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Surge Protector Necessary?


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#1 SEAJAY

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:51 PM

Ok, guys, forgive my ''dumbness'' but I have a question.

I am on my third motorhome. I have traveled to every state in the union and most of Canada. I have been to Alaska
twice and stayed in campgrounds that had the ''electric and water'' strung from trees or simply lying on the ground.

I have ''gang plugged'' with another camper on the same post and I have used many 15-amp services on the
Alcan highway where they generated their own power with a ''put -put'' engine.

In all my years I have never had a ''power surge protector thingie." I have never had an electrical problem that I know of
caused by lo voltage.

Do we really need this thing or is it just something invented for us to buy like those ''wheel cover up thingies." (I bet those are tough to keep them over the tires when you go down the road at 60 mph.)

Seajay the sailor man
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2000 PaceArrow 106,000 miles. Burns a little oil but runs great.
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3 dogs, Gus, Finnie and Gypsie... Each will kill a Potato Chip on command
Remember .. If you use any of my good ideas you have to pay me ten cents the next time you see me.
''CJ&WILLA'' is our NC license plate. Stop by and say ''HOWDY''
Willa and me......

#2 Guest_Wayne77590_*

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:59 PM

Yes Seajay, and hammers had wooden handles that could be replaced!

It's the technological world. All those old time appliances and gadgets you had could take 104 volts and continue to run, although motors reduced to that voltage would struggle considerably. With today's technology, we are looking at "better," but "fragil" electronics that just will not take the punishment of yesteryear products. It's unfortunate that we had to give up that "solid" lifestyle. When the tube in the radio went bad, we bought a new tube. Now we throw the radio away and buy another radio, a better radio with more functions and features.

Yep! Technology has come a long way, so now we have to buy technological things to protect the technolgy that we buy.

#3 TBUTLER

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:51 AM

Actually SEAJAY I think you answered your own question. Three motor homes, traveled all over the country and no problems. The surge protector is an insurance policy, just like any other. If everything goes well, the insurance is a waste of money. So far you have been doing fine.

I have the same experience. Only two motor homes but eight years full time on the road. We have been to 49 states in the motor home and most of Canada. I do make sure that my computer is unplugged when we have a thunderstorm nearby but really don't worry about it. Yes, we have huge quantities of electronics on board but other than a few cheap devices, I haven't had any problems with TV's, DVD players, microwaves, etc. The problems I had were from my non-sine wave inverter, not the line current. The electrical grid is really quite superior to what we had years ago and the quality of the current we get varies only in those parks that are improperly wired.

I haven't even considered purchasing a surge protector. Let's see what accounts we get from people (or their electronics) who have been burned by this attitude.
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#4 Xplorer

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:17 AM

We bought our first RV in '76,,,,,yea,,,,I know,,,,the last century......6 or 7 Travel Trailers....lost count and can't remember,,,,,,Senility is helllllll,,,,don't matter anyway....

That said,,,,,never had a surge protector,,,,,,,,,,,never had a problem,,,,,,bought our first Motorhome in 2000,,,,,never had a surge protector or problem....

Bought our current MH in '06,,,,this century,,,,,,first thing I purchased was a surge protector,,,,,,,,still using it,,,,,no problems,,,,,,I just got a surge protector and not the autoformer,,,,,,I monitor voltage inside the MH by another means.

I figure for $117 is was cheap insurance compared with the cost of the rig,,,,,,,,,What I do like about the surge protector is it gives me a means to insure that the box is wired correctly.......which I always tested independently before I had a surge protector.......

That's my story and I'm stickn' to it!!!!!!
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#5 jc2566

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 02:48 PM

Wouldn't leave home without it. To each is own on whether to use or not. We have been in parks that have encountered both low and high voltage and had our surge protector shut us down until conditions improved. We bought the portable 50A Surge Guard on sale from CW and have never regretted it. :rolleyes:
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#6 garykd

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:40 PM

Hi SEAJAY,
I wouldn't leave home without it. As a matter of fact, I can't leave home without it. The surge protector is inside the electrical bay. The Brand I have is SurgeGuard. There are several brands to choose from. The technology is not rocket science. Purchase the brand that has the features you want. When I took delivery of the signature coach, I drove straight to CW and purchased a surge protector. The coach has never been connected to shore power without a surge protector.

