A quest we get asked is “What causes a surge or spike?”
Essentially when you’re at an RV park and everybody is plugged in, you have electricity running through the wires from the park pole into your Watchdog or surge protector, into your Autoformer or whatever, going into your coach. Everybody is plugged in, they have a lot of draw or load on the line – their AC units, water heaters or microwaves working – there’s electricity flowing through the wires into that coach. If somebody doesn’t shut down or unplug from the pole properly, you can have a surge or a spike.
Picture electricity like water flowing through a pipe. If somebody goes to the pole and just yanks their shore cord out of the pole, that electricity – that water flowing through the pipe – hits a wall and has to go back through the powerline and can easily have an effect on anybody that’s still connected around that RV. So, a surge can be caused by your neighbors.
Obviously, if there’s a distant lightning strike hitting the ground or power lines, you can have a surge or spike that way. If it’s windy and you have power lines that are arcing, you can have a surge or spike. Even just simply turning on and off large equipment – washing machines, electric dryers, or devices with a high amp load – they can cause surges when they kick on and turn off. You’re essentially changing the flow of electricity. It’s this sudden change that causes that surge or spike. It can either go into your RV or somebody else that is near you if they’re still connected and you’re sharing some wires.
So essentially, you do want a surge protector. It is something that is necessary to prevent damaging surges or spikes.
Ray Miller (verified owner) – :
First, let’s reflect on the fact that Hughes even designed the PWD30-EPO to have a replaceable surge protection module. Who else does that? If you get a nearby lightning strike or other damaging event, these modules are sacrificial and die to protect what is downstream of them – which is your RV and its expensive electronics. However Hughes goes the next step and lets you replace that smaller, less expensive, part without having to buy an entirely new unit.
Second, Hughes’ warranty on the PWD30-EPO is such that they will send you a new one free of charge if your surge protector dies within the first two years. Again – awesome.
And while I’m still only one year into that two year warranty, I went ahead and bought a replacement module anyway as a precaution. I don’t want transient damage to prevent me from using the PWD30-EPO during my trip, even if it is replaced for free by Hughes … but only after I get back home from my vacation that is. Compared to the original cost of the entire PWD30-EPO, this is cheap insurance.
l do have one complaint. No installation instructions were included by Hughes. Seriously folks? You couldn’t pop for one tiny single sheet of paper? I almost took off one star for that, however that seemed disproportionate to that poor decision by Hughes. So you still get 5 stars, but with a partially disappointed comment by me. Fortunately, the Product Manual is online and easy to print, but I advise everyone who has one of these things to print it out *before you leave home* and keep it with the module in its box, just in case you’re forced to do a quick field installation.