Why Do I need an RV Surge Protector? Here are 7 Reasons

Why do I need an RV surge protector? If you own an RV or camper trailer with electrical power, the answer is: you always need a surge protector in place and in good working order. You should have an RV surge protector in place whether you’re relying on shore power, solar panels or a generator.

Let’s learn why you always need a good surge protector in place.

Here are 7 reasons to have a surge protector

Reason 1: The Return on the Investment Is Huge

Some people are afraid to buy a surge protector because they don’t see the benefit. The surge protector doesn’t just protect you from having to flip a circuit breaker in the RV once in a while.

One voltage spike could cause thousands of dollars to your RV’s unprotected electrical system. Yet you could prevent all of this by investing in a good surge protector.

A good surge protector can protect your renewable energy system in other ways, too. For example, if you mis-wire your house batteries or there’s an electrical short, some surge protectors will protect your solar panels and charge controllers, too.

Then problems with your renewable energy system intended to recharge your house batteries or power your life off-grid doesn’t end up blowing up your RV’s electrical system.

Reason 2: The Risk Is Greater Than You Think

There are RV owners who’ve said they don’t need a surge protector because it probably isn’t necessary. They think it only matters if you’re hit by lightning, and that’s unlikely to happen.

They don’t realize that it protects your RV’s electrical panel from a power surge from a malfunctioning power pedestal and generator problems, too. This means the risk of a surge is greater than you think.

Another scenario surge protectors protect you from is a low voltage situation. For example, low voltage situations often strike in the summer.

It occurs when everyone in the RV park turns on their air conditioners around the same time. And this situation can cause serious harm to your RV’s electrical system.

Reason 3: Your Quality of Life Depends on a Working Electrical System

In a worst case scenario, it damages the entire electrical system and the RV appliances. Now you don’t have use of water pumps, lights and most emergency monitoring devices like hardwired smoke detectors.

You’re unable to use critical equipment while you’re in the RV until everything gets fixed. Can you imagine driving to a repair shop, unable to access fresh water or do much else?

Reason 4: It Protects You From Your Own Mistakes

Surges can happen when there is an electrical short in a power pedestal or wiring failure upstream. However, some of the most common causes of surges are the RV owner’s fault.

For example, a common mistake is when someone plugs an RV power plug into a 220 volt pedestal intended for heavy duty appliances, when you really want a 120 volt power source.

A recent variation of this is accidentally plugging your RV into the 280 or higher voltage power outlet intended for recharging electric vehicles.

Note that not all surge protectors offer that level of protection, whereas some electrical management systems come with this high level of surge protection.

Reason 5: It Saves You Time

One way to protect yourself from surges from older or damaged power pedestals is to check them with a voltage meter before you connect to it. However, you may not always remember to do this, and you may be rushed for time. If you have a good RV surge protector on board and connected, you don’t have to do so.

Reason 6: The Sheer Convenience

Surge protectors are an incredibly convenience compared to trying to take steps to protect it. For example, you eliminate the need to unplug your power connection during storms out of fear of surges caused by lightening.

Do you really want to have to get out of the RV in the rain to unplug your electrical power out of fear it will blow up your electrical panel? Then you have to juggle the rest of your schedule and/or power usage to ensure your house batteries are charged before you travel.

Reason 7: The Simplicity of It

You might dismiss the need for a surge protector because there is one hardwired into your electrical system. However, you want a portable surge protector in place to protect the hardwired surge protector.

Let the portable surge protector provide an extra layer of protection. And if the portable surge protector is burned out, you’ve eliminated the risk of burning out the surge protector hardwired into the RV that requires extensive time to remove and replace.

These units also tend to be much more expensive than portable surge protectors, and that’s aside from the complex process of removing the burned out one and installing a new one.

Whether or not your RV will let you continue to use shore power when exposed depends on the RV’s design.


The RV surge protector should be considered a necessity when buying or upgrading an RV. You can’t afford the wasted time, energy, effort and expense because you assumed what you already had or hoped to do was good enough.

John S.

Hello guys! I'm a 37-years-old author, traveler, writer, blogger, and a camper. I enjoy life as much as I can and love to visit beautiful places in my RV. That's why while traveling I have decided to dedicate some time to share my experiences with everyone that might be interested in traveling, camping, and RVs.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments