the huge problem they are perceived to be, and can be adequately addressed by adding a voltage meter to your trailer and shutting off susceptible equipment when the voltage is bad.
* Just because someone's surge protector beeps or disconnects the power or whatever does not mean that there was a power problem serious enough to damage anything.
* These devices protect equipment, not people.



They will protect your appliances and converter from an open neutral, question is whether it's worth it, it's a lot of weight and hassle and expense and nuisance trips for "insurance" against a problem that may never happen and isn't that expensive to fix if it does.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mansderm161 View Post
because one saved me in a lightening storm

How do you know it saved you from anything?
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:35 PM   #23
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I met a couple last fall that did not have a surge protector and they were hit with an electrical event that fried some things in the trailer. They got to spend several days at the closest Airstream dealer waiting for parts to be overnighted. Due to the delay, they had to cut their trip short and they were not able to complete their planned route. He said the bill just for diagnostics was more than the cost of his new surge protector.
How do you know a "surge protector" would have helped?
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:46 PM   #24
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It fried my surge instead of my rig.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:57 PM   #25
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Exactly. And a real EMS will cut off out-of limit power conditions before something gets fried.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:58 PM   #26
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Exactly. An EMS also has the ability to cut off power that is out of limits before it fried something.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:02 PM   #27
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The problem is most of us will not know where the critical surge comes from....human error, overload, degradation or a force of nature. Most of us want to move on to the next destination without scheduling time for repairs.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:07 PM   #28
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It fried my surge instead of my rig.

Oh, I agree it fried your surge.


But that doesn't mean it would have hurt your rig.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:08 PM   #29
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Exactly. And a real EMS will cut off out-of limit power conditions before something gets fried.

Well, that's certainly what they want you to believe, and you can believe that if you want.


I don't believe it, because I've been in a lab where they test this stuff, and I've seen what it can and cannot do.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:13 PM   #30
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The problem is most of us will not know where the critical surge comes from....human error, overload, degradation or a force of nature. Most of us want to move on to the next destination without scheduling time for repairs.

Yes, they sell you the happy idea that you can "protect" yourself from these things and blissfully travel around without any chance of electrical problems.


The thing is that these things work about as well as internet security software.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:55 PM   #31
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On the subject of surge protection, What is the recommendation 30 AMP or 50 AMP. Obviously while at a CG with 30 AMP you would have to convert the electric pole from 30 to 50 with an adapter into the surge protector, right? Thanks, I am some what electrically challenged!
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:00 PM   #32
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match the filter to what the AS trailer capacity

30-30
or 50-50

over capacity does not buy you anything
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docbutch View Post
My wife and I are conflicted about the need for a surge protector when hooking up to shore power. Many say yes. Many say no. Thoughts and comments please on the need and if needed which one.
I can tell you what happened when I did not have one, when maybe I should have.
Lightning struck a utility power line somewhere nearby while I was away from the trailer:

Burned out the the heat pump
Burned out the power converter
Burned out the control module on the water heater
Burned out the two batteries
Burned out several light bulbs, incandescent and fluorescent.
Burned the end off of the power cord
Burned out 12v breakers
Tripped the 120v breakers, but they continued to work.

I do not remember exactly how much, but it cost me ~$2,000 to do the repairs myself. Had I paid someone it probably would have been twice that or more.

If you decide to get one, I suggest EMS+surge protection. Better protection for not much more $.

ps:
I still don't have one, playing the odds

During this same storm my next door neighbor lost the fridge and some of the park's underground wiring was damaged/replaced.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:45 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docbutch View Post
My wife and I are conflicted about the need for a surge protector when hooking up to shore power. Many say yes. Many say no. Thoughts and comments please on the need and if needed which one.
Hands down, best Dealer upgrade I did at purchase. Since 2014 when I bought my trailer home, Iíve plugged into more sketchy power then I should have. 100% of the time the Surge Guard 50 has protected the entire system.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:20 PM   #35
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We also want to install a surge protector under the dinette seat in our 2005 Safari LS. Do you remember how many hours it took your tech to install it? Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:23 AM   #36
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I would always use the Progressive EMS for surge and polarity issues. When traveling in Mexico there can be wild differences in incoming voltage. The EMS will protect from under or over voltage by shutting off the current. There is a device you can buy in Mexico called a Corrector de Voltage that transforms low or high voltage to an acceptable (within 10% of 120) voltage. With this connected between the power source and the EMS all your electronics (and you) are protected AND you will still have usable power even when the power pedestal is only sending 85 Volts. You can find a good explanation on the Mexico Caravans website under Details>Everything You Need To Know: https://mexicocaravans.com/details1.html
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:06 PM   #37
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The bottom line is you often don't know if the surge protector saved you or not.
If I put one in line for ten years and nothing blows up, did the surge work? Who knows? Maybe I never had a spike.

I still carry a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. So far I haven't used it.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:08 PM   #38
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Surge Protector

Itís one of those things that you carry, but only need it when you need it.

Dittos on first aid gear, emergency good and water, tools, and fire extinguishers. Always aboard, and would be very uneasy without them.

Sometimes I think the universe notes what precautions you are taking, then waits for you to drop your guard momentarily so it can smack you upside the head.Click image for larger version

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And yes, I always carry duct tape and my Swiss Army Knife.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #39
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My brother has the Southwire Surge Guard 50amp unit. In just the past week he's encountered:
(1) a campground pedestal that went from normal to hot ground, while he was plugged in. Fortunately, the Surge Guard shut off his power before it could harm him or the trailer.
(2) a lightning storm that hit the grid and caused enough instability in the campground power that his surge guard cut him off from power, potentially saving his trailer's wiring and electrical systems.

We have a Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X and my brother has the Southwire as noted above. We don't connect to shore power without them. We deliberately don't hard wire the EMS / Surge guard because we expect that one day it will sacrifice itself to save the RV.

As usual, it's your money, your RV, and your decision. Buy one or don't, your choice. Either way, please do us a favor and share the results of your next electrical misadventure with shore power.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:06 PM   #40
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Electrical problems are not all that common, but sure are a problem when they do happen. I've remodeled every house I've owned and the electrical work by so-called professionals was too often marginal at best, but no house burned down. But I'd rather it be done right.

I lost some electronics years ago when lightning hit my well head, traveled into the house and fried a TV and cordless phone. The worst of it was digging a trench for a new cable to the well. That was 30 years ago and I learned about surge protectors then and haven't had a lightning problem since. I have probably been to hundreds of campgrounds and only once have I had a site with polarity reversed—I moved. I have used a surge protector (can't remember the brand but it is yellow and hangs from the pedestal receptacle) for years and never had any warnings of improper voltage.

It is a typical risk question—is the cost of a rare problem so great that the cost of prevention is worth it? I vote for a sophisticated surge protector.
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