Best RV Surge Protector – Reviews & Buying Guide

Keep your RV and electrical appliance safe by installing an RV Surge protector whenever you’re out on a trip.

 Progressive Industries Smart Surge Protector
Camco PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer Camco Heavy-Duty Dogbone RV Circuit Analyzer
Amp Rating (Amps)30A30A30A
TypePortablePortablePortable
Weight1.74 pounds0.6 pounds3.07 pounds
Power Surge Protection 825 Joules1050 Joules2100 Joules
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What is an RV Surge Protector?

Best RV Surge Protector - Protector Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model

To understand a surge protector, you first need to comprehend what an electrical surge is.

An electrical surge is an intense, short-duration voltage increase that travels through electrical wiring which transmits energy. The most common causes for electrical surges include lightning, power outages, tripped circuit breakers, etc.

A surge protector is a device designed to protect other devices from damage-causing power surges. It may have a long power cord or it may plug directly into the wall, and it usually has multiple outlets for connecting equipment. Whether it is a charging pedestal, your house, or somewhere else, just attaching a surge protector to the charging unit ensures there are no surprise short circuits to ruin your day.

In short, a surge protector is an insurance policy for all the stuff in your RV. And of course, your family!

Beat RV Surge Protector – Top Picks

Unlike picking out your favorite color from the box, selecting the perfect RV surge protector can be tough, especially with all the choices available in the market. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of the best ones to help you narrow down your options and make the selection easier. Take a look and you should have a pretty good idea of what you want.

1.Progressive Industries Smart Surge Protector – Best RV Surge Protector Overall

Best RV Surge Protector - Surge Protector Progressive Industries 313.1168 SSP30X Smart Surge Protector

Progressive Industries is a well-known and reputed company for all your RV and Electrical protection needs. Their products come with an in-built polarity tester which is quite an added advantage.

Features

The surge indicator records the condition of the product. It is also useful for checking the status of the power use before you actually get down to using it. The portable and compact design makes it easy to carry it around with you and comfortable enough to store it anywhere. It is great for outdoor use and you will be glad to know that it does not require any installation at all. The pull handle features a 3-colour LED indicator. It is thermally protected and weather-resistant as well.

With the surge indicator, you will get an alert whenever there is a power surge. The three modes you will notice in this product are Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection.

Key Features

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • The user can check the power source’s status before using
  • Portable and compact design
  • Does not require installation
  • It works at 30A / 120V / 3,600W

Warranty

This product comes with a Lifetime warranty like all other products from Progressive Industries.

Pros
  • Portable – no installation required
  • Comes with a Surge Failure Indicator
  • Thermal protection and water-resistant
Cons
  • No LCD Display

User Critique

While it is a high-quality product, it comes with its drawbacks, such as the lack of an LCD display.

2.Camco PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer – Best RV Surge Protector for the money

Best RV Surge Protector - Camco PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer With Integrated Surge

The PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer 55310 by Camco is an excellent option if you are looking for a reliable surge protector.

Features

This RV Power Defender Voltage Analyzer will protect your electronics from electrical boxes that are not wired correctly. The three diagnostic lights you see at the top will indicate any issues with the box before you actually connect the cord. The water-resistant design makes it a great surge protector, especially with electronic components. The pull handle has a great grip, perfect for plugging or unplugging. There is a chart which shows the legend. The lights will light up in specific patterns depending on the issue.

For example, it will light up different for Correct Wiring, Reverse Polarity, and Open Ground. The small size of this product ensures it is comfortable enough to carry along and easy enough to store anywhere. The integrated surge protection provides good security with protection offered up to 1050 joules.

Key Features

  • One-year warranty
  • Diagnostic lights that light up in different patterns according to the issue
  • Integrated surge protection for added safety and security

Warranty

Camco offers a limited 1-year warranty on this product’s parts.

Pros
  • Has diagnostic lights
  • Circuit analyzer for prior alerts
  • Surge protection up to 1050 Joules
Cons
  • Not resistant to bad weather

User Critique

The water-resistant feature does not work against bad weather as much as one would expect.

3.Camco Heavy-Duty Dogbone RV Circuit Analyzer

Best RV Surge Protector - Camco Heavy Duty Dogbone RV Circuit Analyzer

Camco, a company that has been around for many decades, is a trustworthy firm known for their reliable and high-quality products in the industry.

