The Best 50 Amp RV Surge Protectors: Be Prepared for the Unexpected
You need to be prepared for the unexpected when you hit the road in your RV. That means not only carrying an extension cord to get power once you’ve reached your campsite, but also bringing along a quality surge protector. You never know when you’re going to experience a surge in your travels, or when campsite electricity will pose problems. But with a 50-amp RV surge protector, you can easily protect your RV and all of its electronics and electrical appliances. Designed to plug right into the outlet, one of these surge protectors can handle your extension cords, your main power supply, and the load of all of the electricity your RV needs, even when surges might happen. We’ve rounded up some of the top 50-amp RV surge protectors right here so you can equip yourself with good products.
Best 50-Amp RV Surge Protectors Reviews & Recommendations
The Progressive Industries Portable 50-amp RV smart surge protector is designed to offer all-around protection. Featuring five modes of surge protection and the ability to handle 1,650 joules and 45,000 amps, it’s rated as a 50-amp, 120/240-volt and 12,000-watt device. And it provides a real-time readout of the current and other data.
Built for the hardships of the great outdoors, this 50-amp RV surge protector features a rugged pull handle, a cover, a locking bracket, and an exterior made from tough, durable Lexan. It’s weather-resistant and has built-in thermal protection so it can work in extreme cold and heat. Plus, the entire unit is backed by a lifetime warranty — and users say that Progressive Industries is fantastic about replacing faulty or problematic surge protectors even years after purchase.
- Five-mode surge protection
- Can handle a maximum of 1,650 joules and 45,000 amps
- Rated for 50 amps, 120 volts
- Works in temperatures from -40 degrees to 105 degrees Celsius
- Thermally protected
Lifetime warranty is fantastic and many users take advantage of it
Built to last through all kinds of weather without any issues
Some assembly is required to get the surge protector ready for use
Over time and use, some online users reported encounter electrical problems or issues with small components
If you don’t want to spend a lot for a quality 50-amp RV surge protector, you should consider the Powsaf 50-Amp RV Surge Protector. The Powsaf offers the same protection that you’ll find in more expensive products but with a much more budget-friendly price.
This 50-amp RV surge protector can identify faulty power sources at parks and campsites, and it’s able to take as much as 4,100 joules if surges do happen. Rated for 120/240 volts and a maximum power of 6,000 watts, this surge protector will have your RV’s power needs covered well. And if you want to keep an eye on your power supply, this device offers a diagnostic LED light that can illuminate when there are problems like faulty wiring or reverse polarity. This surge protector is weather-resistant and features an IP 67 waterproof rating, but it’s not completely waterproof, as some online users have noted.
- Can handle a maximum of 4,100 joules
- Rated for 50 amps, 120 volts
- Rated IP 67 waterproof
Features a circuit analyzer with LED indicator lights to alert you of potential problems
Both ends feature easy-to-use contoured grips for better plugging and unplugging
Does carry a waterproof rating
Not completely weatherproof, just weather-resistant
No cover included
If you’re searching for a premium RV surge protector that’ll offer coverage in the event of electrical woes, then you’ll love all of the features and details of the Camco 50-Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector.
With this surge protector, your RV will be protected from dangerous high and low voltage levels, plus power surges. It features auto-connect and disconnect capability, which means it automatically disconnects if the power situation is dangerous and reconnects when everything is back to normal. A set of diagnostic LED indicators helps you identify when there are potential faults at the source. Able to handle up to 4,200 joules, the Camco offers 50-amp male and female ends compatible with NED 14-50 plugs and outlets. Plus, it’s built to withstand weather of all kinds when installed upright.
However, keep in mind that this 50-amp RV surge protector isn’t waterproof. Users note that water can get inside and cause shorts or even bigger electrical problems. Some users online have noted that this surge protector can fail you in storms. Additionally, its high price is a drawback for some.
- Can handle a maximum of 4,200 joules
- NEMA 14-50 50-amp male and female ends
- PowerGrip contoured grips for easier plugging and unplugging
- Weather-resistant when upright
- Includes diagnostic LED lights
Extra features like diagnostic indicators and auto-connect or disconnect are helpful when the unexpected happens
Made to be highly durable
PowerGrip plugs offer added durability against wear and tear
Device isn’t waterproof
Users report problems during thunderstorms and consistent rain
The Surge Guard Surge Protector is marketed as “entry-level,” but it’s a durable unit with several features. Users note that it can survive years of camping trips, lasting five years or more in many cases. This surge protector measures 22 inches in total length but has a slim profile at just 3.5 inches thick. Able to connect to power pedestals at any campsite or RV park, the device will illuminate an indicator light to show you that you have reliable power. If there’s a problem with the circuits or wiring, another indicator will light up to let you know it isn’t safe for use.
