Surge Protecters

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by jmcf46, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. jmcf46

    jmcf46
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    Do you really need one for these rv parks? I would assume the parks would be reliable due to all the people using it at one time or another. I have one for my computer but don't see the reason for a surge protecter on the road but I could be wrong of course since my first time out

    thanks
     
  2. John Blue

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    You only have two bad problems. One is lighting that can kill everything in your RV in less than 1/1000 of a second. Next if you use 50 amps. If the large top pin on outlet is missing the ground or open everything in RV will power up on 240 volts and fry all your 120 volt equipment before you can think about it. Can or will it happen to you? We have picked up this problem a couple time now and it saved the motorhome equipment. We use a hardwired 50 amp EMS system. Around $400 to buy and cost less than a equipment burn out.

    We also use a lighting protector system on our home power that cost $550 to buy the system plus two circuit breakers. Works great.
     
  3. fpullanosr

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    QUOTE(jmcf46 @ Sep 3 2011, 04:07 PM) [snapback]27438[/snapback]

    Do you really need one for these rv parks? I would assume the parks would be reliable due to all the people using it at one time or another. I have one for my computer but don't see the reason for a surge protecter on the road but I could be wrong of course since my first time out

    thanks




    After reading Jon from Brandon's post,/////guess you do!

    As for reliable electric service at parks, Disney can be considered a more reliable?

    Well a friend of mine whodidnt have a protector, lost their entire rig to a surge.

    These things happen so rarely that its not worth the 50 - 100 bucks to protect you, or is it?
     
  4. pianotuna

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    Hi,

    I use extremely modest surge protection for my converter. That, in theory, should protect all the 12 volt boards down stream from it.

    I also use the same low cost unit on my Fridge.

    Surge is only part of the battle. A.C. motors do not like low voltage and can "burn out".

    If I were going to have a serious protection system I would choose one that disconnected on low voltages.

    I do monitor my voltage--and I do check each and every time before I "plug in" using a Kill-a-Watt meter and a polarity tester.

    Probably few folks who use rv's have surge protection.
     
  5. joez

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    QUOTE
    I would assume the parks would be reliable due to all the people using it at one time or another


    Our experience is opposite this assumption. RV park electric systems get a lot of use, may not have been built using the best engineering, in many cases get minimal preventative maintenance, and may be maintained by well intentioned but not very well trained maintenance folks. A good surge protector, actually an energy management system, will cost $350+ and is IMO a necessary expense. Every year we spend 200+ nights per year in full hookup campgrounds. Three to five times every year the system will shut down due to low voltage. Once or twice the system will not allow electric start up because of an open ground or other issue. Twice in 5 years the system has been fried by lightening (with no damage to rv or anything in it). You don't need a surge protector if you can stand the expense and the hassle of repairing the damage from low or high voltage. If instead you would rather not repair the damage or have the headache then you need one. Good luck.
     
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  6. Denali

    Denali
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    Once every year or two our EMS refuses to connect to a campground pedestal because of reversed polarity, open neutral, or open ground. These are dangerous conditions, either to you or your rig. Less frequently, it shuts off power due to low voltage, which can damage equipment in your RV.

    We use a hard-wired EMS: Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C

    It's like any other form of insurance: You pay to protect yourself from a very rare, but potentially very costly, event.
     
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  7. Florida Native

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    We never leave home without it. Had one in our 30 Amp coach and bought one for our 50 amp coach before ever using it. Some of the campgrounds have "handyman" repairs. The 50 amp is about $300 which is way less than a dollar a use. One usage could prevent a multiple thousand dollar repair. I used to check the pedestal with a tester before plugging in, but that just told me that it was OK right then and offered no protection later. I have always carried life insurance, but thankfully never used it. Same principle.
     
  8. JDRobar

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    I read somewhere that surge protectors don't have enough joules of protection for a lightening strike; however, if Joez says it protected him.... I believe it. Maybe the surge protector sacrfices itself ? (and those parts can be replaced in the $250 units -EMS PT30C from Progessive Industries https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Articles.asp?ID=279 ) I know that if there is a surge from power coming back on after an outage you are protected.

    The link above gives comparison to other units, as well as the PT30C protction. Unfortunately, I simply didn't have enough room near my elecrical area to permanently install, so I have to put an alarm on it (don't like having a quarter of a grand laying around for some bad apple to take).

