A 50 Amp RV Surge Protector – Why You Need It

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.

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.

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:

Surge Guard 44290 Portable 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.

Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model with LCD Display - 50 Amp

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.

Southwire Surge Guard Portable 50-Amp Surge Protector
Duane explains 50 amp surge protectors and why you need a high-quality EMS

Please comment below if you have had any experiences with RV surge protectors or Electrical Management Systems.

Your RV LP Gas Detector – Is It Working?

Your RV LP Gas Detector is one part of the life safety devices that your RV has on-board. Along with fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, LP gas detectors are essential RV safety equipment. And that is why inspecting these devices regularly is one of the most important RV inspections you can perform.

How Do RV LP Detectors Work?

Everyone knows that propane gas has a distinct smell. The problem is that by the time your nose recognizes that smell, you could already be in danger. So an RV LP gas detector is designed to sense excess propane or butane in the air before you can even smell the gas.

This gives you the opportunity to take potentially life-saving action right away. You should immediately shut off the propane at the tank valve to prevent further build-up of gas. Then you can begin to air out your RV to remove the danger. After this, you can begin to determine where the propane leak is coming from and have it repaired.

How To Inspect Your RV LP Detector

Since it is critical to have these LP gas detectors in good working condition, you need to inspect them regularly. The first inspection you should make is to find out how old the detector is. These devices have a 5 – 7 year life span of effectiveness. So if your detector is expired, change it right away.

Then once a week or so check to make sure that it still has power to operate. You can do this by making sure that the green light on the front of the device is on. Anything other than green requires immediate attention. Once a month you should perform a more thorough inspection of the device’s sensor. To do this, use a butane lighter or torch to emit small amounts of gas near the sensor. You should hear the alarm sound within seconds if the device is working properly.

Watch this video for more tips and information on RV LP detectors

Please comment below about any experiences you have had with your RV’s LP detector