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Old 01-21-2021, 08:43 PM   #1
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Surge protector, hardwire or portable?

I need to add a surge protector to my camper accessory box. Doing some research, I can see where hardwiring a surge protector is the way to go, mainly due to theft but also saving the hassle of getting it out each time setting up. However, I cannot see any convenient place in my 2108 to install. Any fellow Micro Minnie owners have a suggestion? I'd rather mess with the portable than hassle with an impractical install.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:46 AM   #2
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What model year is your Micro Minnie 2108? That info might help people reading this question. I just use a portable unit.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:58 PM   #3
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What model year is your Micro Minnie 2108? That info might help people reading this question. I just use a portable unit.
Yr. 2018, model 2108DS Micro Minnie
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:25 PM   #4
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I have used a Progressive PT-50 for over 10 years, the portable one. I never had a problem with anyone trying to steal it. However, as a precaution in those campgrounds I may have had a little apprehension about, I would use the tab lock on the protector and wrap a chain with a padlock around the pedestal, just as a deterrent. If anyone wants anything they can usually take it, like bolt cutters, crow bars, hammers, etc.

It is not so much the other campers, but the ability of people able to drive through a campsite that doesn't have gate security. It may take 10 more seconds to plug in a portable protector versus just the RV plug. Nice thing about the portable one was going from 5th wheel to RV to another RV I never had to worry about disseminating a permanent protector. JMHO
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:16 PM   #5
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I kind of did both...

I bought the high end 50 amp Southwire Portable EMS with 2 display monitors. I installed portable unit inside my electrical bay compartment that has locking door. To do so, I removed my 30' hardwired shore power cord and replaced with a short 4' hardwired shorepower cord. I put a new connector on 30' shorepower cord so I simply connect the 30' shorepower cord to portable EMS that is inside the locked electrical bay. If I ever need to me my Portable EMS I can, but thus far no need to. I have one display monitor on inside of the electrical door and another inside the RV next to my EC-30 controller. It shows voltage n both legs and amp draw on each leg.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:58 PM   #6
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I bought the Surge Guard and I can attach it to the 30-amp cord from the RV and store it inside the rear compartment of the Navion and have room to also store a 25 foot 110AC cord with adapter for use when the RV is at the storage yard.

I have a hard wired surge suppressor on the panel feed to my house (along with UPS battery packs between the wall supply and computers and home theater equipment, but for an RV I prefer a device that when it fails can be readily replaced. Unless one is using a "line conditioner" like the Hughes Autoformer the surge protection is not going to be reliable with any solid state only surge protector.

Of course the best protection is to not plug into shore power during thunderstorms in the first place. The Surge Guard is useful in that it can detect a ground fault or reverse polarity problem before attaching the RV power cord to it.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:45 PM   #7
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p.s., I leave the PT-50C portable plugged into the power cord all the time when the reel is wound up and store it completely hooked up. Just need to plug one thing in when I hook up. Also it keeps the female spade from become loose after repeated plugging and unplugging - if you have room.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:54 AM   #8
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I have looked at the issue on my RV and will likely go with a permanent install as I have a handy space and do not want to add anything else to do when setting up or breaking down.
But that is not a high priority for me as I have seen way too many times when the surge protection can never be enough to fully protect the electronics if there is a real storm around!
So I do keep the insurance paid and will just have to go with any damages if I do run into it someday.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:41 PM   #9
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Insurance is of no use when devices are blown out while out on a trip with the RV. I look at insurance as a last resort at best. We also have a $500 deductible on our policy and better to invest that money in preventative measures whenever possible.

