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Best RV Surge Protector: An Analysis Of Top Rated Products

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A good number of RV facilities and appliances run on electricity so without a surge protector, voltage spikes could render many essential features useless in a blink of an eye. Besides reducing your RV to a mere camping tent, voltage spikes would also present you with an expensive repair bill. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you have to equip your recreational vehicle with the best RV surge protector before you hit the road. Compare to costs of fixing all the damages caused by voltage spikes, surge protectors are much cheaper and they could offer you peace of mind.

“But how could I get the best RV surge protector when there are so many choices?” is a common question. Well, it’s true that on the market nowadays, there are a lot of products with different specifications and capabilities. To read every RV surge protector reviews is outright tedious but fortunately, with this article, there is no real need for you to do that. Below is a list of some of the best products on the market when it comes to surge protection for RV along with their characteristics. Take a look at them and you may be able to purchase the best RV surge protector for your setup.

Best RV Surge Protector Products Comparison Chart

Best RV Surge ProtectorsAmpereWeightPriceOur Review
Progressive Industries PT30X30 A5 Pounds$$$*****
Progressive Industries SSP3030 A1.8 Pounds$$$***
Progressive Industries SSP-30XL30 A3 Pounds$$$*****
TRS Surge Guard 4426030 A0.48 ounces$$****
Progressive Industries HW30C30 A4 Pounds$$$$*****
Technology Research Surge Guard 3485050 A8 Pounds$$$$$****
Camco Power Defender Circuit Analyzer 5531350 A8 Pounds$$$****
Technology Research Surge Guard 4427050 A2.6 Pounds$$$****
Progressive Industries HW50C50 A5 Pounds$$$$$*****
Progressive Industries SSP-50XL50 A3 Pounds$$$*****

Best 30 Amps RV Surge Protector: Top 5 Choices

1.  Progressive Industries PT30X | The Best RV Surge Protector For 30 Amps Setups  

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Specifications

  • Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Dimension: 18.25 x 6.25 x 5 Inches

Why We Love It

Able to detect problems as soon as they occur and cut off power until the power current return to an acceptable level, PT30X of Progressive Industries performs with distinction. The surge generator is a portable, hassle-free design so every RVer could put it to good use.  A locking ring is present as well which allow you to conveniently secure the surge protector to the pedestal pole. The built-in scrolling digital display is simple to comprehend, all you have to do is to read the numbers to figure the current situation.

In term of durability and weather resistance, PT30X possesses a strong shield assembly along with a tough pull handle. Because of that, the functions of the Progressive Industries surge protector remain top notch in less than ideal camping environment. There are 3 protection modes: N-G (Neutral to Ground), L-N (Line to Neutral) and L-G (Line to Ground). To show the confidence in their product quality, Progressive Industries back PT30X with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Detailed instruction manual
  • Provide you with accurate reading 24/7  
  • A straightforward, plug and play model

Cons

  • Inconsistent performance
  • Some products are delivered with missing components

2. Progressive Industries SSP30 | The Best RV Surge Protector In Term Of Compactness

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Specifications

  • Weight: 1.8 Pounds
  • Dimension: 15.4 x 5.1 x 3.2 Inches

Why We Love It

Compact and flexible, SSP30 is a high-quality surge protector from Progressive Industries with a special focus on customer convenience. Thanks to its humble profile as well as a lightweight body, this product could be used or stored with relative ease. With open ground, reverse polarity and open neutral detections, you would know if something goes wrong the moment you plug in the Progressive Industries product. Form miswirings to surge failures, SSP30 would warn you about pretty much all electrical problems that could occur.  

Compared to other products, SSP30 is relatively inexpensive and that is why it’s loved by RVer around the globe.  For most of the time, people could afford the Progressive Industries surge protector without straining their wallet in the process. While it has a reasonable price tag, the surge protector also offers its user a wide range of excellent features such as catchy LED indicators and a reliable pull handle.

