Best EMS Surge Protectors: Reviewed


Using an electrical management system or (EMS) on your travel trailer, RV, or camper can give you one extra step of protection up from a normal surge protector. The EMS will also give you real time data about voltage. Under or over voltage can harm your camper just as much as a misfired pedestal and can cause premature failure of your appliances.

For this reason, we recommend using the Progressive Industries 30 Amp EMS. This is simply one of the best units on the market that comes with a lifetime warranty. If you need the 50 amp version, it too is available from Progressive Industries.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick makes the list as it is truly a quality unit. Not only will it protect from surges, low voltage, high voltage, miswired pedestals, but it comes with a weather-protected cover and a lock attachment to help your device not walk away. You can find our top pick available in the 30 Amp Version and 50 Amp Version here.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runner Up

Our runner up is somewhat newer on the market, but it does come with more tech features as it has a Bluetooth connection direct to your phone to monitor. This is cool, but found that the novelty wears off after a while. Once you plug in and realize you have good power, you just need to monitor surge and voltage and a quick glance at your power pedestal is easier than pulling out your phone, connecting the Bluetooth, and looking.

If you do like the ability to do so, then the

Hughes Autoformer 30 amp is for you. Like the other brands, they also make a 50 amp hardwire version

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Budget Pick

Our budget pick came out to be the Camco 30 Amp EMS and the Camco 50 Amp EMS. These models do what the others do, and even have an auto disconnect and reconnect feature if the power goes bad and comes back within specs, the downside is that there is no readable user interface to see what the voltage is.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Everything we Recommend

If you have a 30 amp RV, these are our top picks.

Top Pick
Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
Runner Up
Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-30 Amp Portable Version
Budget Pick
Camco 55301 30 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy To Use PowerGrip Handles
Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-30 Amp Portable Version
Camco 55301 30 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy To Use PowerGrip Handles
$266.64
$191.10
$277.84
-
Top Pick
Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector
$266.64
Runner Up
Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-30 Amp Portable Version
Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-30 Amp Portable Version
$191.10
-
Budget Pick
Camco 55301 30 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy To Use PowerGrip Handles
Camco 55301 30 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy To Use PowerGrip Handles
$277.84

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have a 50 amp RV, these are our top picks.

Top Pick
Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector (50 A)
Runner Up
Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO-H Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-50 Amp Hardwire Version
Budget Pick
Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy to Use PowerGrip Handles (55306)
Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector (50 A)
Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO-H Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-50 Amp Hardwire Version
Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy to Use PowerGrip Handles (55306)
$378.53
$246.05
$389.71
-
Top Pick
Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector (50 A)
Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector (50 A)
$378.53
Runner Up
Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO-H Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-50 Amp Hardwire Version
Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO-H Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff-50 Amp Hardwire Version
$246.05
-
Budget Pick
Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy to Use PowerGrip Handles (55306)
Camco 50 Amp RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Integrated Surge Protection, Designed with Easy to Use PowerGrip Handles (55306)
$389.71

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why you should trust us?

We have been in the travel trailer space for several years, and have researched and use most if not all of the products we recommend. In this case, we own a Progressive Industries model which is our top pick.

Who needs this product?

Anyone with an RV, motorhome, camper, travel trailer, or tent trailer that plugs into utilities can benefit from the protection of this product. We found that having the extra voltage protection can help save a camping trip. If you do happen to ruin your electrical due to over voltage or misfired electrical, it can cost thousands of dollars and put you out of your camper for months depending on your dealer’s repair schedule.

How we picked?

Having a digital display to tell you what is going on with the power incoming to your RV is very important. Our models will tell you this data either on the unit, through the app, or with lighted indicators.

The warranty on any piece of electrical equipment is important. Our top pick comes with a lifetime warranty, and has good customer service to back it up.

Having a unit that is easily lockable will save you the headache of buying a new unit shall a crime of opportunity take place. Locking your unit will not stop all thieves, but it will keep most at bay.

