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Surge Protector ; 6 Best 30A & 50A for 2021

Surge Protector In Lightning Storm

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Surge Protector ; 6 Best 30A & 50A for 2021

To protect your recreational vehicle and equipment, a necessary upgrade to your unit is a surge protector. This vital part is a must-have to protect modern electrical appliances, especially the expensive electronics in your RV. In this review, we will look at the benefits of installing a portable surge protector.

We will also review the best surge protectors on the market in 2021. Our report will focus on 30A and 50A portable units. We will add hardwired devices to this article at a later date.

If you install a hardwired 30A or 50A surge protector and are not a licensed electrician, you should not attempt this kind of installation. For the install to be done correctly, it should be left to a professional to perform. The added peace of mind that everything will function as designed when you employ a professional electrician is well worth the additional cost of having it installed professionally.

RV Power 101; What you should know

How to tell if I have 30A or 50A service in my RV

Identifying, whether your rig is 30A or 50A, is as easy as looking at your power cord and matching the plug end with the examples below. Also included are the specifications for each so you know the capabilities of your RV considering the power you will be consuming.

Specs 30A Male Plug 50A Male Plug
30a and 50A Male Plugs
Amps 30 50
Volts 120 120 (see *Note)
Watts 3,600 12,000

*Note: Most 50-amp RVs are wired to use each side of the 120-volt service separately, sending 120-volts to two separate “legs” of service. Usually, half of the RV’s 120-volt circuits are powered by one leg, and the other half is on the other leg.

A word of caution, NEVER plug an RV into a clothes dryer outlet. This may seem like common sense, but the fact remains there can be some confusion. In fact, your dryer’s outlet looks very similar to a 30-amp plug, ready to accept the three prongs. Connecting to a 30-amp dryer outlet can risk serious damage to your RV’s entire electrical system and possibly even causing a fire.

Shorepower: Is it 30A, 50A, or both services?

30A and 50A Plug Types

  • Plugs on RVs with 30 amp service and 50 amp service differ in design.
    • A 30 amp plug has three prongs – a 120-volt hot wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire – and is generally used on RVs with lower load requirements.
    • A 50 amp plug has four prongs – two 120 volt hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire – that supply two separate 50 amp, 120 volt feeds.
  • A 50 amp service RV provides a maximum of 12,000 watts.
  • Even with an adapter, your 30 amp service RV won’t receive more power than the 3,600 watts it can handle.
  • Conversely, if you use an adapter for a 50 amp RV, you’ll be limited to 3,600 watts.

If I have a 50A RV, can I plug it into 30A shore power?

The short answer is yes, you can. But the questions are:

  • what are the risks to my RV
  • or the risks to the campsite power source?

If you have an RV with 50A service and hooking up to 30A campsite power, you will need the 30A male to 50A female dogbone.

  • Be mindful of running your air conditioner and other power-draining appliances such as microwaves and even hair dryers at the same time.
  • If you have a newer RV, it may be equipped with an Energy Management System (EMS). This controls the appliances to prevent tripping the circuit breaker on the power source.
  • If you don’t have built-in EMS protection, there are two portable units listed in this article that offer this feature. One is for 30A (EMS-PT30X), and one is for 50A (EMS-PT50X ).

Benefits of an RV Surge Protector

A surge protector can identify a faulty power supply

You will get an alert if you attempt to plug your RV into a defective or unregulated power supply. Also, you get alerts if there is an issue with the connection between your RV and power source, as well as other potential electrical issues

Regulate the electrical flow

Surge protectors produced in the United States will only allow 140 volts to flow to your RV. Without a surge protector, any MORE than 140 volts would destroy your electrical appliances in seconds. If the problem is that the source is providing LESS than 140 volts, you will also have a problem. In this situation, your appliances and electronic equipment will attempt but fall short of performing efficiently.

Safety

The most critical feature of a surge protector is to safeguard you and your family from electrical shocks and fire hazards. Surge protectors are equipped with LED signals or alarms, as well as emergency cut-off switches. During electrical storms, these features will certainly protect your family and RV.

A surge protector will protect your investment. Whether your RV is worth a couple of thousand dollars or a hundred thousand dollars plus, you want to be protected. Whenever you pull into your campsite, there is a natural apprehension when plugging into the camp’s shore power for the first time. You and your investment are protected from any faulty power issues with a surge protector. Thus, the level of doubt is reduced greatly, and you will be a poster child for the “happy camper”!

There is no way to guarantee that you will not have problems with appliances or electronics in your RV when connecting to an external power source, even with surge protection. But, the brands/models listed here will give you broad protection. That, in turn, will give you peace of mind when plugging into a campground’s shore power.

I have assigned High, Mid, and Low range indicators based on the joules energy ratings.

