The majority of RVs use a simple electrical system. However, if I’m sincere, I didn’t make it a top priority when I initially bought my RV to fully understand how the two batteries in it operated all of my systems and appliances.
I started depending more on electric heaters as the seasons changed and the weather worsened.
At that point, I started to overload my RV’s electrical system, which led to blown fuses, blew breakers, and even an almost fatal electrical fire in a storage compartment below.
Unless you’re an electrical expert who lives and breathes this stuff, you likely just want to know that you’re taking all reasonable precautions to stay safe while living in your RV.
Selecting the right RV surge protector for your needs is crucial for full-time RVers in particular if you want to reduce overload and keep your RV and its occupants safe.
You must have invested thousands of dollars if you possess a luxurious RV or trailer that you routinely use while on vacation. Electrical surges are typically something you deal with when you visit any campsite. The RV’s equipment, including its refrigerators, water heaters, air conditioners, and washing machines, could suffer severe damage in that scenario.
Therefore, it is better to be well-prepared than to later regret any mishap. Having said that, we have identified some of the top RV surge protectors available to assist you to keep your RV safe from electrical harm. A good RV surge protector may cost between $100 and $350, but before making a purchase, you should consider the following:
Hardwired or Detachable:
Hardwired and detachable surge protectors are the two main types of surge protection for RVs. While the detachable ones require only a simple plug-in to get started, they are quite simple to install. The one-time installation for the hardwired models is challenging because they are effectively put inside your RV, but they are also advantageous because they cannot be stolen.
You must determine if your RV needs a 50 Amps connection or a 30 Amps connection based on its circuitry. Making the incorrect choice could worsen the situation with your RV.
Each surge protector has unique skills when it comes to handling electric surges. The majority of 30-amp surge protectors can withstand up to 2000 Joules of power, whilst 50-amp alternatives may last up to 4000 Joules before failing.
That is the most important thing to verify before you spend money on a surge protector for your pricey RV, but there are a few other things you can think about to increase the value of your investment. You could think about reading the “Buying Guide” that is listed below in this article to learn more about these factors.
Best RV Surge Protectors of 2022
Progressive Industries HW50C RV Surge Protector
Camco 50 Amp RV Surge Protector
Southwire 34930 RV Surge Protector
Surge Guard 35550 RV Surge Protector
Hughes Autoformer BX4370 RV Surge Protector
TRC 44750 RV Surge Protector
When it comes to manufacturing top-notch surge protectors for RVs, Progressive Industries is one of the most well-known and reliable names out there.
This HW50C Hardwired EMS Surge is ranked first because it is incredibly high quality and may shield your RV from extremely serious damage. Nevertheless, it has a significant electrical resistance of 3,580J / 88,000A. In addition, this 50 amp model can handle up to 12000W of electricity and is suitable for usage with both 120V and 240V. It is constructed so well that it can endure unfavorable conditions between -40 and 105 degrees Celsius.
A/C Frequency Protection, Accidental 240V Protection, Over/Under Voltage Protection, and Reverse Polarity detection and protection are included in its 5-mode protection. It also includes Open Ground, Open Neutral, and Reverse Polarity detection and protection. The 14′ data cable that is part of the packaging is also useful for setting things up.
Additionally, it features a miswired pedestal indication and a surge failure signal, as well as the ability to remotely browse through the entire information displayed on the digital display. The manufacturer also provides a lifetime warranty for this surge protector for RVs, which is the finest part.
In contrast to the previous one, Camco is the most well-known brand that you can rely on if you want a plug-and-play surge protector for your RV.
This surge protector is ranked second on our list because it is both extremely effective and simple to operate. When power surges are dangerously high (132 VAC or higher) or low (102 VAC or lower), it can greatly protect your RV. It automatically disconnects your RV from the electricity until the situation returns to a safe state because it has an automatic shut-off mechanism. Additionally, a fault-detection LED indicator is included, and it resets itself after a 140-second delay.
However, it also offers total defense for your RV against any electrical problems, reverses polarity, opens neutrality, etc. Apart from that, this 50 amp surge protector operates without issue and is easily able to manage up to 4,200 Joules of electricity. Since it has 50-Amp male (NEMA 14-50P)/50-Amp female (NEMA 14-50R) input and output that you can plug in and use right away, the installation procedure is also rather simple.
