RV Surge Protector Reviews: A Comprehensive Guide

In need of a reliable and efficient RV surge protector? Look no further! This comprehensive guide is here to provide you with the most up-to-date reviews on the market. Whether you’re a seasoned RVer or new to the world of road travel, it’s crucial to protect your vehicle’s electrical system from dangerous power surges. With our detailed reviews and expert recommendations, you can ensure a worry-free journey as you explore the open road. Say goodbye to unexpected electrical issues and hello to a well-protected RV!

1. What is an RV Surge Protector?

An RV surge protector is a device designed to protect your RV’s electrical system from power surges. Power surges can occur when there is a sudden increase in voltage, which can cause damage to your RV’s sensitive electronics and appliances. An RV surge protector acts as a barrier, absorbing the excess voltage and preventing it from reaching your RV’s electrical system.

1.1 Understanding Power Surges

Power surges can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as lightning strikes, faulty wiring at campsites, or problems with the power grid. These sudden increases in voltage can result in serious damage to your RV’s electrical system, including frying circuits, damaging appliances, and even starting fires.

1.2 Importance of Surge Protection in RVs

Protecting your RV’s electrical system from power surges is essential for the longevity and safety of your RV. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged electronics and appliances can be substantial, not to mention the inconvenience of being without power during your travels. Investing in an RV surge protector is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides.

1.3 Different Types of RV Surge Protectors

There are two main types of RV surge protectors: hardwired and portable.

Hardwired surge protectors are permanently installed in your RV’s electrical system. They provide constant protection and typically have more advanced features, such as remote monitoring and automatic shut-off capabilities. However, installation can be more complex and may require professional assistance.

Portable surge protectors, on the other hand, can be easily plugged into the power pedestal at the campsite. They are more convenient for those who frequently change campsites or have multiple RVs. Portable surge protectors come in different amp ratings and offer varying levels of protection.

2. Factors to Consider When Choosing an RV Surge Protector

When choosing an RV surge protector, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you select the right one for your needs.

2.1 Amp Rating

The amp rating of a surge protector determines how much current it can handle. It is crucial to choose a surge protector with an amp rating that matches or exceeds your RV’s electrical system’s capacity. Most RV surge protectors come in 30 or 50 amp ratings.

2.2 Voltage Protection

Make sure the surge protector you choose offers adequate voltage protection. It should be able to handle the voltage fluctuations commonly found in RV parks. Look for surge protectors with a voltage range of at least 120-240 volts to ensure comprehensive protection.

2.3 Weatherproofing

Since your RV is exposed to various weather conditions, it is important to choose a surge protector that is weatherproof. Look for surge protectors with a rugged and waterproof design to withstand rain, snow, and other outdoor elements.

2.4 Diagnostic Features

Some surge protectors come with diagnostic features that provide valuable information about the state of your RV’s electrical system. These features may include voltage monitoring, amp usage tracking, and error code displays. Consider whether these diagnostic features are important to you and choose a surge protector accordingly.

2.5 Cord Length

If you opt for a portable surge protector, consider the length of the cord. Ensure that the cord length is sufficient to reach the power pedestal comfortably without the need for additional extension cords. Longer cords provide more flexibility in positioning your RV at the campsite.

2.6 Ease of Use

Look for surge protectors that are easy to install and use. Some surge protectors feature plug-and-play functionality, while others may require more involved installation procedures. Consider your comfort level with DIY installations and choose a surge protector that suits your preferences.

3. Top 5 RV Surge Protector Brands

When it comes to RV surge protectors, there are several reputable brands that RV owners trust for reliable and effective protection. Here are the top 5 RV surge protector brands to consider:

3.1 Progressive Industries

Progressive Industries is known for its high-quality surge protectors with advanced features such as remote monitoring, LED indicators, and automatic shut-off. Their surge protectors provide comprehensive protection against power surges, electrical faults, and reverse polarity.

