The Best 30 Amp & 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors You Can Buy in 2022

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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 have a surge protector for your RV.

It 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.

RV Surge Protectors, Compared

 Product's namePriceKey FeaturesMore Info
Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector (1 MIN), SSP-30XProgressive Industries 30 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector (1 MIN),...$$Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection. Miss wired Pedestal Indication. Surge Failure Indicator
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, Thermally Protected
See Latest Price
Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector With Cover (1 MIN), SSP-30XLProgressive Industries 30 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector With Cover...$$Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection, Miswired Pedestal Indication, Surge Failure Indicator
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, All Weather Shield Assembly, Thermally Protected
See Latest Price
Heat Storm Phoenix Infrared Space Heater with Attachable Feet, Remote Control, Energy...Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Progressive Industries Portable RV...$$$Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 1,790J / 44,000A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Weather Resistant/designed for Outdoor Use
Security Locking Bracket
See Latest Price
Progressive Industries 50 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector With Cover (1 MIN), SSP-50XLProgressive Industries 50 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector With Cover...$$Surge Protection: 5-Mode / 1650J / 45,000A. Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection, Miswired Pedestal Indication, Surge Failure Indicator
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, All Weather Shield Assembly, Thermally Protected
See Latest Price
Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS Surge & Electrical Protection- 50 AmpsProgressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS Surge & Electrical Protection-...$$$$Surge Protection: 5-Mode / 3,580J / 88,000A. Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C. Includes 14' Data Cable
Open Ground, Open Neutral and Reverse Polarity detection and protection, Over/Under voltage Protection, Accidental 240V Protection and A/C Frequency Protection
Miswired pedestal indication and surge failure indicator
See Latest Price
Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model - 50 AmpSurge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model - 50 Amp$$$Automatic reset on power restoration
Multi-mode surge suppression
128 second reset delay protects A/C compressor
See Latest Price
Camco Power Grip RV Voltage Protector with Integrated Surge Protection, 50 Amp (55306)Camco Power Grip RV Voltage Protector with Integrated Surge Protection, 50...$$RV Electrical Protection: Protects your RV from dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (<102 VAC) voltage levels as well as power surges
Auto Connect/Disconnect Feature: Automatically disconnects from dangerous conditions and reconnects after normal operating conditions have been restored
Diagnostic LEDs: Provide indication of faults when you connect your electrical cord to the power pedestal.Time Delay for Reset: 140 seconds
See Latest Price

RV Surge Protector Basics

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 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.

What are “surges”?

Among the threats mentioned above, the most likely danger to your electronics is electrical spikes or surges, hence the name of the device, The questions here are “What are surges?” and “Why do electronics need to be protected from them?”

A power surge is an increase in voltage significantly above the designated level in a flow of electricity. To understand the problem, it is helpful to understand something about voltage. 

First, for simplicity’s sake, imagine that the way electric current travels from one point to another is very similar to how water, under pressure, flows out of a hose: higher pressure on one end of the hose pushes water toward the other end with lower pressure. You can think of voltage as a measure of electrical “pressure”, like water pressure.

In fact, voltage is a measure of the difference in electric potential energy between two ends of a wire. Electric current travels because it is “pushed” from one end of the wire where there is a greater electric potential energy to another end of the wire with a lower electric potential energy. 

You will often hear electrical “spikes” and “surges”. When it only lasts for one or two nanoseconds, it’s called a spike. When the increase lasts three nanoseconds or more, it’s called a surge. The most commonly known type of power surge comes from lightning.

Various factors can cause such a brief increase in voltage. ­­If the surge or spike is high enough, it can inflict some heavy damage on a machine. 

The effect is very similar to applying too much water pressure to a hose. If there is too much water pressure, a hose will burst. Approximately the same thing happens when too much electrical pressure runs through a wire: the wire “bursts”, or heats up and burns.

How Does an RV Surge Protector Work?

A standard surge protector passes the electrical current along from the outlet to a number of electrical and electronic devices plugged into the power strip. If the voltage from the outlet surges or spikes above the accepted level, the surge protector diverts the extra electricity into the outlet’s grounding wire. 

When the power supply is at dangerously low or high levels, an RV surge protector typically detects it and shut it down, thus not allowing this problematic electrical source to enter your RV and power your electronics. 

This is a simple yet super effective mechanism.

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

Is RV Surge Protector Worth It?

Your RV’s appliances require a consistent level of voltage, say 120 volts, to operate safely. Meanwhile, there is no way to guarantee this as you will be plugging into whatever power outlets are available at the campground. 

These outlets can entail a multitude of problems, and there is no way to know: high voltage, low voltage or miswirings. 

