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Best RV Surge Protector for Your RV’s Electrical Safety

best rv surge protector

If you own an RV or trailer, then by now, you know how sensitive the RV electric system is. Costly damage (like blown fuses, popped breakers, and even a near-miss electrical fire) may happen if this system is exposed to low or surges voltage. To prevent this from happening, you need to buy the best RV surge protector.

We tend to overload our RVs electrical system during cold seasons, especially for full-time RVers, by relying heavily on electrical heaters. An RV surge protector helps minimize the overload and keeps the RV and its inhabitants safe. Overall, the right RV surge protector depends on the RV lifestyle.

Surge protectors are usually associated with electrical management systems (EMS). In this article, we will learn everything you need to know about these two systems.

The dizzying range of options makes choosing the best RV surge protector tricky. To help you make an investment that will last for years to come, we have compared our top picks and shared other information that might help you keep the RV and its inhabitants safe. Let’s begin!

1. Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X, 50 Amp Portable RV Surge Protector

best rv surge protector reviewed

If you have a 50 amp RV electrical system, this model is suitable for you. Progressive industries EMS-PT50X is also designed for no-the-go RVers. Besides providing a surge protection rating of 88,000 amps and 3,850 joules, which offers a higher degree of protection, it has surge failure LED indicators that show a possible issue the moment it happens.

Progressive industries EMS-PT50X model come with a rugged pull handle, making it easy to use and manage. It also features a scrolling digital display, which will make your life dealing with a surge protector easier. This display ensures keeping track of the using process.

This surge protector comes with a weather-resistant design. Therefore, there will be no problem using it outdoors during camping adventures. You can use it in any climate or condition. However, it comes with a high price tag.

Pros

  • Great all-weather surge protector
  • Offer great protections for RV and travel trailer
  • Easy to read scrolling display
  • Easy to use and install

Cons

  • Expensive surge protector
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2. Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector

best portable rv surge protector

If you are looking for a portable RV surge protector, you found one, the portable EMS-PT30X model. It is also a plug-and-play model. The portable EMS-PT30X RV surge protector has an all-weather shield design that protects the unit from any weather condition: wind, rain, snow, sleet, etc. Besides, this design will ensure it handles all these situations with no issue, plus it operates at a wide temperature ranging from -40 to 105 degrees Celsius.

The EMS-PT30X surge protector features an LED display that displays a lot of specific electric information to work with. Since it is a plug-and-play model, it comes with a locking bracket that offers an extra degree of theft protection. The locking bracket also ensures the device remains in place when in operation, making it reliable even in bumpiest or toughest conditions. Conversely, this unit provides a surge protection rating of 44,000 amps and 1,790 joules, which offers a higher degree of protection.

This RV surge protector comes with a strong pull handle that helps in installation and ensures maneuvering. Nonetheless, this model comes with a high price tag. You will have to pay a little much to gain the honor of using this surge protector.

Pros

  • Great all-weather surge protector
  • Easy to use and install
  • Offer great protections for RV and travel trailer
  • Features an anti-theft locking bracket

Cons

  •  Comes with a high price tag
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3. Camco (55306) RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor 

50 amp power defender for RV

This model is another plug-and-play RV surge protector to go for. Camco 50amp RV power voltage protector is easy to use and install as well. It is capable of saving your RV from low (below 102V AC) and dangerously high (above 132V AC) power surges. Besides, it comes with an automatic shut-off feature that automatically disconnects your RV electrical system from the electricity until the conditions resume to a safe state.

The Camco 50 amp RV power voltage protector features an LED indicator that flashes whenever defects are detected and changed after a delay time of 140 seconds. Conversely, it also offers your RV electrical system complete protection against reverse polarity, wiring issues, open neutral, etc. Furthermore, it is capable of handling up to 4,200 Joules of electricity easily.

The installation is easy and quick since it comes with 50 amp female (NEMA 14-50R)/50 amp male (NEMA 14-50P) output and input which you can directly connect and use. Additionally, it is all weather-resistant, so there will be no problem using it outdoors.

Pros

  • Easy to use and install
  • Perfect for outdoor use
  • Strong surge protector
  • Effective and must-have surge protector

Cons

  • Expensive surge protector
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4. Southwire 34930 RV Surge Protector

southwire surge guard for recreational vehicles

This 30amps surge protector can run on both 120V and 240V power supplies. Southwire 34930 model can handle up to 2450 Joules, tackle low (below 102VAC0 and dangerously high (above 132VAC). Furthermore, being a plug-and-play unit, it is easy to use and install.

