Best RV Surge Protector: 50 Amp and 30 Amp Options

Can’t choose the best RV surge protector for your motorhome?

Well, we can’t blame you. It isn’t easy to pick one when there are many incredible products out there, after all. Or it could be you have no idea how to pick one.

Either way, we’re here to help you decide. Find out more below about the 8 Best RV Surge Protectors.

Don’t worry! We’ll accompany you throughout the end!

Top 8 Best RV Surge Protectors

#1 Ems Southwire Surge Guard 34951 (Best Overall)

Southwire Surge Guard Portable 50-Amp 120/240-Volt Wireless Communication-Capable Surge Protector

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 50-amp | 120/240V | 12000W
  • Energy dissipation: 4200 Joules
  • Model: Electrical Management System (EMS)
  • Style: Portable
  • Brand: Southwire Surge Guard
  • Part number: 34951
  • Price: $340
  • Warranty: 1 year


The 50-amp RV surge protector 34951 is BIGGER than its 30-amp counterpart (34931 model). It will be a bit heavy to bring all around.

But hey, it is kind of an advantage, you know?

A heavy surge protector and with an additional lock ring (yes, it’s included!)? Your thief might just as well say no to robbing if it is going to be that much of a trouble to steal it.


You should see a green light once you plug it into the power pedestal. If not, tweak it a little, and it should be all right after.

NEVER connect the RV’s power cord if the shore power is not suggesting any good sign.

Then two displays will keep alternating on the screen once the power supply is operating correctly:

  • The first display will show voltage and current for power Lines 1 and 2 supporting your RV’s electric system (the top row is Line 1; the bottom row is Line 2)
  • And the second display should show whether the power to the RV is ON or OFF, with voltage for Line 1 coming to your RV

And if there is something wrong with the electrical system, the screen will show…

  • L1 LOW or L2 LOW: Low voltage
  • L1 HIGH or L2 HIGH: High voltage
  • REVERSE POLARITY until the condition has been resolved
  • REPLACE SURGE: Surge expended
  • NEUTRIP WAS 65A: Current > 130%
  • L1 AMPS WAS 65A: Current > 110%
  • RECEPT OVERHEAT: Overheating plug
  • GND HIGH WAS 65V: Abnormal voltage on the ground
  • FREQ HI DETECTED: Frequency > 70
  • FREQ LO DETECTED: Frequency< 54

The RV surge protector will start counting the delay until it reaches 0 seconds. The LCD display will go back to normal once power restoration happens.

But you know what’s great among all these?

You can actually connect a wireless display to this best RV surge protector via Bluetooth! There is no need to get out of your bed and check out the power supply outside every 5 minutes anymore!


Okay, so let’s move on to what you’re anticipating for the most — how well does this bad boy actually perform?

The 34951 left us in AWE! Firstly, it is an electrical management system (EMS).

However, EMS does MORE than just protect electrical appliances against sudden power spikes. It protects you from all kinds of electrical issues like:

  • Power surges
  • Reverse polarity
  • High and low voltage

The power will be turned off AUTOMATICALLY if your voltage goes below 120V or above 136V for more than 7 seconds.

And look at how much energy it can take! 4200 Joules might not be enough to go against a lightning strike. But it is honestly already a LOT compared to what the normal RV surge protectors have.

This is quite something to be proud of!

Your much expensive A/C is safe with an electrical management system. This particular surge protector has a 128-second time delay (after the power is restored) to allow your A/C to bleed off first.

Also, this RV power surge protector features multi-mode surge protection:

  • Line to Neutral (L-N)
  • Line to Ground (L-G)
  • Neutral to Ground (N-G)
  • Line to Line (L-L)

There will be NO total interruptions in your RV’s electrical system caused by large power surges with this.


  • Multi-mode surge protection
  • Has wireless LCD display
  • Electrical management systems (EMS)
  • Time delay
  • 4100 Joules rating


  • Awfully expensive
  • Heavy

#2 Hughes Autoformers Power Watchdog (Best Value)

Hughes Autoformers

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 30-amp | 120V
  • Energy dissipation: 2400 Joules
  • Model: RV Surge Protector
  • Style: Hardwire
  • Brand: Hughes Autoformers
  • Part number: PWD30-EPO-H
  • Price: $188
  • Warranty: 3 years


The Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO-H has honestly the MOST unique looks among all the best RV surge protectors here.

