Surge Guard Portable Unit? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-29-2010, 06:29 PM   #1
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Surge Guard Portable Unit?

I am seriously thinking about getting a 34734 portable unit.

http://www.surgeguard.com/comparison1.html

I have an AC unit and like the idea that this product protects for both under/over voltage.

But, I have some questions. Maybe some of you have worked out solutions.

First of all, what is Ground Fault Protection? Why is the Ground Fault Protection feature not included in the 34734 unit?

How would I know if the unit is malfunctioning?

I am also worried about theft. This is an expensive purchase, so I want to make sure that I can keep it protected. I have been told that the Lock Hasp Surge Guard sells for this product can be cut open easily.

What would be my other options to protect this unit from theft? Would plugging the 34734 unit into an extension cord that reaches into the trailer compromise the surge protector? Are there other things I can do to protect from theft such as hard wire this portable unit?

Any thoughts, ideas, experience?
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Hi Jane,

If you do use an extension, to relocate the surge unit or for any other purpse, make sure it's as short as practical and that it can carry the rated power (like #10 wire)

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters monitor the current through the three conductors of the power line ( Line, Neutral and and Ground), and make sure everything is in balance. That means that all the current is sourced and sunk on the Line and Neutral connections. If anything bleeds through to Ground, the GFCI assumes there's a dangerous short circuit somewhere (like through your body to ground) and it cuts off the power in a split second.

It looks like none of those surge protectors is actually is a ground fault interrupter. It does appear they do have indicators to let you know if there is some ground current.

BUT: your RV manufacturer likely provided GFCI protected outlets, or a GFCI circuit breaker system, so the addition of a second one might be redundant. Look at your AC outlets and see if they have the telltale TEST and RESET buttons.

Regards,

Matt

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Old 10-02-2010, 10:29 PM   #3
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I have the #34730 and it works fine. All the models are GFI in that if the circuit is not properly wired it will not activate. I had the hard wired version and found if you use a generator if will not activate due to the open ground in all generators. I chose the portable for that reason, I can choose not to use it while on a generator. Theft has never been an issue in campgrounds.
These are great if you have air conditioning and other sensitive electronics because it will shut down if the voltage rises or drops.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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Sort of like an APC UPS?

American Power Conversion

I use one of these before pluggin into a power tree.

http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com...utlet%20tester
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:20 AM   #5
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Jane, I also have the 34730 portable unit. It is expensive so I was worried about theft also.
Someone gave me a solution that has worked well for me.
I plug the cord from the travel trailer into the protector. Then I stuff the protector inside the cord storage area in the trailer. Then I run a second cord from the protector over to the power post. This way the protector is out of sight and locked in the storage compartment.

Mike
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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Jane, I also have the 34730 portable unit. It is expensive so I was worried about theft also.
Someone gave me a solution that has worked well for me.
I plug the cord from the travel trailer into the protector. Then I stuff the protector inside the cord storage area in the trailer. Then I run a second cord from the protector over to the power post. This way the protector is out of sight and locked in the storage compartment.

Mike
Mike,

Let me understand your post.

So you use an extension cord between the power post and the Surge Guard? Plug the Surge Guard into the power cord inside the cord storage area, then lock the Surge Guard into the cord storage area?

How long an extension cord do you need?

Does the use of the extension cord compromise the Surge Guard protector?
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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Hi Jane,

If you do use an extension, to relocate the surge unit or for any other purpse, make sure it's as short as practical and that it can carry the rated power (like #10 wire)


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Matt, the length of the extension cord is dependent on where I will be hooking up. What will happen if I get a "longer" cord with respect to the Surge Guard unit's effectiveness?

I'd get an extension cord designed for RV units, so it will carry the rated power.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:23 PM   #8
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CW sells locks for the surge guard which is less trouble than extra 30 amp cords
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:19 PM   #9
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Mike,

Let me understand your post.
So you use an extension cord between the power post and the Surge Guard? Plug the Surge Guard into the power cord inside the cord storage area, then lock the Surge Guard into the cord storage area?
How long an extension cord do you need?
Does the use of the extension cord compromise the Surge Guard protector?

Hello Jane,

I do believe that you are right on. The cord in the storage compartment is approx. 25 feet long. Standard 30 amp rv cord supplied by the trailer company. It stays in the compartment. I plug the Surge Guard into one end of the rv cord [the other end isn't movable] and the other end of the Surge Guard to my extra 30amp cord. The entire Surge Guard fits inside the storage compartment. What comes out from the RV looks like nothing more than a standard RV cord. No indication that an expensive Surge Guard is in there also. Any extra length of cord just lays on the ground.

I bought my extra 30 amp cord at Walmart for 45.00 or less. It is 25 feet also.

No, I don't believe being 25 feet from the power source effects operation in any way. All the light indicators work just fine.

When you first plug in the Surge Guard there is no power passing through for approx. two minutes while it does it's electronic checking. When it verifies all okay, the power comes on. There are lights on the unit showing you it's status. I should say I don't stuff it in the storage compartment until it verifies all is well. From then on it will shut down if something bad happens.

This year I have seen these units pluged in with no locks, just laying on the ground, and covered with a canvas sleeve to somewhat hide it. I don't know of one being taken, but it is too expensive for me to take a chance.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Mike
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:59 PM   #10
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Actually you are now pulling your power thru 55' of cord which can cause a drop in voltage. I would be curious as to how much voltage drop you maybe experiencing over that 55' length, particularly when a lot of cg do not invest in quality electrical work. You can test the volts at the post and then inside your camper and see if you are losing any.
I have insurance and feel that theft is not prevalent in CG's so I leave mine hanging from the fence post so to speak.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:36 PM   #11
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Most 30A shore power cords for boats are 50' long and no bigger than a RV cord, so I see no problem with using 50' of power cord.

Bill K


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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Actually you are now pulling your power thru 55' of cord which can cause a drop in voltage. I would be curious as to how much voltage drop you maybe experiencing over that 55' length, particularly when a lot of cg do not invest in quality electrical work. You can test the volts at the post and then inside your camper and see if you are losing any.
I have insurance and feel that theft is not prevalent in CG's so I leave mine hanging from the fence post so to speak.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:40 PM   #12
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CW sells locks for the surge guard which is less trouble than extra 30 amp cords
What is CW?

The optional lock hasp product that surge guard offers is not particularly effective as a thief can cut the power cord and take the surge guard.

It is an expensive product and I really am concerned about theft.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #13
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What is CW?
Camping World
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Actually you are now pulling your power thru 55' of cord which can cause a drop in voltage. I would be curious as to how much voltage drop you maybe experiencing over that 55' length, particularly when a lot of cg do not invest in quality electrical work. You can test the volts at the post and then inside your camper and see if you are losing any.
I have insurance and feel that theft is not prevalent in CG's so I leave mine hanging from the fence post so to speak.
I was finally able to speak with the tech support guy at Surge Guard today.

He agrees that theft protection devise is not particularly effective.

He also agrees with your concerns: that too long an extension cord will cause a drop in voltage. He also suggested that I get a voltage meter. He thinks that a cord no longer than 25 - 30 ft, will result in a minimum loss of voltage.

I am already planning to get a voltage meter. Maybe I can borrow/rent an extension cord to test this out.

Regarding insurance, I do have some. But my out-of-pocket deductible would cover the surge guard replacement.

You may be right, that I simply purchase the theft protection devise and assume that theft is not all that common in CGs.

Thanks for your replies. I'll be getting the Surge Protector for next year's travel schedule.
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