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Old 03-27-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
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Surge Protectors

I am wanting to install a hard wired voltage spike suppressor in my 3200 Voltage. I went to the dealer who stated to install it as close to the exterior plug as possible. I asked how to access that area. They stated enter through the bay in the front and just reach to the plug next to the exterior control panel where the water hook up is. That was a no go. I removed the panel and all I could see was the side of the water dump station control panel.

My question is exactly where in this unit do I access the main power to install the surge suppressor? Do I mount it on the opposite side where it says electrical behind this panel??

Where has others mounted their surge suppressors??
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:03 AM   #2
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come on people.. someone must have put in a surge guard in their voltage by now.. gimme a little insight.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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I'd love to know as well!
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #4
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Don't know if this will help, but our 3905 has a sticker on the ditchside of the bear cave. It is on the rear wall just inside the access hatch and says something like "remove this panel to access the electrical components." I don't have the rig here or I'd run out and double check that.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:55 AM   #5
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Thanks Aronious.. Mine has the same sticker. When I talked to the dealer they say put it as close to the plug as possible.. I was hoping someone has installed one and where they put it.
There is a gazillion screws to get into that panel your speaking of. uggggg.

Maybe some one else will pipe in.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:21 AM   #6
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Ya! It just seem to me that there would be a junction in there where it splits the current to the rest of the trailer but not sure as I haven't been behind that panel. Personally, I don't see a problem with mounting a suppressor at the end of the cable run from the connector plug. Maybe another member has had that panel off and thought to take a pic of what's behind it. If I ever get the toy-hauler stored here at the house, one of my projects was to pull that panel and remount the Dirt Devil canister into it like I saw somewhere else on the forums.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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Thanks Aronious.. Mine has the same sticker. When I talked to the dealer they say put it as close to the plug as possible.. I was hoping someone has installed one and where they put it.
There is a gazillion screws to get into that panel your speaking of. uggggg.

Maybe some one else will pipe in.
During my stay in Florida....I met up with a guy that had a Big Horn. He mounted a surge protector right beside the sticker for electrical components is in his basement (ditchside). He had taken that panel off, uggggg.

Another fellow camper had a surge suppressor inline at the power source (50 amp) where he plugged in.

Probably, not too much help. Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Just wondering if anybody figured out how to install the hard wired surge protector yet or not? Maybe I will be the first one? I am going to be installing a 2000watt inverter and a surge protector. I will take pictures of the install and post them but if anybody has done this already please let me know how it went.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #9
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I asked my service guy about installing one... and he STRONGLY advised me to NOT get a hard-wired unit. Said he'd seen lots of rigs in his time come through for electrical work with one installed, and even a few units that had caught fire and were badly damaged. And all of them had trouble trying to get reimbursed for the cost of repairs.

His take was that... if Dutchmen had installed one with the build, then that'd be great. It'd be located in a convenient place... and (more importantly) if anything ever went wrong, it'd be covered under warranty.

As for an aftermarket one... he said that while they are far more convenient, in that you don't have that big, heavy, box on the end of the plug... if anything should ever go wrong with it, the hassles of trying to diagnose the trouble and/or remove it from the system completely are much more complicated.

And 'good luck' trying to prove to either Dutchmen, the dealer who installed it, or the company that made the surge protector that the problem is their fault to pay for repairs. That each would blame the other. Dutchmen would say the surge protector was defective or installed incorrectly... the surge company would say the rig electronics were defective or installed incorrectly... and the service dept. who installed it would say it was either bad wiring on the rig or the surge protector that caused it.

(and "good luck" going against their lawyers if you installed it yourself!!)

Either way, the rig owner would have to pay any repair costs up front, and then try to get reimbursed from whoever they could get to claim fault. Expect a few years before your case would ever appear in court.

All of that is avoided with a portable plug & play portable unit. There's virtually nothing to screw up. You plug the unit on the shore-power pole, plug your cord into the unit, and you're in business. Everything is self-contained, with no user modifications required.

So that was his opinion on it... take it for what it's worth.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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I must admit that I am new to a lot of this, but why would you want a whole coach protector anymore than you might want a whole house protector?

I live in a high lightening strike area and have never considered the whole house approach, I just use one on sensative things, like TVs, computers, etc.

Is the power in camp grounds that unreliable or unstable?
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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This makes a lot of sense, I have taken everything apart and have installed the control panel for my inverter and while doing so noticed that there really is no good way to install the surge protector for easy access should I have a problem with it. So I ordered the one that connects to the post.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chalkie View Post
Is the power in camp grounds that unreliable or unstable?
I'm sorta new to the RV world too, but from everything I've been told... yes, I'm told that some campgrounds have bad power spikes in their grids. Every veteran RV'er I know told me to get one.

It probably isn't a problem in the better RV parks & resorts... but I've already been to a few campgrounds where the power grid wasn't what I'd call modern or even adequate.

Went to one place where they only offered 30amp service (no 50 amp)... and was lucky to have 15-20 amp running thru the grid to my rig.

Now whereas the lack of good service wouldn't be a problem to necessitate having a surge protector... I could see instances where the condition of the entire grid would be so bad as to allow overloading spikes to come through the lines and damage components in the the rig (like computers, TV's, etc.), and/or the rig's power distribution system itself.