It LITERALLY has a big watchdog logo on its front, which lights up once it receives power. And then it will turn red if it encounters electrical issues.

It is an easy way to determine if something is wrong with the power source.

Aside from the unusual design, it is also different from the ones we have above. This is actually a hardwire version.

These types of RV surge protectors can’t be stolen since it is directly wired to your RV (which can be put next to the power wheel).

No lock is needed here. And there is no need to worry about the weather damaging your surge protector too.

Sounds reassuring, right?

Although… Hardwire versions are typically HARDER to install than portable ones. So make sure to learn how to set them up yourself. Or have it installed by a pro if you have enough funds.

But don’t worry. There is good news about that — it is just a ONE-TIME installation. This will technically become a permanent surge protector in your RV.


This permanent RV surge protector has this little LED display at the bottom right of the unit. And below are the error codes you will see there:

  • E1: Line 1 voltage error
  • E2: Line 2 voltage error
  • E3: Line 1 overcurrent
  • E4: Line 2 overcurrent
  • E5: Line 1 and neutral reversed
  • E6: Line 2 and neutral reversed
  • E7: Missing ground
  • E8: Missing neutral at the coach
  • E9: Surge protection used up

This is not an EMS. But it still gives you complete electrical diagnostics, something that’s nice to have so you know what is wrong with the power supply.

Now, the best thing about this motorhome surge protector is that you can actually MONITOR everything from a mobile application in real-time. No need to rely on LED display!

Though it is ONLY compatible with Bluetooth, not WiFi.

All you need to do is download the EPO Power Watchdog (it’s free!). Scan the QR code embedded in the RV surge protector. And you will be able to see…

  • Watts
  • Energy (kWh usage)
  • Line 1 and 2 voltage
  • Line 1 and 2 amp


Hughes Autoformers offers a faster setup than your regular RV surge protectors. It ONLY takes 4 seconds before it becomes an active power source.

PWD30-EPO-H also has LOWER Joules ratings compared to above. But it is still OVER 1000, making it sufficient enough to provide reliable electrical protection for your RV.

This permanent surge protector also features this so-called Smart Circuit Analyzer. It shuts down power if electrical issues are detected.

And what’s great about that is you will receive a power alert on the mobile app. You’ll be prepared for any kind of emergencies in a flash with this kind of feature.

There is also a 90-second time delay once the power comes back. So your A/C is once again saved with PWD30-EPO-H surge protectors.


  • Sends status to a mobile app via Bluetooth
  • Safe from thief
  • Has sure protection from harsh weather
  • Quick set up


  • Hard to install
  • Some bugs are present in the mobile app
  • Need to stay within 50 ft for the Bluetooth to operate

#3 Powsaf RV Power Defender (Best Budget Pick)

RV Surge Protector 30 amp, POWSAF RV Power Defender Voltage Protector/Monitor with Surge Protection(4100 Joules), Designed with Easy to Use Handles…

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 30-amp | 120V | 3750W
  • Energy dissipation: 4100 Joules
  • Model: RV Surge Protector
  • Style: Portable
  • Brand: POWSAF
  • Part number: RV30A01-1F
  • Price: $75
  • Warranty: 3 years


This particular product has a clean design — there are no extra decorations or anything. It straightforwardly DISPLAYS the indicator status right on the body of the surge protector.

The RV30A01-1F surge protector also has a not-too-tight handle for convenient transport to anywhere. And as well as for easy installation. You know, since it comes in a portable version.

And to our surprise… It carries an IP67 rating too! You won’t have to worry about sand and other dusty particles throughout your trip!

It may not be 100% weather-resistant. But it is good enough to shoo water and dust away from your surge protectors!


Two color combinations will tell you what’s going on with your surge protector once you connect it to a power pedestal. And these are the combos that you will see on the display:

  • Green / Green: Power ON
  • Green / X: Open neutral
  • Red / Green: Open ground
  • X / Green: Reverse polarity
  • X / X: No power

You should pay attention to that one large circle below as well. If you don’t see any light there, that means you’ve got NO surge protection.


The POWSAF RV30A01-1F may not be one of the most popular RV surge protector brands. But it works WELL enough to protect your electrical system against low and high voltages and surge failures.

