If you’re new to RVing, there’s a lot to take in. You can’t simply buy an RV and hit the road. You’ll need lots of different supplies, including hoses, electrical connections, and more. Another item you really shouldn’t go without is a surge protector. Keep reading to find out the best RV surge protector.
What Is a Surge Protector?
A surge protector is a critical and easy way to protect your RV’s electrical system from damaging power surges.
Power surges have many causes, such as a faulty plug on the shore power system or, in extreme cases, a lightning strike.
Whatever the cause, a surge protector prevents electrical bursts that can blow out your systems or start a fire.
How Does a Surge Protector Work?
When hooking up to shore power, the first thing you’ll do is plug your surge protector directly into the power pole. After that, you’ll insert your power cable into the surge protector.
The best RV surge protectors will monitor the power levels coming from the outlet. If the power increases, the surge protector detects the change and mitigates any unwanted damage.
Surge Protector Versus Electrical Management System (EMS)
A surge protector and an electrical management system serve a similar purpose, but they have some differences, mainly what they protect your RV from. A surge protector protects your RV from sudden changes in voltage.
An EMS, on the other hand, offers more protection. It doesn’t just protect from electrical surges and voltage changes. An EMS also mitigates issues stemming from incorrectly wired outlets, open grounds, reverse polarity, high neutral current, and voltage spikes.
An EMS provides more protection, so unsurprisingly, it will also cost you more. But if you’re a full-timer, it is definitely worth the extra money. You might save yourself from costly repairs by going with an EMS.
Potential Shore Power Problems
There are several types of shore power problems.
Power surges result from an interruption in the flow of electricity. When electricity stops and then starts again, it can damage plugged-in electronics. Power surges can also occur when a device sends power back into the system.
Incorrectly Wired Shore Power
Although this is a less common cause of power surges, it can happen. When you roll up at an RV park, you never know the state of the power pole. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Having a surge protector will save your RV if the park’s power isn’t up to snuff.
There are a few reasons for low voltage. Low voltage can occur because of dirty connections, age, corrosion, or inadequate insulation. If the voltage is too low, you could have a host of electrical problems. It can cause components to melt and even catch fire. Appliances can also malfunction because of low voltage.
Surge Protector Recommendations
Now that you realize a surge protector’s importance, it’s time to choose the best RV surge protector. Here are our top recommendations:
Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X/50X
The Progressive Industries EMS is one of the best RV surge protectors on the market. This surge protector is weather-resistant, making it perfect for RVing. It also has a security lock, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it outside. It comes with a lifetime warranty as well.
The Progressive Industries EMS protects up to 44,000A spikes. It reacts in less than one nanosecond to ensure your electrical system stays safe.
- Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 1,790J / 44,000A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
- Weather Resistant/designed for Outdoor Use
Southwire Surge Guard 34930/34950
Another great RV surge protector is the Southwire Surge Guard. It continuously monitors and displays the amount of power running through it. It protects against issues stemming from park power and from within your RV itself. You can also feel safe leaving it plugged in constantly because it has an anti-theft locking ring.
- Continuously monitors for and displays voltage and amp draw (RMS)
- LCD display (English)
Hughes Autoformer PWD30 RV Surge Protector
Finally, another one of the best surge protectors for an RV is the Hughes Autoformer. This 30-amp surge protector has Bluetooth capabilities, which lets you monitor park power conditions right from your smartphone.
The Hughes Autoforer isn’t an EMS, but it still offers adequate protection, even at a lower price. It’s also durable and waterproof. You can also use it with dog-bone adapters.
- 2,400 Joules of advanced surge protection
- Smart Circuit Analyzer will shut down power to RV if a dangerous event occurs and an alert will be sent to your...
Conclusion: Is a Surge Protector Worth Having?
Even if you don’t RV often, you need a surge protector. It simply isn’t worth the risk to go without. And if you’re a full-time RVer, it’s worth the extra money to get the best RV surge protector you can.
An EMS will provide you with even more protection. That’s why it is our top recommendation. You’ll love the peace of mind you get from this simple addition to your rig.
Last update on 2021-04-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API