Surge Protector Recommendation

I'm looking at purchasing a surge protector.  What brand or type would you recommend?  Is the "dog-bone" type enough or do I need a more complex one? I am assuming I need a 30 amp.  Do you also use a 50 to 30 amp converter when needed?  I have a 20 to 30 amp converter but not 50 to 30.
Kathy - Lansing, MI
2017 [email protected] 320 SC-S, 2016 Suburu Outback
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Comments

  • TomCanadaTomCanada Member Posts: 225
    Dogbone means it's external to your trailer, it doesn't tell you the type of device.  There are also ones you can install inside your rig, advantage being security (no need to lock it up) but disadvantage being more complex install.  Within each of those two you can get basic surge protectors or full EMS protection devices. I recommend the latter to protect you from miswired campgrounds, voltage dips, etc that a basic surge protector wouldn't help with. Best brands are Progressive Industries and Hughes Watchdog. They're both good. You'll want 30A.

    Regarding adapters, 20(post) to 30(trailer) is a must. I also bought a 50-to-30 but don't expect to need it much. I just have it in case I ever camp at a site with a busted or miswired 30A..


  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,570
    edited March 17
    A dog bone is the term used for an adapter.  A 15 amp male to 30 amp female will allow you to use a regular household 15 to 20 amp outlet.  Another adapter that is helpful is a 50 amp male to 30 amp female - useful if you camp at places with only 50 amp hookups or in case the 30 amp outlet is not functional.  The dog bone style is also called a Power Grip.

    The surge protector is either hardwire installed or portable.  The portable plugs into the campground pedestal, then the TaB power cord plugs into the surge protector.  Depending on how you camp, you may need only a simple surge protector vs an EMS - Electrical Management System.

    Progressive Industries and Surge Guard are 2 companies with quality portable EMS.

    Do a search for Surge Protectors - lots of threads here.


    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • MichiganSunshineMichiganSunshine Member Posts: 19
    I think a portable surge protector would be sufficient.  I have a 30 to 20 converter already. Thanks!
    Kathy - Lansing, MI
    2017 [email protected] 320 SC-S, 2016 Suburu Outback
  • AirBossAirBoss Member Posts: 694
    Another option as well. I found this one fit the bill pretty well. Can't go wrong if you stay with known manufacturers.  

    https://www.campingworld.com/southwire-surge-guard-portable-30-amp-120-volt-bluetooth-capable-surge-protector-118086.html

    Good luck and happy camping! 
    2020 [email protected] 400 "OTTO" (build date 08/19)
    Factory Victron Solar; Norcold 3-way fridge
    '04 Chevy Tahoe Z71 DinoKiller
    San Diego, CA
    www.airbossone.com
    https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/owen-ashurst/shop


  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 377
    I just installed a Progressive Industries 30 Amp with remote display in our TAB 400 BDL. Straight forward installation, I bought a 3 foot piece of 10-3 SJ Wiring (think of a flexible extension cord) to connect the input side to the shore power port. 

    Lifetime warranty, never need to worry about theft, and always working.

    Brad
    2020 400 BDL
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD
    Concord, NC 
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 222
    edited March 18
    Dutch061 said:
    I just installed a Progressive Industries 30 Amp with remote display in our TAB 400 BDL. Straight forward installation, I bought a 3 foot piece of 10-3 SJ Wiring (think of a flexible extension cord) to connect the input side to the shore power port. 

    Lifetime warranty, never need to worry about theft, and always working.

    Brad
    I'm also planning to install the same basic Progressive Industries 30 amp EMS on our 320 BD for the same reasons: never worrying about having it connected, leaving it behind or having it disappear. I will probably go with the standard rather than the remote display version, but am deferring that decision until our [email protected] is in the driveway and I can see the layout firsthand.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2008 XC-90 V8 Sport - Phillies Territory
  • dlbdlb Member Posts: 87
    I installed my PI 30 amp in out 400 into the cubby next to the battery switch.  Had to drag some wire across the trailer but in the end it is easy to see everything.
    2021 Tab 400 Boondock
    2020 Audi SQ5
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,981
    We use the Progressive Industries 'external' model. Very happy with it. The company has a great reputation for standing behind their products (although they might be under new ownership now - not sure). 

