surge protector reviews

The 15 Best RV Surge Protectors to Buy in 2020

Peter Wade

When you connect your RV to a power source at an RV park, many things can happen from these unfamiliar power outlets that can damage your RV’s electrical system and even fry your electronics. A simple and affordable method to prevent this is to find the best RV surge protector for your RV.

An RV surge protector will protect your electronics from many problems caused by malfunctioning power outlets. The voltage may be too low, or the outlet may suddenly provide a huge surge of electricity like in the case of a lightning strike. 

All of these problems will cause damage to your RV that’s expensive and troublesome to repair and replace. Read on to find the best RV surge protector to travel hassle-free with your RV.

Comparison Chart of Best RV Surge Protectors

#RV Surge ProtectorsPricesOur RatingsAmp
1Progressive Industries SSP30X$*****30
2Progressive Industries SSP-30XL$*****30
3Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X$$$*****30
4Southwire Surge Guard 44280$$****30
5Southwire Surge Guard 44750$***30
6Hughes Autoformer PWD30$$*****30
7Progressive Industries SSP30$$****30
8Southwire Surge Guard 34930$$$*****30
9Progressive Industries SSP-50XL$$*****50
10Progressive Industries HW50C$$$*****50
11Southwire Surge Guard 35550$$****50
12Camco Power Defender$$$****50
13Hughes Autoformer 22050$$$$$*****50
14Camco Circuit Analyzer$$*****50
15Southwire Surge Guard 44290$$****50

Top-Rated Surge Protectors For RV

Almost all RVers know about the threat of power surges: sudden fluctuations in the current that simultaneously cause extensive damages to unprotected electrical systems and present considerable fire hazards

By owning such a device, the electrical system of your RV and your own personal electronics should be well-protected against the dreaded power surges.

Down below, you will find notable specifications as well as complete reviews with pros and cons of highly sought-after surge protectors designed for recreational vehicles on the market.

Best 30 Amp RV Surge Protectors

1. Progressive Industries SSP30X RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries 313.1168 SSP30X Smart Surge Protector
The 15 Best RV Surge Protectors to Buy in 2020 1

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Wattage: 3,600W

Why This Is The Best 

Engineered for outdoor applications, Progressive Industries SSP30X is held in high regard by RVers because of its outstanding endurance. Being weather-resistant, the Progressive Industries model performs admirably in a wide range of conditions which make it quite adaptable.

In addition to that, the thermal tolerance of SSP30X happens to be second to none in its price range. So if you desire the best RV surge protector in terms of durability, Progressive Industries SSP30X is for you.

Packing an integrated polarity tester, the surge protector of Progressive Industries let you avoid common wiring mistakes like reverse polarity, open ground and open neutral.

Using the bright LED indicators on SSP30X, you should be able to determine if your current setup is good. As it’s made to be a plug-and-play unit, Progressive Industries SSP30X features straightforward, no-nonsense installation. In most of the cases, you could get the surge protector up and running within a blink of an eye.

Thanks to the use of light but rugged materials, the Progressive Industries device is unmatched once it comes to portability.

As a new RV owner, it can be overwhelming what is a mandatory purchase and what is nice to have. This product was listed as a mandatory purchase but to buy this product at an RV parts store is way expensive. Several of my RV friends highly recommended this product for the quality and price! I know for myself I feel much more secure having this product when I plug in my RV at campgrounds. Definitely would recommend this product. Great price as well.

Shared by K9 Carr

Pros:

  • Sturdy pull handle 
  • Undemanding installation 
  • Versatile and flexible  

Cons: 

  • Inconsistent performance between units
  • Customer service requires improvements   

2. Progressive Industries SSP-30XL RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries SSP-30XL
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Wattage: 3,600W

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Attracted by SSP30X but it seems undersized for the electrical system of your RV? If that is the case then SSP-30XL is going to be what you need. Like its brother, Progressive Industries SSP-30XL is made for the outdoors so it’s capable of withstanding the elements. Furthermore, SSP-30XL also possesses LED indicators on it that warn RVers of wiring mistakes. Last but not least, Every RVer from novices to veterans could put the surge protector of Progressive Industries to use due to its uncomplicated installation.

