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Old 02-20-2021, 09:33 PM   #1
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Surge protector. Wired in or on power pedestal at site?

Only another 6 weeks and I can get my View out of winter storage! I am hoping to travel a little further afield this year, though likely still being restricted to Ontario. And that will be no hardship, we have a beautiful province.
I think I may invest in some kind of surge protection in case I find myself in a more remote campground. I worry about securing a plug-in, but am not sure if I need a hardwired system. My son, the mechanic, will be able to install it.
My RV is a 2009 View. Preferences?
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:10 PM   #2
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Anyhere outside of Ontario/Canada is preferable, to trapped here. Ontario/Canada is extremely expensive for RVing.
Progressive Industries EMS systems are the best bang for the buck, when the alternative is frying your electronics and wiring.
(lift the border closure and punitive covid nonsense, and we'll all be better off)
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:18 PM   #3
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Both portable and hard wired work fine. You have to decide. I don’t worry about my portable being stolen. And I see portables out and about in large numbers at every campground I stay in.

But you’ve got to suit yourself on this stuff. There is no wrong answer just your own personal opinion.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:10 AM   #4
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Our 2021 View came with a hard-wired surge protector in the electrical compartment.

It's one less thing to deal with when connecting/disconnecting from shore power - and even if the risk is low, a hard-wired protector is unlikely to be stolen.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprochnow View Post
Our 2021 View came with a hard-wired surge protector in the electrical compartment.
I don’t know specifically about your View, but the EMS built into Winnebago motorhomes is not a substitute for adding a full featured EMS.

The EMS in your Intellitec Transfer Switch is very rudimentary and nothing but a basic surge device. It should not be relied upon for true power protection.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:42 AM   #6
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The Technology Research/Southwire 41300 Auto Transfer Switch in our View is just a transfer switch, switching the external power connection between the generator and shore power. It doesn't provide any surge protection.

The Surge Guard 35530 that's hard-wired provides reasonable protection from shore power issues (power surges, open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, miswired pedestal).
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:44 AM   #7
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Thank you to everyone, for their quick response. I shall try to compare options based on price and the convenience of not having an extra gadget to remember.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy2 View Post
Only another 6 weeks and I can get my View out of winter storage! I am hoping to travel a little further afield this year, though likely still being restricted to Ontario. And that will be no hardship, we have a beautiful province.
I think I may invest in some kind of surge protection in case I find myself in a more remote campground. I worry about securing a plug-in, but am not sure if I need a hardwired system. My son, the mechanic, will be able to install it.
My RV is a 2009 View. Preferences?
Katy 2
Hi Katy,

Winterbagoal is correct -- Progressive Industries is the way to go (at least as far as I know).

We have the same rig you do. I bought the 30A hardwired unit with a remote display -- well worth the extra money. It's really helpful to be able to determine the shore power voltage and current at a glance.

Since your son is able to do the install, I see no reason to consider the portable unit. That said, people with the portable unit point out that if there is a failure, it is easier to replace.

Our PI EMS has already notified us of 2 or 3 missing ground connections, and a pedestal outlet with the 'hot' and 'neutral' wires switched.

It was easy to install -- but that's because I had already mounted a MS2000 inverter/charger in the compartment under the corner bed -- accessible from outside. If I had not done that, one place I'd consider is the space under the fridge.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:08 PM   #9
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Hard wire it. That way it is secure and protected from the elements, and you don't have to worry about it.

I installed a 50amp Progressive EMS in our 38 Class A Adventurer inside the electrical compartment. When I plug int he shore power cord it automatically goes through a check process to determine the validity of the electrical system. Twice it has saved me from a hot skin condition when it turns out the extension cords I was plugging into had open grounds. A few other times it helped save my AC unit from under-voltage when the entire CG electrical systems dropped <110v AC due to heavy use on a hot day.

Some people like to have both. This is because if they have a portable surge protector installed at the power pedestal, and there is a strong voltage surge (like nearby lightening strike), that unit will take the hit 1st and protect the more expensive internal unit.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:51 PM   #10
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Is ford or chevy better? they both do the same job, just a little different. both have advantages.

I have used the portable surge for the last 10 years, could have easily installed the internal one, but in the very rare event, that it smokes and burns protecting my RV, I want all that outside on the power pole, not inside a compartment.

Just my opinion.
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:17 AM   #11
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I've been looking at this interesting Bluetooth unit from Hughes. If you get a cable lock (like a bicycle lock) you can secure a portable to the pedestal.

Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff - 30 Amp Portable Version
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07PRS5NPB
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson View Post
Hi Katy,

Winterbagoal is correct -- Progressive Industries is the way to go (at least as far as I know).

We have the same rig you do. I bought the 30A hardwired unit with a remote display -- well worth the extra money. It's really helpful to be able to determine the shore power voltage and current at a glance.

Since your son is able to do the install, I see no reason to consider the portable unit. That said, people with the portable unit point out that if there is a failure, it is easier to replace.

Our PI EMS has already notified us of 2 or 3 missing ground connections, and a pedestal outlet with the 'hot' and 'neutral' wires switched.

It was easy to install -- but that's because I had already mounted a MS2000 inverter/charger in the compartment under the corner bed -- accessible from outside. If I had not done that, one place I'd consider is the space under the fridge.
Hard-Wired. Easy to install. No additional things to do when you hook/unhook. Progressive Industries. We have the 50 amp version.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:58 AM   #13
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Another idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Seasons View Post
I've been looking at this interesting Bluetooth unit from Hughes. If you get a cable lock (like a bicycle lock) you can secure a portable to the pedestal.

Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff - 30 Amp Portable Version
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07PRS5NPB
I didn't think of it before, but wouldn't it be easy to connect a portable unit to your 30A cable inside the locked storage bin, and then connect to the pedestal with an extension cable? That would solve the security issue without hard-wring, and with the Bluetooth connection to your phone you can easily monitor the service input. And it's good to have a 30A extension onboard anyway, for the odd time when you can't get close enough to the receptacle, for your onboard cable.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Seasons View Post
I didn't think of it before, but wouldn't it be easy to connect a portable unit to your 30A cable inside the locked storage bin, and then connect to the pedestal with an extension cable? That would solve the security issue without hard-wring, and with the Bluetooth connection to your phone you can easily monitor the service input. And it's good to have a 30A extension onboard anyway, for the odd time when you can't get close enough to the receptacle, for your onboard cable.
Exactly! It is easy and very convenient. I shortened my 30 amp “shore power” cord in the electrical bay to about 18 inches ... it was probably 25 feet long from the factory. I keep my portable surge protector in the electrical bay, with the short cord plugged into it. When I plug into shore power, I simply use a 30 amp cord of choice, usually one about 25 feet long, to go from the park pedestal to the surge protector. Surge protector stays nice and secure in the electric bay and it will be, if ever necessary, super easy to swap out.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:50 PM   #15
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Exactly! It is easy and very convenient. I shortened my 30 amp “shore power” cord in the electrical bay to about 18 inches ... it was probably 25 feet long from the factory. I keep my portable surge protector in the electrical bay, with the short cord plugged into it. When I plug into shore power, I simply use a 30 amp cord of choice, usually one about 25 feet long, to go from the park pedestal to the surge protector. Surge protector stays nice and secure in the electric bay and it will be, if ever necessary, super easy to swap out.
Smart! That's a very good option -- especially with a Bluetooth enabled unit that can be monitored on a smart phone.

One thing to consider is security. IDK about other RVs, but on our rig the electrical bay is not secure at all -- there is not even the typical flimsy exterior compartment lock (most of which can be opened with a master key -- or a screwdriver...).

I'd add that sometimes it is nice to have a dedicated display, instead of (or in addition to) using a smart phone. That's just personal preference. We have a remote display for our Progressive Industries EMS unit, and I find that very handy -- but I recently bought a Victron "SmartShunt" battery monitor that uses Bluetooth only. A dedicated display for that would be nice as well, but after doing a bunch of mods I'm getting burnt out on installations -- and in this case the smart phone app is actually easier to use and has more features.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:42 PM   #16
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I have read a lot about Serge Protector types, but never has anyone posted that they lost their electronic because...

A) They did not have a serge protector of any kind; and...

B) If they have a serge protector installed that they survived a lightening strike nearby.

I'm not being a naysayer here. Rather, I would like to know if I need to prioritize installing/using one of these things or if I should just keep unplugging my shore power cord when there are a lot lot thunderstorms passing by?

Note: I'm always traveling from May-Oct so when a T-storm passes by it usually does so rather quickly and/or I just use my inverter to get though the night when I am sleeping.

I also am under the impression these serge protectors are not 100% foolproof. I.e., I doubt they have enough Joules to block/absorb a lightening strike, but I could be wrong about that?

