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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > is a surge protector necessary for a basic travel trailer?

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edatlanta

Maplesville, AL Home Base

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Posted: 04/13/21 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134 wrote:

They are a great marketing toy. Have an RV surge protector on your incoming house wires? me either.


I full time, 10+ years now, and spend several months a year on my home base site. It is a residential neighborhood where a house used to be. Power is from a major utility company and other s&b's are all around me. Have I ever had power issues here? You bet. The utility company transformer than feeds my neighborhood had a problem and sent 132 volts plus to my rig. I don't know how far over 132 it actually got since my EMS shut me off with no damage to my "stuff". Several of my neighbors complained about having to replace many of their incandescent light bulbs. Another time I was seeing a temporary voltage spike early in the morning, again 132v plus. The power company didn't know it was happening until I just wouldn't back off until then put a recording voltmeter on my line and found the problem. My EMS, and I have two of them, has shut my rig down many many times in campgrounds due to low voltage also.

No protector on your incoming house wires? Maybe you should.


Ed
KM4STL

2006 GMC 2500HD CCSB 4x4 Duramax/Allison, Titan 52 gallon fuel tank, Prodigy Controller, B&W Companion Hitch, Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C, TST Systems 507 TPMS
2010 Jayco Designer 35RLTS,Cummins/Onan RV QG 5500 EVAP
Fulltime since 2010


MNRon

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Posted: 04/13/21 05:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You pay your price, and you takes your chances.

You don't *have to have* a surge protector, but if you travel to many campgrounds you'll soon see that electrical management at campgrounds is very inconsistent and sometimes very poor. With poor wiring, and dozens of campers plugging in and out, voltage management isn't the solid 120V you see in your sticks-n-bricks.

In 20+yrs of RVing I've always had at least the cheap $50 surge supressor, can't say if it's ever saved me or not. In the last ~7yrs I've had the more expensive ones that deal with undervoltage conditions (toughest on some appliances like AC), I can say that these have warned and/or locked us out of *several* problems.

For ~$100 you can get ones that warn you when you plug in, for ~$300 you get ones that monitor and lock out if voltage goes too low. We travel 4-6months per year, prefering state parks/municipal parks/national parks/COEs, and probably experience low voltage or floating neutral conditions at about 10% of hookups. Not regularly, but not unusually either.


Ron & Pat
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Lantley

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Posted: 04/13/21 05:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

Your basic trailer has just one thing that is worth more than $300 and that is the air conditioner. Air conditioners can be damaged by low voltage, so an inexpensive volt meter can tell you when it needs to be turned off. With an expensive EMS everything will be turned off if the voltage drops too low. One thing for sure is that there is a 100% chance that there will be $300 less in your wallet if you buy one and there is a very small chance that it will ever save you more than that.

Have you ever priced an RV refrigerator? How about TV's and other electronics.
Electrical surges and the damage is real. Having protection can be beneficial.
A surge is like insurance no one needs it until they do
l


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JoeH

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Posted: 04/13/21 05:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JKJavelin wrote:

Got a refrigerator?
Got a furnace?
Got an air conditioner?
Yup, you need one.
But.... what you really need is an EMS for true protection.
JK


yep- low voltage will get you ( and your electronics, esp A/C) more often than surges


Joe
2013 Dutch Star 4338- all electric
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Mike134

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Posted: 04/13/21 06:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What I find missing from all the stories how the flashing lights, bells and whistles on the surge protector indicating it saved you from a surge are reports of what damage occurred to your next-door neighbor at the next pedestal who didn't buy one.
Buy all means if you feel better buy one.


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curt12914

Bombay NY (5 miles from Quebec, 15 from Ontario)

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Posted: 04/13/21 06:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My rig is 50 amp. With that said, we often end up at campgrounds that have only 30 amp service.
I really hate to think about buying two. Can I adapt up from a 30 amp service to a 50 amp surge protector plugged into my 50 amp power cord?


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MNRon

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Posted: 04/13/21 06:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

curt12914 wrote:

My rig is 50 amp. With that said, we often end up at campgrounds that have only 30 amp service.
I really hate to think about buying two. Can I adapt up from a 30 amp service to a 50 amp surge protector plugged into my 50 amp power cord?


Yes. Plug in your 30-50 adapter to shore, and then your 50A surge protector between that and your rig.

HappyKayakers

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Posted: 04/13/21 07:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134 wrote:

HappyKayakers wrote:

Your house is NOT subjected to power provided by all sorts of different campgrounds that may or may not have been wired by qualified people.

Mike134 wrote:

They are a great marketing toy. Have an RV surge protector on your incoming house wires? me either.


It all starts at a generating plant some goes to your house some to the campground. BTW my qualifications are a retired Master Electrician to post about surge protection and yours?


Fulltime RVer and workamper since 2006. Seen all sorts of jury-rigged stuff in campgrounds. Knew 1 campground owner who was told by the local electric company that he should never make his own repairs again. I've used a progressive EMS for most of my time and it's saved my gear numerous times. Granted, that's different than a surge suppressor but I stand by my statement about power in campgrounds and RV parks.


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Lynnmor

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Posted: 04/13/21 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

Lynnmor wrote:

Your basic trailer has just one thing that is worth more than $300 and that is the air conditioner. Air conditioners can be damaged by low voltage, so an inexpensive volt meter can tell you when it needs to be turned off. With an expensive EMS everything will be turned off if the voltage drops too low. One thing for sure is that there is a 100% chance that there will be $300 less in your wallet if you buy one and there is a very small chance that it will ever save you more than that.

Have you ever priced an RV refrigerator? How about TV's and other electronics.
Electrical surges and the damage is real. Having protection can be beneficial.
A surge is like insurance no one needs it until they do
l


I was answering the original poster who has a basic trailer. The refrigerator will only lose a circuit board and the electronics are nothing more than cheap junk that is easily replaced with better for little money.
We had another reply bragging about all the fancy equipment and multiple air conditioners, that is not the subject at hand.





curt12914

Bombay NY (5 miles from Quebec, 15 from Ontario)

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Posted: 04/13/21 07:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HappyKayakers wrote:

Seen all sorts of jury-rigged stuff in campgrounds. Knew 1 campground owner who was told by the local electric company that he should never make his own repairs again.


I don't doubt that a bit!!! I have seen some things at campgrounds that make me cringe!

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