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Old 03-12-2011, 10:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
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Default Surge/voltage protector

Over the years I have seen a bunch of different threads on boards about the need for shore power electrical protection. I always liked the idea, but never wanted to deal with a portable one at the box, with the necessity to lock it up, etc. Also didn't want to give up the space to put on in the outside storage of our 07 C190P Roadtrek. We have been using a voltage monitor and alarm, but it won't absorb surges, and won't disconnect us in case of trouble. It, obviously, doesn't do us any good if we aren't there. Another Roadtrek owner is working on a power project and mentioned he was thinking about putting a surge suppressor inside the drivers side bolster, with the water heater and transfer switch. He intends to remove the subwoofer to get space for his project. When I started measuring, I found that I could probably squeeze one in ours, without removing anything, just a little rearranging. I bought a 30 amp Progressive Industries surge and voltage protector, as it is the right size and looks like a well built unit.

Here is what the bolster looked like before starting. The white piece in the middle front is a water filter we added previously.

I lucked out in that Roadtrek seems to have used a shore power cord from the previous model (ours is a very early new roof style), which had the transfer switch in a different place. They didn't bother to shorten the cord (imagine that) and just looped it around in the bolster. Here is how much extra cable I had, plenty to get to the surge suppressor mounting area.

I removed the subwoofer as I needed to lower it. The surge suppressor will mount to the top of it. I removed the handle from the tank selector valve under the subwoofer, as we have removed the inside tank and don't use it, and it was the highest point. If we still used the tank, I would have just flattened the handle out. Once the sub was out, it was obvious nothing else was in the way.

I lowered the wood support for the sub as far as I could and reinstalled the sub in the lower position. A trial fit of everything pointed out I was a little short of space to get a good bend in the wiring from the suppressor to the transfer switch. I added a piece of aluminum angle to the back edge of the sub, so I could move the suppressor a bit away from the front side of the bolster.

I mounted the suppressor " backwards" so that the writing (error codes) was easy to read. That entailed looping the wires inside it so that it could exit on the opposite ends, which I couldn't change because I needed the Romex outlet on the end that needed bending. The shore power cable is too fat to bend much. The wiring was not more difficult, just longer stripping on the wires.

The transfer switch was just unwired from the shore cable and wired with the Romex from the suppressor. Here is what it looked like with the shore power cable,

And with the Romex,

All done and buttoned up,

With the bolster and bed base parts back in place,

It appears to be working well, doesn't generate much heat, and the display is very visible when you lift the lid. Total time was less than 3 hours.

One less thing to worry about while traveling!

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Old 03-13-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
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Default Re: Surge/voltage protector

Nice Jim! Hey, what was the cost on that unit? As always, you do amazing work!

-Mike & Heidi
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

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Old 03-13-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Surge/voltage protector

It was $223 plus shipping from RV Upgrades. After I ordered it, I ran across a place in Florida that was cheaper, something like $218 with free shipping, but it was too late.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Surge/voltage protector

Nice work, and a very useful mod thread
2009 Roadtrek 190V, 5" lift - Build Thread
2004 Toyota 4Runner
2014 Honda CR-V
1965 Dodge Coronet 440
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