What is the best rv surge protector?

rv surge protector

The best rv surge protector is a lot of things to different people. To me the best rv surge protector is the one that protects all my sensitive electrical equipment that runs my recreational vehicle. If you’re looking for the best rv surge protector, you’ll want to know what to look for. Before we get started, a quick term clarification: RV surge protector is often used interchangeably with surge suppressor, though they are different things. Technically, a rv surge protector is a device that limits the voltage spike or surge to which your rig is exposed in the instance of an electrical disturbance.

A suppressor is a device that gets rid of the excess or uncomfortable electricity hum; it stops the actual “surge” from occurring.

If you own an RV and wish to protect your appliances, there are a wide variety of products on the market you can choose. In order to simplify the process of finding the best rv surge protector, we have created a guide that will help you choose the right one.

What is an RV Surge Protector?

An RV surge protector is a device that you plug into your RV park power hookup before you plug in your RV. This device protects your RV from bad voltage, which can fry your electrical appliances and electronics. A good quality surge protector will also protect against hard-wired faults like open-ground and open-neutral, some will even shut off the power until the problem is fixed.

The Cost of Replacing an A/C Unit

The cost of buying and installing a new air conditioner for your RV can be quite high. Some units are priced as high as $600, and that doesn’t include the installation costs. If you have a large RV or even a small trailer, the entire job can easily cost $1000 or more. You also need to factor in the potential service call fee if you hire someone to do the work, which could be as much as $100.

Low Voltage

Most RV parks have old electrical systems that simply weren't designed for the number of RVs trying to use them.

Here are some common causes of low voltage:
  • Too many RVs in one park competing for the same power source. This can result in an overloaded breaker, which will shut off power temporarily. If you experience this problem often, it's a good idea to get a surge protector. This can help ensure you don't lose power when other RVs are turning on their air conditioning or microwaves at the same time.
  • An old electrical system can cause power spikes and surges that prevent your battery from charging properly. This is why it's important to have a surge protector on hand — even if you're not aware of any problems with your specific park, there's a good chance you'll encounter them sooner or later.
  • The campground may be using extension cords or other makeshift wiring to supply electricity to multiple RVs at once. These are fire hazards and can cause wires to overheat and melt, which can result in lost power or even a fire hazard if they come into contact with combustible materials like fuel lines or branches.
  • Under powered connection: Your RV is connected to an outlet that doesn't have enough power for your needs. This can happen when you plug into a 30 amp outlet with an adapter, making it effectively 15 amps. It can also happen if the outlets in the park aren't designed to handle 50 amps.
  • Poor wiring: The wiring in the park may not be up to code, or there may be loose connections that cause power drops.
  • Too many RVs on one circuit: When you're parked on a pedestal next to another RV, you're often sharing the same circuit — and power drops when they put on their air conditioner or microwave oven. A surge protector can help by monitoring voltage and shutting off when it gets too low, protecting your appliances from damage.
  • The park's transformer failed or needs replacing
  • The park's distribution wires are too small, resulting in high resistance and voltage drop.
  • When you turn on your refrigerator after running out of propane or electric power, it can also cause a significant voltage drop. That's because refrigerators use a lot of power and require an initial surge before they start running normally. If you need to run your generator while starting up your refrigerator, give it at least 20 seconds before turning off the generator again.

Voltage Drops at the Campsite

As more RVs plug into a campground circuit, the voltage can drop. This is especially true if you're on an older park with outdated wiring and transformers. In most cases, it's not enough to knock out your air conditioner, but it can slow charging times and prevent you from running multiple appliances at once.

The best surge protectors

RV surge protectors (RVSP) are becoming more popular as RVers become aware of the dangers of power surges and voltage spikes. These devices serve to protect your RV electrical system from the effects of these power fluctuations.

The best surge protectors will not only function as a voltage regulator, but also offer additional features such as automatic shut off in the event there is an overload or a short circuit. They also act as a diagnostic tool, giving you information about your power source.

