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Old 05-07-2015, 11:46 AM   #15
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You can do both:

My current RV came with a surge protector, but our last one did not, so I purchased the Progressive Industries hard-wired system. NOTE that the PI unit does much more than surge suppression, and it is worth your time to research that unit. It's the best IMHO, and other's on this forum and elsewhere consistently sing the the same song.

Then I found elsewhere on this forum an install idea that I used, but I can't quickly locate that thread now so I'll explain it to you. Essentially what I did was to mount the unit inside the bay where my shore power entered the RV. I also purchased male and female 50Amp plugs/sockets so that I could have two ways to operate the RV. In the default configuration, my 50Amp service entered the RV and hit a male 50Amp plug inside that was plugged into a Female plug inside, which was wired to the Progressive Industries box. The out-feed from the PI box went to a wire that included another Male 50Amp, which plugged into another Female 50Amp socket, which ultimately fed power to the RV.

Now... The Progressive Industries box (and any other surge protector) works as a sort of sacrificial lamb. If you encounter minor electricity problems, they simply shut down power so that those problems never enter your RV electricity systems. Fix the problem, reset the breakers, and you should get your power back. However if you encounter a serious problem, these units act as sacrificial lambs. The units die, but then you have no power in your RV either (but your RV was protected). You have to fix the unit before you get power to your RV on a traditional installation...

In such a rare instance like that, my wiring enabled me to (1) MOVE to a different campground so that I wouldn't encounter the same problem again, or at wait out a terrible storm if that was the cause, (2) unplug the Progressive Industries from the loop entirely (get replacement parts later) (3) re-connect my various male and female plugs so that the shore power is fed directly to the RV again. Of course, now my RV is unprotected, so step #1 is really important to prevent a second problem!

Why go to all of this trouble? Simple--it keeps the surge protector out of the rain and locked up inside the RV, reducing the theft potential. There's really no other advantage.

There is one potential hazard though, and that is that it's possible to have the shore power plugged in, and when you are messing with the plugs inside the RV compartment, you could accidentally touch one of the other plugs "in the loop" and shock yourself. So it's critically important that whenever you are changing the configuration, you should NOT be connected to shore power!

Would I to this again if a future RV doesn't have power protector? No. It's not easy working with the large-gauge wiring that 50 Amps requires! And you need to have the physical space in your elec. compartment to pull it off. AND.. you need to have the physical dexterity to work in some cramped spaces.

So... while this is possible, if I were to start over again, I would probably just go with the portable unit and be done with it!
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:52 AM   #16
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Howdy!

I agree with others Progressive EMS lifetime warranty is the way to go. We had both hardwired and now portable. Chose portable this time as I can take it and check the RV site before starting my setup.

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Same here. I did the install myself on my previous rig. Loved it but guess what? I changed rigs. Buyer wanted it left in the old rig, so no chance of removing it.

Now, I plug in the portable before I back into a site. If all is well, it begins it's count down while I setup.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:52 AM   #17
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Thanks to everyone for all the information.

I just called Camping World & they wanted over $700 for the "Progressive 50 amp with remote" installed. They said it took 2 hrs to install. It sells for $390 online.

Sounds kind of high
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:56 AM   #18
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...
I just called Camping World & they wanted over $700 for the "Progressive 50 amp with remote" installed. They said it took 2 hrs to install. It sells for $390 online.

Sounds kind of high
I bought and then had it installed at a rally last summer for $525. However, I had to do my own install of the remote unit not in the power bay.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:56 AM   #19
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The only problem that I could foresee with the hard wire unit, is that in the event of a failure, that by-passing the unit could take a while, requiring re-attaching the power cable into the transfer switch.
But I went for the hardwire anyway and I'm glad I did, a neighbor in the RV park where I spend the winters bought a portable at the same time ; 3 years ago ; and his failed over the winter this year; I'm sure exposure was the cause.
I also bought the hardwired unit. I had a problem in Mexico at a place where there were no grounds and it wouldn't allow power to the coach. I was in a bind so I removed the unit and connected the power directly to the transfer switch without issue.