Southwire 34930 RV surge protector features a small LCD that displays a lot of specific electric information to work with. When a power surge occurs, this unit uses 128 seconds to reset and 10 seconds to turn on the sequence again, making it much helpful in protecting appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners.

Furthermore, this model comes with an automatic reset aspect that detects power restoration, so you don’t have to do it manually. For added safety, it features an anti-theft lock ring and a safety cover. Lastly, Southwire provides a lifetime warranty which is a great add-on.

Pros

  • Easy to use and install
  • Features an anti-theft locking ring
  • Features a lifetime warranty
  •  Takes a short time to reset back to normal after a power surge

Cons

  • Has a poor design
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5. Progressive Industries SSP-30XL, 30 Amp RV Smart Surge Protector

portable smart surge protector with cover

This model is another portable RV surge protector that you should go for. The SSP-30XL Progressive Industries smart surge protector is designed for use on 30 amp RVs. It has a low profile design and very easy to install. Furthermore, this model has some protection features that you will find useful, such as a surge failure indicator that warns you of fluctuations in power and thermal protection. Also, a polarity tester, which you can use to check the status of a power source before using the surge protector.

 The SSP-30XL Progressive Industries smart surge protector comes with a locking bracket that offers an extra degree of theft protection, so you won’t have to worry about the gadget being stolen. The locking bracket also ensures the device remains in place when in operation, making it reliable even in bumpiest or toughest conditions. Conversely, this unit provides a surge protection rating of 22,500 amps and 825 joules, which offers a higher degree of protection.

This surge protector is designed for outdoor use; therefore, you don’t have to worry about destroying it. It operates at a wide temperature ranging from -40 to 105 degrees Celsius. Although this unit has no LCD like many other models, it has an indicator light that alerts a change of electric issues. It can detect open ground, reverse polarity, open neutral, surge failure, and miswired pedestal.

The SSP-30XL Progressive Industries smart surge protector is very easy to use; it comes with a clear diagram explaining how the different signals work. Furthermore, it comes at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Comes at a reasonable price
  • Perfect for outdoor use
  • Very easy to plugin
  • Offer great protections for RV and travel trailer

Cons

  • Defective surge protector
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Factors to Consider When Buying the Best RV Surge Protector

1. The type of RV surge protector

There are two types of RV surge protectors, plug-and-play and hardwired models. The plug-and-play models attach between the connection line ( which is very easy), and anyone can do it on their own. Furthermore, they are also portable, so you can carry them or help your friends in need. Nonetheless, the plug-and-play models are susceptible to theft as anyone can unplug them and steal them, unlike the case with hardwired models. Even so, both kinds of surge protectors have their advantages and disadvantages.

Conversely, the hardwired design models are installed directly in the RV, though the installation is a little tricky, so that you might require a professional for that.

2. Display

Most surge protector for RV comes with a display which keeps you composed of what is happening with its usage. However, some of them can be somewhat complicated and hard to read through during a certain time of the day.

We recommend searching for an option with a plain, bright LED display to ensure these issues don’t happen. The customer reviews about the unit should help you make the right decision. The best RV surge protector comes with an easy-to-read display and is visible throughout.

 3. Safety features

As an RV owner, it is important to examine how safe each option is before buying it. This task will involve looking into their safety aspects embedded to make sure they can function well without issue.

Some of the safety features worth looking for include auto shut-off switches, LED lights, automatic problem detection, and indicator alarms. These design features will ensure an RV surge protector has no zero chance of getting you into a dangerous situation.

Furthermore, we would recommend you to look at every model’s customer reviews. The reviews should highlight any potential safety problems with the devices. If there is a problem, there is no doubt someone else experienced it before.

 4. Number of Ports

It is important to check every option’s amount of ports. Most surge protectors come with four ports; however, others come with 6, 8, or 12 ports. Therefore, you will need to figure out the number of ports you require for your RV. It is not a complicated task as it will depend on what appliances and how many of them are within your rig. If you only have a few devices, then you won’t need to purchase an option with extra ports.

