Camping Made Easy: The Best RV Surge Protector
As an RV enthusiast, you enjoy the sense of freedom and love the feel of leaving behind the modern world so that you can get back to nature. That being said, there are some modern day conveniences that you may want to keep.
These include your electrical appliances that can keep you fed, help you do a little work when you're away, and keep you entertained. All of these can be powered by a campground power pedestal, but did you know that these can cause damage to your electrical devices?
This is where the best RV surge protector can provide a sense of protection during your outdoor excursion.
What are the best types of these devices? Well, this guide is here to provide you some answers so that you can find a unit and protect your electrical systems and appliances from the damage that can occur in a campground.
In addition, we also have five great products that we'll review so that you can find the best product for your RV. Let's get started with some pre-purchase considerations.
Top 5 Best RV Surge Protectors Reviews
Best Of Best
Best 30 Amp
Best 50 Amp
Best For Travel Trailer
Best For The Money
- Why Do You Need Surge Protection?
- What to Look For
- 5 Best RV Surge Protectors Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Why Do You Need Surge Protection?
Whether you're driving an RV, fifth wheel, or any other type of camper, you most likely will use a campground power pedestal to get a little juice for your trip.
The chief problem with this is that campgrounds can experience power spikes and fluctuations from time to time as a result of thunderstorms, faulty power connections, or as a result of being overtaxed.
When this happens, the irregularities of power can destroy your electrical devices immediately or over time.
Electrical systems are expensive to repair and the quality of power that is provided at campgrounds is completely out of your control, but one way that you can protect your property is to buy a dedicated surge protector that will regulate the flow of power to your devices.
What to Look For
Also known as the size or current of the surge protector, amperage is one of the most important attributes to consider. This is the volume of electrical energy that flows through the appliances that are connected to your RV at any given time.
Always ensure that you get the right size, which means that you'll need to check the ampoules of your surge protector; this is indicated on the surge protector itself, and it will let you know which kind of power that you will use when you plug it into your RV.
There are two types of amperages for RVs; 50 amp and 30 amp, Better RVing has a great video about each.
- Generally speaking, larger RVs with two air conditioners and multiple appliances will need a 50 amp or higher surge protector.
- If you have a lower overall electrical footprint, then a 30 amp model will do.
- In any situation, always select the surge protector that is best matched to your energy needs, this will decrease the chance of electrical failure or mishap.
RVs have different power needs; check out this guide on Basic RV electricity if you have any questions.
The most important statistic that you can have in a surge protector is its protection rating.
Simply put, this is measured in joules and will let you know exactly how much energy a surge protector can dissipate safely.
For example, if you're in a lightning storm and a bolt hits a transformer, the excess electricity will hit your surge protector. If it has a high enough protection (joule) rating, it will dissipate the extra energy as heat, which will protect both you and your connected devices from the excess electricity.
With this in mind, shoot for a higher joule rating so that you can have a maximum level of protection.
As you'll see in our review section, there are typically two types of surge protectors for RVs; hardwired and portable. The difference between the two is pretty important, so let's take a look at each in-depth:
These are firmly connected to your RV's internal components; typically where the power enters into it. This is mostly in the compartment where you find the wiring that draws power from the pedestal itself.
This is a very useful type of surge protector because you never have to think about whether you're safely protected from power spikes and fluctuations as it is always on when you are connected.
Additionally, since this is wired directly into your RV, you don't have to worry about unscrupulous individuals attempting to take your protector.
Portable units are fairly convenient because they require no installation and connect directly into the outlet of the electrical pedestal provided by the campground.
These are designed to warn you if there is any type of potential danger from the connection as the result of a spike or strange fluctuations. These are also designed to be used safely in any type of weather.
The best types of these will provide protection and warn you when there are spikes due to high voltage and also when there are low voltage energy emissions due to faulty wiring.
