As an RV owner, you understand the importance of protecting your valuable investment from sudden power surges and electrical damage. With the increasing reliance on electrical appliances and sensitive electronics in RVs, having a reliable surge protector is essential to ensure the safety of your electrical system as it provides reliable surge protection, voltage regulation, and circuit diagnostics to prevent damage to your RV’s sensitive electronics and appliances.
In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about RV surge protectors including the working mechanism, types, pros and cons, crucial buying criteria as well as the top-rated RV surge protectors that provide excellent value for your money.
We have thoroughly researched and analyzed various models based on their features, durability, customer reviews, and affordability. Whether you’re a seasoned RVer or new to the world of RVing, we’ve got you covered.
Our comprehensive reviews will highlight the key features and benefits of each surge protector, including their power handling capacity, surge protection levels, ease of installation, and additional functionalities. We will also discuss any notable drawbacks to help you make an informed decision.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of the best RV surge protectors available in 2023, allowing you to safeguard your RV’s electrical system and appliances while staying within your budget. So let’s dive in and find the perfect surge protector that offers both peace of mind and value for your hard-earned money!
What is an RV Surge Protector?
An RV surge protector is a must-have device for any RVer who wants to protect their rig from electrical damage. When an RV is connected to a campground or shore power pedestal, it is exposed to potential electrical hazards, such as power surges, spikes, and lightning strikes. These electrical irregularities can damage appliances, electronics, and internal electrical components, costing RVers thousands of dollars in repairs.
An RV surge protector is a device designed to protect the electrical system of a recreational vehicle (RV) from power surges and electrical irregularities. A surge protector acts as a “shock absorber” for the RV’s electrical system, absorbing any excess voltage and diverting it away from sensitive equipment. This helps to protect the RV’s electrical system from damage and ensures that RVers can enjoy their trips without worrying about costly repairs.
In addition to surge protection, some RV surge protectors also offer a variety of other features that can help to protect your RV from electrical damage. These features include:
- Voltage regulation: This feature helps to ensure that the voltage coming into your RV is consistent and stable. This can help to prevent damage to appliances and electronics that are sensitive to voltage fluctuations.
- Circuit diagnostics: This feature can help you to identify any problems with your RV’s electrical system. This can be helpful in preventing electrical damage before it occurs.
- Ground fault protection: This feature helps to protect you from electrical shock. It does this by detecting any ground faults and shutting off the power to the affected circuit.
- Reverse polarity detection: This feature helps to prevent damage to your RV’s electrical system by detecting any instances of reverse polarity. Reverse polarity occurs when the hot and neutral wires are reversed. This can damage appliances and electronics, and it can also be dangerous.
- Open neutral protection: This feature helps to protect your RV’s electrical system from open neutrals. An open neutral occurs when the neutral wire is disconnected from the electrical system. This can cause a number of problems, including damage to appliances and electronics.
RV surge protectors come in a variety of types and configurations, including portable plug-in models and hardwired units. It is important to choose a surge protector that is right for your RV and your needs. If you are not sure which surge protector to choose, you can consult with an RV expert.
Overall, surge protectors are an essential accessory for RV owners who want to protect their investment, extend the lifespan of their appliances, and prevent costly repairs or replacements due to electrical damage.
How Does an RV Surge Protector Work?
An RV surge protector works by monitoring the incoming electrical supply and providing protection against power surges and other electrical irregularities. Here’s a breakdown of how an RV surge protector operates:
Detection: When you connect your RV to a power source, the surge protector is installed between the power pedestal and your RV’s electrical system. It constantly monitors the voltage levels and quality of the electrical supply.
Surge Protection: If a power surge occurs, such as a lightning strike or a sudden increase in voltage, the surge protector detects the excessive voltage. It quickly responds by diverting the excess voltage away from your RV’s electrical system, preventing it from reaching and damaging your appliances and electronics. This redirection may occur through internal circuitry or specialized components like metal oxide varistors (MOVs).
Voltage Regulation: In addition to surge protection, some RV surge protectors also offer voltage regulation capabilities. They help stabilize the voltage levels and ensure a consistent and safe power supply to your RV’s electrical system. Voltage regulation is particularly useful in areas with unstable power grids or voltage fluctuations.