Furthermore, it also uses a DEPENDABLE 3-level complementary surge protector circuit which gives you better protection for your RV’s electrical system.

And last but not the list, 4100 Joules is MORE THAN ENOUGH too to secure your essential home appliances and gadgets!

Even heavy devices such as TV, speakers, and game consoles are safe from electrical issues!


  • 3-level complementary surge protector circuit
  • Reliable and protective IP67 rating
  • Great Joules rating


  • Connection is kind of lose
  • Handle gets in the way of proper setup

#4 Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X (Best Portable)

Progressive Industries RV Surge Protector 30 Amp with Electrical Management System, Portable, EMS-PT30X

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 30A | 120V | 3600W
  • Maximum spike current: 44000A
  • Energy dissipation: 1790 Joules
  • Model: Electrical Management System (EMS)
  • Style: Portable
  • Brand: Progressive Industries
  • Part number: EMS-PT30X
  • Price: $280
  • Warranty: Lifetime


Want a chill-out relaxation at an RV park amidst the cold season?

The Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X gives you the MOST reliable protection against heavy weather! All thanks to the external cover for the outlet itself.

Although you have to install it yourself as it is NOT a built-in cover. But not to worry… Progressive Industries includes two screws in the box, so you won’t have to go all the way to find equipment.

Of course, you will need some sort of security for your portable RV surge protectors too.

That is where a locking bracket comes in handy. It is also included so no robber will be successful in their attempt to steal your most precious (and expensive) electrical management systems.


It also has a scrolling digital display for interpreting status indicators more quickly. It continuously scrolls every 2 seconds that shows voltage, current, frequency, error code, and previous error code.

And these are the error codes you will see on the screen:

  • E0: Normal operating condition
  • E1: Reverse polarity (hot and neutral wires reversed)
  • E2: Open ground (no ground wire connection)
  • E3: Line 1 high voltage (line 1 voltage above 132V)
  • E4: Line 1 low voltage (line 1 voltage below 104V)
  • E5: Line 2 voltage high (line 2 voltage above 132V)
  • E6: Line 2 voltage low (line 2 voltage below 104V)
  • E7: Line frequency high (line frequency above 69 Hz)
  • E8: Line frequency low (line frequency below 51 Hz)
  • E9: Data link down
  • E10: Replace surge protector module


You can give all your trust to this surge guard with an Electrical Management System! This surge protector will NOT disappoint you as it gives you electrical protection specifically against…

  • Power surges
  • Open ground
  • Open neutral
  • Power fluctuations
  • Reverse polarity
  • Miswired power pedestal
  • Overheating receptacle
  • Low and high frequency
  • High neutral current
  • Elevated ground line current

It can detect a drop in voltage that is LESS than 104 volts. And voltage spikes that are ABOVE 132 volts. It will automatically shut down once the voltage is not within the optimal range for 6 seconds.

Your A/C unit is also protected with a progressive surge protector. If the power surge protector detects +/- 9 Hz from 60 Hz deviation, it will shut down.

Moreover, it has 3-mode power surge protection too:

  • Line to Neutral (L-N)
  • Line to Ground (L-G)
  • Neutral to Ground (N-G)

It works even in exaggerated temperatures ranging from -40 °C / °F and 105 °C / 221 °F!

And lastly, this 30-amp RV surge protector also uses a microprocessor, making it MORE intelligent than typical RV surge protectors.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Weather-resistant
  • With external cover
  • Electrical management systems (EMS)
  • 3-mode surge protection


  • Expensive
  • A bit heavy
  • Hassle to refer to legends that are only written on the packaging

#5 Hughes Autoformers 303305050-1 Power Watchdog (Best Joules Rating)

Hughes Autoformer PWD50, Spike Power Watch Dog, 50 Amp

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 50-amp | 12OV | 12000W
  • Maximum spike current: 6500 per MOV
  • Energy dissipation: 5600 Joules
  • Model: RV Surge Protector
  • Style: Portable
  • Brand: Hughes Autoformers
  • Part number: PWD50
  • Price: $145
  • Warranty: 3 years


This RV surge protector is from the same brand as above. There is also this huge watchdog logo printed on the unit. Though it is a bit different — it does NOT light up once it is on.

Instead, there are 8 indicators imprinted over the watchdog. That is what actually lights up when it is on.

You need to remember that it’s a portable surge protector, so you will need some kind of cover to protect the power cord from blowing up.