Boasting a combination of sturdy pull handle and secured locking bracket, SSP-30XL receive compliments from RV surge protector reviews for its robust handling characteristics. It’s a breeze for you to move the Progressive Industries model from spot to spot without having much difficulty. That is why regarding mobility, Progressive Industries SSP-30XL is undisputedly the best RV surge protector these kinds of days. As for post-purchase support, Progressive Industries offer a lifetime warranty which speaks volumes about the quality of SSP-30XL.

Certified by UL LLC, a renowned global safety certification company, Progressive Industries SSP-30XL is able to guarantee an excellent level of safety for users.

Purchased the 30amp model ( only has 825 Joule Rating ) for a 29 foot travel trailer February 2016. Face of unit has instructions for the possible light ( green, blue, red ) combinations and a operating guide for when the unit instructions fade. Surge protector has a limited lifetime warranty ( does not cover weather shield ) which is only good as the Company backing the product, and can only be tested after the unit has a problem.

This unit has a security tab of soft metal to secure with lock and chain, but I think it could be quickly defeated with a good lineman’s pliers. Hardened steel would have been better. I used a 7′ Kryptonite double loop cable and a Master lock to secure the unit against the fast grab thief, but this would not stop someone with bolt cutters.

A flip open weather shield is attached to the unit with 4 screws, a rubber gasket forms a seal between the unit and the weather shield. There is no gasket for the flip open shield and this might be a problem with rain or snow. It does have some rubber fingers on the bottom of the shield ( cord entry point ) called a splash guard to prevent rain from hitting the ground and splashing up into the unit.

Surge protector is 14.5″ in length, 5″ in width, and 5″ in depth with the weather shield attached. The unit size fills the power pedestal and this prevents the door from properly closing. This allows sun, rain and snow to have direct contact with unit. The RV Park Manager said that I could cover it with a garbage bag, but I decided to protect the unit with a 12.00 Lowe’s garbage can since the park needs to read and bill for power use. I can only hope that other Managers are so easy going.

This unit was shipped directly from the Company by FedEx in it’s product box. A plain box would have been better to prevent theft if FedEx leaves your package unattended at your RV or home.

Product seems to be well built and hope to use it for a long period ( full time RV ) of time without any problems.

Shared by Robert

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Well made and tough 
  • User-friendly interface 

Cons: 

  • A few RVers complain about warranty claims 
  • Lacks a reset function 

3. Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Wattage: 12,000W

Why We Love It 

Due to its resilient housing, Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X features impressive thermal tolerance compared to the average surge protectors. Able to work between – 40 and +105 degrees Celsius, the model of Progressive Industries stands out from other market models as the ideal purchase for extreme temperatures.

In addition, being waterproof, EMS-PT30X withstand torrential downpour without trouble in most cases. All in all, if you intend to hit the road in adverse weather, Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X would be your best RV surge protector.

In terms of interface, the Progressive Industries surge protector packs a digital display so you could tell if something takes place in the grounding, wiring,… Located below the display under transparent cover is the outlet of Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X, it let you connect the device to your setup.

To make sure that the surge protector stays in place, Progressive Industries give it a locking bracket which comes in handy in lots of situations. The unit possesses a convenient pull handle as well to facilitate handling in the outdoors.

To reassure people about the build quality of EMS-PT30X, Progressive Industries provide all users with a lifetime warranty. That means if your EMS-PT30X suddenly break down in use due to manufacturing defects, you should be able to claim a free replacement.

Works as advertised. Confirms the electrical circuit is working properly before allowing flow to your RV. It displays amps being consumed so you know if limits are being surpassed. A little bulking, but manageable and while it’s made for outdoor use, I tend to keep a plastic bag over the plugged in unit to ensure it’s lomg use.

