Best Surge Protector For RV of 2020: Top 6 Picks

Last update: Sep 20, 2020

A portable surge protector is easy to install, easy to use, and easy to replace. It is a tool that protects your electrical applicants and even your life. A must-have tool for RV-ers.

Here are the best surge protectors for rv you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
  • Best for Circuit Analyzing (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Camco Adapter PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer
  • Most Durable (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries SSP30X Smart Surge Protector
  • Highest Energy Absorption (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Surge Guard 44280 Portable Surge Protector - Highest energy absorption
  • Most Durable (50-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries SSP-50XL Surge Protector
  • High Energy Absorption (50-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector
6 Best Surge Protectors For RV
Best Overall
Progressive Industries Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
  • 30-Amp Surge Protectors
Best for Circuit Analyzing
Camco Adapter PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer
  • 30-Amp Surge Protectors
Most Durable
Progressive Industries SSP30X Smart Surge Protector
  • 30-Amp Surge Protectors
Highest Energy Absorption
Surge Guard 44280 Portable Surge Protector - Highest energy absorption
  • 30-Amp Surge Protectors
Most Durable
Progressive Industries SSP-50XL Surge Protector
  • 50-Amp Surge Protectors
High Energy Absorption
Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector
  • 50-Amp Surge Protectors

30-Amp Surge Protectors

You know you need a 30-amp surge protector when you have a 3-prong 30-amp/120-volt outlet.

Best Overall (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
Progressive Industries Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Impressive Surge Protection

  • Over/Under Voltage Protection

  • Built-in Scrolling Digital Display

  • Rough construction, & Security Locking Bracket

  • Lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • High price

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X is the perfect 30-amp surge protector. It protects your rig from both voltage spikes (over-voltage) and brownouts (under-voltage), enhancing RV appliances and electronics’ lifetime. The maximum surge protection is up to 1,790 Joules, very impressive for such a portable surge protector. Moreover, it can detect and protect your rig from reverse polarity caused by incorrectly wiring.

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X features a built-in scrolling digital display for easy monitoring. The surge protector is designed for outdoor use with a rough construction of tough Lexan housing and an all-weather shield; it is 100% waterproof. It also features a security locking bracket for security reasons.

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X comes with a lifetime warranty. You can buy this with 100% confidence; however, the price is quite high.

Progressive Industries Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector Specifications

Dimension

18 x 6.3 x 5 inches

Operating Temperatures

-40C to +105C (-40F to +221F)

Integrated Surge Protection

3-Mode / 1,790J / 44,000A

Highlight Features

Over/Under Voltage Protection; Built-in Scrolling Digital Display; Security Locking Bracket; Outdoor use

Progressive EMS-PT30X protects your rig from voltage spikes/brownouts/reverse polarities.

Best for Circuit Analyzing (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Camco Adapter PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer

Camco Adapter PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer
Camco Adapter PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Super portable, easy to install & use

  • Diagnostic LEDs indicate wiring issues

  • Weather Resistant

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Won't protect from brownouts

Camco Adapter PowerDefender is a great budget choice. It is super portable, pretty easy to install, and easy to use - just plug and you’re all set. Diagnostic LEDs are a significant feature of this surge protector as they indicate wiring issues, making it much easier for you to fix the wiring. Different lighting sequences will alert you of any electrical wiring issues - it can analyze and detect 6 circuit problems: open ground, reverse polarity, open hot, open neutral, hot/ground reverse, hot on neutral with hot open. If the LEDs indicate “Correct Wiring”, you are safe to connect to your RV.

Camco Adapter PowerDefender is waterproof that can withstand outdoor weather conditions. However, it won’t protect you from under-voltage (brownouts). This is a big drawback; however, at a very affordable price, Camco Adapter PowerDefender is still a wonderful choice.

Camco Adapter PowerDefender Circuit Analyzer Specifications

Dimension

11 x 4 x 6 inches

Operating Temperatures


Integrated Surge Protection

Up to 1,050 J

Highlight Features

Diagnostic LEDs indicate wiring issues; Outdoor use

Camco Adapter PowerDefender is affordable and great at detecting any circuit issues.

Most Durable (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries SSP30X Smart Surge Protector

Progressive Industries SSP30X Smart Surge Protector
Progressive Industries SSP30X Smart Surge Protector
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Weather Resistant & Thermally Protected

  • Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection

  • Miss wired Pedestal Indication

  • Over- and under- voltage Indicator

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons
  • Low surge protection

Progressive Industries SSP30X is a pretty durable piece. It is weather-resistant and thermally protected for outdoor use; Besides, it features a rugged pull handle. Moreover, it is backed with a lifetime warranty. You don’t have to worry about its longevity.