For me, modern coaches have too much at risk to take the chance of voltage (over or under) causing problems. I co-host the Tampa Super Show rally for Newmar owners. This past January, an owner called me to his coach to complain about power. It only took a minute or two to determine his transfer switch was blown. After the transfer switch was replaced, he found several of his A/V components were also not working. He called me over to ask what could be done. I asked if he had a surge protector and he said yes he did. Puzzled, I asked him if I could see it. The surge protector was still in the box. He had never installed it! Guess you know what my recommendation was. If you ever want to know if you need a surge protector, co-host a rally and have the host put you in charge of the electrical service.
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#7 SEAJAY

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:10 PM

ALL RIGHT ALL READY.................. Tomorrow I will buy a surge protector thingie.
I assume it comes with instructions as to where I should locate the thing and plug
it in so we will be protected against whatever it protects you against in case
you run into what ever it protects against. (did that make sence?)
My coach runs on a 30 amp service and I guess I need one for 30 amps Or
should I just go the downs and buy one for a 50 amp coach because eventually
the Old Pace is going to fall apart and I may just get one of those Diesel Pushers
with the big air hornes and all that other ''stuff''..
Tks for the advise........
Be safe on the road guys .....
God bless our service personnel and bring them home safe ...
Seajay the sailor man .....
  • 1

2000 PaceArrow 106,000 miles. Burns a little oil but runs great.
04 Ford Ranger with a ''Port-a-Boat on top. We Fish...
3 dogs, Gus, Finnie and Gypsie... Each will kill a Potato Chip on command
Remember .. If you use any of my good ideas you have to pay me ten cents the next time you see me.
''CJ&WILLA'' is our NC license plate. Stop by and say ''HOWDY''
Willa and me......

#8 Jackhal49

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 08:57 PM

Just in case you are still checking this forum, you will need a 30 amp surge protector seeing you have a 30 amp service. You can either purchase one that plugs into the end of your electrical cord and then into the campground service or you can buy one that is hard wired into your electrical system. They are pretty easy to install and usually have good directions and you only have four wires on each side of the surge protector to hook up. If you have room in your electrical bay to install a hard wired unit I would susgest you go with that. I have heard of the temporary units disappearing but if it is hard wired in your electrical bay you can lock it. Good Luck! It is a small price to pay for the protection it provides. I have heard of cases where a surge has knocked out lots of electronics in rigs. Very expensive to replace that stuff! Happy RVing! Jack
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#9 SEAJAY

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 06:57 AM

Yooooooooh JAck. Thanks for the tip and I O U ten cents for the info. (I'll pay you the next time I see you) I still
havent gotten around to purchasing a surge protector yet.
Which kind do you recommend to be hard wired to my unit. I have seen them plugged into the service post in camp
grounds and then plugged into the coach with the wire going from the box to the service post. I think the ''hard wire''
idea is a good one because it would eliminate the extra plugs and it would make the devise a whole lot less tempting
to be ''walked away with'' when you wasnt looking. Gimme some recommendations on a hard wired unit please.
Seajay the sailor man
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2000 PaceArrow 106,000 miles. Burns a little oil but runs great.
04 Ford Ranger with a ''Port-a-Boat on top. We Fish...
3 dogs, Gus, Finnie and Gypsie... Each will kill a Potato Chip on command
Remember .. If you use any of my good ideas you have to pay me ten cents the next time you see me.
''CJ&WILLA'' is our NC license plate. Stop by and say ''HOWDY''
Willa and me......

#10 jc2566

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 07:43 AM

I agree 110% about never leaving home without a surge protector. Even though you apparently have a 30A rig, I would consider getting a 50A portable and buying the dogbone reducer for 30A hookups in the event you get a 50A rig down the road. That way the unit stays with you and not left on what you sell/tradein. Ifyou go the portable route, consider getting a 30 or 50A extension cord from CW and place the unit inside your electrical bay and run the extension to the power pedestal. Less apt to walk off that way.
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#11 SEAJAY

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 10:06 AM

Ok guys........ I finally got down to Camper World and bought me a Surge Protector for the old banger...
I got a 30 amp one that I will hard wire inside my compartment. I figured that if I ever went to a BIG DIESEL PUSHER
I should have money enough to go the downs and get a 50 amp unit for my nice new coach..
Many thanks for all the advise concerning this and I owe a bunch of you guys dimes and I will pay you the next time
I see you. Now it will be my luck that someone will steal the whole ''dang'' coach and take my new surge protector
and all my other ''stuff'' too.. such is life.....
God bless our Troops and bring them home safe...
Seajay the sailor man .....
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2000 PaceArrow 106,000 miles. Burns a little oil but runs great.
04 Ford Ranger with a ''Port-a-Boat on top. We Fish...
3 dogs, Gus, Finnie and Gypsie... Each will kill a Potato Chip on command
Remember .. If you use any of my good ideas you have to pay me ten cents the next time you see me.
''CJ&WILLA'' is our NC license plate. Stop by and say ''HOWDY''
Willa and me......

