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> Surge Protecters, Do you really need one
jmcf46
post Sep 3 2011, 03:07 PM
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Do you really need one for these rv parks? I would assume the parks would be reliable due to all the people using it at one time or another. I have one for my computer but don't see the reason for a surge protecter on the road but I could be wrong of course since my first time out

thanks
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John Blue
post Sep 3 2011, 04:14 PM
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You only have two bad problems. One is lighting that can kill everything in your RV in less than 1/1000 of a second. Next if you use 50 amps. If the large top pin on outlet is missing the ground or open everything in RV will power up on 240 volts and fry all your 120 volt equipment before you can think about it. Can or will it happen to you? We have picked up this problem a couple time now and it saved the motorhome equipment. We use a hardwired 50 amp EMS system. Around $400 to buy and cost less than a equipment burn out.

We also use a lighting protector system on our home power that cost $550 to buy the system plus two circuit breakers. Works great.


--------------------
John
Brandon, Fl.
FMCA F-248693
Foretravel MH
Honda CRV tow
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fpullanosr
post Sep 3 2011, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE(jmcf46 @ Sep 3 2011, 04:07 PM) *

Do you really need one for these rv parks? I would assume the parks would be reliable due to all the people using it at one time or another. I have one for my computer but don't see the reason for a surge protecter on the road but I could be wrong of course since my first time out

thanks



After reading Jon from Brandon's post,/////guess you do!

As for reliable electric service at parks, Disney can be considered a more reliable?

Well a friend of mine whodidnt have a protector, lost their entire rig to a surge.

These things happen so rarely that its not worth the 50 - 100 bucks to protect you, or is it?

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pianotuna
post Sep 3 2011, 07:06 PM
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Hi,

I use extremely modest surge protection for my converter. That, in theory, should protect all the 12 volt boards down stream from it.

I also use the same low cost unit on my Fridge.

Surge is only part of the battle. A.C. motors do not like low voltage and can "burn out".

If I were going to have a serious protection system I would choose one that disconnected on low voltages.

I do monitor my voltage--and I do check each and every time before I "plug in" using a Kill-a-Watt meter and a polarity tester.

Probably few folks who use rv's have surge protection.


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Regards,

Don
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joez
post Sep 3 2011, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE
I would assume the parks would be reliable due to all the people using it at one time or another


Our experience is opposite this assumption. RV park electric systems get a lot of use, may not have been built using the best engineering, in many cases get minimal preventative maintenance, and may be maintained by well intentioned but not very well trained maintenance folks. A good surge protector, actually an energy management system, will cost $350+ and is IMO a necessary expense. Every year we spend 200+ nights per year in full hookup campgrounds. Three to five times every year the system will shut down due to low voltage. Once or twice the system will not allow electric start up because of an open ground or other issue. Twice in 5 years the system has been fried by lightening (with no damage to rv or anything in it). You don't need a surge protector if you can stand the expense and the hassle of repairing the damage from low or high voltage. If instead you would rather not repair the damage or have the headache then you need one. Good luck.
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Denali
post Sep 4 2011, 10:15 AM
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Once every year or two our EMS refuses to connect to a campground pedestal because of reversed polarity, open neutral, or open ground. These are dangerous conditions, either to you or your rig. Less frequently, it shuts off power due to low voltage, which can damage equipment in your RV.

We use a hard-wired EMS: Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C

It's like any other form of insurance: You pay to protect yourself from a very rare, but potentially very costly, event.


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Dave Rudisill
Fulltimer since 2002
2004 Beaver Monterey
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Lindsay Richards
post Sep 4 2011, 10:29 AM
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We never leave home without it. Had one in our 30 Amp coach and bought one for our 50 amp coach before ever using it. Some of the campgrounds have "handyman" repairs. The 50 amp is about $300 which is way less than a dollar a use. One usage could prevent a multiple thousand dollar repair. I used to check the pedestal with a tester before plugging in, but that just told me that it was OK right then and offered no protection later. I have always carried life insurance, but thankfully never used it. Same principle.


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JDRobar
post Sep 4 2011, 11:40 AM
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I read somewhere that surge protectors don't have enough joules of protection for a lightening strike; however, if Joez says it protected him.... I believe it. Maybe the surge protector sacrfices itself ? (and those parts can be replaced in the $250 units -EMS PT30C from Progessive Industries https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Articles.asp?ID=279 ) I know that if there is a surge from power coming back on after an outage you are protected.

The link above gives comparison to other units, as well as the PT30C protction. Unfortunately, I simply didn't have enough room near my elecrical area to permanently install, so I have to put an alarm on it (don't like having a quarter of a grand laying around for some bad apple to take).

Some will protect you from reverse polarity, if the wiring at the park isn't grounded properly, and almost all take care of a low voltage (when too much demand is placed on the park's electrical system) by shutting the power off. Mine has a delay of 3 minutes before it will allow the current to come back to the rig, just in case the voltage was a temporary thing. That way your air conditioner compressor won't get yanked around.

Getting back to jmfc46's question: Overall, I think it's kind of a pay me now or pay me later thing. I have heard some do have and some don't...... I just figure who wants the hassel of replacing electronics (which will definitely cost you more).

BTW, I use a computer alarm (Defcon1 to protect this investment - as well as my filter system) http://www.targus.com/us/productdetail.aspx?sku=pa400u

One more note to a fellow newbie.... always turn off the circuit breaker before attaching your electronics. It keeps the plugs from getting burnt, which will prevent damage that will eventually ruin your umbilical cables.

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jmcf46
post Sep 5 2011, 11:27 AM
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Thanks for the information. I just ordered a EMS-pt30. Better safe than sorry.

thanks
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FranznHilga
post Dec 10 2011, 06:49 PM
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A unit that monitors: voltage surges, frequency, high and low voltage, bad ground, dropped neutral had been the best investment I have made! It has prevented an RV fire, saved my rig from lightening strike damage, and appliances from low voltage in high use 30amp parks that suck the life out of one leg leaving the 50 ampers s.o.l.! The only way to know if you are protected is to have one of these! RV Park power is the worst, and it is repaired by workampers who are not electricians.


--------------------
Blessings,
Franz & Hilga
www.yourfulltimervliving.com
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JDOLLEN
post Dec 11 2011, 08:03 AM
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QUOTE(JDRobar @ Sep 4 2011, 10:40 AM) *


One more note to a fellow newbie.... always turn off the circuit breaker before attaching your electronics. It keeps the plugs from getting burnt, which will prevent damage that will eventually ruin your umbilical cables.


I switch off the power before I unplug as well for the same reason. The system can arc during the plug in and unplug events. Darrell
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