A 50 amp RV surge protector should not be optional equipment on your RV. If your RV has a 50 amp service you need to protect it. And as a certified NRVIA RV inspector, I highly recommend the use of a high-quality electrical surge protector. This one purchase alone can potentially save you thousands of dollars in electrical repairs. Let me explain why.
If your RV has a 50 amp service, you most likely have a lot of expensive components that need protection. These could be air conditioners, control boards for a refrigerator, a washing machine, computers, TVs, etc. The whole idea of having a 50 amp RV is being able to run lots of electrical devices. And many can be running at the same time.
What is a surge protector?
Actually, what is often called a surge protector is really an RV Electrical Management System, or EMS. But one of the major features of an EMS is to protect against sudden surges of electricity. Therefore it has become common for many RVers to just refer to it as a surge protector.
However, an Electrical Management System can do so much more than just prevent damage from electrical surges. It essentially monitors the electrical connection to your RV at all times. If it senses that there is any harmful situation, it takes action to protect your RV’s entire electrical system. And by extension it also protects anything that is plugged into that system.
An EMS can protect your RV against –
- High voltage spikes
- Low voltage drops
- Reverse polarity
- Open neutral
- Open ground
A simple low-cost good surge protector may warn you that some of these dangerous situations are present. But they do not continually scan for electrical problems. And they don’t take action to save your electrical system and devices by killing the power to them.
Here is an example of a simple low-cost RV surge protector:
A high quality RV EMS – why you need it
As an RV travels around, the condition of the electrical service in each campground can vary widely. In some campgrounds, the electrical connection is great. In others, you can encounter potentially serious electrical safety problems at the RV power pedestal. We would all like to think that campground management is on top of these issues. But the plain truth is that the electrical connection we hope for is not always the case in reality.
Lightning is another factor that can harm your RV electrical system and devices. This can be hard to defend against since it is so sudden and can be catastrophic in damage. But a high quality RV EMS can shut off the sudden electrical spike from lightning in an instant. This protects all of the electrical components and appliances in your RV. It may fry the EMS unit, but better that than all of your expensive electronic devices.
Another harmful electrical situation is having the electrical voltage drop too low. This is usually because a campground becomes very full and their sub-par electrical service becomes overcrowded. When this happens, the voltage can drop so low that damage is done, especially to sensitive electronics.
Some of these electrical problems could even result in major damage to your RV wiring. But others could also do significant damage to all the electrical components and appliances that are connected to it as well. So why take this unnecessary risk at all? Why not insure against the worst by using a quality RV surge protector?
The best RV surge protector for your rig
As mentioned above, the best RV surge protector is actually an Electrical Management System. This is because it can give you peace of mind whenever you plug your RV into shore power. Yes, an RV EMS may cost more than a traditional surge protector. But considering the kind of protection it affords, I feel that it is well worth it.
You can get an EMS surge protector that is portable or one that is permanently installed. For most RVers the portable surge protector unit is fine. It is cost-effective and can go with you to another RV should you sell the one you have. Also, if it takes a high voltage hit from lightning, it can be replaced fairly quickly and inexpensively.
There are a couple of major manufacturers of the best quality 50 amp surge protector units. Either one can do a fine job, But I use the 50 amp RV surge protector manufactured by Surge Guard. Click on the image below to find out more about it.
Here is another 50 amp Electrical Management System surge protector that is very popular. Either unit will do a fine job. Just click on the image below for information on the Southwire surge guard.
Please comment below if you have had any experiences with RV surge protectors or Electrical Management Systems.