Top Best Rated RV Surge Protector 50 & 30 AMP/EMS Reviews

Looking for the best 30/50 amp surge & EMS protectors for the money? Look no further! We break down the best of the best in order for you to NOT pick the wrong Surge/EMS protector for your RV!

The market is full of different products but not all of them deliver. Going trial and error is really not an option unless you are willing to break the bank. Luckily for you, we have collected a list of the five top surge protectors/EMS.

Image Product
Top Portable EMS Selection Product MOST POPULAR Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X
  • Very easy to use and with a compact and portable design
  • All-weather shield assembly
  • Specially designed for RV use
  • Available for both 30A and 50A
Best Surge Protector Product Progressive SSP30 Smart Surge
  • Highly portable thanks to its compact design
  • Indicator lights help you detect any issues
  • It is flexible and fits in most RV park hookups
  • Available for 30A and 50A
Best Hardwired EMS Product MOST POPULAR Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C
  • Cheaper than portable version
  • There is no risk of it being stolen
  • Once installed super easy to use.
  • Available for 30A and 50A
Best Value For The Price Product Surge Guard 35530 30A Hardwire
  • Easy hardwiring installation
  • Offers complete RV power coverage
  • Automatically disconnects power supply if an issue is detected
  • Available for 30A only
Budget-Friendly Product Surge Guard 44260 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector
  • It identifies faulty power almost instantly
  • The lock hasp keeps the device safely placed on your RV
  • You get full protection against surges
  • Available for 30A and 50A

Best RV Surge Protector Reviews

Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X

Top Portable EMS selection 

We wanted to get started with the best surge protector out there. Progressive Industries has established itself as a benchmark when it comes to electrical management systems. You will soon notice that if you have not already. We are reviewing the 30-amp surge protector but we encourage you to take a look at the 50-amp if that is the one your RV requires. The specs for both are basically the same.

Quick Summary
  • Especially designed for RV use
  • Tough design to be used outdoors
  • Joules rating: 1,790 J.
  • If an issue arises, it will shut down your entire system
  • Price: $$

The very first thing that you notice about this electrical management system is that is pretty portable. Its sleek ergonomic design makes it quite comfortable and it is very easy to use. Still not easy enough? When you install it, you simply plug-and-play it and you will be all set.

Both the PT30X and the PT50X offer quality protection to ensure that no peak or valley of voltage takes a toll on your entire electrical system. 

A pretty rugged pull handle and a Lexan housing ensure that the device is very well protected and will not be affected by an adverse weather condition. The all-weather shield assembly along with a secure locking bracket keeping everything well protected. This tough design also allows you to attach it to the power source securely.

In other words, this 3-mode surge protector is basically designed for the outdoors. Not only it is designed for that but it is also specially designed for recreational purpose. Yes, that is right, as the “R” in “RV”! You will never have any voltage surge gravely affecting your electronics.

  • Very easy to use and with a compact and portable design
  • All-weather shield assembly
  • Specially sesigned for RV use
  • It has a simple-plug-and-play configuration
  • It can only be used in a vertical position.
  • As easy as it is to install, it lso is to be rmoved, making it prone to be stolen

The design of the PT30X is mostly for outdoor use. That explains the tough design which in turn guarantees a highly durable product. The Progressive Industries EMC is super reliable. When it comes to protection, it is open ground, open neutral, and with reverse polarity protection.

This tough one is functional at pretty amazing temperature gradients. It will keep protecting your RV at temperatures between -40 to 221 degrees Fahrenheit. Its tough casing, weather protection, and amazing performance make this our top reliable protector.

This weather-resistant surge protector/EMC will give you enough peace of mind to have you enjoy a nice trip. There are some other cool features that make this gadget a prime acquisition. You get the A/C frequency protection, surge-failure indicator, accidental 240-V protection, and a scrolling digital display.

Finally, to make it even more awesome and practical, Progressive Industries has provided these surge protectors capable of detecting a wide variety of electrical issues and shut down the power link to your RV.

If your RV requires a 50-amp service, consider the PT50X, which deliver a super regulation and protects your appliances.

The Good/What I like

We absolutely love the dedication that Progressive Industries is putting in their products. Quality devices that enable you to have a safe trip with your basic needs well met are the company’s offer. The brand is so confident of their product that they offer a lifetime warranty. This means that if you use it the way it is supposed to be, you will be protected for a lifetime.

Two of the things that we love the most is the fact that it is super easy to set up and the highly secure locking bracket.

The Bad/What I don't like

This product is so great that it is pretty hard to find something to dislike. We must point out, though that the price is not very appealing. However, users have reported being of utmost quality and that the price is justified. You might run into an issue, as with any other product, but the warranty’s got your back.