Additionally, it is completely weather-resistant, so using it outdoors won’t be a problem, especially since it comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Southwire 34930 is one of the greatest solutions for individuals seeking a high-end 30 amp surge protector for their RVs.
Due to its user-friendliness and inclusion of a small LCD panel display to present information, it is ranked third on this list. It functions essentially as a 30 amp surge protector that can use both 120V and 240V power sources. The Southwire 34930 Surge Guard can protect against surges of up to 2450 Joules and dangerously high voltages (over 132VAC) and low voltages (below 102VAC). Its plug-and-play design makes it very portable and simple to operate.
It includes a 128-second reset delay and a 10-second start-up sequence after handling any power spike, which is very important and useful for safeguarding appliances like air conditioners. Not only that, but it also has a reset option that automatically restores power so you don’t have to manually do it. It also includes an anti-theft lock ring on the cord and a safety cover on the connector for added security.
A lifetime warranty is also provided by Southwire for this surge protector, which is a fantastic extra.
Next, Surge Guard has a decent product to offer those looking for a 50 amps hardwired model.
If you want to secure your RV without entirely emptying your wallet, this is an excellent option to choose. Since it’s a hardwired model, the installation will only be necessary once, and this model makes installation very easy. You will find numerous LED indicator lights up front that will provide you with all the connection-related details you require.
Thankfully, it turns off immediately when it notices any power surges or other potentially harmful situations, such as open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, etc. Additionally, upon power restoration, it has the ability to reset itself automatically.
You can help keep the appliances in your RV secure at all times by using its 128-second reset delay. Furthermore, the strength of its construction is undeniable because it can handle 3850 Joules of electricity, which is respectable for a 50 amp surge protector. It does have a one-year warranty, but it only applies if a certified electrician or an RV dealer installs the gadget.
The next surge protector is made by Hughes Autoformer, a company renowned for selling surge protectors at incredibly low prices.
Having said that, the pricing of this 30 amp surge protector is also quite appealing. It has a rather straightforward plug-and-play design, which makes it quite simple to operate. On the main unit, there are three LED indicator lights that can flash in a variety of combinations to show information. All of these combinations are listed on the front panel. It is a compact 14′ surge protector that weighs only a little over 3 pounds, making it simple to store and transport.
It is best to use 120V power connections because of their power ratings. It makes use of a spike module that is incredibly effective and can manage up to 2400 Joules of power. In addition to all the essential capabilities, it has Bluetooth connectivity, which enables it to connect to your smartphone via an app. If you wish to check connection information immediately on your phone, this can be useful. Additionally, the manufacturer provides a 2-year warranty for this surge protector.
Last but not least, TRC is offering you all one more excellent choice that is really reasonable. Therefore, if you’re on a tight budget, you should check it out.
With its plug-and-play design, this highly portable surge protector from TRC enables users to immediately connect it to the connection and utilize it. Speaking of defense, the 44750 Surge Guard, which includes Shock Shield to handle electrical surges, is perfect for all 30-amp connections.
Having said that, it can also substantially detect any ground faults and automatically turn off the electricity. However, this model lacks the auto-reset option; you must manually reset it.
It’s encouraging to see that the manufacturer made an effort to make it weather-resistant given that it’s intended for outside use. It offers 510 Joules of surge protection and is the best surge protector to use with a 120V power supply. For this model, TRC additionally gives a 1-year manufacturer’s guarantee, giving buyers additional peace of mind.
RV Surge Protector Buying Guide
a surge guard RV components are an important aspect of your RV and shouldn’t be ignored. Every appliance and piece of electronics in your vehicle needs to be powered. This power supply frequently exposes these electronics to voltage levels that are too high, which damages them.
An inbuilt power surge protector can be useful in this situation. It’s a quick and easy approach to make sure your electronics are shielded from too much electricity. But none of the RV surge protectors that are currently on the market are for sale.
Find one that is appropriate for your unique circumstance. I’ll walk you through a few key considerations that will help you choose the best option for your needs.
Number of Ports
Each buyer will need to verify the number of ports offered by each choice. This factor will enable us to decide whether these persons require the replacement of several surge protectors. The majority of devices have four ports, however, you may also get ones with 6, 8, or 12 ports.
You must therefore determine the number of ports your RV needs. Depending on the types and numbers of appliances in your rig, it’s not a tough task. The owner of an RV who only uses a few gadgets won’t need to purchase a port expansion option.