Good thing it is IP65 rated! It gives you a BIT of protection against a jet of water.


To be specific, these are the indicators you will see on the unit:

  • Green / Green / Green: Power ON
  • Green / X / X: Open neutral
  • X / Green / Green: Open ground
  • Green / Green / X: Missing L1 120V
  • X / X / Green: Missing L2 120V
  • Yellow / Green / Green: L1 and neutral reversed
  • Red / Green / Green: L2 and neutral reversed
  • X / X / X: No power

You will also see two circles below. If any of them display a red color, contact support IMMEDIATELY.

And again, this is a product of Hughes Autoformers. This means you can FREELY use their mobile app so you will be aware of what’s happening to the electrical system.

You will see the same thing in the app: supplied voltage, amp draw, and energy use.

You can also manually set when the app will alert you regarding high and low voltage and maximum amp draw. Though Hughes Autoformers recommends it to be set to…

  • 128V for maximum voltage
  • 113V for minimum voltage
  • Maximum amp draw equals the amps of your RV (or could be a bit lower)


PWD50 portable surge protectors handle high voltage power spikes and surge failure. But it can also DETECT (not solve!) other issues such as reverse polarity and others you can see on the display.

And! It uses multi-mode surge protection as well, like the Southwire Surge Guard 34951!

  • L1-N
  • L2-N
  • L1-G
  • L2-G

But what’s more surprising about this surge protector is that it has a tremendous 5200 Joules rating! With this many Joules, you will be able to FULLY protect your computer from holding sensitive data.


  • Highest Joules rating
  • Sends status to a mobile app via Bluetooth
  • IP65 rating


  • Some bugs are present in the mobile app
  • Not weather-friendly
  • Need to stay within 50 ft for the Bluetooth to operate

#6 Southwire Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model 50 Amp (Best Hardwired)

Surge Guard 35550 Hardwire Model - 50 Amp

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 50-amp | 120/240V | 12000W
  • Maximum spike current: 6500A
  • Energy dissipation: 3850 Joules
  • Model: RV Surge Protector
  • Style: Hardwire
  • Brand: Southwire Surge Guard
  • Part number: 35550
  • Price: $241
  • Warranty: 1 year


Another product of Southwire Surge Guard — the 50-amp 35550 hardwired model. Obviously, this goes into your RV since it is not portable.

Like POWSAF’s surge protector, it carries a clean look WITHOUT any confusing layout design. Instead, it has a sturdy rectangular shape that exhibits a durable quality.

The legends are plainly written on the body of the surge guard. It will be EASY for you to determine what goes on with the surge protector.


The little circles will light up, so you will know what kind of electrical issues you are having. And these are what you should see there:

  • Power ON (Green = OK)
  • Caution when flashing (possibly experiencing miswiring or more fault conditions)
  • Line 1 (Green = OK; Red = Fault)
  • Line 2 (Green = OK; Red = Fault)
  • Surge (you have no protection when it lights up)

Your surge guard is in GOOD condition if Lines 1 and 2 are Green. This means the surge protector is only in between 102 VAC and 132 VAC.

But you should be on your GUARD if they become red. This would mean you are not in the optimal voltage range. The power to your RV would shut off by that time.

Okay, how will you know the current status if the surge guard is installed in a concealed place?

Don’t worry about that because…

The Southwire Surge Guard is actually OFFERING an optional remote LCD display! There is no need to try hard peeking inside the installation place anymore!

Though… Uh-oh. Here comes the bad news.

We hate to inform you that it is actually sold SEPARATELY. You have to throw out extra money for this. And that is on top of the $241 you will have to pay for the actual unit.

It will cost a LOT. So only get this if you have enough budget for an additional surge guard accessory.


35550 surge protectors feature a time delay function as well. To be specific, it will count down a delay of 128 seconds after an electrical issue is solved.

This is so your A/C can bleed off ahead before the power comes back.

Also, they have multi-mode surge protection too!

  • Line to Neutral (L-N)
  • Line to Ground (L-G)
  • Neutral to Ground (N-G)
  • Line to Line (L-L)

And this surge protector carries a high Joules rating as well. Business or any confidential document is COMPLETELY safe with surge protectors that have over 2000 Joules!


