Electrical Surge Protectors - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2012, 12:03 AM   #1
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Cool Electrical Surge Protectors

I was wondering if anyone here uses Surge Protectors? If so, what kind? We have a Scamp 13 with no air conditioning. Only the fridge and converter would use 120 v. I have look at surge protectors online and the variety of them as well as their functions is mind boggling . What do you really need?

Sandy C.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:54 AM   #2
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Sandy, campgrounds are kinda known for supplying dirty power. The more electronics (tank monitors) etc. the more important having clean power becomes. It seems most owners of Escapes are making the investment to have surge protectors as added protection. Replacing expensive electronics is not a good way to spend cash.

I've been following Jeanne's and Gil's topic on the CasitaForum on instructions for making a home made surge protector. For around $50 a person can make one that works just as well as the $300 models.

Sorry folks, you have to be a member of CasitaForum to view this topic, but it's well worth that effort and just as easy to join there as here: Power Surge Protector
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:31 AM   #3
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You can also use a hard wired surge protector located at the fuse box. I installed one of these on my new furnace to protect the electronics.

Amazon.com: Ditek 120HW 120V AC Parallel Power Surge Protector: Camera & Photo
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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Without a/c all you would need would be surge protection seen here
Technology Research Corp - Portable 30 amp GFCI Surge Guard with Shock Shield - 44740-004-012 - Surge Protectors - Camping World
the more expensive ones would protect air conditioning from brown outs which you do not need.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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Jim, why would the surge protector you mentioned not work for units with air conditioning? It's rated for 30 amps so wouldnt that be enough to protect the fridge, A/C, and converter which is likely all that would be running simultaneously anyway?

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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I installed a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C Surge Protector in my Escape. While it is more expensive than just surge protection, it also automatically disconnects power to the trailer during under/over voltages, reverse polarity, etc.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissab View Post
Jim, why would the surge protector you mentioned not work for units with air conditioning? It's rated for 30 amps so wouldnt that be enough to protect the fridge, A/C, and converter which is likely all that would be running simultaneously anyway?

Thanks!
It will work with a/c. The point I was tying to convey was with a/c you need additional protection, not only do you need the surge but also the brown out protection which the lesser expensive model does not provide, if you have a/c you would need the higher end EMS and those units cost $200+. The poster indicated they had no a/c.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
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Oh ok, gotcha

Thanks for clarifying. I'd never thought about needing surge protection at campgrounds.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help. I will be getting one before our trip in May. At least now I have narrowed down what is needed. I may have more questions as electricity is not my strong point.

Sandy C
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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Lucky us

In 2500 nights of camping we have never seen a single problem with our electric, neither too low or too high. I suspect that most items are inately immune to electricity issues.

Has anyone ever had an issue that caused a problem? Just curious.

Sometimes I think it's easy to unintentionally scare new users.

Recently, we met some people in a motorhome that went to a 'beginners RV bootcamp' and were now so scared about a potential RV fire that they carried 7 fire extinguishers..... no kidding.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #11
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I have had several cg with miswired receptacles with open grounds and twice incurred brownout low voltage 100v in the hot humid summer. Every incident was uncovered by the EMS unit I was using.
Course if I did not have bad luck I would not have any luck at all!!
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:54 AM   #12
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During the time I've had the surge protector installed I've had one case of reversed polarity, and 2 cases where the protector shut down the power to the trailer when the voltage dropped below it's cut off for low voltage.

If you are in an area that requires leaving your air conditioner running while not in the trailer, I feel it is a necessary option.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #13
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It seems the major issue is the AC unit. We hardly ever run ours and do not run major AC appliances when away from the trailer. Low voltage can certainly effect an AC unit, the compressor is really a load.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:24 PM   #14
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It seems like getting a simple one of these might be a good idea Anyone else with experience regarding surge protectors please chime in.


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Old 03-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #15
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I did a lot of research on surge protectors.

Because you do not have AC, consider making your own. Here's one thread started by me.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tor-43084.html

I suggest you scroll down this page as there is a post which has a copy of the original Casita forum post.


Because I do have AC [and have to worry about low voltage as well as surges], I ended up getting a SafeGuard Portable 30 AMP Unit. I got it through Adventure RV for a fairly good price. http://www.adventurerv.net/portable-...mp-p-2763.html

I also bought a 30 AMP 25 foot RV Extension cord so that I can lock my surge protector in the cabin. http://www.adventurerv.net/amp-power...rd-p-7098.html This combo has given me much piece of mind.

It is preferable to get a portable Surge Protection device over hard wiring something to your trailer. If and when your decide to trade up to another trailer, you can take the surge protection unit with you. The extension cord allows me to keep the protector out of sight and in my trailer.

It takes me about 5-10 minutes to unpack the surge protector and extension cord, plug it all in, and verify the safety of the hook-up. (If the current is bad, there is no point to hooking up the water and sewage line.)

As I said, it is one of the best (dual) investments I have ever made for the trailer.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:55 AM   #16
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Hi: All... We inherited one along with a lecture about not leaving it exposed to allow someone to borrow it. We also got a warning about not leaving it behind as it was expensive!!! So with that we don't use it so the afore mentioned won't happen. I always mean to hard wire it into the trailers system but never seem to get a round "Tuit".
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf S. View Post
Hi: All... We inherited one along with a lecture about not leaving it exposed to allow someone to borrow it. We also got a warning about not leaving it behind as it was expensive!!! So with that we don't use it so the afore mentioned won't happen. I always mean to hard wire it into the trailers system but never seem to get a round "Tuit".
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Honestly Alf, a 25' extension cord would address your concerns. When you disconnect from the power source, your unhooking that extension cord which you'll be stowing in you cabin. The Surge Protector (and the other end of the extension cord) are already located in your cabin, ready for the road.

I unfortunately don't recall the explanation of why it would be a mistake to hard wire a surge protector to a small travel trailer (the discussion did take place on the Casita Travel forum). I'm thinking one reason is that if you experience a power surge and "blow out" the surge protector unit, it will be a pain to hard wire a new unit. But, it did convince me that it is technically preferable, as well as most economical (hard wire units do cost more) to have a good, portable unit.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
H..........
I unfortunately don't recall the explanation of why it would be a mistake to hard wire a surge protector to a small travel trailer (the discussion did take place on the Casita Travel forum). I'm thinking one reason is that if you experience a power surge and "blow out" the surge protector unit, it will be a pain to hard wire a new unit. But, it did convince me that it is technically preferable, as well as most economical (hard wire units do cost more) to have a good, portable unit.
The little unit that I linked to earlier would be easy to replace. At least relatively easy.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:35 PM   #19
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Well after reading all the replies I think that I will try to make one as shown on the Casita forum. Several people here suggested it. Even with my limited electrical skills I should be able to do this. Thanks to everyone who has responded and keep any more details coming

Sandy C
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #20
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Progressive Industries 30 amp EMS-HW30C

While researching the necessity for Surge Protector I run into this study Surges and Surge Protection by phred which convinced me to get one. Comparing these two:
30A Hardwire | Technology Research Corporation
EMS-HW30C
I selected the Progressive one because:
- It has higher energy dissipation capacity 1790 versus 1050 Joules
- It lists maximum current spike at 44,000A and the TRC specs 6,500 A / MOV but I have no idea how many MOVs are there.
- Has a remote.
- Can be open to replace a MOV devices which have limited life.

Before I open my wallet I need to check with manufacturer if the unit has UL #1449 approval.

30 Amp Hardwire Surge Protector EMS-HW30C.

Installation:
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: P.I. EMS-HW30C Install

George.
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