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Old 10-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
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I am looking at hardwiring in a Autoformer Voltage Regulator or a 50 amp Surge Guard and I am unclear of the advantages/disadvantages of both. Do you need both?


Thanks Tom M
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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I am looking at hardwiring in a Autoformer Voltage Regulator or a 50 amp Surge Guard and I am unclear of the advantages/disadvantages of both. Do you need both?


Thanks Tom M
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:30 PM   #3
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Some people say you need Both and there are some advantages to both 'BUT' at a minimum I would have the Surge Guard For sure,

Rick
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:27 PM   #4
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I had a SurgeGuard in my 2004 Bus and now have a Progressive unit in my 2007 Bus. I prefer the Progressive (better surge rating) but they both do a great job of protecting your coach.

Surge protectors protect your coach by shutting down shore power whenever the voltage goes too low (or high) as well as by filtering out spikes and lightning hits. They really should be a mandatory item in every coach nowadays as the extensive electrical items in them can get damaged easily by errant power and that gets very expensive to fix. Not having one is similar to driving your coach without insurance.

The Autoformer is a different animal. It's surge protection values are not as good as the other two so I would not recommend it as a standalone system. It's true claim to fame is that it can boost the incoming voltage (to a certain extent) if it's too low. That means that it will allow you to keep supplying power to the coach instead of shutting down. However, if the voltage is seriously low, it can't help. In this aspect it's valuable as a second line of defense but I wouldn't use it as a standalone item.

On my 2007 Bus I have added an Autoformer to my Progressive surge protector. I didn't bother on my 2004 because the worst thing that would happen was that I lost my air conditioning. Everything else ran on the inverter or on propane so it wasn't necessary. However, my 2007 has a large residential fridge. In this case my inverter would power it but after a day or so my batteries would be getting low so I decided to add the Autoformer this time. Twice I've encountered low voltage situations and the Autoformer simply boosted the voltage and kept me fed with adequate shore power voltage.

It's also important to install the Autoformer first - before the surge protector. If you put the Autoformer second the surge protector would shut off the power if the voltage was too low and the Autoformer wouldn't have anything to boost.

For specs on all of these items check out the RVupgrades website, where all of the installation details and specs are listed. That's where I bought my stuff from.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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From what I read, it looks like you need both to be safe. Here is a good article I found on line that covers both.

http://www.phrannie.org/surge.html
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:08 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MA4529:
I am looking at hardwiring in a Autoformer Voltage Regulator or a 50 amp Surge Guard and I am unclear of the advantages/disadvantages of both. Do you need both?


Thanks Tom M </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Tom,

You really need both. Last summer during the heat wave that hit the East Coast in July we experienced such extended widespread brownouts that you either turned the bypasse key on your SurgeGuard or did without electricity for several days. I gave in and turned the key. My AC quit from brownout damage and had to have several components replaced. The Autoformer overcomes most brownout condictions and lets you keep your AC and other systems going without damage while the SurgeGuard makes you do without.

The SurgeGuard does however provide much better surge protection then the AutoFormer and that is one reason you really should have both.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:34 AM   #7
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we recently stayed at a campground that had a ban on voltage boosters..large print on the resort rules and a sign on the door to emphasize it..can these have an effect on the campground power to other units?..jim
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:09 AM   #8
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A question within this original question. If you have a 50 amp autoformer and surgeguard but are on 30 amps what does the autoformer do?
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:49 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jim:
we recently stayed at a campground that had a ban on voltage boosters..large print on the resort rules and a sign on the door to emphasize it..can these have an effect on the campground power to other units?..jim </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
These bans usually stem from a misconception of how the autoformer works. Some think they steal power from the rest of the campground to boost your voltage. According to the Hughes website, the autoformer changes the amperage/voltage relationship DOWNSTREAM of the autoformer (in your RV only). See the Hughes Autoformer web page " How Does It Work."
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:57 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by lthrnk:
A question within this original question. If you have a 50 amp autoformer and surgeguard but are on 30 amps what does the autoformer do? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
A 50 amp autoformer will still work on 30 amp power just the way your 50 amp coach will work on 30 amp power. Just plug the autoformer in with an adapter. The autoformer will boost the voltage if necessary, the same as it would on 50 amp.
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:46 PM   #11
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paz,

Thank you. I though that was the case, just wanted to be sure.
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:12 AM   #12
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Paz and Cruzer
This is the best explanation of How the Surge Guard and the Autoformer work and Why we need them!!
Thanks Rick
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