Camping surge supression

ShadowcatcherShadowcatcher Posts: 228Solar Expert ✭✭✭
We are getting set for our trip to California and anticipate the better part of a month with a number of stays in National Parks where the solar panels will get a work out. We will however stay a number of times in parks with power, basically 30A off of the pedestal. I have seen discussions/arguments concerning the need for surge suppression on one of the RV forums. I will test for polarity and power before plugging in, and will unplug during thunder storms. The prices of RV surge protectors are shall we say, inflated and I can get a whole house surge protector for a lot less but I am running out of room and they are a bit bulky.
Suggestions?

Comments

  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Camping surge supression

    i'm not sure of what you are really concerned about. your appliances or maybe the charger on your battery bank? most times there won't be a problem and that's without any protections, but there's always the chance no matter where you are or what you're connected to that something could present itself. you could go with simple surge protectors or go first class with a midnite spd. i'm not too sure of the proper ground path presented by rv circumstances for a proper ground is necessary to discharge sureges. at many sites there may not be any ground rod present for proper discharging of said surges or that rod may be an appreciable distance from your location negating its effectiveness. it's also possible the polarities could be wrong so one of those mini-testers you plug into the outlet may be good for the odds on this are just as likely as a surge.

    if it were me i would find the closest ground rod for the site hookup and verify that there wouldn't be more than about 35ft or so distance to it. if no rod or too far i would probably drive a copper rod or pipe a bit into the ground and have my own ground point with at least #6 wire (to straight down from rv with only a tad of leeway on the wire length of maybe a couple feet). solid bare wire is usually used in a ground, but in a situation that could be moved i would opt for stranded for flexibility and even insulated for protection. green would be a good color for it if i could get it. of course this is me and i can recognize some things that aren't right or out of the ordinary faster than most.
  • ShadowcatcherShadowcatcher Posts: 228Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Camping surge supression

    RV power pedestals are usually wired for 20 30 and 50A and I do not know of any one driving a ground rod, and some camp sites I have been in it would have been impossible. From what I understand there is some times where under power is a problem.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Camping surge supression

    it couldn't hurt driving a small rod a foot or so down just as long as you can recover the rod to move it to another location. if there's an undervoltage condition then there's also the good chance of a poor ground or the lack of one. undervoltage indicates insufficient wiring either on the site and/or off site like the utility's own wires. rarely it could be a bad tap on a transformer too.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Camping surge supression

    i'll amend my train of thought thanks to bb as he also mentioned in another thread of using large flat copper plates as a good alternative to just a few feet of ground rod being in contact with the earth. this is good to use when in full contact with the surface soil or partially buried by maybe an inch or so of soil. with rocky soil the rod may prove to be the better method.
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