Do you need a surge protector? (or EMS)

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A question often asked in Facebook groups and RV forums if you really need a surge protector. This is the ultimate article that explains it all;

A surge protector that does not detect low voltages, high voltages, and wiring faults will not work in my book! Some companies call it an Electrical Management System or EMS for short.
The most known companies that manufacture those are Progressive Industries and Surge Guard (Now Southwire).

Facebook post from Debi


This article is what you need to read first and follow it up with watching he video from Mike Sokol so you understand why you really need an smart surge protector or EMS

Posted by Eric and Tami Johnson on Mar 2nd 2020

There is a lot of information available regarding electrical protection for recreational vehicles and for good reason. Poor electrical quality and surges can create costly damage to your RV and sensitive electronic devices powered by your RV’s electrical system. This article is well researched and will provide you with the information you need to protect your RV from all types of electrical issues. We will cover all basic terminology and the safety and quality considerations needed to compare devices to protect your RV whether you are in a park, boondocking, or on the move.

This Video from Mike Sokol is worth watching, it explains the simple protector with the more advanced one you should buy!


A handy chart that compares a lot of surge protectors and EMS

In addition to buying a surge protector or EMS every RVer should know how to test the campground pedestal even before plugging anything into it. The needed equipment is cheap and useful for troubleshooting too. In this video Mike Sokol explains how to do that;

DO NOT BUY THIS (Unless for diagnostic purposes)

Camco surge protector $55

Nothing wrong with this for diagnostic use but it is not adequate for protection. It does not protect you from the more often occurrence of over-voltage or under-voltage that is very destructive! It might protect you from one surge but I’m not counting on it.


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