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  7. Portable RV Surge Protector – Gear Review

Portable RV Surge Protector – Gear Review

An important piece of equipment for any RVer.

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In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the EMS-PT30X Portable RV Surge Protector from Progressive Industries. The surge protector comes in 30 and 50-amp models, but today we’ll be checking out the 30 amp version. Emmy-awarded journalist and product specialist Mike Wendland (RV Lifestyle) will take us through the ins and outs of this device, to see help you decide if it might be the right fit for your rig. 

We get started at a spot familiar to all RV owners: the electric pedestal at an RV campsite. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust these electrical hook-up pedestals because you don’t know how well they’re wired if they’ve been grounded, or what surge protections might exist. And you don’t want to roll the dice. 

When it comes to powering the appliances on your RV, don’t risk the possibility of low power or power surges damaging your rig or appliances. That’s where the surge protector comes in, halting power that’s potentially hazardous to your rig and informing you of the source of the problem. It’s a great tool to bring you and your family peace of mind. 

But is this the right surge protector for you? Let’s learn more to find out. 

First Impressions

Out of the box, even the lower 30-amp model has some heft to it, weighing in only a pound lighter than its 50-amp counterpart at 5 lbs. This device runs just a little over 18”, connecting to the pedestal with an extended power connector arm. A metal clip is attached to this connector arm, allowing you to secure the device with a padlock or bike lock, preventing theft. 

The bulk of the surge protector houses the RV power connecter, equipped with a plastic case to prevent weather damage. There’s also a display screen here that provides error codes relevant to any power discrepancies. For example, “E 0” indicates Normal Operating Condition. Its primary function is to act as the gatekeeper to any power that’s being transferred to your RV. 

Now, as Mike points out, RV power pedestals are notorious for being under wattage, due to either power “brownouts” often caused by weather, or simply because of a low-power power grid. This has the potential to damage all of the appliances on your rig. 

There are two other risks associated with power pedestals: power surges and miswired pedestals. The danger from power surges is straightforward: when too much power is allowed to transfer from the power grid to your appliances, your appliances can be irreversibly damaged when they receive more power than what they’re designed to handle. 

Miswired pedestals are the result of human error, and, in Mike’s experience, miswiring caused the polarity of the pedestal to be switched. Luckily, his power surge protector caught the problem before power could run to the RV. 

The surge protector regulates the power going into your RV, preventing too little, too much, or the wrong kind of power from entering your rig and causing damage, and it’s a sure way to check off an important worry from your list. And at just over $260.00, it’s worth the investment for that peace of mind. 

Buy it from Camping World.

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