  • Has theft prevention
  • 100% weather-resistant
  • Remote LCD display


  • Have to pay for the display separately
  • The display is sometimes faulty

#7 Progressive Industries SSP-30XL (Best Portable Weather-Resistant)

Progressive Industries RV Surge Protector 30 Amp, Portable, SSP-30X

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 30-amp | 120V | 3600W
  • Maximum spike current: 22500A
  • Energy dissipation: 825 joules
  • Model: RV Surge Protector
  • Style: Portable
  • Brand: Progressive Industries
  • Part number: SSP-30XL
  • Price: $84
  • Warranty: Lifetime


Our climate has become odder recently. And it might become WEIRDER in the next few years too… This tells you that it is time to get a weather-resistant surge protector.

So guess what SSP-30XL has?

Yep, you got it right! The SSP-30XL surge protector features a weather shield. With a protective cover, no heavy rains will be able to wreak havoc on your portable surge protector anymore.

And you don’t even need to find screws for the shield. Four screws come in the package as well.


To add, this product also has 3-Color LED lights for clear reading of the situation. This is what the LED display shows you once you connect it to a power pedestal:

  • Green ON: Surge protection ON
  • Blue ON, Red OFF: Correct wiring
  • Blue OFF, Red ON: Reverse polarity
  • Blue ON, Red ON: Open neutral
  • Blue OFF, Red OFF: Open ground

Also, this product might come in a portable style. But with a locking system, you can prevent any thief from stealing your power surge protector.


As an RV owner, you will need STRONG surge protection against unexpected power surges. And this portable RV surge protector from Progressive Industries will NOT disappoint you in that aspect.

And that is exactly because, for one, it alerts you once it detects…

  • Open ground
  • Open neutral
  • Reverse polarity
  • Miswired pedestal
  • And surge failure problems

You can receive an INSTANT warning the moment your RV surge protector detects an issue. And that is as soon as you plug it into the power pedestal.

On top of that, it PROTECTS you against sudden power spikes by absorbing amps up to 22,500A!

These particular surge protectors also have 3-mode surge protection: L-N, L-G, and N-G.

It also works PERFECTLY even in a negative temperature that is as low as -40°C / °F. And even in a hotter environment with as high as 105 °C / 221°F temperature.

But most important of all, it is a good surge protector as the SSP-30XL is UL-certified and Canadian-approved. This means you have nothing to worry about when it comes to the safety of the product.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Has weather shield
  • UL/CSA-certified
  • 3-mode surge protection


  • No low voltage protection
  • The LED display is malfunctioning sometimes
  • Low Joules rating

#8 Southwire Surge Guard 44270 (Best Entry Level)

Southwire Surge Guard 44270 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector - 50 Amp

Quick Overview

  • Ratings: 50-amp | 120/240V | 12000W
  • Maximum spike current: 6500A per MOV
  • Energy dissipation: 4200 joules
  • Model: RV Surge Protector
  • Style: Portable
  • Brand: Southwire Surge Guard
  • Part number: 44270
  • Price: $88
  • Warranty: 1 year


The 44270 Southwire Surge Guard looks quite similar to POWSAF’s product. They both have simple and plain appearances. And this is one nice perk for EASILY reading the LED display even from a distance.

And don’t worry about the lack of a cover — it is weather-resistant after all. And it even has a lock hasp too for theft prevention.


It has a total of 8 indicators (with 3 LEDs) that tells the condition of your surge guard unit:

  • Green / Green / Green: Power ON
  • Green / X / X: Open neutral
  • X / Green / Green: Open ground
  • Green / Green / X: Missing L1 120V
  • X / X / Green: Missing L2 120V
  • Red / Green / Green: L1 and neutral reversed
  • Red / Green / Green: L2 and natural reversed
  • X / X / X: No power

An indicator below will also show if there is a loss of surge protection. Just simply look at the two big LEDs if both lights are OFF. That is when you are going to know you are doomed.


The Surge Guard 4427 can IDENTIFY defective shore power. Make sure the power source works perfectly fine before you rely on it to power up your RV’s electrical system.

It accepts a maximum voltage that is less than 300 VAC.

And this 50-amp portable surge protector can also absorb energy BETTER with a 4200 Joules rating. This is a LOT compared to what we have above, which only offers 825 joules of basic surge protection.

Overheating is ONE thing you need to be careful of. This is a warning for those RV owners who typically use adapters in powering up their RV.