A surge can take out the flatscreen TV and the circuit board in the fridge and the slide-out control and the propane solenoid and the satellite receiver and other devices. Electronics have smaller cips and tighter spacing of circuits and so it takes far less of a surge to take out devices being made today than was the case 20 years ago.
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:48 PM   #10
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I really wanted a hardwired surge protector, mainly for the extra protection for fluctuating voltage that the higher end models have. On my unit the power bay has the surge protector/auto transfer switch and there might be enough room to do it, but its pretty tight. I went with the portable unit from progressive industries. It works, well, plug it in, if no faults, then plug in the shore power cord.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming. Discussion has made me rethink a higher quality protector would be wise. Good insurance. The wife doesn't like the idea of unplugging during a storm though; one I thought was pretty good. And you've talking me into going portable.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithB View Post
Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming. Discussion has made me rethink a higher quality protector would be wise. Good insurance. The wife doesn't like the idea of unplugging during a storm though; one I thought was pretty good. And you've talking me into going portable.
KeithB, here are a couple links to my hardwire install. I'm not sure if your 2018 2108DS has the small cubby below the oven, but if it does, these links may help.

Link 1
Link 2
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:18 AM   #13
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KeithB, here are a couple links to my hardwire install. I'm not sure if your 2018 2108DS has the small cubby below the oven, but if it does, these links may help.

Link 1
Link 2
This is great to know. I will definitely check it out. If I could find a logical place to tie in I would go back to the hardwire option.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:06 PM   #14
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I have had both, I prefer the hardwire
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:30 PM   #15
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Portable

Portable so when it breaks you can bypass it. I know because my hardwired unit broke and it wasn't that easy to bypass.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:44 PM   #16
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So one more question on the topic, if I’m at a campsite and my surge protector shows a problem at the source. What’s next? Use battery power Until you can find another site? Live with it just knowing you may have inadequate voltage? I’m not sure I am actually asking the right questions, but any comments on experiences others have had and how you resolved it would be helpful for me. Thanks
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:54 PM   #17
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Just my personal opinion, with all the computer controlled devices throughout our RV, why take a chance, I got the best 50amp one I could when we set out on our full-time adventure 10 1/2 years ago.

I have also seen the 'rare' result for others when they spark, smoke, and burn in flames with catastrophic failure (when doing their job of protecting the RV). That convinced me to get the portable unit to hang on the power pole.

I do have the 'honest person' locking device, but if someone really wanted it, they could just unplug from power and cut my power cable. Never personally heard of anyone losing one (other than leaving it plugged in, and driving away)
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:46 PM   #18
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Hubby hard wired one, then left it go with the coach so we bought another and used it the last 15 years no problem, only chained if we were uncomfortable with the surroundings.
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:52 AM   #19
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I assume you have a 30A service. I bought a Hughes Autoformer PWD30 Power WatchDog Smart Bluetooth RV Surge Protector - 30 Amp unit. Interestingly, it has a link to your Bluetooth smart cell. It's quite clever. The present price on these ranges from $100 to $200, so shop carefully. It has a lock ring, so to steal it, you'd have to cut the wire off. Enough deteriorate for the opportunist thief. I thought it a good choice for my 2005 needs.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:15 PM   #20
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Surge protection - opinion

I was a field RF engineer installing large public radio systems for 10+ years. Someone in this thread made a comment - "no surge supressor can save you in a direct strike". This is true.


So what is the correct amount of Joules of surge supression? Should it be inside the RV or outside? These are very complicated questions and I could waffle on options forever. However, I will say a minimum number of Joules that I would use is 4000-5000 Joules. I used 20,000 Joules on some airport installations.


Should it be inside or outside? I would say outside since a near strike can melt copper of 16-18 guage and generate a plasma arc that is very hot. Remember that the surge supressor needs to shunt the charge to earth somehow and between phases too.


I was in a radio shelter in Miami and had a direct strike: The polyphaser blew off a 1/4" copper plate and sent pieces of the metal all over the room. Fortunately, none hit me but put dents in the wall. For this reason I say outside. IMHO


I use Hughes RV Autoformer Voltage Booster & Surge Protector, 50 Amp and the Hughes PWD50-EPO Power Watchdog. Pay the price and buy good surge protection.

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