Pros

  • Bright indicators light
  • Affordable for most people
  • Robust construction and work reliably

Cons

  • Loosed parts
  • Could get quite hot

3. Progressive Industries SSP-30XL | A Quality, All Weather Surge Protector

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Specifications

  • Weight: 3 Pounds
  • Dimension: 14 x 5 x 3 Inches

Why We Love It

In the case you like SSP30 but want something with endurance, SSP-30XL is the best RV surge protector for you. The Progressive Industries surge protector is designed for outdoor use which means it’s capable of standing up to elements. With the operating temperature ranges from -40 degrees to 105 degrees Celsius, you could essentially use this commendable product throughout the year. As it’s also a plug and play design, you could easily get the surge protector up and running in a blink of an eye.

SSP-30XL is an improved version of SSP30 so these Progressive Industries surge protectors have more or less similar features. For example, SSP-30XL offer open ground, reverse polarity and open neutral detections, the same as its brother, the SSP30. In addition to that, all RV electrical issues are also indicated through 3 bright LED lights. In term of post-purchase support, with the exception of the shield, SSP-30XL is backed with a limited lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Nice warranty
  • Simple operation
  • Admirable endurance

Cons

  • Some products have overheating issues
  • Quality control could use some improvements

4. TRS Surge Guard 44260 | The Best RV Surge Protector For Tight Wallet

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Specifications

  • Weight: 0.48 Ounces
  • Dimension: 2.41 x 14.40 x 1.85 Inches

Why We Love It

Effective at preventing fluctuating power from entering your vehicle, Surge Guard 44260 from Technology Research is the best RV surge protector in the entry-level range. The plug/receptacles of this product are thermal protected which would automatically shut off when there is a risk of overheating. As a result, you don’t have to worry about electric fire and damaged wiring with the Technology Research surge protector right by your side. While its endurance/resistance are not exactly impressive, the surge protector should nonetheless work well in wet and windy weathers.

For most of the time, Surge Guard 44260 would immediately cut off if it detects that the voltage has dropped below 102V or rose above 132V. Once the voltage returns to a safe level, the surge protector should proceed to restore power to the recreational vehicle. In order to account for AC head pressure bleed off, there is a time delay. The presence of the multi-mode surge protections ensures that power surge shall never be able to get into your rig through the power cable.

Pro

  • Work well for it cost
  • The best camper surge protector
  • Backed with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Indicators light is not very strong  
  • Some customer complain about loosed connection

5. Progressive Industries HW30C | Provide Your RV With All Around Protections  

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Specifications

  • Weight: 4 Pounds
  • Dimension: 9 x 5 x 5 Inches

Why We Love It

Come with a scrolling digital display, HW30C offer its user continuous updates about the state of the power source. Each of the readings (voltage, frequency, current, error and previous error) is displayed for 2 seconds. Similar to other surge protectors on the market, the Progressive Industries product would promptly cut off power when it becomes too high or too low. For A/C Protection, there is a time delay between when power returns to a normal level and when power is restored to the RV. The time delay is originally set at 15 seconds but you could increase it to as high as 136 seconds if needed.

Driven by state of the art microprocessors, HW30C possesses a consistent and precise performance. Software updates come free of charge as well so the product could be steadily improved. In the case some parts are damaged, the design of the Progressive Industries surge protector permit quick and easy repair. As with other products from Progressive Industries, HW30C is baked with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Convenient display
  • Adjustable time delay
  • Free software update

Cons

  • Customer service is not responsive
  • Instructions are slightly tricky to follow

>> Read more: Best generator for RV camping 2018: Guide and Reviews <<

Best 50 Amps RV Surge Protector: Top 5 Choices  

1. Technology Research Surge Guard 34850 | Portable And Reliable

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Specifications

  • Weight: 8 Pounds
  • Dimension: 3.9 x 6 x 21.5 Inches

Why We Love It

For 50 amp RV setups, Surge Guard 34850 is an excellent choice because of its simplicity and straightforwardness. In order to show you all important details about the power situation, the LCD display alternate between the main screen and the secondary screen.  If there is a reverse polarity issue, a “REVERSE POLARITY” message shall be displayed until you solve the issue properly.