High voltage

High voltage, or sudden electrical surges, most commonly occur with lightning. High voltage, specifically above 132 volts, even if it only happens very briefly, would “fry” your electronics and you might end up having to replace everything in your RV.

Low voltage

How does low voltage happen? Low voltage is a more common scenario with very hot summer weather and overloaded campgrounds, with tons of other energy-sucking RVs all using big air conditioners. 

Low voltage is more likely in older parks, where the wirings have not been updated for decades. If your RV doesn’t get enough voltage, specifically below 104 VAC, it can cause serious damage to your electric system.

Miswirings

Mis-wirings happen if the outlet is wired backward or something could have come loose or disintegrated, or open ground, open neutral, or reverse polarity situation. 

All of these problems can damage your expensive electronics and more importantly, rid you of necessities and comfort if you’re on a long off-road trip. Imagine surviving in the wild on hot summer days without fans, air conditioners and other essentials. 

It is important to note that even if you’re knowledgeable in this area and check the voltage and the wiring before you plug in your RV, voltage is a constantly changing entity. It can drop or surge at any time, that is why getting insurance for your electronics is a must. The best surge protector for RV can consistently safeguard your electrical system from all of these threats.

If you’re a full-time RVer, having your electronics damaged is costly and troublesome, which can well exceed the small investment in the best RV surge protector. You can find an RV surge protector for $100 and above, while an RV Electronic Management System, which offers more comprehensive protection, can cost from $250 to $500. 

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. 

1- RV Surge Protector 

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

2- 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 miswired power outlet.

It’s 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 damage 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.

Best 30 Amp RV Surge Protectors

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. We have done the hard work of thoroughly consulting RV surge protector reviews from professionals and full-time RVers for the most reliable, durable and well-rounded travel trailer surge protector models.

First, we start with expert reviews on top-rated 30 amp RV surge protectors.

1. Progressive Industries SSP30X RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector (1 MIN), SSP-30X
SPECS:
Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection. Miss wired Pedestal Indication. Surge Failure Indicator
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, Thermally Protected

Why it our top choice: 

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 want a great 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.

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 30 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector With Cover (1 MIN), SSP-30XL
SPECS:
Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection, Miswired Pedestal Indication, Surge Failure Indicator
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, All Weather Shield Assembly, Thermally Protected

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.

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

Sale
Heat Storm Phoenix Infrared Space Heater with Attachable Feet, Remote Control, Energy...
SPECS:
Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 1,790J / 44,000A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Weather Resistant/designed for Outdoor Use
Security Locking Bracket

A great alternative:

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Best 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors

Following the list of best RV surge protector 30 Amp, we’ve also compiled the list of the best performing 50 Amp surge protectors. Check them out now!

4. Progressive Industries SSP-50XL RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries 50 Amp Portable RV Smart Surge Protector With Cover (1 MIN), SSP-50XL
SPECS:
Surge Protection: 5-Mode / 1650J / 45,000A. Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection, Miswired Pedestal Indication, Surge Failure Indicator
Designed for Outdoor Use, Weather Resistant, All Weather Shield Assembly, Thermally Protected

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.

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

5. Progressive Industries HW50C RV Surge Protector

Sale
Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS Surge & Electrical Protection- 50 Amps
SPECS:
Surge Protection: 5-Mode / 3,580J / 88,000A. Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C. Includes 14' Data Cable
Open Ground, Open Neutral and Reverse Polarity detection and protection, Over/Under voltage Protection, Accidental 240V Protection and A/C Frequency Protection
Miswired pedestal indication and surge failure indicator

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. 

Pros

  • Sublime performance
  • Nice lifetime warranty 
  • Intuitive handling 

Cons

  • Steep cost 
  • Some minor inconsistencies in operation 

6. Southwire Surge Guard 35550

Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model - 50 Amp
SPECS:
Automatic reset on power restoration
Multi-mode surge suppression
128 second reset delay protects A/C compressor

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,…

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

7. Camco Power Defender

Camco Power Grip RV Voltage Protector with Integrated Surge Protection, 50 Amp (55306)
SPECS:
RV Electrical Protection: Protects your RV from dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (<102 VAC) voltage levels as well as power surges
Auto Connect/Disconnect Feature: Automatically disconnects from dangerous conditions and reconnects after normal operating conditions have been restored
Diagnostic LEDs: Provide indication of faults when you connect your electrical cord to the power pedestal.Time Delay for Reset: 140 seconds

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

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. 