  1. Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C

  2. Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C

    . We chose the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C surge protector as our Best Overall Pick because it packs a punch. This model is capable of protecting your RV from power surges up to 4,000 amps. It’s also compatible with 50 amp service and can be used for both 30 and 50 amp systems.

    The Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C comes with a digital display that is easy to read, even from a distance. It also features a built-in diagnostics test that checks for voltage, polarity and open ground circuits. The diagnostic feature makes it simple for you to troubleshoot any problems with your electrical system before you have any major issues.

  3. Southwire Surge Guard - Full Protection Portable with LCD Display, 50A Black

  4. Southwire Surge Guard

    The Southwire Surge Guard 50 amp portable surge protector prevents rain, snow, and leaves from damaging your RV when you're away. It has a bright LCD display for easy reading, a built-in timer to program on/off times, and weatherproof outlets for improved safety.

    Protect your RV, boat, and other outdoor essentials with a fully automatic, portable system that provides full protection from power surges. This surge protector includes everything you need to get started with protection from damage due to miswired pedestals, high voltage and low voltage. The digital display allows you check the electrical service before plugged in or while plugged in. When plugged in, the display shows utility input and output voltages, current draw, real time power factor, frequency and errors. This device monitors all sources of incoming AC power and protects against reverse polarity. All units are equipped with remote mountable alarm and audible alert for visually impaired users. The Southwire Surge Guard 50 Amp Portable Power Protection System is compatible with any brand of RVs on a 50 amp pedestal and any Shoreline Marine 30 amp or 50 amp connection point.

  5. POWSAF rv Surge Protector 30 amp with Waterproof Cover

  6. POWSAF rv Surge Protector 30 amp with Waterproof Cover

    The POWSAF 30 amp Waterproof Surge Protector is great for RVs. Designed with a surge protector and circuit analyzer, this indispensable device will keep you and your family safe. This durable surge protector is constructed of rugged plastic for weather resistance. Easy to use contoured grips make plugging in and unplugging with ease.

    Keep your RV electrical system safe with the POWSAF 50 Amp Surge Protector. Featuring power, neutral and ground LED indicators that eliminate any guesswork and a diagnostic LED to easily troubleshoot problems with your power source, this surge protector helps you stay safe and comfortable on the road.


Stay updated with our newsletter

What is the difference between a surge protector and an UPS?

While both a UPS and a Surge Protector can protect your electronics from power surges, only an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can also protect your electronics from power failures.

A UPS will supply your electronics with consistent, clean power as long as there’s electricity coming into the battery backup itself. If you have a long power failure, you’ll need to plug in your UPS to recharge it.

A Surge Protector is designed to absorb excess voltage spikes in an electrical line. If there’s an extreme surge, like a lightning strike, a surge protector may not be able to absorb it all and it could cause damage to your electronics even if they are plugged into the surge protector.

What is surge protector joule?

The joule rating is a one-time surge protection rating. It's the maximum amount of energy that can be absorbed by the device. As long as the total power of the spike is less than or equal to this value, then your equipment will remain safe.

For example: say you have a surge protector with a joule rating of 600 Joules.

The maximum wattage that it could absorb is 600 Joules multiplied by 2 microseconds (the duration of a typical power spike) which is 1.2 watts.

What is power surge?

A power surge is a sudden increase in voltage in an electrical circuit. The voltage increases for a fraction of a second and then returns to normal levels, but that brief increase can be damaging to electronics.

If you want to protect your RV from power surges, the first thing you need to do is invest in an RV surge protector. This device will monitor incoming voltage and shut off when it detects a surge above a certain level, preventing damage to your sensitive electronics.

There are many different kinds of RV surge protectors on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.


As you can see, there are many features that you should look into before buying a surge protector for your RV. For example, there are different types of protection that they offer. You may also want to look at the joule rating of these devices. As we have already discussed, an RV has to deal with a lot of power issues and surge issues. These surge protectors can help keep your appliances and electronics safe from such accidents and power dips. So, go ahead and make your investment in one today!

About Author:

image of Kevin Pommells

Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of CamperRules.com, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

Follow Me @ Twitter | Facebook | KevinPommells.com

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.