Progressive EMS: Is It Worth It 

 September 5, 2019

By  Derek

Protecting Your Investment

When purchasing any RV, you want to protect your investment. One of the best ways to do that is by making sure you are monitoring the power that is coming into your rig. A faulty pedestal, power surges, or fluctuations in amperage can wreak havoc to your home on wheels. 

 Investing in an Electrical Management System or Surge Protector is crucial to protecting your RV. But which one is right for you? In this video, Derek breaks down the differences to help you decide.


This post contains affiliate links. This just means that by purchasing through them, we may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) as a thank you for our referral. This helps us keep awesome free content coming your way.

Many people use the terms "EMS" and "surge protector" interchangeably but they are, in fact, two different things. 

When you've narrowed down your decision, be sure to check out our recommendations below. 


EMS stands for Electrical Management System. Basically, they protect your RV against voltage fluctuations, power surges and incorrectly wired power pedestals  which can cause severe and costly damage to RV appliances and electronics.

Surge Protector:

A surge protector does just that. It protects your RV from power surges coming in and damaging the components of your RV. At minimum, you should have a basic one. But in our opinion, an EMS is always worth the upgrade.

Hardwired or Portable

One of the other things to consider is whether you would like a portable unit or a hardwired one. 

Many people who travel extensively like a hardwired EMS. We have a portable because we didn't know if we might get another RV at some point and wanted to be able to keep our EMS for the next RV.

The benefit of a hardwired system is that you don't have to worry about connecting it each time you plug in to a power source. It does require some installation though.

We like the portable unit because it is easy to plug in and go. No installation was necessary. It also is plugged in at the power source before the power cord. Therefore, that provides protection not only to our RV components, but our power cord itself. If you've ever had to replace a 50 amp power cord, you know how expensive they can be!

So Which Is Best?

Regardless of whether you choose a portable or hardwired, we recommend getting an EMS over just a surge protector.

Your RV was not cheap, and neither is replacing or repairing electrical components or appliances in your home on wheels! 

When we first purchased our RV, we had NO CLUE what we were doing. We did not purchase any kind of surge protector. Before we hit the road full time however, we decided that we needed to get something before we started plugging our RV in at so many different campgrounds. After tons of research, we decided that an EMS was our best bet. 

If you truly want to protect your investment to the best of your abilities, just go ahead and spend the money for an EMS. 

Our Top Recommendations





Also available in a 30 amp option.

Progressive Industries offers a Lifetime Warranty on all their portable Electrical Management Systems.  They are accurate so if voltage drops below a certain threshold the EMS will shut off power. Progressive has great customer service. This coupled with their lifetime warranty gives them a high rating.

5 of 5 Stars

Progressive HW50C EMS

Also available in a 30 amp option.

Affords the same protection to your RV as the PT-50X but in a hardwired solution. Lifetime warranty, and UL certified. Installation required. Our top recommendation if you want a hardwired unit.

4.5 of 5 Stars

Southwire Surge Guard (EMS)

A close runner up to Progressive Industries. The only downsides we see with this unit is it does not have a protective weather shield and the lifetime warranty is not unconditional like Progressive's. 

4 of 5 Stars

Progressive SSP-50XL

If you have absolutely decided against a full Electrical Management System and just want a basic surge protector, we still recommend Progressive Industries as our top pick. The lifetime warranty can't be beat (and we know...we had ours replaced).

Also available in a 30 amp option.

3.5 of 5 Stars

Here is a short demonstration of our Progressive EMS!

This is the exact EMS that we use and we've had great results froms this machine. 

About the author

Derek (Dad) is the tall, goofy guy that loves life and is a friend to everyone. He is also notorious for leaving his dirty underwear around the house, and then asks Steph why there are no clean ones.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter now!