For most of the time, Surge Guard 34850 could work with power adapters but it’s strongly advised that you refrain from using them if possible.  Full load applications could cause the power cord to overheat which present a fire hazard. If you have to use an adapter, take a look at the power cord from time to time to ensure that it’s not overheating. Every once in awhile, you must check out the SURGE indicator LED and see whether it’s on or not. In the case the LED is on, it means that the device has been sacrificed to protect your equipment and a replacement is urgently needed.

Pros

  • Fast delivery
  • Offer excellent protection
  • Efficient and long lasting

Cons

  • No lock bar  
  • Quite pricey

2. Camco Power Defender Circuit Analyzer 55313 | A Solid Product For Everyone  

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Specifications

  • Weight: 8 Pounds
  • Dimension: 3.9 x 6 x 21.5 Inches

Why We Love It

Able to analyze the power source and then indicate potential faults before you connect your RV power cord, 55313 is an inexpensive solution for surge protection. Thanks to the ergonomic and efficient grip handle, you could plug and unplug the Camco surge protector with relative ease. As it’s made out of high strength PVC as well as weather resistant polycarbonate, 55313 possesses admirable endurance for its size.

Due to the yellow body, it’s pretty easy to locate and retrieve 55313 in a less than ideal light condition. Generally speaking, the Camco is a bit on the bulky side though its function more than makes up for that. Similar to many other Camco products, his surge generator is backed with a 1-year warranty

Pros

  • Commendable strength
  • Highly durable grip handle
  • Detect power source problems instantly

Cons

  • Mediocre quality control
  • A couple of users experience overheating problems.

3. Technology Research Surge Guard 44270 | Protect Your RV From Inconsistent Power

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Specifications

  • Weight: 2.6 Pounds
  • Dimension: 22.1 x 3.8 x 3.5 Inches

Why We Love It

As an entry-level product from Technology Research, Surge Guard 44270 is widely considered to be the best RV surge protector in term of cost-effectiveness. For people that have expensive and sensitive electronics, this Technology Research surge protector is able to offer excellent surge protection. Thanks to the built-in analyze circuits, you could easily figure out what is going on through the indicator lights.

Due to the tough weather resistant design, you could put Surge Guard 44270 to use in the outdoors without any issues. The Technology Research surge protector doesn’t come with a lock though so you have to keep a close eye on it at all times. With the T shape pull handle, you should be able to easily disconnect the surge protector from the power pedestal.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Helpful post-purchase support
  • Work reliably in a variety of conditions

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a lock feature
  • Product longevity is not good

4. Progressive Industries HW50C | The Best RV Surge Protector For Sophisticated Vehicles 

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Specifications

  • Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Dimension: 9 x 5 x 4 Inches

Why We Love It

Capable of providing your RV with protection from all power problems, HW50C is the best choice for complex setups. With the multi-mode detections offered by the Progressive Industries surge protection, you could rest assured knowing that your RV is well taken care of. As it’s a plug and play design, the installation process is quite simple and you could replace the surge protector parts with relative ease.

Possessing a digital display, HW50C prove the user with easy access to important information like voltage, frequency and errors. While it’s a permanent design, the Progressive Industries product could deliver a level of convenience comparable to any portable surge protectors on the market. Furthermore, the surge protector is hardwired to the recreational vehicle so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.

Pros

  • Informative LED display  
  • Easy to use and manipulate
  • Immune to weather conditions and outdoor elements

Cons

  • Come with a costly price tag
  • The instruction manual is a bit confusing

5. Progressive Industries SSP-50XL | A Tough And Dependable Product

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Specifications

  • Weight: 3 Pounds  
  • Dimension: 5 x 14 x 3 Inches

Why We Love It

For people that like SSP-30XL from Progressive Industries but want a 50 Amps version, SSP-50XL is an excellent option.  The sleek and compact design of this quality surge protector allows it to be used and stored without much difficulty. Similar to its cousin, SSP-50XL is designed for outdoor use and also possesses a polarity tester.  