Diagnostic Features: Many RV surge protectors include diagnostic features that provide information about the quality of the electrical supply. They can detect issues like reverse polarity (incorrect wiring), open neutral (broken or disconnected neutral wire), and ground faults. These diagnostic features help identify potential electrical problems and ensure the overall safety of your RV’s electrical system.
It’s important to note that an RV surge protector acts as a sacrificial device. In the event of a severe power surge or electrical fault, the surge protector may sustain damage to protect your RV’s electrical system. This sacrificial role helps prevent costly repairs or replacements of your RV’s internal components.
RV surge protectors come in different types, including portable plug-in models and hardwired units. The specific operation and features may vary depending on the model and manufacturer, but their primary function remains consistent: to monitor, detect, and protect against electrical irregularities.
Is RV Surge Protector Worth The Investment?
RV surge protectors offer several benefits that contribute to the safety, protection, and convenience of your RVing experience. Here are some key reason why we should invest an RV surge protector:
Electrical system protection: The primary benefit of an RV surge protector is to safeguard your RV’s electrical system from power surges and electrical irregularities. It acts as a barrier between the power source and your RV, detecting and diverting excessive voltage away from your RV’s sensitive electronics, appliances, and internal wiring. This protection prevents potential damage, saving you from costly repairs or replacements.
Surge and spike prevention: Power surges and voltage spikes can occur due to lightning strikes, faulty campground wiring, or fluctuations in the power grid. A surge protector quickly detects these surges and spikes and suppresses them, ensuring that only safe levels of electricity reach your RV. This protection extends the lifespan of your appliances and electronics, saving you money in the long run.
Diagnostic features: Many RV surge protectors come equipped with diagnostic features that provide valuable information about the quality and safety of the electrical supply. They can detect issues such as reverse polarity, open neutral, or ground faults, alerting you to potential wiring or electrical problems. By identifying these issues early on, you can address them and ensure the overall safety of your RV’s electrical system.
Convenience and peace of mind: With an RV surge protector in place, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your RV is protected from electrical hazards. You can confidently plug into different power sources, such as campground pedestals or generators, without worrying about damaging power fluctuations. This convenience allows you to focus on enjoying your RVing adventures.
Enhanced safety: Electrical faults and irregularities can pose safety risks to both you and your RV. By using a surge protector, you minimize the chances of electrical accidents, such as shocks or fires, caused by faulty wiring or improper power supply. The surge protector acts as a proactive safety measure, providing a reliable and secure electrical connection.
Easy installation and portability: RV surge protectors are designed for easy installation and often feature a plug-and-play setup. Portable surge protectors can be easily moved between different campsites or RVs, providing consistent protection wherever you go. This portability ensures that your electrical system remains safeguarded, regardless of your location.
Best 30 Amp RV Surge Protectors
1. Progressive Industries SSP-30XL Portable RV Surge Protector
At a glance:
- Joules Rating: 825J
- Power Rating: 30Amp / 120V / 3,600W
- Operating Temperatures: -40°C to +105°C
- Type: Portable
- Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
- Certification: UL Certified and Canadian Approved
Why we love it:
The Progressive Industries SSP-30XL is a top-of-the-line RV surge protector that offers peace of mind and reliability.
Fault detection: One of the standout features of the SSP-30XL is its fault detection capability. It can identify open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, miswired pedestal, and surge failure, ensuring that your RV’s electrical system remains safe and properly connected. The bright 3-color LED indicators make it easy to monitor any electrical issues.
All-in-one functionality: Another great feature of the SSP-30XL is that it combines surge protection and pedestal testing in a single unit. This means that you can perform a quick and reliable test of the power pedestal before you connect your RV’s cordset. This helps to ensure that the power source is properly grounded and free from any wiring issues, which can prevent damage to your RV’s electrical system.
Weather-resistant construction: Designed for outdoor use, the SSP-30XL is weather-resistant and comes with an all-weather shield assembly. This means that it can withstand various weather conditions, including rain and snow, making it suitable for four-season camping. The thermally protected housing further enhances its durability and performance in extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to 105°C.
