Recreational vehicles are favorite go-to options for devoted campers or people trying to minimize expenses and get debt-free. However, despite skipping expensive hotel expenses as a camper or anticipating a frugal lifestyle as a full-time RVer, recreational vehicles are not cheap.

Furthermore, after the initial purchase, you could quickly drain your bank account to unplanned repairs if you are not careful.

As part of minimizing electrical expenses and related repairs on your RV, you might be torn in between investing in a generator, electrical hookups with a surge protector, or solar and wind power options for your glorified mobile home or camping tent.

Understanding your RV electrical system

Two electrical systems power a majority of RVs.

An AC (Alternating Current) and a DC (Direct Current) electrical system. The former is similar to the one in an on-grid typical home. And is obtained by plugging the RV to an AC power source.

On the other hand, the DC system runs on batteries installed on the recreational vehicle.

The two systems are interconnected such that anytime the RV is plugged into an AC power source, the batteries on the DC system get charged.

Power surges and spikes

To understand how surge protectors work, we must learn the basics behind power surges and spikes. Most households and office wiring have a standard flow of electricity design of 120 volts. The same applies to RVs. Consequently, most electronics within the home, office, or RV environment can safely operate within the 120 volts threshold.

Thus, when the voltage rises above 120 volts mark, it can destroy the electronic devices plugged into the power source. An increase in voltage beyond the set threshold, that lasts three nanoseconds or more is a surge. On the other hand, the increase is a spike if it continues for one or two nanoseconds.

Surge protectors shield the electronics in your RV from power surges and spikes

Regardless of whether the power source for your RV is an electrical hookup into an AC, a generator, wind, or solar; a surge or spike high enough can inflict great damage on your RV’s electrical equipment. That is why you need to invest in tested and proven surge protectors such as these 50 amp surge protectors to guard your electronic devices from transient voltage.

How do a surge protector for your RV work?

A surge protector for your recreational vehicle is installed in between the strip from the power source and the power outlet to a number of electronic devices in the RV. If the voltage from the power source spikes or surges above the set voltage, the surge protector diverts the excess voltage into the power outlet’s grounding wire.

By ensuring that your components receive a steady flow of electricity, a surge protector, therefore, achieves two functionalities. It either stops excess power from immediately breaking your electronics, or putting extra strain on the electronics’ components, thus slowly damaging them.

Surge Protector Benefits

  • Electrical surge protection: A surge protector safeguards your RV’s electrical system from sudden voltage spikes or surges. These surges can occur due to lightning strikes, faulty campground wiring, or fluctuations in the power grid. The surge protector acts as a barrier, preventing these high voltage spikes from reaching and damaging your RV’s sensitive electronics and appliances.
  • Appliance protection: RVs are equipped with various appliances, electronics, and gadgets. A surge protector helps protect these devices from being damaged or fried during power surges. Without a surge protector, you risk potential damage to your air conditioner, microwave, TV, refrigerator, computers, and other electrical equipment.
  • Preventing electrical fires: In extreme cases, electrical surges can cause fires in your RV. A surge protector can reduce the risk of electrical fires by detecting and blocking potentially harmful voltage fluctuations before they reach a critical level.
  • Diagnosing electrical issues: Advanced surge protectors often come with built-in diagnostics that can detect problems with the campground’s electrical supply or any wiring issues within your RV. This feature allows you to identify potential electrical problems early on and take necessary actions to prevent damage.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your RV’s electrical system is protected provides peace of mind during your travels. You can enjoy your camping experience without worrying about potential electrical hazards or costly appliance repairs.
  • Longevity of electrical components: By using a surge protector, you extend the lifespan of your RV’s electrical components. It ensures that they receive a consistent and safe power supply, reducing wear and tear on the devices and increasing their overall longevity.

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In summary

Overly, a generator is a power source for your RV, just like AC, solar, or wind sources. You, therefore, need a power surge installed on your RV, whether you are considering a generator or any other power source.