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Old 05-06-2019, 10:51 AM   #1
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Surge protector

How important is a surge protector for my new rv the best one is 337$
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:06 PM   #2
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Good Question. If you ever plug into shore power, you may want one to see if the electricity is good. You need to read the serge protector for it to work. I was at my uncles house and plugged in to his power for the first time and he had an open neutral. That is what my surge protector said when I plugged the coach in. The new inverter/charger was about $2000.00 and the labor to install it was about the same. If you read the surge protector it can save you $4000.00. I am learning to read. I mostly boondock and run the generator to charge the batteries up. I just replaced a relay and now my batteries charge when I drive the coach too.

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Old 05-06-2019, 02:57 PM   #3
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My Salesman was insistent that I buy both a surge protector and a water pressure regulator.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:44 PM   #4
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My Salesman was insistent that I buy both a surge protector and a water pressure regulator.
That's what salesmen do!

This time he was right.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:03 PM   #5
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Since just getting a 2017 Sunstar, I have not heard anyone say they are not absolutely essential. I am about to order a Surge Guard 34950 (50 Amps) and thought I'd pause for some input. First, this works for a 30 amp source as well as 50 right? What about 15-20 amps circuits? 2nd, they tout that this newer (one year old?) model does analysis and protection on the load side (in the coach) not just the source side (pedestal). Sounds good; is that a big deal? 3rd. any other suggestions? I guess if good ones are all in the $300 range, I dont' need to worry about saving a few $$ on a lesser known brand.


Edit: I see there's now a 34951 model that has been out just a couple of months.


Side question; is there some (minor) protection in the transfer switch? thought I heard a comment about that, but that's not it's main purpose, right? And it could be part of the problem if there is one on the load side, even a loose wire in it?



TIA.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:35 PM   #6
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Astock64 - I would consider it essential. It's cheap insurance. Ours has saved us from low voltage at the pedestal in a state park.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:06 PM   #7
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Be sure to get a a protector better than entry level. You want one that will not pass power unless it senses a properly wired pedestal outlet within a save voltage range. They also have a 2 minute time delay feature. If power is interrupted, it will delay connecting thru power for 2 minutes. This delay allows Air Conditioner / Heat Pumps be safely restarted without the Compressor Motor being damaged.

Personally I use the Surge Guard 35530 Hardwire model on my Vista with 30 amp shore cable, that can be bought for as little as $ 188 on Amazon.com right now. The hardwire version is cheaper and does not have to be messed with each time you set up and tear down. I mounted it in line with the shore cable in the basement right before the transfer switch box.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:15 PM   #8
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Ted,

I would echo the others in that a surge protector is an absolute necessity. Cheap insurance! However, it will not protect you from a loose wire on a transfer switch. Our second trip in our Aspect 30J resulted in our transfer switch being fried. It was the result of a loose wire and not from the shore power being erratic. Winnebago actually had a recall on this particular transfer switch but it was the year before ours was manufactured. We are the second owners so it didn't matter anyway. We replaced it and haven't had any issues since then.

I am not familiar with your particular surge protector that you are looking at but we did buy a portable one for ours. There is a difference in the portable ones between the 30 amp and 50 amp as the plug in is different. I would recommend that you purchase one that is for your specific needs. If you are getting an installed unit, then you should be fine for whatever you're bringing in from shore power.

As far as the water pressure regulator, well, another must. We keep ours at 50# and the owners manual calls for a max of 50#. We stayed at a family member's home and hooked up water to their yard hydrant. They had 70# at the hydrant which I am thinking might have been too much for our rig.

Cheap insurance on both accounts! Good luck!

Al
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:08 AM   #9
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If you have the room to install it, I recommend a hard-wired surge protector over a portable one. Nothing to remember and you don't need to be concerned about theft or loss. Progressive Industries makes a quality, popular version. Here's a link to their 50A model ($275.75 on Amazon):

https://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-lchw50

Installation is a pretty straightforward DIY job. If you don't have room for a hard-wired model, Progressive also has a portable line.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:16 PM   #10
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thanks guys. I did order the new Surge Guard 50A. I'm not concerned about forgetting to us it, it's mainly the theft potential. If the locking ring on the unit is not enough to stop a pair of bolt cutters, I'll make a box or something secure enough that a plasma cutter would be needed.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:09 PM   #11
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Astock64 - I would consider it essential. It's cheap insurance. Ours has saved us from low voltage at the pedestal in a state park.
Since the OP mentioned cost, let's assume that money is important and spending it is often a choice between several essential items.

