This Xmas I got a wonderful present, especially for a tinkerer and do it yourself person like me. I opened up a Progressive Industries Model EMS-HW30C Electrical Management System. It is an RV Power Surge Protector and much more. AHHHH! Gadget geek heaven was about to ensue. What the heck is it you ask? Well, it’s a magic black box that stands guard at your RV input power cord and fights off evil voltages that can ruin your camping trip and cost you sometimes thousands of dollars in fried electronics and appliances.
The one I got is the 30 amp model since that’s what our trailer is wired for but they do make a 50 amp model EMS-HW50C as well. There are portable models also, but I elected to get the one that hard wires inside the trailer. That way I won’t have to worry about leaving it behind or theft.
RV park power can go wrong in several ways.
1. The power pedestal we plug into was wired by a monkey, or driven into by another monkey, or chewed on by rodents. Also just plain old age and neglect by the campground can cause problems.
The EMS-HW30C’s little silicon brain will tell you right away if the pedestal wiring is faulty and won’t let the rig be damaged by it.
2. The AC voltage is too low or becomes too low, sometimes known as a brown out. (Line Voltage below 104 volts)
EMS-HW30C is smart enough to shut the power off until the voltage returns to a normal range.
3. The AC voltage is too high, usually called over voltage. (Line Voltage above 132 volts)
Same thing the EMS-HW30C shuts down the power until it’s normal again.
4. Spike or surge takes place. This is usually caused by lightning, power company transformer blows, car hits a power pole, any number of things.
EMS-HW30C will filter this out or if the spike is bad enough shut down the power to prevent damage to your rig’s electrical.
5. Line Frequency. Sometimes the power company frequency can get out of whack.
If the frequency deviates +/- 9 hertz the EMS-HW30C will shut down the rig’s power.
The EMS-HW30C 30 Amp Hardwired RV Surge Protector by Progressive Industries offers a remote display and a compact modular design. This high-tech energy management system features High/Low Voltage Protection, Time Delay for A/C Compressor, 3-Mode Surge Protection, Surge Indicator, Reverse Polarity Protection, Open Neutral Protection, Open Ground Protection, C Frequency Protection and Accidental 240V Protection. The display continuously scrolls all of the AC power information, including voltage, current, frequency, error codes and previous errors. Each reading is displayed for two seconds. The EMS-HW30C is Microprocessor Controlled by a computer driven state-of-the-art microprocessor that is programmed with software to control the entire EMS unit. Backed by a lifetime manufacturer warranty. Dimensions: 5″W x 9 1/2″L x 3 1/4″H.
You can get the full specs and details here
The install was very straight forward but if you don’t know what your doing have it done by a professional electrician. I’m not a professional electrician, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express . Anything I write, say, and show is my own experience and not meant to be a how-to guide.
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If you’d like to read up on RV Electrics I recommend this article over at RV-Dreams.com
Photos of the unit and installation
Brief video of my unboxing, install details and demo of the unit in action.
Several features I like about the Progressive Industries Model EMS-HW30C
1. The remote display. Very handy for monitoring the voltage and current from right inside the rig.
2. The ability for it to turn the power back on after a fault. We leave our dog in the RV sometimes with the AC on. Nice to know if the EMS-HW30C shuts down the power it will turn it back on automatically when the power is OK again. Better than a tripped breaker that can’t automatically turn back on.
3. Previous error code. The display shows why power was shut down if the unit had come back automatically.
4. Bypass switch on the remote panel. Allows me to easily bypass the computer portion of the unit but still keep surge protection. Convenient if I need to run my Champion Generator which has a floating neutral and would cause the EMS-HW30C to shut down.
I am very happy with the quality look and feel of the EMS-HW30C and the digital readout is a nice extra. Also, I was happy to see the unit is built-in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty. Progressive Industries makes an assortment of other products as well. So if you’re looking for good solid protection for your rig I recommend them. After all, I installed it in mine.