Making sure your unit is easy to use as well as understand is important. Our top pick is very straight forward as is our runner up with its detailed app. Our budget pick is not as detailed, but does have indicator lights to tell you what is wrong.

How we tested it?

We have used the Progressive Industries brand for several years and have never had a problem. In fact, we have not even found a miswired pedestal in all of our camping trips.

Our Pick

Our top pick the Progressive Industries 30 Amp EMS and the Progressive Industries 50 Amp EMS stand out from the pack for many reasons.

First, the overall design that includes a locking bracket to prevent your item from being stolen coupled with the waterproof cover will keep your unit working for years.

The Lifetime Warranty is high on the list. If you ever have a problem, you know you have someone to lean on, and Progressive Industries comes backed with great customer service. The warranty, however, does not cover the weather shield assembly as that can get damaged from knocking it around, the sun, cracked, etc.

The unit itself is weather-resistant and designed for outdoor use, there is a convenient pull handle to relieve stress on the cord when unplugging from the socket.

Progressive Industries packed this unit with protection features such as over/under voltage protection, power surge protection, and protection against incorrectly wired shore power. All of these items can cause severe damage to your camper’s electrical system that can cost thousands to fix.

The 30 amp model provides protection for 1,790 joules, 44,000 amps and is rated for 30 amp, 120 volts, and 3,600 watts. It is designed to be used in temperatures from -40F to +221F.

The 50 amp model provides protection for 3,580 joules, 88,000 amps, and is rated for 50 amp, 120/240 volt and 12,000 watt operation. It too can operate in temperatures from -40F to +221F.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runner Up

Our runner up, the Hughes Autoformer 30 amp and their 50 amp hardwire version are newer to the game. They have lots of different features as well as Bluetooth connectivity. We have found the 50 amp plug and play version to not be available at the time of writing.

The big difference between this and our top pick is that this has a Bluetooth connection and can send a notification to your phone shall there be any dangerous event occurring and the device will shut off the power.

When you plug the unit in, the device pops on with a 4-second delay. The device also has a built in 90 second power-on delay after a fault which will protect your AC unit.

The Watchdog protects from open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, open circuit, and miss-wiring protection. The unit also has over and under-voltage protection and you will get a text alert if something goes wrong and the unit will automatically power down if the voltage drops below 104 volts or over 132 volts. When conditions return back to stable, the unit will turn on automatically after 90 seconds.

The app can be used to monitor conditions of power such as voltage on each leg of power. It will also show you how many watts you are using and have consumed since the last reset.

This product is warrantied for two years from the date of purchase and you MUST register your device for it to be valid.

This unit has a locking mechanism to allow you to lock to your power pedestal, and is IP65 rated for a rainproof design.

The 30 Amp version is rated for 2,400 Joules of surge protection and the 50 amp version is rated for 4,800 Joules.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Budget Pick

Coming up as our budget pick, the Camco 30 Amp EMS and the sister Camco 50 Amp EMS. model has most of the same features as the others with the exception of knowing exactly how much voltage the shore power is putting out.

It will notify you if you are in the range between 102 and 132 volts which is safe and notify you if you are out by automatically shutting off, but you will not know the exact voltage. This may not be important, but we like to have the feature of knowing.

The Camco models will protect you from over/under voltage, power surges, notify you of wiring faults for reverse polarity, open neutral, and other wiring issues.

This model has an auto connect/disconnect feature which will disconnect from dangerous situations and reconnect when good quality power is restored.

There are diagnostic LEDs to indicate to you if you are safe, or if there are any faults.

We really like their PowerGrip handles which make plugging and unplugging this unit one of the easiest on our list. It also doubles as an area to lock the unit up. It is plastic, so easily breakable, but still lockable to detour crimes of opportunity. In addition, this unit is weather-resistant when installed in an upright position.

The 30 amp model will protect up to 2,800 Joules and the 50 amp version can protect up to 4,200 Joules.

These two models come with a 1 year warranty.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Eric

I have been camping most of my adult life and am passionate about having the best camping equipment as well as writing. Combine these two items and you have our site.

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