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Old 01-30-2017, 09:16 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2001 30' Classic S/O
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 16
Surge Protector?

How important is it to have a surge protector?
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:26 AM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,852
Blog Entries: 13
Depends, if you have a modern unit with all kinds of expensive digital devices, you probably ought to have one. If, like mine, the only expensitive and/or delicate devices are plugged into the inverter and everything else is dinosaur simple, then you can probably go without.

I live in Yellowstone in the summers (well, so far...) and it has the single most unreliable power grid I have ever encountered yet all the stuff in my trailer has survived.

I don't carry one but if I had a shiny new rig, I would.
Sorta new (usually dirty) Nissan Titan XD (hardly paid for)
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:55 PM   #3
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2008 31' Classic
Rochester , New York
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Surge Protectors

We had the same question last year - not sure what to do - so we made a similar post. One of the replies said it all - "it is your stuff." We bought a surge protector and used it all the time last season. It saved us from getting fried at least once - was a good investment in our opinion.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:02 PM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 17,550
Welcome to the forum, imcabbh!

There are quite a few previous threads on this topic in the sub-forums dedicated to electric issues and so forth:

Here are the search results for "surge protector: --

And some leading threads FYI:

We would not plug in without one.

Good luck!

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Old 01-30-2017, 06:07 PM   #5
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2019 30' International
Pennsylvania , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 833
For me it's like that fire extinguisher thing, 'its better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it.'

We have the progressive industries ems-pt30c and use it.
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:02 PM   #6
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Fair Oaks , California
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When we bought our 2014 FC, other than an accessory kit of hoses, etc., that the dealer threw in for "free," the only thing he suggested we buy was a surge protector. Everything else was optional, as far as he was concerned. The opposite of surges is low voltage, which can also fry your delicate electronics, so best to get one that detects that too.
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:10 PM   #7
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2015 30' FB FC Bunk
Ayer , Massachusetts
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I consider it the single best thing I did when I bought my trailer. I had one installed.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:39 PM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
2017 30' Flying Cloud
Highland , California
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 295
Learned a lesson when I had my 2007 Safari SE LS FB. When that unit was new I stayed at a RV park in Mesa Az for an extended period of time. Came home from work one evening found my AC running erratically. Took it into the AS dealer who found all the wiring from the outside 30amp fixture to the AC unit was burnt. No sure if it was due to low voltage on the line or the shore power post was wired incorrectly. No matter never went back to that park. However, thereafter almost every other Appliance that used 120 vac over time went wonky. Replaced AC, converter, TVs and refrigerator. Since then I purchased a box (forget brand name) that checks polarity on the power post and gives surge protection if power is lost by delaying reconnection to the unit by 90 seconds. In addition it tracks voltage and current draw and if voltage gets too low with amperage too high it will disconnect power from the post. My point is you need more than simple surge protection. The alternative for me was way too expensive.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:14 AM   #9
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2015 30' FB FC Bunk
Ayer , Massachusetts
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My Surge Guard is not just surge protection, it's a power monitor. It has locked out due to low power and also caught a reverse polarity. It also displays how much power the trailer is drawing. I don't ever think I will not have it. I have the hard wired unit with remote display.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:51 AM   #10
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2000 25' Safari
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4,417
My 99 Excella had a power surge due to lightning strike nearby. It did not have surge protection. Had it had a surge protector at that point, what would have happened?

That surge damaged several things.
Immediately afterward:
1. power cord end and dog bone adapter burned/melted/welded together had to replace both.
2. air conditioner had to be replaced
3. the refrigerator thermostat stuck in max cold will no longer adjust

Not long afterward (not positively as a result of the surge, but probably):
3. converter started charging at 14v constantly had to be replaced
4. one battery cracked and the other swelled, both had to be replaced and the acid spilled on the frame had to be neutralized.
5. water heater ignition module had to be replaced
6. 50 amp and 20 amp 12v breakers started to heat and trip during normal use had to be replaced

I spent over $1500 for materials to make these repairs. Luckily I could do all of these things myself, so I did not pay any labor costs.
2014 Silverado LTZ 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:23 PM   #11
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"How important is it to have a surge protector?" How big is your bank account and how much patience do you have? If you bank account is very large and you have lots of patience, go ahead and live without one. Otherwise, get a Progressive Industries one to suit your coach. You can get either 30A or 50A models in either hard-wired or portable models. Obviously the 30A portable model is the cheapest and the 50A hard-wired one is the most expensive. Even that one is less than what a few major appliances would cost you.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:03 PM   #12
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Berlin , Maryland
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IMO there are a lot of things you do not need for your AS however a surge protector is not one of them. Seen the money and buy a good one
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