What You Plan on Plugging into the RV Surge Protector
Knowing that the power usage of your appliances will vary is one of the most crucial considerations. Different degrees of losses will be experienced by these devices whenever an incidence of high voltage occurs.
These two factors will be crucial in determining the sort of surge protector that is required for your equipment. For instance, a mobile home with a fridge, phone, and TV will need a strong and dependable choice.
Your equipment will be safeguarded when dealing with excess voltage problems thanks to this dependable surge protector. Although it might not seem significant, I can assure you that these occurrences will happen more than once.
The safety certifications that each model has received from organizations committed to ensuring these items function properly should not be disregarded. In this situation, you should look for a product that has been certified by the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).
It is known as the UL seal, and it guarantees that your surge protector will work without posing any safety risks. It suggests that even in the event of anything like the excessive voltage, the device won’t cause too much trouble.
Your choice will also be significantly influenced by the power rating of each option. You must ascertain how much electricity your rig’s electrical system needs to function properly. It’s essential to purchase a surge protector with a maximum energy consumption rating higher than this number.
A surge protector with a higher rating will ensure that there is some leeway. Therefore, a power source’s output of too much voltage won’t be a problem. It will be possible for your surge protector to handle it.
The cost of a surge protector might differ significantly between different products. You’ll need to create a budget based on the qualities you think are essential for your ideal choice. In order for this budget to be useful to you during your quest, it must also remain practical.
For example, if someone wants a model with 12 ports, they will need to increase their budgetary constraints to accommodate this extra feature. It’s the only way to guarantee that your carefully prepared budget remains effective and reduces stress.
This practical budget will then simplify things by reducing your options to a more manageable number. You will therefore be limited to surge protectors that can satisfy your performance requirements and budget.
Before selecting a surge protector, RV owners must consider how secure each choice is. Looking at their built-in safety features will be part of this process to make sure they can function properly.
LED lighting, auto/emergency shut-off switches, indicator alerts, and automatic fault detection are a few characteristics to check for. These design features will make sure a surge protector can’t unexpectedly put you in danger.
I’d also advise looking at user reviews for each model. These conversations ought to bring up any potential problems with the devices’ safety. If there is a problem, I’m sure someone has already had it and reported it in a negative review.
The majority of RV surge protectors will have a display, which keeps the user calm while using it. But during certain times of the day, some of them can be fairly difficult to read and intricate.
To make sure these problems don’t arise, I’d suggest opting for a choice with a straightforward, bright LED display. Customer testimonials should be helpful because nothing makes customers angrier than things that make using them difficult.
Surge Protector Type
RV owners must determine which surge protector type best suits their requirements. A hardwired model or a portable variant are the two options available to you. Options that are mounted and hardwired within your car are referred to as being of the “hardwired type.”
These sorts are frequently installed directly next to the power wheel by people. You can hide the device from plain view inside your setup using this arrangement. As a result, theft is less likely. Hardwired variants also get rid of the hassle of constantly having to connect your surge protector.
As you may anticipate, portable alternatives differ slightly from their hardwired equivalents. One significant distinction is that these devices must be connected to the pedestal before being plugged into your setup.
Because installing portable choices doesn’t involve any wiring, the majority of RV owners favor them. It only requires plugging it into this pedestal and then into the device. If it does become useless, it can be quickly replaced.
You should consider the surge protector’s noise level as well. Some models make an insane amount of noise while they are in use. I would strongly advise staying away from these choices if you wish to maintain your mental stability.
Another consideration is noise level, which may be evaluated by reading reviews of each gadget written by other users. It’s the only way to prevent getting a surge protector that gives you headaches and nightmares.
Ease of Install
Making your choice without considering the installation procedure for each model would be a grave error. You need a surge protector that is simple to install and use. Although it might seem simple sense, some manufacturers overcomplicate these procedures.
So it makes sense to choose a model with an easy-to-understand design to make installation uncomplicated. By including the installation instructions in the product description, some businesses make it even simpler to look at this element.
Advantages and disadvantages of using an RV surge protector
The list of perks for a rig owner’s travels makes the RV surge protector pros and drawbacks substantially favor one side. One of the most important ones is its capability to guarantee that your electrical equipment and electronics are shielded from problems like power fluctuations. Campsites and RV parks don’t always have dependable power sources, as every rig owner is aware.