5 Best RV Surge Protectors Reviews
Best RV Surge Protector
The first surge protector that I want to look at is the Progressive Industries EMS-PT30 C because it is the best all around surge protector for most RVs. This is a square-shaped product that is only about five pounds in weight. The unit is designed to protect against 30 amps of power, which is more than enough for most RV needs.
There is a display readout on the unit that tells you the amount of voltage that you have going through the device, the amount of amps that you are drawing, and anything else that you need to know. There is a red indicator light on the bottom right side that will blink if there is an error.
This unit has a two minute, 16 second time delay, which means that when you hook the unit up to the power supply, there will be a period of time where you will not get power. This is designed to make sure to protect against open ground, open neutral, and even reverse polarity. In addition, it has 240 volts of protection against accidental overuse that could occur with an air conditioning unit or using a lot of power at once.
There is a bracket built onto the top of the surge protector that allows you to lock it to the power source that you are using. This is great for when you want to keep a lot of devices plugged in during the night. This unit also comes with a lifetime warranty that will cover the parts and the labor if anything malfunctions during its lifetime.
- It has a display readout that tells you about incoming voltages, how many amps are being drawn, what cycle you're on, and error codes if applicable.
- The display on the device is very easy to read and understand.
- There is a bracket on the unit that allows you to secure it to the power source that you are using.
- The device has a locking bracket so that no one can tamper or remove it.
- This surge protector is designed to withstand the elements, even without a cover.
- It can be a bit sensitive; may cut power inadvertently if the pedestal has any issues.
- The unit is a little heavy, which means that it could cause stress on some outlets.
I really like this surge protector because it is designed to give you over and under protection and it checks for polarity. It comes with a warranty that shows that the company that manufactures it believes that it is worth purchasing, and it has a bracket that you can use to ensure that it does not get stolen while you are away from the campsite.
Best 30 Amp RV Surge Protector
The next surge protector that I want to consider on this list is a 30 amp unit that is great for protecting your RV. The Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X is a great device that is designed to offer over as well as under voltage protections, which assures that your appliances in your RV will not be damaged if there is an issue with the power source. It is also designed with A/C protection as well, which is great for an RV.
There is a protection against open ground, open neutral, and reverse polarity as well, and if any of these issues arise, there will be an error code displayed on the LCD screen to let you know. In fact, before the unit provides power to your RV, there is a small 136-second delay that you will notice. This delay is to fully protect your devices before giving them power.
The display is easy to read, and it will cycle through displaying the amount of amps and the voltage that is being used to keep you informed. The actual outlet is hidden behind a weather shield that is designed to protect the device from the elements. In addition, there is a generous lifetime warranty that you can use to replace or repair any part that may malfunction over time.
- It comes with a surge failure indicator that is perfect for when there is a surge in juice.
- There is a bracket on the device that you can use to lock it to any power supply that you want.
- There is a weather-resistant shield on the unit.
- The pull handles on the plug area bit small, making them difficult to grab.
If you are looking for a great 30 amp surge protector, then this is a great option for you. It has an easy to read display, it protects your devices, and it can be used outdoor without worrying about the weather. The best part is that this surge protector comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best 50 Amp RV Surge Protector
The Technology Research 34850 is a relatively new surge protector, but it is also one of the best 50 amp designs available. It is designed to protect your RV when the power source is less than optimal, and when a surge occurs, the device will automatically reset the power when it is safe to use.
It is actually a rather powerful device; in fact, it offers nearly double the amount of protection that previous models did, and it protects and monitors the amount of amps being used, the voltage, and it checks for reverse polarity as well.
There is also an LCD display on the unit that makes it simple to see the amount of power that you are consuming. It also has three indicator lights that you should be aware of. The top one is the power indicator, the middle one will flash if there is a risk that the unit is going to overheat. This second light also protects against open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, and any fluctuation in the voltage. If there is a surge, the bottom indicator light will be lit, and at that point, your electronic devices are in danger of being damaged.
