RV surge protectors are an essential item that protects your RV from electrical surges that can damage your RV or camper. They give you electrical protection so you don’t have to constantly worry about your electronic equipment.
RV Surge protectors come in various types such as a basic surge protectors and electrical management systems. The basic surge protector will protect your electronics from damaging electrical surges that come from a power source. Electrical management systems go a step further and give your RV a wider range of electrical surge protection.
You can get RV surge protectors as either portable models or hard wired versions. Most people use the portable surge protectors because they’re super easy to use and you don’t have to permanently mount it to your RV. You simply plug directly into the RV park electrical pedestal at your campsite.
Electrical surges sent through the power pedestal can enter your RV or camper and cause major damage to your electronics. This can rack up a huge bill. Surge protectors protect your RV or camper by blocking the electrical surge from entering your RV through the pedestal.
You never know when lighting will strike or the RV park’s power pedestal could malfunction and fry your RV or camper. It happens and you need to be prepared.
Here’s Why You Need an RV Surge Protector
You spend a lot of money on your RV or camper and expect it to work for many years of camping. A simple electrical surge can wreak havoc on your RV and fry your electronics. A surge protector has the ability to block electrical power surges from ever entering your RV. Remember, electrical surges can come from a lightning storm, miswiring on the RV park’s power pedestal or other types of issues.
You need to have a surge protector constantly monitoring your RV, even while parked at home. You don’t want your RV’s refrigerator or air conditioner to get fried at the worst possible time. RV surge protectors do a great job at keeping your trailer safe and monitored just in case.
If you’re searching, “Is an RV surge protector necessary?” We can assure you that you absolutely need one for your RV. In fact, buying an RV surge protector is one of the best investments you can make to protect your larger investment, your RV. They’re one of those important tools you need for your RV just like a high-quality RV generator.
What Kind of RV Surge Protector Should I Buy?
There are basically two main types of RV surge protectors: RV energy management systems and basic RV surge protectors. There are a few differences between the two that you should be aware of.
RV EMS or energy management systems provide more extensive protection for your RV. They give you much-needed protection from electrical surges and issues with shore power at the power pedestal that you hook up to at the RV camp. They also automatically shut down in the event the power is too high or too low. The RV energy management systems will also manage which appliances use power so that you don’t run the risk of electrical overload.
RV surge protectors are much cheaper but don’t offer the same benefits as an RV EMS. They will still protect your RV from problems with the power pedestal and electrical surges.
How Do I Know Which RV Surge Protector or EMS Will Fit My RV?
It’s fairly easy to choose a product to fit your RV. They make 30 amp and 50 amp RV surge protectors and EMS units depending on what type of amp your RV supports.
Here are the best RV surge protectors on the market:
Progressive Industries Portable RV Surge Protector EMS-PT30X
Progressive Industries makes a wide variety of portable and hardwired surge protectors. This particular RV surge protector is portable and offers a ton of benefits. It’s built tough and weather-resistant so you don’t have to worry about it being outside in the rain and elements. It features a security locking bracket so no one can remove it from your RV when you’re gone and the housing is all-weather.
This RV surge protector also gives you protection against anomalous frequency and high and low voltage. You don’t want to take any chances when staying at an RV park. The protective housing is tough and will keep your unit protected.
We like this Progressive Industries portable RV surge protector because it’s well-built, weather-resistant and gets the job done.
POWSAF RV Surge Protector
The POWSAF Rv portable surge protector is the one you’ve been looking for. It’s heavy-duty and does an amazing job at protecting your RV from electrical surges. You get protection from lightning storms, high and low voltage levels and power surges. The diagnostic LED gives you notification of faulty wiring issues such as improper wiring on the power pedestal, open neutral indication and reverse polarity.
This portable RV surge protector is easy to use even if you’ve never used one and it’s easy to plug and unplug. We like the POWSAF RV surge protector because it comes at a great price and does exactly what it says by protecting your RV from numerous hazards.
Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector
The Camco RV surge protector comes in 30 amp and 50 amp models. It keeps your RV safe and secure from both high and low voltage levels that can damage your unit. It also protects against power surges that can fry your RV or camper. It features an auto-connect/disconnect feature that will disconnect itself from hazardous conditions and reconnect once the situation has been alleviated.
Not only does this RV voltage protector defend against power surges, but it also protects your RV from faulty wiring that may occur within the RV park’s power pedestal. You don’t want to damage your RV due to someone else’s mistake.
This RV surge protector will protect up to 4,200 Joules and give you an indication of faults while connected to the power pedestal. Simply connect your device to the power pedestal and it will give you a series of diagnostic LEDs that alert you to any issues the source circuit may have such as electrical issues. This product also protects your RV from wiring issues such as open neutral and reverse polarity and will block power from coming through to your RV or trailer.
We like the Camco RV Power Defender because it does a great job at protecting your RV from all types of dangers.
Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS Surge and Electrical Protection – 50 Amps
The other type of RV surge protector is the hardwired electrical management system. These provide your RV with the highest level of protection from electrical issues and surges that you can buy. They’re hardwired into your RV and will keep all of your AC devices protected at all times. You will have to hardwire this product directly between the AC inlet and electrical panel on your rig.
While hardwired RV surge protectors require a little extra work to install, they ensure you never have issues such as accidentally leaving your surge protector at home. It’s always with you and always working to protect your RV. It even provides notification for miswired power pedestals and surge failure. The remote scrolling digital display is a handy tool that comes with this product and allows you to scroll through power source information to check the health of your unit.
We like the Progressive Industries hardwired EMS RV surge protector because they give you peace of mind while using your RV.
Progressive Industries 50 Amp Portable RV EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector
The Progressive Industries 50 amp portable electrical management system is one of the best RV surge protectors on the market. It’s portable and incredibly easy to use. It’s rated for outdoor use, so you don’t have to worry when it rains and the tough housing ensures that nothing gets in. These portable RV surge protectors feature pedestal testing as well as surge protection if something goes wrong. All you have to do is plug this device into the RV park’s power pedestal and it checks the safety of your power before you use it. It also monitors as long as your RV is plugged into the power pedestal.
You don’t want to mess around or take chances when it comes to the health of your RV or trailer. All it takes is one electrical surge to burn up your electronics. Portable RV surge protectors are a cost-effective way to ensure your RV stays safe and secure.
RV Surge Protector FAQ
Which RV Surge Protector is Best?
It would be difficult to choose a “best” RV surge protector or EMS because it depends on what type of surge protector you need for your RV and whether you prefer the hardwired units or portable RV surge protectors. You can’t go wrong with Progressive Industries, POWSAF or Camco as they make some of the best RV surge protectors and EMS units on the market. It helps to read reviews from other RV enthusiasts to see which unit best fits your needs.
What’s the Difference Between an EMS and an RV Surge Protector?
EMS stands for electrical management system and RV surge protectors are portable. You’ve probably noticed there is a substantial price difference between the two and there are a few good reasons.
You can get a great RV surge protector from around $75 to just over $100, but a quality EMS for an RV can cost you over $200 easily. Remember, you get what you pay for and RVs aren’t cheap.
While both options work to protect and secure your RV electrical system, they each provide a different level of protection.
An RV surge protector is portable and easy to attach. They protect your RV against wild power spikes and high voltage which can damage your RV’s electrical appliances. They also give you an alert if there’s an issue with shore power such as improper wiring. RV surge protectors are cheaper and easy to use but don’t protect against everything you may encounter on an RV trip.
On the other hand, you have RV EMS units. They can do every single thing that an RV surge protector can do and much more. They protect against power surges and will give your RV protection against low and high voltage issues which can cause major damage to your RV. Low voltage is just as dangerous as high voltage in many situations. For example, your RV appliances will still run on low voltage, but this can damage those systems and rack up expensive bills. An RV EMS will notify you that there’s an issue and will shut off your RV or camper’s power to save your electrical components. It also lets you know that there’s a low voltage issue before you hook up to the power system.
Low voltage issues are actually quite common and have been recurring issues at some RV parks. You will be thankful when your EMS gives you a low voltage warning before you connect your rig.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.