Portable design: Despite its compact and lightweight design, this surge protector doesn’t compromise on functionality. It features a rugged pull handle and a locking bracket for easy installation and removal. The portable nature of the device makes it convenient to use and store.
The SSP-30XL offers excellent value for money. It may not have the highest joules rating on the market (825J), but its lightning-fast response time of less than 1 nanosecond ensures early detection and immediate shutdown of potential mishaps. It has garnered an impressive 4.8-star rating from over 6,000 buyers, highlighting its reliability and performance.
UL certified and Canadian approved: This means that the SSP-30XL meets the highest safety standards in the United States and Canada. It is also backed by a lifetime warranty.
- All-in-one functionality
- Rugged and weather-resistant design
- Portable and easy to use
- Lack of voltage display
2. Surge Guard Southwire 34930 30A RV Surge Protector
At a glance:
- Joules Rating: 2,450J
- Power Rating: 30Amp / 120V / 3,600W
- Low (<102V) / High (>132V) voltage
- Type: Portable
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
Why we love it:
The Surge Guard Southwire 34930 30A RV Surge Protector is a comprehensive electrical protection solution for RVs. It safeguards against various power issues, providing peace of mind during your travels. With its multitude of protective features, this surge protector ensures the safety of your electrical system and connected devices.
High Joule Rating: One outstanding aspect of the Surge Guard 34930 is its high Joule Rating of 2,450J. This indicates its ability to withstand multiple power surges effectively, making it a reliable choice for RVers looking for long-lasting protection.
Withstand outdoor elements: The Surge Guard 34930 is also built to withstand outdoor elements. Its weatherproof design ensures its durability and eliminates the need for constant maintenance. The surge protector also features a 10-second startup sequence and 128-second reset delay, which adds an extra layer of protection by safeguarding your electronics during both surges and power restoration.
Universal design & Easy-T-Pull plug handles: The Surge Guard 34930 is easy to install and use. Its universal design makes it compatible with various types of RVs, and the convenient Easy-T-Pull plug handles make it easy to connect and disconnect the surge protector from the power source. The Surge Guard 34930 also includes an anti-theft lock ring on the cord, adding an extra layer of security.
Real-time monitoring of voltage and amp draw: Once installed, the Surge Guard 34930 provides real-time monitoring of voltage and amp draw. This information is displayed on a bright LCD screen, so you can easily keep track of your power supply. The surge protector is also compact and easy to store, taking up minimal space in your RV.
The Surge Guard 34930 may come at a higher price than some competitors, but the value it offers justifies the investment. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can be confident in its reliability and performance.
- Provides comprehensive protection against a wide range of electrical issues
- High Joule rating
- Taking up minimal space inside the RV
- Quite expensive
- Locking kit not included
Best 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors
3. Camco Power Grip RV 50-Amp Voltage Protector
At a glance:
- Joules Rating: 4,200J
- Power Rating: 50Amp
- Low (<102V) / High (>132V) voltage
- Type: Portable
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
Why we love it:
The Power Grip RV 50-Amp Voltage Protector with Integrated Surge Protection by Camco is a reliable solution for safeguarding your RV’s electrical system. It offers protection against dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (<102 VAC) voltage levels, as well as power surges.
Auto connect/disconnect capability: One of the most handy features of this voltage protector is its auto connect/disconnect capability. This means that it will automatically disconnect from the power source in the event of dangerous conditions, such as voltage fluctuations, and reconnect once normal operating conditions are restored. This feature ensures that your RV is protected at all times, without requiring manual intervention.
Diagnostic LEDs: The diagnostic LEDs on the voltage protector provide a clear indication of any faults or electrical issues when you connect your electrical cord to the power pedestal. This allows you to quickly identify and address any problems before they cause damage to your RV’s electrical system.
Integrated surge protection of up to 4,200 Joules: This Power Grip RV 50-Amp Voltage Protector offers a high level of defense against power surges. It can absorb up to 4,200 Joules of energy, which is enough to protect your RV’s electrical system from most power surges.
Portable and rugged design: This voltage protector also features power grip handles that make plugging and unplugging easier, and it is weather-resilient, so it can withstand adverse weather conditions.
