Do I Need an RV Surge Protector? What Should I Know About RV Surge Protectors?

Do I Need an RV Surge Protector? What Should I Know About RV Surge Protectors?

Posted by Happy Campers Store on Mar 22nd 2024

Everything You Need to Know About RV Surge Protectors From Why They're Important, How to Choose the Right One and Even How to Keep Your Surge Protector Safe.

Note: We are not affiliates and do not benefit in any way from the products mentioned in this post, we just happen to really like them.

Why It's Important to Use an RV Surge Protector

As an avid RVer, I understand the importance of protecting my valuable recreational vehicle from electrical mishaps and surges. After extensive research and personal experience, I can confidently say that the Progressive Industries RV Surge Protector – 30-50 Amp, in both portable and hardwired options, with Fault Detection capability, is hands down the best choice for all RVers. Let me take you through the reasons why this surge protector is a game-changer for your RV adventures.

Why Use an RV Surge Protector?

1. Protection against Power Surges:

Power surges can be caused by a variety of factors, such as lightning strikes, faulty wiring at an RV park, or unstable electrical grids. These surges can damage sensitive electronics in your RV, such as appliances, TVs, computers, and air conditioning units. By using an RV surge protector, you can safeguard your vehicle's electrical system against unpredictable voltage spikes, ensuring the longevity of your expensive appliances and devices.

2. Fire Prevention:

Surges can not only damage your RV's electrical components but also pose a serious fire hazard. Faulty wiring or a spike in voltage can cause overheating in your RV's electrical system, potentially leading to a fire. An RV surge protector acts as a first line of defense, shutting off the power supply if it detects any abnormalities, effectively preventing potential disasters.

3. Insurance against Unexpected Repairs:

Repairing or replacing damaged electrical devices in your RV can be an expensive and inconvenient process. To avoid the hassle and financial burden, investing in an RV surge protector can save you from costly repairs and replacements by shielding your system from the risks associated with power surges.

If you are comparing surge protectors for RVs, you may have some questions. Don't worry! We've got you covered.

Are surge protectors necessary for RVs?

Yes, surge protectors are necessary for RVs. RVs are often connected to various power sources and are susceptible to power surges, which can damage electrical equipment and appliances. Surge protectors help safeguard the RV's electrical system by regulating and diverting excessive voltage. They are designed to absorb and block power surges, ensuring the safety and longevity of the RV's electrical components.

Can I use a 50 amp surge protector on a 30 amp RV?

Yes, you can use a 50 amp surge protector on a 30 amp RV. The surge protector will still provide protection against power surges, but keep in mind that it will not change the maximum power capacity of your RV.

What is the difference between an RV surge protector and an EMS?

An RV surge protector and an EMS (electrical management system) serve similar purposes of protecting your RV's electrical system, but they have some key differences.

1. Surge Protection: 

A surge protector is primarily designed to protect your RV from sudden power surges or voltage spikes. It acts as a buffer between the RV and the power pedestal, preventing any surges from damaging your electrical system. Surge protectors typically offer varying levels of protection and usually have indicator lights to show if the power supply is good or if a surge has been detected.

2. Electrical Management System (EMS): 

On the other hand, an EMS provides more comprehensive protection for your RV's electrical system. It not only guards against power surges but also monitors the quality of the power supply. EMS systems are capable of assessing various power-related issues, such as low or high voltage, reverse polarity, open neutral, or ground faults. They can automatically disconnect power to your RV if any dangerous conditions are detected, thus safeguarding your electrical system from potential damage.

3. Power Restoration: 

In the event of a power interruption, RV surge protectors usually require manual resetting or power restoration by flipping a breaker. However, EMS systems are often equipped with a built-in delay timer, which ensures that power is restored to the RV only after the voltage stabilizes at a safe level. This feature prevents the RV's electrical components from being subjected to potentially damaging power fluctuations.

In summary, while both RV surge protectors and EMS systems offer protection against electrical issues, an EMS provides additional safeguards by continuously monitoring the power supply and automatically disconnecting it if any irregularities are detected. EMS systems are generally considered to provide more comprehensive protection, but they also tend to be more expensive compared to surge protectors. Depending on your specific needs, choosing between the two will depend on the level of protection you require and your budget.

How to Choose the Right Surge Protector: 30 or 50 Amp

1. Determine Your RV's Power Requirement:

The first step in selecting the appropriate surge protector is to recognize your RV's power requirement. Most recreational vehicles come with either a 30 or 50 amp electrical system. Checking your RV owner's manual or consulting the manufacturer is essential to ensure you choose the correct amp rating.

2. Understanding Amp Ratings:

The amp rating (30 or 50) indicates the maximum amount of current that the surge protector can handle. While both types offer protection, it's crucial to select a model that matches your RV's electrical system. Using a 30 amp surge protector for a 50 amp RV increases the risk of overload and may prevent certain appliances from functioning correctly. On the other hand, using a 50 amp surge protector for a 30 amp RV may not offer optimal protection.

