RV Surge Protector VS EMS – Which is better?

When it comes to protecting your RV, which is better?

Both devices are intended for the protection against power surges it can’t handle, and both come in Portable and Hardwired solutions. They do have notable differences though and making sure you buy the right unit is essential. Otherwise, the cost to your possessions could rank in the thousands of dollars — and your insurance policy may not cover it.

RV Surge Protectors

When it comes to protecting your RV, which is better — RV Surge Protectors or RV Electronic Manage Systems (EMS)? 

Both devices are intended for the protection against power surges it can’t handle, and both come in Portable and Hardwired solutions. They do have notable differences though, and making sure you buy the right unit is essential.  Otherwise, the cost to your possessions could rank in the thousands of dollars — and your insurance policy may not cover it.

RV Power Systems — 30 Amp or 50 Amp?

Before we dig into it, it is worth mentioning that RV power systems come in both 30 Amp and 50 Amp varieties. No worries, though — there’s an easy way to tell them apart. 

If the power plug for your RV has 4 prongs, it has a 50 Amp power system. 

If the power plug has 3 prongs, however — it has a 30 Amp system.

The 30 Amp power plug may look familiar — dryer power plugs use the same design. Don’t be fooled though, plugging your RV into a dryer outlet will lead to disastrous consequences. They have different requirements, and it will likely cost you big bucks if you make this mistake.

Both RV Surge Protectors and RV Electronic Management Systems come in 30 Amp and 50 Amp varieties.

What is an RV Surge Protector?

An RV Surge Protector is a device that goes between your RV and a power source. It protects your RV against high voltage spikes and surges, as can be caused by lightning strikes.

Usually, RV Surge protectors come with user-friendly designs and are simple to operate even for beginners. Additionally, they often come either in the form of extension cables enabling easy access.

When you plug your RV into an external power source without a surge protector, you take a huge risk. A high voltage spike could fry your RV’s wiring, as well as any electronics, plugged up inside.

While some Surge Protectors do come with warning LEDs concerning various issues, they don’t do anything to stop these issues — so if the LED warning light stops functioning, your RV could be fried.

They don’t protect against everything, but they are affordably priced and should be the bare minimum you use to protect your RV. Check out the best RV surge protector reviews.

What is an RV Electronic Measurement System?

While very similar to RV Surge Protectors, an RV EMS is much broader in protection. This does push the price point up on these devices, as they have to be able to address more issues.

In addition to the High voltage surge protection offered by RV Surge Protectors, an RV EMS protects against the following:

  • Power surges
  • High voltage and low voltage
  • Open Neutral Protection
  • Open Ground Protection
  • Accidental 220V Protection
  • AC Frequency Protection
  • Reverse Polarity Protection

Any one of these issues could destroy the wiring and electronics in your RV — but electronic management systems will protect you. While a Surge Protector may warn you about various issues with a power pedestal at a campground, it won’t prevent you from using that power. 

An EMS is designed to cut off the power from the source, preventing damage to your RV.

Between the two, the EMS is the pricier option — but the protection it offers is worth it in every way.

Similarities between the two

Both are devices that come between your RV’s power systems. And they protect your RV’s power systems from high voltage power issues, which can save you money in the long run.

They both also come in portable and hard-wired varieties, which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

After that though, the similarities start to run out.

Differences between RV Surge Protectors and RV Electronic Management Systems

While they may seem like very similar devices, they’re more like an evolution of systems. RV Surge Protectors do protect your RV, it’s true — but only against a very limited route of damage.

Electronic Management Systems on the other hand, offer a much wider array of protection. They protect against low voltage issues, also known as brownouts, which can cause just as much damage as high voltage. And if the power source you plug into is unsafe for your RV, then the EMS will block the power right then and there — no worries.

The next difference is the price tag. A Surge Protector runs around $90 to $120 for a low priced portable one, while a portable EMS typically costs at least $250.

But the cost to rewire and replace all the electronics into your RV is likely to be even more expensive.

So, which should you choose?

We say EMS. While yes, the upfront price is heftier by not a small amount, it’s a small price to pay for protection. 

An RV Surge Protector may protect you against lightning storms and other high voltage events — that’s not enough.

