Great RV Accessories Newsletter Issue 67

Posted April 1, 2018

News, information and reviews of great gizmos and gadgets for RVers. Published online once a month by the editors of RVtravel.com. If you are not already subscribed, click here to sign up now.


Product Spotlight

Surge Guard adds over-voltage protection

By Mike Sokol
I’ve written extensively about the importance of over-voltage protection of your RV’s electrical system. That’s because even a few seconds of 240 volts sent to an electrical system that’s expecting 120 volts can destroy it. This can not only take place with a 30-amp outlet that’s accidentally miswired with 240 volts, as I’ve recently written about, it can also occur with a properly wired 50-amp/240-volt outlet that’s lost its neutral connection. In that case the 240 volts that are supposed to divide evenly to 120/120 volts can instead divide to something like 180/60 or even 200/40 volts, and whatever appliances in your RV that are unlucky enough to be on the high voltage leg can be damaged. Then it’s goodbye microwave or refrigerator or whatever.

Until now 50-amp smart surge protectors could only detect a lost neutral upstream of their power connection. That is, they could detect an open neutral in the campground pedestal, but couldn’t sense a lost neutral downstream of themselves inside of your RV.

But all of that has changed with the introduction of the Surge Guard 34950. I visited the Surge Guard lab a few months ago and saw a demonstration of this technology on the test bench. Basically it works by comparing the current flowing through the two hot lines and predicts how much neutral current there should be if it’s connected properly.

So if the neutral wire continuity is lost from something like a broken wire, loose connection or even corrosion, the Surge Guard processor (with a new patent pending) determines that there’s a lost neutral somewhere, even downstream of itself and possibly inside of the RV, and disconnects the AC power safely. This is clever engineering that can save your RV’s appliances.

I believe that every RV should have a smart surge protector to guard against power problems. And the new technology from Surge Guard offers an extra level of protection from over-voltage conditions not previously available. 


DID YOU MISS yesterday’s RVtravel.com NEWSLETTER? If so, read it here.


Diagnose engine problems in a snap!
This Auto Link Code Reader features the unique patented One-Click I/M readiness key, color display & built-in speaker. It easily enables users to verify repairs, road test, check State Emission Monitor Status and solve basic engine & drivability problems. It works on all 1996 and newer vehicles (OBD II & CAN)-domestic and import. It easily determines the cause of the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL). Learn more or order.


Propane tank level indicator very useful
This propane tank gauge is a must-have for those of us that run out of propane occasionally. Not only will this gauge help you save on your propane bill, it’ll also clue you in if your tank has developed a slow leak. Heavy-duty commercial grade brass. UL Certified for USA and Canada. Learn more.

SolarHome 620 system: Light in the RV from the sun
BioLite’s SolarHome 620 is an off-grid solution that switches the lights on in your RV without pulling any amps from your house batteries. The 6-watt solar panel charges the 20-Wh battery throughout the day, which in turn powers the three daisy-chained lights through the evening. The control box includes a speaker with FM tuner and microSD MP3 playback, and more. Perfect for boondockers that want the most out of their house batteries, in case of power outages, or to light unelectrified areas. Read more.

No automatic levelers? No problem with LevelMatePRO
Now it’s easier and more efficient to level trailers and drivable RVs (without leveling systems) with the LevelMatePRO, a wireless vehicle leveling system that utilizes Bluetooth® 4.0 to connect with your smartphone or tablet. The system allows you to know how much height is required to reach a level position and where that height is needed. Eliminate the trial and error associated with multiple attempts to get your vehicle level … level it on the first try! Learn more.


Power or charge your AC & USB devices
This portable inverter is perfect for powering or charging your electric devices while you’re on the road or without hookups (or don’t want to use a generator). Just plug it into your 12-volt plug (cigarette lighter) and you’re ready to go with two AC outlets to run or charge your laptop or small appliance, or power or charge two USB devices. Learn more.


Free up sticky zippers and snaps with Snap-Stick
Dirt and road grime play havoc with awning and screen room zippers, window sunshade snaps and exposed hinges. Frustrated RV owners often buy special tools just to open and close them, and occasionally damage the surrounding fabric when attempting to free the fastener. With Shurhold’s  Snap-Stick, a few minutes of simple maintenance alleviates hours of irritation later. Perfect for snaps, zippers and even sticky keys. Read more.

