When you love going outdoors, owning a recreational vehicle is the best thing in the world. They come with various amenities like a bathroom, a kitchen, and a cozy sleeping corner that allows you to relax after a busy day doing all the outdoor activities.
It’s essentially your home on the road. But with faulty park power, you can damage the appliances you are using in your RV. But of course, you will have to keep the appliances all powered up if you are to use these amenities to their fullest.
We have a few recommendations for you, so read on to find the best RV autoformer that meets your needs.
|Hughes Performance RV 22050||Very reliable when it comes to providing consistent voltages.|
You can make adjustments to the energy supply according to your RV requirements.
Features an inbuilt surge protector.
You can also replace the surge protector if you want.
This device comes with its lock and cable.
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|Hughes Performance RV 2130 SP||Features an inbuilt surge protector for handling high voltages.|
30A capacity is great for small RVs.
Simple to install and use.
It guarantees safety and comes with LED diagnostic for park power as well.
A 50A variant is also available for larger rigs.
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|Power Master Autoformer VC-50||Dual functioning device as a surge protector and a voltage booster.|
This device also comes with a 2-year warranty.
It can conveniently boost the voltage up to 12%.
You can easily hardwire it in your recreational vehicle.
It can consistently monitor voltage fluctuations.
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Table of Contents
What is an RV autoformer?
There are always chances of energy fluctuations as well as underloading. So, your RV and all those appliances are at risk. This is where an autoformer comes in, which also includes a surge protector.
You can use them both separately as well. Its function is to work as a stabilizer and will handle such surges and underloads. But which one to pick as the market is flooded with various options.
Best Autoformers for RV Reviewed
Looking for the best RV autoformer, you don’t need to look any further. The RV 22050 autoformer will keep you safe from any power surges and underloads that you might face during that campground or RV stays.
Hughes is one of the top brands for RV autoformers, and their units are competent. Of course, you might have a surge protector for your RV but haven’t noticed most of the old RV parks and campgrounds.
Therefore, you might have to worry about underloads more than surges. And for that, you will need to have a Hugh Autoformer that will keep your RV and all the appliances it has safe from any underloads.
There are times when voltages at campgrounds and RV parks can drop around 103V or maybe even lower.
This kind of voltage will harm all the appliances that you are running in your RV to pump the voltage to a more consistent one ranging between 113V to 118V; you will need this 50 Amp autoformer by Hughes.
And the best part is that it comes with an inbuilt surge protector as well. So, if there are any extreme voltage spikes, this device will handle that pretty well too. This is a good justification for that hefty price tag as well.
You won’t have to buy anything else when going for this autoformer. In addition, it comes with an inbuilt surge protector.
- Very reliable when it comes to providing consistent voltages.
- You can make adjustments to the energy supply according to your RV requirements.
- Features an inbuilt surge protector.
- You can also replace the surge protector if you want.
- This device comes with its lock and cable.
- It’s a pretty expensive unit.
It is competent enough to regulate voltage changes pretty consistently. In addition, with inbuilt surge protectors, you won’t have to buy a separate device.
This unit has a 30A capacity that you can conveniently install in your electrical system. In addition, this unit is hardwired in your RV. So, no installation problems are there to deal with.
It does come with a powerful surge protector, but it will not handle any extreme voltage spikes due to its small capacity. For that, you will need to go for the 50A variant as it is designed with a heavier capacity.
For those RVers who don’t have much experience in using these surge protectors and autoformers, this is the best option as it comes with LED park power diagnostics as well.
So, you can easily run a check and see if the available park power is enough to run your RV and all its appliances or not.
This autoformer does come with a power cord that is 6 feet long, and you won’t have to deal with any tripping hazards as well. The unit provides enough juice for all your appliances, and you can use it even at those old campgrounds.
- Features an inbuilt surge protector for handling high voltages.
- 30A capacity is great for small RVs.
- Simple to install and use.
- It guarantees safety and comes with LED diagnostic for park power as well.
- A 50A variant is also available for larger rigs.
- This might not be a good choice for extreme voltage spikes.
Power surges and under loads tend to occur more frequently these days as more and more people come to RV parks and campgrounds in their RVs. This is one of the most significant reasons why underloads are occurring quite regularly.
All your appliances will have to do a lot of work when dealing with these underloads and get damaged.
Therefore, you will need a reliable device that can make those voltages pretty consistent for all those appliances. Another option that you can consider is the 50 Amp VC50 by Power Master.
This device is designed to boost those low voltages to where they should be. So, your TV is going to receive proper voltage, which is going to be around 110V.
As per the specs that it comes with, this autoformer can boost the voltage up to 12%, which is higher than most of the available autoformers on the market.
This autoformer can also function as a surge protector, and you won’t have to get a separate device to tackle those high voltages. So, when your RV brings more than 110V supply, you won’t trip your RV wires.
The surge protection system in this unit will prevent your appliances from a meltdown due to overloading.
However, consistently monitoring your voltages is pretty tricky, especially at night, and you will need a reliable device that can handle all kinds of power fluctuations.
- Dual functioning device as a surge protector and a voltage booster.
- This device also comes with a 2-year warranty.
- It can conveniently boost the voltage up to 12%.
- You can easily hardwire it in your recreational vehicle.