When it comes to longevity, users note that it can survive freezing cold or extremely hot temperatures without a problem. The only potential pain point is significant rain. In continuous rain, users online noted that you need extra protection to prevent the surge protector from getting waterlogged. It isn’t common, but it has happened.
- Can handle a maximum of 4,200 joules
- Includes indicators to identify faulty circuits, reverse polarity, and more
- Rated for 50 amps and 120 volts
Warns users about potential power problems before you connect your RV to a power pedestal
Survives most weather and all temperatures
Slim and easy to carry with you
Some users say that continuous or heavy rain may waterlog the surge protector
Indicators can only warn you about problems; nothing can be corrected
Unlike other models that simply light up indicators when there’s a power problem, The Hughes Autoformers RV surge protector is able to offer you more insight and better control. This 50-amp RV surge protector is built with smart technology and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can monitor exactly what’s happening at the power source.
With the Hughes mobile app for iOS and Android, you can check live campsite power conditions, monitor voltage, and see current draw, and you’ll get complete diagnostic capability when something fails. Plus, your smartphone can deliver alerts when issues arrive. One more handy feature is the surge unit is replaceable, so if you do get hit by a large spike, only that part needs to be swapped out.
- Rated for 50 amps
- Weighs five pounds
- Easy grip handles for better unplugging and plugging
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Works with the Hughes smartphone app
Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app are convenient
You can monitor campsite power and see critical data
Surge protector can actually diagnose different electrical problems
Diagnostic capabilities don’t always catch every issue
Users note that surges and other problems can still happen
Some users worry that the high-tech nature of the surge protector may make it appealing to thieves
How We Selected The Products
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. Although we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
We started our search for the best 50-amp RV surge protectors by considering only surge protectors that plug directly into power pedestals at campsites and RV parks. These surge protectors work right at your primary power source, and they’re designed to combat potential problems at an individual campsite or the entire campground. Then, we looked for surge protectors that were rated for 50 amps and the 120/240 volt requirements of your typical RV. In order to select the best products available, we then assessed the different surge protectors we found online, looking specifically at their ability to handle surges, their maximum joules capacity, and their construction.
Buying Guide/What to Look For
Amperage and Voltage Rating
In order for a surge protector to offer true protection for your RV, you need to make sure you’re choosing one that’s rated for the right amperage and voltage for your electrical items. Typically, 50 amps and 120 to 240 volts is just what you need. Anything lower, and your surge protector won’t be able to properly support your electrical needs. Anything higher, and you’ll be overdoing it. You want your surge protector to support your RV’s necessary voltage to enjoy smooth, powered camping wherever you go.
Every surge protector has a maximum joules rating, or the total amount of joules it can support during a surge. The higher that rating is, the better able your surge protector will be in the face of some serious power surges. On average, you’ll find that most 50-amp surge protectors for RVs can handle between 4,000 to 4,200 joules of surge power. That tends to be enough to keep your surge protector and your RV in good working order even when the worst happens.
Lastly, you’ll want to look for a surge protector with diagnostic indicators. They aren’t a requirement by any means, but many advanced RV surge protectors are equipped with them. Plus, diagnostic indicators give you even more insight into whether or not you’re plugging your RV into a safe, properly wired and working power pedestal. With a surge protector that has built-in diagnostic indicators, you’ll be able to see if there’s an issue with your hook up before you even plug your RV’s power into the surge protector. It’s a great way to avoid common problems before they happen.
Q: Do you really need a surge protector for your RV?
You might be okay without one, but we highly suggest using a surge protector for your RV. Every time you plug into a campsite’s power source, you’re putting yourself at risk of electrical issues like low voltage, power surges, faulty wiring, and more. If any of these problems hit your RV, they could damage your entire electrical system. A surge protector is a small investment that can offer good protection.
Q: How do I choose an RV surge protector?
Make sure you choose an RV surge protector that offers the right amperage and voltage, can handle plenty of joules in the event of a surge, and comes with helpful features that allow you to see what’s happening, or if problems are present, to your electrical power.
Q: Can you use a 30-amp surge protector on a 50-amp RV?
You should use a 50-amp surge protector if your RV needs 50 amps. You can only use a lower amperage if you also use an adapter. Otherwise, you won’t get the protection you need in the event of a surge or other problems.
Q: How many joules do I need for an RV surge protector?
At a very basic minimum, you’ll need at least 1,000 joules for your RV’s surge protector to effectively handle power surges. It’s more common to find surge protectors that offer 2,000 joules or more, with 4,000 to 4,200 at the high end.
About the Author
Heather Fishel is a writer well-versed in subject matter that’s both informative and intriguing. In her career, she’s authored articles on topics encompassing food and recipes, productivity, life hacks, history, psychology, helpful mind hacks, education, and efficiency. A contributing writer for a number of publications, Heather has written for WonderHowTo, Campus Explorer, War History Online, College Niche, Electronic Retailing Magazine, and Clean Eating Magazine.
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