#12 f0229000

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 03:51 PM

After reading the input of so many of my fellow RV freinds, it seems that many of you purchase surge protectors based on price, rather than what the unit can and will do for you. Are you aware that the Surge Guard unit that Camping World sells has no way of telling you when (and if) the surge protection is still working. Oh yes, you will still get power but will not have surge protection. If you will check out Progressive Industries you will find their units continually shows that the surge protection is working and gives additional information, i.e. volts, amps, hertz, etc.
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#13 DoggyDaddy

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 11:20 PM

The more one camps in a year the greater the odds of possibly having problems.
The odds increase more if one does not camp at the same place twice.
If a person is full timing, then the odds for something to go wrong really increase.
Because I plan to go full time, I will be investing in a surge protector in the future.
As another stated earlier, it is a form of insurance, as cameras are a form of
accident insurance. It is just a simple matter of "Do you feel lucky - Punk?

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#14 garykd

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 12:41 PM

Hi f0229000,
The Surge Guard protector is built so that if the unit is passing power, surge protection is working. Simple as that. The surge protection components are in the unit so that if for whatever reason they fail, the unit will not pass power to the coach. It's kind of like a fail safe. I got this directly from Surge Guard tech support. The prices of these units are competitive with each other. Sometimes one is lower due to a sale, etc. Also, different vendors sell the products for different prices. I have seen a lower price on both the Progressive and Surge Guard. It just depends on where and when one shops.

These devices are not rocket science to build. The technology is a commodity. Purchasing one vs another now becomes a personal decision that includes price. The user features of a unit may also be a deciding factor. For me, I am not a blinking light push button kind of person. I want an appliance that I can set and forget. My appliance choices are somewhat based on the toaster. Simplicity, over time with nothing or the bare minimum for user involvement.
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Gary
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#15 travelingsages

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:23 AM

I have been in at least two RV parks where the power sagged during the day because it was hot and everyone was running their air conditioning. The voltage got down low enough that my Surge Guard shut off the power to the RV. While this was inconvenient it saved the compressors on the air conditioners. I also have had a surge that was caught by the Surge Guard which again turned off the power to the rig. All of my electronics were protected and no damage was done except to the Surge Guard. I took it out and sent it back to the factory and it was rebuilt and returned. I would not be without some form of surge protection along with over and under voltage protection.
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#16 fossfactor

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:08 PM

We are currently staying in a park, our surge guard has been working overtime. In the middle of the night it will turn off several times, we complained to the park that the voltage is intermittent, they have changed the plug out we were fine for 6 nights and it went off again last night, we have even plugged into the 30 amp power and after a few days same problem, we have replaced our surge guard over the summer wondering if this one has a glitch also? The electrician showed me the voltage meter and everything is OK at the power pole. Any ideas?
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#17 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:43 PM

Voltage at the power pole at this moment has little to do with the voltage at the power pole when you have an issue. The only thing you could do is get your own meter and check that pole at that time. RV park voltage can vary dramatically at different times of day and under different weather/load conditions.

If it were me (and it is not) I would have moved already. The good news is that your surge guard has kept your coach safe even it has been inconvenient. We recently installed a surge guard after having service done on our coach and the servicing dealer not properly connecting up our coach. We had 240 on one leg and 0 on the other. Lot's of stuff dead or damaged and lots of bad blood caused on both sides. That should never happen again now that we have the protection installed.
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#18 desertdeals69

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:02 PM

Thats why I do all my own wiring, then I know its done right.
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#19 wolfe10

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:02 PM

Bill,

240 VAC on one leg means the outlet was REALLY wired improperly, as the only way to get 240 is for the second hot to be wired to the NEUTRAL! A huge mistake.

Example: L1 hot plus neutral hot= 240 VAC. That is your basic old (yes not today's code) dryer connection.
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#20 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

You would think that, but you would be wrong. If the connection to my coach was not made properly with my external power cord you could (and I did) end up with no neutral (or ground) and the exact situation I described. The cord was properly plugged into the outlet but the connection to my coach was only partially inserted creating this disaster.
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