    Some will protect you from reverse polarity, if the wiring at the park isn't grounded properly, and almost all take care of a low voltage (when too much demand is placed on the park's electrical system) by shutting the power off. Mine has a delay of 3 minutes before it will allow the current to come back to the rig, just in case the voltage was a temporary thing. That way your air conditioner compressor won't get yanked around.

    Getting back to jmfc46's question: Overall, I think it's kind of a pay me now or pay me later thing. I have heard some do have and some don't...... I just figure who wants the hassel of replacing electronics (which will definitely cost you more).

    BTW, I use a computer alarm (Defcon1 to protect this investment - as well as my filter system) http://www.targus.com/us/productdetail.aspx?sku=pa400u

    One more note to a fellow newbie.... always turn off the circuit breaker before attaching your electronics. It keeps the plugs from getting burnt, which will prevent damage that will eventually ruin your umbilical cables.
     
  9. jmcf46

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    Thanks for the information. I just ordered a EMS-pt30. Better safe than sorry.

    thanks
     
  10. FranznHilga

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    A unit that monitors: voltage surges, frequency, high and low voltage, bad ground, dropped neutral had been the best investment I have made! It has prevented an RV fire, saved my rig from lightening strike damage, and appliances from low voltage in high use 30amp parks that suck the life out of one leg leaving the 50 ampers s.o.l.! The only way to know if you are protected is to have one of these! RV Park power is the worst, and it is repaired by workampers who are not electricians.
     
  11. Rollin Ollens

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    QUOTE(JDRobar @ Sep 4 2011, 10:40 AM) [snapback]27452[/snapback]


    One more note to a fellow newbie.... always turn off the circuit breaker before attaching your electronics. It keeps the plugs from getting burnt, which will prevent damage that will eventually ruin your umbilical cables.



    I switch off the power before I unplug as well for the same reason. The system can arc during the plug in and unplug events. Darrell
     
  12. 20Bounder08

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    On contra-re, most rv parks have very un clean power based on distance from main service and how many users are occupying the space. For instance each time a RV a/c unit or electric water heater turns on there will be a spike of some sort. I have investigated surge protection and found there are only a couple RV surge suppression units currently marketed. Surge Guard and Progressive, however there is another company out there that does not do enough advertising of there custom made units and has been in the Surge Protection business for quite some time. Surge Suppression Incorporated out of Destin Florida. There units not only stop surge issues there units will also monitor sign wave tracking and frequency response. In my opinion probably best units available. To the best of my knowledge there are only three contacts at the company to order there units. Iking@surgesuppression.com , mbarton@surgesuppression.com or a company affiliated Called CTK Specialty Services LLC t.giffordctk@gmail.com.
     
  13. BankShot

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    I've heard some horror stories from other RVer's along the way and early on decided to invest in a surge protector for our coach. Bought one from CW, a TRC 30 amp unit and we never leave home without. It's paid for itself a couple or three times already. Once in a park where the pedestal in our space showed an open ground so we moved to another space, once where the park experienced a brown out, and a time or two when there was lightning in the area and we simply felt safer with it in line. One poster mentioned to always check to make sure the off/on switch on the pedestal is in the OFF position before plugging in and that's the first thing I do. It may be a silly thing but the unit I use goes thru a 2 minute or so period of sort of a diagnostic check of the system we are plugging into and only after it determines all is okay does it release power to the coach. So for us this unit is our insurance policy against a fried electrical system along with a lot of things that are plugged into it such as TVs, microwave and so on. I don't trust the power in any park anymore, even the higher end parks can have power failures. So this RV'er is in the camp that recommends them...............

    Regards to all, BankShot
     
  14. Hutch333id

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    Having purchased a new fifth wheel that now hooks up to 50amp power earlier this year I then decided to purchase the Progressive Industries hard waited 50amp surge protector. For less than $300 and a lifetime warranty it has given me complete peace of mind. On a couple of occasions it has kicked in when I've hooked up to a campground pedestal. With the cost of replacing expensive electrical equipment always rising, $300 doesn't seem like such a bad trade off for some additional insurance and protection. I'm sure some campgrounds and resorts would do whatever it takes to try and wriggle out of paying for the damage to my Rv.
     
