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 > is a surge protector necessary for a basic travel trailer?

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trailernovice

Mission TX

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Posted: 04/12/21 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A couple of questions re. surge protectors:

I read in another 'surge protector' thread that they are most necessary in units with finely tuned electronics...

Our trailer (in signature) is quite basic...no slides, no electronic control panels, no internal computers--we have 'electrics', but the only things I'd categorize as 'electronics' would be the thermostat, the microwave and maybe the 'how full are the tanks' monitor panel...

is surge protector actually necessary (understanding having one in place wouldn't hurt)? Also, we normally are on shore power but occasionally run off a portable inverter generator to keep it 'exercised'....if necessary, is that only when on shore power, only when on generator, or both?

* This post was edited 04/12/21 11:41am by trailernovice *


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JKJavelin

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Posted: 04/12/21 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got a refrigerator?
Got a furnace?
Got an air conditioner?
Yup, you need one.
But.... what you really need is an EMS for true protection.
JK


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pianotuna

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Posted: 04/12/21 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get an energy management system.


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Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 04/12/21 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And useful for generators too with more frequent fluctuating voltage.

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 04/12/21 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's not necessary until lightning hits a tree about 15' from your camper.
Then you will give serious thought to installing one. Trust me.

Mike134

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Posted: 04/12/21 10:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They are a great marketing toy. Have an RV surge protector on your incoming house wires? me either.

* This post was edited 04/12/21 01:05pm by Mike134 *


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Posted: 04/12/21 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I learned the hard way. It’s like an insurance policy, you don’t need it til you need it.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 04/12/21 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

It's not necessary until lightning hits a tree about 15' from your camper.
Then you will give serious thought to installing one. Trust me.


Of course, 15 ft away, is likely going to blow right thru the surge protector anyway... There are limitations to what they can handle.

They are good things to have but don't get too paranoid about them. Low voltage likely kills more RV appliances, so get a $10 voltage meter that plugs into an outlet. Then keep an eye on it. If you get below 108v, start worrying. Then if you feel the need, put it on the to list to buy one.


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2oldman

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Posted: 04/12/21 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

low voltage likely kills more RV appliances, so get a $10 voltage meter that plugs into an outlet.
x2

I've seen much more low voltage issues and burned up pedestals than surges. If there's lightning nearby, I unplug.

And for a decent inverter generator? Well, nothing is either 0% or 100%, but the chance you'd need a SP on a generator are near zero. It's not clear to me that an SP would even pass gen power as it's not the same as shore power and most circuit analyzers will say there's something wrong with it.

* This post was edited 04/12/21 10:52am by 2oldman *

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 04/12/21 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

It's not necessary until lightning hits a tree about 15' from your camper.
Then you will give serious thought to installing one. Trust me.


If lightning "hits a tree 15' from your camper" chances are pretty slim that ANY "surge protector" is going to save your electrical system or even your trailer. Heck,you may not even survive a strike that close, not sure why you think a silly "surge protector" is gonna save your bacon..

How about a security camera video that captured a lightning strike on a tree..

HERE

Vaporizing the tree in the process..

I would recommend you take a look at THIS video of a direct lightning strike of a power substation..

HERE is a slowmotion video of a lightning direct strike..

Substations ARE equipped with surge arrestors and lots of other switching equipment that are not robust enough to deal with a direct or near direct hit.

As far as OPs question, NO, in reality your odds of something damaged via a "surge" are the exact same as if you are at home and I would be willing to bet that very few or if any homeowners have a "RV surge protector" connected to their service entrance of their home.

Folks have been scared into thinking that a $300 device will save the day..

The ONLY possible nice thing that several "RV surge protectors" may offer is a under or overvoltage disconnect, but those are not "surges" per say.

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