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Old 05-07-2015, 08:25 PM   #29
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I chose the portable Progressive, mainly because I am lazy and didn't want to bother wiring a permanent unit into the coach.

It works perfectly. Sometimes I padlock it to the power post. Most times I don't.

I have short 50 amp and 30 amp extension cords that I sometimes use to place the EMS underneath the coach behind the rear wheels to protect it from rain.

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Old 05-07-2015, 08:25 PM   #30
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I have the portable Progressive Industries PT50C 50 Amp Portable Electrical Management System. Costs $333 on Amazon. On two different occasions, it has prevented me from connecting to bad campground power. If the power is wired incorrectly, it will not permit the power to go through to your motor home. A lock and cable to secure it cost an extra $20. It is great knowing I have that unit out there protecting all my valuable electrical and electronic systems on board. Best $333 I've spent. Can't speak hard wired versus portable. My portable is about as easy to set up as it can get. I highly recommend the Progressive Unit.

Amazon.com: Progressive Industries PT50C 50 Amp Portable Electrical Management System: Automotive
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:29 PM   #31
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I've been Rv'ing since 1957 and have never had a surge guard and have never had anything burn out or quit due to electrical problems.
The Magna came with one built in and it seems to do the job. Stayed at a friends house and found that his shop was on the same circuit so everytime he turned on a power tool the voltage sagged and our rig switched over to inverter.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:45 PM   #32
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I bought a hardwired Surge Guard unit for my Diplomat ten years ago and it worked flawlessly. When I bought my new coach last year, I bought the Progressive hardwire unit because it has more/better features.

There are two models of the Progressive Industries 50 amp hardwire unit and you need to be aware of that when you purchase. The less expensive model has a bypass, in case the unit fails or is damaged, that requires opening the box and moving some jumper wires. The more expensive unit (I think it's about $35 or $40 more) has an external switch to for bypassing if there is an issue. If you buy one online, spend some time searching sites. When I bought mine, I found a small obscur company selling it for about $30 less than everyone else, with no tax or shipping.

If you're at all handy, it' not a difficult install. You'll need to buy about 3' of power cord, like your coach cord, which is available at Home Depot or Lowes.

Mine has the display panel with a cord for remote mounting. I mounted it to the power bay door, so that when the door is open, while I'm plugging, in, I can look at what it's telling me about the pedestal condition.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:44 AM   #33
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I started looking for a surge protector after a stay in a state park when they told me not to use a certain site because there was something wrong with the 50 amp circuit, not further explained. I found that the display board on my microwave had quit working after that.

I bought my coach used and it had a lot of documentation on prior repairs. I found that one of the TVs had been replaced and the generator worked on after the generator spiked and killed the TV. When I put in my hard wired Progressive Industries circuit protector I wired it between the transfer switch and the coach. This makes the transfer switch somewhat sacrificial but protects against all power sources. Either on shore or on board.

If I had gone with a portable unit this wouldn't have been possible without some creative use of plugs as someone on this forum did to be able to bypass the circuit protector.

Just the way I did it and why.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:14 AM   #34
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I will add also that, in my opinion, the optional remote screen is truly optional. I never had it when I installed the PI in my last coach, and I never needed it. The unit itself has the same readout, and so after hooking up and getting a visual that everything's ok, I couldn't see myself monitoring the electricity again until/unless something went wrong--in which case I'd be outside looking anyway. Furthermore, my current RV has a remote screen that I literally NEVER even look at. It's electricity. If you have it, you have it. If you don't, then you start to troubleshoot. Eventually you will end up outside looking at the breaker box at the campground supply, so what the heck.

Just my opinion. I tend to be a geeky/techno/equipment kinda guy, but this is one thing that doesn't really grab my attention. I'd rather monitor my electricity by the other panels that my RV has than to verify that I don't have an error code (that I'd have to look up to figure out anyway).
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:46 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
I will add also that, in my opinion, the optional remote screen is truly optional. ...
I understand what you are saying but without over emphasizing an advantages of the inside remote...

I really liked my remote on my first coach but didn't have it at first on my DSDP. I missed it. Having the ability to see the read out and see error codes can be helpful. If someone got an error code and wasn't around to observe some kind of event they might not see it and perhaps find a cause that needs some correction or monitoring. The other thing I like about it is that I can get a feel for the amp usage on each leg in use instead of total amps as my EMS reads out. Of course, my EMS doesn't even provide amp usage on 50 amp shore power so I have information I like to have.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:17 AM   #36
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Sky Boss-- I see your point. My current coach can show me Amps per leg if I wanted to see that via the inverter controls. Though to be honest, the only time I pay attention to it is when I'm parking the rig in my storage garage so that I can be sure that I turned it down enough not to pop the 20Amp breaker. Guess I'm just not into monitoring power consumption as much as others.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:38 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Caswelld View Post
We're looking at purchasing a surge guard and I'm not sure if I should have it wired into our MH or get the portable type. I see that the portable "Surge Guard" from Camping World comes with a locking hasp.

Thanks for your thoughts

Dave & Julie
As you see there are plenty of opinions on this, so you just need to consider what's important to you. The main thing is to get one, whether permanent or portable.

We have the portable unit and it works great for our purposes. Don't see the point of the permanent install for us.
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:33 PM   #38
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The other advantage of the hard wired is that with the remote monitor you can see your status / amp draw in a convenient manner.
I think this is a big point, I love having an internal display inside to keep an eye on voltage and per-leg current. They have an optional dual display switch box: I mounted that and one display by the shore cord, and one inside. The switch is normally set for the inside display, but when hooking up I can flip the switch to the outside display, make sure everything is good, then flip it back to the inside display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
The other thing I like about it is that I can get a feel for the amp usage on each leg in use instead of total amps as my EMS reads out. Of course, my EMS doesn't even provide amp usage on 50 amp shore power so I have information I like to have.
Yes, it's silly that the Intellitec EMS doesn't read out amps on 50 amp power, they were too cheap to put in the second current sensor that would be required to do so. Pity. But the inside PI display does so much more that it's not that big a deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
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.
I also put it after the ATS. Some ATS are different, but mine which is controlled by the generator input has no connection to the incoming shore power other than the relay contacts, so there isn't really anything that is susceptible to the types of problems that the PI protects against. It's nice seeing the per-leg current draw while on the generator, but my main reason was to guard against generator failures. I've seen more stories of generators that blew a voltage regulator and caused problems, than I've seen stories about transfer switches damaged by surges. And transfer switches are relatively cheap compared to the equipment that can be taken out by a cantankerous generator.

Speaking of damage caused by generators, right here in this thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mageksl View Post
I bought my coach used and it had a lot of documentation on prior repairs. I found that one of the TVs had been replaced and the generator worked on after the generator spiked and killed the TV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
I couldn't see myself monitoring the electricity again until/unless something went wrong--in which case I'd be outside looking anyway.
Oh, I disagree there! I've "lost power" twice in the middle of the night, and a quick glance at the inside display told me that once was low voltage, and once was high voltage. Both times it told me that there's no point in getting dressed and checking the pedestal, because there was nothing I could to about it at the pedestal. One of those times it was not only night, but in the middle of a pounding rain storm. I'm sure glad I didn't have to get dressed and go out in that rain just to see that there's nothing I could do about it there (and I didn't have to get back in bed with wet hair!)

And there have been many other times that the inside display has saved me "debugging" time, because the cause was immediately apparent on the display.

Quote:
I'd rather monitor my electricity by the other panels that my RV has than to verify that I don't have an error code (that I'd have to look up to figure out anyway).
I made up a small "sticker" that I printed out on my computer. After printing it out, I ran it through DW's craft laminator that put adhesive on the back side and a clear plastic layer on the front, then stuck it to the front of the display. You can also use clear packing tape as a cover on the front, and double sided tape on the back. The sticker makes decoding the error codes trivial.

I'm attaching a PDF of the label in case anyone else finds it handy. The small labels are sized to fit right on the display unit next to the bypass switch - as a bonus, the clearly label the bypass switch positions. The large one is sized to fit on the frame of my shore cord reel, to make it easy to read the outside display.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Fault Codes Label.pdf (44.9 KB, 30 views)
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:38 PM   #39
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Surge Guard - Portable or Hard Wired?

When there is a power issue, my PI portable knows what to do. But I must glance TWICE! Once at the Intellitec (yep power out) and once at the pedestal out the slide window. I get tired just thinking about it!
And if there is too much of a current draw, there is other technology aboard that covers that just fine. No issues yet!
So....
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:10 PM   #40
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I just ordered the remote bypass switch for our Progressive protector. Last year in Mexico we had power issues and I didn't know how to use the blue jumper to bypass the problem. Wound up rewiring directly to the transfer switch and took our chances for 6 months. Fortunately we had no issues

The only problem I see with the unit is the input line is on the wrong side for a clean installation in our DS. I have to run the cable under and around to enter the box or mount it upside down :( Wish they offered an option of left or right side input
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:04 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datrbone8 View Post
I just ordered the remote bypass switch for our Progressive protector. Last year in Mexico we had power issues and I didn't know how to use the blue jumper to bypass the problem. Wound up rewiring directly to the transfer switch and took our chances for 6 months. Fortunately we had no issues

The only problem I see with the unit is the input line is on the wrong side for a clean installation in our DS. I have to run the cable under and around to enter the box or mount it upside down :( Wish they offered an option of left or right side input
The input was on the wrong side in my coach as well. So I mounted the unit upside down and then mounted the cover rotated 180 degrees so that I could still read the text. My unit had the remote display. I believe that you cannot rotate the covers on the units with the built-in display.

I described the installation (with a picture) here in another thread if you are interested.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:13 AM   #42
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Post #10 said: "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."

I have a Progressive 50amp hard wired unit installed in my coach. I also fabricated (with a little research & help) one of these, which gives me the best of both worlds:

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