RV Fest Open To All Types RVs and Wannabes

bobojay

New member
You guys sound like you had a very informative, for you and Advanced, "rally". Maybe if these get very popular Mike will have to figure out a more non-dry camping experience. (my good English way of expressing it)
Looking forward to meeting Mike next week....
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
So, has anyone actually experienced damage that a surge protector might plausibly have prevented? If so, what did the repairs cost? Modern electronics are pretty darn robust. I'm not saying that I think this whole surge-protection thing is just a bunch of hype. But it has crossed my mind.

Yes, of course it can happen. But, the real question is about cost-effectiveness. $200-400 spent to save a $2000 device may or may not be a wise investment, depending on the probabilities. Anybody have any actual data?
 

pattonsr

New member
If you have low voltage which is very common at rallies in the South when everyone is running air conditioning, you run the risk of shorting the life of your A/C, microwave, etc. There is much more than the inverter that can be damaged. Advanced RV's have a lot of expensive components that I would not like to replace nor deal with the repair hassle. The Silverleaf display is a $2,000 item by itself.
 

Diamondsea

New member
I personally have never had a noticeable electrical surge coming into an RV or boat but there is always a first time! I like the idea of the separate surge protector currently used by Advanced RV because of the two minute time delay if there is a momentary drop out. This delay can help protect from a "locked rotor" air conditioner causing blown fuses, etc. From what I saw at Advanced they are using a remote easy to see Outback status display and on current new units a remote easy to see display of the surge protector status. Who knows what they will do in the future.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Be careful not to confuse surge protection with clean-power analysis. They are two completely different issues, and aren't necessarily dealt with in the same system. My erstwhile van had a Prosine 2000watt inverter/charger. It performed very sophisticated analysis of the AC power in--not just voltage, but frequency and mis-wired neutral as well. There were all kinds of alarm states for that kind of thing. I assume that other high-end inverter/chargers do the same. Used with such a system, the fancy "sequestering" of separate power-protection devices is of very questionable marginal value. I tend to think of that stuff and their corresponding blinkenlight displays as mostly histrionics. They would make more sense if used with low-end converter/chargers, however.

In my mind, the real question is surge-protection per se, which means protection from potentially damaging transients from sources such as lightening. I have already acknowledged that such things ARE possible; and, maybe they could make it past the inverter/charger (although I think that is unlikely in a modern system). I also acknowledge that if you are willing to pay whatever it takes to absolutely minimize the hassle of having your trip interrupted, then they make sense. But, I am a cost-effectiveness kind of guy, and I am looking for data to convince me that surge protection beyond what, these days, is built into every piece of electronics, really makes sense financially. Again, has anybody out there actually experienced surge-related damage? I have not.
 
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Davydd

Well-known member
We are pretty much talking about the surge protection built inside the van as opposed to putting outside like this.

 

Davydd

Well-known member
Mike and Marcia will be at the RV.net B11 Rally this coming weekend in Indiana listening once again to real B users and of course gaining their own experience. This year they have already made long distance trips this year from Ohio to Florida and Arizona.

I was impressed with all the little refinements they keep coming up with from B to B.
 

pattonsr

New member
avanti,

I believe you are having Great West Van install an Outback VFX2812M inverter/charger in your new Sprinter which is the inverter/charger that Advanced RV uses. If the VFX2812M takes care of power problems, then why do they sell an add-on FLEXware product as described below:

The FLEXware Surge Protector is designed to protect the FX’s sensitive components from excessively high voltages (e.g., electrical storms). Thermally fused metal oxide varistors (MOVs) limit or “clamp” these voltages and transfer the resulting current from a higher voltage port to a lower voltage port. The FLEXware Surge Protector features ACTIVE and ERROR LEDs for the DC, AC IN, and AC OUT circuits.