Same thing in re a water pressure regulator, but that's another subject.

So to me... better safe than sorry.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:21 PM   #13
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Is the power in camp grounds that unreliable or unstable?

There are old and ill-maintained campgrounds used by many. In today's world of sensitive electronics it's only sensible to have those things protected. Not only is it the TVs and radios and DVD players and microwaves it's the electronics in leveling systems, transfer switches, inverters and converters. Awning motors and refrigerator circuit boards, water pumps and air conditioners.
A failure due to a power surge or high line voltage becomes an expensive repair and possibly a delay in proceeding to the next destination.
You don't move a house normally and the repair guy is usually close by. Not so in a mobile unit that relies on everything working and the repair guy is 50 or 100 miles away and can't service you for a week or two.
I have one and use it. A 300 hundred dollar insurance policy goes along way if I have to pay to sit in an RV waiting for the repair guy to come and retract my landing gear or retract my awnings or slides. Not mention the price of a damaged circuit board because of high or low voltage leg or a power surge because five A/Cs decided to cycle out all at the same moment causing a spike in voltage.

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Old 06-19-2013, 08:00 AM   #14
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i asked my service guy about installing one... And he strongly advised me to not get a hard-wired unit. Said he'd seen lots of rigs in his time come through for electrical work with one installed, and even a few units that had caught fire and were badly damaged. And all of them had trouble trying to get reimbursed for the cost of repairs.

His take was that... If dutchmen had installed one with the build, then that'd be great. It'd be located in a convenient place... And (more importantly) if anything ever went wrong, it'd be covered under warranty.

As for an aftermarket one... He said that while they are far more convenient, in that you don't have that big, heavy, box on the end of the plug... If anything should ever go wrong with it, the hassles of trying to diagnose the trouble and/or remove it from the system completely are much more complicated.

And 'good luck' trying to prove to either dutchmen, the dealer who installed it, or the company that made the surge protector that the problem is their fault to pay for repairs. That each would blame the other. Dutchmen would say the surge protector was defective or installed incorrectly... The surge company would say the rig electronics were defective or installed incorrectly... And the service dept. Who installed it would say it was either bad wiring on the rig or the surge protector that caused it.

(and "good luck" going against their lawyers if you installed it yourself!!)

either way, the rig owner would have to pay any repair costs up front, and then try to get reimbursed from whoever they could get to claim fault. Expect a few years before your case would ever appear in court.

All of that is avoided with a portable plug & play portable unit. There's virtually nothing to screw up. You plug the unit on the shore-power pole, plug your cord into the unit, and you're in business. Everything is self-contained, with no user modifications required.

So that was his opinion on it... Take it for what it's worth.
what he said!!!
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:05 AM   #15
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Just wondering if anybody figured out how to install the hard wired surge protector yet or not? Maybe I will be the first one? I am going to be installing a 2000watt inverter and a surge protector. I will take pictures of the install and post them but if anybody has done this already please let me know how it went.
Okay, for what it is worth; in my last Fifth wheel (SOB) I put in a hard wired unit. It was a bear to find a place and mount it. I only kept that trailer for another year after install. For the wire and misc. odds and ends the total cost to install was right around a 500.00 bill. Had I put in a portable unit (one at the box) I couldhave easily used it on my new trailer saving me that 500.00 that I could have used elsewhere.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #16
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I couldn't agree more with ATCGuy's comments, and he raises some interesting points about warranties that I hadn't considered. Regarding Chalkie's questions ..... campground power is notoriously flakey. We have a power monitor in our trailer which alerts you to high or low voltage, reverse polarity, ground faults, etc and have seen all these conditions at one time or another. We lost both a microwave oven and a radio on separate occasions this past winter after our power monitor detected problems. Unfortunately, by the time we were alerted it was too late. Now we have adopted the habit of shutting off the circuit breakers for all major appliances when we leave a campground, except the one that supplies power to the power monitor. When we reconnect at the next site, we check the power monitor before turning the rest of the circuit breakers back on. By the way, we do use a power-post-connected surge protector, but the problems we have had have not been 'surge' related.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:07 PM   #17
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I installed two one under my dinette and one in my bed room it helps
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:51 AM   #18
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I installed two one under my dinette and one in my bed room it helps
You installed surge protectors In both locations? Surge protectors are great for sudden surges of electricity. However they will not help if there is a power drop or brown out conditions. The nice thing about the progressive product is 1: lifetime guarantee, protects from sudden surges, over voltage, under voltage and will not let any 230 power through.

My EMS is not hardwired as was my first one. This one is a plug in unit. that attaches to the post and then runs to the rig. Would I get another plug in Progressive EMS product? You betcha I will.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #19
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i have not used one on my 3200, just have not taken the time to go get one. I have used a portable one on my previous Big Horn.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:20 AM   #20
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As Goldenyears mentioned if you hard wire it you will probably leave it in the trailer when you sell or trade. I have a portable Progressive surge protector that I kept when I sold my last unit. I have taken a couple of feet of wire cable and crimped loops around my power cord and the plug on the surge protector to keep honest folks honest.
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