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Power Your RV Safely with These Top Surge Protectors

Keep your camper’s appliances powered up and safe from dangerous surges with one of these reliable product picks.

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BYMike Knott, Norah Tarichia/ LAST UPDATED ON May 19, 2022

A surge protector is a device that detects faults in the power supply and evens out sudden peaks of electricity to protect your recreational vehicle and its equipment. It’s an important tool for every RV owner, whether you use your RV once a year or every day. It only takes one bad connection to the pedestal power supply at a campsite to fry all your equipment. Our review looks into some of the best RV voltage protectors for your consideration.


You never quite know what you’re going to get when you guide your RV into a camping spot. From the ground beneath your wheels to the angle you’re parked at to the reliability of the electrical power at the site’s hookups, every campsite is different. But more often than not, these seemingly minor differences can present you with some serious camping frustrations, especially when you’ve plugged into a power tower that delivers inconsistent, surging, or dangerously unpredictable power. Luckily, there’s an easy fix: An RV surge protector. 


Designed to keep you and all of your RV’s electrical appliances or components safely connected to power regardless of unexpected surges, these handy accessories are an affordable investment that can save you a ton of money. And they’re especially important when you’re in unpredictable situations. Check out our top picks for RV surge protectors below.

Best Overall

Surge Guard Portable Surge Protector

Summary
 This RV surge protector is easy to set up and understand, and you’ll be protected – and little extras make it a reliable, portable choice.
Pros
  • Up to 2,100 joules of protection
  • Easy-to-read LED indicator lights
  • Analyzes circuits as soon as you plug in
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer energy management or extras beyond protection
Best Value

Progressive Industries RSM50 RV Surge Module

Summary
Affordably priced and reliable for its one key job, this RV surge protection makes safeguarding your electronics a total breeze.
Pros
  • Up to 2,030 joules of protection
  • Easy to use
  • Simplifies RV electrical protection
Cons
  • Will likely burn out after one surge
  • Only one indicator light
Honorable Mention

Hughes Autoformers Power Watchdog Portable RV Bluetooth Surge Protector

Summary
If you want to know what’s happening at every level with your electrical power, this RV surge protector goes above and beyond to deliver insights.
Pros
  • Up to 2,400 joules of protection
  • Bluetooth and smartphone app connectivity
  • Complete power diagnostics and insights
Cons
  • Can’t get real-time alerts without cell service
Power Your RV Safely with These Top Surge Protectors

Our Methodology

The products we chose as our best RV surge protectors are those that could provide consistent, reliable protection in the face of fluctuating power — and, of course, shorts or surges — at campsite hookups. The surge protectors that made our list were those that were made specifically for RVs and their electric needs or appliances, with either 30 or 50 amp ratings. These products are compatible with RV cords and connections, and they’re all meant to be used outdoors in all kinds of camping situations. Plus, we looked at users' reviews to understand how each surge protector held up in real-life conditions, from rainy weather to power surges to repeated uses. 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best RV Surge Protector Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
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Specs

  • Amp Rating: 30 amps
  • Brand: Surge Guard
  • Display or Indicators: LED indicator lights

Pros

  • 2,100 joules of surge protection
  • Analyzes circuits at any power pedestal
  • LED indicators show power status
  • Convenient Easy-T-Pull plug handles

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer extras beyond surge protection

The Surge Guard Portable Surge Protector might be a simple, straightforward device, but it’s one you can easily count on when you’re unsure what’s happening at the power source. Featuring Easy-T-Pull plug handles on either end for easy plugging and unplugging, plus LED indicators, you’ll be able to identify the power status when your RV is connected to a power pedestal. Rated for 30 amps, this device can protect you during surges of up to 2,100 joules. Plus, if you notice faulty power at the pedestal, you can protect yourself (and your RV’s electrical system) before something dangerous happens. When plugged in, this surge protector will test for and light up if there’s an open ground, open neutral, or correct polarity. The only complaint? If you’re looking for extra frills, like a digital display or energy management, this streamlined RV surge protector doesn’t offer them.