If you believe that a surge protector will protect from a lightning strike, then get one if your area is prone to lightning strikes. I'm not 100% sure about that if your coach gets a big enough surge.

However, if low voltage is your concern (and rightfully so) then get a Kil-a-Watt for about $20. Useful little tool that tells you the voltage, how many watts each of your appliances use, and several other neat facts. It's like a volt-meter, but measures by being plugged into one of your outlets...
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:41 PM   #12
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Surge protector

Best one is progressive industries. Lifetime guarantee. Is you 100,00 dollar motorhome worth 400 dollars. Your choice
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:48 PM   #13
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For our 30A 29R, I purchased and hardwired a Hughes Autoformer RV2130-SP. We are just completing an 11 month trip with more than 80 campgrounds. The Autoformer protected us several times in the southeast and some olde parks that were not putting out enough voltage...far less expensive than a new AC, refrigerator or inverter/charger.

"Don't leave home without it!"
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My Salesman was insistent that I buy both a surge protector and a water pressure regulator.
Ask yourself how much your electric appliances are worth? Do you charge your phones and laptops? All these things are ruined if there is an electric issue. Your ATS will not protect enough.

As for the pressure regulator. Same thing. Nothing to ruin a trip like blown plumbing and a flood in the RV. I have the adjustable regulator with a gauge. Would only get that kind. I have used the others, too much of a "trust" factor.

Spend the small amounts now to protect against the big amounts later.

Anyone who says you do not need one, is a big gambler.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:00 PM   #15
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On Amazon, Surge Guard 34931 (30 AMP) - Full Protection Portable with LCD Display is $260 and the optional remote monitor about $50 depending where you order it. This newer Surge Guard monitors cycles and temperature as well as voltage and amperage and relay this info to the monitor inside your unit so you can keep an eye on things. It starts up in 10 seconds instead of 2 minutes. Locking ring keeps out all but the most determined thief's. Southwire is a quality producer of all thing electrical.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:26 AM   #16
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I often see people talking about theft of portable surge protectors...but is it REALLY a concern? I'm a four-year full-timer, have camped in parks all over the US, and have never heard of one being stolen. But then, I don't stay in sketchy looking parks!
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Since the OP mentioned cost, let's assume that money is important and spending it is often a choice between several essential items.

If you believe that a surge protector will protect from a lightning strike, then get one if your area is prone to lightning strikes. I'm not 100% sure about that if your coach gets a big enough surge.

However, if low voltage is your concern (and rightfully so) then get a Kil-a-Watt for about $20. Useful little tool that tells you the voltage, how many watts each of your appliances use, and several other neat facts. It's like a volt-meter, but measures by being plugged into one of your outlets...
If I read the description of the Kill-a-Watt, it only warns (but doesn't protect) you from a condition that exists when you plug it in. It won't protect you from a situation that develops afterward. It's up to you to read the device and unplug if there's an issue. Power surges and the like can occur from conditions other than lightning strikes.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:06 AM   #18
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Iím sure a surge protector is descent insurance, but we have owned motorhomes since 1981 and have never had one and have never had a problem.
Just my 2 cents worth!
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:27 AM   #19
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I have been using Progressive Industries portable surge protector since 2007. On several occasions it has protected us.

On incident: Pulled in, hooked up, all was good, powered up AC, etc., and about an hour later AC went off. Went out and read the display on the surge gard and it gave the number for low voltage. Called CG office, they metered it and it was reading 102 volts. They said they were having a problem with some of the electrical.

Other times were brown outs, fluctuations, or complete power failure/fluctuation and the PI Surge Guard worked flawlessly.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:31 PM   #20
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I’m sure a surge protector is descent insurance, but we have owned motorhomes since 1981 and have never had one and have never had a problem.
Just my 2 cents worth!
I never had a problem for years, either, until I had one and lost my microwave as a result. Fortunately it was just the microwave. There was a (non-thunderstorm) storm-related power failure in the campground and apparently there was a surge when it came back on.
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