    I prefer the external one, for ease of replacement, if needed.
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl 
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • TampakayakerTampakayaker Member Posts: 534
    I'm using a Camco Dogbone style surge suppressor/analyzer model 55312.

    It will protect against surges and high/low voltage spikes, but not sustained high voltage issues.  It was around $90 on Amazon but they no longer have them.  Other sites carry them. The next model 55301 that does the sustained voltage is almost $300
    2006 RAM 1500 4 door, 2016 [email protected] 320 MAX S 
    Tampa FL
  • OlenaOlena Member Posts: 99
    Just bought this one from Progressive Industries - PSK 30. I like the fact that it is in two separate pieces. Less worries about theft and less worries about protecting the electronics (the electronics don't have to be out on the pedestal in all weather). It was on Amazon.

    I'll give it a review at the end of the camping season!


    2017 [email protected] Q with 210W Zamp solar | 2013 Ford Escape | Total nights in the [email protected]: 158
  • mntrailsmntrails Member Posts: 117
    I started with the Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X (external version) last summer. What I didn't realize is that its much bigger than I thought. This spring, I'm switching to the internal version EMS-HW30C.  What I found is that I plug in our [email protected] mostly at home. Dragging out the PT30X, finding the adapter for the standard wall outlet, etc was one more step that honestly, didn't get done that often. I'm a minimalist when it comes to travel so the least number of separate things to take-out/store is better (for me). I happen to have both units in hand and below is a picture of them side by side.  The external version is 19" long and 5-1/2" wide, the internal one 10" x 5".  Both are ~ 3" deep.  Good luck with your purchase decisions.


    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock - 2018 Toyota 4Runner
  • William_KeeverWilliam_Keever Member Posts: 35
    edited March 28
    I purchased a Progressive Industries 30 amp hardwire version EMS (LCHW-30) and was installing it tonight. I have two issues. 1) Inside the unit there is a blue pigtail that is hanging loose. One end is connected to what I think is the relay, but the other end it is connected to nothing.  It is just hanging. Can someone verify that theirs is also structured that way? 2) Whenever I plug the unit in (which I did before installing it and the Tab) it makes a loud popping noise. It does it again when I unplug it. Could this be the relay? Does anyone else‘s do this? 
  • mntrailsmntrails Member Posts: 117
    Here's a picture of the internals of mine (HW30C). Both blue wires are attached to spade lugs of the relay. I hope this helps.


    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock - 2018 Toyota 4Runner
  • William_KeeverWilliam_Keever Member Posts: 35
    edited March 28
    Mntrails, For some reason I have two blue wires on the left side. One seems to match what yours does. But it’s the second one that has me confused. Also, does your unit “pop” when you plug it in and unplug it?

  • mntrailsmntrails Member Posts: 117
    @William_Keever, I don't have anything connected to the second (upper) spade connector on the left side. Mine isn't installed yet so I can't comment on the sound. After reading the instructions though, I would expect to hear the relay click as it engages. The one difference between the two units is that mine has the external display with bypass switch. I wonder if your extra jumper is related to the optional bypass switch they sell for your unit? 
    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock - 2018 Toyota 4Runner
  • BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,015
    @William_Keever, my HW30C (which I installed in 2019) looks the same as @mntrails' device, so it appears that the "extra" blue wire in your unit is something new.  Take a look at the color photo of the device in the installation manual and see if the "extra" wire is depicted.  Regardless, you probably should call Progressive Industries and find out what its purpose is.

    Regarding the "popping" sound, I have never heard that on mine, but I wouldn't be in a position to hear it if it does, because I am outside the trailer when plugging in the trailer.  It is not clear to me how you "plugged it in" (or "unplugged" it) before installing it in the trailer.  If you wired it up outside the trailer before making the final connection inside the trailer, then I can understand how you would be in a position to hear the popping sound.  But again, since it is loud, it is definitely worth checking with the manufacturer to find out if that is normal, and what is causing it.  I will be interested in learning what you find out from the manufacturer.
    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite; Alde Compact 3020 Boiler; Norcold N180.3x Refrigerator; 2007 Toyota Tundra TRD (5.7L V8)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


  • William_KeeverWilliam_Keever Member Posts: 35
    edited March 28
    @Bayliss, Yes, I wired the LCHW 30 outside of the trailer beforehand in my shop. More than anything else, I wanted to verify that I was it installing the wires correctly without running risk to the Tab. What I did was installed two 30 inch sections of 10 Gauge wire to the unit, one on the Source side and one on the Load side. On the Source side I installed a plug, and one on the Load side I installed a receptacle. In the receptacle I placed both a 110 volt meter and a receptacle tester. Then I plugged the unit in an outlet in my shop.

