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Old 01-19-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Greetings forum!

After doing a search using the "find" tool on this forum, I realized that not only has my question not been asked before, but now I have another!

I'm going to get a surge protector for my 1997 Dutch Star with its now brand-new converter.... Camping world is selling the SurgeGuard 50 A for about $265 right now with the following specs:

Mfg Part #: 34750-001-012

Tech Notes:

240 volts
50 amps
6/4 AWG cord
1750 joules surge suppression
6500 amps spike protection
Response time 1 nanosecond
Built-in two minute and 16 second time delay for compressor protection
Fire protection

It also claims to provide over and under voltage protection.

However, I can get one by Progressive for much less money, and I can't really tell any significant difference in the two.

Progessive's SSP 50 is a follows:

SSP 5O
RV Smart Surge Protector

SSP 50 Smart Surge 240 Volt/50Amp is an inexpensive state of the art way to protect your RV from surges. Plus it comes with built in dual line polarity tester to check the power source for proper wiring. It also has surge status indicators with fuse protection. This Smart Surge is sleek, compact, portable, weather resistant and requires no installation. It comes with a one year warranty.

Features - Specifications - Operation Guide - Warranty

Four Mode Surge Protection - Lines to Neutral, Lines to Ground, Neutral to Ground and Line to Line. The SSP50 is rated for 240 Volts/50 Amps with 900 joules and 39,000 surge amps. It has less than one nano second response time.

Circuit Tester checks for - Reverse Polarity Open Ground Open Neutral - on both lines
#1 Red light On & #2 Red light Off = Correct Wiring Safe for you and equipment
#1 Red light Off & #2 Red light On = Reverse Polarity Bad for sensitive equipment
#1 Red light On & #2 Red light On = Open Neutral No power
#1 Red light Off & #2 Red light Off = Open Ground Could result in fatal shock
Green Surge Light on = Good surge protection Green light off = Surge protection bad
Size - 12" H (includes cord) x 4 1/2" W x 3 1/2" D

I don't see anything in this one about under voltage situations, though....

Seems like just plugging in the portable will be simpler than paying someone to hard wire one, and the Surge Guard has some kind of security device I can also buy, I guess to keep someone from unplugging it and driving off, and it does look like the SSP 50 could be swiped pretty quickly....

So here are the questions: any key differences between these two products?

any strong opinions about portable v: hardwired? How costly/difficult is it to hardwire one in?

lastly, what about 50 A v. 30 A? Most places I go (horse arenas for my dog shows) are 30 A hookups, but I occasionally hit a 50. Can I buy a 50 A protector, then use an adapter on it when I plug it into a 30 A outlet? Or do I need a protector for each plug, if I'm getting a portable?

Much obliged, as always, for opinions and insights. Sharon in TN
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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Hi tnsharon07,
To answer your last question first. If your coach is 50 AMP then get the 50 AMP protector. When connecting to 30 AMP, use an adapter to the shore power.

I have a Surge Guard, 50 AMP portable. It stays in my electrical compartment. I purchased an extra length of 50 AMP cord and that cord is what exits the coach and connects to shore power.

Both devices work. The only overall experience I can provide is that in 3+ years of host and co-hosting rallies, I have never been called to a coach with a Surge Guard device. When an owner has an electrical probem the coach has either no protection device or a Progressive device.

I am not an electrician. I have my views as to why this has been the history. But, to keep the thread on target to answer your questions, my thoughs will not be posted here.

If you want more information, PM me.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
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Like Gary, I have used the portable Surge Guard for numerous years.

The important thing is to obtain a surge protector and use it.

Fred
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:21 PM   #4
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I mounted my Surge Guard myself. I wasn't too difficult. If you have never worked with electrical wiring, I would have an electrician do the install. I also have not heard of anyone stealing an external surge guard. Have never heard of a "Progressive" device so I can't comment. Based on what I have heard, you don't want travel without one.

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Old 01-19-2009, 02:26 PM   #5
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Sharon,

Either will do the job. I have the Surge Guard. That's the unit that my dealer carries. If I were installing today, I would probably go with the Progressive unit for the extras that you have outlined.

I have the hard-wired unit installed between my power cord and transfer box. Again, doing it today I would probably get the portable and mount plug in the power cord compartment to plug it in between the cord and the transfer box. Being in the bay should keep it from "growing legs".

I would go for the 50 amp. You can use it with an adapter on a 30 amp circuit. If you have a 30 amp, that the most you can use with surge protection.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by tnsharon07:
I don't see anything in this one about under voltage situations, though....
Sharon in TN
I don't believe the Progressive Smart Surge (SSP30/SSP50) provides over/under voltage protection. That's the reason it's less expensive then the Surge Guard. To get over/under voltage protection from Progressive Industries, you need an EMS series. IMO, voltage protection is just as important, if not more important, as surge protection. The other advantage to the Progressive EMS series is they have higher surge protection (1320 joules for the 30A models and 3640 for the 50A models) than either the Progressive SSP models or the Surge Guard. We have a hard-wired Progressive EMS 50A unit.

