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Old 01-27-2022, 07:29 PM   #1
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What kind of surge protector to get?

I have a 2015 crossroads zinger 26dt and I love it. So naturally I want to protect it. I looked at Amazon and am seeing 30amp surge protectors from 20$ - 350$ or more. I'm hearing some simply only tell you if it's wired correctly and won't do squat for a power surge, some do protect but are single use, some can reset but are poorly made etc...I defiantly dont want to cheap out here, but I also don't want to keep buying a new one either due to single use or poorly made. I also don't want to be tricked Into buying a 350$ when a 100$ one will do just fine either. I just want one that'll protect the electronics, weatherproof, and can reset should it detect a problem with the power. I have seen few with a screen that shows like current amps, watts, and volts being used. Ide like that feature but it's not a must for me. Anyone have any insight? Like general brands to stay away from, brands to look at, stay way from this type of plug etc... Thanks for the help
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:41 PM   #2
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You did not say what amps. There will be lots of opinions from the forum. I have a Southwire 50-amp model 34591 (~$400 on Amazon) and a Progressive Industries 30-amp surge protector ($94 on Amazon). I do not use the latter since I plug in 50-amp all the time.
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:53 PM   #3
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Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X.
More than just surge suppressor.

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Old 01-28-2022, 07:36 PM   #4
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I would actually recommend not just a surge protector but a true EMS that will protect you from much more than just surges.

An EMS looks for open ground(s) as well as low/high voltage on input line(s) (multiple for 50A). Hughes and Progressive industries seem to be the leaders in this field.

I have had a Progressive Industries EMS-50 hardwired in my previous 5th wheel and the first thing I added to my current 36' DP was the same system.

I'm protected every time we plug in and don't have to worry about theft of my unit sitting on the pedestal.

My unit has detected low voltage, unbalanced voltage, an open ground on more than one occasion, and even a power cord that had begun to fail as a result of wear over time.

I also had an issue with my previous unit that was installed in the 5th wheel when we bought it, records showed that it was almost 10 years old, a call to PI identified a contactor problem, they shipped me one overnight at no cost and didn't even want a receipt...... their customer service kept me loyal and now we have an EMS-50 permanently installed with one display in the service bay so I can see the quality of power when we plug in and one in the coach so we can monitor things while were camped!
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:45 PM   #5
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Seems like progressive industries is the way to go lol so far everyone has recommended them. I do like that ems idea. Defiantly looking into that.
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:21 AM   #6
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I have been using a Progressive portable and two years ago I went to a hard wired one. they have saved my coach many times in the 13 years I've been RVing. Considering the replacement cost of electronics, protecting them with a quality unit is paramount.
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:42 AM   #7
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Progressive and Southwire are the two common for RV's as far as I know
I have a Southwire
Best I can tell both have reasonable reputations
Difference I believe are
- The Southwire has a remote monitoring unit that displays status inside the RV (I have one)
- The progressive (I believe) can be remotely monitored via an app on your smart phone
- The progressive (I believe) you can replace the surge MOVs if they are destroyed by a surge. If you know what your doing.

Note there are three seperate things that people refer to interchangably:
- Surge protection - only provides limited protection of your RV equipment from voltage spikes/momentary voltage surges - if the surge/spike amounts to anything it will wipe out the MOV surge element
- Shore power monitoring ... what people call EMS - this is sensors that monitor the voltage of the shore power and disconnect the RV in the event of low voltage (note not all disconnect, some units only provide and alarm). The term EMS should not be confused with the energy management system built into your RV that automatically turns on & off loads to stay below the 30A or 50A capacity. Shore power monitoring is the most important aspect as low voltage can burn up your AC unit compressors and any other motors.
- Auto Transformer - some call this an autoformer - Note one company calls their shore power monitor and autoformer which creates confusion. This is a transformer specially connected in a buck-boost configuration to boost the incoming shore power voltage in the event of a brown out or low voltage. older RV parks during peak demand periods can experience brown outs or some parts of the US can experience brown outs during peak demand. The auto transformer can protect your RV AC motors and other motors if the brown out is withing the limits of the buck boost capacity.
- usually shore power monitoring (EMS) and surge protection are combined in the same unit
- usually the auto transformer is a separate unit (again there is a EMS called an autoformer that is not a autotransformer)
I hope this helps.
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Old 01-29-2022, 06:35 AM   #8
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I have a hard wired 50 amp Progressive. There is a remote display inside the 5er so I can see what is happening anytime without going outside to check a display. This is an EMS.

To my knowledge a surge protector once works once because a surge fries something. On the Progressive (I have been told) there is a replaceable circuit board that you can replace yourself. Just contact Progressive and they will send you one.
I have never had a surge. However, I have had the power shut down for high voltage, low voltage and no ground at the pedestal. Other people in the park have not had their power go off when mine has but they did not have an EMS. After a while bad power will toast the electronics and they can never say why.
My advice is get one.
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Old 01-29-2022, 07:54 AM   #9
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there are as many opinions on this as there are rv owners. here's my thoughts.

if you are going to use a device like this spend the money (one-time money) to get the full EMS protection devices. these monitor for out of spec electrical conditions and disconnect the power going into the rv should such a condition occur. they will show an error code that describes the condition and will reconnect when it disappears. these all have surge protection also, but that is not why you are buying the unit.

a hardwired unit is nice as it is a once and done installation. but you have to get it installed and that can be a task. also, the hardwired units will get installed in some out of the way location so you won't be able to easily see its display. so plan on also buying and installing the remote display and mounting it where you can access it. but this requires more wires to be run. these units recently started offering bluetooth connection to an app on you phone to get the status information and while i don't have this, this seems like a very nice feature. if i had to do it over based upon what i know now i'd try to find a hardwired unit that doesn't have any display on the unit itself and uses bluetooth to a phone app.

the portable units seem easier to plug in but you have to go out to the pedestal to read any status information.

most of the units show the voltage and amperage being used. don't discount this capability. you won't use it often but when you are interested it is nice to have.
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:03 AM   #10
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We use Hughes Watchdog and love the features, notably the remote app information and the modular replacement feature, but you will not go wrong with Hughes, Progressive, or South wire, all have excellent reputations.
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Old 01-29-2022, 01:05 PM   #11
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Don't waste your money on just a surge protector! Go ahead and buy the EMS series from Progressive Industries that protects you against all kinds of AC problems! Best insurance you can buy!
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:07 PM   #12
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Yeah I think I'll be doing the ems from progressive. I dont like messing with electronics and after seeing an instal video, even I think it's pretty easy. Just need a day that isn't raining to figure out where to mount it and what not. Amazon has it for maybe $280. Seems like a small price to pay for top notch assurance.
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Old 01-31-2022, 03:47 PM   #13
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You can buy a portable that hangs on the pedestal or hardwire one into the coach ahead of the transfer switch. I have a hardwired 50A Progressive that one of the early purchases for our coach. It was easy and explained well in the instructions. My Sister and BIL have the 30A progressive EMS and they hang it and lock it to the pedestal.
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Old 01-31-2022, 09:03 PM   #14
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Don't waste your money on the cheap surge protectors. Get a Progressive Ind. EMS. Either the portable one or the hard wired one will work.

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