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Old 03-18-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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surge guard: hardwired or portable?

i have resisted surge protection because i didn't want another piece of equipment to drag around and install. but, we recently hooked up to a pedestal in a brand new rv park that would not hold 30 or 50 amp hookups for an extended time but handled 20 amps just fine. after we left i got word that the same thing happened to the next occupant (whew). the pedestal checked out fine using a voltmenter so i suspect that there was a poor connection somewhere in their system which could send the proper volts at a light load but could not properly transmit a higher load. so now i'm a believer in adding a surge protector but don't know whether buy a portable one or hardwired. i'd prefer hardwired so that it's one less thing to deal with when arriving and departing a campsite but my concern is that if the hardwired one fails what do you do? any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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We went with the hard wired option and have been very happy with it. If it fails, it's a simple matter of a few screws to replace it. I'm glad I don't have to worry about it being stolen too.

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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I bought a hard wired and made it "portable" or removable.





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Old 03-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dick skeers
i have resisted surge protection because i didn't want another piece of equipment to drag around and install. but, we recently hooked up to a pedestal in a brand new rv park that would not hold 30 or 50 amp hookups for an extended time but handled 20 amps just fine. after we left i got word that the same thing happened to the next occupant (whew). the pedestal checked out fine using a voltmenter so i suspect that there was a poor connection somewhere in their system which could send the proper volts at a light load but could not properly transmit a higher load. so now i'm a believer in adding a surge protector but don't know whether buy a portable one or hardwired. i'd prefer hardwired so that it's one less thing to deal with when arriving and departing a campsite but my concern is that if the hardwired one fails what do you do? any thoughts would be appreciated.
dick skeers
06 36 fds alpine
Not to confuse you on brands. Here is how I installed a portable Progressive. I didn't 't have room in a dry place for the hard wired.

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:36 PM   #5
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Most Alpines of your vintage came with a hard wired Surge Guard. My 05 has one from the factory and has served well for almost 7 years.

In a pinch a hard wired unit could be bypassed without too much trouble.

I personally like the hardwired unit because I donít have to make it part of my setup and tear down routine. I am sure you will get arguments for both sides and suggestions of better units. Just do you research.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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In the case you talk about it was either a bad connection or a bad breaker that would not handle the current being asked. A surge protector would not have any effect in most cases with that fault. Now hard wired or portable, I have both one in a unit I will
be selling and a portable I just purchased for our new MH. I went with a portable like
you state what happens if the wired one goes south on you. You can purchase a portable one just about anywhere they sell RV items and easy to change if the portable packs it up where a wired one is another matter in most cases.

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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If my Surge Guard ever fails, I will bypass it with the plug and receptacle I installed. It it fails, I will replace it with the Progressive Industries one and install it in the same way.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
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I have seen a picture of a unit that melted after a surge. The coach was safe but the Surge Guard was destroyed. I would rather that happened at the pedestal than in my basement. Not very likely to happen but you never know.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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Agree--seems Alpine was installing combination transfer/surgeguard units as std equip in 06--are you sure you dont have one? Not sure what you meant by "wont 'hold' 30 or 50 amp." If, the breakers were blowing [not holding] on the park's side, something was wrong with their equip. and the surgeguard probably wont catch that. If it was a bad ground condition, reversed polarity, too low or high voltage or low/high freq, then a surgeguard would detect/protect you.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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aFTER FRYING A MICROWAVE OVEN, a virtually new washer/dryer and other items we purchased a Progressvie 50 amp portable unit. We were going to have one hard wired but..... after consulting with others the benefits of a portable seemed better to us. Witha portable one can check a pestal before backing in to see that every thing is OK. We didn't like the thought of it being stolen so we made up a short hook up cord in our bay. Now we have the security of a Progressive unit, plus portablity and it is secuere inside a locked compafrtment. By the way did you see that Progressive has altered their warrenties? Lifetime now! WOW! Unheard of warrenty!
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
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If you think you will keep your rv for a long time go hard wire. I went with a portable and it is kind of a hassle most of the time. Would be more simple for me just to plug the 50 amp plug into the outlet rather than hauling the portable to the power. My 2 cents.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:33 AM   #12
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I think you have a surge protector built into your transfer switch like Old Scout said.
It was a standard item on all 06 Alpines.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
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I went with an installed progressive and the installation was easy and I can bypass it if I have to in about 20 minutes. It runs diagnostics on the energy source each time I plug it in to a new pedestal
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:35 AM   #14
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As stated above your coach should have a Surge Guard installed, so I would look for it. You have 150K of electronics and electrical systems in your MH, I would never hook up my MH without surge guard protection, and I have considered getting external protection on top of what is installed in the coach. I have never had it not protect me, but many folks have reported issues because many of the connections in the OEM one, were not tightened down properly. So check those wires for tightness. Several folks make external SG protection, if you plan on spending the money, get the one with has the transformer which steps up poor park voltage, and protects the coach as well. Those come with indicator lights which show, mis-wired shore power, reversed nuteral w-ground, and other common wiring faults commin in old RV parks.
FWIW - Have friend who went to Palm Springs park, and the surge guard kept kicking in/out, which disconnects power from coach. We could find nothing wrong with his coach, and finally determined that the transformer in the park was throwing out dirty power on one leg. I told him to move to another spot, he did and no more issues. Without the SG in his coach, I believe he would have burned up his Microwave Oven, and possible the circuit boards in his fridge and furnace/HH unit. It protected his coach. He carries a spare SG unit in his coach.
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