If too many people crowd a campground’s power systems, it can cause the voltage to run low. Not all surge protectors will protect against this. And since voltage can drop or surge at any time during use, just measuring beforehand won’t help you. And that’s not even mentioning the issues a power pedestal itself might suffer. Many campground pedestals aren’t maintained properly, and when they start having issues, it’s your recreational vehicle that suffers.

With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing people indoors, we see campgrounds into the future. Stick with an EMS for your recreational vehicle.

Portable vs Hard-Wired

Now that we’ve settled on EMS being the system that will better protect you — which option should you choose? They each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Portable EMS Pros

  • Full protection from power-related issues
  • No installation required
  • Allows you to test power systems portably
  • Many models come with built-in locking bracket

 

Portable EMS Cons

  • Typically more expensive than hard-wired version
  • More vulnerable to theft

Hard-Wired EMS Pros

  • Usually cheaper than portable models
  • Once installed, no more worrying
  • Full protection from power related issues
  • No worrying about theft
  • Inside access for most models

Hard-Wired EMS Cons

  • If you hire an installer, will cost extra
  • You have to pull your RV up to a power pedestal to check it — no portability

Conclusion

To conclude, we think that a hard-wired EMS is the best case solution. While it may be a bit costlier with installation factored in, the simple fact remains that once it’s installed — you’re protected.

With the portable system, there’s always the small worry that it may be stolen, or that you might forget to plug it in before your RV. By removing this step, you’re doing the best you can feasibly do to protect your RV against power issues.

Either way, you decide to go through – we believe you should use an Electronic Management System over a Surge Protector. Better safe than sorry, especially with something so valuable.



