Do I need a surge protector for RV?

Yes, a surge protector is required for your RV. There are several electrical risks that might cause damage to your RV’s electrical systems, such as low voltage difficulties and power surges.

Purchasing a surge protector for your RV is one of the finest expenditures you can make right now.

If you own an RV, you most likely have a lot of electrical appliances around your rig, such as an RV air conditioner, coffee makers, or RV TV but either way, it is very important to protect them with an RV Surge Protector.

Power supplies fluctuate, which can affect these appliances negatively. In an unfortunate circumstance, your power supply may blow out your appliances. This would end up in you spending a great amount of money just to get the appliance/s fixed.

Before we move on, what is an RV Surge Protector? This is a device used by RV owners to prevent drastic voltage fluctuation of their electrical appliances.

A standard surge protector can protect your appliances from a sudden upsurge, while an advanced surge protector can adjust the power to protect the RV and can protect you from miswiring.

You must be careful in choosing an RV Surge Protector since the well-being of your appliances will depend on your choice. When choosing the right surge protector, you must first consider a lot of factors, such as whether it should be portable? Or hard-wired? Do I need 30 Amp or 50 Amp?

These are just a few of the many things you should consider before buying. Luckily, we are here to help you choose what RV Surge Protector is best for you.

What Are The Different Types of RV Surge Protector

Primary Surge Protector

They don’t only protect RV appliances; they also protect the inner wiring. It has greater visibility and can mostly protect against electrical surges. But, its effectiveness and power mean that they’re harder to install.

Secondary Surge Protector

This is the most common surge protector, which is small and portable, so it can be plugged into any outlet. Though they’re not as powerful as a primary surge protector, they’re still favored by RV users.

Power Strip

It is a type of secondary surge protector that can be connected to a power outlet and has a lot of sockets that allow you to connect several appliances. Power strips are generally used to cut off power when fluctuation occurs.

Uninterrupted Power Supply

These types of surge protectors run on battery and are available in a variety of styles. Similar to the power strip, it cuts off power in case of fluctuation, which protects your appliances.

Top Surge Protectors for your RV

Progressive Industries HW5OC

Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS Surge & Electrical Protection- 50 Amps
  • Surge Protection: 5-Mode / 3,580J / 88,000A. Ratings: 50A / 120V/240V / 12,000W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C. Includes 14' Data Cable
  • Open Ground, Open Neutral and Reverse Polarity detection and protection, Over/Under voltage Protection, Accidental 240V Protection and A/C Frequency Protection
  • Miswired pedestal indication and surge failure indicator
  • Remote Scrolling Digital Display scrolls continuously through the power source information
  • UL Certified and Canadian Approved. Lifetime Warranty

This is simply one of the best hard-wired, 50-amp surge protectors. It offers the complete protection with its 50 Amp and is permanent since it’s hard-wired. Rated 3580 joules and 88,000 amps.

They offer instant electrical surge protection; it reacts in a matter of seconds and immediately disconnects the power supply to the RV. Not only does it protect you from external conditions, but it also protects the RV from human folly.

However, it will not function if you plug them into a 240-volt power source.

The Progressive Industries HW5OC is also equipped with a legible LED that displays information such as line voltage, amp, frequency, and more. 

It comes with a 14’in cable, but you can extend it by adding a 4-conductor phone cable. You could also contact the manufacturer to create a custom cable length which retails for $1.25 per foot.

However, a big drawback of this surge protector is the sound it makes. Though the sound isn’t too loud, it’s still heard clearly, especially at night since it’s connected to the RV itself.


  • It only takes a single installation.
  • Provides complete protection.
  • No one can steal it. 
  • You can read the display from the inside of the RV.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.


  • It generates a buzzing sound.
  • Because it is a hard-wired protector, you might need external help, which will cost you extra bucks.

Surge Guard 44290

Surge Guard 44290 Portable Surge Protector - 120/240V, 50A
  • Identifies faulty park power plus offers surge protection
  • Tests for and indicates Open Neutral, Open Ground, Reverse Polarity, Open Circuit/No Power, Missing Leg 1/Missing Leg 2 Voltage, Surge Protection Status, and Overheating Plug/Receptacle
  • Increased receptacle brass thickness reduces heat
  • Easy to read LED fault chart provides simple power analysis
  • Convenient Easy-T-Pull plug handles

The Surge Guard 44290 is a portable 50-amp, rated at 4200 joules and 65,000 amps. Since it’s not an advanced surge protector, it can only protect against voltage upsurge. This is a budget-friendly protector for those who only need basic protection. 

