Camco Power Defender vs. Progressive Industries Surge Protectors

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Lightning storms can be terrifying and cause thousands of dollars in damage in the blink of an eye. You want to make sure your RV is safe before the storm hits. Today we’ll compare Camco vs. Progressive Industries surge protectors. Let’s see which protects you better.

Camco vs. Progressive Industries Surge Protectors at a Glance

Before we get too far into this battle, let’s take a quick look at each surge protector. 

About Camco Power Defender

Camco Power Grip Camper/RV 30-Amp Voltage Protector | Features Integrated Surge Protection of Up to 2,800 Joules & Diagnostic LEDs Indicate Wiring Faults (55301)
  • RV ELECTRICAL PROTECTION: Protects your camper from dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (
  • AUTO CONNECT/DISCONNECT & DIAGNOSTIC LEDS: Automatically disconnects from dangerous conditions & reconnects after normal...

The Camco brand accounts for more than 4,000 products and is a well-known name in the RVing community. This 30-amp surge protector keeps your RV safe from not only high voltage surges (>132 VAC) but also low voltage (<102 VAC). The surge protector will shut off the flow of electricity from the power source to your RV when it detects unsafe operating conditions. It will only restart in safe conditions. A color-coded system on the surge protector helps diagnose faults in the power pedestal’s electrical connection.

If you’re considering Camco’s Power Defender as your next purchase, expect to pay $270-$280. The Power Defender provides security for years and comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

About Progressive Industries Surge Protectors

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector W/Fault Detection — 30-50 Amp Electric Portable Camper Surge Protector, Surge Guard W/Hardwired Options
  • ELECTRONIC SAFETY MAINTAINED: Ensure the safety of your Progressive Industries surge protector electronics with the 30...
  • COST-EFFECTIVE RV SURGE PROTECTOR: Rated at 30A/120V/3,600W, the EMS-PT30X can absorb surges up to 1,790 joules,...

The Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Surge Protector protects your RV from low voltage drops and high voltage spikes. Should a change in the quality of your electrical connection occur, the unit will avoid damage to your RV by immediately shutting down. Whether you’re near your RV or not, this Progressive Industries surge protector will monitor the flow of electricity and protect your RV.

The EMS-PT30X has a tough and rugged design that will last. The rugged design allows Progressive Industries to include a lifetime warranty. With a $280-$290 price tag, this surge protector could be the last one you ever buy. 

Feature Comparison

Now that we know a little bit about each model, let’s take a closer look at what makes each unit unique.


The Camco Power Defender utilizes several LED lights to indicate the status of the electrical connection. The LED light combinations indicate possible issues. A chart on the back of the unit will help you interpret the indicators. 

The higher the Joules rating of a surge protector, the more protection it provides. The Camco Power Defender provides up to 2,800 Joules of protection, which is more than sufficient for keeping your RV safe.

Progressive Industries

The Progress Industries EMS-PT30X looks more industrial and tough than the Camco Power Defender. While the Power Defender utilizes a color-coded LED alert system, the EMS-PT30X has a digital display. Much like the Power Defender, the EMS-PT30X has a convenient chart for understanding readings. 

However, the EMS-PT30X has a lower Joules rating. The EMS-PT30X provides 1,790 Joules of protection, which is considerably lower than the Power Defender. While the Joules protection is slightly lower, the built-in energy management system, or EMS, puts the Progress Industries EMS-PT30X ahead. The EMS will constantly monitor your RV’s electricity and shut down the flow of electricity to your RV if necessary. Instead of shutting down and restarting, the unit continues to monitor the electricity. Once optimal conditions return, the EMS-PT30X will continue to provide power to your RV.

Camco vs. Progressive Industries: Which Is Better? 

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at both units, let’s see which comes out in front.

Best Overall: Progressive Industries

The battle between the Camco Power Defender and Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X is close, but the EMS-PT30X comes out on top. Using an EMS to protect your RV provides the optimal protection against not only high surges but low voltage drops as well. The unit will constantly monitor your RV.

An RV parked beside a lake at with the lights on.

Still a Great Choice: Camco

The Camco Power Defender is still an excellent choice for RVers. It provides excellent protection against voltage spikes and drops but doesn’t continually monitor the power. For the money you’re spending, the Camco Power Defender will do a great job, but the Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X is the best bang for your buck.

Protecting your electronics is essential unless you enjoy buying expensive electronics over and over. A surge protector and EMS are great for protecting your RV, but an EMS provides you with the most protection. Do you use an EMS or surge protector with your RV?

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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