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Old 01-05-2022, 09:28 AM   #1
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Surge protectors - any new info or suggestions?

Knowing this has been discussed a bunch, I did a couple of searches for surge protectors and didn't come up with much current information.

I've now had two Progressive Dynamic SSP 50x and had a problem with both. First the big nut on the top cracked badly and they don't sell parts for them so I bought a new one. My current one has lost lights on the left leg but electric service to RV seems fine, tested at the pole. No response from Progressive customer service. I hate to leave the RV unprotected, but this seems to be a vicious cycle.

Although I've never had one, I'd consider an EMS protector if the unit/company is reliable.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks
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Old 01-05-2022, 09:35 AM   #2
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Upinsmoke-

Perhaps a permanently-installed EMS would last longer than the portable ones? Here is a link to the Progressive Industries 50A (most-expensive) permanent model, the EMS-HW50C. I have the 30A version.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:29 AM   #3
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I too have the hardwired Progressive 30 amp, no problems and it saved me from low voltage once and open ground another time. I would not spend money on a surge protector when the EMS does that and more.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:43 AM   #4
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Progressive has a lifetime warranty on these units and is known to quickly replace malfunctioning EMS devices.

Here's a link to a thread on IRV2 with tons of praise for their fast service:

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f52/prog...ce-335167.html

Here's a link to the warranty info and claim form:

https://www.progressiveindustries.net/warranty
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Old 01-07-2022, 04:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion & links. Although a permanently mounted EMS is the way to go, I don't believe it's in the cards right now. However, I will check out what it takes to install it. If I have to pay a shop to install, I suspect the labor will be as much as (or more) the unit.

I'll also take a look at the warranty claim form and see what it asks for. So far, Progressive hasn't answered the phone (please leave a message) and hasn't returned my calls. We'll see how it goes.

Just as an fyi, the unit appears to have lost the left leg (no lights) so I pulled it apart. While there wasn't any "water" in there, there was plenty of moisture and two of the case screws were rusty. I attribute this to sitting on the pole during several massive rain storms. I had wrapped a plastic bag around it, but I'm not sure if that's better or worse. If, or when, I get another unit, I'm going to silicone the perimeter of the case as well as around the nut where the wire passes through.
Thanks again
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:27 AM   #6
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Hughes Autoformer surge suppressors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Upinsmoke View Post
Knowing this has been discussed a bunch, I did a couple of searches for surge protectors and didn't come up with much current information.

I've now had two Progressive Dynamic SSP 50x and had a problem with both. First the big nut on the top cracked badly and they don't sell parts for them so I bought a new one. My current one has lost lights on the left leg but electric service to RV seems fine, tested at the pole. No response from Progressive customer service. I hate to leave the RV unprotected, but this seems to be a vicious cycle.

Although I've never had one, I'd consider an EMS protector if the unit/company is reliable.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks
After doing a fair amount of research I opted for a Hughes Autoformer PWD30-EPO surge suppressor for our class B RV. One of the main reasons I purchased it is the surge module is user-replaceable. I think a replacement module is around $25 or so. So in theory it's the last surge suppressor you'll buy, assuming replacement surge modules remain available.

Another feature is the ability to connect via Bluetooth to verify the unit is working correctly and monitor the power consumption.

I've used it on a couple of trips so far and don't have any complaints. The logo on the front lights up very brightly when it's plugged in and some reviewers noted this as a negative as it may attract sticky-fingered folks in the area. You can get some sort of cover from the manufacturer or just cover it with some cloth. It does have an attachment for a cable to secure it to the power pedestal.

https://hughesautoformers.com/power-...ge-protectors/

I have no affiliation with Hughes.
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Old 01-07-2022, 01:32 PM   #7
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I have the Hughes Watchdog PWD30-EPO as well. I am very satisfied with it. I especially like the Bluetooth connection where at any moment, you can check the power status and consumption of your rig.
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Old 01-07-2022, 01:37 PM   #8
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If you can change out an electrical outlet at home, you should be able to install a hard-wired surge protector. It's a pretty straightforward process with little opportunity for error. The instructions that came with my Progressive unit were very clear.

The main difficulty encountered by some is lack of working space in the electrical bay, but I don't think this will be an issue with your 35F. Here's a link to the instruction manual that has installation instructions:

https://98fc35b2-8b52-49c0-9df1-3310...164c8e591e.pdf
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Old 01-07-2022, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SalE View Post
I have the Hughes Watchdog PWD30-EPO as well. I am very satisfied with it. I especially like the Bluetooth connection where at any moment, you can check the power status and consumption of your rig.
Ditto on this unit for us as well. We’ve used it on our Travatos and now our 22M. The Bluetooth info is really good. It will let me know if I need to turn one appliance off in order to operate another. It’s been in rainstorms quite often and survives. It has also saved me from an open neutral disaster.
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Old 01-09-2022, 03:09 PM   #10
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OP here. So the plan at this point is to file a warranty claim and see how that goes, and I will check out the 50 a. Watchdogs.

Bobc, the instructions look pretty straight forward but I have a question or two. Have you installed one, and if so, could you forward any tips and photos. Also, I'm assuming this gets placed in the compartment with the ATS but does it go before the ATS?

I've previously pulled my (different) surge protector apart so I have no problem working with the larger wires.
Thanks
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Old 01-09-2022, 03:20 PM   #11
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I have installed them, in fact twice. First in my TT and then I moved it to my MH. I installed mine in my MH next to the ATS, between the shore power cord and the ATS, simply by cutting the power cord and wiring the surge protector between the two pieces of shore power cable. As long as you make sure the piece going into the ATS is long enough, this is an easy install.