These also come with LED displays that show electrical issues. But it doesn’t automatically cut off the power supply when fluctuation occurs, so you have to keep an eye and cut off the power supply yourself when you start noticing something’s wrong.

The surge protector is built with an overheat indicator that starts flashing when the plug or receptacle overheats. It is also weather resistant, so you can still connect it even when it’s raining heavily. 

Lastly, it comes with an anti-theft lock ring located at the cord, which is very essential since this surge protector is portable, it’s prone to theft. But, if the thief is determined, they will still be able to get the surge protector. The anti-theft just gives the owner more time to catch the thief.


  • There’s no installation needed. You just need to connect it.
  • It can protect against power surges.
  • Has a lifetime warranty.


  • It doesn’t automatically stop the power supply unless it’s a voltage upsurge.
  • Even though it comes with an anti-theft lock ring, someone can still steal it.
  • It has to be plugged into the campground every time you move.
  • It can touch the ground when the power source is low.

Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector

Camco Power Grip RV Voltage Protector with Integrated Surge Protection, 50 Amp (55306)
  • RV Voltage Protection: This 50-amp surge protector for RV and the RV's appliances protects from dangerous high (>132 VAC) and low (<102 VAC) voltage levels as well as power surges; features integrated surge protection for up to 4,200 Joules
  • Auto Connect/Disconnect Feature: Automatically disconnects in dangerous conditions and reconnects after normal operating conditions have been restored; features 50-amp male (NEMA 14-50P) and 50-amp female (NEMA 14-50R)
  • Diagnostic LEDs: RV surge protector provides an indication of faults when you connect your electrical cord to the power pedestal; protects against faults for reverse polarity, open neutral, and other wiring issues; time delay for reset is 140 seconds
  • Easy to Use: The contoured grips of the 50-amp RV surge protector make plugging and unplugging easier; it is weatherproof and can withstand adverse weather conditions when installed in the upright position
  • Quality Products: Camco makes quality products for RVing, boating, camping, towing, tailgating, and grilling that help take your passion for the outdoors to the next level

This RV Surge Protector is portable, with 50-amp, and rated at 4200 joules. The Camco Dogbone 55313 comes with diagnostic lights that indicate when there’s an issue with the connection before you can connect the RV’s power cord to the electrical outlet. It is also weather resistant.

Its biggest drawback is its vulnerability. Since this surge protector is portable and left outside the RV, it is prone to be stolen. The indicator lights aren’t very bright during daylight; you really have to get close to see properly. However, at nighttime, the indicator lights are very visible.


  • Budget-friendly.
  • Very easy to use and understand.


  • Similar to the Surge Guard 44290, it only indicates the issue, but it doesn’t automatically cut off the power supply.
  • Sometimes difficult to plug.
  • The indicator lights aren’t very reliable.
  • It doesn’t come with an anti-theft lock.

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Progressive Industries Portable RV Electrical Management System Surge Protector 30 Amp
  • Surge Protection: 3-Mode / 1,790J / 44,000A. Ratings: 30A / 120V / 3,600W. Operating Temperatures: -40C to +105C
  • Weather Resistant/designed for Outdoor Use
  • Security Locking Bracket
  • Rugged Pull Handle, Tough Lexan Housing, All Weather Shield Assembly
  • Lifetime Warranty (excludes All Weather Shield Assembly)

The Progressive Industries PT30X is a portable 30-amp that is rated at 1790 joules and 44,000 amps. It is EMS that provides complete surge protection. It can identify issues and cut off the power supply in a matter of seconds.

A lot of portable surge protectors can only protect your RV from sudden electricity upsurge but can’t automatically turn off the power supply. However, the progressive Industries PT30X has an advanced surge protector which monitors the power and reacts very fast.

It’s 100% weather resistant and has a Lexan housing all-weather shield that protects not only the surge protector but the shore power cord’s entrance into the electrical unit as well.

Since it’s quite heavy for a portable surge protector, it’s quite difficult to connect.


  • Protects the RV from power-related issues.
  • No installation is required.
  • Has a lifetime warranty.
  • ·Has a built-in locking bracket.
  • Has Lexan housing an all-weather shield.


  • It was expensive.
  • It can only be used vertically.
  • It can easily be stolen even when locked.
  • Doesn’t fit perfectly in all power stations.

Progressive Industries SSP30 Smart Surge

It is a portable, 30-amp with a rated 825 joules and 22,500 amps. 