Progressive Industries SSP30X features three LEDs that indicate Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity; Miss wired; Over- and under- voltage. It protects your rig from surge up to 825 Joules - this is not an impressive number, however, it covers almost all cases when it comes to RVing. So, if you find Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X is too expensive, Progressive Industries SSP30X is a considerable choice.

Progressive Industries SSP30X Smart Surge Protector Specifications

Dimension

3.5 x 5.3 x 14.3 inches

Operating Temperatures

-40C to +105C (-40F to +221F)

Integrated Surge Protection

3-Mode / 825J / 22,500A

Highlight Features

3 indicating LEDs; Outdoor use

Progressive Industries SSP30X is super durable, backed up by a lifetime warranty.

Highest Energy Absorption (30-Amp Surge Protectors): Surge Guard 44280 Portable Surge Protector - Highest energy absorption

Surge Guard 44280 Portable Surge Protector - Highest energy absorption
Surge Guard 44280 Portable Surge Protector - Highest energy absorption
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Protects surge up to 2100 Joules

  • UL listed surge protector

  • Indicates power supply status

  • Weather resistant & waterproof cover

  • Surge protection indicator and thermal sensor

Cons
  • It’s hard to read the LEDs in sunlight

Surge Guard 44280 is a UL listed portable surge protector. UL listed products are rigorously tested for performance and safety. The surge protector can protect your rig from up to 2,100J spikes, an outstanding performance.

Surge Guard 44280 features LEDs to indicate power supply status, including open neutral, open ground, reverse polarity, reverse ground, open circuit. In addition to surge protection, it also features a thermal sensor to prevent over-heat.

Surge Guard 44280 is pretty durable thanks to the high-gauge brass construction, which is waterproof and weather resistant. However, the LEDs are quite hard to read in sunlight.

Surge Guard 44280 Portable Surge Protector - Highest energy absorption Specifications

Dimension

15.5 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches

Operating Temperatures


Integrated Surge Protection

2100 Joules

Highlight Features

UL listed; Indicates power supply status; Outdoor use; Thermal sensor

Surge Guard 44280 is a UL-listed surge protector, which can handle surge up to 2,100J.

50-Amp Surge Protectors

You know you need a 50-amp surge protector when you have a 4-prong 50-amp/240-volt outlet.

Most Durable (50-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries SSP-50XL Surge Protector

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL Surge Protector
Progressive Industries SSP-50XL Surge Protector
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Comes with a shield

  • Weather & Heat proof

  • Rugged Construction & Locking Bracket

  • 3-Color LEDs indicate circuit status

  • UL Certified & Canadian Approved, Lifetime Warranty

Cons
  • Does not protect under voltage

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL is a considerable choice for a 50-amp rig system. It is made of high-quality materials that will last for decades. The surge protector comes with a shield for extra protection when it rains. In addition to that, it is 100% water and heat proof. The construction is tough with the rugged pull handle and the tough Lexan housing. Moreover, it is UL Certified & Canadian Approved for being high-quality and is backed by a lifetime warranty. Besides, the locking bracket protects the surge protector from potential thieves.

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL features 3-color LEDs to indicate circuit status. It can diagnose a wide range of wiring issues, such as open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, as well as over- or under- voltage. However, the surge protector won’t protect your appliances from under-voltage. This is considered a drawback for such a high-priced surge protector like this.

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL Surge Protector Specifications

Dimension

14 x 5 x 3.5 inches

Operating Temperatures

-40C to +105C (-40F to +221F)

Integrated Surge Protection

5-Mode / 1650J / 45,000A

Highlight Features

3-Color LEDs indicate circuit status; UL Certified & Canadian Approved; Lifetime Warranty

Progressive Industries SSP-50XL is a super durable surge protector with a lifetime warranty.

High Energy Absorption (50-Amp Surge Protectors): Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector

Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector
Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Surge protection up to 3,580 Joules!

  • State-of-the-art microprocessors

  • Built-in scrolling digital display

  • Weather Resistant; Lexan Housing; Security Locking Bracket

  • Lifetime Warranty

Cons
  • Very high price

Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X can protect your rig from 3,580J spikes! This surge protector is really the deal, perfect for those who are looking for a heavy-duty protector. As other Progressive Industries’ surge protectors, EMS-PT50X is pretty well-made with a weather-resistant shield, Lexan housing, and a security locking bracket. There’s no problem with using this protector outdoor.

Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X features state-of-the-art microprocessors that can react immediately to any surge issue. The built-in scrolling digital display lets you easily monitor the circuit status. However, it is pretty expensive.

Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV Surge Protector Specifications

Dimension

18 x 6.25 x 5 inches

Operating Temperatures

-40C to +105C (-40F to +221F)

Integrated Surge Protection

5-Mode / 3,580J / 88,000A

Highlight Features

Built-in Scrolling Digital Display; Security Locking Bracket; Outdoor use; Lifetime Warranty

Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X can protect your rig from 3,580J spikes!

How To Choose The Best Surge Protector For RV?

First, you need to know the differences between a 50-amp surge protector and a 30-amp surge protector. The most easy-recognized difference is that a 30-amp surge protector is used for a 3-prong 30-amp/120-volt outlet, while a 50-amp surge protector is used for a 4-prong 50-amp/240-volt outlet. You can buy a 50-amp surge protector with a dogbone adapter to use it with a 3-prong 30-amp/120-volt outlet.

All surge protectors will cut power when the voltage is too high (called a spike) to protect your electrical applicants from being damaged. The energy absorption number indicates how strong the spikes that the surge protector can handle. If the spikes excess this number, the protector may be broken.

Some protectors will cut power when the voltage is too low (brownout), which can also damage your electrical applicants as well. However, for many surge protectors, they only alert when there is a brownout, and you have to disconnect the power by yourself.

Some protectors feature a processor to analyze the circuit status and tell you any potential wiring problems, such as open ground, reverse polarity, open hot, open neutral, hot/ground reverse, hot on neutral with hot open.

Water-resistance is also a must-have property of the protector as you often use it outside.

Which Brands Make The Best Surge Protector For RV?

Progressive Industries

Progressive Industries must be the first brand that pops up in mind when one thinks about surge protectors for RV. It is the one who set the standards in the electrical solution industry. Each of their electrical solutions meets up to any smallest performance specification as well as is designed for extreme weather conditions. When it comes to surge protectors for RV, Progressive Industries has a lot of models for different needs, all are of great quality. I would recommend EMS-PT30X for a 30-amp surge protector, and SSP-50XL for a 50-amp surge protector.

Camco

Camco has a history of more than half a century. It was founded in 1966. Since then, it has built a famous brand on over 3,000 products, especially products for Rvs like RV drinking hoses and RV surge protectors. Camco has over 700 employees, 130 patents, and 5 manufacturing factories, which make it a super-efficient manufacturer and can offer you the highest-quality products at a very affordable price. Camco is also well-known for its great customer services. As their offices are across the world, you can expect to be served anywhere you go.

Surge Guard Southwire

Southwire is a giant that makes all kinds of electric products, from wires, cables, to lights. They are the manufacturer of the half of the cable used in the transmission and distribution of electricity across the US. Southwire really knows how to make electrical products. Surge Guard is one of their best product lines, which is surge protectors for RVs. Surge Guard's protectors are the best at energy absorption yet not be overly high priced.

FAQs

Do you really need a surge protector for your RV?

Yes. The surge protector will cut power when the voltage is too high or too low, which causes severe damage to your electrical appliances. Some protectors can analyze your circuit status and alert if there is any wiring issue, such as open ground, reverse polarity, open hot, open neutral, hot/ground reverse, hot on neutral with hot open.

Can you use a 50-amp surge protector on a 30-amp RV?

Yes. Use a dogbone adapter.

Do I need a 30-amp or 50-amp surge protector?

You know you need a 30-amp surge protector when you have a 3-prong 30-amp/120-volt outlet. You know you need a 50-amp surge protector when you have a 4-prong 50-amp/240-volt outlet. Or you can just buy a 50-amp surge protector with a dogbone adapter, and you’re ready for both 3-prong and 5-prong outlets.

What are the potential shore power problems?

Shore power can be super dangerous - electric shocks near the water can be a life-risking experience for both those who are on board and those who are swimming nearby. The main problem is that the wiring may be incorrect. A surge protector with a circuit analyzer can help you avoid this problem.

Portable vs permanent surge protector?

Portable surge protector is the better choice for me as it is easy to install, easy to use, and easy to replace.

Conclusion

A portable surge protector is a must-have tool for any RV trip. I hope that this article can help you choose the best surge protector for your RV.


Related Articles