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Old 11-21-2021, 09:08 AM   #1
Ron & Izzy
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torn between hardwired and portable ems system

as i'm doing my research and due diligence.. and not knowing electrical, i'm wondering if i should just go ahead and get the portable PI 50x. I do woodworking.. this said i've always shy'ed away from the electrical installs.

i do see that there is a security collar whcih can be used using a short braided cable.. so i'm not too worried about theft for the portable unit.

so.. just wondering how hard the hardwire install really is.. i would rather not get in the middle of the project and not be able to continue.

thoughts?

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Old 11-21-2021, 09:17 AM   #2
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The most difficult part of installing a permanent EMS is finding the location in the camper to do it and accessing it. If yours has easy access to the place where the junction box is for the main feed, it won't be so difficult. However, if not, you may want to go with the portable one.

If access is difficult, and you ever have to over ride the EMS, you may find yourself in pickle. Only you know your camper.
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Old 11-21-2021, 09:39 AM   #3
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Either one will work equally well. If you are uncomfortable with wiring, don't attempt it.
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Old 11-21-2021, 10:34 AM   #4
81SHOVELHEAD
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No issues with the portable plug in type . 7 yrs with the same progressive industry Surge protector. Saved me & least 4 times from frying our electric appliances due to power outages/surges. Never once have I been in a place that I had to lock it up but do carry a bicycle cable lock just in case. 2nd camper same surge protector. That’s what I like is that I can take it with me if I sell the camper.
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:03 PM   #5
Delaine and Lindy
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Since 2005 we have used a portable. Installs in minutes, no issues at all. Good Luck with your choice.

I have a progressive surge protector. Had one issue, it flooded under water, returned the protector to Progressive in 3 days, I received a brand new updated version. Awesome support.

Happy trails.
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Old 11-21-2021, 12:44 PM   #6
JoeUSNRET
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I would recommend a portable surge protector/EMS. I had a Progressive Industries hardwired HW50 EMS fail this summer at about 7pm in 95 degree heat that shut down my entire electrical system. I was extremely lucky to find the appropriate size butt connectors so I could remove the failed hardwired EMS and rewire the trailer to have power and AC that day and continue my trip. I will never have another hardwired EMS again. BTW the Progressive Industries hardwired HW50 EMS does have bypass mode which may be helpful, however, it did not help me. The surgeguard hardwired does NOT have a bypass at all. good luck.
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Old 11-21-2021, 01:45 PM   #7
Mikendebbie
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Where is the junction box for the main feed typically located?
My 50 amp cord reel is located at the back road side.
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Old 11-21-2021, 02:02 PM   #8
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We had a Progressive pedestal model and never had an issue, but theft is always an issue. We went with the Hughes Watchdog hardwired for three reasons. First, the Watchdog is very bright and screams here I am. Second, with the Watchdog, I can monitor via Bluetooth. And last (and personally critical), the Surge module is user replaceable.
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Old 11-21-2021, 02:03 PM   #9
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Either will do the job. We use the portable.
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Old 11-21-2021, 02:30 PM   #10
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One advantage to hard-wired is it will catch a problem in your cable and connections to the rig. I have seen on here about the junction on the back of a rig where a wire will come partially loose. This can cause one line to fail or even burn up the connection. If you have a portable, then it would not catch this early. I agree about if they go bad and for some reason the bypass in the Progressive doesn't work it will be a problem to get it working quickly.
I also worried about theft on the portable, but I haven't seen anything about people losing them. I am not sure if the portable has some sort of remote readout display. I use my hard wired display all the time to see if the power is ok before I start and monitor the voltage levels during a heat wave. I have seen several places where the power dropped and the unit shut down the rig for a couple of minutes. Then I would monitor the voltage on both lines to see if it was safe to start the A/C again. If not, I would shut everything down until I could safely start the A/C.
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:19 PM   #11
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Hi, me again.

For the record, we have aProgressive Industries EMS-PT50X (portable one). It comes with an eyelet where a bicycle cable can be passed through and then the cable can be wrapped around the campground power supply pole and locked. Although any lock is never truly theft proof, it's enough that, if someone really wants it, they'll have to cut the cable somehow. Theft prevention can never 100% fool proof. But a deterrent will go a long, long way.

We have both the Progressive 50 and a Hughe's 30 amp Autofoamer (Watch Dog) that we kept from our previous 30 amp travel trailer. I use the 30 amp Hughes when we are plugged into a 30 amp power supply, and the 50 when plugged into the 50 amp supply. Both have shut down the camper on several occasions in different campgrounds over the years.