 5. Safety Certifications

An overlooked feature is the safety certifications given to each model by organizations committed to ensuring these devices work correctly. The best RV surge protector has a certification for the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL). It is referred to as UL seal, ensuring that your RV surge protector will operate without providing safety issues. It shows the gadget won’t become the main concern when something like surge voltage occurs.

 6. Voltage and Amps rating

Most RV surge protectors support 120V power supplies; however, some come with a 240V power supply. The best RV surge protector supports both 120V and 240V power supplies.

Conversely, it depends on your RV, whether it runs on a 30 amps connection or a 50 amps connection. Therefore, depending on that, you can select the right surge protector for your RV. Generally, you can differentiate between a 30amp and 50amp surge protector by looking at their connection pins. The 30amp surge protectors come with a 3-pin connector (2 flat pins and 1 round pin). Alternatively, 50amp devices usually have a 4-pin connector (3 flat pins and I round pin).

 7. Noise level of the surge protector

When buying a surge protector, it is also important to consider the noise level. Some models operate, producing an unreasonable amount of sound. If you want to keep your stability, we recommend avoiding these models at all costs.

Furthermore, the noise level of the surge protector happens to be another factor, which you can determine by reading other people’s experiences with every device. It is one of the ways to ensure you don’t end up with a headache-causing surge protector.

 8. Surge rating

It is important to consider your surge rating while purchasing a surge protector, especially if you own a well-equipped RV trailer that supports refrigerators, air conditioners, and a bunch of other appliances. It would be best to buy a good surge protector that can handle about 4000 Joules of electricity for proper protection. Though such high ratings are very rare, you shouldn’t be playing risky here. Conversely, if there are lesser appliances in your RV trailer, you can consider models with fewer Joules; a 2000 Joules model is good to go.

9. Ease of install

Look for the best RV surge protector that is easy to install. Some manufacturers make installation more complicated than needed. Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook this factor. Furthermore, it would be best to look for a model with a straightforward design to ensure installation is easy. Some surge protector brands make it even easier to examine this feature by installing directions in the unit description.

10. Build quality

While shopping for the best RV surge protector, ensure that build quality is in your consideration. The hardwired models are usually better in building quality since they are installed within the RV; therefore, they are less likely to damage. Nonetheless, concerning a plug-and-play model, you should check whether it is weather-resistant or not. You can use the plug-and-play surge protectors in the rain, storm, etc., as you relax in your RV trailer on vacation. If not, you will have to observe the weather all the time.

11. Budget

An RV surge protector’s price tag tends to vary greatly from unit to unit. You will need to have a budget based on what you consider necessary features for your right option. This budget must stay realistic to ensure it is helpful during your search. For example, a person who wants a unit with 12 ports will need to increase their budgetary limits to account for the additional feature. It is one of the ways to ensure your constructed budget remains relevant and useful with less stress.

This budgeting will make things easier by limiting your choices to a more manageable level. With this, you will only be selecting surge protectors that meet your financial restrictions and performance requirements.

 Frequently Asked Questions on the Best RV Surge Protector

 1. What are surge protectors, and how do they work?

As the name suggests, surge protectors protect your RV (and the devices/ appliances plugged in inside) from damaging power fluctuations. Surge protectors also detect issues with your power supply before larger problems occur to your RV’s electrical system or your other appliances.

When the surge protector detects issues, it will turn off power to avoid further damage to your RV electrical system.

2. How can I tell if my RV surge protector is broken?

Most surge protectors come with at least three LED indicators that show the status of your RV before and after a surge. To let you know if it is working efficiently, the device’s front panel indicates either ‘Protected LED’ or ‘Protection Present,’ with a green light on. No green light means the RV surge protector is broken.

 3. Can a 50Amp RV surge protector work on 30 Amps?

Yes, a 50-amp RV surge protector can run on a 30amp RV, but we don’t recommend using one. The longer you use a 50amp, the more you expose your appliance and RV’s electrical system to potential damage.

A 30amp and a 50amp RV surge protector are designed to instantly shut off power when the voltage changes above a specific threshold. The key difference is the threshold. If the 50amp RV surge protector you are using has a high-level threshold, it will shut off the power as fast as your 30amp RV needs. Therefore this extra exposure to damaging-causing surges can sooner destroy electrical appliances also, in several cases, cause significant problems with your RV’s electrical system.