  15. MelindaK

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    I agree with the others that a surge protector is a must as it is cheaper than repairs. I have been at several campgrounds where something has happened and I have been thankful for the surge protector. I was amazed when I first started camping to find all the electrical issues.
     
  16. westom

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    QUOTE(JDRobar @ Sep 4 2011, 11:40 AM) [snapback]27452[/snapback]

    I read somewhere that surge protectors don't have enough joules of protection for a lightening strike; however, if Joez says it protected him.... I believe it. Maybe the surge protector sacrfices itself ?

    Surge protectors that sacrifice are for surges that typically cause no damage due to superior protection already inside all appliances.

    Do you assume surge protector means surge protection? That is word association or how junk science reasoning occurs. The word 'surge' is extremely subjective. Many anomalies addressed by say a Progressive are not surges. But are called surged by layman due to subjective reasoning.

    Progressive addresses many anomalies found in campgrounds that really are not surges.

    Listed were many anomalies including open neutral, frequency variation, brownout, reversed polarity, and lightning. Nothing protects from all Protectors that are adjacent to appliances do not claim to protect from any of them (are sacrificial to get the naive to promote them).

    Many anomolies such as low voltage that can harm motorized appliances are addressed by the Progressive. Other units may or may not address many anomlies that occur in campgrounds. For example, the only protector that is a solution to lightning must be located at the pole - within feet of earth ground. But then that anomaly is not among the most common found in campgrounds.

    Selection of a protector starts by defining each anomaly. Then obtaining a protector that actually claims to protect from that and your other listed anomalies. The word surge protector describes many completely different boxes that do completely different functions. Including boxes located adjacent to electronics that do virutally nothing but only enrich a manufacturer.
     
  17. docj

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    QUOTE(westom @ Oct 28 2014, 09:53 AM) [snapback]38799[/snapback]

    Surge protectors that sacrifice are for surges that typically cause no damage due to superior protection already inside all appliances.

    Do you assume surge protector means surge protection? That is word association or how junk science reasoning occurs. The word 'surge' is extremely subjective. Many anomalies addressed by say a Progressive are not surges. But are called surged by layman due to subjective reasoning.

    Progressive addresses many anomalies found in campgrounds that really are not surges.

    Listed were many anomalies including open neutral, frequency variation, brownout, reversed polarity, and lightning. Nothing protects from all Protectors that are adjacent to appliances do not claim to protect from any of them (are sacrificial to get the naive to promote them).

    Many anomolies such as low voltage that can harm motorized appliances are addressed by the Progressive. Other units may or may not address many anomlies that occur in campgrounds. For example, the only protector that is a solution to lightning must be located at the pole - within feet of earth ground. But then that anomaly is not among the most common found in campgrounds.

    Selection of a protector starts by defining each anomaly. Then obtaining a protector that actually claims to protect from that and your other listed anomalies. The word surge protector describes many completely different boxes that do completely different functions. Including boxes located adjacent to electronics that do virutally nothing but only enrich a manufacturer.



    Both Progressive and SurgeGuard (TRC) market two product lines. The lower end line consists of true surge suppressors that only protect against actual line surges, which, I agree, are not the real problem at most campgrounds. However, both companies also sell a higher end product line that should truly be called power management devices (or something like that) which protect against most of the faults you noted including low and high voltage, open neutral, reversed outlets, etc. Sloppy word usage often results in both product lines being called "surge suppressors" which they are not. As you have done here, I often try to clear up the confusion that results from lumping these together.
     
  18. NXTSTOP

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    In the 3 years camping twice our Progressive 30 amp portable has saved us with low voltage. One neighbor one weekend wasn't so lucky. Just buy one.......
     
  19. Nineoaks

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    I firmly believe in using a surge protector if can save your electric /electronic appliances and I also believe in using a water pressure regulator, hooked up at the faucet , not at the camper as this can save a water hose too.
     
  20. Florida Native

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    I have had ti reset my surge protector about 3 times in about 600 nights of usage, That is about 1/2 %. Don't know if it would have had damage to my coach if I didn't have it. Next time I get one, I will get the kind that attaches to the inboard end of the cord, Now I have to carry it to the pedestal every time I hook up, I have a holder that locks it onto the sure protector as I have heard of them being stolen. Don't leave home without it.
     

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