• The yellow ACTIVE LEDs light when power is applied to that circuit.
• A red ERROR light indicates a significant surge has damaged the FLEXware Surge Protector and although decreased protection remains, it is recommended the FLEXware Surge Protector be replaced at this time before further damage to it and ultimately the FX can occur.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I've never encountered any electrical problems with shore power connections so the subject was never a concern to me that I would need to go out and spend nearly $300 for a mounted at the box with a chain lock surge protector exposed to all. I will appreciate the fact Advanced RV will address this and make it a no-brainer for me. As to the opinions here, I suspect they will get around to reading them and investigate what is best to do. Unlike some other companies they will go with what they think is best and not what cuts cost. At least that is my impression with the stuff they have done so far.
 

bobojay

New member
I've never encountered any electrical problems with shore power connections so the subject was never a concern to me that I would need to go out and spend nearly $300 for a mounted at the box with a chain lock surge protector exposed to all. I will appreciate the fact Advanced RV will address this and make it a no-brainer for me. As to the opinions here, I suspect they will get around to reading them and investigate what is best to do. Unlike some other companies they will go with what they think is best and not what cuts cost. At least that is my impression with the stuff they have done so far.

We've run into reversed neutral, low voltage, and no grounds at several stops along the way in our RV experience. The low voltage was at a couple stops during the summer months, and the others were at state parks and private residences.
Oh, and we had a nearby lightning strike, real near, one time at a COE campground in KS. The surge protector saved our bacon, but sacrificed itself. (replaced free).

David, we had the hang at the box kind with our 2 previous units. Not worried about the lock or stealing because insurance would cover it. They were a pain though to carry and hookup, so on our current "B", I installed the permanent mount kind inside
 
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mikeneundorfer

New member
We at Advanced-RV have reviewed the specifications and communication capabilities of the Outback protection and have compared it to the Surge Guard. We have decided to continue to install the Surge Guard in our circuit with the Outback as our standard approach. It is more costly but the combination provides more protection, better communication of power supply issues, and redundancy.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
avanti,

I believe you are having Great West Van install an Outback VFX2812M inverter/charger in your new Sprinter which is the inverter/charger that Advanced RV uses. If the VFX2812M takes care of power problems, then why do they sell an add-on FLEXware product as described below:

The FLEXware Surge Protector is designed to protect the FX’s sensitive components from excessively high voltages (e.g., electrical storms). Thermally fused metal oxide varistors (MOVs) limit or “clamp” these voltages and transfer the resulting current from a higher voltage port to a lower voltage port. The FLEXware Surge Protector features ACTIVE and ERROR LEDs for the DC, AC IN, and AC OUT circuits.

• The yellow ACTIVE LEDs light when power is applied to that circuit.
• A red ERROR light indicates a significant surge has damaged the FLEXware Surge Protector and although decreased protection remains, it is recommended the FLEXware Surge Protector be replaced at this time before further damage to it and ultimately the FX can occur.
Because, as I said in my previous msg, there are two different issues that are being confused in this thread. The text you quote is describing surge suppression. I never said that the Outback had bulletproof surge suppression built in. What I said was that it probably had AC power quality monitoring that duplicates the similar features found on the expensive external protection devices. Paying extra for these features if you already have them is almost certainly not cost-effective, although (as I said) a lot of people like the fancy displays anyway. Surge protection (such as that provided by the FLEXware device) certainly provides extra protection in case of lightning hits or other major transients. The question is whether or not the risk justifies the cost. Stories like that of Bobojay's lightning damage event provide evidence that it might be. Stories about motor damage (or whatever) due to voltage sags or miswired neutrals do not.