I use a couple of pad locks and a chain with one lonck around the cord and the other end locked to the eclectical outlet. The delay of electric flow after plugging in or an electrical interruption ensures RV components are protected. Have only used it for a couple of months and so far so good

Shared by Tim L

Pros:

  • Fast shipping service 
  • Brilliant weather resistances 
  • Secured locking bracket 

Cons:

  • High acquisition cost 
  • Several customer notice condensation under the digital display   

4. Southwire Surge Guard 44280

Southwire Surge Guard 44280
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Wattage: 3,600W

Why We Love It 

While its ratings seem to be unexceptional compared to other surge protectors, Southwire Surge Guard 44280 remains the top choice of RVers that value cost-effectiveness. Using solid, time-honored components, the device of Southwire is capable of lasting for many years on the road.

Moreover, 44280 is accompanied by a fairly reasonable price so you don’t have to empty your wallet to get it. Built to withstand snow as well as rain, Surge Guard 44280 works flawlessly in the outdoors.

In use, the Surge Guard model would test then display the status of your electrical setup using LED light indicators. Typical troubles such as open neutral, open ground, reserve polarity, reserve ground, … should be detected the moment you plug in 44280.

Due to its compact construction and straightforward setup, Surge Guard 44280 could be moved effortlessly between applications depending on the situation. The modest profile of the surge protector also ensures that you have space for other necessities in your recreational vehicle.

Since Surge Guard 44280 is at heart a sacrificial unit, it’s going to be useless after a single power surge. Still, the price of a brand new 44280 is cheaper than the cost to repair a fried electrical system of RV. All in all, it’s safe to say that the Southwire model is the best RV surge protector on the market nowadays for casual travels.

I personally have not run into campgrounds with flaky power pedestals, but I have heard horror stories. I bought this to give myself some piece of mind and insurance against power fluctuations.
Simple to use, although sometimes hard to see the LED’s in broad daylight.

Shared by D. Weise

Pros:

  • Affordable and trustworthy
  • Marvelous element resistance
  • Unambiguous functions  

Cons:

  • Could only survive one surge 
  • Quality control is barely acceptable 

5. Southwire Surge Guard 44750

Southwire Surge Guard 44750
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Joule: 510J

Why We Love It 

So you have a limited shopping budget and need a surge protector in a hurry? If that is the case, you must take a good look at Southwire Surge Guard 44750. Despite the fact that it comes at a rather low price, the 44750 still packs plenty of values that RVers desire.

Boasting a weatherproof body, the Southwire surge protector holds itself together well in outdoor settings. In addition to that, thanks to the brilliant shock shield, Southwire Surge Guard 44750 possesses excellent shock protection in most applications.

One great feature of 44750 is that it shut off power by itself without outside intervention if it senses ground faults. As a result, you have nothing to worry about while using the Surge Guard model. The surge protector requires manual reset after ground faults but that is an insignificant inconvenience.

In terms of compatibility, Southwire Surge Guard 44750 would function perfectly on a variety of campers, trailers, motorhomes and so on. Therefore, you should experience negligible restrictions using 44750 on your trips.

As for issue notification, Southwire Surge Guard 44750 incorporates an indicator lens which makes it simple to tell if something happens. All things considered, Surge Guard 44750 is the best 30-Amp RV surge protector at its price range.

Used this surge guard with our travel trailer at every stop on a trip to Seattle area and Oregon coast, and this unit worked well for us. It provides basic surge protection, plus a limited function circuit tester capability and on/off ‘master’ switch controlling power to the coach. Unit was on line in working under very wet conditions, including a torrential downpour one night in Seattle, and it worked great–we had nary a hiccup with it.

Shared by Tony Maxey

Pros:

  • Strong built 
  • Highly affordable 
  • Compact and light 

Cons: 

  • A couple of units fail sooner than expected 
  • Some RVers complain about repeated faulting in use

6. Hughes Autoformer PWD30 RV Surge Protector

Hughes Autoformer PWD30
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Joule: 2,400J

Why We Love It 

Unable to stick around to check up on the surge protector of your recreational vehicle? Then you should definitely come to like Hughes Autoformer PWD30. Boasting built-in Bluetooth connectivity, the Hughes Autoformer unit permits you to monitor the status of your electrical setup through your smartphone without much difficulty. If PWD30 notices odd readings, it would proceed to send text messages straight to RVers to warn about possible dangers. In the case safety parameters have been breached, it’s going to shut down power automatically. 

