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How To Protect Your RV From Low Voltage

How To Protect Your RV From Low Voltage

Over eleven years of full-time RVing, we can’t begin to count the number of times we’ve hooked up at RV parks and seen readings on our voltmeter that are way too low. Low voltage can cause valuable electronic equipment to draw more amps, or current, which can lead to overheating and premature failure.

The solution to low voltage is an autoformer. We use the name that’s synonymous with autoformers: Hughes.


Hughes Autoformers is now offering RVgeeks viewers a 10% discount when you order either a 30-amp (Model #RV2130-SP) or 50-amp (Model #RV220-50-SP) direct from them at Use the Coupon Code “RVGEEKS” at checkout!
NOTE: this discount does not apply to any other Hughes products

So we’re excited to announce our newest RVgeeks Contest! On Monday, May 5, 2014 at 8pm Pacific Time, two lucky RVgeeks viewers will each win a Hughes Autoformer! We’ll be giving away one 50-amp unit and one 30-amp unit, with a total retail value of over $900!

The contest ends on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 8 pm Pacific time, so watch the video for details and be sure to enter today!


( Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to be notified of  upcoming giveaways! )

While low voltage isn’t desirable for any equipment, the things most vulnerable to damage are devices with motors in them, like clothes washers & dryers, residential refrigerators and expensive equipment that just about every RV uses, such as microwave ovens and especially air conditioners.

Visit Hughes for more information & Use coupon code “RVGEEKS” at checkout to save 10% on the purchase of a 30-amp (Model #RV2130-SP) or 50-amp (Model #RV220-50-SP) autoformer!

Be sure to enter the contest, and good luck!


Congratulations to our winners!

Scott T. (Entry #13) won a 50-Amp Hughes Autoformer
for his 2008 Grand Junction 5th Wheel.

Doug H. (Entry #684) won a 30-Amp Hughes Autoformer
for his 2007 Fleetwood Pioneer Travel Trailer.

Scott & Doug have already been contacted
and their prizes are on the way to them!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  Stay tuned
for the next RVgeeks contest, coming soon.

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Thomas P Ryan

Monday 12th of November 2018

I like the concept and design of the Hughes Autoformer RV220-50SP -- portable protection and correction for power surges and brown outs. But I have a question: other than power correction, what advantages would a Hughes product have over a solution like a Progressive Industries EMSHW50C Surge Protector?

As I understand it, like the Hughes Autoformer, the EMSHW50C (which can be built in) will protect against surges and brown outs by isolating your coach from the shore power source. The Progressive solution will not, however, adjust/correct inbound voltage like the Hughes. Another obvious difference is the price. The Hughes Autoformer is significantly more expensive than the Progressive solution.

Online reviews of both products are very positive. So is this just a choice between getting more or less functionality based upon perceived needs? BTW: we are not full-timers, but we do spend a few months every year enjoying the open road.


Monday 12th of November 2018

Hi Thomas! We're not 100% up-to-date on all the features of the Progressive unit, but one of the features that the Hughes Autoformer has (in addition to also providing the power boosting, which the Progressive unit doesn't do) is that the surge protection (which has a higher Joule rating at 4,800J vs Progressive's 3,850J) is a user-replaceable unit. So if the Hughes protects you from a surge, you can order and replace the part of the unit that sacrificed itself to save your other devices. The Progressive unit reports that it is "field serviceable"... but we don't know if that means you, the end user... or a certified repair location.

Now... to be fair... in 15 years of full-time RVing, we have never had our surge protection trip (knock on wood). But we HAVE had LOTS of parks with low voltage situations, where running equipment like Air Conditioners and other high amp-draw devices benefit from the voltage boosting of the Hughes.

Hope that helps!

Les Kramer

Monday 8th of October 2018

I just wanted to thank you guys for turning me onto Hughes Autoformers. We just started staying at a permanent campground. The first warm weekend our Progressive Ind. EMS shut off the power due to low voltage. We had never had this happen in 5 years of camping but I knew low voltage was bad for the A/C unit. Got the Autoformer and no more worries. Thanks again!!

PS - Love your videos. VERY informative. Keep up the great work.


Monday 8th of October 2018

Hi Les! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience, and let us know we’ve been helpful. Hearing things like this makes everything we do feel worthwhile, and we can’t thank you enough for making our day. So glad you love your autoformer as much as we do. ?


Sunday 25th of March 2018

I’m so glad I found this information! We purchased the 50 amp autoformer based on your video and I feel so much safer by doing so. Thanks! Love your videos, which I only discovered after watching you crew with the Wynns in Panama.


Sunday 25th of March 2018

So great to hear, Debby! Thanks so much for joining us here. ?


Friday 7th of April 2017

Thinking of buying our first RV to live in full time. Love your videos, helps to really understand the maintenance needed.

Question... will this Hughes protector (that you have installed of the shore power) protect your power from the batteries and/or the generator? Do you need any protection from a generator and/or batteries?

Thanks again for all the fun stuff on here!


Friday 7th of April 2017

Hi Joe! The Hughes protects the shore power and we've never had, nor been aware of the need for, protection from generator or battery power. Thanks for the nice comment and great question. ?


Monday 27th of February 2017


I have a few questions, and comments; the cheapest item I've found on your site is boiling eggs, I do that regularly now, in fact, this morning, I've bought almost everything else.

I have a 2016 Tiffin Red, three years later, since your low voltage video, is the Hughes 50 amp low voltage booster still recommended, and a 50 amp extension cord?

I am considering dumping my bulky ladder for a seven foot folding ladder, but I haven't seen you on it on any of your videos, do you like your folding ladder?

Lastley, do you have any comment about 303 vs Protect All?

You guys have the best videos and comments, hands down, really enjoy your site.

Be safe,



Monday 27th of February 2017

Hi Todd!

Thanks very much for your kind comments.

First off, we're sorry we've cost you so much money. We do hear that quite a lot. LOL If you want to find something even cheaper than eggs, we do have a little video about celery, which is probably even less. ;-)

We do indeed still love our autoformer, and use it just about everywhere, along with a 50-amp extension cord. If we had it to do over again, we'd skip the separate surge guard (which we hard-wired in long before we'd ever heard of Hughes) and simply hard-wire in a Hughes unit, which already includes surge protection. Hard-wiring it in would eliminate the need for a 50-amp extension cord for us.

We've had the same compact collapsible ladder for most of the time we've been on the road. It folds up into a long, thin, easily-stowable shape, and we really like it. It's in our favorite gear listing here.

Protect-All and 303 are supposedly very similar products, but we've only used 303, which we love, so no experience with Protect-All.

Hope this helps a bit!

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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