Features

The Camco Heavy Duty Dogbone RV Circuit Analyzer is effective and reliable. It can protect your electronics, especially from those electrical boxes that have improper wiring. The product manages to achieve this by letting you know about fault via a visual indicator before you connect your vehicle’s power cord to the box. This model has the ability to provide 2,100 joules of surge protection which is not bad at all. In fact, it is quite impressive.

The power grip handle ensures that you can easily and safely plug and unplug it without harming yourself. It is not very difficult to use and a bonus of purchasing this model is that it is weather-resistant as well. The legend marked there will let you know about the indication of each light.

Key Features

  • Protects your electronics from inappropriately wired electrical boxes
  • Visual indication of problems before you connect to the electrical box
  • Weather resistant
  • Surge protection offered up to 2100 joules

Warranty

Like other Camco products, this one is also covered by a limited 1-year warranty on the parts.

Pros
  • Portable – no installation required
  • Comes with a Surge Failure Indicator
  • Thermal protection and water-resistant
Cons
  • No LCD Display

User Critique

While it is a high-quality product, it comes with its drawbacks, such as the lack of an LCD display.

4. Progressive Industries Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector  – Best Portable RV Surge Protector

Best RV Surge Protector - Portable RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industry is a US-based company that is devoted to manufacturing electrical-related products.

Features

The Progressive Industries Portable RV Surge Protector EMS-PT30X RV has three modes and it operates at 30A / 120V / 3,600W. The surge protector is designed to be weather-resistant and the user would be able to use outdoors as well. The pull handle makes it easier to use and handle. This model of the surge protector is one of the best in the market currently in terms of performance and function. For anyone who’s looking for a 50-amp rating in a surge protector, this one is perfect.

The weather-resistant nature of this product ensures that one would be able to use it in any weather and at any time. There is also open reverse neutral polarity feature in this model along with great protection offered for both under or overvoltage. It is easy enough to use it as it is light in weight and portable.

Warranty

This portable surge protector comes with a lifetime warranty.

Key Features

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Surge protection indicator lets the user know of faults
  • Great for outdoor use and in any weather
  • Security Locking Bracket
Pros
  • Perfect for those looking for surge protectors with a 50-amp rating
  • Weather-resistant
  • Protects against under or overvoltage
Cons
  • No LCD Display

User Critique

It is light in weight and has a scrolling digital display but what it lacks is an LCD display.

 

5. Surge Guard 44260 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector

Best RV Surge Protector - Surge Protector Surge Guard 44260 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector

Due to the inconsistent power at RV campsites, your electronics might get damaged. With surge protectors by Surge Guard, you are in good hands.

Features

If you are looking for 30-amp RV surge protectors, you cannot beat this model. It is versatile in its functionalities and can handle more than just RVs. The Surge Guard 44260 can offer 2,100 joules of protection and is completely reliable. It can satisfy most RV users’ demands. It is portable which means you won’t need to install it or worry about it at all. All you would be required to do is to plug it in with the power source.

The Surge Guard 44260 is multifunctional and very secure. It can also identify fault power sources anywhere and can verify pedestal power by analyzing the circuits.

The indicators in the product make it more convenient to the user for understanding the current power status. The surge protector is weather-resistant which means you can use it in wet or windy weather conditions. The lock hasp is useful in securing the rig.

Warranty

Surge Guard’s device comes with a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase on parts

Key Features

  • Can identify fault powers
  • Offers 2100 Joules of surge protection
  • Verifies pedestal power by analysing the circuits
Pros
  • Portable, no need for installations
  • Weather-resistant
  • Multifunctional and versatile
Cons
  • Indicator lights are not reliable or strong

User Critique

While there are no major drawbacks, the indicator lights are not as bright as expected.

6. Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model

Best RV Surge Protector - Protector Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model

The surge guard 34850 is a pretty reliable model. The company is known for manufacturing products that last long and are secure.

Features

This model is especially good because it offers double the joules protection than that offered by its predecessors. It also has the ability of voltage draw, monitoring amp, and reverse polarity. The best part is that it is compatible with not only RVs but also with motorhomes and trailers. It is great for those using a 50-amp service. Not only this, it is built to provide protection to your AC compressor as well.