RV EMS Management Systems

  • 【 Multi Function USB Outlet】- Securing onto the wall design. Fit duplex outlet perfectly, just plug in to use. You get 5 AC outlet splitter (3 sides) with wide space in between; 4 USB charger ports; using the screw at the middle to secure it onto the wall for duplex outlet, so it is not pulled out when pulling the plugged in devices and loss power. Note: this works on duplex outlet only, other types of outlet like GFCI outlet cannot be secured onto the wall.
  • 【Wide space 】- 5 AC outlets built-in 1680 Joules surge protector with 2.1 inches long space in between, larger than standard 1.5-inch socket. Larger spacing makes it easier to use for all kinds of equipment.
  • 【 Smart Charge with USB A & USB C 】- 4 USB ports total 4.8 A, each USB A port features 5V/2.4A Max output. USB C charging port features 5V/3A MAX. Built in smart technology, detecting charging devices and deliver optimal charging speed automatically, compatible with Kindle and most USB devices. NOTE: The UCB-C port is not Quick Charger 3.0, doesn't support any other devices which need 9~22V charging voltage.
  • 【 Reliable Surge Protector Circuit 】- 3 level complementary Surge Protector Circuit which composed of TVS, MOV (metal oxide varistor), GDT (gas discharge tube), with minimum 1680J energy absorbing capacity, could protect your devices much more quickly and reliably than other brand’s 1 level MOV(metal oxide varistor) Surge Protection Circuits.
  • 【 Our After Sale Service 】- ETL Certified,Our friendly and reliable customer service will respond to you within 24 hours. You can purchase with confidence, with our 30-day return and 12-month replacement .
  • ✔ SUPER POWERFUL - Amazing strong, sturdy, and heavy-duty metal magnetic hook with a CNC machined steel base, embedded with a high grade latest generation of ‘magnetic king’ i.e. super Nd-Fe-B, it offers more than 22 lb pulling force under steel. This magnetic hook is perfect for hanging items on the fridge in the kitchen.
  • ✔ HIGH-LEVEL PLATING- We offer 3 layers of coating on the steel metal base, metal hook, and magnet. It provides this magnetic hanger with a shiny, rust-free, and mirror-like finish. It particularly exhibits an excellent anti-corrosive property and scratch resistance. Maintenance-free, no rust!
  • ✔ CRUISE ESSENTIALS –After performing a careful inspection of the machining flow line, defective pieces were checked and picked out in the first place. You can take these excellent magnetic hooks 22 lb to the cruise for hanging and decorations on the metal wall or metal door in the cruise cabins of your carnival cruise ship. This strong magnet hook is a cruise necessity and one of the cruise accessories must-haves.
  • ✔ VERSATILE USE- Neosmuk’s strong neodymium magnetic hooks were endowed with a strong capability for holding various items wherever there are iron or steel. It is a perfect magnetic key holder. You can also hang your tools next to the toolbox. Our magnetic hooks are great for grill, pot, cup, utensils, and oven…
  • ✔ Neosmuk 25 lb+ (measured on the automatic tension machine) Permanent magnetic hook, strong magnetism lasts forever!
  • Safe Water Matters: GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filtration greatly reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine, and sediment.; Large Capacity Filtration: Large capacity in line water filter lasts an average of 3 months
  • Multiple Uses: Can be attached to any standard gardening or water hose to provide healthier drinking water and cleaner water overall. Great for RVs, boats, campers, pets, gardening, and much more
  • 20-Micron Sediment Filter: Removes particles greater than 20 microns; Protects Against Bacteria: Premium KDF provides protection against bacteria growth while filter is stored or not in use
  • Includes: Flexible hose protector to reduce strain on connections while minimizing kinking
  • Compliant with all Federal and State Level Lead-Free Laws: CSA lead-free content certified to NSF/ANSI 372
  • GREAT FOR SMALL SPOTS LIKE KITCHENS & BATHROOMS - Now you can discreetly and completely hide the entire outlet, ugly plugs & cords while enhancing home décor
  • ELIMINATE UGLY, UNSAFE & BULKY PLUGS & CORDS - Less is MORE. Less clutter, less hazards and less obstacles. This ultra-thin, wall-hugging device blends with the wall – you’ll forget it’s there!
  • NO TOOLS REQUIRED! - Simply attach to the top receptacle of a duplex outlet like a traditional plug
  • INCLUDES ADHESIVE CORD CONCEALER KIT consisting of double sided, removable adhesive strips and adhesive cord clips to neatly secure the cord to the wall
  • UNIVERSALLY COMPATIBLE with all duplex outlet sizes
  • ★Multi Function Power Strip:Power strip surge protector with 12AC outlets & 4 USB charging ports (5V/3.4A,17W), 6-foot Heavy Duty power extension cord(1875W/15A), surge protector (2700 Joules)with overload protection protects against spikes and fluctuations.Wide range voltage design, can be used on 120v to 240v circuit .
  • ★Surge Protector Power Strip with usb:2 Special design widely spacing AC outlets (2 inches) for large adapters with 10 standard spacing outlets,4 USB ports total 3.4 A/17W, each USB A port features 2.4A Max output. Built- with smart technology, detecting charging devices and deliver optimal charging speed automatically, compatible with Kindle and most USB devices.
  • ★12 AC Surge Protector Outlets:The 3 level complementary Surge Protector Circuit which composed of TVS (transient voltage suppressor),MOV (metal oxide varistor), GDT (gas discharge tube), with minimum 2700 Joules energy absorbing capacity, could protect your devices much more quickly and reliably than other brand’s 1 level MOV Surge Protection Circuits.
  • ★Safety and Certificate:ETL safety certified,with extension cord and other major components certified by UL. The over current protection switch limits the power strip's working current to certain setting, so it will not get hot during usage. Environmental protection and fire-resistance PC shell with flame retardant at 1382℉ makes it more durable and longer lifetime.
