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


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

  • Control From Anywhere: Turn electronics on or off from anywhere with your smartphone using the Kasa app (Compatible w/ Android & iOS)
  • Voice Control: Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and MicroSoft Cortana supported devices for a hands free experience
  • Compact Design: Won't block the other wall outlet allowing two Smart Plugs to be installed side by side
  • Kasa scenes & schedules: Schedule the Smart plug to automatically switch on and off when away or set a scene for controlling many devices with a single button
  • Note: Requires a secured 2.4 GigaHertz Wi Fi network connection
  • GET NICE & TOASTY FASTER: The advanced PTC ceraming heating technology combined with the ultra-efficient fan will heat up any space faster and distribute the heat more evenly. Just turn on your space heater, count to 3, and enjoy your warm living room, bedroom or office.
  • CUT DOWN ON ELECTRIC BILLS without having to freeze. Our energy-efficient interior space heater features 3 different heat settings (LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH) as well as a fan-only mode, so you can tailor it to your exact needs. Instead of wasting a fortune on central heating, you can warm just the spaces you actually use.
  • ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE TO YOUR NEEDS: Equipped with an adjustable thermostat, our space heater will keep you comfortable at all times. Just set the dial to the desired heat setting and let the thermostat monitor the surrounding air temperature and keep you comfy.
  • PERFECT FOR YOUR HOME OR OFFICE: The compact and portable design combined with the ergonomic built-in handle, will allow you to easily move your space heater to any room you want. Make sure your office, kitchen, bedroom, guest room, study or living room is nice and warm.
  • YOUR PEACE OF MIND IS OUR PRIORITY: We have ensured the safety of you and your loved ones by adding an advanced overheat protection sensor as well as a smart tip-over switch, which will automatically turn off the heater in case it overheats or gets tipped over by your kids or pets.
  • 【12 IN 1 Power Strip with USB】- The 3-side power strip with 8AC widely outlets and 4 USB charging ports(Total 5V/3.1A) can power up to 12 devices simultaneously. With built in Smart IC technology, the usb port can auto detect and deliver appropriate current to your devices, each port up to 5V/2.4A max.
  • 【3 Side Design & Wide Space】- 3-side design that makes it easier to make the plugs not covering any outlet, and the 8 AC outlets with 2.2 inchces widely spced in between outlets, larger than standard socket, fit big adapters without blocking each other. The compact design saves more space, suitable for the home, office, and college dorm room
  • 【Overload Surge Protection】- The surge protector with overload protection protects your electrical appliances from lighting, surges or spikes. The minimum energy-absorbing capacity of 900 Joules. Lighted on/off switch with integrated circuit breaker for overload protection of all outlets.(The "Surge Protected” indicator light on to show your devices are protected)
  • 【Wall Mountable Extension Cord with Flat Plug】- The low-profile flat plug fits easily in tight spaces; and the right angle flat plug design prevents bottom plug blocking; the 4.5ft upgraded power cord is very thick and has better current carrying capacity; the two mounting holes on back allows this power strip to be securely installed in various applications.
  • 【Multi Safety Protection】- RoHS, ETL Certificates. This power strip has overload protection, short-circuit protection, over current protection, over-voltage protection and overheating protection. It will automatically cut power to protect connected devices when voltage surge is overwhelming. Environmental protection and fire-resistance PC shell with flame retardant at 1382℉ makes it more durable and longer lifetime.
  • 【 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.
  • 【The Groove Design on The Back and 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. The groove at the back make it flush against the wall perfectly, good for all Duplex Receptacle Outlet. NOTE: This product can be used on wall outlet with space lager than 1 inches in between ,This product cannot be used on outlets with more than 2 set of parallel sockets
  • 【 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 .
  • FEATURE - Size: 28x16cm/11.02x6.30inches; Material: Coral Velvet; Package: 12 Pack Kitchen towels. The 12-pack provides you an ample microfiber cleaning cloths towels for all your household needs in daily life!
  • ULTRA ABSORBENT - These dishtowels are made of high quality coral velvet thickening material, they are lightweight, super absorbent and dry quickly. The kimteny classic kitchen towels are lint-free and absorb fluids quickly and efficiently for any tasks.
  • MACHINE WASHABLE - Easily to be washed. They are washable for both hand and machine. The dish drying towels maintain an excellent quality even after multiple washes! Will resist shrinking and minimize lint. You could use these dish towels over and over again!
