Thursday, October 6, 2022


RV Education 101: Good surge protector highly recommended

By Mark Polk

If expensive appliances and sensitive electronic equipment like inverters, microwaves, entertainment centers and refrigerators are exposed to improper wiring or faulty electrical power, even for a few seconds, they can be damaged beyond repair. I strongly recommend investing in a good surge protector, designed to identify problems and help protect the RV’s entire electrical system from potential dangers.

I use a Surge Guard product that protects against faulty wiring, open neutral, open ground and reverse polarity. Just plug the RV power cord into the surge protector, and plug the surge protector into the campground’s electrical supply, and you are done.

Motorhome RV Orientation.
Travel Trailer & 5th Wheel Orientation.

Mark Polk’s tech tips are posted every Saturday in the RV Travel Newsletter and every Wednesday on the RV Daily Tips Newsletter.



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2 years ago

I have a Progressive EMS for 30 amp and on a few occasions I lost electricity in my MH because the relay went off. All the campsites around me lost power, we were down for 15-20 min. I’m not sure what happened other than my Progressive unit probably saved my RV wiring. A TT next to me never regained power. The unit is big and hangs lower than the metal cover on the pedestal so it’s exposed. At night time you can see the red indicator lights but I trust my fellow campers to not to “borrow” it; I’ve never chained it up & in 3 years it hasn’t grown legs. During a significant rain storm it filled with water, I thought it was toast but it dried out and still works. Now I put a large trash bag over the pedestal & unit to protect it from rain. If I had to replace it I’d go with Progressive again.

2 years ago

An EMS aka Electrical Management System is a far better device to have versus just a surge protector. I only use the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C unit which protects my coach from any errant power conditions PLUS it has 3580 Joules of surge protection.

Mike Sokol(@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

Here’s a video I made a few months ago showing the differences between basic surge protectors and advanced (EMS) units.

2 years ago

I had a SURGE GUARD ONCE! Will never have another one!

Progressive Industries Surge Protectors are the ONLY ones I use. And I have 2 of them!

Last edited 2 years ago by Notfunny
Mike Sokol(@mike)
2 years ago
Reply to  Notfunny

I’m curious as to what kind of problem you had with your Surge Guard. I now have advanced surge protectors from Surge Guard, Progressive Industries, Camco, and in a week or so, I’ll also have one from Hughes. As you all should know by now, I’m building my advanced test lab that can gather data equivalent to many manufacturers’ design labs, perhaps even better than some. In the next month or so I’m going to begin advanced testing on surge protectors and their ability to detect and protect your RV from home and campground voltage problems. Gonna be interesting data. If anyone has a story about a surge protector failure, please post it here and I’ll confer with Mark Polk about his experiences with surge protectors as well.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Hi Mike:
The Surge Guard I had, simply up and Failed! No Reason that I could figure out. Surge Guard refused to honor any kind of warranty on the UNIT and it was a 50 AMP. Not sure what model it was, since I NO LONGER have it. Perhaps it was a good thing!

I always test RV Site Pedestals before plugging anything into them and have found several that were wired incorrectly. Neutral Wire swapped with Ground Wire in one instance. I use a NON-Contact tester as well. And then making sure the BREAKER is in the OFF position, I plug in my Progressive EMS and check the system. Then, if all is well, turn off the Breaker (AGAIN) and plug my RV into the EMS. Making sure all the codes come up correctly and there are no problems. Then 2 minutes 16 seconds later the EMS sends power to the RV!

I also use the SMART PLUG System on my 5th Wheel. Amazing plug system, that originally was developed for BOATS! It is something I highly recommend.

You can never be too Safe with Electricity!