Progressive SSP30 Smart Surge

Best Surge Protector 

Surge protectors might not be as complete as an electrical management system. You note this when you compare prices. But if you are short in budget and want to take the surge protector path (which is still a decent one), then the SSP30 Smart Surge is probably what you are looking for.

Quick Summary
  • Portable and compact design
  • Flexible
  • Joules Rating: 825 Joules
  • Shuts down if it encounters an issue
  • Price: $$

For starters, you will enjoy the convenience and portability of its portable and compact design. There is no installation required as you only need to plug it in. You will also notice that this is a trademark of Progressive Industries-to make portable and easy to install surge protectors. So get ready to enjoy a hassle-free experience. 

Besides the simple design and ease of use, it is flexible enough to fit into any RV park hookups which means that you will be able to close the electrical cover completely.

The information screen of the SSP30 is pretty convenient. Indicator lights keep you aware of any issue in your RV. The lights are pretty easy to see, especially in the dark. They are continuously indicating any harmful surge in your RV while effectively protecting your appliances and electrical wiring from harm.

  • Highly portable thanks to its compact design
  • Pretty lightweight
  • It is flexible and fits in most RV park hookups
  • Indicator lights help you detect any issues
  • It is not weatherproof

The SSP30 Smart Surge also has some pretty useful features to notify immediately of any potential hazard to your system. This includes an open ground, open neutral detection, and reverse polarity. If there is an issue related to the pedestal, the surge protector will shut down. It will also notify you if there are any surge failures.

A high-quality product when it comes to protecting your RV electrical system from voltage surges. This one is also a reliable product that gives you that extra protection that you need for your RV. Rest assured that this piece will keep your electrical system in check. Progressive Industries offers a 1-year warranty in case you were to face any issue.

The Good/What I like

This is a surge protector with an impressive quality. We like that its quality is backed up by Progressive Industries, which is a benchmark when it comes to these kinds of products. It is portable, safe, and with a simple design. We are all in for a simplistic design that provides only the information you absolutely need at a glance with no complications.

Besides that, it is versatile enough to fit into pretty much any RV park hookups. Of course, we also like that it warns you of surge failures.

The Bad/What I don't like

There is only one issue that we found with this product and that is that it is not weatherproof. But trust us when we tell you that you will get what you need.

Surge Guard 35530 30A Hardwire

For Value For The Price

This is a review of the 30A Surge Guard, but the 50A version offers the same performance and versatility than this one. As you see, this EMS goes hardwired into your RV, which provides more reliability when it comes to easily handling it. 

If you are looking for protection for your RV at a very reasonable price, we believe that the Surge Guard 35530 3A Hardwire is your best choice. Let us explain why. 

Quick Summary
  • Permanently installed on your RV
  • Digital display
  • Joules Rating: 2450
  • 128-secound timer after emergency shutdown
  • Price: $$$

This system offers unparalleled protection to your RV, giving you enough peace of mind to carry on with your recreational activity. It is suitable for pretty much any environment, call it camping, snow-traveling, or simply enjoying a good ride.

It offers complete protection from any electrical issues originating in the power pedestal. The display of the Surge Guard offers very simple indicator lights up straight for you to check what is going on during the charging.

You get a continuous reading of what is going on during charging and will automatically shut down if it detects open ground, open neutral, power surges, voltage surges (too low or too high), reversed polarity, or any other that could affect and damage your electronic equipment. 

Since the Surge Guard 35530 is permanently embedded on your RV, you do not need to worry about theft or any weather condition. 

  • It offers complete RV power coverage
  • Great value for your money
  • It only needs one setup once it is hardwired
  • Automatically disconnects power supply if an issue is detected
  • It does not include a bypass feature to keep using on surge-protection only if there is an emergency with the EMS features

There are some other useful configurations on this device that turns it into a great value for your money. You are spending your money on a gadget that provides more than the price tag seems to suggest. The lifetime limited warranty is a protection that keeps you assured that you are installing a highly reliable EMS.

If the device detects any fault and it corrects it, it will automatically start a 128-second timer before it resumes power to your RV. This feature protects AC units. As an upgrade option, you can get an LCD display that will give you more information, including amperage use, incoming line voltage, the faults present, etc.

This particular design of from Surge Guard includes several models that provide protection at different amperages. You should check them out and make sure you know which is the one your RV needs to get the appropriate one.

The model displayed is compatible with telecom Jack 16 Detailed Fault Screens Joystick that provides an easy screen navigation plug-and-play. When your Surge Guard 35530 has been permanently installed on your rig, make sure to follow the instructions for proper use. The LED power indicator will illuminate green to indicate that your RV is being protected from electrical supply issues. 

The Good/What I like

We chose this product because of its amazing value. It offers great protection at a great price. You get the protection you need and some interesting features. Once again, we are all into simplistic indicators of indicator lights. This particular model offers an optional LCD display if you want to have more information at a glance. 