Most RVers that buy surge protectors will add one or more adapters for more versatility, for instance when you have a 50-amp RV and a 50-amp surge protector but sometimes can only access 30-amp power outlets and vice versa. 

In the first case, you just need to plug the 30-amp side of the dogbone adapter into the 30-amp pedestal outlet, and the 50-amp surge protector into the 50-amp side of the dogbone adapter, and your 50-amp Shore Power Plug on the RV goes into the surge protector.

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 problems in bad weather and will never 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. The 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 $250 to $500. Considering the amount of time and money they can save you, their price is actually not exactly “high”. 

RV Surge Protector: Our Buying Guide

As the market for RV surge protectors offers a very wide variety in terms of type, features, level of protection and price, which model is the best RV surge protector for you depends on your requirements.

Before starting to overwhelm yourself with countless options, be aware of the following criteria, determine your priorities and consider each purchase option carefully with them in mind.

Portable vs Hard-wired 

Basically, you have two options: the portable type and the hard-wired type. The portable type is one that you have to hook up into the pedestal physically prior to plugging it in your recreational vehicle.

One advantage of it is that it does not require you to do some wiring work as a means of hooking it up. All it takes to make it start working is to plug it into the pedestal then to the unit. It is that easy. You can also easily replace it just in case of issues.

The hard-wired type, on the other hand, refers to a surge protector, which you can mount and hardwire physically inside your vehicle. In most cases, you can put it right next to the power wheel. One of the major benefits associated with the hard-wired type of protector is that it eliminates worries regarding hooking up anything.

UL seal 

Another thing you should consider checking in an RV surge protector is the UL seal. Remember that the best ones are usually those that receive the certification from the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL), so those with a UL seal are usually trustworthy.

Such a seal somehow provides an assurance that whatever you plug into the surge protector will receive the protection it specifically needs. This also prevents any major concern just in case there is an excessive voltage.

Joules Rating 

This rating, given in joules, tells you how much energy the surge protector can absorb  and dissipate as heat before it fails. A higher number indicates greater protection. 

Clamping voltage 

This tells you what voltage will cause the MOVs to conduct electricity to the ground line. A lower clamping voltage indicates better protection. There are three levels of protection in the UL rating — 330 V, 400 V and 500 V. Generally, a clamping voltage more than 400 V is too high.

Power rating 

Another vital consideration is the power rating. What you have to do is to figure out the specific amount of power required by the electrical system in your recreational vehicle in order for it to function correctly.

You should then get a protector rated above the maximum level of energy consumption that you have determined. By picking a surge protector with a higher rating than what your RV specifically needs in terms of energy, you will have a margin of safety in case of serious threats.

Automatic restart and shutoff 

Another feature that lets you enjoy the many benefits of an RV surge protector is the automatic restart and shut off. With this feature, it will reliably shut off all your electronics automatically each time it spots electrical issues or power surge.

Meanwhile, the automatic restart feature, on the other hand, will automatically restart your electronics once the threats to them have already passed. 

Response time 

Surge protectors don’t technically kick in immediately: there is a very slight delay as they respond to the power surge, measured in nanosecond. A longer response time means that your electrical equipment will be exposed to the surge for a greater amount of time. Look for a surge protector that responds in less than one nanosecond.

Indicator light

You should also look for a protector with an indicator light that tells you if the protection components are functioning. All models, even the very best RV surge protectors will burn out after repeated power surges, but the protector will still function as a power strip. Without an indicator light, you have no way of knowing if your protector is still functioning properly.

LED display 

The best RV surge protector models typically come with displays that serve as cautions and indicators. Some of the displays, though, are quite difficult to comprehend, especially during the day and night, thus look for one with a bright LED display.

Weatherproofing 

Remember that you will be dealing with changing weather situations on the road. Unless you are opting for a hardwired RV surge protector, your portable model will have to stay outdoor. A weatherproof surge protector, such as one that is waterproof, is ideal as you won’t have to worry too much about it being ruined in a sudden downpour or in extreme weather conditions. 

Top RV Surge Protector Brands

We understand that electricity issues are complicated, and when you do not want to spend too much time being overwhelmed with too much information, your safest bet is to grab the best RV surge protector by a major brand. In this case, the choice is easy, as these four brands below clearly stand out with well-rounded, thoughtfully designed products that are consistently mentioned in countless RV surge protector reviews. 

Of course, which is the best RV surge protector for you depends on your specific electrical consumption and budget, however, in general, you can hardly go wrong with a highly rated model from Progressive Industries, Surge Guard, Camco and Southwire.

Progressive Industries 

Progressive Industries is arguably the top pick for many professionals and full-time RVers when it comes to the best RV surge protector. Progressive was started in 1999 by a full-time RVer who saw a need to provide superior electrical protection to RVs with more sophisticated electronics. 