- Offering effective surge suppression
- Auto connect/disconnect feature
- Protect RV from both high and low voltage levels
- Lack of some advanced features
4. Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C Hardwired 50 Amp EMS
At a glance:
- EMS Surge Protection: 5-Mode / 3,580J / 88,000A
- Power Rating: 50 Amp / 120V/240V / 12,000W
- Operating Temperatures: -40°C to +105°C
- Type: Hardwired, including 14′ Data Cable
- Certification: UL Certified and Canadian Approved
- Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
Why we love it:
The Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C Hardwired 50 Amp EMS is – without doubt – the best electrical management system for RVs. It offers the highest level of protection available for your RV’s electrical system, safeguarding it against voltage fluctuations, power surges, and incorrectly wired shore power.
Extensive range of protection capabilities: A key feature of this EMS surge protector is its extensive range of protection capabilities. It offers a 5-mode surge protection system with a high joule rating of 3,580J and can handle up to 88,000 amps. This level of protection is ideal for owners of luxury motorhomes equipped with residential-grade appliances or anyone seeking absolute peace of mind. The unit is also compatible with vehicles using 120V/240V systems, making it suitable for a wide range of RV setups.
Remote digital display: The included remote digital display is a convenient feature that continuously scrolls through power source information, providing immediate updates on the status of the electrical system. This allows users to monitor voltage levels, detect faults such as open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, and more. It even offers protection against accidental 240V connections and A/C frequency issues.
Verified durability and reliability: The durability and reliability of the EMS-HW50C are evident in its UL certification and Canadian approval. These certifications indicate that it has been tested and meets the highest safety standards in both the United States and Canada. With an operating temperature range of -40°C to +105°C, it is designed to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions.
Hardwired installation: This makes the EMS-HW50C more secure and less likely to be lost or stolen.
Despite its higher price point, the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C is well worth the investment. It offers unparalleled protection for your RV’s electrical system and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This means that you can be confident in its quality and durability for years to come. Additionally, the availability of plug-and-play replacement parts makes it easy to repair if needed.
- High surge protection rating
- Included remote display provides convenient access to real-time information
- Can withstand extreme weather conditions
- Higher price
- Limited compatibility
5. Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Surge Protector
At a glance:
Why we love it:
The Surge Guard 35550 is another unit that deserves to be on the list of the best 50 amp RV surge protectors. Here are specific reasons why the Surge Guard 35550 is worth your investment:
A hardwire model: The Surge Guard 35550 is a permanent fixture once installed within the bay of your coach. This protects it from potential theft and damage caused by outdoor elements. It also eliminates the need to manually set up and store the surge protector, which can be a hassle when you’re on the go. It is a hardwire model that requires professional installation, but it is worth the effort for the peace of mind it provides. The Surge Guard 35550 is a hardwire model that requires professional installation.
Automatic reset feature: What makes the Surge Guard 35550 stand out from other surge protectors is its automatic reset on power restoration. This means that you don’t have to worry about manually resetting the surge protector after a power outage. The 128-second reset delay is specifically designed to protect the A/C compressor, which is a critical component of your RV.
High Joule Rating: The Surge Guard 35550 has a high Joule rating of 3850, which means it can withstand more power surges than other surge protectors. This makes it a good choice for RVers who live in areas with frequent power outages or who often use their RVs in harsh weather conditions.
Indicator lights: The Surge Guard 35550 is also equipped with indicator lights that provide immediate feedback on the stability of the connection between your RV and shore power. This allows you to quickly identify any issues and take appropriate measures. Additionally, the Surge Guard 35550 offers an optional remote LCD display, which provides convenient and remote monitoring of your RV’s electrical power.
Built to last: The Surge Guard 35550 is built to last. Its high Joule rating means that it has a longer lifespan than other surge protectors, providing reliable protection for an extended period. The “No protection” indicator light will alert you when the surge protector can no longer safeguard your electronics from surges, indicating the need for a replacement. This durability ensures long-term protection for your RV’s electrical system.
Limited lifetime warranty: The Surge Guard 35550 is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. This means that you can be confident in its quality and durability for years to come.
- Easy installation
- Multi-mode surge suppression
- Great quality
- Permanent placement
- Lack of visual display
What are Different Types of Surge Protector?
