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Old 08-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #1
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Breaker box offer any surge protection?

So I'm a new owner of a Jayco 198RD TT. I'm reading in a lot of posts about getting a surge protector...some say it's a must, other's say they've been camping for years and have never used one. My question, what about the Breaker box in my camper? It doesn't offer any protection? Just curious, cause I want to make sure I have enough protection when camping.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:23 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the new travel trailer.

You will get alot of different answers, but the surge protector is one of those things that you may never need, but will be glad you have if anything ever happens. As one of the ones who recently installed a surge protector I decided that it was the right thing for me.

To answer your question the breaker box in your camper will offer protection if you overload the circuits such as running the AC, microwave, coffee pot and curling iron at the same time. It does not have any surge protection feature however and is just like the breaker box in your home. That is why you may have surge protectors on your TV and other electronics in your home. If there is a surge of power the surge protector will clamp it off up to a certain amount based upon the Joules rating.

My feel is that if you do decide to purchase one that you go ahead and purchase the best protector you can if you are going to spend the money. The higher end ones such as the Progessive or Surge Guard that are over $200 will also check the circuit when you plug your trailer into the campground pedestal. Things that my surge protector checks/monitors is High/Low Voltage, Reverse Polarity, Open Ground, Open Neutral, etc. Also the one I have shows the voltage and I can see when the voltage is dropping in the campground. I have camped at 2 different places this year where the voltage dropped down to 110V. While this did not trigger the unit to trip I knew to watch it. The lower voltage can damage your AC unit.

In the end the decision you will make will be what gives you peace of mind. We camped several years before and never had one, but decided to install one when we upgraded to our newer Jayco. Hopefully we never need it to work however.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for all the good info...that makes sense. Guess I need to plan on dropping a few hundred bucks on a good surge protector. Which one do you use?

Thanks again...

Mark
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
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Hey mblann,
I'm with "week", we've had 2 Progressive Ind. units. The first was 30A for the X23B and was a pole-mount. I got a 50A hard-wired model for the 5th and installed it myself. I can't say that either has saved my bacon but I've read some horror stories about electronics damaged by unstable power at the CG. So it helps me sleep better at night (sometimes during the day too).
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:02 AM   #5
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I recently installed this hardwired version. Camping world had it at the lowest cost:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...otection/56419
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekender View Post
I recently installed this hardwired version. Camping world had it at the lowest cost:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...otection/56419
Yup, that's the one I put in the 5th (50A model). Seem to remember getting it from Tweety's.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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We use a Progressive Industries portable 50amp unit cable-locked to the CG pedestal. Yes, I know that a bolt cutter would defeat the cable lock, but at least it discourages casual thieves. However, I learned from my insurance company that most, including mine, homeowner policies will cover up to 10% of the value of your personal belongings, wherever they are located. That would include the PI EMS unit, if it is stolen while being used with my camper at the CG. We have not had any problems with the PI unit, and it automatically performs all checks on the CG system before allowing current to enter the camper. Peace of mind is a good thing, IMHO.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:18 PM   #8
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I had the dealer install this Surge-Guard unit in my new 5th at time of purchase:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...-monitor/22150
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mblann1960 View Post
So I'm a new owner of a Jayco 198RD TT. I'm reading in a lot of posts about getting a surge protector...some say it's a must, other's say they've been camping for years and have never used one. My question, what about the Breaker box in my camper? It doesn't offer any protection? Just curious, cause I want to make sure I have enough protection when camping.
Hi Mblan.
I just installed 3 V130LA10A Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV) on my supply in the breaker panel. The MOV's are connected across Black & white, white & ground and black & ground on the incoming wires. They cost only penny's and offer protection for surges. They are easy to install and you can get them from ebay or any electronic supply outlet. Overload protection is generally provide within the units such as the AC, fridge etc. and overcurrent protection is provided by the breakers in the panel. I do agree that surge protection is must especially when moving around the country.

Cheers,

Ron
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:02 PM   #10
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Surge Protection

My opinion--- you really need surge protection --- I installed a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C (30A hard wired unit) inside a kitchen cabinet with the remote LED readout just under the countertop. Working great --- love the peace of mind --- shut down everything when voltage dropped below 104v at the campground and DW and I were gone for the day. Glad I installed it. PI has great tech support also. Good luck with whatever unit you decide on--- but get something reliable.
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