And then there is the ground strike threat that is known to fry your electronics via the ground wire. So I would like to know if the expensive serge protectors also protect the ground wire and the L1 & L2 wires?
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
I have read a lot about Serge Protector types, but never has anyone posted that they lost their electronic because...

A) They did not have a serge protector of any kind; and...

B) If they have a serge protector installed that they survived a lightening strike nearby.

I'm not being a naysayer here. Rather, I would like to know if I need to prioritize installing/using one of these things or if I should just keep unplugging my shore power cord when there are a lot lot thunderstorms passing by?

Note: I'm always traveling from May-Oct so when a T-storm passes by it usually does so rather quickly and/or I just use my inverter to get though the night when I am sleeping.

I also am under the impression these serge protectors are not 100% foolproof. I.e., I doubt they have enough Joules to block/absorb a lightening strike, but I could be wrong about that?

And then there is the ground strike threat that is known to fry your electronics via the ground wire. So I would like to know if the expensive serge protectors also protect the ground wire and the L1 & L2 wires?
Good points.

I'd say that:

* Nothing is foolproof. A direct (or close) lightning strike will fry almost any surge protector. FWIW, some mfrs do offer free "insurance" that will supposedly pay for equipment that is damaged because their device failed to protect it.

* Lightning is only one concern. The surge protection feature is important, but most of the units people have mentioned above do much more than that -- they will shut down the power if: voltage is too high or too low; if the frequency deviates from 60 Hz; if there are wiring errors (no ground, hot and neutral reversed, etc). They often have a time delay when power is first applied, or comes back after an outage, to protect the A/C unit (if it had been running).

* I believe L1; L2; and ground are protected.

You might want to review the websites of mfrs' like Progressive Industries for more information.

Whether these "EMS" units are necessary is a personal decision. I don't believe ours has saved us from anything truly catastrophic -- but it has found potentially dangerous (or even deadly) wiring faults. I think it was money well spent but I would not say it is an absolute "must have" device. It might be looked at as a form of insurance.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
I have read a lot about Serge Protector types, but never has anyone posted that they lost their electronic because...

A) They did not have a serge protector of any
I lost a microwave.

Also, I personally have opted for hard-wired. It's always connected, nothing to remember or forget and I don't have to be concerned about theft.
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:14 PM   #19
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Why not build your own over/under circuit protector box?

The Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) manufactures seem to be the ones providing different levels of protection... for a price. Nothing wrong with that! They did all the work getting their products to market.

And I guess protection from over and under voltage is good insurance. ...I'm just not sure about those surge protectors which are just small capacitors compared to a lightening strike.

...but let's say I just want to build an "over" and "under" voltage monitoring device to monitor shore power. And let's say I had the room to install one of these home made OVER/UNDER CIRCUIT PROTECTOR BOX in my power cord real compartment or somewhere between my power cord and my ATS. How would I do that and that do I need?

Aren't these things just specialized circuit breakers you put inside a box? Like this one from Amazon for $18-$22 each:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R8TDZBK...ing=UTF8&psc=1

QUESTION: When we get L1 (50a) and L2 (50A) out of the shore power 50A service plug, are these both Single Phase 120V or are there split phase 120V to neutral... and just not wired for 240V, but could be if the park wanted to provide 240V?

Either way, 2 of these Voltage Protection Relays put on your 50A L1 Line and 50A L2 Line Circuit should both protect and show you voltage. I would think?

Sounds like good, cheap insurance unless you are adverse to using these relays made in China. ...But aren't they all? ...That said, there is not much reliability information out there, but buying the 80A version may be extra insurance if you are game?
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Old 03-07-2021, 02:14 PM   #20
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I like the external surge protector as mine has LED lights that indicate reverse wiring or a hot ground or open neutral wiring at the pedestal. I worry far less about surges and a lot more about bad wiring.

Even in the 1980's devices were sensitive and easily damaged by current on the ground line and I would take a tester into a newly constructed commercial building and always find at least one outlet with current on the ground. Today's smaller electronic devices are far more easily damaged by a surge as there is less silicon between the transistors. As surge may not smoke the device but it can cause enough damage for it to start to operate erratically, and that includes laptops and televisions.

When a surge surpressor fails, and all the solid state type will fail, then the supressor is worse than no supressor at all. With a hard wired supressor stuck in a basement compartment I have no way of knowing when the unit has failed until it is too late. I have a whole house supressor hard wired at the panel on my house but I also have all my vauable electronics plugged into UPS units and line conditioners as a secondary line of defense.
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