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Old 07-01-2008, 03:37 PM   #1
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Hello,
After reading several posts about the need for surge guard protectors I'm considering buying one.
I must say however that with all the campgrounds that I've visited over the last 7 years that we have never had a problem of this nature. And believe me we go on average 10 times a year with about about a total of 7 to 8 weeks of camping time. Maybe I'm living on borrowed time with this but I'm wondering if there isn't a little marketing going on with these items.
Like to hear your thoughts. Letsgoagain
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:37 PM   #2
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Hello,
After reading several posts about the need for surge guard protectors I'm considering buying one.
I must say however that with all the campgrounds that I've visited over the last 7 years that we have never had a problem of this nature. And believe me we go on average 10 times a year with about about a total of 7 to 8 weeks of camping time. Maybe I'm living on borrowed time with this but I'm wondering if there isn't a little marketing going on with these items.
Like to hear your thoughts. Letsgoagain
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:24 PM   #3
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LGA
If nothing else, its very cheap insurance. Ours has "saved" us several times, One time in Tenn State park, the polarity was reversed. It would not turn on and the CG did not care, so I moved. Several other times our elec went of because of lightning. I was told, it may not blow your microwave the first or 2nd time, but it "wears" electronics down over time without a protector. Also, while in service center in Ind. a couple was having all their electical items replaced. They had been to Mexico and bad A/C burned everything up. I like the progressive Hard wire. I'm on my 2nd unit. I also camped many years without one, but its like a riding lawnmower, once you have one, you can never go back to a push mower. I would not camp without one. s/Toby
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">we have never had a problem of this nature. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
...that you know of. Low voltage can cause damage that you don't know about until much later, so when you actually know you have a problem you have no idea what caused it.

We have been in three campgrounds in the past six months that had power issues. One was simply low voltage, one was a relatively new campground with seriously low voltage under load, and one with potentially dangerous neutral problems resulting in simultaneous low voltage on one 50a leg and high voltage on the other 50a leg. In all three cases, we probably would not have been aware of the issues if we did not have a SurgeGard that disconnected power and caused me to check out what was going on. But I have no doubt that at least two of those situations would have caused damage which could lead to premature failure of electronics.

We are on our second SurgeGard. The first was destroyed by a lightning strike to the RV park CATV box, and the current then crossed over into the electrical system through the ground system. We did have some damage in the coach, but nowhere near as much as other coaches around us. The SurgeGard was replaced by the mfg at no charge.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:52 PM   #5
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Think of them like a seat belt. You may need it only once in your life, but which once? They're really cheap compared to the cost of replacing wiring & appliances, let alone the aggravation.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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Well worth the money for the peace of mind alone. Just last month we plugged into 50 amps at 5:00 pm and all was okay. Our power guard shut down due to low voltage a little after 7:00 pm. It was a hot day and as the campground filled up all those air conditioners caused a voltage drop. We started out generator to keep cool until about 10:00 pm when the shore power voltage came back up to a safe level. There is no telling what potential damage was avoided.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:32 AM   #7
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AC Voltage Meter
Try a plugin analog AC voltage meter. Costs about $15 at CW. I keep one plugged in to monitor the AC voltage at all times. When I hear the fan running up, there's something going on. Often the voltage may surge up to 130+, so it's time to hit the circuit breakers till things settle down. You'll also see the low voltage conditions which can be equally damaging. DM
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:02 AM   #8
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I'm with Danny. We go camping to enjoy ourselves and I don't want to have to monitor and worry about voltage variations frying something inside of our RV. I believe that our hardwired SurgeGuard can respond more promptly to a potential damaging situation than I can. We were camped at Port Isabel (South Padre Island) when a nearby thunderstorm suddenly hit the local powergrid, blacking out the campground. There must have been a power surge preceding the blackout because our SurgeGuard thumped out before the rest of the park went dark. We never did learn if anyone else suffered any damage but we didn't.

We don't spend a long time in any one place and are in lots of different camping situations, plugged into many different power sources. While I generally check them before plugging in, there is no telling what kinds of problems can develop afterwards. Many parks were wired a long time ago and have not been updated to keep up with new and higher demands of RVs. We even had the wires on the input of the circuit breaker on the power pole burn off in one park. With those kinds of conditions, I want all the protection that we can get and view the SurgeGuard like the other posters - as a very reasonable insurance policy on which there are no ongoing premiums.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:24 AM   #9
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A few years ago during the night due to a power problem we had a brown out. It burned out the generator transfer switch. Thankfully the switch went before any appliances. I will never again be with out one. The low voltage worries me as much as lightning spikes.

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Old 07-02-2008, 09:44 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">The low voltage worries me as much as lightning spikes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Low/high voltage and miswired campgrounds are by far more common than surges.

An EMS is essential. Just using a meter will let you know after the fact why your equipment burnt up. You can't watch the meter all the time or when you're not there.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:16 PM   #11
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Ditto . . . to everything everyone else wrote.

I have a hardwired 50 amp EMS that feeds into a 50 amp autoformer which in turn feeds into the transfer switch.

I've seen too many RVers with damaged electrical equipment around me, while I remain safe and sound.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:21 PM   #12
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Agree with everything said above. I have a hardwired SurgeGuard in my MH. It has saved me twice -- once from an open ground and once from low current. To me it is cheap insurance and I don't have to worry about the electric to my coach any more.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:33 PM   #13
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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 Letsgoagain:
Hello,
After reading several posts about the need for surge guard protectors I'm considering buying one.
I must say however that with all the campgrounds that I've visited over the last 7 years that we have never had a problem of this nature. And believe me we go on average 10 times a year with about about a total of 7 to 8 weeks of camping time. Maybe I'm living on borrowed time with this but I'm wondering if there isn't a little marketing going on with these items.
Like to hear your thoughts. Letsgoagain </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not that you are aware of. You can rest assured that there have been events and that they have in some way effected you and your coach.

I thought I was fine until I got the SurgeGuard and it started showing low voltage. Then I started monitoring the voltage and found that even when the SurgeGuard was not faulting that there were continual power events that were just on the fringe of setting things off but not quite there. Lost both AC blowers and all the starters (2 sets) for my AC Compressors during the summer of 2006 which was attributed to low voltage. I added a Hughs Autoformer which detects along with corrects low voltage that most times would not set off the SurgeGuard and have not lost any more equipment due to low voltage since. I have even been able to run my coach for months on a 20 amp service/extension cord without any more equipment losses which I attribute mostly to the Autoformer.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:51 PM   #14
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Our first Coach had an electrical fire while parked in front of our stick house. Everything that was 110 volts was ruined. I often wonder if a surge guard would have protected it. Our new Coach has one now.
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