3.2 Southwire

Southwire is a trusted name in the RV industry, offering a range of surge protectors designed to safeguard your RV’s electrical system. Their surge protectors come in various amp ratings and feature durable construction to withstand harsh outdoor conditions.

3.3 Camco

Camco is another reliable brand known for its affordable and reliable surge protectors. They offer both portable and hardwired surge protectors with features like built-in handles, LED diagnostics, and weatherproof designs.

3.4 Technology Research Corporation (TRC)

TRC is a well-respected manufacturer of surge protectors and other RV electrical accessories. Their surge protectors are known for their solid construction, high amp ratings, and advanced diagnostic capabilities. TRC surge protectors are designed to handle the voltage irregularities commonly found in campgrounds.

3.5 Hughes Autoformer

Hughes Autoformer is renowned for its voltage boosting capabilities in addition to surge protection. Their surge protectors not only protect against power surges but also stabilize voltage levels, ensuring your RV’s appliances receive the proper voltage for optimal performance.

4. Detailed Reviews of the Best RV Surge Protectors

To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a closer look at the best RV surge protectors available on the market:

4.1 Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X

The Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X is a top-of-the-line surge protector that offers full electrical protection for your RV. It features a compact and weather-resistant design, making it suitable for outdoor use. The EMS-PT30X provides advanced diagnostic features such as open ground, open neutral, and reverse polarity indicators. With its 30 amp rating, it is compatible with most RVs and offers reliable surge protection.

4.2 Southwire 34930

The Southwire 34930 is a portable surge protector that is easy to use and provides reliable surge protection for your RV. It features a 30 amp rating and is equipped with LED indicators that display the status of the power supply. The Southwire 34930 has a durable construction and a weatherproof design, making it suitable for use in various outdoor conditions.

4.3 Camco PowerDefender

The Camco PowerDefender is a portable surge protector that offers excellent surge protection for your RV. It features a 50 amp rating, making it suitable for larger RVs with higher power requirements. The PowerDefender has a user-friendly design with LED indicators that provide easy-to-read information about the power supply. It also includes a built-in handle for easy transport and a weatherproof casing for durability.

4.4 TRC Surge Guard 44260

The TRC Surge Guard 44260 is a hardwired surge protector that offers comprehensive protection for your RV’s electrical system. It features a 50 amp rating and advanced diagnostic capabilities, including blue LED indicators for instant feedback on power status. The Surge Guard 44260 also has an automatic shut-off feature that cuts off power in case of a fault, providing added safety and peace of mind.

4.5 Hughes Autoformer PWD50

The Hughes Autoformer PWD50 is a unique surge protector that not only provides surge protection but also boosts low campground voltage. This feature ensures that your RV receives the proper voltage for optimal performance of appliances and electronics. The PWD50 has a 50 amp rating, making it suitable for larger RVs. It offers a compact and weatherproof design, along with LED indicators for easy monitoring.

5. Pros and Cons of Using an RV Surge Protector

Before investing in an RV surge protector, it’s important to consider the pros and cons to determine whether it’s the right choice for you.

5.1 Benefits of Using an RV Surge Protector

  • Protection against power surges: A surge protector safeguards your RV’s electrical system and appliances from damage caused by power surges.
  • Longevity of electronics and appliances: By preventing voltage fluctuations, a surge protector helps extend the lifespan of your RV’s electronics and appliances.
  • Peace of mind: With a surge protector in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your RV is protected from potential electrical hazards.
  • Cost savings: The cost of repairing or replacing damaged electronics and appliances can far exceed the cost of investing in a surge protector.

5.2 Drawbacks of Using an RV Surge Protector

  • Added cost: Purchasing a surge protector can be an additional expense, especially if you opt for higher-end models with advanced features.
  • Installation complexity: Hardwired surge protectors may require professional installation, which adds to the overall cost.
  • Limited protection: While surge protectors offer protection against power surges, they may not guard against all potential electrical issues.

6. How to Install an RV Surge Protector

The installation process for an RV surge protector depends on whether you choose a hardwired or portable model. Here’s a general guide on how to install both types:

6.1 Pre-installation Checklist

Before starting the installation process, ensure that the power supply is turned off and double-check that you have the necessary tools and equipment.

6.2 Installing a Hardwired Surge Protector

  1. Identify the location: Choose a suitable location inside your RV where the surge protector will be installed. This is typically near the electrical panel.
  2. Disconnect the power: Turn off the main power supply to your RV.
  3. Mount the surge protector: Depending on the model, use screws or adhesive to mount the surge protector in the chosen location.
  4. Connect the wires: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect the surge protector’s wires to the appropriate terminals in the electrical panel.
  5. Test the installation: Double-check all connections and ensure that the surge protector is securely mounted. Restore power to the RV and test the surge protector to ensure it is functioning properly.

6.3 Installing a Portable Surge Protector

  1. Choose the appropriate outlet: Locate the power pedestal at the campsite and choose an appropriate outlet to plug in your portable surge protector.
  2. Connect the surge protector: Plug the surge protector into the power pedestal outlet, ensuring a secure connection.
  3. Connect your RV: Plug your RV’s power cord into the surge protector’s designated outlet.
  4. Test the installation: Once everything is connected, check that the surge protector’s LED indicators are displaying the appropriate status and confirm that power is flowing to your RV.

7. Maintenance and Care Tips for RV Surge Protectors

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your RV surge protector, it’s important to follow these maintenance and care tips:

7.1 Regular Inspection and Cleaning

Periodically inspect your surge protector for any signs of damage or wear. Clean the device using a soft cloth and mild cleaning solution as needed. Ensure that all electrical connections are tight and secure.

7.2 Proper Storage when Not in Use

When your RV surge protector is not in use, store it in a safe and dry place. Use the provided storage case or bag to protect it from dust, moisture, and physical damage. Avoid storing it near chemicals or other potentially damaging substances.

7.3 Troubleshooting Common Issues

If your surge protector is not functioning properly, check for any loose connections or damaged cables. Refer to the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide for specific steps to resolve common issues. If the problem persists, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for assistance.

8. FAQs about RV Surge Protectors

Here are some frequently asked questions about RV surge protectors:

8.1 What is the purpose of an RV surge protector?

An RV surge protector protects your RV’s electrical system from power surges, voltage fluctuations, and electrical faults, preventing damage to your electronics and appliances.

8.2 How do I know if my RV needs a surge protector?

It is recommended to have a surge protector for your RV to provide protection against potential electrical hazards. The investment can save you from costly repairs and replacements.

8.3 Can I use a regular household surge protector in an RV?

No, regular household surge protectors are not designed to handle the specific electrical demands and voltage fluctuations in an RV. It is important to use a surge protector specifically designed for RVs.

8.4 Can I leave my RV surge protector plugged in all the time?

Yes, it is safe to leave your RV surge protector plugged in all the time. In fact, it is recommended to have continuous protection to safeguard your RV’s electrical system.

9. Conclusion

Investing in an RV surge protector is a wise decision to protect your RV’s electrical system and appliances from potential damage caused by power surges and voltage fluctuations. Consider the factors discussed in this article, such as amp rating, voltage protection, weatherproofing, and diagnostic features, when choosing the right surge protector for your RV.

The top RV surge protector brands, including Progressive Industries, Southwire, Camco, TRC, and Hughes Autoformer, offer a range of reliable surge protectors with various features and amp ratings to meet your specific needs.

Remember to carefully follow the installation instructions for hardwired or portable surge protectors, and regularly inspect and maintain your surge protector to ensure its effectiveness. With proper care, your RV surge protector will provide long-lasting protection for your RV’s electrical system, giving you peace of mind during your travels.