The Bad/What I don't like

Speaking of the optional LCD display, the company offers it a price that goes around $100. If you compare it with other products offering similar capabilities with an included display, the price will go up for you. However, you can trust that you are getting a great value and trusted protection with this EMS. 

Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C

Best Bang For The Buck

This is our top selection when it comes to hardwired electrical management systems. This product is from Progressive Industries and it offers the same capabilities for both 30A and 50A systems as the EMS-PTX30 AND EMS-PTX50 described before. The one difference is that the EMS-HW30C and EMS-HW50C are embedded in your RV. 

Quick Summary
  • Hardwired to your RV
  • Indicates miswired pedestal and surge failure
  • Joules Rating: 1790 Joules
  • Remote scrollling digital display
  • Price: $$

Just like with all Progressive Industries products, this one also enjoys a lifetime limited warranty. So, you can walk away from the store knowing that you are taking with you a reliable and durable product.

This electrical management system from Progressive Industries detects open ground, open neutral and reverse polarity. It also indicates pedestal miswiring and surge failure. You get that extra protection and you know that all your appliances are being kept safe.

But it does not end there, of course. Unlike the Surge Guard, this EMS does include a remote scrolling digital display that continuously provides information on the power source. 

  • There is no risk of it being stolen
  • It comes at a better price than its portable version
  • Once installed it is super easy to use
  • Might be wasy to use but not as easy to install

The greatest advantage of this hardwired electrical management system to the portable ones is that you just need to install and pretty much forget about it. When the time comes to connect to the RV park hookup all you have to do is plug it in. If there were any issues, it will either correct it or turn off the power supply.

In a few words, you have both electrical surge protection and continuous monitoring of the quality of the electricity coming into your RV. This represents a perfect solution for those looking of a permanent worry-free EMS embedded in their RV. 

When the EMS-HW30C detects an electrical problem it will shut off the power supply and reconnect after 136 seconds (to protect your air conditioner) once the power problem is resolved. 

As we mentioned before, the single remote LED display provides information about line voltage, amps being used, line frequency and current and previous error codes. All the information that you need to know that your RV is very well protected. Once again, if an issue may arise, it will automatically fix it or shut down everything until serviced.

Do note that the display is mounted on an outside compartment and there is no option for a second remote display in case you wanted to monitor it without having to go outside. The first installation of the EMS might require some technical assistance, but once done it is fairly easy to use. 

As usual, make sure you have all the information you need for proper installation and use. In an event of a circuit board failure, the unit will disable al electrical management system features (maintaining only surge protection features) so that you can keep using surge protection while you get a replacement board. 

The Good/What I like

The first thing that we love about this is that it is basically the best EMS you will find out there with great functionalities and a kind of service that makes you hassle-free and worry-free. There is no need to worry about misplacing the product since it is permanently installed on your RV. 

The remote display helps you obtain useful information on the status of your RV power supply. Even when this display is remote, you can still access to it from inside your RV without having to go outside to adverse weather conditions.   

The Bad/What I don't like

There hardly is anything that we do not like about this EMS. It has everything you might need in an EMS and even more. We must say, though, that installation can be tricky. You are better off hiring a professional. This will cost you more but once it is up and running, there is nothing else to worry about. As we mentioned earlier, it is very easy to use. 

Surge Guard 44260 Entry Level Portable Surge Protector

Budget Friendly

If you are looking for a more affordable option but still want high-quality protection, the 44260 from Surge Guard is your best choice. It is very effective at controlling inconsistent power issues that might seriously damage your recreational vehicle.

Quick Summary
  • Continuously monitors power issues
  • Weather resistant
  • Joules Rating: 2100 Joules
  • A lock hasp to safely place on your RV
  • Price: $

For you to have an idea of how it compares to the others listed here, it offers protection by suppressing up to 2100 joules. Furthermore, it has a 6500A max spike. We will get into more details on what those numbers mean but you should know that they are pretty impressive. Those specs basically mean that it can help identify any power issue almost instantly.

It does not stop there as one of the things that all users find impressive is that this surge protector is weather resistant. So, you can safely plug it in and it will keep on working regardless of the weather conditions. It also features a lock hasp so that you can safely lock it in your rig once connected.

We were also impressed at the indicator lights that let you know that everything is working just fine. Besides that, it has open ground, correct, and open neutral polarity. Basically, you get guaranteed protection for your appliances at a great price. 

Once you connect it to the pedestal, it analyzes circuits to verify its power. It also identifies faulty park power. 

The 44260 surge protector effectively does what it is made of. You can rest assured that you are parked getting the best protection for your RV. 