Installation of the hard-wired models is not difficult, but you don't have to worry about installation at all with the in-line models. However, there is more risk of theft with the in-line models, even with the locks that are available.

As others have said, the amperage of the surge protector you need depends on your coach, not on the campgrounds you visit. If your coach is 50A and you have a 50A surge protector (either in-line or hard-wired), just use an adapter.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
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I had the Progressive Industries 30A hard wired protector on my last coach and have the 50A version on this one. I preferred the hard wire because once it's in don't have to worry about it and I have been very happy with it. It has saved me several times from low voltage or reverse polarity. The remote display can be mounted inside your coach which is a nice feature if you choose to do so. I know several others who have it also and as far as I know have not had any issues or problems with it.

If you are handy at all it isn't difficult to hard wire one.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by tnsharon07:
I don't see anything in this one about under voltage situations, though....
Sharon in TN
I don't believe the Progressive Industries Smart Surge models (SSP30/SSP50) provide over/under voltage protection. That's the reason they cost less then the Surge Guard models.

To get over/under voltage protection from Progressive Industries you need an EMS model. IMO, voltage protection is just as important, if not more important, than surge protection. We have never run into a surge problem (knock on wood), but we have run into voltage problems several times. We have a hard-wired Progressive EMS 50A.

Wiring is not difficult, but with the in-line models, you don't have to worry about wiring at all. However, the in-line models are more prone to theft, even with the locks that are available. As has been suggested, you can use an extension cord and keep the in-line model locked in your bay if you don't want to go to the trouble of hard wiring.

As others have said, the amperage of the surge protector you need depends on your coach, not on the campgrounds you visit. If you have a 50A coach and a 50A surge protector (in-line or hard-wired), just use an adapter.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:04 PM   #9
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I have the 50 Amp SurgeGuard hard wired model. I installed in in the electrical bay and put plugs and receptacles so it can be removed if necessary. In essence, I made the hard wired model portable and by putting it inside I don't have to worry about losing it.


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Old 01-19-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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extremely useful info, as I always find here...thanks!

but what's the deal with undervoltage protection? why do I care if the power is only giving me 100 volts rather than 110? is there harm?
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
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oh yeah - one more thing: I already have a 50 A extension cord, so I could easily hook it to the shore power, hide my portable surge guard in the power compartment, and hook the manufacturer power cord into the surge guard which is between the two cords....but isn't it best to have electricity travel the shortest possible length of cord, without any connections along the way? (wonder where in the world I got this idea...) sharon
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
why do I care if the power is only giving me 100 volts rather than 110? is there harm?
Absolutely!! Low voltage will damage electric motors, circuit boards, etc. Often the damaged item may not fail immediately, but it will fail. AND, due to old wiring (or poorly installed) wiring, I would say you are much likely to experience low voltage in an RV park than any other type of damage. We had the 50a Surge Guard (mfg by TRC I believe?) hardwired in after we had burned wiring in the ac system that the tech attributed to "likely low voltage". The Surge Guard has cut power many times since we installed it four years ago, but we have not had other low or high voltage damage that we are aware of. (well... other than a lightning strike that toasted the Surge Guard and damaged a few other items ...and the mfg replaced the Surge Guard at no cost to us).

I also have a digital line meter in an outlet in the galley. I can watch the voltage drop in many RV parks, particularly on hot days in the late afternoon as people come "home" and crank up the air conditioning, turn on microwaves, etc. By watching the line meter, I normally know before it happens when the Surge Guard is likely to disconnect power.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:34 AM   #13
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i have been using the portable 50 amp PROGRESSIVE surge protector for about a year now. it has functioned well for me.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by tnsharon07:
but what's the deal with undervoltage protection? why do I care if the power is only giving me 100 volts rather than 110? is there harm?
AFChap is right. High or low voltage can damage sensitive electronic equipment. Low voltage is particularly hard on air conditioners, and the low voltage is most likely to occur just when you need the AC the most - in hot weather when everyone else is running their AC. As AFChap said, the low voltage can damage the motor, but the motor may not fail until sometime later.

A good feature of the Progressive Industries hard-wired EMS series of surge protectors is they have a model available with a remote display. You can mount the display inside the coach so you can see what the voltage is at any given time.

Most surge protectors that provide over/under voltage protection will be looking for 120 volts +/- 10%. They will shut off when voltage drops below about 108 volts or rises above 132 volts.

We have found older campgrounds that only have 30 amp service tend to have more problems with low voltage, but we have had more problems with high voltage in newer parks with 50 amp service. The high voltage occurs late at night when demand is low.
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