RV Surge Protectors: What They Are & Why They Are So Important

It's no secret that having an RV is a big investment. Whether you purchase one that comes with all the necessary amenities or you build your own custom version, you'll want to do everything you can to keep your RV safe. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to have an RV surge protector, an adapter that helps protect your mobile home from electrical issues such as power surges, popped breakers, blown fuses, electrical fires, and any other electrical problems you might possibly encounter.

What Is An RV Surge Protector?

Believe it or not, a surge protector does exactly what it's expected to do: protect your electronics from electric surges. Whether it comes from a lightning strike or a faulty wiring system, having one is actually an important, basic safety measure to take. Not to be confused with your basic at-home surge protector, an RV surge protector plugs into the outlet you plug your RV into. When you connect your RV to a power source (a shore power, generator, vehicle engine, or solar panel) at an RV park, you'll want to make sure that the connection doesn't burn out your auto electrical system or even go as far as to fry your electronics.

An RV surge protector will serve as a buffer so that your motorhome will have a lower chance of sustaining electrical damage when plugging in. Depending on what kind of your surge protector you get will determine how well your travel trailer can handle surge failure and power issues, and generally, you get what you pay for. Nevertheless, they all work to keep your RV's electronics safe.

Surge Protector vs. Electronic Management System (EMS)

There are two types of surge protectors, differentiated by their range of protection. While a surge protector can only offer protection from high voltage, an electrical management system can offer protection against high voltage, low voltage, reverse polarity, open neutral, open ground, reverse polarity (incorrectly wiring issues with the power pedestals), power spikes, and many other costly issues. So if you're RVing somewhere, you'll start to realize that investing in more expensive, more quality surge protection can actually save you so much more money in the long run.

There's also a difference between a 30 amp RV and a 50 amp RV electrical hookup, based off how many prongs your camper's power supply plug has. So while looking for the proper power defender voltage protectors, you'll have to make sure you buy accordingly, otherwise you might run into even more problems. Below, we've constructed a list of some of the best RV surge protectors, so that you won't have to worry too much about electrical protection while on the road.

1. Hughes Autoformers RV220-50SP Voltage Booster

The Hughes Autoformers RV220-50SP Voltage Booster is both a voltage booster and surge protector, making it a perfect all-in-one purchase. It has 50 amp- 12,000 watts capacity, and 4,800 joules of advanced surge protection built-in. With LED indicator lights to help you know if the unit is running correctly, you will never have to guess if you're having problems. Although it's on the heavier side, it's also the only U.S. patented voltage boosting solution available, and it can be hardwired into your RV's ventilated compartment.

2. Camco 55301 30 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector

The Camco 30 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector is the perfect portable solution to your surge protecting needs. It will protect your RV from both high and low voltage levels, as well as from any electronic surges up to 4,200 joules. It will automatically shut off when there are any dangerous conditions and will reconnect once things go back to normal. It protects against reverse polarity, open neutral, and other wiring issues that may occur, and has diagnostic LED lights that let you know when you connect your electrical cord to the power pedestal. It makes for the perfect portable RV surge protector with its notable powergrip handles, as it's also weather resistant and available for 50 Amp RVs.

3. Southwire Surge Guard

Southwire Surge Guard's 30 amp surge protector has got you covered against high and low voltage, low and high frequency, power surges, open ground, open neutral, and overheating receptacles, and the 50 amp surge protector protects you from the same issues, but acts more at the capacity of an electrical management system. Both are smart surge protectors that can be used with the Southwire Surge Guard Wireless LCD Display via bluetooth. Although sold separately, the display will allow you securely lock your surge protector in place and check on the power status without having to get out of your vehicle.

Southwire Surge Guard Portable RV Surge Protector 30-Amp

Southwire Surge Guard Portable RV Surge Protector 50-Amp

Southwire Wireless LCD Display for Surge Guard

4. Progressive Industries

These surge protectors offer all kinds of options depending on how much you're willing to spend. The SSP-30XL protects against open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, miswired pedestals, and surge failures, the three mode surge protector is designed to be used outside, as it's weather resistant. The SSP-50XL is the same surge protector, just with five modes instead of three, and both are UL certified. The EMS-PT30X is also a three mode surge protector with the capacity of an electrical management system. It's weather resistant and also has a five mode version known as the EMS-PT50X. All of these surge protectors include security locking brackets and lifetime warranties.

Progressive Industries SSP-30XL Portable RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Portable RV Surge Protector

Products featured on Wide Open Roads are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Have any tips on how to find the right amp RV surge protector for those with motorhomes? Share the knowledge wealth on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!

READ MORE: 23 Classic RV Jokes That Are Sure to Rev Your Engine