Specs

  • Amp Rating: 50 amps
  • Brand: Progressive Industries
  • Display or Indicators: Fault indicator light

Pros

  • 2,030 joules of surge protection
  • Simple, easy-to-use design
  • Small and lightweight
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Not many indicator lights
  • May not survive a single surge

If you want to keep your RV’s surge protection easy and pretty much effortless, then this little receiver module — the Progressive Industries RSM50 RV Surge Module — is exactly what you need. It might be compact, but its affordable price and its protection of up to 2,030 joules should have you and your camper covered wherever you travel. Rated for 50-amp setups, all you have to do is plug your power or extension cord into this little module, then connect to the power pedestal. From there, you’ll be hands-off. It’ll keep you safe for spikes of up to 45,000 amps. This RV surge protector is weather-resistant and includes one indicator light, which illuminates when a surge has occurred. The biggest drawback of this RV surge protector is it’s really meant to be a “one and done” solution. Should you experience a surge, it’ll likely blow — and you’ll need to buy a new one. Additionally, with just one indicator, you won’t get any insight into potential power issues at various campsites.
Honorable Mention
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Specs

  • Amp Rating: 30 amps
  • Brand: Hughes Autoformers
  • Display or Indicators: LED diagnostic display

Pros

  • 2,400 joules of surge protection
  • 90-second power-on delay after a fault
  • Smart circuit analyzer sends alerts and cuts power automatically
  • Complete power diagnostics available

Cons

  • Does require a smartphone app to see more in-depth power stats

If you want both protection and insight into what’s happening at the power pedestal, then you’ll love how in-depth you can get with the Hughes Autoformers Power Watchdog Portable RV Bluetooth Surge Protector. This 30-amp RV surge protector is equipped with Bluetooth, making it able to sync to a smartphone app to deliver complete power diagnostics and real-time alerts—and that’s even if you leave the campsite. With protection for surges up to 2,400 joules and a smart circuit analyzer, you’ll be protected against any potential problem. Plus, perks like rugged outdoor-ready and rainproof design, power-on delays after faults, and AC monitoring ensure you’ll have all-around peace of mind. This RV surge protector is both highly capable and highly informative. The only real potential downside is you may not be able to get those real-time smartphone alerts if you’re in an area with no cell service, which can limit the functionality.
Best Heavy-Duty
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Specs

  • Amp Rating: 30 amps
  • Brand: Powsaf
  • Display or Indicators: LED indicator lights

Pros

  • 4,100 joules of surge protection
  • Indicators show faults for an array of wiring issues
  • Contoured grips on each end
  • IP67 waterproof rating

Cons

  • Can fall out of some power pedestals
  • May be loose in some cases

The Powsaf RV Power Defender with Surge Protection will have you and your RV protected in the event you’re facing a huge surge. This 30-amp accessory can offer protection for surges of up to 4,100 joules of energy — meaning it’s a must-have if you’re worried about a large surge wiping out your electrical system. It protects against wiring issues as well as high and low voltages, and the diagnostic LED indicators allow you to catch any issues as soon as you’re plugged in. Each end of this surge protector features contoured grips, which make plugging and unplugging easier and less damaging to the device itself. And this product is outdoor-ready, thanks to its IP67 waterproof rating. However, keep in mind that this RV surge protector may not perfectly (or tightly) fit into every power pedestal. It can be loose in some, and if it’s loose, it may be prone to falling out.
Best Rugged RV
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Specs

  • Amp Rating: 30 amps
  • Brand: Progressive Industries
  • Display or Indicators: LED indicator lights

Pros

  • 825 joules of surge protection
  • All-weather shield assembly with weather-resistant materials
  • Locking bracket for security
  • Detects surges, improper wiring, reverse polarity, and more

Cons

  • Plastic cover may fall off

You won’t have to worry about the weather or how rough the outdoors can be when you opt for the Progressive Industries Smart Surge Protector. This 30-amp accessory is built to handle not just unpredictable electrical setups, but also all of the wild weather that can happen while you’re camping. Featuring tough, outdoor-ready housing including a plastic cover to protect your outlets and plugs, this RV surge protector is weather-resistant. It can handle everything from dirt to wind and rain to frequent sun exposure. But most importantly, you’ll get protection for surges up to 22,500 amps. And, as an added bonus, extra-tough features like a locking bracket, rugged pull handle, and lifetime warranty ensure this product will last. The one weakness in this RV surge protector is the plastic cover. While it’s meant to add an extra layer of protection against the elements, it’s prone to coming loose and falling off. You may find this shield is more delicate than the rest of the accessories.
Best Easy Use
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Specs

  • Amp Rating: 30 amps
  • Brand: Camco
  • Display or Indicators: LED indicator lights

Pros

  • 2,800 joules of surge protection
  • Protects against high and low voltages as well as surges
  • PowerGrip handles for easy plugging and unplugging
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Likely won’t last after a surge occurs

The Camco Power Grip Voltage Protector goes a bit beyond your basic RV surge protector and offers both surge protection as well as protection in the face of varying voltages and wiring issues. If you’ve ever worried about the power set up at a campsite pedestal, this device will have you covered. Its LED indicators allow you to diagnose faults, identify wiring issues, and keep your RV’s electrical system safe. Its biggest benefit is that it’s easy to use — once you get set up at the power pedestal, you’ll be able to determine if you’re facing dangerous electrical conditions. Plus, this surge protector is built to be weatherproof. When it’s installed upright, it can handle all kinds of adverse weather. As an added bonus, the PowerGrip handles on each end of this device give you a contoured, easy-to-handle grip for plugging and unplugging. Unfortunately, users note that you can’t reset this surge protector if a surge should happen. It’ll likely be unable to be used again, which means it’s really a single-use protection device.
Best Premium
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Specs

  • Amp Rating: 50 amps
  • Brand: Southwire
  • Display or Indicators: LCD display

Pros

  • Protects against power surges, voltage variations, and more
  • Easy-T-Pull plug handles
  • Bright LCD display for continuous monitoring
  • Automatic reset and multi-mode surge suppression

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

If you’re looking for an RV surge protector that’ll protect you from just about anything and everything when it comes to electrical woes, the Southwire Surge Guard could be the right fit. This premium product offers in-depth electrical monitoring and insights, and it’ll allow you to see all of the details of your power supply when you plug your RV into a power pedestal. With this RV surge protector, you’ll be able to continually monitor your voltage and amp draw, with the amounts always displayed. Plus, multi-mode surge protection paired with automatic resetting ensures you’re still protected when a surge does happen, allowing for protection for big power draws like your AC unit. And extras, like LED indicators, Easy-T-Pull handles for unplugging and plugging, and a theft lock ring makes this well worth its cost. Unfortunately, this powerful and informative RV surge protector is expensive, and it’s a serious investment piece. Additionally, with a total weight of five pounds, it’s heavier than most other options.

Our Verdict on RV Surge Protectors

The Surge Guard Portable Surge Protector is straightforward and easy to set up, and it’ll provide you with reliable, consistent protection wherever you camp. Plus, it’s got great coverage for those unpredictable surges. If you’re looking for value in addition to surge protection, another great option is the Progressive Industries RSM50 RV Surge Module, which is affordable, small, and still able to keep your RV’s electrical system safe.

What to Consider When Buying RV Surge Protectors

If you’re wondering how to narrow down your options and find an RV surge protector that’ll offer the level of coverage you need when you’re plugged in at campsites, keep these key details in mind while you shop. 

Types of RV Surge Protectors

RV Surge Protectors

Surge protectors made specifically for RVs are essentially just like your surge protector at home. They’re extras that are designed to offer you a level defense against surges and power fluctuations when your RV and all of its electronics are plugged in at campsites and any power pedestals. However, surge protectors are considered the “entry-level” protection — they can’t do much more than protect your electronics, though some may allow you to see insight into power levels and what’s happening when surges occur, you can’t actually manage or control the energy. 

RV Energy Management Systems (EMS)

If you’re hoping for higher-level protection for your RV’s electronics, an energy management system or EMS is like an upgraded surge protector. Not only can these devices offer all of the same protections and functionality of your typical RV surge protector, but they also give you even more control. With an EMS, you’ll be able to automatically manage your RV’s energy usage to ensure the entire electrical system isn’t overloaded. It’s a handy addition if you’re considering keeping a closer eye on what’s happening while you’re powered up. 

RV Surge Protector Pricing 

On average, you’ll spend anywhere from $80 to $120 for a standard RV surge protector. But there are options for nearly any budget. If you just want a simple surge protector, you can find affordable options with no bells or whistles for $40 to $60. If you’re looking for more features, like LCD or LED displays, built-in grips, handles, or higher amperage ratings, then you should expect to spend upwards of $100. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Do I need a 30-amp or 50-amp RV surge protector?

A: Check your RV’s manual! If you have a 50-amp service, you’ll need a 50-amp surge protector. Same thing goes for 30-amp service.

Q: Can you use a 50-amp RV surge protector for 30-amp outlets?

A: There’s no harm in going above and beyond as long as you have the proper adapter. If you’re going to use a 50-amp surge protector on a 30-amp outlet or power pedestal, make sure you have a suitable dogbone adapter with you.

Q: What’s the difference between an RV surge protector and an EMS?

A: As we explained above, a surge protector is an entry-level product that’ll keep your electronics and electrical system safe in the event of a damage-causing surge. An RV EMS goes farther, offering both surge protection and the ability to manage your RV’s electrical system to prevent overloading.

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