3. Consider Future Upgrades:

Before making a decision, consider the possibility of upgrading your RV's electrical system in the future. If you plan on purchasing a larger RV or adding additional appliances, it may be wise to invest in a 50 amp surge protector, even if your current RV operates at 30 amps. Future-proofing your electrical system will save you the hassle of replacing the surge protector when you upgrade your RV.

4. Research Trusted Brands:

Selecting a reliable brand for your RV surge protector is vital to ensure product quality and longevity. Look for reputable manufacturers with positive customer reviews and warranties, such as Progressive Industries, Surge Guard, or Camco.

progressive industries rv surge protector

Happy Camper's Recommended RV Surge Protector

If you're like me, I like to do my research and understand why the product I'm choosing is the right one. Actually, I don't really like to do the research, but I do like having the right product. We've already done the research, so maybe this post will help you get to the right product a little quicker. Our recommendation for an RV surge protecter is as follows;

Progressive Industries RV Surge Protector – Your RVer's Best Friend

1. Unparalleled Surge Protection:

The Progressive Industries RV Surge Protector offers robust and reliable surge protection, guarding your RV against unexpected spikes in voltage. With its advanced weather-resistant and fireproof design, this protector is built to withstand various environmental elements, making it suitable for various camping scenarios.

2. Consistent Power Monitoring:

The built-in power meter continuously monitors the incoming power supply, displaying vital information about voltage, current, frequency, and more. This real-time data ensures you can keep a close eye on the electrical performance of your RV, giving you peace of mind and helping identify potential issues before they become critical.

3. Enhanced Fault Detection:

Safety is paramount when it comes to RV electrical systems, and the Progressive Industries Surge Protector takes it very seriously. Equipped with state-of-the-art fault detection technology, it effectively identifies and alerts you to any faults in the power source, such as open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, or miswired pedestals. This feature safeguards both your RV and your personal safety, minimizing the risk of electrical accidents.

4. Easy Installation and Portability:

Whether you choose the portable or hardwired version, the Progressive Industries Surge Protector is a breeze to install. The portable version offers the convenience of being able to use it in multiple locations or share it with fellow campers. On the other hand, if you prefer a streamlined solution that requires no setup each time, the hardwired option seamlessly integrates into your RV's electrical system, providing a permanent, protected power source.

5. Lifetime Warranty:

To reinforce their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, Progressive Industries provides a generous lifetime warranty for their surge protectors. This warranty ensures that in the unlikely event of any manufacturing defects or failures, your investment is protected, and you can confidently enjoy your RV adventures.


When it comes to safeguarding your RV's electrical system, the Progressive Industries RV Surge Protector – 30-50 Amp, with its portable and hardwired options and fault detection capability, is an absolute winner. Its unmatched surge protection, continuous power monitoring, fault detection features, easy installation, and lifetime warranty make it the ultimate choice for all RVers. Don't compromise on the safety and performance of your RV; equip yourself with the Progressive Industries Surge Protector and embark on worry-free journeys into the great outdoors.

There are many great brands out there and just as many good selections for an RV surge protector. Whether or not you choose the one recommended here or you go with something else there is one last thought we'd like to leave you with and it's about keeping your protector safe from unsavory campers.

How do I keep my RV surge protector from being stolen?

There are a few steps you can take to help prevent your RV surge protector from being stolen:

1. Secure it with a lock: 

Use a lock or cable to secure the surge protector to your RV. You can use a padlock or a specialized lock designed for RVs.

2. Hide it: 

If possible, try to keep your surge protector out of sight. Store it in a covered compartment or install it in an inconspicuous location on your RV.

3. Install a security camera: 

Consider installing a security camera near your RV to deter potential thieves. Visible surveillance cameras can act as a deterrent and reduce the chances of theft.

4. Park in well-lit areas: 

When parking your RV, choose well-lit areas with high foot and vehicle traffic. Thieves are less likely to target areas where they could be easily seen or caught.

5. Utilize RV park security: 

If you're staying at an RV park or campground, take advantage of any security measures they have in place. This might include gated entry, security patrols, or fenced storage areas.

6. Mark your property: 

Engrave or mark your surge protector with identifying information that can help identify it as yours. This can dissuade thieves and also aid in recovering stolen property if it does get taken.

7. Get to know your neighbors: 

Build relationships with your fellow RVers and neighbors at campgrounds. A strong sense of community and watchfulness can help deter theft and prompt others to report suspicious activity.

Remember, no security measure is foolproof, but employing these steps can help reduce the risk of your RV surge protector being stolen.

Investing in an RV surge protector is a crucial step in protecting your vehicle's electrical system and sensitive electronics from risks associated with power surges. From preventing damage to expensive appliances to avoiding potential fire hazards, the benefits of using a surge protector in your RV cannot be understated. Make sure to choose the right amp rating, either 30 or 50, based on your RV's electrical system, and opt for trusted brands to ensure quality and performance. Stay safe on the road and enjoy worry-free adventures by prioritizing the protection of your RV with a surge protector.

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