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Old 09-28-2020, 03:28 PM   #1
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RV Surge Protector?

We have never used one before, but I'm just wondering do I need one or not? What's do they do? We have a 2008 Itasca 35J and it has 30amp service.
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Old 09-28-2020, 03:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SuperDad View Post
We have never used one before, but I'm just wondering do I need one or not? What's do they do? We have a 2008 Itasca 35J and it has 30amp service.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:03 PM   #3
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There are different levels of function under the label "surge protector". The most basic is exactly that - it protects against power surges (brief high voltage spikes) in the incoming power. Beyond that are two more functions found in the more expensive models. One is a power outlet wiring test, which verifies the campsite outlet is correctly wired, i.. hot, neutral and ground as specified in the electrical code. The second is a realtime voltage monitor that continuously verifies that the line voltage is within safe limits, typically 108v-126v. This prevents damage to appliances such as a/c compressors.

If all the campsites you visit have up-to-spec wiring and power management, you don't need the second two functions. Unfortunately, some do not. Especially older campgrounds or ones created by semi-pro electricians. Think of the surge/power monitor device as a $250 insurance policy against bad park power.

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Old 09-28-2020, 04:17 PM   #4
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You really want more than just a surge protector. You want a power protector, as linked in Gary's post.

We've been RV-ing for 20 years & every RV we've owned has had a Progressive Industries protector installed. We've had sites with low voltage issues, an open ground issue, a dead line issue & a miswired shore box. Our PI's protected us from those disasters.

Some people balk at the price, but what's $400+ when you can protect thousands of dollars in equipment/appliances.

I would not be without one.

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Old 09-28-2020, 04:23 PM   #5
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I would suggest buying one... I got mine through Walmart would you believe!! It's the Progressive Industries SSP-50XL model. I believe it was around $120 or $140. I usually plug mine into land power then click on the power... if all is good, the lights will indicate the situation. After a quick check and everything is good, I quickly flick the main breaker off, plug my RV cord in then flick the breaker back on. I then close the semi clear cover that helps the RV plug from getting wet. Hope this helps in your decision. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-28-2020, 04:30 PM   #6
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Looking at the Progressive Industries SSP30X model now.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:44 PM   #7
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You definitely want one with protection for low voltage. Probably much more common than people realize, especially in the hot hours of the summer when everyone has the a/c running. Low voltage will kill things like a/c units quickly.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SuperDad View Post
Looking at the Progressive Industries SSP30X model now.
Either that or the Surge Guard 44260 will do the job well. I'd probably pick which based mostly on price as one who worked with similar products for all of my career. I have experience with both and either will do what they claim to do. Camco is also now selling a competing device but I have no knowledge of how good it is.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:57 PM   #9
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+1 for a progressive hard wired unit. (Ems-LCHW30). My prior coach was a 08 Sunova 35J, a progressive unit mounts quite nicely in the power bay, you can mount it to the “white metal plate” that has the various labels painted on it. How I did mine:

1. Disconnect the shore line from the junction box.
2. Mount the progressive unit on the “white wall” noted above.
3. Connect the shore line to the input of the progressive unit.
4. Connect the out of the progressive unit to the junction box where the shore line was (you will need extra wire or will have to shorten your shore line for the piece of wire)
5. Plug in, test unit, crack beer.

Aside from being the least intrusive install (pretty easy to get to junction box) you get the added bonus of the progressive unit also protecting you when the genset is running although the odds are rare of a issue there. (For those not familiar, this year coach does not have a Auto transfer switch, you plug the shoreline into a receptacle in the power bay that’s connected to the genset.)

Good luck and enjoy the Sunova!
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:27 PM   #10
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We have a hard wired Progressive EMS on our coach and it has saved us at least 4 times so far.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:26 AM   #11
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I would buy the EMS series protector by Progressive Industries! This protects you against any kind of AC problem, not just surges, and has a lifetime warranty! I wouldn't leave home without it!
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:57 PM   #12
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Another vote for the Progressive EMS units... lifetime warranty means you only have to buy it once.

If you get a portable unit it goes on the pedestal, if you get a permanent unit then it won't become a thief's target... he'll want to put it inside and right ahead of his breaker panel.

I do not know the parameters of the original poster's RV... if you have a power cord reel here's s warning I saved from another comment thread...

Here's a heads up for anyone who hasn't had the problem yet. If you have a electric cord reel, (especially Southwire) be careful with it. DO NOT run the reel in our out with current flowing. The motion will burn up the
brushes and contacts inside the reel. Per their tech support Cord Reel Expert, "yep that happens. It gets a little dust, dirt or debris, the cord gets pulled when the AC current is flowing, and it arcs at the debris. Then when the reel moves past that exact place again, it arcs some more. Eventually it burns up."

In a best case scenario it's the hot lead that opens up and leaves you with no power. In a worst case scenario it's the neutral that opens up - on a 30 amp RV you just have outages and a fried reel. In a 50 amp RV the open neutral causes major problems and seriously fried electronics.

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Old 09-30-2020, 05:07 AM   #13
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Do you need one? No, not unless you need one, but when you need one, you really need one. Kinda like a gun.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:58 PM   #14
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Spent years without one and never had anything burn out, but in preparation for full timing, I purchased a Progressive Industries unit and it's saved us from low voltage twice in the first 6 months. Once in the winter time when people were using electric heaters in an old campground, and once when people were overloading the park power during a heatwave. Not only was everyone running all their air conditioners, they were charging their cars and golf carts too. In both cases voltage dropped below 104 volts, and the unit shut off power to my rig until it recovered.

I have the model that shows voltage and my load on each leg so I can monitor my own load.
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