RV Surge Protector vs. EMS
An RV surge protector is a device designed to protect your RV’s electrical system from power surges and voltage spikes. It typically plugs into the campground’s power pedestal or electrical outlet and acts as a barrier between the external power source and your RV.
Surge protectors monitor the incoming electrical voltage and divert any excess voltage away from your RV, preventing it from causing damage to your appliances, electronics, and wiring. They are available in both portable and hardwired versions.
Electronic Management System (EMS)
Often referred to as an EMS or RV EMS, this device provides more comprehensive protection for your RV’s electrical system compared to surge protectors. EMS devices not only guard against power surges but also monitor and manage other electrical issues such as low voltage, high voltage, open neutral, reverse polarity, and improper grounding.
They typically include diagnostic capabilities to identify electrical problems and provide alerts to the RV owner. EMS devices may also have automatic power shutdown features, which disconnect the power supply to your RV in the event of severe electrical issues to prevent damage.
Hardwired vs. Portable RV Surge Protector
Hardwired Surge Protectors
Hardwired surge protectors are installed directly into the electrical system of your RV. They are typically mounted in a fixed location, such as inside a power compartment or electrical bay.
Hardwired surge protectors offer a permanent solution for surge protection and provide continuous monitoring and protection of your RV’s electrical system. They are wired directly into the electrical circuit, providing comprehensive surge and voltage spike protection for all connected devices and appliances.
Portable Surge Protectors
Portable surge protectors are designed for convenience and flexibility. They are typically compact in size and come with a plug-and-play design. Portable surge protectors are inserted between the power source and your RV’s power cord.
They offer portable surge protection, making them suitable for use in various locations and RVs. Portable surge protectors are easy to install and remove, allowing you to quickly transfer them between different campsites or RVs.
30 Amp vs. 50 Amp RV Surge Protector
30 Amp RV Surge Protector
A 30 amp RV surge protector is specifically designed for RVs that have a 30 amp electrical system. It connects between the campground’s power pedestal or outlet and your RV’s power cord.
The surge protector monitors the incoming electrical voltage and diverts any excess voltage away from your RV, protecting your appliances, electronics, and wiring from damage. It is equipped with a 30 amp plug and socket configuration to match the electrical capacity of your RV.
50 Amp RV Surge Protector
A 50 amp RV surge protector is designed for RVs that have a 50 amp electrical system. These systems are commonly found in larger RVs, motorhomes, or RVs with multiple air conditioning units or heavy power demands.
The surge protector provides the same surge suppression and voltage monitoring as the 30 amp version but with a higher electrical capacity. It features a 50 amp plug and socket configuration to match the electrical requirements of your RV.
Choosing The Best RV Surge Protectors: Buying Criteria
With numerous options available on the market, it’s important to consider certain criteria to ensure you choose the best RV surge protector for your specific needs. Here are some key factors to consider when making your buying decision.
Having UL certification is indeed a sign of greatness and reliability when it comes to RV surge protectors. The UL seal on an RV surge protector signifies that the product has been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a globally recognized independent safety science company.
The UL certification ensures that the surge protector meets certain safety and performance standards, providing assurance to consumers that the product has undergone rigorous testing and evaluation. So it’s safe to choose a UL certified surge protector for your camper since it’s a valuable indication of the quality and reliability.
It’s important to note that while the UL seal indicates that the surge protector meets specific safety and performance standards, it does not necessarily guarantee protection against all types of electrical issues or guarantee compatibility with every RV setup.
The joules rating in an RV surge protector refers to the amount of energy it can absorb and dissipate during a power surge. It represents the surge protector’s capacity to handle and protect against electrical spikes and surges.
When a power surge occurs, the surge protector acts as a barrier, diverting the excess voltage away from the connected devices in your RV. The joules rating indicates how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it reaches its limit. A higher joules rating means the surge protector can handle larger and more powerful surges.
The joules rating is an important factor to consider when choosing an RV surge protector because it directly relates to the level of protection it can provide. A surge protector with a higher joules rating will be able to handle stronger surges and offer better protection for your RV’s electrical system and connected devices.
Power ratings in an RV surge protector refer to the maximum electrical power capacity it can handle. It indicates the maximum current (amperage) and voltage that the surge protector is designed to accommodate without being overloaded.