The good thing is any power cord adapter works with Surge Guard.

But the problem here is the possibility of blowing up your RV’s power supply (and even power strip) when you run all electrical appliances simultaneously.

So the manufacturer advises you NOT to use them for that.

You would want to CHECK the condition of the adapter from time to time if you want your RV surge protectors to provide superior electrical protection.


  • Has lock
  • Easy to carry around
  • 4200 Joules of surge protection
  • Can withstand severe weather


  • No low voltage protection
  • Doesn’t lit up right sometimes

What Is the Right RV Surge Protector for Me?

So how do you choose the best RV surge protector?

Well, that would depend on a LOT of things.

  • What amps does your RV accept?
  • Are you that type of owner who is extremely careful when it comes to robbery? You would need a hardwired surge protector in this scenario.
  • What about the EMS? Is it truly BETTER than a regular surge protector? What if you don’t have enough budget to get an EMS?

And there comes more of your concerns.

Well, don’t fret. We’ll get on with EVERYTHING you need to know further down below. There’s no need to panic because we are here to help you pick the best RV surge protector after all!

30 or 50 Amp

So asking the real question here… Do you need a 30 or 50-amp surge protector?

Well, you should first take a look at the shore power cord set of your RV.

You will know you have a 30-amp RV if the cord has three prongs . And if it has four prongs, that means you have a 50-amp RV. Then just get the right surge protector that has the same amp.

It’s that simple.

Dog Bone Adapter

But there are some cases where some RV owners use a dog bone adapter so the plug will fit the shore power at a campsite.

In a specific situation, there might be some occasions where the campground would be full. You are left with no option but to plug your 30-amp RV into a 50-amp power source.

You would NEED a dog bone adapter here.

If you are new to RV campsites, it will be a little bit confusing at first to determine what kind of adapter you will need.

So we prepared a list of configurations that will help you resolve your connection problem in different situations:

  • 30 to 50-amp adapter: You have a 50-amp RV, and the shore power outlet is 30-amp
  • 50 to 30-amp adapter: You have a 30-amp RV, and the shore power outlet is 50-amp
  • 15 to 50-amp adapter: You have a 50-amp RV, and the shore power has a standard house plug
  • 15 to 30-amp adapter: You have a 30-amp RV, and the shore power has a standard house plug

And voila! Your connection problem is all solved!

This might become an additional cost. But it is better to be ready in situations where you will be out of the supposed-to-be spots for your RV.

Ems or Regular RV Surge Protector

You’re done with amps. But there is still another concern we have yet to address.

Should you get EMS or regular RV surge protectors?

Well, let’s talk about what you can get from both of them first — the bad and good things. And then we’ll see what’s right for you.

Regular RV Surge Protector

What regular surge protectors mainly do is protect your RV’s electrical system from unexpected power spikes. And that INCLUDES low and high voltage fluctuations.

Also, a typical surge protector can SECURE your appliances from getting damaged due to power surges.

That’s ALL they can do.

We have seen MANY people confuse the diagnostics as an actual measure to prevent every electrical issue the surge protectors flash on their display.

Please keep in mind that they do NOT address all electrical problems!

This is what’s actually unsatisfying about this type of surge protector…

Regular surge protectors just have indicators for those statuses to know what other issues your electrical system is experiencing.

But when it comes to cost… They are MORE affordable than EMS. Prices usually only lie around $70 to less than $200.


Performance-wise, EMS is more CAPABLE of controlling different kinds of electrical issues. They are not just here to protect your RV from wavering voltage or power surges.

They also attend to reverse polarity, miswired power outlets, open ground, and many more problems.

In short, an EMS surge protector is a much BETTER option if you want to have secure protection against several kinds of electrical problems.

Expect it to be WAY expensive compared to a regular RV surge protector. EMS typically costs MORE than $200.

That is what you are going to have to worry about here.

Portable or Hardwired

So we have solved two of your problems now. The last important thing you should consider is…

Is portable better than hardwired? Or is it the opposite way?

Actually, BOTH of them are great.

Here are the things you need to think about when choosing between the two versions is:

  • What kind of protection do you want? The actual unit, not in the electrical way.
  • Would it be bad for you if you have a surge protector that’s permanently attached to your RV?


Well, you would have to connect a portable surge protector to the power pedestal OUTSIDE. And you remove it after you are done camping at a site.