Now I'm reinstalling the box and noticed in the installation instructions that there is a jumper you can use to restore power through the device without reattaching the power cable to the transfer switch. You lose some of the features but the surge protection remains in place. I need to contact them and find out more
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:07 PM   #20
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Everyone seems to have it covered, but I want to emphasize that there is a jumper to bypass the lock out features when you need to.

Also, it is a moderately easy install if you want to do it yourself and have some skill.

The only point in favor of the portable, other than taking it with you when you change rigs, is that you can test the outlet at a campsite BEFORE you pull into it.

Finally, Progressive Industries has the best products and customer service. Note that their website is progressiveindustries.net
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:40 PM   #21
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Ok I'm the only odd bird here. I went with the EMS PT50C (portable) and while it is weather resistant and a no brainer to install/use, I really would much rather have something 'built in'. I did this as a temporary solution until I swap out the notorious IOTA transfer switch. I am looking at the Surge Guard transfer switch with full RV protection but it has to be mounted on a vertical wall/bulkhead and my current TS is horizontal on the bay ceiling.

Bottom line is go with the hard wired unit and remote display.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Caswelld View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the information.

I just called Camping World & they wanted over $700 for the "Progressive 50 amp with remote" installed. They said it took 2 hrs to install. It sells for $390 online.

Sounds kind of high
You can get it from Amazon. See the link below. The same thing, without the remote display, is about $50 less. You can install in yourself if you're handy with electrical projects, or maybe get a friend to do it!

Amazon.com: Progressive Industries HW50C 50 Amp Hardwired Electrical Management System with Remote Display: Automotive
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:03 PM   #23
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I prefer the hardwired version because of the remote readout functionality. I have a read out in the power bay that I watch during set up and after that I throw a switch to fire up the remote inside the coach.



The other advantage of the hard wired version is you have the option to put it before or after the ATS. If wired on the shore power side of the ATS it will only protect and provide information for shore power. If wired after the ATS you then get protection for both the generator and shore power.



Placing it before the ATS might help protect the ATS from bad shore power spikes. Speaking to generator folks they feel that generators are so good at self regulation they don't think the EG is likely to cause a problem.



We had our first RV wired after the ATS and our current coach prior to the ATS. I wish I had it wired our current RV after the ATS simply because I can monitor my amperage use while on generator with the same read out device.

For what it's worth, I had mine installed during our coach Reno. The electrician doing the install said they quit installing after the generator because it was causing problems during start up of the generator with the transfer switch.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:09 PM   #24
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I went with the portable progressive surge/voltage protection unit. It was just short of $400. I must admit, I do worry about theft and have been meaning to purchase the theft deterrent harness. The main reason I went with the portable unit is the cost factor. I can deploy it myself. After buying my coach, there were a bunch of add-ons I wanted in trying to do it "right." DW and I are not full time, so we had a budget to work with so there was money left to go have fun! Had I gone with the installed version, it would have been twice as much $$.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:38 PM   #25
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I am a little different, and cheap. I bought the progressive 50 amp portable unit to take with me when I switch rigs (on the second coach now). I plug it into a 30' 50amp extension cord and leave it locked in the bay of my coach. The extension cord was less than $100 and was less than the cost of installation for a permanent unit.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:08 PM   #26
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My Progressive is the hardwired version but I added a male and female plug to it and to the original power cord so if it does fail I can easily by pass it. The Progressive is in the power compartment and the indicator lights are easy to see.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:09 PM   #27
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I chose the hardwired option. The installation is technically a snap but if you have never worked with heavy gauge wire take your time, it can be a pain. Better yet find someone who does work heavy gauge wire, there are some tricks to it, and they can do it in a fraction of the time.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
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I am a little different, and cheap. I bought the progressive 50 amp portable unit to take with me when I switch rigs (on the second coach now). I plug it into a 30' 50amp extension cord and leave it locked in the bay of my coach. The extension cord was less than $100 and was less than the cost of installation for a permanent unit.
I have the portable Progressive, highly recommend it. Installing it as described here is a great way to go, providing for the advantages and mitigating the disadvantages of both installation methods.
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