Surge Protection for Your RV – What is It and Why You Need It
If you’re looking to protect your expensive electronics in your RV, one of the most cost-effective ways is to install surge protection. Remember when you bought your RV and the salesman tried to sell you on the extended warranty package? Sometimes it’s worth it, but oftentimes that extended warranty comes at an unreasonable price. Warranties can help you bear the costly burden of repairing or replacing your electronic equipment, but wouldn’t it be better if they didn’t get damaged in the first place?
This is where RV surge protection comes in. You see, all those electronic devices, appliances, and the electrical systems in your RV need to have a steady, consistent flow of electricity coming in for them to function properly and safely. Sometimes, you will plug into a faulty power outlet in the campground, or your vehicle gets affected by a lightning storm. In situations like these, the electrical current coming in can wildly and rapidly fluctuate. This can cause irreparable damage to your appliances and electronic equipment that are plugged into your vehicle’s electrical system.
There are generally two versions of surge protection available for RVs right now. You can buy a basic surge protector that you plug first into the power pedestal at a campground, then plug your RV’s electrical cord into. Surge protectors like this function by guarding your RV’s electrical system against dangerous electrical fluctuations coming from the power pedestal.
Then there are the more advanced power protection models, which are basically surge protectors with additional features built in. These power protection devices offer advanced power management for your RV, not just guard against electrical surges. These are popularly known as electrical management systems (EMS). Some companies call them “electrical monitoring systems”, but they are essentially the same thing.
Installing an EMS in your RV allows you to get a hardwired solution to guard against not only power surges from campground power pedestals, but also protect your electronic equipment from voltage drops and those RV park posts that have been incorrectly wired (elevated ground line voltage, open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, etc.).
An EMS is designed to shut down the electricity to your RV when it detects the AC power dropping or rising to a set level. The specific voltage levels will differ slightly depending on the manufacturers of the EMS models, but are usually set at around 102-104 volts minimum, meaning the RV power shuts down when voltage drops to this level, and around 132 volts maximum. Additionally, an EMS will also cut off electricity to your RV when it detects reverse polarity, open neutral, open ground, or if the power frequency swerves either +/- 9 hertz from 60 cycles per second.
Either a surge protector or an EMS will be a better alternative to just buying that extended warranty package for your RV. Some RV owners don’t really need the advanced features of an EMS, while others can’t sleep without knowing their vehicle is hardwired to a more technologically-advanced EMS.
Electrical Management System Hardwire 50A/240V – Offers total protection for your RV electronics as well as allowing you to get the information via the built-in digital display.
50Amp Volt Booster & Surge Protector – Provides 4,800 Joules of advanced surge protection, with a fully-automatic 10% voltage boost when needed.