- It can consistently monitor voltage fluctuations.
- It’s a pretty expensive unit.
Though this voltage regulator is available in two different options, the 30A and the 50A, you need to go for the 30A unit if you own a smaller RV.
It’s a pretty durable unit that is designed to handle weather too. This is going to be your trusty partner on those bumpy roads for sure.
No bad weather or poor road conditions will make it deviate from doing what it does the best, and that is to supply constant power to your RV.
But for a durable unit, you will have a hefty price to pay, and that is, this unit doesn’t come with any surge protection capabilities. Therefore, you will have to buy a separate device for tackling those high voltages.
This unit is going to be your best bet if you already own a surge protector. If you already own one, you don’t have to pay for a voltage regulator with an inbuilt surge protector. This way, you will end up saving a few bucks.
But if you don’t have a separate surge protector and are looking to buy this voltage regulator, you will have to go for a separate surge protector.
However, there is no question about the overall performance of this unit. It can conveniently boost up voltages up to 10% to meet your RV’s requirements. And it also comes with different LED light indicators for convenient monitoring.
- Fully automatic functions.
- It features heavy-duty and durable construction.
- Comes with a weather-resistant enclosure as well.
- There are LED light indicators on it.
- It can conveniently boost the voltage by up to 10%.
- Available in 30A and 50A variants.
- This autoformer doesn’t come with a surge protector.
How to Choose the Best Autoformer for RV?
RV autoformers come in all shapes and sizes. But not all of them are entirely reliable. So, you need to look for the right features and pick suitable options.
In this buying guide, we will highlight some of the important points you must keep in mind when buying the best RV autoformers.
We are talking about a device that is going to regulate voltages for RV owners. It’s all about transferring the power supply from the source to all the appliances in your RV.
In most cases, these appliances will run on around 1200W. You can add this wattage to other units. Those include refrigerators and entertainment systems and other devices like converters.
The overall wattage that you will be dealing in will be around 3000W. Your rig might not support up to 3000W, but with a good quality autoformer, you can boost the wattage to 3600W.
And this is the reason these units come with hefty price tags. Some manufacturers try to cut costs and use cheap materials. But you need to avoid such devices because they will not handle power surges and various other voltage issues very well.
Going for a low-quality device, you are jeopardizing the safety of your entire electrical system. And this will result in heavy damages, so cost saving is not a good option. Instead, go for the units made of heavy-duty materials and come with weather protection.
Ensure a lightweight unit, especially if you will not have someone to help you out when you have to move the device.
Most of the time, you will move your autoformer when installing it at the campground or storing it. Therefore, the unit needs to be durable enough to handle different outdoor conditions to move it conveniently.
Joules and amp rating
With the Joule rating, you will be able to determine how much protection or suppression an autoformer can provide you with against an underload or a surge. Go for a unit that comes with a higher Joule rating. It will make sure that the unit doesn’t overheat while doing its job.
Also, consider going for the Ampere rating that is best suited according to your rig. For example, 30A autoformers are great for smaller RVs, while 50A units are best suited for larger rigs. So, check your RV’s ampere rating before you settle for a particular autoformer.
This factor is important, especially if you don’t have any prior experience with these autoformers. But even if you have used these devices before, it’s always a better option to go for an easier install unit.
Make sure your unit comes with a user manual that explains all the steps involved in the entire installation process. These user manuals are available on manufacturer’s websites as well as product descriptions.
You can also check for some online reviews and see what the actual users of the products have to say about the installation process of the device that you are looking to buy.
What’s the difference between an autoformer and a transformer?
One primary difference between the two is that autoformers have single winding while transformers have double winding. Therefore, autoformers are capable of voltage adjustments at a smaller scale as compared to transformers.
To handle high voltages, an autoformer needs to have surge protection, and for that reason, the high-end autoformers come with an inbuilt surge protector.
What can I do to keep my autoformer in top condition?
First, you need to disconnect it from any other electrical links and disconnect your appliances to prevent any surges or underloads.
Make sure not to use a wet cloth. Wiping it with a dry cloth is good enough if you do it regularly. Also, make sure that you don’t store your unit in a humid place, especially when you don’t have a weatherproof model.
Do autoformers have variants?
Yes, there are two different variants of these autoformers, and the types are categorized based on their current carrying capacity. There are 30A units and 50A units, and you need to bi[lc one based on the size of your RV. 30A units are suitable for smaller RVs while 50A units are great for larger rigs.
How can I install an autoformer?
We strongly recommend you should have an expert if you don’t have any experience dealing with these electric devices. But if you are experienced and confident, you need to set your unit on the ground with its handle pointing up.
Now attach its cord to your rig’s electrical port and then connect your rig’s wire with the unit. If you are going for an extension cord, attach it to the park port and connect your unit. After that, you can connect your rig with the unit.
RV autoformers are pretty handy devices for rig owners because they can protect your RV’s electrical system and all those appliances in it from various voltage fluctuations.
Some of these RV autoformers come with inbuilt surge protectors, and they can handle low voltages as well as spikes.
You need to pick the right capacity of the autoformer according to your RV size and specs. Otherwise, it’s all going to be a huge waste of time and money. Make sure to go for a quality unit because you are investing in the safety and protection of your entire RV and all those appliances.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures