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Old 08-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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surge protector

Reading in some posts and I had never thought about a need for a surge protector..... is this something one would need anytime plugged in or just if you have used the reducer and are plugged into a 110 outlet? I sure don't want any surges taking out the electrical in my camper.... thanks everyone!
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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A surge does not care how you are plugged in, you can get one with any adapter or plug in configuration.

When you are shopping around - there are just surge protectors and there are also protection devices that also protect against high/low voltage, miswires, etc.

Now having said all that - you have to decide if it is worth it for you. I bet 80% or more of folks dont have them and a majority of them will probably never see a surge. I went ahead and sprung for one that detects faults as well - mainly because I leave mine plugged in while it is stored so my chances of a surge or sag are greater. I also like it because I dont have to check my pedestal before I plug in - the device does it for me.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #3
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From general publick view, Surge Protectors are a "nice to have" item. Each Surge protection device has its own pros/cons and purchase price. Some are portable and some are fixed. For best protection (as proactive insurance), I'd install a 2 x Tier system.

Tier 1 - This involves installing an RV Surge protector on your RVs main line. Something that has an LED "number" Display - to show current AC levels and can visually show the different variances - as other RVs plug into the same pony panel. My Jayco has a simple Surge Protection with simple LED on/off light system that works great but to view its AC levels (re: 109 Volts or pershaps 125 Volts), I need to use my hand held volt meter. Add the cost of Surge Protector and hand held Volt Meter and I could have bought a more expensive RV Surge Protector with LED "number" display system - instead of LED off/on light display.

For Tier 2 Surge Protection, simply buy lots of Socket Surge Protectors and install inside your TT. For example, http://www.ottawaprices.ca/WebProduc...VFL200-CAN.jpg on your Coffee pot, another one on our Fridge, another one on your TV/DVD system.

Tier 1 protection allows "main line" insurance. Tier 2 proteciton allows "individual" outlet protection insurance. If wondering, my Jayco has both and they work great. My future RV/TT will use 2 Tier protection as well. IMO, RV Surge protection is worth the cost - due to high cost of electronic replacements. Fridge circuit board, AC circuit board and Furnance circuit board replacements are very expensive. To me, RV Surge protection on "main line" should be minimum code.

Good luck....
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
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Being on a seasonal site we're plugged in from April 15th to October 15th. A surge protector was important to me because considering what it would cost to replace all the electronics in our TT, AC, microwave, 2 tv's, hot water heater, fridge, etc, I consider it cheap insurance. BTW, I went with one from Progressive Industries.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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Thanks so much....I will definitely get this done....
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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Got ours today! After seeing what a surge did to our friends Jayco, it was well worth it!! Their hybrid spent 6 weeks in the shop and had a bill of over $800!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #7
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Keep in mind, the surge protector is intended for medium level surge events. If the surge is caused by a really close lightning strike, most likely the surge protector will be overwhelmed. Surge protectors are good to have though.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:07 AM   #8
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Agree that Surge Protection will NOT stop a direct lightling bolt hit or even a super huge zap down the main wires. Each Surge Protection unit has its MOVs and "clamping" numbers. I'm sure there's many university electrical students who studied statistical deviations of direct, near direct and further away electric spikes. I'm sure many electrical professionals did many "studies" on diffent protection ranges (and incident classifications) and protection levels as well.

For me... I do know that my seasonal site TT is connected to a Pony Panel, that has 5 other items on it. There is 4 trailers and the main gate. One night, there was a bad lightling storm and 2 of those trailers got damage. 1 Trailer survived (because the guy unplugs his TT) and my TT (which has a Surge Guard 30A "hard wired" unit) survived. The CG owner needed an $800 circuit board replacement in his main gate. The other 2 x "damaged" trailers needed some type of electrical rework as well. Today, 1 of those "damaged" trailers now has surge protection. He learned the hard way. The other TT owner still doesn't feel that "proactive" surge protection is required. If wondering, the other TT owner still unplugs his TT - when he leaves for the week. Long mumblings short... The pre-owned $225 Surge Guard (that I bought for my TT) and its many internal "outlet" Surge Protection devices was well worth it. Glad I bought it. And, my next TT will have a 2 x Tier proactive protection system as well.

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Old 08-10-2011, 12:12 PM   #9
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There's more to protecting your electrical system than just surge protection. Too much or not enough voltage (the latter being more likely) is more likely to cause damage than a surge. Another less likely danger is an improperly wired CG socket. A good EMS (Energy Management System) will protect one from all those dangers. They can be had in portable units that plug into the CG socket and have a socket to plug your RV cable into or permanently installed ones that are hardwired into the RV. This is the one I'm planning on installing in my TT when I get it. I have concerns that a portable unit might grow legs plus it would be one more thing to have to deal with when tearing down and setting up. The hardwired model also has a remote monitor display that can be mounted in a convenient place inside.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Jeannie - that is the EMS unit I have (in 30 amp version). Been very happy with it so far. Only problem I had was during my bench test the voltage was off by about 5 volts. I had to send it in and have it re-calibrated, but PI took good care of me and got it back in just a few days. The remote display is also really nice! I actually did a little mod on the display and added a darker window so it was not so distracting.
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