    The good news is that the both the meter and the tester measured correctly. So I must have wired it correctly. I simply wanted to do this before installing it in the Tab to verify my work. Because I left the "lid" off of the LCHW 30 when I checked it, that's when I heard the initial "pop" (although the word "knock" might be a better descriptor) to the point it startled me. I would described it as louder than a "click" as @mtntrails mentions what is in the manual. Again, that's probably because the lid was off, and I could it hear it so clearly.

    As for calling Progressive Industries, yes, I plan to call them before installing the unit in the Tab. I plan to ask about both the sound and the "extra" blue wire. As for the manual itself, the only one I have is black, white, & gray. Mine did not come with a color manual, and so it's a bit tough to visually trace the wires in the diagram.
  • scottincarmelscottincarmel Member Posts: 20
    Olena said:
    Just bought this one from Progressive Industries - PSK 30. I like the fact that it is in two separate pieces. Less worries about theft and less worries about protecting the electronics (the electronics don't have to be out on the pedestal in all weather). It was on Amazon.

    I'll give it a review at the end of the camping season!


    I'll be very interested to see how you like the PSK 30 as that's the same unit I bought. I'm supposed to get my 2021 320S Boondock in the next week or two, so I've not tried it out yet. I went with the PSK 30 for the same reasons you cite, plus it was cheap enough that if/when I decide to install a hardwired unit, I won't have much invested...
    2021 [email protected] 320S-BD
    2018 Honda Ridgeline
    Carmel, IN
  • rfuss928rfuss928 Member Posts: 704
    William_Keever 
    FWIW - Progressive Industries has an excellent customer service group that will provide installation and trouble shooting assistance over the phone.   
    I would contact then about the disconnected blue wire.

  • TomCanadaTomCanada Member Posts: 225
    The pop/click noise is very normal.  It's the sound of the mechanical relay opening/closing..
  • TurnOnMyMikeTurnOnMyMike Member Posts: 8
    I'm using a Camco Dogbone style surge suppressor/analyzer model 55312.

    It will protect against surges and high/low voltage spikes, but not sustained high voltage issues.  It was around $90 on Amazon but they no longer have them.  Other sites carry them. The next model 55301 that does the sustained voltage is almost $300
    How frequent is a "sustained high/low voltage" incident? Is this something I need to pay $200 for or is it 1 in a million?
    2018 [email protected] 320s Boondock
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,817
    @TurnOnMyMike, it’s one of those “Oh No, my [email protected]’s wiring and electronics are ruined😳” moments. You can’t see the bad wiring in a campground, you can’t predict a thunderstorm’s lightning hitting a power pole and sending a super surge to your hookup. 

    Does it happen every day to you? No. Can it happen to you, yes. 

    Two years ago I had low power in a very reputable campground. I thought my CoolCat A/C unit was short-cycling for some reason, as it stopped after the sun went down and the outside temps dropped.

    As it turned out, an important component in the power company’s sub station failed and it was not giving enough power to not only the entire RV park, but also nearby houses and businesses. My EMT unit stopped the low power from entering the [email protected] 400, and in doing so, the CoolCat was shutting down and was saved from being destroyed by the EMT. I don’t gamble with my [email protected], the EMT is the first accessory I ask to be installed.


    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock “The [email protected]
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost “The Truck”
    [email protected] Administrator
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,292
    edited June 10
    And lighting can strike.I,was working in my sail boat one winter day (not raining but overcast), when I heard an explosion, dropped down flat and held,my hands over my head, expected my mast to,come crashing down.  After a few moments, nothing, just silence.  Got up, looked around, and discovered the larger boat next to me had its mast hit by lighting, and his wind indicator was on the dock next to my boat, instead atop his tall mast.  If fried the electrical systems in his boat that were not disconnected, including his bilge pump — what a mess!

