The 4 Best RV Surge Protectors and How to Choose
Prior to your first camping trip, you should unquestionably purchase one of the best RV surge protectors. You may be tempted to omit the surge protector for the RV. You may have just spent several thousand dollars on a down payment for your vehicle, after all. You now have to fork over hundreds, maybe even thousands, more to buy all the new RVer supplies.
In the long run, however, it is a huge risk to not purchase a surge protector for your RV. Your RV’s only defense against electrical damage is a surge protector. Extremely expensive and potentially dangerous damage.
The common misconception is that all surge protectors for RVs are the same. I’ll explain why if you continue reading, but why would you spend several hundred dollars when you could get “the same thing” for less than a hundred?
What is an RV Surge Protector?
An electrical system protection tool called an RV surge protector transfers power from an outlet or power pedestal to your RV. It functions somewhat like a filter for the electrical system in your RV.
Whether it’s a motorhome, fifth wheel, travel trailer, truck camper, or even a camper van, every RV should have a surge protector for a number of reasons. Your RV requires a power source in order to be plugged into it.
In addition to safeguarding the electrical system of your RV, a good surge protector will also safeguard all of the parts, appliances, and electronic gadgets. It keeps erratic voltage and power surges out of your RV.
Surge protectors plug into the same outlet where your RV would normally be plugged in. In the surge protector that follows, you plug the cable from your RV. It serves as a protective barrier between your RV and the electrical outlet’s power.
By keeping an eye on the amount of power leaving the outlet, this intermediary device can make sure that no unfavorable effects result from power surges or other problems.
Surge protectors function differently. They are not all created equally. Surge protectors come in a variety of price ranges, as you might expect, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
What Kinds of Electrical Problems can an RV Surge Protector EMS Protect Your RV?
Your RV can be protected from a number of electrical issues by using an EMS or an RV surge protector. Some of the most typical electrical problems that it can protect against are listed below:
- Power Surges: Unexpected voltage spikes inside an RV can harm electronics, appliances, and other delicate parts.
- Voltage Spikes: Much like power surges, voltage spikes can harm electronic equipment irreparably.
- Voltage Sags: This happens when voltage falls below normal levels, leading to problems like slow battery charging or inefficient appliance operation.
- Brownouts: Long-lasting low voltage levels can cause brownouts, which over time can harm electronics and appliances.
- Reverse Polarity: This happens when the electrical wiring is connected incorrectly, harming appliances and equipment.
- High Frequency Interference: High frequency interference can impair the functionality of appliances and interfere with electronics, including radio and TV reception.
Using an RV surge protector will safeguard your vehicle from these electrical issues and give you peace of mind while traveling.
Is a RV Surge Protector Worth it?
A device that aids in protecting your RV’s electrical system from power surges is known as an RV surge protector. An increase in voltage known as a power surge can harm or obliterate appliances and electronics. A surge protector aids in lowering the possibility that your RV’s electrical system and the connected devices will sustain damage.
There are a number of things to take into account when deciding whether or not an RV surge protector is worthwhile.
- Cost: Although an RV surge protector’s price can vary, it is typically not high. Between $50 and $200 can be spent on a good surge protector.
- Protection: When plugged into a campground or RV park’s electrical connection, an RV surge protector guards against power surges that may happen.
- Your electrical system and devices are protected while you are traveling if you have an RV surge protector, which gives you peace of mind.
- Convenience: Since many RV surge protectors are small and simple to install, they are easy to use and store.
A surge protector for an RV may or may not be worthwhile for you, depending on your preferences and needs. An RV surge protector might be a good investment for you if you want to safeguard the electrical system of your RV and the connected devices and are prepared to fork over a relatively small sum of money.
How do I choose a Surge Protector for my RV?
Consideration of several important factors is necessary when selecting the ideal surge protector for your RV. These consist of:
- Protection against voltage: Look for a surge protector that offers defense against high and low voltages, brownouts, and overvoltages.
- How much energy a surge protector can withstand before needing to be replaced is determined by its joule rating. The protection is better the higher the joule rating.
- The surge protector’s clamping voltage is the point at which it starts to divert surges away from the electrical system of your RV. The protection is better the lower the clamping voltage.
- Make sure the cord is long enough to reach the electrical connection on your RV by taking into account its length.
- If you intend to move your RV frequently, portability is important. Look for a surge protector that is both portable and simple to install.
- Look for a surge protector with a warranty that includes both the device and any connected equipment.
- Price: Take into account your spending plan and shop around for a surge protector that offers sufficient protection at a fair price.
Choosing a surge protector from a reputable manufacturer is essential. Consider the warranty and customer service provided by the manufacturer, as well as reviews and ratings of the product. These factors will help you choose a surge protector that will effectively safeguard the electrical system of your RV.
Hughes Power Watchdog 30-Amp Bluetooth Surge Protector with Auto Shutoff
First advanced Smart RV surge protector with emergency power off (EPO), the Hughes Power WatchDog.
Many Hughes Power Watchdog models are available, each with a different set of features and a different price point. In addition to recommending the Hughes Power Watchdog as the best option, we also suggest purchasing a device with EPO because automatic power-off is a crucial feature.
This indicates that your Watchdog will automatically shut off (cut off all shore power to your RV) in either a low or high voltage condition (if voltage drops below 104 volts or rises above 132 volts). By doing this, you shield your RV’s electronics and appliances from low- or high-voltage situations. Other brands might just notify you of that condition, or even worse, they might not have it at all.
The device will automatically turn back on and restart power to your RV once the power situation has stabilized for at least 90 seconds.
Hughes Power Watchdog 50-Amp Bluetooth Surge Protector with Auto Shutoff
A 50-amp model of the Hughes Power Watchdog is also offered. It has all the same great features as the 30-amp version mentioned above, such as EPO and Bluetooth, but for those of us with 50-amp RVs, it offers 6,100 joules of advanced protection.
You can buy the 50-amp EPO version from Hughes directly here, or you can look at the versions that Amazon has to offer and read the reviews while you’re there.
Please take note that, as of this writing, the difference between the Power Watchdog 50-amp EPO models sold on Amazon and those bought directly from Hughes appears to be limited to 4,800 joules of protection.
Southwire Surge Guard
The Southwire Surge Guard, which comes in 30-amp and 50-amp versions, is another good RV surge protector.
The Southwire Surge Guard, which is a little more expensive than the Power Watchdog, provides 2,450 joules of protection in the 30-amp version and 4,200 joules in the 50-amp version. All units offer automatic reset when power is restored after an event has occurred, providing complete protection with both line and load monitoring available.
These devices are simple to operate, and Southwire now provides an optional (at an additional cost) battery-operated Bluetooth LCD display that enables remote monitoring of your Surge Guard (much like Hughes Power Watchdog, which lets you use an app on your smart devices for monitoring).
Progressive Industries 30-Amp or 50-Amp EMS
Both 30-amp and 50-amp RVs can use the EMS (Electrical Management Systems) units from Progressive Industries.
Each EMS unit offered by Progressive Industries offers either 3-mode or 5-mode surge protection, giving customers a variety of options. They provide both hardwired options and all-in-one mobile surge and testing units.
Your RV can get surge protection from these models ranging from 1,650 to 3,580 joules. All models come with a lifetime warranty (with the exception of the Weather Shield protective housing) and will provide protection from open hot, open ground, open neutral, and reverse polarity situations.