The power rating of an RV surge protector is typically expressed in terms of amperage (A), voltage (V), and wattage (W). For example, a common power rating for RV surge protectors is 30 amps at 120 volts, which corresponds to a maximum power capacity of 3,600 watts. There are also surge protectors available with higher power ratings, such as 50 amps at 120/240 volts, which can handle a maximum power capacity of 12,000 watts.
It’s important to choose an RV surge protector with power ratings that match the electrical system of your RV. If your RV has a 30-amp electrical system, you should select a surge protector with a 30-amp power rating. Similarly, if your RV has a 50-amp electrical system, you’ll need a surge protector with a 50-amp power rating.
Using a surge protector with the appropriate power ratings ensures that it can safely handle the electrical load of your RV, preventing overloading and potential damage to the surge protector itself and your RV’s electrical system.
Clamping voltage, also known as clamping level or let-through voltage, is a specification in RV surge protectors that indicates the maximum voltage level at which the surge protector will start diverting excess voltage to protect connected devices.
During a power surge or voltage spike, the clamping voltage is the threshold at which the surge protector activates and begins to suppress the surge. It represents the voltage level at which the surge protector starts conducting, redirecting the excess voltage away from the RV’s electrical system and connected devices.
A lower clamping voltage indicates a more sensitive surge protector that can respond to smaller voltage spikes. It means that the surge protector will activate at a lower voltage level, offering better protection against surges.
For example, if a surge protector has a clamping voltage of 330 volts, it will start diverting excess voltage and suppressing the surge when the voltage exceeds 330 volts. Any voltage surge above this threshold will be redirected by the surge protector, protecting the connected RV and its electronic devices.
Response time in RV surge protectors refers to the speed at which the surge protector can react to a power surge or voltage spike. It measures how quickly the surge protector can detect the abnormal electrical condition and activate its protective mechanisms.
A faster response time is desirable in an RV surge protector as it allows for quicker protection against power surges. When a power surge occurs, the surge protector needs to detect the surge and divert the excess voltage away from the connected RV as soon as possible to prevent damage to the electrical system and sensitive electronic devices.
The response time of an RV surge protector is typically measured in nanoseconds (ns) or microseconds (μs). A surge protector with a lower response time indicates a faster reaction to power surges.
It’s important to note that while response time is a significant factor, it should be considered in conjunction with other features and specifications of the surge protector. Factors such as joule rating, clamping voltage, and overall build quality also contribute to the surge protector’s effectiveness in providing reliable protection for the RV’s electrical system.
While some campers may overlook this feature, it is important to consider the benefits of having an RV surge protector with an LED display or indicator lights. While the primary purpose of a surge protector is to safeguard your RV’s electrical system, it’s crucial to stay informed about its status. Without a display, you may not realize when your surge protector needs to be replaced following an electrical mishap that may have caused damage.
By opting for an RV surge protector with a user-friendly LED display, you gain valuable insights into the type of electrical problems it detects. This display can provide clear information about issues such as power surges, voltage fluctuations, open grounds, open neutrals, reverse polarity, and other electrical faults.
This functionality automatically restores power to your RV once the electrical conditions have returned to normal. When a surge or fault event occurs, such as a voltage spike or a detected fault like open ground or reverse polarity, the surge protector disconnects the power supply to prevent any damage to your RV’s electrical system.
Once the surge or fault condition has been resolved and the voltage returns to a safe range, the surge protector initiates the automatic reset process. It reconnects the power supply to your RV without requiring any manual intervention from you. This feature ensures that you don’t have to manually reset or restore power to your RV after a surge or fault event.
This feature provides convenience and peace of mind to RV owners, as it eliminates the need for constant monitoring or manual intervention in case of electrical issues. It allows for a seamless and automatic restoration of power to your RV once the electrical conditions are deemed safe again.
RVs are often exposed to outdoor elements, including rain, snow, humidity, and extreme temperatures. Therefore, having a surge protector that is designed to be weather-resistant is essential for its durability and reliable performance.