  • Resists wind and rain
  • It identifies faulty power almost instantly
  • The lock hasp keeps the device safely place on your RV
  • You get full protection against surges
  • Indicator lights are not that strong
The Good/What I like

We like the portability, ease of use, and durability of this surge protector. You definitively get a great value for your money, which is why we chose it as our best budget choice. If you would like to get started with this product, it is your best choice. You will decide that you are not going to the road without it. 

The Bad/What I don't like

Once again, this is a rather cheap option that provides with the most important information and performance you need. One small issue is that you will probably have to scratch your eyes to check on the lights as they are a bit dim. It gets better during the night, of course. Now, given that you rarely have an issue that will require you to take any further action, this little caveat should not be a major issue. 

Buyers Guide

The very first thing you need to know is what amperage type your RV needs. Then, you must decide the type of protection you want to give to your RV while hooked to a power source.

We started this article with a brief explanation of the difference between a surge protector and an electrical management system. It has mostly to do with more features and functionalities. You should then decide what type it is that you will be requiring.

All voltage surge protectors have some basic specification such as how much surge protection they offer, what voltage and current they operate at, and others. Let’s take a look at what are the specs that you should be looking at before you purchase your next electrical management system.

Joules rating

Joules is a unit of energy and work. While charging, sometimes energy spikes can occur. When checking out for your surge protector, check what is the Joules rating. This will tell you how capable they are at dissipating heat in the event of the spike. 

But what you really have to look for is how fast does a device respond to such spikes. You really want this time to be in short nanoseconds. This means, how fast will it dissipate the heat generated. Even if one device has a higher Joules rating, this does not guarantee that it has a shorter response time. 

Amp Rating

Amperes are a unit of electrical current. A device needs a certain amount of electrical current for it to operate normally. If the electrical current does not meet these conditions, then there is a risk of failure or struggle when performing its task.

Usually, an EMS indicates the number of amps it operates at. This is an important factor when choosing the right one for your RV. 

LED Display

Some more complex EMS have a remote scrolling LED display. Some consider this important as it gives you information in nearly real time (about 2 seconds delay in most cases) of what are the conditions of the power connection. If you choose one with a LED display, make sure you know what the numbers indicate so that you know what to do of them. Also, make sure you can read it clearly, even during a bright day. 

Installation

Unless you get yourself a portable one, surge protectors require installation. Ask the seller how easy the installation of this protector is. Make sure that the instruction manual is included, especially if this is your first time using a protector. 

Also, maybe you want to go for a plug-and-play design. This is a favorite, even among seasoned users. If you get yourself a device that is not too easy to install, note that you will probably have to spend some extra money to pay a professional to do it for you. 

Difference between a surge protector and an electrical management system

We have been using those terms almost interchangeably sometimes and this might lead to a bit of a confusion. Perhaps you have already cleared out the air here but just in case we will state it one last time.

A surge protector is designed to protect against a severe over-voltage spike. You are actually familiar with those since they are just like the ones you use one. It is that big black box of outlets where you connect your computer and other sensitive electrical appliances. You have probably noticed that a light turns on and a switch occurs whenever a strong lightning strikes.

But a surge protector only protects against that, nothing else. However, a sudden voltage surge is the most common issue you will face and is still not very common. 

There are other issues that your RV can suffer that come from a poor electrical current, misplaced wiring, a broken wire, too low voltage, too high voltage, that a surge protector cannot detect. This is where the more complete electrical management system comes in handy.

Why would you buy a surge protector instead of an EMS? Mainly because they are cheaper. Just remember that a surge protector cannot save your rig from damage. 

When you are about to connect your RV to a power source in a park, the surge protector will only indicate if there is an open ground, open neutral, or reverse polarity. Please note that they will only indicate the issue but will still function. It is up to you if you still want to plug into the pedestal.

An EMS will indicate more features that are also important to protect your rig. We strongly recommend you make the extra expense and get yourself an EMS. For more awesome appliances check out the best RV generator reviews for the money and the best solar panels for RV battery charging in case your generator goes out or vise versa you have a backup to rely on.

 

Conclusion

Installing the best surge protection for your RV will determine how well protected your rig is. When making a choice, just make sure it has everything you need for your RV. While not all protectors will have all the features you might want, make sure you get the essentials. While looking for your protector, verify if there are any additional protection features. Check for how efficient they are at detecting problems; if they include safety on-off switches, indicator lights, LED display, and others that can provide the extra protection you want. All experts and seasoned users agree that you should invest a serious budget in getting the best product. Some might argue, on the other hand, that potential disaster events only happen very rarely. However, it only takes a second for one to virtually ruin all your RV appliances. It is best to make the investment and to make it right. For more helpful articles to help keep your RV running great check out the best rated rv battery review and the best rated rv deep cycle battery review.