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Old 07-11-2019, 06:34 AM   #1
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Hughes Autoformers PWD50+EPO -VS- SURGE GUARD 35550

I have a new to me 2015 Palazzo D.P. motorhome with a 50 amp service.
I plan on installing a voltage circuit protector on it. It will be hard wired.
I am looking at the HUGHES & SURGE GUARD products. I am looking for recommendations as to what is best.

I like the fact that the HUGHES has a board surge protector circuit board which can be replaced after it wears out rather than replacing the complete unit.
I am not sure what warranties they both offer and what they will replace in my coach if they ever fail my coach and or appliances are damaged.

Also I have a space at the end of the bed where the power wire comes inside the coach and the breaker panel is mounted. Is it ok to mount it in this area, or does it need to be in a more well ventilated area ?


If you have either of these units installed or have opinions
(pro or con) of either, please let me know.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:42 AM   #2
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With all due respect the Hughes and Surgeguard products are not directly competitive with each other. The Hughes device is an autotransformer the primary purpose of which is to raise voltage inside an RV if the pedestal voltage is below the set point.

Yes, it has some surge suppression aspects, but the Surgeguard that you are, no doubt, looking at is a power management system (PMS), not just a surge suppressor. It protects again miswired pedestals, high voltage and low voltage, and more. The primary competitor for Surgeguard is the equivalent product produced by Progressive Industries. Having owned both, I favor the Progressive device.

I also own a Hughes which I use when necessary but my Progressive is hard-wired in my MH. In my experience the Hughes is needed only occasionally at a few parks with low voltage.

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Old 07-11-2019, 06:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
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With all due respect the Hughes and Surgeguard products are not directly competitive with each other. The Hughes device is an autotransformer the primary purpose of which is to raise voltage inside an RV if the pedestal voltage is below the set point.

Yes, it has some surge suppression aspects, but the Surgeguard that you are, no doubt, looking at is a power management system (PMS), not just a surge suppressor. It protects again miswired pedestals, high voltage and low voltage, and more. The primary competitor for Surgeguard is the equivalent product produced by Progressive Industries. Having owned both, I favor the Progressive device.

I also own a Hughes which I use when necessary but my Progressive is hard-wired in my MH. In my experience the Hughes is needed only occasionally at a few parks with low voltage.

Joel (AKA docj)
Hi docj,
Thanks for the quick reply. I should not have added the word "AUTOFORMER" in my title. That may have been a bit misleading...Sorry

I am not looking at the HUGES autotransformer. They also offer a (PMS). Here is a link to it. Portable & hard wired versions are offered.

https://hughesautoformers.com/product/pwd50-epo/
https://hughesautoformers.com/product/pwd50-epo-h/

I am looking at the pros and cons of both.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:20 AM   #4
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The RV Geeks just did a good video a few weeks ago on their Hughes setup:
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:47 AM   #5
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The Hugh's, Surgegard, or Progressuve Industries EMS/PMS will all do a good job. Hugh's having Bluetooth communication is interesting, as is the wireless display option from Surgegard. PI is not offering similar (as of yet).

Protection wise, all similar. The Surgegard touts their capability to look into the coach for defects. As I understand it can detect a open nuetral to the main breaker. Provides a marketing talking point, but a problem very unlikely to occur.

I've used PI unuts in multiple coaches over the years. Used their tech support and warranty - both excellent experiences.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #6
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I have a Progressive EMS and a Hughes Autoformer, both built in. If I was looking for an EMS today I would be taking a hard look at the Hughes Power Watchdog.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:55 AM   #7
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Not to sidetrack the conversation at all, but after looking at the Watchdog and the new Autoformer with surge protection - why would you need the Watchdog if you have the Autoformer with SP? I guess you get Bluetooth connectivity, but what else does it have?
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:38 AM   #8
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Can either of these be mounted in the location I talked about , The cavity at the end of the bed, or do they need to be located in a basement storage area.

If so I will need to do a lot of work to run new wiring as my power feed into the coach is on the side wall and is the type with the push in and twist lock ring.


Any more opinions on either of these products are greatly appreciated.

Bob
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Not to sidetrack the conversation at all, but after looking at the Watchdog and the new Autoformer with surge protection - why would you need the Watchdog if you have the Autoformer with SP? I guess you get Bluetooth connectivity, but what else does it have?
The Watchdog, like the Progressive EMS units, will shut off power (or not allow it to come on) if certain undesired conditions (open neutral, open ground, for instance) are sensed. The Autoformer is a voltage booster with surge protection and lights to indicate line problems. The Autoformer doesn’t have auto shutoff but instead expects the user to check all the lights are green before plugging in.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ky bob View Post
Can either of these be mounted in the location I talked about , The cavity at the end of the bed, or do they need to be located in a basement storage area.

If so I will need to do a lot of work to run new wiring as my power feed into the coach is on the side wall and is the type with the push in and twist lock ring.


Any more opinions on either of these products are greatly appreciated.

Bob
I’m guessing most of us don’t know exactly what you mean by cavity at the end of the bed. Does that mean the devices will be inside your RV? They don’t give off any fumes but they do give off heat and may produce a noticeable hum.

Mine are mounted in the basement right next to the cord reel.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
The Hugh's, Surgegard, or Progressuve Industries EMS/PMS will all do a good job. Hugh's having Bluetooth communication is interesting, as is the wireless display option from Surgegard. PI is not offering similar (as of yet).

Protection wise, all similar. The Surgegard touts their capability to look into the coach for defects. As I understand it can detect a open nuetral to the main breaker. Provides a marketing talking point, but a problem very unlikely to occur.

I've used PI unuts in multiple coaches over the years. Used their tech support and warranty - both excellent experiences.
The PI has an often overlooked feature that is essential for diagnosing transient phenomena. That is its ability to display a "previous error" code. This may not seem important but I will share a specific situation in which it was.

I had had a hard-wired Surgeguard in our MH which, after ~5 years, had started turning the power off and then on again after a minute or two. There was no visible error on the Surgeguard once power was restored and the event was so random that there was no practical way to sit in my basement bay waiting for it to occur again.

As a result, I replaced the Surgeguard with a PI which started exhibiting the same "off and then on" behavior. But because it has a "previous error" display I was able to see that it was reporting that high voltage was the reason it was shutting off the power.

Many of you are aware that high voltage on one leg of a split phase system is common if there is low voltage on the other side of the line. Since this issue was occurring at a pedestal on my own property, a call to the power company resulted in a technician who tightened every connection between the distribution transformer and the power receptacle. Sure enough, the problem no longer occurred--the high voltage was a transient resulting from transient high resistance (a loose connection) somewhere in the circuit. The power company technician commented that "you RVers are the only people with equipment sensitive enough to see problems like this!"

Admittedly most of you will never experience this particular problem, but transients do occur and the previous error display is essential if you're trying to track them down. This, plus all the reasons already stated, is why I will be a loyal PI customer! (It's possible that the Hughes Bluetooth feature offers this, but I haven't seen any reference to a previous error readout capability).

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Old 07-11-2019, 10:57 AM   #12
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The key to locating most surge protecters is to wire it in before the transfer switch, generally at the end of your shore power cord, to protect it as well. From your OP, the cavity you mention sounds like it is after the TS, thus leaving it vulnerable. You may, however, have a TS that has a built in surge guard. If so, location of the new unit is up to you.
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