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Old 07-04-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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Surge protector

Any thoughts or comments on needing a surge protector, I have never used one on our pop up camper.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:23 PM   #2
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We never had one with our pop-ups either.I noticed on our last trip,one of our friends had one hooked up on their Jayco.I am thinking about getting one,I've read on a few different forums about people cooking their converters due to problems with the campground electric service,
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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It seems odd to me that the trailers dont have some kind of protection built in. Also are campground electrical hook ups that bad.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:16 PM   #4
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We have one. We went the SurdgeGuard brand. Surge Guard 30A Portable with LCD Display | Technology Research Corporation

I have since this pic, made a water resistant cover setup for the shore line plug. I saw Poppy (Leo) of Poppy and Nana using a baggie one time on his cord and that gave me the idea to make up something. If interested I'll hunt it up some pics. Since the plug lives out in the weather, they should of put something on from day 1.



There is another brand too. I did not know of this one at the time we bought ours. I may have bought this one.
EMS-PT30C

Here are some other threads on them

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ctor-8005.html

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ors-14567.html

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...plug-9766.html

Now does one need one? Good question. Think of these as an insurance policy. You will never need it until the day the low voltage drop or high electrical spike comes from the camp ground. And this does not happen often, but it does happen.

I justified it like this, I have a lot tied up in my camper. When we had the pop up I never even gave this a second thought. When I bought mine it was close to I think ~ $280 which is a lot of money. However if the camper takes a hit, the microwave, the power convertor, the TV set, VCR/DVD, AC unit are prime targets. So if I happen to be the unlucky one ending up getting hit, well I just burnt up the SurgeGuard, but the camper is OK. I can still keep camping after the event when the storm etc settles down.

I justifed in my head at least, it's cheaper and a lot easier to replace the Surgeguard then deal with the fall out inside the camper. And worse if the spike caused a fire inside the camper. These surge guards generally burn out when they get hit. They die so the camper lives. While they are not totally fool proof, the higher end ones (cost more) increase the odds you make it through better.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:02 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=JohnB;122772

I have since this pic, made a water resistant cover setup for the shore line plug. I saw Poppy (Leo) of Poppy and Nana using a baggie one time on his cord and that gave me the idea to make up something.



John[/QUOTE]

What you didn't like my surge protector cover?????
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:09 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info, it does seem like a good idea now it's time to hunt for a good deal.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy & Nana View Post
What you didn't like my surge protector cover?????
Nothing... I liked it! It "inspired" me

I still use that method when we pull out the 25 foot shoreline extension cord. Which is not often. I think I used shore the line extension twice now in 11 years... And both times where NY State Parks. Something about they put one double power post in between for 2 sites. One camper plugs in normal, the other has to run their cord needing to be twice as long to get over to the communal power post. Must of been a cost savings thing...
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:55 AM   #8
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Just in from another post by mainah http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...n-15724-2.html

It happens...

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Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Speaking about surge suppressors I have spent a couple of days at the local camp ground repairing lighting damage. Two campers parked side by side with a tree in between were damaged when lightning struck the tree. Both lost their converter/chargers another one a bit further away suffered the same loss it had just been replaced two days before! The 5th wheel had other damages blown fuses and damage to the 12 volt stuff including the fridge controller. If you can afford a surge suppressor get one. We also lost a line fuse that took the power out for half the camp ground but kudos to the power co. they were there in about an hour.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:24 PM   #9
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We bought a EMS-PT30C and are glad we did! We've had 4 incidents with it; twice where it actually shut down everything in our Sunline, saving us from who-knows-what. Yeah, the EMS was a little pricey, we got it for under $300.00 on Amazon but, as JohnB points out, when compared to what it costs to replace electrical devices in an RV, it's good insurance. (JohnB posted the link to the ?s we had about getting a surge guard, "Newbie Question #: Surge Suppressors.") Now when we go camping, no matter where we are, we plug in the EMS first and take it from there.