You are correct that I have specified the Outback on our new van. But since I haven't taken delivery yet, I can't speak from personal experience about what it does and does not do (my personal report was about the Prosine unit that I used to own). However, I found the following in the Outback manual:
 

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idak

New member
We have a surge protector that we got from Camping World on sale for about $150 -- usually around $279. If you have a new RV with appliances still under warranty such as refrig, they require a surge protector or they will not necessarily honor the warranty. Easy to use at the pedestal.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
As far as this subject goes regardless of opinion we have an up to date answer directly from Mike N. from Advanced RV in regard to the surge protector. There will be one inside the van separate and ahead of the inverter/charger. Moving onto another subject. :)
 

Davydd

Well-known member
A couple of clarifications: On my vehicle at least, if connected to city water there is no failure prone regulator valve; the high city water pressure does not reach all the plumbing. It only goes to a simple on/off valve controlled by the SilverLeaf computer "Auto Fill" feature. When touching the Auto Fill on the SilverLeaf screen the valve opens to fill the water tank and it shuts off automatically or you can shut it off manually by touching the screen. This last permits partially filling the tank if desired.
Moving on to another subject. I noticed there was only one fill point for water. My two Class B Sprinters I've owned were set up with a loose connection fill for the tank and a screw the hose on fill for the city water. When I saw this one screw on fill point on the Advanced RV I asked how that worked. Maybe I misunderstood but I did ask that if you left the city water hooked up if your water pressure (better in my opinion than relying on a pump) would bypass the need for the water pump and I thought I heard yes. I was also told pressure regulation was built in and that adding one of those brass regulators to the connecting hose would not be necessary.

Diamondsea when I read your description I get the impression all water comes out of the tank and would then have to be pumped. Is that right? They did have a water pump there on display that was suppose to be better than the "judder" sounding pump I think most of us have in our Bs.
 

bobojay

New member
Moving on to another subject. I noticed there was only one fill point for water. My two Class B Sprinters I've owned were set up with a loose connection fill for the tank and a screw the hose on fill for the city water. When I saw this one screw on fill point on the Advanced RV I asked how that worked. Maybe I misunderstood but I did ask that if you left the city water hooked up if your water pressure (better in my opinion than relying on a pump) would bypass the need for the water pump and I thought I heard yes. I was also told pressure regulation was built in and that adding one of those brass regulators to the connecting hose would not be necessary.

Diamondsea when I read your description I get the impression all water comes out of the tank and would then have to be pumped. Is that right? They did have a water pump there on display that was suppose to be better than the "judder" sounding pump I think most of us have in our Bs.

I was wondering the same thing......
 

Diamondsea

New member
Re water fill: Mine has a "water door" on the side. Behind this door are two water connections -- first is a garden hose screw fitting for connection and auto fill operation as I have described. Immediately adjacent is an opening (with cap) about 1.5 inches wide that you can simply stick a hose into or even pour water into. This provides direct access to the tank in the event that the auto fill valve should malfunction. By the way the tank vent is someplace underneath as water will come out there if I fill my tank all the way while parked on my sloped drive.

On mine all pressure water is delivered by a 12 volt pump. This keeps high pressure city water off of the internal plumbing. I have had decades of experience with these pumps on boats. There are about 4 companies that make quality pumps for this application. There are two basic types. One, and the best in my opinion, has a simple on/off pressure switch (usually reliable micro-switch) generally set to come on at about 20PSI and off at about 40PSI. The down side is that the pump can chatter or pulse starting and stopping frequently. This can cause uneven water delivery and excessive wear on the motor. This problem is easily fixed by adding an accumulator tank generally near the pump output before hot and cold circuits are separated. The accumulator tank was added to my Advanced-RV at my request and it solves the problems. We widely use them on boats. The one I have is not much bigger than a 2-liter soda bottle. Inside it has a balloon type bladder pumped up (via a standard bicycle tire valve) to maybe 20PSI. I have never lived in a home with private well water but I think that bigger versions of accumulator tanks are used in such homes. My RV was a very early Advanced; I do not know if accumulator tanks are now standard.

The other type of pump uses a high-tech pressure sensor that actually varies the motor speed to maintain an even pressure. This is not as reliable in my opinion as the sensor can fail and the motor can burn out more easily than on the simpler units.
 

swihart

New member
Thefitrv.com just posted a reweiw of one of the Advanced RV demo units. Very impressive. It was the most positive review I have seen from them. They seem to like everything about Advanced RV. I can't blank them.

Sorry I don't have the link to the youtube video, but it should not be hard to find.


Bob
 

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