SurgeGuard

If you recall, I have been recently researching ways to improve power when camping. I had reviewed the Hughes Autoformer for low voltage issues. During my research, I starting thinking about power protection.

There are products out there that protect against, low and high voltage, open connections, and spikes. The SurgeGuard by RV Power Protection offers one such device and they sent me the 30amp model 34730 to review.

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The SurgeGuard 34730 is a new model in their line up. It’s rated for 120v @ 30a. It protects against low and high voltage, reverse polarity, open neutral, and surges. The 34730 is a portable model that you can easily plug inline with your power cable. It also has a convenient display that tells you what is going on. You get a read out of voltage and current draw.

Here is what it looks like during testing at theVAP Labs.

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After I plugged it in, the SurgeGuard started a delay for 128 seconds before it passed the pedestal power to the trailer. The manufacturer says the reason for the delay is to protect the A/C compressor. During the delay period, the LCD display shows a count down timer, and the red LED indicator flashes. When the delay timer stops, power is applied to the trailer and the green LED will turn on. The red caution LED can also indicate miss-wiring at the pedestal or ground current. The display will show reverse polarity.

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Once the power is applied, the display will alternate between showing voltage and current draw. I turned on the refrigerator to see how much current it draws. The display indicated 3 amps.

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So now that is running, what exactly will it do? Well, if there was a problem with the pedestal power, it would have never applied the power to your trailer. The SurgeGuard will protect against power surges continually while in use. Finally this is what takes the SurgeGuard to the next level of protection, it will disconnect power if the voltage becomes too high or too low.

For example, if the voltage at your pedestal drops below 102v because everyone in the park is running their air conditioners, the SurgeGuard will automatically disconnect the power to your trailer. The idea here is that it will help to save your a/c compressor and other appliances from low voltage damage. The voltage will be restored once it rises back to proper levels.

The nice thing about the SurgeGuard is that it will save me some hook up time. I won’t need to check the power pedestal with my voltmeter and polarity tester anymore. Plus it adds the benefits of everything else I mentioned. The SurgeGuard is like an insurance policy, you don’t know you need it until something happens. They are a little pricey at around $300, but so are the items in your trailer, like the a/c, LED TV, stereo, computer, microwave…

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4 thoughts on “SurgeGuard

  1. Frank

    If a problem occurs, like reverse polarity, will this destroy the SurgeGuard? Is reverse polarity a major threat to the items in the trailer?

  2. Tim Post author

    Frank,

    The SurgeGuard should handle common power issues without being destroyed. It will indicate the reverse polarity so that you can have it checked by the park. It is considered an unsafe condition. Personally I’ve checked all the parks I have gone to, maybe a couple of dozen. The only issue, besides low voltage was an open ground. Any power problems can be a threat to your trailer, but also to yourself. If there is reverse polarity and your trailer shell becomes hot, you might get a shock when stepping into the trailer. If there is any problem with power, you should not plug in.

  3. Wayne

    Newby AS’er. Love the podcast as it has helped us prepare for a few months on the road.

    Does the Surgeguard replace the need for a Hugh’s Auoformer which you talked about a few shows ago?

    If not, which one would you buy if you could only afford one?

  4. Tim Post author

    That’s a tough one. They both have good features. I would pick the Hughes Autoformer as it has some of the protection features of the Surgeguard, but it will also boost the voltage. So you will get some known use out of it if the voltage is low.

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