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Old 04-11-2018, 12:39 PM   #1
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two weeks to go to complete build sheet

We are close to a complete build sheet. One item I am still scratching my head on is the surge protector. We do not plug in that often, and will have solar. I could install the unit later easily enough if we decide we need it, but later might be after some sort of damage is done to something.

So, I am interested in opinions/experiences, particularly actual events where this unit saved someone's bacon, or damage was done without it. I would also like to hear thoughts on exactly what the vulnerability of the trailer is to power spikes. Would a spike to the converter result in damage to the 12 volt electrics on the trailer? I gather from another thread that the Maxfan control board, for example, may not be happy even with charging voltages, much less a significant spike on the 12v side. And then we have the controllers for the fridge and furnace. We will not have AC, so there will be little or nothing other than the converter directly connected to shore power.

Cheers, and thanks for the help,

Allan Edie
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:46 PM   #2
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Know what you mean; no AC here and hardly ever use electric hookups, yet we do on a few occasions and there are too many stories about bad power in campgrounds & RV parks that we did get it.
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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We dont plug in that much (1/5 trips so far) but we choose to have it anyway.. we like to think it as cheap insurance for when we needed to plug in.
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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Like Rossue, we don't plug-in very often. When we do, it's nice to feel that we can do so safely, without frying our Escape's innards. We finally opted for a entry-level portable unit, such as this one: https://smile.amazon.com/Surge-Guard...70_&dpSrc=srch

There are many similar units available, all around that entry level price. Sure, those basic units don't have all the bells and whistles of the pricier ones, but it's now lasted us up to our 3rd Escape trailer in some questionable locations and brownout conditions.
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:02 PM   #5
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Sounding like another ka-ching...
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:04 PM   #6
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We have camped in places where the voltage fluctuated down below 100 volts (was up to 101 by the time I took the photo). The system that ETI installed in our trailer has undoubtedly saved us a few headaches.
IMG_2383.JPG
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanEdie View Post
We are close to a complete build sheet. One item I am still scratching my head on is the surge protector. We do not plug in that often, and will have solar. I could install the unit later easily enough if we decide we need it, but later might be after some sort of damage is done to something.

So, I am interested in opinions/experiences, particularly actual events where this unit saved someone's bacon, or damage was done without it. I would also like to hear thoughts on exactly what the vulnerability of the trailer is to power spikes. Would a spike to the converter result in damage to the 12 volt electrics on the trailer? I gather from another thread that the Maxfan control board, for example, may not be happy even with charging voltages, much less a significant spike on the 12v side. And then we have the controllers for the fridge and furnace. We will not have AC, so there will be little or nothing other than the converter directly connected to shore power.

Cheers, and thanks for the help,

Allan Edie
Hi: Allan Edie... Here's a thought. We use a portable one, since 2008, as seen in the pic from home. Maybe not the best...but it's at least something. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:25 PM   #8
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We had the portable and decided to sell it to a friend for a cheap price and have the hardwired one installed. Our previous one came in handy twice, once on no neutral and once on something I had never seen before. We plugged in and the unit did not display anything just a blinking dot. After a bit I unplugged and using my tester I checked hot to ground 120, neutral to ground 120, ok they had it wired as a 240 outlet instead of 120. But hot to neutral showed zero volts.
That did not make sense, I had the park guy on site and he let me pull the cover and when I looked inside I saw 2 black and a white wire going to the 30 amp outlet. So I requested a new site as apparently they had wired 2 120 breakers to the outlet. We were only there 2 days and the site was empty during that time so I did not find out how they fixed it.
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:39 PM   #9
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We have had the same system in our Casita ( for sale !) for many years, and I can't tell you how many times it's saved us and I've told the campground of power problems. I can remember reversed polarities, missing grounds, many under-voltages, etc,... Don't leave home without it, especially if you want to plug in expensive stuff, and/or use an AC unit.

To spend all that money on the camper and not get that extra insurance ? ...
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Old 04-11-2018, 02:39 PM   #10
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I posed the same question over a year ago and got many replies recommending the hardwired unit. I took their advice and am happy I did even though I don't have an A/C to protect and haven't found any sites with electrical problems yet. I also got the external 30 amp cord. I did notice a large voltage drop at home when running 100 ft. of extension cord to the trailer because my existing cords were 16 gauge. I bought two 12 gauge X 50 ' cords at Costco ($34.99 for both) and a 30 X 20 amp. pigtail from Amazon.com. Now I use the 12 g cord with pigtail for most camping when I have hookups. I recently bought some plugs and I plan to cut up one of the 50 ft. cords into 10, 15 and 25 ft. so I can use shorter lengths. I can monitor the amp. usage on the surge protection monitor while using a 900/1500 watt heater so I don't worry about pulling too many amps thru the cord. And, I don't worry about the 30 amp. cord sprouting legs and walking off when I'm not around.
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