50 AMP High End

Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X

Progressive Pt50X Surge Protectore

<===== Available from Amazon

The improved design of Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X includes features such as a state-of-the-art microprocessor, all-weather shield assembly, rugged pull handle, secure locking bracket, built-in scrolling digital display, and a tough Lean® housing. It also contains an Energy Management System (EMS) that will provide greater protection for your 50A service motorhome or travel trailer.

A sleek, compact, portable design makes this unit easy to use and store.  The all-weather shield provides additional protection while the unit is plugged in. It has a plug-and-play application with no special installation requirements.

Designed for recreational vehicle use only.

Product Features:

  • Highest joule rating (3,580J) of all the 50A portable surge protectors in this article
  • Energy Management System (EMS)
  • Will automatically shut off power to the RV when AC power falls below 104 volts or is higher than 132 volts.
  • Time Delay for Reset: 136 seconds
  • Will not allow power to the RV when there is reverse polarity, open neutral, open ground, or when 240 volts is detected
  • Will shut down power if AC power frequency deviates +/- 9 hertz from 60 cycles per second
  • Designed for outdoor use with a security locking bracket to prevent theft
  • Lifetime Warranty (excludes All Weather Shield Assembly)

Product Specs:

Surge Protection:
5-Mode / 3,580J / 88,000A max current spike
Response time: < 1 nanosecond (10⁻⁹ second)
Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W
Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Product Dimensions with All Weather Shield Assembly Cover: 6″ W x 18″ H x 6 1/8″ D

50 AMP Mid-Range

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL

<===== Available from Amazon

The Progressive Industries SSP-50XL is a portable RV surge protector with the added benefit of a built-in polarity tester. The built-in surge indicator notes the condition of the surge protector. Additionally, the polarity tester (dual-line for 50 Amp) checks the status of the power source before use.

Its sleek, compact, portable plug-and-play design makes this unit easy to use and store. The all-weather shield provides additional protection while the unit is plugged in.

Designed for recreational vehicle use only.

Product Features:

  • Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection
  • Miss-wired Pedestal Indication
  • Surge Failure Indicator
  • Thermally Protected
  • Weather Resistant
  • Brighter 3-Color LED Indicators
  • Locking Bracket
  • Rugged Pull Handle
  • Tough Lexan® Housing
  • All-Weather Shield Assembly
  • Designed for Outdoor Use
  • UL Certified and Canadian Approved
  • Lifetime Warranty (excludes All Weather Shield Assembly)

Product Specs:

Surge Protection:
5-Mode / 1650J / 45,000A max current spike
Response time: < 1 nanosecond (10⁻⁹ second)
Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W
Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Product Dimensions with All Weather Shield Assembly Cover: 5″ W x 13½” H x 5″ D

50 AMP Low-Range

Progressive Industries SSP-50X

SSP-50X Portable RV Smart Surge Protector

<===== Available from Amazon

Progressive Industries SSP-50X, is a portable RV surge protectors with the added benefit of a built-in polarity tester. The built-in surge indicator notes the condition of the surge protector.

Additionally, the polarity tester (dual-line for 50 Amp) checks the status of the power source before use. Its plug-and-play, sleek, compact, portable design makes this unit easy to use and store.  Also, this unit has the same joule rating (1650J), albeit without the All-Weather Shield Assembly, as the SSP-50XL, but at a lower price point.

Designed for recreational vehicle use only.

Product Features:

  • Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection
  • Miss-wired Pedestal Indication
  • Surge Failure Indicator
  • Thermally Protected
  • Weather Resistant
  • Rugged Pull Handle
  • Brighter 3-Color LED Indicator
  • Designed for Outdoor Use
  • Lifetime Warranty

Product Specs: Surge Protection:

5-Mode / 1650J / 45,000A max current spike
Response time: < 1 nanosecond (10⁻⁹ second)
Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W
Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Product Dimensions: 5″ W x 13½” H x 3″ D

30 AMP High End

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Surge Protector

<===== Available from Amazon

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Surge Protector helps to protect your RV against voltage fluctuations, power surges, and incorrectly wired shore power which can cause severe and costly damage to RV appliances and electronics. The improved design features include a state-of-the-art microprocessor, all-weather shield assembly, rugged pull handle, secure locking bracket, built-in scrolling digital display, and a tough Lean® housing.

The sleek, compact, and portable design make this unit easy to use and store. An all-weather shield provides additional protection while plugged in.

Designed for recreational vehicle use only.

