Hughes autoformer or Progressive Industries surge/power protection for camper

I have read so many people getting the autoformers such as the new Hughes Autoformer RV220-50SP. The unit includes a replaceable surge protection device, so it seems like it does everything that the Progressive Industries surge protection units do but better. Here is what they say about it:

The all new Hughes Autoformer RV220-50SP has the same performance and reliability of the RV220-50 now with advanced surge protection in one package. The surge / spike protection unit is also replaceable. In the event of a massive spike, the surge unit will take the hit ensuring your booster and more importantly, your RV stays safe.

Now the Progressive Industries surge protector I am looking at is the EMS-HW50C. It says that it does basically the samething here:

Electrical Management System (EMS) helps to protect your RV against voltage fluctuations, power surges and incorrectly wired shore power which can cause severe and costly damage to RV appliances and electronics. Feel secure with multi-mode surge, voltage, polarity and lost/open neutral protection. Each unit includes a digital display scrolling continuously through the power source information. A state-of-the-art microprocessor provides peace of mind, day or night, even when you’re away from your RV.

What I am thinking is that since surge is covered and the Hughes Autoformer also does the boosting it would be a better unit to go with. Looking for any advice from the community about the differences and what they have gone with, seems like a no brainer to me.

Many parks prohibit autoformers as they cause more problems then they are worth. I would consider if this is really necessary.

There are for sure parks that have signs that indicate NO autoformer. For a cheep fix I would go with the surge protector. The other option you have is if you want to get a inverter/charger the Victron Multiplus has all these features and more.

The Victron is a better battery charger especially for AGM or lithium batteries. It has uninterruptible power supply function for brownouts and lost of park power. It can take surges directly with no problem at all. Finally it can load support or otherwise take DC power from the batter to supplement the AC coming in from the shore power. This does everything and more then a autoformer can do for not much more money.

I have always read that Autoformers are bad for everyone! I would stay away for this, and it is not like Hughes of today is anything like the company that originally marketed them. My understanding is that they are newer owners and not made the same as the legacy units.

As a noob and potential Imagine owner, is a surge protector really necessary? Would’t the battery buffer the electrical system?

I am wondering what the difference between the internal and external surge protectors are? Any reason to not get one that just plugs in, seem much easier especially if it goes bad.

No real difference but the external surge protectors have been know to grow legs. Some of the manufactures has a lock kit you can add. I personally have mine installed inside.

The replacement for my internal one is a board that is fairly easy to swap if needed.

The answer is yes! It is absolutely a core component, mostly thing about was a campground is. You have all these high powered devices switching on and off and many times in a infrastrucutre that was not built for the load it is servicing. At a minimum the under and over voltage protection is worth it’s weight in gold.

I can’t speak of Progressive Industries products enough. Its not just they make a good product but their customer service is by far the best in the industry. They always have someone on-call 24x7x365. Just in-case someone with a built-in protector especially has a failure, they can guide you how to bypass it if necessary. I called them once, the guy literally waited on the phone with me while he found a chip that had gone bad. He walked me though removing it and getting it replaced. I also love the fact that if you do get a surge the parts on the built-in are replaceable. Surge guard, Camco and Southwire have NOTHING on Progressive Industries.

If you do get a plug-in make sure to get the 30a version EMS-PT30X or 50a version EMS-PT50X, These two units both have under voltage and over voltage protection which you will use more often then surge.

I have been reading the same thing you guys have been about autoformers. Also some discussion online that the current Hughes company is not the same one that invented the product. The quality seems to not be the same as the old units. Regardless it seems like you rob Peter to pay Paul.

My next though is do I want to upgrade to a Inverter Charger like @HoraceandSarah suggested and if so where does this sit inline? Do I want the 50a version EMS-PT50X or EMS-HW50C. Is it simply a security thing but the same product?