This acts as more of a surge indicator rather than a surge protector. It can protect you from overheating and an upsurge up to its capacity (825 joules), but beyond that, it’s useless. 

Has LED light indicators to determine issues, but, just like most portable surge protectors, it only warns you; it doesn’t automatically turn off the power supply.

A big drawback is it’s not weatherproof since portable surge protectors are placed outside the RV. Every time it starts to pour, you still have to disconnect it, which is a hassle.

It also doesn’t include an anti-theft lock which makes it vulnerable to theft.


  • Very lightweight.
  • No installation is required.
  • You can connect it to most electrical outlets.
  • LED light indicators are bright.
  • Automatically turns off in case of surge failures.


  • Not weatherproof.
  • It can’t protect your RV appliances from serious power surges.
  • It’s more of a surge indicator rather than a surge protector.
  • It can be stolen easily.
  • It can only withstand 825 joules.

TRC Surge Protector 44260

The TRC Surge Protector 44260 is a portable, 30-amp that is rated at 2100 joules. 

This plug is designed to have a low profile so that it can easily fit into a receptacle cover. Its indicator lights are very hard to see in sunlight, but at night, it’s very noticeable. 

This portable surge protector can only do two main things. It checks the polarity to provide protection against upsurge but, once again, doesn’t cut off the power supply automatically. 

It comes with a lock that you have to break before you can steal it.


  • Has 2100 joules which is impressive for a 30-amp surge protector.
  • You can simply just plug it in.
  • It can identify faulty wiring.
  • It’s weather resistant.
  • Equipped with a lock hasp.


  • Its indicator lights are too weak.

Technology Research 44750

TRC 44750 Surge Guard 30-Amp Portable with Shock Shield
  • TRC Surge Guard With Shock Shield
  • Perfect for Pop-ups and Travel Trailers
  • Automatically shuts off the power when ground faults are present
  • Requires manual reset after a ground fault
  • Provides shock protection

This is a portable, 30-amp surge protector with 510 joules. It comes with a shock shield and extremely limited joules, which means that it could be fried with just a small upsurge. But, it will prevent your RV appliances from getting fried. 

The device will turn off if it counters a surge and it will stay turned off until you manually reset it. A big issue with this model is it doesn’t have sufficient LED indicator lights. 

If you want a budget-friendly and portable surge protector to keep your appliances safe from short and electric spikes, this is the way to go, but this is not suitable for when you’re looking for something that can protect you from low voltage.


  • Has a shock shield.
  • Weather resistant.
  • It has ergonomic plug handles.
  • Automatically turns off the power supply when there are ground faults.


  • It has no protection from low voltage.
  • Has very limited joules.
  • It will get fried with one massive power surge.
  • You have to manually reset it after a power surge.
  • Has NO LED lights.


Do I need a 30 amp or 50 amp surge protector for my RV?

If you have a 50 amp RV, you should use a 50 amp RV surge protector; if you use a 30 amp surge protector, you will only be allowed to utilize 30 amps every time you connect it in.

Some campgrounds only offer 30 amp service, so plugging your 50 amp surge protector into a 30 amp outlet is fine.

What amp surge protector do I need for my RV?

Choosing the best RV surge protector or EMS product is simple. Purchase a surge protector for 50 amp RVs if you have 50 amp service. A 30 amp surge protector is enough for RVers with 30 amp service.

How long do RV surge protectors last?

So, how long do surge protectors last? Even if nothing happens to your surge protection device, you should consider updating it every 2 to 3 years on average.

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

Progressive Industries’ EMS product line stands for “Electrical Management System.” The term “surge protector” refers to a variety of devices made by several businesses that safeguard your RV’s electronics from large spikes in electricity.

The EMS from Progressive is a surge protector.

Can an RV surge protector go bad?

Yes, a surge protector isn’t meant to endure forever and will ultimately fail. The bad news is that it’s nearly hard to identify when a surge protector needs to be replaced.

As a result, you may believe your appliances are safe from deadly power surges when they are not.

What does reverse polarity mean on a surge protector?

Reverse Polarity indicates that the neutral and hot wires are reversed, but the voltage remains constant at 120 volts (more or less). To test for it, connect a voltmeter to the neutral and ground terminals and look for zero voltage.

Should I replace my surge protector?

Surge protectors should be replaced every two years, according to experts. A surge protector is rated in joules, which show how much excess power it can withstand during an electrical surge.

This amount, however, can be difficult to track because surges vary by location. If you wish to protect your electrical devices.

If you click on the Amazon link or Add to Cart and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Last Update: 2022-01-17