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With spring comes the severe weather season across good portions of the country. However, lightning strikes aren’t the only thing that can potentially damage the electronics in your RV. Faulty wiring or an unreliable power supply at the campground can also cause headaches for your motorhome’s electrical system. Using an RV surge protector can go a long way toward keeping you from costly repair or replacement. But with so many options out there, it can seem overwhelming to choose the one that’s right for you.

All RV surge protectors have the same goal, that is, to regulate the current coming from a power source and stop a power fluctuation before it causes damage to your RV. One thing to consider is choosing between a basic surge protector or a more sophisticated electrical management system, or EMS. A basic surge protector is just that. They protect against power surges but often do not do much more than that. Some, however, do have a few extra features that can alert you to other problems such as low voltage or improper wiring at the power source. A surge protector will prevent a power surge from getting to your RV. If you want to make sure that all contingencies are taken care of, an EMS will not only protect against power surges, but also a number of other errors such as high or low voltage, open neutral situations, AC power frequency deviations, and a lot more. An EMS can shut off power in case of an incorrect voltage or other power error.

Once you picked the type of surge protector to fit your needs and budget, there are other things to keep in mind. Surge protectors come in 30 Amp or 50 Amp versions, so you’ll need to choose the one that goes along with your RV. A 50 Amp surge protector can only be used on a 30 Amp RV if an adapter is used, and vice versa. Otherwise it won’t provide the proper protection. Another thing to consider is whether you want a portable device or a permanent device. If you don’t own your RV, a portable unit allows you to easily transfer between rigs. A portable unit also provides a cost-effective solution that is easy to install. One end plugs into the pedestal, and the other connects to your RV. If damage is caused to the unit from a power surge, they can be easily replaced. Permanent units are not easily stolen, as they are hardwired into your RV. Once installed, they are always monitoring for errors. Permanent units can have a separate display, which makes them more convenient to check if there is inclement weather outside. Since they are inside a wiring compartment, they won’t be exposed to the elements.

To further aid in choosing a surge protector, we have a handy comparison guide that gives you the specifics & features of different models. There are charts for 30 Amp portable, 30 Amp hardwired, 50 Amp portable, and 50 Amp hardwired. Each of the models listed are linked so you can easily find more information. Surge protection is as essential when you are on the road as it is when you are at home. Don’t let a severe thunderstorm or faulty wiring at the campground cause problems for your RV.

Choosing the RV Surge Protector That's Right for You