Once plugged in, it usually takes about 4 seconds for PWD30 to turn on which is pretty fast as other market models tend to require minutes. In order to protect delicate appliances used by recreational vehicles, the surge protector of Hughes Autoformer features a 90-second delay after power is back on. The spike module of Hughes Autoformer PWD30 would be rendered useless if it’s subjected to a single power surge. Fortunately, the module is both replaceable and affordable so you could get your RV surge protector back online within moments.

Due to its slim body, Hughes Autoformer PWD30 is a wise investment for vehicles that have somewhat limited storage space. If you want to save your space on your rig, the Hughes Autoformer model if your best RV surge protector.

Pros:

  • Consistent performance
  • Allow remote monitoring
  • Clear-cut notifications 

Cons: 

  • Several surge protectors arrive with incorrect parts
  • Quality control could use some work.

7. Progressive Industries SSP30 RV Surge Protector

The 15 Best RV Surge Protectors to Buy in 2020 2
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Wattage: 3,600W

Why We Love It 

At less than two pounds, Progressive Industries SSP30 is one of the lightest surge protectors for RV money can buy. Needless to say, the portability of the Progressive Industries unit proves superior to the average models on the market too. In addition, thanks to its highly-compact profile, SSP30 would fit well in the glove compartment of your recreational vehicle. As a result, you don’t need to leave behind crucial travel accessories to make room for Progressive Industries SSP30.

Through the LED light indicators, SSP30 is going to keep you constantly informed about the status of your electrical setup. So by comparing signals from the indicators with analytic results listed on the case, you could instantly tell if you experience issues like reverse polarity, open neutral, and open ground. As for the setup,  you should be able to install Progressive Industries SSP30 within minutes. Since its installation happens to involve no tool, the device of Progressive Industries is a wonderful surge protector for beginners.

Regarding cost, Progressive Industries SSP30 is accompanied by a fair price tag which is why it’s a good match for most budget-minded RVers.

I purchased this in August 2014. I live in central Florida which has to be one of the most inhospitable areas of the country for electronics. This unit sat outside covered only with a bucket from direct shielding from rain. It was mostly used to maintain power to the coach at home during storage. Well I am here to tell you, this thing put up with 5 years of hurricanes, thunderstorms, 90+ humidity, Florida heat and salt air.

The coach never suffered any damage. So when this finally happened (see photo), I submitted a claim online with Progressive Industries. Withing 90 minutes, I received back a response saying warranty approved, and they will be sending me a replacement. Oh! It gets better. It was not just 2 weeks ago, my 50 surge protector failed, and they replaced that without question and with the newer model. So in a nutshell, this is a product that does what it says and a company that stands behind it.

Shared by J. R.

Pros:

  • Marvelous handling
  • Sleek and compact
  • Economical

Cons:

  • Ill-suited for outdoor use
  • Overheat on occasions

8. Southwire Surge Guard 34930

Southwire Surge Guard 34930
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 30A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Wattage: 3,600W

Why We Love It 

Boasting an LCD (English), Southwire Surge Guard 34930 makes it simple for you to observe important statistics of your electrical system. Upon plugged-in, a 10-second countdown shall begin on the display of the Southwire model which signifies its startup sequence.

To protect electronics of your rig, 34930 also incorporates a much-needed 128-second delay once power is applied to your RV. Because of that, you can rest assured knowing that essential appliances on your recreational vehicle would be in good hands during and after power surges.

Just like many of its competitors on the market, Southwire Surge Guard 34930 uses a sacrificial design to protect electronics after being subjected to power surges. You should be able to tell if your surge protector has been sacrificed by checking the indicator next to “Surge”.

In the case the indicator is lit, the Southwire unit has finished its duty and you need to replace it. Other functions of sacrificed units still work normally but it’s strongly recommended that you secure new surge protectors nonetheless. 

In order to help RVers address wiring faults, the model of Surge Guard contains integrated testers that notify people of polarity, ground and similar issues. To sum it up, for RVers that desire expedient protection, Southwire Surge Guard 34930 is the best RV surge protector available.