This is due to the 128-second reset delay in this. The surge protection rating can go up as high as 3,850 joules. The automatic reset feature comes in handy during power restoration. This feature can also ensure that the power shuts off completely in cases of over-heating.

Warranty

Unlike other products from Surge Guard, this product comes with a limited lifetime and connected equipment warranty.

Key Features

  • Light in weight and portable
  • Comes with built-in intelligence
  • Has automatic reset option on power restoration
  • The product has an LCD Do note that it supports English only.
  • 3850 Joules of power surge protection is offered
Pros
  • Compatible with motorhomes, trailers, and RVs
  • Automatic power shut-off feature
  • Protects AC compressor
  • LCD Display
Cons
  • Not fireproof
  • No surge failure indicator

User Critique

It is not fire-proof and there is no surge fail indicator as well.

7. PROGRESSIVE INDUSTRIES SSP50 Smart Surge

Best RV Surge Protector - PROGRESSIVE INDUSTRIES SSP50 Smart Surge

Progressive Industries are an RV company and hence, they are used to paying dedicated attention to the minutest details. Not only that, you will find that the surge protectors will be of the best quality, reliable, and cost-effective.

Features

If you are searching for a good 50-amp RV surge protector, the SSP-50XL model from Progressive Industries is your best bet. This surge protector is constructed in such a way that screams its reliability. It has a surge protection rating of 1,650-joules surge. Moreover, it can detect open neutral, reverse polarity, and open ground before you go ahead and plug it in. The indicator light present on the unit will alert you of improper wiring.

It is reliable enough and can be trusted to inform you about surge failures, thereby offering your RV good protection. The thermal protection feature makes it more suitable.

Warranty

Progressive Industries offers 100% lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship for this surge protector.

Key Features

  • Has four modes and offers 1,650-joule surge protection.
  • The sturdy pull handle makes it easy to plug or unplug it.
  • The LED indicator lights offer a visual
  • The status of the source is tested thanks to the dual line polarity tester
Pros
  • Portable and compact model
  • No need for installation
  • Can be used outdoors
  • Comes with thermal protection
Cons
  • A bit on the larger side regarding the dimensions

User Critique

While the product works well, some might face issues with fitting it into their vehicle due to its size.

 

8. EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 

Best RV Surge Protector - EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge

Eaton Corporation is a multinational company headquartered in Ireland and established in the US. With a presence in nearly 200 countries, you can blindly trust the company’s products.

Features

The product weighs just a pound and hence, we can conclude it is very light in weight and thus, easy to carry around. Pumping 240 volts of power, it is extremely easy to use and thanks to the company’s reputation, you can be assured that it is a high-quality model. It can universally connect to the load centre of any manufacturer. The quick connect design makes it easy to connect it to telephone and cable connections.

This 50-amp device is perfect for all your surge protection needs. Eaton can take bigger hits during surges. However, do note that it still lets a little voltage to pass through. Surge protector warranties hardly ever cover the damage. If they die out during a surge, it will not be considered a defect. The product is well worth its price.

Warranty

Eaton extends a limited lifetime warranty for this product.

Key Features

  • The unit is covered by a limited lifetime warranty
  • You will need additional modules to secure the connection
  • Value to performance ratio is high with this model
Pros
  • Limited Lifetime warranty
  • Good price
  • Available as a combo pack
Cons
  • A bit on the larger side regarding the dimensions

User Critique

While this unit can take big hits during power surges, it allows little voltage to pass.

 

9. Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model

Best RV Surge Protector - Surge Protector Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model

Surge Guard has been in the industry for quite some time. It is known to be a reliable brand and is one of the top choices of the customers.

Features

The unit has an automatic reset on power restoration. You will find that it comes with multi-mode surge suppression and a 128-second reset delay that helps in making sure the AC compressor stays safe. The surge protection offered here is up to 3,850 joules. The installation is easy and can be done within minutes. This 50-amp surge guard monitors the power at all times and automatically shuts it off during excess voltage flows.

It alerts the user during all situations that could lead to some damage to the connected electronics. Optional Remote LCD Display offers more convenience to the user. The product can detect neutral or open ground, reverse polarity, and low or high voltage.

Warranty

This device is covered by a limited lifetime and connected equipment warranty by Surge Guard.