When problems like reverse polarity, open ground, and open neutral are found, a surge protector will provide you peace of mind. In other words, you can spot any issues before they cause serious harm to your RV.
The fact that many of them have automatic mechanisms that turn off the power when a problem is identified also helps. The appliances in your RV will be shielded against severe harm caused by a high or low voltage by this automatic shut-off.
Any serious rig owner must get a premium RV surge detector due to these advantages alone. But there is one important drawback to these gadgets. They frequently have high price tags, which is bad for a cheap shopper like myself.
3 Things RV Surge Protector Protects You From
An RC surge protector provides the following fundamental surge protection:
- Power surges
- Incorrect wiring
- Low voltage
If it gets to your RV, too much power flowing via wires might harm your wiring and equipment. Power surges can be caused by many things, but one of the most well-known causes is lightning.
Most RV surge protectors can withstand the enormous voltage spike that lightning strikes produce. However, in some circumstances, the significant voltage spike can harm your RV surge protector, necessitating the purchase of a new one.
Although purchasing a second RV surge protector would be a minor annoyance, it would be much worse than having to replace several burnt-out appliances if your RV had not been protected.
Many other possible issues could be present, ranging from frayed wires and loose connections to improper electrical installation or modification by an unqualified electrician.
Additionally, your RV’s electrical equipment can already be damaged by the time you notice a connection with improper wiring.
You would have to spend thousands of dollars on repairs or replacements as a result of this damage. Choosing a high-quality RV surge protector will help you prevent these troubles!
An electrical unit known as the voltage is constantly fluctuating, either lowering or rising at any given moment. Your RV will constantly be at risk unless you have a device watching it.
Although the majority of people are aware of the harm that high volts can do, low voltages can also be dangerous.
Each RV using the campground’s electrical supply when you’re in a campsite full of them can reduce the camp’s power supply and cause a brownout. This low voltage is particularly prevalent in older campgrounds with outdated wiring.
Your RV receives less voltage the lower the power source is. If your RV doesn’t receive enough power, your electric system could suffer serious harm.
The electrical health of your RV still depends on having an RV surge protector, even if your model has a feature that turns off electricity under low voltage.
Surge Protector vs. Electrical Management System (EMS)
An electrical management system and a surge protector differ in a number of ways (EMS). An RV surge protector often shields your vehicle from significant electrical activity spikes.
However, an EMS shields your RV from a larger range of potentially dangerous electrical problems (such as low or high voltages, smaller power spikes, reverse polarity, open neutrals, and open grounds).
An EMS will promptly cut off electricity if it notices any difficulties that could potentially worsen for your RV and the equipment inside.
We strongly advise purchasing both an RV surge protector and an EMS if you can afford them, even though most customers choose RV surge protectors because of their lower cost.
By doing this, you are completely protecting your RV’s electrical system and appliances from any potential electrical problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is RV Surge Protector for?
It’s not too difficult to comprehend the fundamentals of an RV surge protector. One of these will safeguard and guarantee the secure operation of your RV’s electrical system. How does it function? Your rig’s cable is plugged into the protector, and you plug it into a power outlet in your campground.
The electrical management systems of your RV will then be shielded from problems brought on by the power outlet by this surge protector. The voltage can be lower than intended, or this outlet could have improper wiring.
Both of these scenarios could result in a tonne of problems for your electronics, which need a constant voltage level. Your devices are protected and these issues are presented with a surge protector.
Because of this, an RV surge protector is a useful tool for any owner of a vehicle who wishes to use electronics securely inside a camper. It’s essential to ensure that your RV trips stay pleasurable and exciting rather than a complete disaster.
Do you really need a surge protector for your RV?
The question “Do I need a surge protector for my RV?” is one that many people have. After all, these gadgets are very pricey. In actuality, a surge protector is a requirement for any serious rig owner. One of the most important investments for an RVer, in all honesty, is this gadget. It is the sole thing guarding your vehicle against unstable power sources, which are frequently found on campgrounds.
RV surge protectors make sure that these electrical sources don’t produce surges that could seriously harm the equipment in your rig. These gadgets occasionally even include a 128-second time delay, which can be helpful for the AC compressor.
