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Old 10-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
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Electronically ignorant question

We are planning to move up from a pop up trailer so I'm kinda ignorant about the electronics. Besides the AC, what else is at risk with no EMS?
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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That is about it. While there are those of us that just want to know what is going on with the power to the trailer, a simple plug in meter or multimeter will give you most of the information you need. If you are concerned about reverse polarity connections, (I've only found 2 of them in 2 1/2 years with the trailer) the EMS is easier than other methods of checking.

In my case I do like to see the current (amps) draw on the trailer when connected. I have the electric water heater option, and on a 15 amp campground service it is useful to know when the water heater kicks off before adding additional draw with other appliances. If you do have AC, it is useful if you leave the AC on while away from the trailer & the voltage drops below save levels. It will shut down the trailer, preventing under voltage damage to the AC.
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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It is a surge and incorrect (campground) wiring protector.

It can save the fridge circuit board. Anything lugged into an AC outlet. The converter power module.

Lethal shocks to people.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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We have been camping for four years, don't have an air conditioner, and don't have an EMS, and have had no problems. Our simple fridge doesn't have a circuit board (as far as I know), and our hot water heater runs on propane only.

I can understand that people who have a lot of electronic equipment running might feel an EMS is needed.

We do most of our cooking right outside the trailer using a toaster oven, electric kettle, electric frying pan. Most of the campsites we have been to have a 15 or 20 amp outlet as well as a 30 amp outlet. I connect the trailer to the 30 amp outlet and run a heavy extension cord to the outside cooking area. The benefits are:
  • we can run an electric heater inside the trailer in cool weather while still being able to cook outside
  • cooking outside eliminates the humidity and fumes from cooking inside the trailer, hence less condensation

The power supply for my computer and camera battery charger have a wide tolerance for voltage, so I don't see this as a risk.

In any campsite we have visited many other people will have used the same power plugs before us. I think the chances are fairly low that we would be the first ones to experience a problem with the electrical hookup.

I have not ruled out adding an EMS, just think the risk is fairly low for us. As Donna D. says, YMMV.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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We use a portable surge protector that also checks the circuit: 30-Amp RV Surge Protector & Circuit Analyzer - TRC AECM10086-001-012 - Surge Protectors - Camping World It sometimes is hard to fit into some boxes, but then I use my 30A extension cord and plug this into the cord.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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What is the cost of EMS relative to the value of the item (s) that may be protected, if you don't have air?
Like Brian, I'm not too concerned, but, I also camp without hookups most of the time.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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For $250 it will save you that much for one appliance fix in the event of a fault. Also anything you have plugged in inside your camper, computer, television, phone is potentially at risk. Personal choice with taking risks, not everyone uses their seat belt.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
What is the cost of EMS relative to the value of the item (s) that may be protected, if you don't have air?
Like Brian, I'm not too concerned, but, I also camp without hookups most of the time.
I've wondered how easily the built in AC to DC power converter/battery chargers could be damaged by surges? I'd guess that and the refrig's electronics might be the most easily damaged?
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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I lost the fridge control circuit board in my Casita to a power surge - I think it was about $100 but I am not sure.
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
For $250 it will save you that much for one appliance fix in the event of a fault. Also anything you have plugged in inside your camper, computer, television, phone is potentially at risk. Personal choice with taking risks, not everyone uses their seat belt.
OK. So why not pick up a $20 surge protector for computer, TV, phone chargers? I have one that plugs into the AC outlet and has three places to plug in chargers.
Why do I need to spend $250?
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