Conserve water with Camco Shower Head
Whether you are a long-time boondocker or are just getting started, not wasting water is of primary importance in extending your RV trip. The biggest water waster for most boondockers is taking showers. Turning off the water flow between soaping down and rinsing off is how most boondockers conserve water, but you waste a lot of water when readjusting the hot and cold until the temperature is just right. There is a better way. Learn more.

Rear View Safety introduces microwave Blind Spot Sensor for RVs
Rear View Safety has unveiled its new microwave blind spot sensor system designed for RVs and other large vehicles. The RVS-122 Microwave Blind Spot Sensor System, which places sensors behind the side paneling of the vehicle, requires no drilling to install. When activated, the driver is given visual and audio alerts when an object enters the blind spots slightly behind and to the side of the vehicle. The RVS-122 can detect objects up to 60 feet away and works on vehicles up to 49 feet long. Read more.


Best way to fill your batteries
Fill this container with distilled water, insert the nozzle into the cell of your battery, then push & hold. When the battery is at the proper level, the water will automatically stop. Then move to the next cell, etc. You won’t over- or under-fill your batteries this way, helping extend their lives. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.


Gizmos and Gadgets at RVtravel.com
For years, in each of our weekly issues of the RVtravel.com newsletter we’ve reviewed or told you about hundreds of useful, interesting or unusual gizmos and gadgets for your RV, or to enhance your RV travels. Click here to browse through all those products.

AND CHECK OUT OUR REVIEWS
OF COOL RV GADGETS
ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL


Products you might need
for your RV at Amazon.com

RV parts and accessories
RV hitches and tow products
RV holding tank treatments
RV books and directories
Camco products

Or search at:
Dyers RV Parts and Accessories


Graphite keeps your locks working
Keep your RV’s locks (and other locks, too) working the way they should. This product from AGS will keep them lubricated and working smoothly and will guard against sticking and dirt buildup. Also reduces wear and corrosion. This should be essential equipment on all RVs. Learn more or order.


Check out these RV accessories that were featured recently in the RV Travel Newsletter

•  Awning Side Sun Shades help keep your campsite cool.
•  ITP launches new Coyote®, the ultimate desert tire.
• 
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium + Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Generator Kit.
•  Roof rack handles bulkier items, frees locker space.


Eliminate holding tank odors!
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintains clean sensors, eliminates odors, and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order



Great RV Accessories Newsletter Staff:
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Bob Difley. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris and Andrew Robinson. Administrative Assistant: Emily Woodbury
 
ADVERTISE in this newsletter or in any of our dozens of RV websites and blogs. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck (at) RVtravel.com .
 
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way #265, Edmonds, WA 98020. Email: Diane (at) rvtravel.com .

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5 Thoughts to “Great RV Accessories Newsletter Issue 67”

  1. Steven Scheinin

    Your advertises Propane tank level indicator sounds like a great idea. I went to purchase one and then realized in a 5th wheel there is not enough clearance between the tank valve and the door. Trying to tilt or turn the tank puts a strain on the hose.

  2. Richard Spahn

    Just installed the NEW Winegard ConnecT 2.0 4G LTE + WI-FI EXTENDERS AND CELLULAR amplifier on my new motorhome. Streaming TV and DIRECT TV NOW OR SLING TV ELIMINATES SATELITE TV. ITS MORE THAN USER FRIENDLY IT’S USER SEDUCTIVE FOR KIDS ON A NY ROAD TRIP. ADULTS TOO.

  3. I think so, but I’ll ask my contact at Southwire on Monday and post back here. I do prefer the hard wired ones myself, but many swear by the portable versions.

    1. DAVE TELENKO

      Mike I emailed Southwire & talked to Bobby Raatz & he said no they don’t have it yet! He did suggest using the 35550, but he did note that it didn’t have the RV load side protection as did the 34950. But I want one that has strain reliefs to use in my system.
      I use a special 50Amp locking plug, male & female to connect in my compartment. This works great as I dont have to pull that 50’ of cord thought the access hole. I just have to pull it out & insert the cord through the access hole & make the plug connection, should work great. So thats why I need the strain reliefs. Actually I haven’t installed the plugs yet I was still trying to figure out what EMS unit I wanted. Got any suggestions?
      Dave

  4. DAVE TELENKO

    Hi Mike, does surge guard make a hard wired one as I would rather keep a neighbor from borrowing the portable one. If they do make one like this & has the same features, whats the model number.
    Thanks
    Dave

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