  • ★What You Get:Alestor Power strip, Maunal,30-day return, our worry-free 24-month, and reliable customer service will respond to you within 24 hours.
  • Safe Water Matters: GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filtration greatly reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine, and sediment.; Large Capacity Filtration: Large capacity in line water filter lasts an average of 3 months
  • Multiple Uses: Can be attached to any standard gardening or water hose to provide healthier drinking water and cleaner water overall. Great for RVs, boats, campers, pets, gardening, and much more
  • 20-Micron Sediment Filter: Removes particles greater than 20 microns; Protects Against Bacteria: Premium KDF provides protection against bacteria growth while filter is stored or not in use
  • Includes: Flexible hose protector to reduce strain on connections while minimizing kinking
  • Compliant with all Federal and State Level Lead-Free Laws: CSA lead-free content certified to NSF/ANSI 372
  • Multi-function USB Outlet: 2 USB fast charging ports, 3-sided Power Strip, with 6 Adapter Spaced Outlets, and LED night light around the edges. Taking the place of a standard socket, but instead offering you many more plugs. Can be used in any room or public areas indoor. Save space with unique 3D design.
  • Wide space: 6 AC outlets built-in 1680 Joules surge protector with 2.1 inches long space in between, larger than standard 1.5-inch socket. Larger spacing makes it easier to use for all kinds of equipment. 2 Smart USB ports (Total 2.4A) can charge your smart device quickly. NOTE:This product is multi plug outlet. For any large power rating devices that’s over 1000W, like AC, room heater, please plug in directly to the duplex outlet. We don’t suggest to use this product.
  • Smart Night Light: With Dusk-To-Dawn Sensor, automatically turns on only when ambient lighting becomes insufficient. With touch sensor, three levels of adjustable brightness let you choose the right amount of light for your own needs. You could also choose to turn on/off the nightlight manually.
  • Reliable Surge Protector Circuit: POWRUI 3 level complementary Surge Protector Circuit which composed of TVS, MOV (metal oxide varistor), GDT (gas discharge tube), with minimum 1680J energy absorbing capacity, could protect your devices much more quickly and reliably than other brand’s 1 level MOV(metal oxide varistor) Surge Protection Circuits.
  • Our After Sale Service: ETL Certified, Our friendly and reliable customer service will respond to you within 24 hours. You can purchase with confidence, with our 30-day return and 12-month replacement .
  • Cable Management Organizer Kit: This comprehensive kit includes a variety of solutions including 4pcs Cord Protector( 20inch l x 0.4inch w), 10pcs reusable wire ties, 36 Self Black Adhesive Cord Holders, 2 Self Adhesive Cable Tie Rolls(The length of each roll is197 inch), 100 nylon wire ties (size of every : 7.9inch L x0.12inch w)
  • Safety Material: Made of highly durable and quality materials the components included in this kit are built to las, ensuring clutter free organization of your cords and cables for years to come. The included cable holders boast strong self-adhesive sticky pads ensuring they remain affixed to your desired surface at all times.
  • 3 kinds of Black Cable Clips:36pcs wire Clips is made from eco-friendly Polyamide66 material, nontoxic, extra strong.Works on all clean surfaces like desks, walls, baseboards, cabinets, wood, ceramics, etc.Two colors(black&transparent) meet your needs well.
  • Easy to Use:Our wire loom is split and easy to load wires. Once loaded, our braided cable sleeve will close on itself and perfect wire wrap. No drilling, nailing or taping required.This cord protector also can keeps cat from chewing cables.
  • Flexibility & Versatility:including10pcs and 2 Roll Self Adhesive Ties. Each wire ties is 6 in length and 0.5 inches in width. Include an eye hole in the tail allowing the tie to be attached to a cable or hung from a hook. Multiple wire organizer can be attached together to form one longer tie.
  • The ultimate protection and support for your sewer hose: The 20 feet Sidewinder RV Sewer Hose Support by Camco lifts and cradles your sewer hose while in connection from your RV to the dump station. It keeps your sewer hose off the ground and prevents potential damage or punctures to your RV or camper sewer hose by safely nesting it in heavy duty plastic
  • Hassle free preparation and setup: Conveniently ready to use straight of the box with no assembly required. Comes complete with winding sidewinder RV sewer hose support, and orange custom fit storage handle that clasps on to your compressed Sidewinder for simple toting and handling
  • Lightweight yet durable and sturdy frame: This all plastic design, creates a lightweight and weatherproof product made to last long. It is constructed with a rust and corrosion resistant plastic material that is durable enough to carry your hose over the roughest terrains
  • Designed for simplicity and reliability – Designed with deep cradles and grooves that will secure your sewer hose in place without having to use frustrating straps. Once sewer hose support is extended to the desired length, will remain in place without creeping closed. Flexible design allows this support to curve around and avoid obstacles with ease. Easy to clean, just hose it off and let air dry. Compatible with all standard 3” diameter sewer hoses
  • Increased sewer hose drainage –Angled to help in drain sewer hose contents, it is 7.25” at its highest point and 4” at its lowest. Each cradle, slightly decreases in height, creating a gentle downward slope as your hose gets closer to the septic connection, ensuring better drainage in comparison to a non angled surface

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