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hello everyone !!

 

I am in process of purchasing a surge protector, but not sure wheather about to buy a portable one or hard wire one.

I am thinking to buy the hard wire one and install it by myself. I am not an electrician but i know plentiful information about it.

Has there been anyone that have any experiences about the surge protector,either portable or hard wire. Also, is it an easy process to install it?

 

Thank you very much

Henry

 

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I have the Surge Guard 50 amp plus hard wired unit. I installed it myself. It was a pretty straight forward install. I like the unit very much and would not be without it. It has saved me a couple of times on low voltage situations that I would have been unaware of if I had not had the unit.

 

I chose the Surge Guard over the Progressive Industries unit for one simple reason. The Surge Guard gives you plain text descriptions of problems on the display, while the Progressive Industries unit gives you codes for problems. You then have to look the codes up to see what the fault is/was. I did not want to have to take the extra step to look up what the problem was if there was one. Other than that, they are both good units. (I will preface my previous statement with the fact that I purchased my unit three years ago and I do not know if the Progressive Industries unit has changed how it displays faults in the time since my purchase.)

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The convenience of a hard wired EMS unit is the availability of remote display.

 

The convenience of a portable EMS is that it can be carried to multiple power poles without moving the rig when looking for a site with good power.

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As a former electrical service tech I would say that a great deal depends upon you. There is very little difference in the two brands suggested and while the installed one has some advantages, that same thing is true for the portable. Should you ever need to service the unit, the portable is far more easily done and I have repaired both types for myself and others. I see no reason that you can't put one in yourself if you have the capability but you do need to understand what the possible result of miswiring could be, since you are not a trained electrician. Most of them come with reasonably good instructions for the installing of them but since I have no knowledge of your skill set, I won't advise you either way but I do not find it difficult if access is good. The only need for understanding of electricity is to be able to have confidence that you have things connected properly once the job is completed.

 

For myself, I have used one of the portable types for a long time and have no problem with them but if you get the remote display model and install that display where it is easily seen, I would consider that to be one of the greatest advantages to the internally installed units. At the time we bought our first one those were not yet available and with our present we use portable because our tiny travel trailer has nowhere to install an inside one.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

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Thank you very much for all input and advices. I hear that the portable one some time get stolen..is that true?

Henry

 

This is an oft repeated concern, but I have never heard of it actually happening. IMO there are a lot more realistic possibilities to be concerned about. Anyone?

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No theft problems with my portable one. It's been 5-6 yrs. now. A few places where I was not real comfortable, I left it in the bay and used an extension cord from it to the pedestal. It still works fine that way & is locked away in the bay. Dave.

2006 Coachmen Aurora 36ft. Class A motor home. 2009 Honda CRV toad. "Snowbirds" apprx. 6 mos. each year. Travelling to the SW each winter than returning to Wi. each summer. Retired and enjoying our travels along with Buddy the cat.

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I hard wired a 30 amp Surgegard into the camper.

The downside is that if it goes bad, it is a lot more difficult to take out of the system.

 

A surge protector is an absolute necessity if traveling in Mexico.

Many of the exterior surge protectors that I saw in Mexico had metal rings on them so that one could padlock the thing so that it could not be stolen. None of them were locked and NONE were stolen.

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Get one that has the Hi/Low volts cut off system.

In my 15 years of Full time I have had a portable one inside a compartment along with a Autoformer.

 

Modified and shorten the OEM 30 AMP cord. But if ever needed I can by pass either the Autoformer or Surge protector.

I'm not a electrician but did take a short High School electrical course 58 years ago from MR. Haines. :)

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Visit a pawn shop with an ad for one and ask what they'd pay for it. Most thieves steal stuff they can pawn, a few RVers are thieves but they are rare so theft risk is low.

 

Still I'd go with the internal one with the remote readout since I like more information easily available.

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Thank you very much for all input and advices. I hear that the portable one some time get stolen..is that true?

I have never heard of it and I have used a portable now for more than 15 years with two different RVs. If you are worried about that the manufactures do make locking devices. I used one that locked the Surge Guard to the RV power cord for a long time, but when I replaced the plug on my RV power cord the lock no longer fit so I stopped bothering. with it. I have not used one now in at least 5 years, including this summer while a campground host in South Dakota.