Top-tier devices also offer protection from other threats besides surges. These tools will look for problems with open neutral, open ground, reverse polarity, high voltage, and low voltage. Investing in one ultimately proves to be a cost-effective solution to make sure your RV doesn’t turn into a money pit.
How much surge protection do I need for RV?
Depending on its amp rating, an RV’s need for surge protection can be calculated. So, read the product description carefully for each surge protector. You should receive an amp rating that matches the amp service of your RV from it.
For instance, your RV will need a 50 amp surge protector for RV if your service is 50 amps. Most current RVs will fall into this group because of their higher electrical output. Four prongs will be seen on RVs with 50-amp outlets.
However, some older RVs will require a 30 amp surge protector because they have 30-amp service. They differ from 50-amp RVs in that they have plugs with three rather than four prongs.
How do you calculate joule rating?
The amount of energy that a surge protector can withstand before failing is measured by its joule rating. Therefore, it is important to take into account what equipment is being protected when determining the proper joule rating for an RV surge protection system.
For instance, a surge protector with a 3,000-joule rating is unnecessary for somebody utilizing a small number of devices. Instead, they might accept protection with a 500-joule rating. The number of joules being utilized on the rig will therefore have a significant impact on how you calculate your demands.
Can I use a 50 amp surge protector on a 30 amp RV?
Is it possible for an RV owner to put a 50-amp surge protector on a 30-amp vehicle? There is a proviso, but it is feasible. In light of some potential harm that could result from this circumstance, it might not be a wise decision.
For instance, when your 30-amp appliances use more electricity than is necessary, this 50-amp surge protector might not activate. This alone should convince RV owners who have 30-amp units to choose a 30-amp surge protector.
What is the difference between a surge protector and an EMS?
The level of protection that each device offers determines how an RV EMS differs from a surge protector. Any of your devices are completely protected by EMS from all power-related issues, such as voltage spikes, power surges, incorrectly wired power units, and other issues.
However, an RV power surge protector is less sophisticated because it can only provide defense against voltage changes and mysterious power surges. Additionally, these alternatives are frequently less expensive and simpler to use for novice RVs.
How to install RV Surge Protector?
Surge protector installation for RVs is not a difficult procedure. Simply follow the instructions in the user guide that is included with your purchase. Even novices will find the process to be clear and uncomplicated with the best surge protectors.
Before making a choice, it is essential to research the installation of each model. This will guarantee that the surge protector you purchase for your RV won’t make installation a complete headache.
Call the manufacturer’s technical help if problems do arise. The majority of the leading brands provide fantastic customer care and ought to help you through it without any problems. In any event, you shouldn’t have to put much thought or work into this process.
How to use RV Surge Protector?
Using surge protectors is also not difficult. However, as the instructions may vary from one product to another, it is difficult to speak generally about it. However, the majority of models will make utilizing them a simple and trouble-free experience.
To make sure that this approach doesn’t present any exceptional obstacles, I’d advise looking over the descriptions and reviews of each product. These tools will be essential for ensuring that your shopping experience is positive and pleasant.
How do I lock my surge protector?
Theft is always a possibility when using a portable surge protector. Fortunately, there are techniques you may use to lock your surge protector and stop theft.
The first and least expensive method is to lock the device to the post using a bicycle chain and a padlock. Wrap the rope tightly in the chain before locking it with the padlock.
As an alternative, you might purchase a lockbox, which secures your surge protector to the power supply. Make sure the lockbox you choose has space for the protector and power cable. Get a heavy-duty metal lockbox as well for additional security.
You might also give utilizing a locking cable, which you would wrap around the gadget and fasten to the power post, a try.
The locking cable normally has its own set of keys and is composed of a flexible, strong material. Make sure you obtain a locking cable that is long enough to let you wrap it repeatedly around your device.
You can be confident that your portable RV surge protector is as secure as it will ever be with one of these solutions. It is a small investment that will provide you comfort and enable you to take pleasure in your trip experiences in safety and security.
Having this device for your RV is essential, whether you choose an electrical management system or a surge protector for campers. Without it, you run the danger of breaking several items, including your refrigerator, television, and air conditioner.
And to make matters worse, the harm a power surge causes to your RV will wind up costing you far more than the cost of a surge protector or EMS.
While purchasing a high-quality item is not inexpensive, the sums of money it will ultimately save you by protecting the electrical system and equipment in your RV are incalculable.