Being relatively young, their expertise partly is attributable to their laser focus on this product. Today, Progressive Industries continues to be the sole company that only produces RV surge protectors. 

The brand offers portable RV surge protectors in both 30-amp and 50-amp varieties, as well as a line of hardwired units to help keep your RV safe and secure without risk of theft. 

Offering a full line of RV ‘surge protection’ products, Progressive Industries stand out in all important criteria: superior customer support, decent warranty, consistent quality, thoughtful design, durability, functionality and comprehensive protection. Although their hardware is a little bit more expensive than the competition’s, the superior quality that they offer is well worth the marginal price gap.

Camco

Camco is known in the RV world as one of the most trusted makers of quality and durable RV gears, devices and equipment. You name it, Camco has it and more importantly, their products generally receive high ratings from professionals and RVers alike.

The brand offers some of the best choices when it comes to high quality and durable surge guards on the market. In addition to reliable protection for your electronics, user friendly design, Camco’s RV surge protectors are made with heavy-duty materials and components that can withstand the harsh outdoor elements and weather changes. 

All of Camco’s models are of the portable variety, and available in both 30-amp and 50-amp. Some of the protectors even come with included analytical tools to help you learn more about what’s going on with your power connection in real time. 

Another plus is Camco’s line of surge protectors are on the less expensive end of the spectrum, so they’re ideal for budget campers. With Camco, you can look forward to long-term use down the road, thus getting the best out of your investment.

Southwire 

Unlike Progressive Industries which has a deep focus on RV surge protectors, Southwire, formerly known as Technology Research, has been around a while but doesn’t specialize in RV only products. This is a name you will come across consistently in RV surge protector reviews.

The brand offers a full line of RV surge protectors under the brand name Surge guard, with models available in both the 30 amp and 50 amp varieties, as well as both portable and hardwired types. You have a wide range to choose from in terms of level of protection to suit your specific needs, while being assured that whichever model you choose will offer superior protection, functionality, smart features and durability.

RV Surge Protectors FAQs

1. Why you should periodically replace your RV surge protectors

Surge protectors work by absorbing excess voltage into a metal oxide varistor (MOV) so your electronics don’t take the hit. Since the protective MOV’s job is to absorb additional energy instead of passing spikes of current to your valuable electronics, it absorbs electrical damage over time and once it’s done, there’s no more protection provided for your electronics.

2. How often should you replace your RV surge protector?

Most estimates put the average lifespan of a surge protector at anywhere from three to five years. Many RVers and professionals recommend replacing a surge protector every two years or so, but any recommendation like this one can only be a rule of thumb. 
To determine if the internal surge protection components are working normally, look at the “Protection Present” or “Protected” LED on the front of the surge protector’s casing. If it is illuminated green, your surge protector is still functional. 

3. Do I need a 30 amp or 50 amp surge protector?

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. 

4. Can you use a 50 amp surge protector on a 30 amp RV?

Yes, you can technically use a 50-amp surge protector on a 30-amp RV. However, be aware that some would not recommend this practice. And after all, since electricity is complicated, the rule of thumbs is to get a 30-amp surge protector is you have a 30-amp RV. Because the whole point of a surge protector is to mediate the electrical current if a surge causes it to supersede your RV’s needs, in this case, the protector wouldn’t kick in at 30 amps, but at 50 amps of power. In other words, your electronics could still fry.

5. How many joules of surge protection do I need?

A joule rating indicates how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. The higher the number, the greater the protection provided.
The level of Joules protection depends on your electrical needs. This rating can start from 825J. The next common Joules ratings are 1,650J, 1,790J, 2,100J, 2,450J, 3,580J and 4,200J. 

6. Do RV surge protectors go bad?

Since a surge protector’s job is to absorb additional energy instead of passing spikes of current to your valuable electronics, it absorbs electrical damage over time. There’s no surefire way to know if your surge protector is bad, but some come with warning lights that indicate you need to get a new surge protector.
Look at the “Protection Present” or “Protected” LED on the front of the surge protector’s casing. If it is illuminated green, your surge protector is still functional. 

7. Is an RV surge protector waterproof?

It actually depends on the model and brand you have chosen to buy. The good news is that many of the RV surge protectors today are designed to be weatherproof and waterproof. In other words, they are designed in a way that you can expose them even to the harshest elements and weather without worrying about potential damage.