 

Theft in RV parks and campgrounds is rare and like Stanly suggests, there is really little market for one that has been stolen.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

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We have the hard wired Progressive 50a EMS. If the computer in it fails you can throw a bypass switch on it allowing whatever AC power is supplied to it to pass directly to your RV. It works great, would not be without it. Greg

 

edit: if you bypass the EMS with the EMS bypass switch the surge protection is still activated but hi/lo voltage and incorrectly wired pedestal power protection is disabled.

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We have a portable surgeguard. I don't see the need for the remote and I do like the portability. It has protected us twice, so i figure it has paid for itself several times over. A simple way to lock it is to get a long hasp combination lock and cable. The hasp fits over the power cord and is then locked to the power pole with the cable. I don't use it often, but do use it when i feel the need.

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Get one that has the Hi/Low volts cut off system.

In my 15 years of Full time I have had a portable one inside a compartment along with a Autoformer.

 

x2 on the surge protector / autoformer (voltage regulator) combo. There are too many campgrounds in which the voltage drops as the park fills up with campers.

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The 50-amp EMS portable was the second upgrade for our coach 3 years ago. Never been stolen but the idea of putting it in the bay and locking it with a long cord to the pedestal is a good way to protect against that. Or a $10 bike cable from Walmart. I can just box it up and ship it off for repairs if needed.

 

You do understand that an EMS is not the same as a "surge protector", right?

 

Also, an auto-former increases voltage but not overall power (current drawn - amps - is reduced).

 

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Also, an auto-former increases voltage but not overall power (current drawn - amps - is reduced).

 

WDR

 

Problem for the park is that they Increase the amps drawn by each site that uses one thereby exacerbating a low voltage problem. (Volts X Amps Out = Volts X Amps In. i.e. If the input voltage at the pedestal drops by 10% the current draw will increase by 10% to maintain a constant 120V inside the rig.)

 

There was a discussion on this forum a couple years ago about them and some reported negative comments from park owners when trying to plug one in. Hence - keep it in bay so as not to advertise use.

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The amps used question is a slippery one, if you are just using an air conditioner the autoformer may actually lower the power you are pulling from the park. That is because the motors in the air conditioner are more efficient at the proper voltages. Now if you are running resistance heaters (space, water or fridge for example) your power use will go up since they use more power with higher voltages. Other types of device vary based on how their power supplies are designed.

 

In either case out of sight means not having to discuss the issue and running the risk of being told to disconnect the autoformer.

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Sell a customer a Linux computer and you'll eat for a day.

Sell a customer a Windows computer and you'll eat for a lifetime.

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Progressive warranties theirs for life. I called them on Dec. 26 and their message said they were closed for the week. I left a message anexpected to be called back after the first of they year. Within an hour of my call, I received a call back and we diagnosed the problem. I sent it back priority mail and received one back within a week. Great service, nice people.

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  • 6 months later...

In several sections of this theme the mention of an autoformer is made.

When is it needed? Is it used on only large rigs with many expensive "gadgets," or is it also needed on small 30-amp C's?

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I use a autoformer in my 30 AMP "A". It can help on many occasions when low power shows up in some campgrounds.

I have had a Hughes(OK) a Frank's(JUNK) and now a PowerMaster(GREAT)

 

Why do you need Voltage Control for a RV?

The most compelling reason is that replacing appliances is costly (not to mention inconvenient, a waste of time, and a hassle to get them replaced). And more often than not, you don't even realize there's a problem until you see the smoke!

Many AC motors will burn out when they draw too much current, which is what happens when there's insufficient voltage. When the power supplied by the park is too is low for an appliance or group of appliances being operated (for example, if you're running both the air conditioning and the microwave), you generally can't run those appliances or any additional appliance without risk of damage.

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In several sections of this theme the mention of an autoformer is made.

This is one of several types of electrical power protection devices that are intended to prevent your RV from damage by poor electrical power. Autoformer is one of several such products which boost the voltage to the RV if low. There are others such as the Surge Guard or the Progressive EMS that don't boost anything but will open the supply very rapidly to prevent damage from spikes caused by lightning or such and also if voltage should go either too high or too low for safe use. I suggest that you might find this article from Escapees magazine that explains the various electrical devices that will help you to avoid damage to your RV of it's equipment from faulty electrical supplies.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

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