BTW, welcome to SOC!
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:15 PM   #10
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I was the electronics tech/electrician for a local police dept. and have wired my camper panel box with MOV's this is not something I would recommend for the average owner but an external suppressor can't be beat. Switching power supplies do not do well with over voltage spikes I'm also a Ham and take care of mountain top radio repeaters, we have the same problem with switching power supplies powering our radios. There is a bit of science in how a switching supply works but simply it can cause damage to 12 volt stuff beyond the converter. The surge suppressor most likely will be sacrificial if it takes a hit but hopefully the rest of your stuff will survive.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:21 PM   #11
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Thanks for the help, I will be getting an external unit, looking for a good price.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:02 PM   #12
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John, do you have a pic of AFTER you made the cover? Would like to see it. And I guess it's something I need to spend the money on, I was thinking I could get away with not purchasing one becasue they ARE pricey but my camper is more so!



Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
We have one. We went the SurdgeGuard brand. Surge Guard 30A Portable with LCD Display | Technology Research Corporation

I have since this pic, made a water resistant cover setup for the shore line plug. I saw Poppy (Leo) of Poppy and Nana using a baggie one time on his cord and that gave me the idea to make up something. If interested I'll hunt it up some pics. Since the plug lives out in the weather, they should of put something on from day 1.



There is another brand too. I did not know of this one at the time we bought ours. I may have bought this one.
EMS-PT30C

Here are some other threads on them

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ctor-8005.html

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ors-14567.html

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...plug-9766.html

Now does one need one? Good question. Think of these as an insurance policy. You will never need it until the day the low voltage drop or high electrical spike comes from the camp ground. And this does not happen often, but it does happen.

I justified it like this, I have a lot tied up in my camper. When we had the pop up I never even gave this a second thought. When I bought mine it was close to I think ~ $280 which is a lot of money. However if the camper takes a hit, the microwave, the power convertor, the TV set, VCR/DVD, AC unit are prime targets. So if I happen to be the unlucky one ending up getting hit, well I just burnt up the SurgeGuard, but the camper is OK. I can still keep camping after the event when the storm etc settles down.

I justifed in my head at least, it's cheaper and a lot easier to replace the Surgeguard then deal with the fall out inside the camper. And worse if the spike caused a fire inside the camper. These surge guards generally burn out when they get hit. They die so the camper lives. While they are not totally fool proof, the higher end ones (cost more) increase the odds you make it through better.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
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If shore power is so unsteady then why don't new campers have a built in option for these expensive devices?

If I used serge protectors for everything that recommends them I'd have large power strips all over my floors plus grounding cables for each appliance.........each computer, television and cable boxes, phone, cell phone chargers, router and modem, even my refrigerator and microwave recommends one since they has a computer chip. I need to install a big serge protector on the house too.

or.....only use Honda Generators for all my power.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:34 PM   #14
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Here is why it's a good ideal in camp grounds. Most camp grounds have 100 amp sub panels and that only gives you enough power for 3 30 amp outlets. Now this stuff is expensive so there are maybe 5 30 amp pedestal’s on a 100 amp service so 5 people are plugged in no one generally draws 30 amps but with 5 A/C 's running and a microwave or two you'll get a voltage drop that makes the current draw go up. Things get turn on and off the voltage takes a roller coaster ride. To add to this are long wire runs and voltage drop in a perfect world the wire runs would be a #8 wire but that doesn't happen when a #10 will carry the load and the money is tight. One generally does not get great power swings in houses there biggest problems would be from lighting strikes of course that can also happen at a camp ground. Little up date on the 5th wheel that was struck in the lighting storm the figure is now in the 3,500 to 4,500 price range he is lucky he has insurance on the camper for that type of thing.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:08 AM   #15
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Question

I found this one on sale online Camping World for $77.97 Reg. $119.00

It doesn't seem to be as heavy duty as John's but won't it still do the job?
Portable Surge Guard Protectors, 30 amp




Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Here is why it's a good ideal in camp grounds. Most camp grounds have 100 amp sub panels and that only gives you enough power for 3 30 amp outlets. Now this stuff is expensive so there are maybe 5 30 amp pedestal’s on a 100 amp service so 5 people are plugged in no one generally draws 30 amps but with 5 A/C 's running and a microwave or two you'll get a voltage drop that makes the current draw go up. Things get turn on and off the voltage takes a roller coaster ride. To add to this are long wire runs and voltage drop in a perfect world the wire runs would be a #8 wire but that doesn't happen when a #10 will carry the load and the money is tight. One generally does not get great power swings in houses there biggest problems would be from lighting strikes of course that can also happen at a camp ground. Little up date on the 5th wheel that was struck in the lighting storm the figure is now in the 3,500 to 4,500 price range he is lucky he has insurance on the camper for that type of thing.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:49 PM   #16
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Joan,

If you can get through the technical talk, that's the question my husband put forth in this thread:

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...ors-14567.html

He asked that question largely b/c his wife is cheap and can't imagine spending $260 if the same basic protection can be had for $80. (The more expensive surge protectors are now under $250.) In the end, I left the decision up to him and we got the more expensive version. Given the 2 of the incidents we've had, I'm glad we got the heavy duty version.

When we were researching this last year we did notice that, on some of the sites which reviewed the less expensive models, there was discussion on whether those models were surge protectors or just surge indicators. Now, I'm in no way qualified to enter into a electrical discussion here so maybe JohnB or mainah can clarify that but, given the incident mainah described in this thread, I'd want to have our EMS-PT30C on guard than one of the lesser models. I only wish it cost a bit less.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:09 AM   #17
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You do get what you pay for. The better ones not only are designed to be surge suppressors they are designed to take a physical beating. I do think they may be over priced for what really is inside of them but they may save some of your valuable stuff. There are things to read about suppressors that will burse your brain like Joules, clamping time etc. and may just add more confusion to the decision, the going price for a decent one seems to around the $200 mark. In the case we recently had I doubt that a suppressor would have saved them. The 5th wheel was parked with in about 2 feet from the tree that was struck it came down the tree to camper top level and dispersed across the camper body lucky for them the camper became a Faraday shield because they were inside at the time!
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:41 AM   #18
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This is something that is rising higher on my "wish list" after a recent experience at an RV park in CO....We got back to the camper in the afternoon and kicked the AC on, when it started briefly then all power went out. Turned out the breaker on the pedestal was tripping and I couldn't get it to stay on. I was starting to worry there was a short in the camper. After I measured voltage at the 30amp outlet on the pedestal and got reading all over the place (85v on one leg, 15v on the other leg, then 0 on both, etc, etc). I notified the establishment. They sent someone over who removed the faceplate and found the breaker was loose. He then proceeded to smack the breaker back into place with the back of a screw driver (and no, he never shut power off to the pedestal). And forced the faceplate back into place incorrectly.

I said, "let me test the voltage before you plug me back in," but he proceeded to ignore that request and plugged me back in anyway!

Well all worked out fine in the end and I had no further issues (or damage) but it's a good example of the kind of hacks that sometimes work on these systems and we are probably smart to protect ourselves from it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:16 PM   #19
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OK on a 30 amp outlet the round pin is ground the left is 120 volts the right is neutral. You should read line voltage between the left and right and the left and round pin. Unfortunately the camp ground stuff is exposed to weather year round and it is a problem to deal with all of the power points. I would have most likely would have removed the breaker to see if it was weather damaged if not coated it with anti-oxidizing grease then replaced the breaker in the box. Yes I hate to say it most likely I would not have turned off the breaker at the power point but I do know what not to touch and it helps not to have the other campers call the office because they have no power. I sorry he was not friendlier I all ways test the outlets before I leave or plug the camper back in. Working for a camp ground has heightened my understanding of just how hard it is to keep one going it is a major operation with problems you would not wish on your worst enemy. Actually I just today rewired a panel box that had been wired by the previous owner 7 years ago yes it was improper but worked and you never know until there is a problem.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
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...
I said, "let me test the voltage before you plug me back in," but he proceeded to ignore that request and plugged me back in anyway! .....
Glad it worked for you but I would have told him in no uncertain terms that I WILL check the voltage and if he touches the plug he owns it and any potential damage to the camper is on his dime not mine.
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