They are much EASIER to install than EMS surge protectors. In fact, it should not even be called an “installation.”

All you have to do is connect the cord, match all plugs, and you’re all set.

Replacement is not even an issue here. You can EASILY get a new one if your portable surge protector gets fried. There’s no hard installation needed after all.

What’s bad about this version is it is susceptible to theft.

You never know the intentions of the others camping around you. They might as well be planning about how they will steal your surge protector while you are sleeping.

…Though your biggest enemy here is actually the weather.

Temperature varies from place to place. And you drive into different cities since you live in an RV. There will be times when it will be hotter or colder than usual. What about rain even more, right?

Again, you set up a portable RV surge protector outside. There are NO covers or anything for it (though some surge protectors have actual covers for the outlet).

This means that even a drizzle could potentially DAMAGE your surge protector.


The hardwired version is the EXACT opposite of what we have above.

NO thieves or weather can steal nor harm your surge protector. And why is that?

Well, permanent RV surge protectors are DIRECTLY installed in your RV. No one can see the actual unit. And even a single drop of rain can’t touch your surge protector.

Your actual RV completely protects these devices since there are kept inside.

Isn’t this promising?

But hold up! We are not finished yet. There is still something you have to worry about…

This type of version is actually HARDER to set up. Most RV owners typically rely on professionals when it comes to installation. That’s HOW difficult it is to do.

A slight miswiring could make your surge protector inoperative. Or even worse, it could lead to permanent damage.

Also, this might be an issue for some.

Note that hardwired surge protectors are PERMANENTLY in your RV. So those of you who own two or more RVs, well, good luck.

It would be best to buy another surge protector than remove it from where you initially installed it.

Additional Features

We know we just said that the portable vs. hardwired is the final thing you should consider before buying the best surge protector.

Well, that’s true anyway.

We prepared this optional section for those bothered by some unique features that other surge protectors don’t have.

You might be having some questions like, “Will I miss a lot if I didn’t get that mobile app feature Hughes Autoformers has?

Well, let us help you with that.

Things to Consider

First of all, what you should be asking yourself is:

  • Do you NEED it?
  • Do you think you can live your life just fine without that particular feature?

Think about your top priority.

If it is getting the best product that gives you maximum performance, focus on that. Just think of the additional feature as an extra thing you’ll get IF it’s one of the qualities they offer.

This means you DO NOT need it. And it is totally alright to live without it. What you are looking for is the best product that can provide you excellent protection anyway.

UNLESS your highest priority is to get an all-around product (including features) as much as you can.

That’s when it will become a “need” for you since it is involved in your goal.

A Recap of the Top Picks

Best Budget Pick: Powsaf RV Power Defender

Are you running on a tight budget? The Powsaf RV Power Defender is here to save the day.

It is one of the few surge protectors with an IP67 rating, giving you utmost protection from water, solid objects (sand, dust, etc.), and turbulent weather.

Its SUPERIOR 4100 joules rating and TOP-OF-THE-LINE 3-level complementary surge protection circuit guarantee HIGH-END PERFORMANCE for your electrical appliances.

The BEST PART: You get all these features and then some for only 75 dollars! Now that’s what we call a STEAL!

Best Value: Hughes Autoformers Power Watchdog

Here’s another one we love — the Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO-H.

With less than $200, you can afford to buy a surge protector with 100% sure protection from bad weather (and people!).

You’ll even get to watch over your system via phone. This is super convenient if you and your friends are ALWAYS on the go.

If you’re into high-tech features, this RV surge protector from Hughes is a MUST-HAVE!

Best Overall: Southwire Surge Guard 34951

The CONSENSUS WINNER we’ve picked among all the best surge protectors is none other than Southwire Surge Guard 34951!

It’s got several nice RV surge protector reviews. This shows how much most of the 34951 purchasers are pleased to own such an excellent product.

Another reason is it’s an EMS. We cannot stress enough how much it’s a GREAT advantage when it comes to full-scale protection. And adding high Joules ratings too!

And they happen to offer an additional WIRELESS display for convenience as well!


You’ll certainly be in good hands with these awesome products, thanks to their amazing features and incredible usability.

You won’t go wrong choosing any of the surge protectors we featured. May you pick the one that best suits your camping needs!

Enjoy your trip!