RV Surge Protection [Problems and Tips]
Having an RV (Recreational Vehicle) is like having a home on wheels. These vehicles will have two electrical systems. One for the engine and things it powers and one for the RV living area. The living area system can have problems and sometimes needs troubleshooting.
Troubleshooting your electrical system and surge protection can help you find the answer to why something is going wrong. Sometimes you may need to maintain your RV electrical system and sometimes it might just be a loose wire.
Having the proper surge protection and adapter can help prevent some problems, but others can be caused by other
Electrical Problems in RV
It is the most integrated system of any RV as without a proper supply of electricity most of its devices won’t work properly. Just as we need to turn on the power at home, the same is the case with an RV.
So, here in this guide, we would talk about how to secure our electricity supply system from sudden voltage surges or drops. It is really important to have the proper protection to prevent voltage and shock problems in an RV.
Voltage Surge Problems
One of the electrical problems could be a current leakage. In this situation, current may start flowing in the chassis on RV and any touching the metallic portions of the RV body, such as tire rims, experiences a mild or moderate shock.
If you are an RV owner, there could be several reasons that cause such problems in your motorhome.
A few of the reasons are:
- Damaged wiring
- Miswiring when plugged into an RV receptacle
- Damaged receptacles
- Plugging into 240V AC or too much power
- Insufficient grid capacity
- High power lines above the RV
Since Voltage surge/drop problems are very common and may cause serious damage to electric appliances in RV; therefore, you should try to prevent a surge from occurring. You can read this article about getting a 30amp or 50amp surge protector for more information about plugging in at an RV park.
Some RVs may have protection built into the electric system of your RV and others will require you to buy equipment.
As you may know, these surge protection devices may have an automatic reset feature, but some may need you to check and reset it yourself.
Portable units are meant to be plugged in at the pedestal (or power source of RV). These units may start to give you a warning signal if they detect any anomalies in the electrical system. These portable units start functioning even before RV is connected to any protective device.
This helps to fix problems solve issues unrelated to getting the wrong amount of power to your RV. These surge protectors can plug in when in use and then you can unplug them and keep them in the toolbox.
Hardwired units, on the other hand, are installed (mounted) permanently to your RV. They start working as soon as the RV is plugged in. Since these units are permanently attached to RV, they are protected from theft and weather. However, if they are damaged or faulty, they can be hard to repair or replace.
These power surge protection devices are not used in conjunction with any other device, although you can use a power adapter cord to get the correct voltage at an outlet.
Usually you’ll find two models for surge protectors, 50-amp and 30-amp. You should choose the model based on the amperage level specified by your devices and power cord.
Problems Associated with No Surge Protection
These surge protection devices not only provide surge protection but are also useful in preventing your RV from various other problems, such as:
- Open ground
- Reverse polarity
- Accidental connection to 240V AC supply
- Open neutral
These devices have two modes of mechanism – Detection and protection. The devices that are meant for detection only detect the problem and cannot protect the system by interrupting the power supply. However, the device that provides protection interrupts the power supply as soon as the problem is detected.
More Information About Surge Protectors
Some surge protectors require manual input to resume the power, and some of them perform this operation automatically.
If you are going to portable devices, you should ensure various features like:
- Automatic Reset
- Easy-pull handles
- Guards and covers to protect from weather
- Locking brackets to protect from theft
These protection devices come with different Joule ratings. The protection device with a higher joule rating will absorb more energy during a power surge.
TIP – Prevent Excessive Moisture
You may need an RV humidifier, to maintain the moisture level in your RV. Excessive moisture level results in the formation of water droplets on walls and various parts of RV, and it may cause current leakage or short circuit.
Excessive moisture may also lead to the growth of molds, mildew, and dust mites. These organisms may deteriorate the interiors of your RV. In some cases, they also damage the electrical wiring, and this can cause a short circuit or even severe incidents.
By taking proper care and using adequate protection devices, we can prevent the electrical system of the RV from getting damaged.
There are several devices available that protect RV from sudden voltage surge or drop. These protection devices are available in portable and hard-wired variants.
If you need a surge protector read my article about RV surge protectors here.
The use of RV humidifiers also helps in maintaining proper moisture levels and prevents any damage to the electrical system of the RV. Hope you find the above-mentioned tips relevant and useful, do comment if you have any queries.