Surge protectors - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-07-2018, 10:18 AM   #1
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Casita
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Surge protectors

Being somewhat new to RV'ing, I was just watching a video laying out the first 15 things to do after buying an RV or trailer. The video stressed the absolute importance of using a surge protector when hooked up to shore power. I don't recall seeing that done very often so I am wondering -

How many folks on this forum use a surge protector?

Are you hooking up to 20 amp, 30 amp or ?? circuits?

Is a surge protector as necessary on an older (1994) trailer compared to a newer one that might have more extensive electronic components?

If you use a surge protector, can you provide a recommendation that is effective in terms of both function and cost?

Thanks in advance to all who respond.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:26 AM   #2
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I plug into 30 A service so I just installed a Progressive Industries 30 AMP Hardwired Electrical Management System: Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C

They also have a 50A model.

I cut the shore power cord and installed the hardwired box between the incoming shore power and the power center and it works great. I did so because I have been replacing everything else on my 1988 Bigfoot - the power center, the fans, the water pump, the water heater, all the lights, and will be installing a new fridge and tank monitor and that's a big investment, so I want to protect it all.

Although the company was recently sold, the ratings are still the best among all the surge protectors. For the hardwired models, they offer a lifetime warranty and if something stops working on it, they have easily swappable interior parts / circuit boards. The model I got has a panel that displays the potential issues (over-voltage, under-voltage, reversed ground, etc.). There is also an override switch if whatever the error is is not hazardous.

They have excellent videos on YouTube on the installation.

Seemed like better insurance than a portable one, as the latter are easily stolen.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:34 AM   #3
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I installed the same EMS (Electrical Management System) which is more than just a surge protector. I also installed a larger power cord hatch that gives me more room, gets rid of the "mouse door" for the cord that every small critter likes to use to get into your trailer, and it also has a lock. In lieu of the "mouse door" hatch, I also installed a Marine style 30 Amp Twist-Lock shore power plug on the trailer and installed a matching female end on the shore power cord to plug into it. Beats the hell out of wrestling with getting the cord in and out of those stupid little hatches they install at the factory. Just unplug it, coil it up, and throw it in wherever you wish to store it. It also opens up quite a bit of usable storage area behind the converter that was virtually inaccessible before. It's also handy if you ever want to add circuits for electrical items because you can access the back of the converter for wire routing without having to take half the trailer apart for access. I also got the remote fault code readout which I mounted on the toe-board under the side dinette table so I can see if there is any problems with the incoming power source.
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New Electrical Hatch1.JPG   New Electrical Hatch2.JPG  

New Electrical Hatch3.JPG   Surge Protector Remote.JPG  

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Old 10-07-2018, 11:48 AM   #4
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a larger power cord hatch that gives me more room

I've been looking for some doors like that. Can you point me in the direction of a source for them? Thanks.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:42 AM   #5
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https://www.amazon.com/JR-Products-Z.../dp/B007HRTSBG

https://www.amazon.com/Leisure-Cords...K0BAM3W2STV8V3
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:41 AM   #6
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Talking camco

we use a Camco "dog bone":
Camco 55312 125V 30M/30F Amp Dogbone Circuit Analyzer
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:12 PM   #7
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Our trailer came with a built in surge protector (EMS) . It has caused more problems than it has solved ( Nusance tripping) . My home does not have surge protection and we have never suffered any consequences .
Several mornings we have woken up to a cold trailer and our refrigerator on propane because the EMS saw some minor blip in the power supply .
We don’t carry sensitive electronics while traveling and our toaster , coffee pot or electric fry pan could care less if the voltage is a few volts high or low.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:10 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear your EMS isn't working right Steve. I find mine to be a good addition and I haven't had any trouble with mine. I agree and I also don't have a surge protector at home, because my home power supply is very stable, but I will say that I have had several occasions of finding problematic power supplies at various power pedestals in both private and public camp areas. I know that most electronics can handle a little variance in voltage, but I have found some pedestals that were as low as 98 volts and as high as 135 volts. I have also found many instances of reverse polarity, open grounds, etc., which make me glad I have it. As you know, low voltage conditions can often be worse than over voltage for some equipment, such as air conditioner compressors for one.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:20 PM   #9
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my Escape has a built-in 30A EMS... I can't use it when plugged into 120V at home becuase the outlet my extension cord reaches isn't grounded, but I certainly use it in the field.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:37 PM   #10
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Casita Greg,

I love that marine water-resistant power cord connector. Do you basically cut your old incoming shore power cord to connect it to the outlet on the inside and then discard the remaining length and old plug since you install the new outlet for use with a water-resistant cord?

Could you post a photo of what the interior connection from the water-resistant outlet to your surge protector and power center looks like?

Very cool - thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V'sGlassSleeper View Post
Casita Greg,
I love that marine water-resistant power cord connector. Do you basically cut your old incoming shore power cord to connect it to the outlet on the inside and then discard the remaining length and old plug since you install the new outlet for use with a water-resistant cord?

Could you post a photo of what the interior connection from the water-resistant outlet to your surge protector and power center looks like?

Very cool - thanks for sharing!
After cutting the larger hatch hole and installing the bigger access hatch door, I was then able to install the hard-wired HW30C EMS unit to the trailer floor behind the converter.

I don't currently have a picture of the back of the new Twist-Lock outlet, but it is a pretty straight-forward simple installation. The cord end just enters through the back of it and hooks up to the 3 screw terminals on the plug.

To wire it in, I just cut the existing cord coming out of the back of the converter long enough to attach it to the terminals inside the removable cover of the EMS box.

Then I took another short length of the same shore power cord and ran it from the EMS box to the back of the new Marine/RV Twist-Lock male plug that I mounted in the trailer bulkhead next to, (and forward of,) the new hatch above the wheel well. The 3 wires, (Blk/Wht/Grn,) enter through the rear of the new shore power plug and hook up just like the end of any 120 VAC plug.

Secure your new wiring run to the existing wire bundle with a couple of tie wraps as needed.

The new female Twist-Lock cord end was installed on the cut off end of the remaining section of the original shore power cord.

All told, it may have shortened the usable cord by about two feet from the original length, (since a few feet always remained inside when it was hard-wired out of the converter anyway.) It has never left me short of reaching the power pedestal yet anywhere I've gone.

It's so much nicer, quicker, and definitely easier to just unplug it and coil it up than to have to fight putting back into that silly little factory installed hatch. And if it is wet or muddy, you're not having to introduce all that mess into the interior of your trailer.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:31 PM   #12
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Very straightforward install, as I thought it might be, thanks Greg!
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
It's so much nicer, quicker, and definitely easier to just unplug it and coil it up than to have to fight putting back into that silly little factory installed hatch. And if it is wet or muddy, you're not having to introduce all that mess into the interior of your trailer.

I prefer my attached cord. I only pull out what I need ( no extra coil of cord exposed to mud and rain ). What does get dirty is easily cleaned by holding a rag or paper towels in one hand. Run the cord through that hand and feed it into the trailer with the other.
Cord doesn't tangle because I keep that compartment empty. Pic is of never cleaned compartment.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:04 AM   #14
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Whatever you prefer Glenn, but not everybody likes the attached shore power cord. But if you do, then by all means, enjoy it the way you want to use it.

I wrote my response for those who may be interested, and who may not be so enamored, (as I wasn't,) with having it the way it came from the factory. FWIW, the way they are installed in Casita trailers in particular, they often find a way to snag on, and pull out, the control wiring plug from its socket on top of the HWH sitting next to it.
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