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Old 06-03-2019, 10:01 AM   #1
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
Ocean Pines , Maryland
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Surge Protector

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.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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I'm in the "Yes" column.
For my former RV I had a cheaper version and it worked fine. (or wasn't needed). I let it go with the RV.
When I bought the Airstream I purchased the top of the line Progressive Industries with the highest surge rating.
I consider a surge protector like I think of a fire extinguisher or first aid kit. You might not need it, but when you do, it's really important to have it.

Yes, it was expensive, but I've forgotten about that over time, meanwhile it protects me every day.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:10 AM   #3
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I'm a big fan of our progressive EMS. Far more than a surge protector, and cheap insurance for our electrical system. Well worth the investment.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:04 PM   #4
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Municipal Event

Here is a great reason to have a higher end protector:
Example:
At a small town event, the town pulled power down from a street light, and set up a distribution panel and multiple outlets for the RV's parked in the grass lot.

Sure glad I had the Low voltage disconnect.

Once dusk hit and the street lights came on, the string of multiple street lights were in parallel on the same curcuit with the now large number of RV's.
That was enough to drop the voltage low enough to trip out my protector.
I bet all my induction motors were thankful.
I was.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:10 PM   #5
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Yes...been at campgrounds with severe thunder storms and lightening strikes. Been at full hot campgrounds where they completely lost power due to overload. I use progressive industries and even carry 2, a back up, because one saved me in a lightening storm but then was not functional. Plan to always be plugged into a protectpr!
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:47 PM   #6
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Surge Protector

Absolutely need an EMS type surge protector. Son eventually fried our air conditioner because of low voltage where he was living for a year. He did not realize the pedestal voltage was low. Insurance covered it, but itís better to have a surge, low voltage, and wiring fault detecting EMS like the Progressive EMS unit.

Portable vs wired permanently is a separate debate. Mine is wired in, but thatís my way of doing stuff. I also have a Blue Seas Systems manual switch to positivity select between shore power inlet and generator inlet (front of AS) with indicator lights because it is less prone to failure than the automatic ones. (And a bit cheaper).

The EMS is in the metal box where my power panel is mounted so it can be used with both inlets. I just add a bonding plug to the generator when I use it.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:11 PM   #7
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Count me in the camp with multiple EMS. The third campground with our new 27 and I plugged in the Progressive Industries EMS only to have it throw an error code. Since the campground was almost empty, I plugged into the next pedestal and it was fine. The next morning, I let the camp host know they should get an electrician to check that pedestal.

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.

It all depends on how you want to spend your time and money.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:28 PM   #8
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2004 28' Classic
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Just installed the hard wire 30 EMS from Progressive into our 28 Classic we named Roundtop. Iíd rather have it inboard under the bed out of sight and out of the weather doing its thing! The remote meter shows status, plus voltage, amps and frequency of supply. I watched the AC start and stop several times to get a feel for start versus running amp loads.
The sight of worn power pedestals at the RV parks is what convinced DW. Well that and all the expensive electronics in our AS -
Put us down in the Yes column !
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:41 PM   #9
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I'm with the others here: I would never be without an EMS. Understand, the Progressive Industries units we're talking about here are not just surge protectors. They also protect against too-low voltage (common in summer and in older campgrounds), too-high voltage (reportedly common in Mexico), incorrect line frequency, and miswired campground power sockets (more common than you might think, and potentially lethal).

If you plug in, you need one of these. Hardwired in your trailer is best, because you don't have to think about it, but an external one will do the same job as long as you remember to use it.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #10
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Surge Protector

Not to stir things too much, but there have been reports of portable ones filling up with water if the inlet cable clamp is not tight enough. Thatís not good with electrical stuff.

Mine is in an existing metal box under the rear dinette bench. Some have reported surge protector fires in case of a big surge.

Iím glad mine is surrounded by the existing metal enclosure. Others may have different installation locations and different situations.

In any case, I wonít go anywhere without one.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:56 PM   #11
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Absolutely . There is NO debate on this point.

I must get an EMS type surge protector.

if not IF you will be affected its WHEN you will be affected.
'would you rather spend $300 now or spend $2000 later

your choice

IMHO, As should build these in
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:09 PM   #12
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We also carry two based on various threads here. Initially we just had the one and after reading somebody's experience we saw that if we fried that one unit we would essentially be without safe power so we invested in a second one and carry it also.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:13 PM   #13
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Surge Protector

I remember one report where a miswire by a ďlicensed electricianĒ on a 30 amp outlet for a home dropped 220 volts on someoneís Airstream. Fried ALL the electrical including the air conditioner.

Nightmare scenario caused by the guy assuming an RV-30 was for 220 volts instead of 120. It looks like a old-style dryer outlet. Obviously the electrician did not bother to read the instructions printed on the box.

An EMS would have not turned on the power. I agree that Airstream should install them, but letís not go there in this thread...
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mansderm161 View Post
Yes...been at campgrounds with severe thunder storms and lightening strikes.
This happened to me last week. I did not have an EMS. Huge thunderstorm and boom! right over us.

The trailer basically reset, the microwave pinged as it came back on line. Most of my computer stuff is on a surge protector, not my pepwave SOHO router though - That I have to have for work. It was fried..

Now all the electronics in my cupboard are on a surge protected power strip and I will have a Progressive EMS before our next trip. Prob the inboard version as I know a good spot for that.

Tl;DR - get an EMS.
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