A surge protector with weather-resistance ability is typically constructed with materials and components that are resistant to water, moisture, and other environmental factors. This ensures that the surge protector remains functional and protected even when exposed to rain or other wet conditions. The housing or casing of the surge protector is designed to provide a barrier against moisture and prevent water ingress, keeping the internal components safe.
Weather-resistant surge protectors may also have additional features such as sealed electrical connections, gaskets, or rubberized coatings to enhance their protection against water and corrosion. These features help to safeguard the internal circuitry and ensure the surge protector’s longevity in outdoor environments.
By choosing a surge protector with weather resistance feature, RV owners can have peace of mind knowing that their electrical system is protected even in adverse weather conditions. It minimizes the risk of damage to the surge protector itself and ensures consistent performance and protection for the RV’s electrical devices.
Who Makes The Best RV Surge Protectors?
There are several top brands that are known for manufacturing reliable and high-quality RV surge protectors. Here are some of the top RV surge protector brands:
Progressive Industries is a well-known and trusted brand in the RV industry. They offer a wide range of surge protectors with different amp ratings and advanced features like built-in diagnostics and remote monitoring.
Surge Guard is another reputable brand that specializes in RV surge protection. Their surge protectors are designed to provide reliable protection against power surges, low voltage, and other electrical issues. They offer both portable and hardwired models.
Camco is a popular brand that offers a variety of RV accessories, including surge protectors. Their surge protectors are known for their durability and user-friendly features. They offer surge protectors for both 30 amp and 50 amp RVs.
Southwire is a trusted brand in the electrical industry, and they also produce RV surge protectors. Their surge protectors are designed to provide robust surge suppression and electrical monitoring capabilities to protect your RV’s electrical system.
While not strictly surge protectors, Hughes Autoformer offers power management solutions that include surge protection. Their products are designed to boost low campground voltage and protect against high voltage and power surges.
These brands have established a strong reputation for manufacturing reliable and effective RV surge protectors. When choosing an RV surge protector, it’s important to consider factors like amp rating, features, durability, and customer reviews to find the best option for your specific needs.
FAQs About Camper Surge Protectors
What Is a power surge?
A power surge is a sudden, temporary increase in the voltage of an electrical system. It is typically characterized by a rapid and brief spike in electrical energy that exceeds the normal voltage levels. Power surges can occur due to various reasons, including:
Lightning strikes: A direct lightning strike or even a nearby lightning strike can send a surge of electrical energy through power lines and cause a power surge. This is particularly common in areas prone to thunderstorms.
Faulty wiring or power grid issues: Faulty electrical wiring within a building or problems in the power grid infrastructure can lead to power surges. These surges can occur when there is a sudden change in the electrical load, such as when large appliances or machinery are turned on or off.
Electrical equipment cycling: When certain electrical devices, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, cycle on and off, they can create electrical fluctuations that may result in power surges within the system.
Utility company activities: Maintenance work or switching operations performed by the utility company on power lines or transformers can sometimes cause power surges if not properly managed.
Power surges can vary in intensity and duration. While minor power surges may go unnoticed, significant surges can cause damage to electronic devices, appliances, and electrical systems. The excess voltage can overload and stress the sensitive components within these devices, leading to malfunctions, data loss, or permanent damage. To protect against power surges, surge protectors are used.
How long do RV surge protectors last?
The lifespan of an RV surge protector can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the device, usage patterns, environmental conditions, and the presence of power surges. On average, a well-maintained and high-quality RV surge protector can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or even longer.
However, it’s important to note that surge protectors are not immune to wear and tear, and their effectiveness can diminish over time. The internal components of a surge protector can degrade, and repeated exposure to power surges can gradually reduce its ability to provide adequate protection.
What are the signs of a bad surge protector?
There are several signs that may indicate a surge protector is no longer functioning properly or needs to be replaced. Here are some common signs of a bad surge protector:
Power surges: If you experience power surges despite having a surge protector, it could be a sign that the surge protector is no longer providing adequate protection. It should effectively suppress and divert excessive voltage spikes, so frequent power surges may indicate a faulty surge protector.
Faulty or inconsistent operation: If the surge protector starts behaving erratically, such as randomly turning off or failing to provide power to connected devices, it could indicate internal component issues or a failure in the surge protection circuitry.