Product Features:

  • Highest joule rating (1,790J) of all the 30A surge protectors in this article
  • Energy Management System (EMS)
  • Will automatically shut off power to the RV when AC power falls below 104 volts or is higher than 132 volts.
  • Time Delay for Reset: 136 seconds
  • Will not allow power to the RV when there is reverse polarity, open neutral, open ground, or when 240 volts is detected.
  • Will shut down power if AC power frequency deviates +/- 9 hertz from 60 cycles per second.
  • Designed for outdoor use with a security locking bracket to prevent theft
  • Lifetime Warranty (excludes All Weather Shield Assembly).

Product Specs:

Surge Protection:
3-Mode / 1,790J / 44,000A max current spike
Response time: < 1 nanosecond (10⁻⁹ second)
Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W
Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Product Dimensions with All Weather Shield Assembly Cover: 6″ W x 18″ H x 6 1/8″ D

30 AMP Mid-Range

Progressive Industries SSP-30XL

<===== Available from Amazon

Progressive Industries SSP-30XL is an all-weather portable surge protector with the added benefit of a built-in polarity tester, as well as a surge indicator that notes the condition of the device. Additionally, the polarity tester checks the status of the power source before use.

Its plug-and-play, sleek, compact, and portable design makes this unit easy to use and store. The all-weather shield provides additional protection while the unit is plugged in.

Designed for recreational vehicle use only.

Product Features:

  • Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection
  • Miss-wired Pedestal Indication
  • Surge Failure Indicator
  • Thermally Protected
  • Weather Resistant
  • Brighter 3-Color LED Indicators
  • Locking Bracket
  • Rugged Pull Handle
  • Tough Lexan® Housing
  • All-Weather Shield Assembly
  • Designed for Outdoor Use
  • UL Certified and Canadian Approved
  • Lifetime Warranty (excludes All Weather Shield Assembly)

Product Specs:

Surge Protection:
3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A max current spike
Response time: < 1 nanosecond (10⁻⁹ second)
Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W

30 AMP Low-Range

Progressive Industries SSP-30X

SSP-30X Portable RV Smart Surge Protector

<===== Available from Amazon

Progressive Industries SSP-30X is a portable RV surge protector is equipped with a built-in polarity tester, and the built-in surge indicator notes the condition of the surge protector. Additionally, the polarity tester checks the status of the power source before use.

With its sleek, compact, and portable design, this unit is easy to use and store.  The plug-and-play application means there is no installation required.

Designed for recreational vehicle use only.

Product Features:

  • Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection
  • Miss-wired Pedestal Indication
  • Surge Failure Indicator
  • Thermally Protected
  • Weather Resistant
  • Rugged Pull Handle
  • Brighter 3-Color LED Indicator
  • Designed for Outdoor Use
  • Lifetime Warranty

Product Specs:

Surge Protection:
3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A max current spike
Response time: < 1 nanosecond (10⁻⁹ second)
Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W
Operating Tem========s: -40C to +105C
Product Dimensions: 5″ W x 13½” H x 3″ D

Wrap Up

If you are like me and have a spot for your RV on your property and want to add a shore power pedestal the Siemens TL137US, available on Amazon, is a great choice.

Features:

  • UL Listed and Outdoor Rated
  • Elevated cover with padlock prevents unauthorized use
  • Receptacles protected by Siemens circuit breakers
  • Surface or pole mount
  • Uses Siemens and ElectriCenter RX type hubs

I hope I have met my goal of giving you some valuable knowledge on protecting your RV from power surges and miss-wired shore power outlets.

Camco Locking Cable

One more item that you should buy for your portable unit is a lock to prevent it from “walking away.”  This Camco Locking Cable is a perfect choice for the surge protectors with a Security Locking Bracket. I found that Amazon had the lowest cost online at the time of this posting.

Chip and Evi

There is no denying that RV travel is more popular today than it has ever been. With more than 485 locations, KOA reported that in 2020, there were more than 94.5 million camper households throughout North America. In the US, 48.2 million households camped at least once in 2020, including 10.1 million households that camped for the first time. Campers are more diverse than ever, with 60% of first-time campers in 2020 are from non-white groups, the highest rate since the inception of this report.
According to a Market Watch article published June 11, 2021, in an RVIA newsletter, RVing was hot in 2020. For example, well-known RV rental company Outdoorsy saw a 4,500% increase in bookings in 2020. And in 2021, there is reason to believe that this trend will continue. A recent survey by the RV Industry Association found that about three in 10 Americans hope to take an RV trip this year — 10% of whom have never done it before.
My wife Evi and I are in the 3 in 10 that plans to take an RV trip in 2021. As a matter of fact, since May 2021, we have been living in our RV full-time. We plan to live in our unit until the end of the year and then move into our permanent home. But, rest assured we will continue to take frequent trips in our motorhome.
With Covid 19 still in an issue in 2021, there is reason to believe travelers will want to venture out with family and close friends again. After all, there are over 4300 campgrounds in the USA to consider for your next group adventure.

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