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External Surge Protector


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I seem to recall reading that in certain situations that using two surge protectors together can cause "issues" with one or both.   If I remember where I saw this, I'll post it here.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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We only have the Progressive external, as an EMS wasn't an option when we ordered our unit (2017 hull #211). After reading the forum, as the internal ones became an option, I was glad ours was outside. We could plug into the pedestal and see immediately whether or not it was safe to plug in the Olver. Those with the internal would have to go inside to see if all of as good. If I did, at some point, convert to an internal, I would add a remote readout somewhere  (maybe the basement) so I wouldn't have to go around. The only trouble with the external that we have heard about is the moving light (status codes), giving people walking by to get curious. The solution sometimes is to put a small piece of electrical tape over the display. We do, ALWAYS, use a small cable lock to secure the EMS to the pedistal, so it doesn't get "borrowed". The cable lock we use is a pistol safety cable, so it is tough.

 

 

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I use a tester to check the pedestal for polarity and ground fault prior to plugging in to avoid any surprises. Then I store the tester in a secure place. The onboard surge protector is all that is needed once connected.

2021 Elite II #769, 2018 Toyota Tundra

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I’ve got the yellow Camco pedestal surge protector.  I’ve never locked it up, maybe folks don’t like the yellow color and only go after the black progressive units.  I may be too trusting, but we’ve never had anything stolen from our site.  Mike

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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Our PI portable EMS started buzzing loudly this last trip so I had to stop using it. I might be able to clean out the relay with compressed air which is the recommended fix per the internet, but I’m thinking about replacing it with the Hughes EMS, which seems to be more highly rated. An advantage of the Hughes is that it can connect via Bluetooth to your phone so that you can read the status remotely. This would allow me to have the best of both worlds by installing the portable unit inside. I could cut the power cord just inside the hull and add plugs so that I can just plug in the EMS and secure it - reading the status on the phone if necessary.   The advantage of that setup, along with not having to deal with it every time we plug in, would be the ability to bypass the EMS or easily replace it if something goes wrong.  Also the EMS would be protected from the elements - at least with the PI, I know that water and dust can and do get inside, despite the fact that it’s supposed to be used outside  

I’m also going to get just a basic end of plug surge protector so that I at least have something as a backup in case I have to bypass the EMS unit. 

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This doesn't have anything to do with the original post but it's good heads up info for anyone using the less expensive PI portable surge protector. 

For about 6 months we were using the PI SSP-30XL Portable RV Smart Surge Protector instead of the onboard one because the onboard one frequently tripped our power.

Conveniently, about two weeks prior to our Ollie service appointment our 30 amp shore power plug quit working. (We have another one by the propane tanks that we used instead.) According to Oliver service, the shore power plug quit working because the relay switch burned up &, that low power most likely caused the relay switch to fail. Most importantly, the portable surge protector does not monitor low power.

Diagnostics on our onboard surge protector showed it was working fine but after digging a little further, the Oliver tech noticed that our shore power cord was dry rotted near the prongs. We replaced shore power cord & have had no problems.

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Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

 

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13 hours ago, ShallowGal said:

Most importantly, the portable surge protector does not monitor low power

Our Progressive EMS system has a 'lifetime' replacement warranty, and it DOES monitor low power. It will shut off power to the camper. When power is restored to enough voltage it monitors for a while and then allows power to our unit. This feature is especially important in older CG, during peak usage or brownouts. Inconvenience, but better than replacing "stuff" on my nickel...

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Correct, though what I found when researching the buzzing problem on my EMS is that apparently all the Progressive units, both installed and portable, seem to have an issue with intermittent low voltage, which indeed can cause the burned out relay shown above. It’s one of the reasons I’m considering getting a different EMS rather than have mine repaired under warranty.

Here’s a thread discussing the problem.

The relay on the EMS itself can also burn out, from the same cause or from a dirty contact on the relay (probably my problem). Perhaps that’s another reason to opt for a portable unit (and keep it outside vs what I’m thinking).  I don’t know about you guys, but if I’m going to have an electrical fire, I’d rather have it start outside than in.  I’ll have to do some more reading, since the issue with the Progressives primarily seems to be with using the EMS while running on a generator, which I don’t use.  I’m curious how Oliver wires their built in EMS when you have two shore connections.  I bet it catches both, but it might be wise to wire it so that it only monitors the side port.  That way you could bypass the EMS when using a generator or if the EMS is acting up.

Also, another point scored for the Victron Multi, since it eliminates the need for a transfer switch. It will also give a low voltage warning in the event that the EMS isn’t doing its job. 

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