    Don’t take chances, protect yourself and your camper from electrical issues.
    We installed a Progressive Indst. Surge/Faulty electrical protection system, cheap insurance compared with replacing damaged components in your TaB.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TurnOnMyMikeTurnOnMyMike Member Posts: 8
    I wasn't asking about whether or not to get a surge protector (I was already convinced of that) but instead whether or not I should pay the ~$300 for a full EMS vs the ~$100 for a surge protector. It sounds like there's pretty much a consensus to go with the more expensive ~$300 models though.
    Thanks
    2018 [email protected] 320s Boondock
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,292
    You need the $300 full EMS to get under/over current protection.  The $100 unit only protects for a large surge.  You biggest risk is inadvertently connecting to an unknown power source, like you find at most camp grounds.  

    The more expensive EMS unit protects will give over voltage (220VAC), ground fault, and miss wired outlets (hot/neutral switched wrong way round.  This also includes brownout protection, when power drops below 110 VAC.   It will save your Alde control circuits, and any sensitive electronics you have connected.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TurnOnMyMikeTurnOnMyMike Member Posts: 8
    any of them ever pop up on Prime Day? :)
    2018 [email protected] 320s Boondock
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 222
    edited June 11
    I'm a new [email protected] owner and though I did a fair amount or research on this subject, I'm very far from being an expert. You've been warned.
    In my view, the extra money for an EMS/surge protector is well worth it.
    The less expensive systems are designed to react to a sudden high voltage spike and prevent that from being passed to the devices in your RV. They work well, but only for that single function. Unfortunately, as @Denny16 points out, there are several other power supply issues that will also damage your RV's electrical system, such as over or low voltage conditions and too much current flowing through the neutral line. The more expensive EMS units continuously monitor the electrical feed and protect against all of those conditions, as well as surges.
    As I stated above, in my opinion, the added cost for a well-designed surge protector with EMS is money well spent. I also believe that a hard-wired EMS unit offers several advantages over a portable and is worth the additional work involved to install one. With a hard-wired unit, you never have to worry about it being connected, about leaving it behind when you break camp or about it being stolen.
    My choice, based on what I saw in this forum as well as some independent research was the Progressive Industries LCHW30, but the offerings from Southwire and Hughes are also worth considering.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2008 XC-90 V8 Sport - Phillies Territory
  • mntrailsmntrails Member Posts: 117
    I'm with the 'get the good one, its cheap insurance' crowd.  Although I boondock a lot, I purchased the Progressive Industries stand-alone model last spring. I never actually used it.  I didn't camp at a campground with a pedestal and when plugging in at home or friends, it always seemed to be the extra step that could be skipped (these things aren't small and mine got packed away under a seat).  I converted to the hardwired version this spring.  Its already served to show up a faulty extension cord at a friends house when it called out an 'open ground'.  The hardwired version is always present and gets used at home, friends or a campground pedestal (yes, I've actually plugged in a handful of times this year), no extra effort required.  We all have our personal preferences and habits ... in my case, having a good quality hardwired option has ensured that it gets used. I wouldn't call myself lazy, I just like to be 'efficient' with my setup time :-).  Good luck with your choice.
    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock - 2018 Toyota 4Runner
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Member Posts: 409
    I have the Progressive EMS PT 30X, costs about $250-$290, external version. I’m camping at a state park on Oregon Coast and when I got here yesterday, the EMS reported reverse polarity at the 30 amp. Thankfully I carry the 20 to 30 dog bone and it tested ok. I reported to a ranger and he just came and rewired and I’m back in business! He had never seen this version of EMS, so I explained how they work. He said another park nearby often has low power “brownouts”, so another reason for this version of EMS. This is the second time the EMS has reported reverse polarity at a state park, so I’m glad to have it.
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • BrianZBrianZ Member Posts: 1,382
    edited June 13
    Anyone have a photo showing how & where you installed an EMS-HW30C in a [email protected] 320S, and what additional materials were needed & source?
    If already posted, I'll find it, thanks.
    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >90 mods 
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