Wiring it after the ATS is more of an issue unless you have significant slack in the wires leading from the ATS to your coach (I didn't). The only advantage I'm aware of in doing so would be to protect your MH from generator surges. For me this isn't a significant issue since we don't use our generator much. In any case I suspect that generator power is more dependable than random campground shore power and should be unaffected by lightning strikes, etc.

Sorry but I can't take photos at this time.
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Old 01-09-2022, 06:59 PM   #12
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I also have the Hughes Watchdog PWD30 and highly recommend it. You can monitor via Bluetooth and get alerted via cell for any preset ranges that you should be concerned about!!!! That is a huge benefit and plus in my opinion. As was mentioned the 30 amp circuit breaker can be replaced instead of having to buy a whole new unit if you have an overload situation. Locking cable ring is convenient and the cover light panel can have anything like a simple piece of plastic or cardboard put over it to not be so attractive to thieves at night.

Not affiliated with Hughes and I don’t recommend many products but this one I can get behind.
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Old 01-10-2022, 12:04 AM   #13
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Progressive industries. Don’t waste your time and money with the portable units. They get left at campgrounds just about as often as water pressure regulators. I always take them to the office and they usually get them back to the guests.
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Old 01-11-2022, 08:51 PM   #14
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Being a "Belt and Suspenders" type I went with the Hughes Autoformer in addition to a stand alone surge protector back around 2005 and I have not had a 120 volt electrical component fail in my RV since then despite staying in many campgrounds with long term brownout conditions during some major summer heatwaves. Surge Protectors with voltage protection more often just shut you down during brownouts leaving you with a non-functional coach with no Air Conditioning, battery charging or any other functioning appliances except those that will run on an inverter until the batteries run down while an Autoformer will correct low voltage and keep you going while preventing long term low voltage damage from impacting your coach and electrical devices.

So I have both hard wired inside the electrical bay with plugs and sockets for quick/easy removal for servicing/emergencies. What I have saved on start capacitors, contactors, etc has more than paid for the Autoformer which has silently been working in the background correcting low voltage power issues the moment they occur.

The regular cycling of the UPS units in my home indicating many low voltage situations occurring throughout most days makes me wish I had a larger whole house model installed on the main panel too.

Bottom line is that considering the state of the electrical systems at most campgrounds a Surge Protector alone is not really adequate as that still leaves you prone to many avoidable equipment failures from low voltage. Be mindful that when voltage goes down amperage goes up to meet the wattage demands of your devices which translates into damaging heat in your electrical components. Business Guru John Maxwell puts it as the Law of the Price Tag where paying it up front costs the least in the long run. A few hundred or so dollars up front for Voltage Correction or potentially thousands of dollars for Preventable Low Voltage Equipment Failures over the life of your coach.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:28 AM   #15
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You have a valid point. I already have the Hughes EPO, and thanks to your post I now am adding the Autotransformer in the mix, double redundancy, and hey, I used points so it was essentially free…👍
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Old 01-12-2022, 04:00 AM   #16
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OP here. Wyatt, thanks for your thoughts and information. I would like to think of myself as also a belt and suspenders guy, but realistically, it depends on how much the suspenders cost.

Could you let me know which Autoformer and surge protector you chose. I ask because when I went to the Hughes site, it appears most all of their products are called Autoformers. Also, I'm not clear on how you hard wired the units, but with plugs. Sounds like a good idea but the opposite of one another. Might you have any pictures of your installation?

As an update on my malfunctioning PD surge protector, I was able to speak with one of their tech guys. Good informatio, but in the end, he said to send in a warranty claim and they'll ship me a new one. I trust all of that will work out but I'm still going to pursue the Hughes line of protection.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:21 AM   #17
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NeilV - I meant my previous comment for you re: which unit(s) you selected and pictures of your setup. Thanks

OP here, the final update here is that PD is shipping me a new unit but I'm going to explore upgrading to a more protective unit. Thanks for all of the help.
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:26 PM   #18
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UpInSmoke - The unit I purchased a decade ago would be considered the 30 Amp Power Booster and how I hooked it up in the power bay was to:

1 - Put a stubby 30 AMP RV power cord with a male cord end on it hard wired into the Transfer Switch.

2 - Plugged the 30 AMP RV power cord wired to the Transfer Switch into the AutoFormer 30 Amp Power Booster.

3 - Took a short 30 AMP RV power power cord with a female end on it and hard wired that to the output of a SurgeGuard Surge Protector and put a short 30 AMP RV power cord with a male end on it hard wired to the input of the SurgeGuard. The SurgeGuard that I used was a HardWired model that came with the coach when I bought it which is why I had to install the cord ends with the male and female plugs on it.

4 - Plugged the male plug on the AutoFormer Booster into the Female Plug on the SurgeGuard.

5 - Wired a female plug onto the end of the original 30 AMP RV power power cord that came with the coach which was originally hard wired to the Transfer Switch and plugged the male plug wired to the input of the SurgeGuard into the female plug which I installed on that original 30 AMP RV Power Cord.

Its all inside the power bay with hard wired male and female cords to make it easily reconfigurable if either the AutoFormer Booster or SurgeGuard needs to be bypassed for servicing. Yes its now plug and play so you do not have break any hard wired connections to reconfigure things which thankfully I have not yet had to do however I figured would be quite handy especially during a nighttime event that took place while it was raining out. Lets face it... Who really wants to be outside in the rain at night rewiring things when its wet and dark along with potentially muddy and cold? Yes it does add more plug end connections this way however they are all out of the weather and not subject to a lot of wear and tear.

Current Model Autoformer Voltage Booster:
https://hughesautoformers.com/produc...er-with-surge/

SurgeGuard unit that was already installed in the coach when I bought it. Note that SurgeGuard was a local to me company located here in Clearwater Florida back then:

https://rvpower.southwire.com/produc...e-model-35530/
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