Pros:

  • Outstanding compatibility
  • User-friendly control 
  • Useful indicators 

Cons: 

  • Sub-par packaging 
  • The design needs a few overhauls 

Best 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors

9. Progressive Industries SSP-50XL RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: 120V And 240V
  • Wattage: 12,000W

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Coming from the Smart Surge Protector (SSP) series of Progressive Industries, SSP-50XL is a solid model that competently delivers all-around surge protection to electrical systems of recreational vehicles.

By making use of first-class components, the Progressive Industries surge protector is able to operate smoothly in the outdoors. Things such as heat, humidity, rainwater and so on would have insignificant influences on the field performance of SSP-50XL. The device also needs next to no maintenance so you don’t have to worry about upkeep while using it. 

For setup, the model of Progressive Industries only requires a bit of time and effort once it comes to installation. Therefore, SSP-50XL is comparatively well-received by inexperienced RVers who know rather little about electronics, wiring and associated issues.

The ability of Progressive Industries SSP-50XL to adapt to a wide range of applications also proves to be a major advantage if you switch vehicles every now and then. Moreover, as the lightweight unit is accompanied by an ergonomic pull handle, you could manipulate it as you see fit.

Similar to other models in the series, Progressive Industries SSP-50XL boasts LED indicators that keep you informed about the status of your electrical system. As a result, SSP-50XL is often considered to be the best 50-Amp RV surge protector for people that wish to stay up-to-date.

I’m reviewing the Progressive Industries SSP-50XL. This is a superior quality product that does its job very well. It provides excellent surge protection, and once you plug it in, it analyzes the circuit for incorrect wiring and ground. It does NOT provide protection for over/under voltage conditions; only for “surges.”

Having said that, it protected my RV on my very next trip in a wicked storm. Very very happy with it! Just be aware with what product you are purchasing, as it’s not exactly full protection. The locking ring is great to run a cable through, but isn’t very large of a hole.

Shared by Skipper

Pros:

  • Top-notch adaptability
  • Reliable and dependable 
  • Great values for the price 

Cons:  

  • Quality control urgently needs refinements 
  • Certain LED light burn out over time

10. Progressive Industries HW50C RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries HW50C
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: 120V And 240V
  • Wattage: 12,000W

Why We Love It 

Featuring surge, polarity and voltage defense, Progressive Industries HW50C is an excellent albeit expensive surge protector for recreational vehicles. Through its helpful remote display, HW50C shall notify you of potential issues in the electrical system pretty much instantly. As Progressive Industries put error codes on the case of its unit, you could tell what needs to be done to return things to normal in a matter of seconds. Additionally, a time delay function is available too which keeps appliance safe from accidental 240V. 

Following the trend of the industry, the Progressive Industries model is made as a hassle-free, plug-and-play device. Because of that, installing HW50C to the electrical system of your rig should be a walk in the park.   As for maintenance, Progressive Industries HW50C essentially needs no special care throughout its life. Once a component breaks down, you would be able to replace it with relative ease. That is why HW50C is acknowledged by experts and experienced RVers as the best RV surge protector money can buy.

Regarding endurance, the surge protector of Progressive Industries is strong enough to handle a variety of weather and conditions in the outdoors without facing failures. 

This is the best protection for your RV’s electrical system. This is my second EMS from Progressive. The first one was damaged in a flood, along with the RV. I installed this as soon as I got my new RV. The biggest problem that I have had in campgrounds is low voltage and low voltage will burn out your A/C compressor. When the voltage gets down to 105 V this EMS will turn off the power until the voltage comes back up and then will turn it back on. I like the digital read out that tells you what the problem is. The readout also tells you what the voltage and amp draw is on both L1 and L2 and the HZ.

The installation is moderately difficult depending on how easy it is to access the power line to your breaker panel. The most difficult part for me was getting the 2 amp sensing coils over the load lines and getting all 3 wires into the connection points all at the same time. 6 gauge wire is very stiff and hard to work with in such a confined space.

