Which One is Better for Your RV, EMS or Surge Protector?

Which One is Better for Your RV, EMS or Surge Protector?
Which One is Better for Your RV, EMS or Surge Protector?

RV Electrical Monitoring System (EMS) vs. Surge Protector

The electrical system of an RV can be very sensitive; if the electrical system is exposed to power surges or low voltage, the damage can be expensive. A surge protector, as the name suggests, can protect your RV’s electrical system from power surges. However, an EMS can do more than just protect against surges. While a surge protector is designed to protect a recreational vehicle from voltage spikes, electrical monitoring systems are not only designed to protect an RV from voltage spikes, it can defend against other types of electrical damage. Electrical monitoring systems can also protect against an open ground, reverse polarity, low voltage, open neutral, or accidentally plugging into a 240-volt power source.

What Happens with Power Fluctuations?

Old power pedestals at many campgrounds do not provide a reliable source of power and may be subject to sustained under and over-voltage situations. The electrical voltage going into your RV from the power pedestal can swing very high, up to 180 volts or more, or it can dip low, to let’s say, below 90 volts.

Low voltage can be hard on your appliances, such as the air conditioner, which needs a significant amount of start-up current. On the other hand, high-voltage is very hard on electronics, such as your computer and the electronics inside your microwave oven. A faulty neutral connection within a 120/240-volt shore power plug could allow one side of your power to drop to 60 volts while the other side spikes to 180 volts. The bottom line is, there are a lot of ways your power source can be faulty, and this could wreck your appliances and RV electrical system.

Why You Should Choose an EMS over an RV Surge Protector?

The electrical monitoring system will check the incoming voltage to make sure it’s correct and will disconnect your RV from the power pedestal if the voltage goes below or above the limit. These EMS devices also include a built-in surge protector that will address any quick power spikes.

When it comes to old-fashioned campground power pedestals, a basic RV surge protector will only give your motorhome or trailer a limited amount of protection. While an electrical management system is significantly more expensive, it will also offer much more protection for your RV. Consider it like an insurance policy for your electrical system; it’s better to spend more now on comprehensive protection rather than spending it later on thousands in repairs.

An electrical monitoring system is designed to combat all types of faulty power situations, which include not only power surges, but also low power, reversed polarity, an open neutral and much more.


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