Employing an improved lock, SSP-50XL let you firmly secure it to the pedestal pole and deter thief as well.  As with other Progressive Industries product, all electric problems shall be indicated through 3 LED lights. With the wide operating temperature, you could use this surge protector year round.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Bright LED indicators
  • Straightforward installation  

Cons

  • Technical support is inadequate
  • Some parts fail after a couple of months

>> Choosing the best deep cycle battery for RV, Click here <<

Shopping For The Best RV Surge Protector: Tips And Tricks

Ampere Rating

In order to work as designed, an electrical device has to be constantly supplied with a sufficient amount of electricity. If the device doesn’t receive enough electricity, it may struggle to fulfill its task. Therefore, the ampere rating of the surge protector is an important criterion to consider if you wish to get the most out of this investment. In the case the ampere rating is too low, the surge protector would interfere with the operation of electrical devices. On the other hand, if the ampere rating is too high, the protection offered by the surge protector is not going to be very effective.

Ease Of Installation

Stay away from complex and sophisticated models, especially if you are novice RVer because there is a chance that you may mess up the installation. In the usual case, it’s a good idea to go after plug and play designs given the fact that they are simple to install.  A lot of experienced RVer prefer to use plug and play products whenever it’s possible due to their easy installation along with straightforward operation.

Surge Protector For RV

Acquisition Cost

While you should not be stingy here, there is no need to strain your wallet in order to get a surge protector for your vehicle. The best RV surge protector for you should be a product that matches your budget as well as your setup. It’s simply not a wise decision to buy the most powerful surge protector on the shelf when you only have a small recreational vehicle. There are always quality and affordable products available for purchase as long as you are willing to look for them. In conclusion, you should pay special attention to the cost-effective aspect of an investment.

LED Display

Nowadays, a lot of RV surge protectors utilize a LED display to show the current electric reading and potential problems. However, not all displays are created equal, some models use a LED display that is quite hard to comprehend during less than ideal light conditions. To make sure that you know exactly what is going on, it’s important that you select a model with a bright and informative LED display. The last thing you want to experience is to end up with a LED display that you could barely see.   

Manufacturer Reputation

When it comes to the best RV surge protector, there 2 names you have to remember: Progressive Industries and Technology Research (now owned by Southwire Company). These manufacturers have introduced a wide variety of surge protector and Electrical Management System (EMS) for motorhome, travel trailer and other types of recreational vehicle. While Progressive Industries focus solely on surge protectors, Technology Research offers a multitude of electrical items for military/civilian market.  

Although you don’t absolutely have to buy your RV surge protector from one of these brands, their post-purchase supports and customer services are superior to lesser-known manufacturers. That is why you should prioritize products from Progressive Industries and Technology Research if possible.

Frequent Asked Questions about RV Surge Protector

Portable Surge Protector Vs. Permanent Surge Protector

For portable surge protector, you have to plug it into the female outlet on the pedestal before connecting the power cord to the surge protector. In contrast, a permanent surge protector is hardwired to the recreational vehicle, it would be located right between the pedestal and the RV electric system. Generally speaking, portable surge protectors are much simpler to use and no installation is needed. On the other hand, permanent surge protectors are comparatively compact and invulnerable to outdoor elements.  

30 Amps Surge Protector Or 50 Amps Surge Protector?

It’s easy to determine whether a 30 amps surge protector or a 50 amps surge protector is suitable for your RV. All you have to do is to take a look at the power cord of your recreational vehicle and see how many prongs it has. If you see 3 prongs, you have to use a 30 amps surge protector for your vehicle. In the case the RV power cord has 4 prongs, a 50 amps surge protector is needed. Do remember to make sure that the power cord is not equipped with an adapter while you are checking it.

RV Surge Protector Reviews

How To Properly Plug In The RV Surge Protector

Having the best RV surge protector means nothing if you don’t know how to use plug it in correctly. First, you have to make sure that the circuit breaker, which could be found at the pedestal, is switched off. The idea is to prevent any potential electrical arching between the pedestal female plug and the surge protector male plug. This step is very crucial if you wish to avoid electric problems so keep it in mind whenever you are traveling on your recreational vehicle. After that, you could plug in anything in the power cord or the surge protector.

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