Shared by Bob

Pros:

  • Sublime performance
  • Nice lifetime warranty 
  • Intuitive handling 

Cons: 

  • Steep cost 
  • Some minor inconsistencies in operation 

11. Southwire Surge Guard 35550

Southwire Surge Guard 35550
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Wattage: 12,000W

Why We Love It 

Designed to be a powerful high-performance surge protector, Southwire Surge Guard 35550 earns remarkable appreciation from RVers around the globe.

In use, the model of Southwire is able to offer thorough protection against all usual electrical issues including power surges, open neutral, open ground, reserve polarity, high and low voltage,… Therefore, if you truly seek complete security for your delicate electronics, the Surge Guard unit would undoubtedly be the best surge protector for RV you could acquire these kinds of days.

Unlike most models on the market, Surge Guard 35550 integrates an automatic reset function which is quite convenient once it comes to power restoration following surges. So by fitting the device of Southwire to your electrical setup, you should be able to comfortably make use of your appliances on the road.

Also, Southwire Surge Guard 35550 packs a 128-second reset delay, a much-needed function for RVers that worry about the integrity of the A/C compressor. Regarding installation, it’s a breeze for people to set up 35550 in the average vehicles.

Through a series of LED lights on its case, Surge Guard 35550 would offer you a constant flow of key information. That being said, if you want more dada, Southwire also offers an optional remote LCD display that is sold separately.

An easy to install electrical device that can save you thousands in repairs and replacement of electronics. Just ask your local RV repair shop how many times they have had a customer come in with a burned up microwave or a shot ‘fridge because of a miss-wired electrical post, or from a surge during an electrical storm. This unit does cost some, but your safety has no price and it is far less than the cost of a new ‘fridge.

Shared by Jim Chemsak

Pros:

  • Rugged construction 
  • Simple, no-nonsense setup
  • Top-notch surge protection 

Cons: 

  • A bit costly 
  • Some units seem to be used on arrival 

12. Camco Power Defender

Camco Power Defender
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: 120V 
  • Joule: 4,200J

Why We Love It 

Employing well-contoured grips, Camco Power Defender lets RVers easily plug and unplug it in a variety of electrical setups. Moreover, as the exterior surfaces of Power Defender utilize weather-resistant materials, it’s capable of enduring challenging outdoor conditions.

Because of the bright diagnostic LED lights, faults such as reverse polarity, open neutral, open ground and so on could be identified in no time. As for the price, the Camco surge protector seems to be more expensive than other models on the market but its performance justifies the cost.

To ensure smooth operation, Camco Power Defender employs an auto-connect/disconnect feature that works based on preset operating conditions. If it spots dangerous signs from the system, the unit of Camco is going to cut off power at once.

After everything returns to normal, Power Defender would automatically restore power to your recreational vehicle.  Hence, if all you need is a surge protector that requires scan inputs from users in use, Camco Power Defender should be an ideal choice.

As for compatibility, Camco Power Defender would match a wide range of RV-related applications. That is why owners of Power Defender have total freedom while using the Camco device.

Pros:

  • Superb handling
  • Portable and tough
  • Helpful customer service 

Cons: 

  • High-priced 
  • Certain features need to be redesigned 

13. Hughes Autoformer 22050 RV Surge Protector

Hughes Autoformer 22050
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: ≈ 100V 
  • Wattage: 12,000W

Why We Love It 

Capable of working as a surge protector and a voltage booster, Hughes Autoformer 22050 is a must-have for adventurous RVers. If the unit of Hughes Autoformer deems voltage of your electrical setup to be too low, which could damage particular appliances, it would boost the voltage.

Regarding operation, 22050 is known to bring voltages as low as ≈ 100V up to ≈115V then stabilize the systems without experiencing noticeable fluctuations in the aftermath. That means you would have peace of mind while visiting old campgrounds, RV parks,… 

On the other hand, if the Hughes Autoformer model runs into extreme power surges, its built-in surge protector module would be sacrificed to safeguard the integrity of your electronics. The module is replaceable so once the original one is out of commission, it’s a breeze to get yourself a replacement from the manufacturer.