Key Features

  • 50-amp surge guard protects your electronics before you connect them
  • You will get 6,500 amps and 3,850 joules of protection with this unit
  • It installs easily
  • It can reconnect within 128 seconds
Pros
  • Multi-mode surge protection
  • Automatic shut-off and restart within 128 seconds
  • Portable and easy installation
Cons
  • Warranty of only one year
  • Not water resistance

User Critique

While it has all the must-have features, the only major feature it lacks is water-resistant capabilities.

10. Technology Research 44750 Surge Guard

Best RV Surge Protector - Technology Research 44750 Surge Guard 30-Amp with Ground

Technology Research is a well-established American company, specializing in surge guards and other products. Its 44750 Surge Guard 30-Amp model has become quite popular with the users.

Features

This unit has a shock shield and is ideal for travel and pop-up trailers. When it detects that there are ground faults, it automatically shuts off the power. However, do note that there is no automatic restart. You will have to do it manually. It offers shock protection. The antenna is weather resistant and the plug handles offer good grip and convenience. The surge protection offered by the unit is up to 510 joules. While it is comparatively less than other models, it is quite reliable and great in the price range.

Its performance is appreciated by the users and another point in its favour is that it is compatible with travel trailers, RVs, and most tripping vehicles.

Warranty

A warranty of 1-year from the date of purchase is offered on this product’s materials and workmanship.

Key Features

  • The unit is weather resistant and offers shock protection as well
  • Reliable construction offering 510 joules surge protection
  • User-friendly model
  • Automatic shut-off when it detects faults
Pros
  • Perfect for travel trailers and RVs
  • Weather resistant and shock protecting capabilities
  • Great performance
Cons
  • No protection from low voltage
  • Manual restart needed

User Critique

The 44750 Surge Guard 30-Amp model is great in most aspects but it does not seem to offer much protection regarding low voltage.

Types of RV Surge Protectors

When you step out to buy an RV surge protector, you’ll find two basic types.

Portable – Portable surge protectors are the most basic ones being sold out there. These are usually devices that you can plug directly into the charging pedestal. They not only protect you against surges but also allow you to know if the pedestal is wired properly.

Hardwired – Hardwired surge protectors are fitted inside your RV and can be monitored through a dedicated panel. One of the benefits of having a hardwired surge protector is that you don’t have to worry about having it knocking around in your storage compartment since it is properly fitted; it is also safe from external elements like rain and excessive heat at the pedestal.

Hardwire VS Portable RV Surge Protectors

As already mentioned both kinds of protectors come with the basic difference that portable surge protectors are handier and can be plugged into any charging pedestal you can find. On the other hand, hardwire surge protectors are fitted inside the RV and are thus more stable and protected from the elements as well as from theft.

Another major difference between the two devices is that portable surge protectors can safeguard your RV from external surges and issues. They don’t have much control over internal mishaps. However, that’s one area where hardwire protectors have you covered. They can safeguard you from internal faults as well as external issues.

And lastly, hardwire surge protectors are generally heavier and deliver more power (in amp) than portable surge protectors.

Pros
  • Portable surge protectors are handier
  • They are more lightweight
  • They don’t need any installation
  • Hardwire surge protectors are protected from the elements since they are fitted inside
  • They deliver more power
  • They safeguard against external as well as internal faults
Cons
  •  Portable surge protectors cannot safeguard against internal faults
  •  You might accidentally leave them behind on the pedestal
  • Easy to steal unless you lock them Hardwire RV Surge Protectors
  • Hardwire surge protectors are heavier
  • They need to be installed

How RV Surge Protectors Work

When out on the road, you find numerous charging pedestals at common pit-stops. These pedestals once erected stand there for years. They endure the elements of nature day in and day out which is why they may often get damaged internally. Damaged charging pedestals become prone to power surges or power spikes which are increased flow of voltage for short time duration, sufficient to fry anything that’s connected to them. Imagine how much damage such pedestals can cause to your RV when you innocently plug it in for charging.

In order to prevent such an occurrence, smart trippers use surge protectors. Surge protectors when attached between your RV’s charger and the charging pedestal’s charging outlet break the flow of energy to your vehicle in case there is a power surge and divert the extra electricity into the outlet’s grounding wire. In this way, your RV stays safe from fire hazards and short circuits.

