How to prevent a thief from stealing your RV surge protector

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By Chuck Woodbury
If you use a surge protector when you plug in your RV (you absolutely should!), it’s a good idea to secure it so a thief can’t steal it. Most times, you can simply use a padlock that will fit through a hole in the electrical pedestal cover.

We hear reports at RVtravel.com quite often from readers whose surge protectors disappeared during the night or when they were away from their RV.

rv surge protectorFor those times I can’t simply lock the pedestal cover, I carry a combination bicycle lock like the one here and a strong security cable, which most often does the job: I can usually find something to attach the cable to — a tree, picnic table or anything else nearby that can be used to secure it.

We found this photo on Pinterest that shows another way to secure a surge protector when a system like what I describe above won’t work.

Do you have another method? Please leave a comment, or send an email to me with a photo attached at chuck@rvtravel.com .

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Wolfe Rose
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Wolfe Rose

I’m surprised no one else pointed out that the chained box pictured wouldn’t do anything to stop theft. Unplug, lift the loop of chain, and walk away with it. What works better is locking the surge cable to your non-removable RV cable so even unplugged its still stuck to your rig.

Billy Bob Thorton
Guest
Billy Bob Thorton

Can’t steal mine, don’t use one. Lightning, bring it!

Jerry Miller
Guest
Jerry Miller

We use an extension cord, surge protector stays inside the bin.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

same here

Dave Hogan
Guest
Dave Hogan

If I will be staying for a few days at a camp site, I first check the pedestal with my tester/surge protector. If all is ok I use my 50 Amp extension cord from the pedestal to the entry into my basement electrical service and plug the surge protector into the extension cord and the 50 amp service cord into the surge protector. So all anyone sees is an electric cord going under my RV.

Mike Sokol
Editor

Pretty clever way to hide the surge protector.

Jim
Guest
Jim

You must watch for voltage drop.
Check the voltage at your breaker box.

Steve Cordis
Guest
Steve Cordis

I’ve installed the hard-wired version inside my truck camper. It even comes with a digital readout that’s mounted on my wall so I can monitor what’s going on without going outside. Nice when it’s raining or 113 degrees outside! This should be everyone’s standard equipment.

badwolfe
Guest

I use a sliding cable lock and tighten it around the base of the power pole. Just unlock and slide the cable to make it a larger loop to remove.
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-Python-Adjustable-8413DPF/dp/B00006407M/ref=sr_1_21/147-4156355-8249627?ie=UTF8&qid=1543361983&sr=8-21&keywords=cable+lock

Jeffrey Torsrud
Member
Jeffrey Torsrud

I use a Master CABLE Lock. Purchased at Lowes, comes in a Set of 3 locks and Cables for $20. Good Thick Cable and is 6ft. Long, so depending on the Pedestal, you can wrap the Cable around twice.

Everyone needs a Surge Protector and should always secure it with a Chain or Cable lock. Good Heavy Duty Lock that is very difficult for a Bolt cutter to cut through.

Just my 2 cents.

Froelich David
Guest
Froelich David

How come people don’t install the same brands internal version in RV so it nots right out there for the taking like the portable version ?

Mike Sokol
Editor

The main advantage of a portable Surge Protector compared to an internal version, is that you can carry the portable one over to the pedestal and test it for power BEFORE you take the time and mental energy to move your RV into a campsite. I get emails all the time from readers who park their RV at a campsite, level it, hook up water and sewer, then FINALLY plug into shore power. And if your internal Surge Protector indicates there’s no ground, reversed polarity, or something worse with the pedestal power, you either have to run a long extension… Read more »

Ken Taylor
Guest
Ken Taylor

I installed the internal version before a month long trip last August. The first thing I did at each stop was to test the pedestal first then plug into it. Next I waited for my wife to tell me all is well from inside the 5th wheel unit. After a thumbs up I continued the set-up process. Next step is to go inside, pour a bourbon on the rocks and set up for TV viewing. Cheers.

Don
Guest
Don

Some people don’t have the handiman skills, others trade RV’s like some people trade cars. I would think that finding the right place every time you get a different RV would get tiresome in a few years.

Moaboy
Guest
Moaboy

Progressive will replace a burned out surge protector for free if u mail it back to them. Try that with an internal unit, nope. Plus if it does blow, just replace it vs an internal rewire.

Tom Lang
Guest
Tom Lang

I added a Siemens QSA20/20 ‘“Whole-House” surge protector breaker right into the RV electrical loadcenter. Good specs as far as protection goes

Don
Guest
Don

Progressive will repair or replace an internal hard wired unit just the same as a portable one. No difference in the lifetime warranty.

Roger
Guest
Roger

Yes, they will replace it – one time. I have one. Much better than the others, but the lifetime warranty does not extend past the first replacement.