Physical damage: Physical damage to the surge protector, such as cracks, frayed wires, or burnt marks, is a clear indication that the device has experienced stress or has been exposed to a power surge. Physical damage compromises the effectiveness and safety of the surge protector.
Indicator Lights: Many surge protectors have indicator lights that signal the status of the device. If these lights stop functioning or display unusual patterns, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning surge protector.
Tripped circuit breaker: If the surge protector’s built-in circuit breaker frequently trips, it could indicate a fault in the surge protector itself. A functioning surge protector should be able to handle the load without tripping the breaker unnecessarily.
Audible noises or odors: Unusual noises, such as buzzing or crackling sounds, or the presence of unusual odors coming from the surge protector may indicate internal component damage or an electrical fault.
If you notice any of these signs, it is recommended to replace the surge protector as soon as possible. It’s important to regularly inspect and test your surge protector to ensure it is providing the necessary protection for your electrical devices and RV.
How do I reset my RV surge protector?
The process of resetting an RV surge protector may vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer. However, here are general steps you can follow to reset a typical RV surge protector:
Disconnect power: Turn off the power supply to your RV by unplugging the shore power cord from the power pedestal or turning off the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel. Allow a few minutes for the surge protector to fully discharge and reset. This waiting period ensures that any residual energy is dissipated.
Check indicator lights: If your surge protector has indicator lights, inspect them to see if there are any indications of a fault or abnormality. Note any specific error codes or patterns.
Reset button: Some surge protectors have a reset button that needs to be pressed to initiate the reset process. Locate the reset button, usually on the front or side of the surge protector, and press and hold it for a few seconds. Refer to the user manual of your specific surge protector model for the exact reset button location and instructions.
Power on: After resetting the surge protector, reconnect the power supply to your RV by plugging the shore power cord back into the power pedestal or turning on the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel.
Monitor operation: Observe the surge protector’s indicator lights or display screen, if applicable, to ensure that it is functioning properly and providing protection to your RV’s electrical system.
How do I secure an RV surge protector?
Securing an RV surge protector helps protect it from theft and ensures it stays in place during travel or adverse weather conditions. Here are some methods to secure an RV surge protector:
Locking mechanism: Many surge protectors come with built-in locking mechanisms or provisions for adding a lock. These locks can help prevent unauthorized removal of the surge protector. Use a padlock or a cable lock to secure the surge protector to the power pedestal or a nearby structure.
Locking box or enclosure: Consider installing a locking box or enclosure specifically designed for RV surge protectors. These boxes provide a secure housing for the surge protector, protecting it from both theft and the elements. They often have a hinged cover that can be locked with a padlock.
Cable and anchor: Use a steel cable or chain to anchor the surge protector to a fixed object, such as a power pedestal, picnic table, or post. Thread the cable or chain through the surge protector’s handle or a designated attachment point, and secure it with a sturdy lock.
Hidden placement: If possible, place the surge protector in a less visible or inconspicuous location within your RV or underneath it. This makes it less noticeable to potential thieves and reduces the risk of tampering or theft.
Storage compartment: If your RV has a dedicated storage compartment, consider storing the surge protector inside when not in use. This provides an added layer of security and keeps it protected from external elements.
Marking and identification: Use permanent markers or engraving tools to mark your surge protector with your name, RV identification number, or other identifiable information. This can deter theft and help in recovering the surge protector if it is stolen.
How many Joules do I need for my RV surge protector?
The number of surge protector joules you need depends on the specific requirements and equipment you have in your RV. Higher joule ratings indicate a surge protector’s ability to absorb larger power surges and provide better protection for your electrical devices. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
Basic electronics: If you have minimal electronics in your RV, such as a TV, stereo system, and basic appliances, a surge protector with a joule rating of 1,000 to 2,000 joules should be sufficient.
Intermediate electronics: For RVs with additional electronics like computers, gaming consoles, and more sensitive devices, a surge protector with a joule rating of 2,000 to 3,500 joules is recommended.
High-end electronics: If you have high-end electronics, residential-grade appliances, or a large number of sensitive devices in your RV, it is advisable to invest in a surge protector with a joule rating of 3,500 joules or higher. This provides greater protection against larger power surges.