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Old 03-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #1
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Wink Locking portable surge protectors and insurance coverage

There have been several recent threads where folks discuss the pros and cons of portable vs hardwired surge protectors. One of the main concerns about the portable ones is that they are vulnerable to theft.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to check with my insurance company (State Farm) to see if there was any coverage for portable surge protectors that have a locking ring attached. I expected a negative response, but to my surprise, they said yes, such devices are indeed covered, as long as they are used exclusively on the camper, and nowhere else. I asked specifically about theft, noting that even with a bicycle lock cable, a set of bolt cutters would probably defeat the lock. They still stated that I definitely was covered, minus the overall deductible.

That means that if my $360 protector was stolen, I would only pay the $100 deductible to get it replaced. That puts a much better light on the subject over the prospect of having to shell out another $360 for replacement.

So, I thought perhaps this info might be of interest to folks out there. Check with your carrier, and maybe you will be pleasantly surprised as well.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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A discussion I just had last night... I'm thinking of a surge protector but not sure if I want to shell out $300 for it right now when I have many other things that need to be bought for the new camper as well.

I would imagine I would be covered say I did not buy a surge protecter and something happened to my electronics in the camper because of it. There is no neglect as you are not required to buy this for your camper and they are not built with it. Theoretically, the fuses should protect you trailer from such surges. I realize it would be an aggravation say something did happen, but I'm thinking I want to put this mod off 1 season and spend my money elsewhere this year. Thoughts?
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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tin,
Do they require it to be locked to be covered? I have one of the Progressive Ind outside units and have a lock for it but don't bother to use it ( a decision that I may regret).
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:53 AM   #4
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jdorant,

You are right EMS systems aren't cheap but do offer some piece of mind. I certainly don't have hard facts, but I imagine the majority of RVers aren't using an EMS and if you consider the numbers or folks plugged in at any given time vs the number a TT/RVs that get fried I'd say odds are on your side. Rarely on these forums does someone say they got fried and it would have been prevented by an EMS. Mostly what I hear is some story about another camper in a campground or some friend of a friend -- I always take those with a grain of salt.

That said I bought one. I have a portable Surge Guard 30A that I found online for ~$250. I didn't buy it so much for spikes but rather low voltage situations. In CA, where we live, summer heat is a fact of life and in a campground with dozens of ACs running I imagine taxing the CG power system is a reality. Although the AC and other appliances will work under low voltage situations prolonged opperation without sufficient voltage with reduce the effective life of those units. I concenered my AC will die a slow death from low volatage and not a quick death from a surge. It stands to reason your insurance will cover catistrophic damage from a voltage spike, but I don't think you will get coverage from a low volatage slow death -- would be very hard to prove.

I do lock up my SurgeGuard using the clam shell housing Mfg by SurgeGuard as well. It wouldn't take much to defeat the housing and pad lock but its a deterent none the less. I see folk that don't secure them at all. I am not concerned about it the EMS being stolen, in reality I think coolers full of beer are much more likely targets for campground theft. I hope they day doesn't come that I need to file a claim for the EMS, but Its nice to know that it is insured.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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Doubtful. Think of all the property your homeowners/renters insurance covers that doesn't require locking...besides how can they prove it was NOT locked? They can't, just the sme you can't prove it was locked once its stolen and gone.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=tinlizzie23;121539]as long as they are used exclusively on the camper, and nowhere else.

If it isn't covered under your TT policy, it certainly would be on a Homeowners or Renters policy -- although the deductible may be higher.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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We had a Progressive Industries 50 amp hard wired EMS in the fifth wheel we had. On two occasions it shut down power to the trailer when it sensed one of the conditions it protects against (was not a power surge). One was an under voltage condition, the other I don't remember. Both were caused by shall we say, not exactly standard pedestal wiring.

The only surge experience I have had has been in our stick n' brick. The worst one was in a thunderstorm following Hurricane Charley in 2004. Lightning struck a neighbor's tree, traveled down the trunk into the ground and found our home's electrical ground stake and entered the wiring. Fried a brand new home theater, damaged a new TV, and killed a two smoke detectors. All this despite the fact the home entertainment equipment was plugged into a $100 surge suppressor, and the house had a meter base whole house suppressor (which gave its life and then some). Have to believe things would have been much worse without the surge suppressors. OTOH, I think the biggest threat in campgrounds are wiring faults and over/under voltage conditions, rather than power surges. Either way, anything in your RV with a PC board is susceptible to a quick death by electrical irregularities, and the cost could easily exceed the price of a good EMS. Therefore, I use them; was the first improvement I made in our White Hawk, even before we made our first outing in it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdorant View Post
A discussion I just had last night... I'm thinking of a surge protector but not sure if I want to shell out $300 for it right now when I have many other things that need to be bought for the new camper as well.

I would imagine I would be covered say I did not buy a surge protecter and something happened to my electronics in the camper because of it. There is no neglect as you are not required to buy this for your camper and they are not built with it. Theoretically, the fuses should protect you trailer from such surges. I realize it would be an aggravation say something did happen, but I'm thinking I want to put this mod off 1 season and spend my money elsewhere this year. Thoughts?
Jdorant: FWIW: I see you have a new White Hawk on order. I paid $250 for my hard wired 30 amp Progressive unit(and it has the remote readout pendant). Only additional expense was a couple of wire nuts, an additional 1/2" cable clamp and a 4' long piece of appropriately sized cable to complete the installation. Took about an hour.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #9
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Thank you clubhouse for your input, I appreciate it. But this leads me to another question.

Scenario: You go away, (long or short trip) and you surge guard detects low or high voltage and turns power off to your camper. What do you do? Override it? (defeats having it I guess), Move sites? (same problem on new site, therefore campground issue) Now what? Do you leave the campground and look for a new one? Its a holiday week, chances are you are not going to find a site anywhere. Do you go home?

Keep in mind? I'm not against having the protection, I'm just trying to justify it to myself. And I hear many people will use the override feature in the case it shuts power down. I leaning towards getting it, just not this year. I think!
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jdorant View Post
Thank you clubhouse for your input, I appreciate it. But this leads me to another question.

Scenario: You go away, (long or short trip) and you surge guard detects low or high voltage and turns power off to your camper. What do you do? Override it? (defeats having it I guess), Move sites? (same problem on new site, therefore campground issue) Now what? Do you leave the campground and look for a new one? Its a holiday week, chances are you are not going to find a site anywhere. Do you go home?

Keep in mind? I'm not against having the protection, I'm just trying to justify it to myself. And I hear many people will use the override feature in the case it shuts power down. I leaning towards getting it, just not this year. I think!
Jdorant: In the case where the EMS shut down power to our fifth wheel, The pedestal was somewhow wired with a 30 amp and 20 amp breaker in the box, but a 20 amp, 30 amp and 50 amp outlet were present (I didn't get it either). Anyway, without noticing the 30 amp wasn't a 50 amp breaker, I flipped it on, went inside the trailer and no power, but there was an error code on the display. I flipped the 20 amp breaker on at the pedestal and the problem was resolved, and we had no problem for the duration of our stay. I was about to call the office and request another site when I decided to flip on the 20 amp breaker to see if it would take care of the issue.

As far as use of the override feature, a good question. The two times a I had a problem it was resolved without resorting to the override switch.
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