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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31 Comments
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Beachcamper
6 months ago

I lock the door of the pedestal with a long shackle lock. If they can’t open the pedestal door they can’t steal the EMS.

Jeff
6 months ago

I just wrap this around the pedestal a few times and attach to Surge Protector. Seems to work pretty good!
comment image

Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

By the way, my Wife drives the Truck towing the Chain Trailer! A Dual Axle Trailer with Mini Crane to off load the chain once we get to our campsite!

Gil
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Is this available at Walmart or Home Depot, LOL.

Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Gil

Actually LOWES has it in stock! LMAO!

Mark
6 months ago

I use a cable lock used to secure guns by going through the action. Often they come free with the gun and the one I use says ‘Smith & Wesson’ so it has extra security.

Alvin
6 months ago

I’ve used the largest diameter bike cable available for years, fastened so it can’t be lifted up and over the pedestal, (like someone else suggested) and have never even suspected someone has attempted to steal it. Most set-ups I’ve observed would be much easier to steal than mine, and that’s the object, Thieves are lazy low-life’s, who don’t want to work very hard at anything – thus they’re hard wired to follow the path of least resistance, which I do not offer them.

Rich Arno
6 months ago

I hard wired my surge suppressor inside my electrical cabinet bay. I also lock the cabinet up all the time I am away from home. It has been 17 years and I still have it safe and secure.

William Johnson
6 months ago

I have two electric management systems, 50 amp, and I have had them both for many years. No one has ever tried to take it when pluged in all these years. Someone once told me many years ago that they don’t lock their storage because he would prefer that if they are going to steal from there them he hope they didn’t break the doors or door locks.

Wolfe Rose
1 year ago

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.

WEB
6 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe Rose

If a low life is taking your surge protector, he would take a long chunk of cable too. “Snip” With the price of copper, it would be worth it.

Stay cool

Dave
6 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe Rose

The receptacle lid is larger than the post so if you keep the chain short it cannot slide off the top of the pedestal

Billy Bob Thorton
1 year ago

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

vernon
6 months ago

you wont feel that way if a surge comes through the wire. had it happen to the campground we were staying at. ruined our tv and several oher campers had even more problems. got a surge protector right away.

Jerry Miller
1 year ago

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

Jeff
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerry Miller

same here

Dave Hogan
1 year ago

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.

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Hogan

Pretty clever way to hide the surge protector.

Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Hogan

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

Steve Cordis
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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 ?

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
1 year ago
Reply to  Froelich David

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 cord over to the next (hopefully working) pedestal, or you have to unhook everything and move your RV to another campsite. Hate to say it, but lots of time dangerous electrical power might be accepted just because it’s too hard to move your RV to another campsite, if there’s even one available.

Ken Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

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
1 year ago
Reply to  Froelich David

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
1 year ago
Reply to  Froelich David

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
1 year ago
Reply to  Moaboy

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
1 year ago
Reply to  Moaboy

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

Dave
1 year ago
Reply to  Don

except it has to be installed by certified rv installer and returned with that paper trail,individual installs no warranty

Roger
1 year ago
Reply to  Moaboy

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.