Compared to other surge protectors nowadays, 22050 is markedly heavier so its field portability is mediocre. Additionally, it’s widely advised that you keep the unit away from downpours as it’s unable to handle rainwater.

Aside from the unit itself, you would also receive a free cable lock if you decide to purchase Hughes Autoformer 22050. Therefore, you could secure your lavish surge protector-voltage booster against theft on the road. 

Pros:

  • 2-in-1 package
  • Replaceable and affordable surge module 
  • Fit lots of RV setups 

Cons: 

  • Expensive price  
  • A bit cumbersome 

14. Camco Circuit Analyzer RV Surge Protector

The 15 Best RV Surge Protectors to Buy in 2020 3
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: 125V
  • Joule: 4,200J

Why We Love It 

By incorporating power grip handles, Camco Circuit Analyzer facilitates plugging and unplugging on the road. Moreover, as Circuit Analyzer packs a weather-resistant case, it’s able to work in a variety of conditions which is a big plus. Last but not least, the compact body of the surge protector ensures that storage space is less than an issue for most of the time. All in all, the Camco unit is highly sought after by outdoor enthusiasts throughout the world.

For ratings, Camco Circuit Analyzer could guarantee an impressive surge protection of 4,200J, more than enough in usual RV applications. In case you want to use Circuit Analyzer as a 30A surge protector, Camco offers an adapter that sold separately. Once it’s plugged in, the device of Camco would run tests to determine the state of your electrical system. Should the surge protector notice potential troubles, it’s going to notify the users using the exterior LED light indicators. 

Though Camco Circuit Analyzer is not exactly cheap, you should still be able to buy it without emptying your wallet. So if you want something of adequate quality but your fiance is slightly tight, give the Camco unit a look.

Pros:

  • Affordable 
  • Durable and compact
  • Nice diagnostic lights 

Cons:

  • Certain grounding issues
  • Fickle performance

15. Southwire Surge Guard 44290

Southwire Surge Guard 44290
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Ampere: 50A
  • Voltage: 120V And 240V 
  • Wattage: 12,000W

Why We Love It 

Basic but functional, Southwire Surge Guard 44290 is usually considered to be the favorite surge protector of RVers that prioritize straightforwardness.

At first glance, you would see a series of diagnostic LED indicators as well as explanations of the light signals. As a result, identifying issues in the electrical setup of your rig is going to be a piece of cake in most of the cases. Open ground, reserve polarity, open neutral and so on would become minor inconveniences if you keep the Southwire unit on your recreational vehicle while traveling.  

In use, 44290 prove compatible with a variety of electrical setups but if necessary, the unit also accepts power cord adapters. That being said, Southwire often suggests that you refrain from using adapters alongside the surge in run full-load applications.

Many power cord adapters these kinds of days could cause electrical fires if the ampere rating exceeds the normal parameter. Because of that, if you intend to make use of adapters, it’s a good idea to check up on them from time to time. 

As for durability, the presence of the weatherproof cover means that Southwire Surge Guard 44290 should be able to take on outdoor conditions without much difficulty.

In terms of post-purchase support, Southwire offers users of Surge Guard 44290 a 1-year factory warranty which is fairly adequate.  

Pros:

  • Reasonable cost
  • Slim and mobile
  • No-nonsense functions

Cons: 

  • Life expectancy is a bit inconsistent
  • Several customers receive defective units 

What is an RV Surge Protector? 

surge protector for rv
This surge protector protects your RV’s electrical system.

An RV surge protector is a device that you plug into the power source on the campground, then you would plug your RV’s cable into the surge protector.

This surge protector protects your RV’s electrical system from any problems stemming from the power outlet. For example, the power outlet might be wired incorrectly or its voltage might be too low. In case of a lightning strike, the outlet might provide a sudden electrical spikes to your RV. 

Since your RV’s appliances require a consistent level of voltage to operate safely, all of these issues will wreak havoc on your electronics. In short, an RV surge protector keeps your electronics safe.  

An RV surge protector is like insurance for your electronics.

How Does an RV Surge Protector Work?

An RV surge protector typically detects and shuts down when the power supply is at dangerously low or high levels, thus not allowing this problematic electrical source enter your RV and power your electronics. 

