Jump to content

Is surge suppression required at the electrical pedestal or is the onboard surge suppression enough?

Carl Hansen

Recommended Posts


I am wondering if I should invest in an external EMS system to test the electrical outlet at the pedestal before I plug in or is the onboard surge suppression (EMS) enough to protect the trailer?  The pedestal testers are quite expensive but I will invest if it is the right thing to do.

What is the guidance of the forum?



  • Like 1

2021 Legacy Elite I | "Lil' Tow" | Hull #924

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Jeep Gladiator


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard EMS is perfectly sufficient. In fact, if you were looking at an external unit, you were probably looking at a Progressive Industries EMS, which is exactly what Oliver supplies, just the built in version.

If you want to make a small investment that might help you diagnose electrical issues, then I’d suggest an inexpensive circuit tester like this, or better still, a digital multimeter like this.  Neither are required, but if you ever run into electrical problems, they’ll definitely help you find the problem. 

Edited by Overland
  • Thanks 1
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Klein Tools RT210 Outlet Tester, Receptacle Tester for GFCI / Standard North American AC Electrical Outlets, Detects Common Wiring Problems - - Amazon.com  

Or similar. Usually less then $12. I use this to verify the AC power  pedestal is wired correctly. You may need an adaptor or two. Then plug your Oliver into the appropriate receptacle. You have no need for additional protection. The Progressive system does the work.  The display will inform you of voltage, amps, and any errors. 

This works for me very well.


  • Like 3

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto BackofBeyond's comment regarding adapter(s). Depending on which receptacle you use from the pedestal, each one may or may not be wired correctly, independent of the others. The testers referenced above will go into a 5-15 or 5-20 GFCI receptacle, but require an adapter for the 30A (TT-30) or 50A receptacle if you are using one of those (which is most common).

  • Like 2

Tom & Holly

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite I #409 - 2017 Silverado 1500, 5.3L Gas, 4x4 Z71, Dbl Cab, Std Bed






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our one experience with an incorrectly wired 30amp pedestal was after we experienced a low voltage issue on a very hot weekend last summer.  We noticed the private campground had many seasonal sites and sure enough on the W/E everyone arrived.  This coincided with our low voltage issue which impacted our A/C.  We made it through the night and I called the campground the next day to report the low voltage.  There were a few empty sites near us and after I tried to see if your 30amp extension cord would reach, I inquired about whether he had any heavy duty extension cords as opposed to moving the trailer.  Good thing too, because after I connected his power cables, which were quite handy for him and very substantial and confirming my suspicion that he was aware of the issues, I now had a reversed source and neutral wire which caused an error message on the EMS.  I subsequently tested the pedestal to confirm the incorrect wiring, reported it to him, and we lived with the low voltage issue.


  • Thanks 1
  • Like 1

David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh

Hull 509 "The Swallow"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought one of these for my trailer toolkit on Amazon.
I know it's quite a bit more than the small 15/20 amp testers I also own, but I consider it a convenience for the 30A checks.

They come in 30A or 50A, and you can also buy a version that is just a small inline surge suppressor (see second pix) .
Or you can by both the Tester an Supressor in kits...




  • Thanks 2
  • Like 3

2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2021 F350 King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
Batteries Upgrade: Dual 315GTX Lithionics Lithiums - 630AH Total
Inverter/Charger: Xantrex 2000Pro 

Travel BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...