Safety

When travelling with your family in your own RV, one of the most critical aspects is ensuring the safety of your dear ones as well as your vehicle. Thus, carrying a portable surge protector or having a hardwired one fitted into your RV is a must. This will ensure your trip stays pleasant and you stay away from unwanted fire accidents.

How to install an RV Surge Protector

Best RV Surge Protector - Portable RV Surge Protector

Note: This installation procedure is applicable to hardwire RV surge protectors. Portable ones don’t need any installation.

First things first, you don’t need to be a mechanical genius to do this. Just enough household electrical knowledge will get you through.

Hardwire surge protectors come with a display panel which shows the amp reading, the hertz, and the voltages and also indicates if there is something wrong. The panel can be fitted at a convenient location on the RV’s dashboard area or anywhere else. You also get a cable that looks like a telephone cable with the whole setup to connect the surge protector and the display.

Some people prefer to install the surge protector in the same compartment as their power converter. This is done for the convenience of tackling with fewer wires and sockets. In this example too, we’re doing the same.

Before beginning the installation, unplug the trailer from the power outlet and remove the battery because you don’t want to accidentally electrocute yourself. Thereafter, follow the below-mentioned steps:

RV Surge Protector – Installation Steps

Step 1: Cut the main 30 Amp wire (or the one that your RV is currently running on) at a convenient spot and peel it about 3-4 inches back. Do this on both ends of the cut you’ve made.

Step 2: Consult the user manual of the surge protector to understand the sides where the power should be coming in and going out from. Then make the appropriate outgoing connections between the cut cables and your surge protector cables (you’ll have to unscrew the lid of your surge protector to see what wires are inside).

Step 3: Attach the grounding connections. Then make the incoming connections and remember to use the sensor within the surge protector which goes over the lead.

Step 4: Now plug in the telephone-like cable into the surge protector and attach it to the display. Now when you plug in the power to your RV, the display should start reading the incoming power, volts, hertz, and indicate if there are any errors.

Step 5: Lastly, attach the display to a convenient location and you should be good to go!

Buyer’s Guide –Best RV Surge Protector

Buyers Guide Icon

After digging deep into the basics mentioned above and going through our list of the top picks, are you ready to pick out your favorite RV surge protector? Good! But before you put your money on the line, take care of the below-listed factors that you should definitely consider. Keeping these factors in mind will help you make the best buying decision.

Power Rating (Joules)

The power rating or joules rating of a surge protector indicates the level of protection that it can offer. Whenever there is an excessive flow of electricity caused by power spikes, the surge protector should be able to dissipate the heat and save your rig. The higher the joules rating of a surge protector, the more capable it will be to fit fire harm and damages.
Certification
With the abundant variety of devices available online as well as in the open market, it’s very easy to get stuck with cheap knock-offs if you’re out buying a surge protector for the first time. One way of making sure you buy a genuine product is to ensure that it is UL certified. UL or Underwriter’s Laboratory offers a seal for genuine products and the ones that have it are the best ones you can get out there.

Extra Factors

Load Capacity
It is crucial to consider how much electrical load your device can handle. Every device needs some amount of electricity to perform its intended function. But how much electricity can it comfortably handle? Ensure that you check the load capacity of the surge protector you’re considering and pick that protector, which is suitable for your use. Its load capacity should make it less prone to overheating, fire and other electrical issues.
Cost
In addition to considering the above-mentioned factors, you must pay attention to the cost, for obvious reasons. The surge protector you pick should be cost effective and should fit your initial budget. That certainly doesn’t mean that you straightaway go for the cheapest buy. All you need to do is compare the prices of all the models you like, weigh the pros and cons carefully and then make a buying decision.

 

To wrap it up

RV surge protectors are an absolute must for you if you like to be on the road with your rig and your family. These devices can prove to be lifesavers in adverse situations. Unless you want the carefully picked out appliances and furniture in your RV to get fried because of an electrical surge and short circuit, you need a surge protector to dissipate power spikes whenever you plug in your RV for charging.

In our opinion, the Smart Surge Protector from Progressive Industries is the best device you can get for safeguarding you against unexpected power surges. It is capable, affordable, and quite robust. Avoid going ahead with a device only because it is cheap; after all, your high-risk appliances are worth protecting.

That’s all from us here folks! Have a safe trip and keep our pointers in mind.

Happy camping!

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