Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-26-2019, 01:27 PM   #1
Guru
 
ranger58sb's Avatar
 
City: Annapolis
Vessel Model: 58' Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,070
RV folks: Surge Protectors?

A bud just got a new travel trailer... 50A electrical service instead of his previous 30A camper... and mentioned he's off to shop on a new surge protector since "they're highly recommended."

??

Is this meant to be about lightning protection? Or...?

Haven't really heard about a marine counterpart... unless we call it something else?

-Chris
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, USA
ranger58sb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 01:50 PM   #2
Valued Technical Contributor
 
DavidM's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,259
I have a camping trailer and have noticed that the RV crowd is very paranoid about surge in campground electrical systems, so they install surge protectors. Don't know if the surge that they are concerned about is due to lightning or ???


I would have thought that marinas would be more subject to surge (if it is a real problem) than campgrounds due to wet wiring and being on the water where lightning can easily strike. But in many years of reading this and other boating forums I have never heard of a boat's AC electrical system being damaged by a power surge. Low voltage maybe, but not surge.


I think surge in campgrounds is another old wives tale, ginned up by the surge protection folks.


David
DavidM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 02:29 PM   #3
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 10,414
David, I agree they can be a nervous lot. I had a Class C and now have a Class B van. We've never had a surge protector but have been told more than once we should. Like marinas, you'd think the RV parks are pretty good about power management or it would hurt their business.

Progressive Industries seems to be a big player. It looks like their specifications are impressive.

https://www.progressiveindustries.net/
Larry M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 03:19 PM   #4
Guru
 
ranger58sb's Avatar
 
City: Annapolis
Vessel Model: 58' Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,070
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I
I would have thought that marinas would be more subject to surge (if it is a real problem) than campgrounds due to wet wiring and being on the water where lightning can easily strike. But in many years of reading this and other boating forums I have never heard of a boat's AC electrical system being damaged by a power surge. Low voltage maybe, but not surge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We've never had a surge protector but have been told more than once we should. Like marinas, you'd think the RV parks are pretty good about power management or it would hurt their business.

Progressive Industries seems to be a big player. It looks like their specifications are impressive.

Bud actually talked to a tech at that Progressive Industries earlier today... said the emphasis was on low voltages, not so much "surge" even though the name of these thing implies "surge" (lightning?) would be the primary focus.

So what happens when voltages get too low?

Don't remember ever having voltage too low... except maybe the odd time or two trying to power a Smart Y with twin 30s and not reaching 208V. In that case, the outcome was only that we had no shorepower until we moved slips. IOW, no damage...

-Chris
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, USA
ranger58sb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 04:12 PM   #5
TF Site Team
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6,329
Ive had 2 motorhomes w surge protectors and like having them.
They check the incoming power before connecting.
Checks include low V, Hi V, open ground, reverse polarity, etc.

See the Progressive link below.

I had one instance where mine dropped the connection and I read low V at the pedestal. Notified park and they confirmed Lo V and called in power company - spent a few hrs correcting it. Glad I didn't risk damage to any controls, TVs, etc

https://www.progressiveindustries.ne...ed-comparisons
__________________
Don
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
"Bacchus"
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
Valued Technical Contributor
 
DavidM's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,259
Low AC voltage can harm large AC motors because they pull more current with lower voltage and can overheat. The only motor to worry about is the air conditioning compressor motor.

This usually occurs at the end of a long dock where the electrical contractor didn't use big enough wiring. Watch your voltage and don't run the A/C if the voltage is less than about 105V.

I helped a friend diagnose low voltage at the end of his marina's dock. It was probably 200 feet to the main A/C panel on shore and his 30A outlet was wired with 10 gauge wire. With a 25 amp load he was seeing a 10V drop which put it at 105V. We were able to plug in one of his A/C units to another outlet on a different circuit that reduced the current to 15 amps and the voltage drop reduced to 6-7 volts.

David
DavidM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2019, 04:49 AM   #7
Guru
 
ranger58sb's Avatar
 
City: Annapolis
Vessel Model: 58' Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,070
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Low AC voltage can harm large AC motors because they pull more current with lower voltage and can overheat. The only motor to worry about is the air conditioning compressor motor.

Wouldn't the boat's breakers -- either main or (in this case) AC -- protect against that?

-Chris
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, USA
ranger58sb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2019, 05:58 AM   #8
Valued Technical Contributor
 
DavidM's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Wouldn't the boat's breakers -- either main or (in this case) AC -- protect against that?

-Chris

Well, it depends on how close you are running to the breaker's setting.



If you are pulling just the normal 15 amp air conditioner load on the shore power system then the 30 amp shore power breaker won't break and it will take 5 amps of overload current to break the typical 20 amp breaker that protects the A/C circuit. 5 amps more or 33% more than normal won't do your A/C motor much good.


David
DavidM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2019, 07:27 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
City: New York
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 338
Never had one, never a problem, 30 years, RV ing all over the USA
Genecop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2019, 08:47 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 246
I've had a few instances where my Progressive Industries unit kicked off because of low voltage, open neutral, open ground, etc. In all of these it was the campground's power pedestal that had problems. For the open ground it was my power plug that was bad.
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2019, 10:33 AM   #11
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 9,271
We have 3 large AC units for our AZ home. Six years ago, right after we'd moved in, along came a thunderstorm. Lost two AC motors due to lightning. The power company said install surge protectors, we did. Very common installation I've come to find out.

Dependent upon where the boat is berthed and incoming power handled, a surge protector is a pretty easy thing to install. But, will it really help if a bolt hits the sailboat next to you? Doubtful IMHO.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2019, 10:14 AM   #12
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 8,276
I too have a travel trailer, and use a surge protector. In the older campgrounds it is not unusual to find and open ground. I have only run across reverse polarity a few times.

Boats have good electrical panels with volt and amp meters. There is also a reverse polarity indicator on the panel. I have run into low voltage at a few marinas. One case in particular was Light House Marina in Hope Town on Elbow Cay. I checked to voltage to the boat, and the meter read 91 volts. Too low, so I disconnected my power chord. It didn't improve. So, rather than pay the higher marina fee I moved out to the mooring field. With all the expensive electronics on a boat I can see where a surge protector could give peace of mind.

Fortunately, I can go long periods on my boat and RV without the need of hookups.
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
https://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2019, 06:17 AM   #13
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22,553
Never bothered , but "Stuff Happens" and the lack of protection cost me a DE DEC computer and a battery charger on my 1956 VL 100 bus conversion with a Series 50 Detroit..

First time in 40 years of RV use , but lightning hits a power line and POW!!!
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2019, 06:43 AM   #14
Guru
 
ranger58sb's Avatar
 
City: Annapolis
Vessel Model: 58' Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,070
Thanks, all. Interesting...

-Chris
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, USA
ranger58sb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2019, 01:56 AM   #15
Guru
 
Alaskaflyer's Avatar
 
City: Currently hiding out in Smith, NV, USA
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,170
What people are generally referring to as "surge protectors" for travel trailers and campers are more properly described as power management systems since surge protection is only one thing that they do. Yes, low voltage is the biggest worry on campground grids and the right units protect for low voltage and warn about ground problems too. They also protect against inadvertent 240V connection which would not normally be a hazard on a power pedestal but could be when connecting to your buddy's garage.

This is what I have installed (after market) on my travel trailer with a 30 amp connection: https://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-hw30c
Alaskaflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012