This is a simple yet super effective mechanism.

There are different types of RV surge protector. You will find the more expensive ones that offer much more extensive protection for your RV. 

Types of Surge Protectors

best RV surge protector

There are two types of RV surge protectors with different levels of protection. While an RV surge protector provides a little less protection and costs less, an RV electronic management system offers a more comprehensive insurance against electrical accidents, thus is more expensive. 

That said, which type is the best RV surge protector for your RV depends on your needs. Both are well worth the price you pay for them. 

RV Surge Protector 

An RV surge protector typically protects your RV’s electrical system from higher-than-normal voltage and sudden electrical surge, hence the name of the device. This is like an entry-level protective device, thus are considered by many first-time RV owners.

RV Electronic Management System (EMS)

An RV EMS can protect your RV’s electronics from a range of electrical problems, including power surge, low voltage, high voltage, and also other common issues such as overheating plug or receptacle, reverse polarity, high neutral, open ground and mis-wired power outlet.

Such is really an extensive protection, thus it is well worth the price if you are a full-time RVer. While an EMS is quite the best surge protector for RV, you should make a decision based on your budget and your camping needs.

Almost all RVers know about the threat of power surges: sudden fluctuations in the current that simultaneously cause extensive damages to unprotected electrical systems and present considerable fire hazards

By owning such a device, the electrical system of your RV and your own personal electronics should be well-protected against the dreaded power surges.

How to Choose the Best RV Surge Protector

After you have decided whether to get an entry-level RV surge protector or the extensive RV electronic management system based on your needs, choosing the best RV surge protector or choosing the best EMS is pretty straightforward. 

30 amp vs 50 amp

Your RV’s electrical system will typically be either a 30 amp service or a 50 amp service. How to know which one your RV has? Check the type of plugs in your RV: 30-amp plugs have three pins, and 50-amp plugs have four.  

The more recent RVs and trailers usually come with a 50 amp service while the older ones come with a 30 amp service. In general, a 30 amp service is more common is smaller RVs with less appliances that consume electricity. 

First, choose the RV surge protector or EMS that matches your RV’s electrical system. If you have a 30 amp service, choose a surge protector that’s for 30-amp RVs. If your RV has a 50 amp service, pick a surge protector for 50-amp RVs. 

Portable vs permanent

The portable RV surge protector is what you would normally come across. You would plug the portable RV surge protector into the power outlet at the campground, then plug your RV’s cable into the surge protector. 

Meanwhile, a permanent RV surge protector is wired inside your RV. 

To pick the best RV surge protector, consider each type’s pros and cons. 

A portable RV surge protector does not require installation and can easily be replaced if it gets fried while protecting your electronics. However, being portable means it can get stolen, unless you have it locked up, which requires buying a separate lock. 

Other cons include it’s quite easy to forget it at the campground. If the power outlet is too low, you might have to leave the surge protector on the ground. If the ground is wet, this is not recommended. 

In contrast, a hardwired surge protector is a part of your RV and cannot be stolen. You won’t have any problem in bad weather and won’t ever have to leave the surge protector on wet ground.

However, installation is complicated and requires experience. If you’re a first time RV owner, most likely you’ll have to get a mechanic to install it for you. Installation also means when you sell your RV, you’re also selling the surge protector with it and cannot keep it for your next RV. 

You can find an RV surge protector for $100 and above, while an EMS can cost from $250 to $500. Consider the amount of time and money they can save you, their price is actually not exactly “expensive”. 

If you’re a full-time RVer, having your electronics damaged is costly and troublesome. Be smart and get the best RV surge protector to hedge against the risk of electrical issues caused by campground’s power outlets. Happy camping and safe driving with our comprehensive guides.

Conclusion

You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV battery, best RV generator, best solar panels for RV with detailed reviews in RV Electrical category. In these reviews, we only include and recommend the best products with the highest ratings among highly sold products on the market.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Mickey B December 25, 2019
  2. Avatar Peter Foronda January 15, 2020
  3. Avatar Jodie Grogan March 8, 2020

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