When you first plug the device into the power source, there is a 128-second delay that will keep you from getting power until it is safe. The unit is designed to be a water resistant surge protector, which makes it convenient for your RV travels. It also has a lift feature on the plug that allows you to disconnect the plug with ease.
- This unit is designed to be weather-resistant.
- This unit protects against power surges as well as overheating where the device plugs into the power source.
- When power is restored, the unit will reset automatically.
- There is no locking mechanism on this unit.
- The unit is a little large.
This is a great 50 amp unit for RVs. It is designed with an easy to read LCD display, and it monitors the power source continuously for any issues that may arise. It also protects against overheating, which is a great new feature of this generation.
Best Surge Protector For Travel Trailer
If you have a travel trailer or a small RV that you like to take on camping trips, then you need a surge protector like the next product that I am going to review to keep your camping electronics safe from faulty campground electricity. It is actually a 50 amp surge protector, which is great for most of your camping needs.
When looking at the device, you will notice that there are five indicator lights. The top three will change patterns when there is an issue that you need to address, but when everything is fine and the power is functioning correctly, the three lights will be green. It will let you know when there is an open neutral or an open ground as well as whether the L1 and L2 connectors are properly connected.
The bottom two lights on the unit are there to let you know that everything is in working order. If either of those lights are not green, then there may have been a surge, and that means that the devices that you are trying to protect are not being protected.
To ensure that you can easily remove the device from the power source, there is a T-shaped grip on the plug. This surge protector is also designed to protect against inclement weather, so if you happen to be camping when a sudden storm happens, you don't have to worry about it being damaged.
- It has a user-friendly display.
- It has a weatherproof design, which is great for thunderstorms.
- The T-grip makes it easy to remove the device from the power source.
- It has a very simple system for knowing if there is an issue with the power flow. The company even marks it on the body of the device.
- This device can manage 4,200 joules of surge protection.
- The indicator lights are not very bright, making them difficult to see.
- There is no way to lock the surge protector to the power source.
- Unfortunately, it can fail. If it does, the manufacturer will replace it promptly.
This surge protector has a simple design that is great for a camping in a travel trailer. It is a device that is easy to use, and it will let you know when the power source fluctuates in any way.
Best Surge Protector For The Money
The final surge protector that I will be reviewing in this guide is another great option from Progressive Industries. The SSP-30XL is a great surge protector for individuals who are on a budget. It has all of the protective features that you want for your RV electronics, but the device is sold at a fraction of the cost, making it much more affordable.
To start, this is a 30 amp device, so you will need to take that into consideration. It is designed to constantly search for issues with the source of power like open ground, open neutral, or reverse polarity. If something is not right with the power source, there are three indicator lights that will let you know. It will let you know that the pedestal is not wired properly, if a surge has occurred, or even if the unit is overheating because of faulty wiring.
This surge protector is also designed to protect against inclement weather, so it comes with a cover that is designed to help keep it safe. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so if anything happens to the device, the cost of repairs will be covered.
- This surge protector is a great value.
- There is a locking mechanism built into this surge protector to make sure that your device does not get stolen.
- The LED indicators are brightly colored, which makes it easier to see them.
- There is no display to let you know how much power you are actually using.
If you don't have a lot of money to spend on a high-end surge protector, then this is a great option for you. It is designed to let you know if a surge occurs or if other electrical problems exist, and it is sold at a reasonably low price point, which makes it a great value.
A surge protector is a device that you should consider purchasing so that you can reduce the chance of damaging the electrical devices that you use while you are camping. Replacing and repairing damaged equipment can cost a lot of money, so be prepared by purchasing one of the RV surge protectors that I reviewed in this guide.
If you are looking for a recommendation for which one is the best option, then I'd say to go with the Progressive Industries EMS-PT30C Portable EMS RV Surge Protector because it is the best all around surge protector. It may cost a little more than its competitors, but it will give you all of the protection that your need.