The one advantage of using a portable one is, if the protector (EMS) fails, the portable one is easy to unplug and you can just move on.

In my previous camper, it had the camper electric cord that pushed into the mouse hole. However, access was pretty easy on the inside of the camper if I removed a panel. So, I did and put a hinge on it like a door for easy access. I then was able to access the junction box, I cut the wire for the camper and attached a new male end plug I then attached a new female end to the original power cord. I was able to put (my then) Hughes 30 amp autofoamer right there by plugging it in. It was inside the trailer, safe, and could never be stolen. It was still 100% portable in the event of failure and worked great. When we traded the camper for our current Montana, I simply unplugged the protector, and plugged back together the original cord, and kept the protector. It was the best of both this way.



In my current Montana, the power cord is the bayonet 1/4 turn type. I have no clue where the junction box is, all I know is, I've never successfully found it, so I'm assuming it's somewhere under the trailer floor. If not, the wires running from the male socket on the rear of the trailer is wired directly to the converter? I really don't know, and am perfectly OK with the portable versions.
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:12 PM   #12
Ron & Izzy
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Thank you all for your input. i've decided to go with the PI EMS-PT50X. if this was just cabinetry.. i'd be all in for the hardwired unit, but i'm just not that hot for the electrical end.

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Old 11-22-2021, 08:29 PM   #13
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We have the Hardwired Watchdog as well. Mounted on the bulkhead in the pass through. Love the bluetooth monitoring plus the light from the "dog's face" really lights up the storage area.
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Old 11-23-2021, 12:33 PM   #14
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I have brand new one (PT50X) still in the box for sale, PM me if interested, could save you $50 bucks.
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Old 11-23-2021, 02:17 PM   #15
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I’m looking others here. I’d rather have a portable one then I have the choice of when to use it and when not to use it.
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Old 11-23-2021, 04:10 PM   #16
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That is what the bypass switch is for on the PI.
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Old 11-28-2021, 03:12 PM   #17
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Either one will work well but I find the convenience of a hardwired unit to be worth the trouble of doing it that way. My Monty was easy. The 50 amp power cord connects to the back driver's side corner. The coach wiring from that connector to the converter is a straight shot through the belly of the coach until if t comes up through the floor behind the converter. My converter is located just inside the entrance door, under the coat closet. I started by removing the cloth covered panel in the basement, behind the converter. The 50 amp wiring to the converter was long enough to disconnect it from the breakers on the converter and pull it into the basement. I cut a couple holes in the panel for wiring to come into the EMS and wiring to go from the EMS to the converter. I purchased several feet of similar sized wire to make the connection from the EMS to the converter. I installed the EMS on the cloth covered panel, connected the wires to the EMS and to the converter and it was done. My EMS is marked so you can't make a mistake hooking up the wires. All that said, I am experienced in working with electricity so i found it quite easy. If you are not comfortable with electricity, best to leave it to someone who is. Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2021, 09:55 AM   #18
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Hardwired Prohressive EMS

I installed a permanent Progressive EMS not wanting to have a portable stolen or left on the post as I break camp in a storm….
Fairly easy to install on my Montana HC 380, choosing a spot behind the wall in my front crawl space, just inside when the water pump is located. I ran the wiring and inserted the read out on the side wall do the steps to the front living area. This allows me to see it from inside or outside.
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:08 AM   #19
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One other thing to consider, especially with the Progressive EMS system, portable or hard wired..... If you run your camper on a generator, EMS systems will error out because they don't detect a ground when running the generator.

I know there are ways to circumvent the generators to create a ground, but if you are like me, I'm not that "electrically inclined." Dang, I can do anything with wood, ceramics, plumbing, roofing, concrete, but when it comes to the fine art of electricity, I'm not that great. I can run electric lines in a house, even connect to breaker boxes and such, but the fine intricacies involved with motors, engines, and "generators" is beyond me.

Anyway, something to keep in mind if you plan on running a generator... If you haven't figured it out.

The problem with the hard wired, placing them behind the basement wall in the front pass through area, or inside a cabinet that requires some kind of dismantling, even if you have a by-pass on the EMS, accessing it quickly and easily could still be a challenge. Anyway, not to create a dispute, just to draw attention about running with a generator.

Good luck. Happy Camping!
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchmenSport View Post
One other thing to consider, especially with the Progressive EMS system, portable or hard wired..... If you run your camper on a generator, EMS systems will error out because they don't detect a ground when running the generator.

Good luck. Happy Camping!
There is an easy way to fix the generator issue. I hard wired mine but then I saw there is just a plug device you plug into the generator and it fixes the problem.
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