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Old 04-13-2016, 02:08 PM   #1
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Electrical protection for my Seneca

I have a 14 Seneca and need to purchase surge and electrical protection before its to late. I'm looking at the Progressive Industries PT50C 50 Amp unit. Any suggestions on this or what you think is the best unit for my MH.
I wish I could wire one that I could lock away in the compartment when in use but since I don't have any electrical knowledge I don't think I would want to do any re-wiring. Anyone with experience portable or hard wired I would like to hear from you.
Thanks
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:37 PM   #2
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I think having something to protect the electrical system is indeed wise, lots of "horror stories" out there about what can happen.

I have a Progressive Industries hard-wired unit I did install myself which has "caught" problems on several occasions. I would hope the the portable model offers the same levels of protection; but what it won't have is an interior display. That display is handy if you have a voltage sag in the campground (when everyone fires up their AC units) on a hot afternoon and it cuts out due to low voltage to prevent excessive current draw and possible damage. No running outside in the bunny slippers to look at the display to find out what's up!

For that reason (and theft-resistance) I prefer permanently installed units, but if you are not comfortable with working on line voltage electrical systems I would not recommend this being a first "project". The instructions were good, but in a 50-amp coach the large wires are somewhat challenging to deal with, especially if you are installing the unit in a confined space as I did. Mine is under the wardrobe in the rear of my Seneca. I have no clue what one might be charged to perform an installation, but I can guess it might be several hours of labor.

If you go portable I would just recommend being very diligent in using it, even if it is a monsoon outside when setting up! They protect nothing if laying in a compartment!
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:04 PM   #3
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Here is a pic of my install in my Seneca. Plenty of room in the compartment with the cord reel. The 50amp wires were a little tough to work with but not to bad. It took me about a 1/2 hour or so.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:13 PM   #4
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The portables can be locked to the post every easily with a small piece of chain, or close the lid and lock it. I personally have never had anyone talk about theirs "walking off".
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Oz View Post
Here is a pic of my install in my Seneca. Plenty of room in the compartment with the cord reel. The 50amp wires were a little tough to work with but not to bad. It took me about a 1/2 hour or so.
Not as much room in the electrical reel compartment of a TS, it is rather narrow compared to yours. I wish I had that room, I would have put it in the compartment as compared to under my wardrobe.

Nice install though!
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:49 PM   #6
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I like the portable one because if it breaks, I'm not out of luck on my vacation. Just unplug it from the post and get on with it.
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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I like the portable one because if it breaks, I'm not out of luck on my vacation. Just unplug it from the post and get on with it.
The hardwired PI units do have a bypass switch that can override certain parts of the protective circuits, but if you take a big surge it is possible to fry the whole unit. So Jopopsy's statement about a portable unit is true in that context.

Unless.......you get carried away like I did and use range cord plugs and receptacles in the wiring allowing me to also bypass my protector entirely in a matter of minutes. I'm sure it isn't practical on some smaller MHs due to space constraints, but on a Seneca room is not a big problem.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:13 PM   #8
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So what is the verdict, should I go with portable or hardwired ?
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:29 PM   #9
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So what is the verdict, should I go with portable or hardwired ?
Obviously completely up to you. But a few "take-aways" are:

A portable unit is easy to use, and easy to remove should it fail while (hopefully) protecting your coach. No installation costs. Possibly vulnerable to theft, but there are steps one can take to reduce chances of losing it. Requires one to be diligent in its deployment, otherwise no protection. If there is a problem you have to go outside to check display (if unit has one).

Permanently installed units typically more expensive, especially if you factor in installation. If unit completely "fries" due to a problem it could leave you without any campground power, unless you have spent extra money (and installation costs) to put in plugs and receptacles to allow you to completely bypass an installed unit. It is always protecting coach from poor campground power without thinking about it, and many units have an interior display that can monitor power. Theft-proof, so long as they don't steal the whole coach!

I am able to work on my coach, so I went permanent and also installed plugs and receptacles allowing me to completely bypass my unit if it fails. I have what I believe is the "best of both worlds" solution. But it is the most expensive and labor-intensive up front.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:08 PM   #10
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Robbby your the man but I don't understand what you mean installing additional plugs and outlets so that you are able to by pass it should it fail????
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