  • COUNTLESS USES - Due to being highly absorbent, these microfiber dish towels are great for dust cloths, drying hands, wiping stains, cleaning windows, as well as cheese strainers, salad spinners, a wide variety of household chores. As good as having a magic wand in your hands! Get the job done quickly in a right way with our dish cloths!
  • ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIAL - Our dish rags are made of high quality non-abrasive and extra soft coral velvet thickening material, which is not easy to lint and fade, soft and not hurting hands, natural and without any chemicals. These dish cloths are not only suitable for kitchen cleaning, but also suitable for cleaning home furniture, car, window, electric appliance etc. It’s so easy to remove dust, dirt, stain, grease, fingerprints.
  • 16-Pack: Come with 16-pack different size black cable clip holders, more size for all family member
  • Keep Your Desk Organised: Litte neat cable cord holder will help those cluttered cables and cords around your desk, TV, power strip, filing cabinets, computer or cell phone much nicer, organized, and safer
  • Multipurpose: You can use them as table cable organzier, as a pen holder, as toothbrush or flosser holders, flexible and easy to install wherever you want
  • Sturdy Sticky Pad: Made of extra strong sticky pad which holds them securely, adhered easily to multiple surfaces
  • Easy Use: Simply peel and stick your adhesive cable clip anywhere. Please kindly take a moment to the surface before sticking them which make them holding tight
  • Multifunctional Tens Massager with 24 Preprogrammed Massage Modes for Pain and Muscle Relief. TENS unit help relieve pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the shoulder, waist, back, neck, upper extremities (arm), and lower extremities(leg) due to strain from exercise or normal household work activities. Electric massager is also intended to be used to stimulate healthy muscles in order to improve and facilitate muscle performance.
  • Non Invasive, Non Drug Choice for Relieving Pain. Great Device You Can Use at Home for Pain Management. If you want to relieve pain, just trying Belifu TENS massager. It is with human body simulation technology, microcomputer intelligent control technology, simulates a variety of massage methods. Help for relieving pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the shoulder, waist, back, neck, upper extremities (arm), and lower extremities(leg) due to strain from exercise or household work.
  • A/B Dual Channels Tens with 24 Modes, 20 Levels Intensity and Time Control. Relax Any Time Anywhere with Pocket Size! You can operate it with different intensity settings for each channel. With portable size, it can be used in the office, car or travel on the go. Total body relaxation: use for back, knee, shoulder, ankles, wrist and elbow and make this the most powerful weapon for your body relax.
  • Free Dust-Proof Drawstring Storage Bag, Reusable Fastening Cable Ties and 10 Pcs of Self Adhesive Conductive Reusable Electrode Pads. No more cable mess after use with fastening cable ties. A quick and easy solution for tens lead wires management. Hassle free storage system for the tens massager and wires.Three different sizes of electrode pads can meet your various needs.
  • Built in Powerful Rechargeable Lithium Battery-- up to 20 Hours of Continuous Use. It can be connected to wall charger, power bank or laptop USB port to charge. Don't worries about treatment interruption for dead AA batteries any more. With battery level indicator remind you charge timely.
  • Size: Diameter: 1/2"| Length: 10 Feet | Color: Black. Our wire loom is split and easy to load wires. Once loaded, our cable sleeve will close on itself and perfect wire wrap
  • Operating temp (degree F.):-103 to 257|Melt temp: 446. Our cable management sleeve is used for Hifi speaker hdmi automotive wires
  • Our cord protector keeps cat from chewing cables. Our cable protector is insulated
  • Our wire sleeve: UL Recognized
  • Our cable organizer keeps the cords organized with no more messy cables in your home and office
  • 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
  • [DE-CLUTTER] Free up valuable desk real estate and de-clutter areas with an abundance of cables with this complete cord/cable management kit
  • [COMPLETE KIT] This comprehensive kit includes everything you could possibly need to organise and manage all your cables at the home or office including include 4 Cable Sleeve Split with 47 Self Adhesive Cable Clips Holder, 10 Cable Ties, 10 Adhesive Wall cable Tie, 100 Fasten Cable Ties, 2 x Roll Cable Ties
  • [QUALITY] Built from highly durable, high-quality materials the components included in this kit are built to las, ensuring clutter free organisation of your cords and cables for years to come. The included cable clips boast strong self-adhesive sticky pads ensuring they remain affixed to your desired surface at all times.
  • [SAFETY] Cable clutter can make areas of the home or office unsafe. Protect your loved ones at home or colleagues at work by reducing the potential for electrical hazards with this complete kit.
  • [EASY TO USE] Organizing your cords and cables has never been easier! Simply peel and stick the adhesive clips to any surface or bundle cables together to apply the cable sleeves and ties.

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