8. How to secure an RV surge protector? 

If you go for a portable surge protector, however, you’ll have to leave it together with your power cord outside your RV. And this makes the device highly susceptible to theft. 
The best way to have peace of mind and never worry about your surge protector getting stolen is to invest in a hard wired model. Unlike a portable surge protector that you leave outside, the hardwired/permanent model needs to be wired into your RV, making it part of the camper.
However, if you opt for a portable model for its advantages, below are some handy tips to keep your RV surge protector safe from theft:
Bicycle chain: One of the cheapest methods campers have been using to protect this high-theft item from undesired hands involves using an old bicycle chain and padlock combination to secure it to the post.
Locking cable: This method is pretty much like the bicycle chain method as it involves wrapping the cable lock around your surge guard and securing it to the pedestal power post. The only difference between these methods is that here you’ll be using a locking cable, which is typically constructed from strong, durable, and flexible materials such as braided steel.
Each cable comes with its own keys which means only you can open it. You can also look for a cable so long that you can wound it against the device twice or thrice to give the thieves an ever harder time stealing it.
Lockbox: Another method is using a lockbox specially designed for this job. This box simply locks your device to the electrical pedestal and it’s spacious enough to lock both the protector and the power cable together. Look for a box that’s made from heavy-duty metal, easy to install, and roomy enough to accommodate various sizes of power cords and plugs that go into your protector

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About Peter Wade

Peter Wade is a co-ordinator and writer at www.RVTalk.net. His hobbies are coffee, RV camping and photography. He now enjoys exploring the U.S. by RV with his two dogs. After obtaining a MA degree in Public Relations and Journalism, he had 8 years of experience working for the R&D Department of Outdoorsy. Peter provides a unique look and insightful knowledge about the RV lifestyle, and fills his blog with everything from RV camping guides to reviews about necessary RV accessories. If you are an RV enthusiast and want to get the most-updated trends of the RV industry, Peter’s articles are the must-visit contents.

10 thoughts on “The Best 30 Amp & 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors You Can Buy in 2022”

  1. I’ve been using the Camco 50 Amp RV surge protector daily since I got it in November. It has protected my 5th Wheel about 6 times and it resets automatically each time after about 2 minutes. No issues inside except the AC shuts down in the Texas heat. Not electrical problems at all. I’ve had surges in the past with a previous RV and lost an inverter, an AC and a microwave. This RV surge protector has eliminated any problems related to surges and paid for itself several times over.

    Reply
    • This is a must-have for all RV owners. The RV Parks/Campgrounds usually do not have the proper voltage leading to the unexpected damage to your RV electrical system. You may have to replace all your electronics on a bad day. I am sure this device will save your 5th wheel trailer a couple of times, which makes it worth every penny. The Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender is not cheap but the quality is outstanding. This surge protector will eliminate any problems related to surges and pay for itself several times over. Thanks, Mickey for the comment! Have a great time camping.

      Reply
  2. We bought a new RV back in last August and the salesman recommended Progressive Industries SSP30X surge protector for it, but the price at the RV dealership was quite a bit more expensive. I ordered it from Amazon and have used it every time we go camping. The lights tell you if the electric box you are about to plug in to is wired correctly or has reverse polarity and you know before you even plug your RV in if it is safe to connect. I don’t worry about a power surge destroying all of the electronics in my RV with this surge protector. I am so happy with it, I bought a second one to use with my living quarters horse trailer.

    Reply
    • Hi Peter. Glad to have you here sharing useful information with us and readers. Yeah, a 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. The RV surge protector keeps our electronics safe and bring us peace of mind. So it’s a worth investment for RV campers liek us. Having Progressive Industries SSP30X surge protector with your RV, I feel much more secure whenever I plug in my RV at campgrounds. It’s made in USA, great quality at a great price!

      Reply
  3. When we bought our RV we were told to get a surge protector. The TV dealer wanted $100 more than Amazon. After doing a lot of research, reading reviews, I bought the Surge Guard 44280 30A. This RV surge protector was so easy to use and gave us peace of mind knowing our RV was protected when plugging in. You never know when the campsite you are using is going to have the correct voltage.

    Reply
    • Hi Jodie, we tested on this Surge Guard 44280 30A and were very pleased with its performance. It worked as advertised. This device also gained many positive reviews from camping community. This protects the RV and all of the electronics inside from over-voltage, surges, reversed polarity and proper ground. Little price to pay for peace of mind.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  4. I have a SSP-50X less than a year old, it has one green light and two blue lights instead of the usual 2 green lights on. Should I have two green lights on and if so what is my problem.
    Thank you

    Reply
  5. We purchased the EMS-PT30X about 11 months ago and used it for 6 or 7 trips. This surge protector 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

    Reply

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