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Product Review: SoftStartUp™ All-In-One RV Surge Protector and Soft Starter

SoftStartUp™ Provides Zero-Install Soft Starter, Built-In RV Surge Protector

It would be tough to find any RVer opposed to having a quality RV surge protector in place between the campground pedestal and their RV’s power cord. Like a surge protector at home, there is simply no downside to having a surge protector on your RV. Even those RVs with surge protection built into their power management system can benefit from an RV surge protector. 

NetworkRV, makers of the ever popular SoftStartRV A/C soft starter devices, have introduced the SoftStartUp, the industry’s first zero-install A/C soft starter with built-in surge protection. SoftStartUp provides all the benefits of a regular SoftStartRV, without any installation whatsoever.

Two functions, zero installation

While the new SoftStartUp acts as an A/C soft starter and an RV surge protector all-in-one, neither of those will require you to get on your RV’s roof. With the new SoftStartUp, there is nothing to install. Installing the original SoftStartRV wasn’t that hard to begin with. Now, with the SoftStartUp, you simply plug it into your campground pedestal, then plug your RV’s power cord into the SoftStartUp. 

You’ll notice about a 60 second delay while the SoftStartUp analyzes the incoming power; then your RV will be powered up and protected, courtesy of the built-in 2100 joule RV surge protector. The red/green LEDs show you if you are connected to a properly wired pedestal.

More functionality on less power

Like its SoftStartRV predecessors, the SoftStartUp balances and tempers those large surges of electricity that some of your RV appliances require. If your RV has two A/C units, getting them both started on a 30-amp connection can be a challenge, especially with other appliances and devices running, such as refrigerators, TVs, and lights. 

SoftStartUp softens and balances that hard draw your appliances need so it can start without the huge power spike, giving you the cool air you need from a second A/C or additional power required by some other appliances. Unlike the standard soft start device that installs under your RV air conditioner shroud, SoftStartUp simply plugs into the campground pedestal and protects your entire RV.

Moochdocker’s friend

If you ever find yourself moochdocking at a location with only a 110 outlet, the SoftStartUp, with the included adapter, will allow you get more usable power out of the 15-20 amp, 110-120VAC connection.

Whether you are parked at a friend’s home, a relative’s house, or even that rare power-enabled Harvest Hosts location, SoftStartUp will provide you with an RV surge protector and power management, enough to run a single A/C unit or simply power up the lights, TV, and water pump with clean, balanced power.

SoftstartUP, an ac soft starter and rv surge protector all in one.
The SoftStartUp is an A/C SoftStarter and RV Surge Protector all in one.

An RV surge protector saves you money

An RV surge protector on your travel trailer, motorhome, or fifth wheel protects against many things. It’s not only the high cost of replacing something like an RV inverter; there are installation costs, expensive copper wire, and breakers, too…and that’s IF the items are available. Even if your inverter does survive a big surge, some of your appliances may not. You might have to replace a TV, a microwave, or a refrigerator. Anything plugged in is at risk without an RV surge protector.

Power management included

SoftStartUp isn’t just a soft starter or an RV surge protector. It’s sophisticated design also includes a built-in power management system. Not only is it safeguarding your entire RV, the diagnostic circuitry in the SoftStartUp is always checking for proper power and balancing power use, much like the power management included with higher-end RVs. Because a 30-amp breaker may not trip until a much higher amperage is reached, SoftStartUp incorporates a current limiter to protect an RV from such potentially damaging variances.

The result is less blown fuses or tripped breakers and fewer dangerous surges to sensitive electronics. SoftStartUp’s electrical current overload protection and undervoltage protection are constantly at work to help you avoid potential expensive electrical damage. Older RVs that don’t have any power management features can benefit from the smart, modern technology built into the SoftStartUp.

There’s an app for that

With the SoftStartUp mobile app for Apple IOS and Android OS via the Apple & Google app stores, you can monitor your SoftStartUp with your mobile device so you know exactly what’s happening with the power to your RV. The Bluetooth® enabled SoftStartUp device delivers diagnostic and power metering information to your phone via the app.

graphic testimonial of happy softstartup customer
SoftStartUp testimonial from full-time RVer

You can take it with you

Of course, the portability of SoftStartUp means you can take your soft starter and RV surge protection with you when you buy a new RV. For those that rent RVs periodically, taking the SoftStartUp with you for each new rental is extra insurance against pitfalls and problems.

SoftStartUp – By the numbers

The new SoftStartUp is currently available for RVs that use a 30-amp power cord, with a 50-amp version coming soon. Anyone with 30-amp power on their RV should consider the SoftStartUp. 


  • Volts – 104-125 VAC, 50-60 Hz
  • Amps – 30A
  • Joules – 2100
  • Working temperature: -4oF to 176oF (-20oC to 80oC)
  • Weight: 2.1 lb. (0.95 kg)


SoftStartUp comes with a one-year warranty, with a second year available to be added after purchase with a free online registration.


For current pricing and discounts, visit RV LIFE’s custom landing page for SoftStartUp.


Most reasonably priced RVs that run on 30-amps don’t come with the necessary safety features that a quality RV surge protector and soft starter provide. RV manufacturers typically don’t spend the money on these features, and retrofitting an existing RV to have them is expensive. SoftStartUp adds quality, modern protection to any RV. Get one today at

Author Levi Henley Avatar

Levi Henley

Levi Henley and his wife, Natalie, workamp around the country in their 26-foot motorhome. Along with writing for RV magazines, they recently published their first book together, Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It. They share their experiences and RV-related tips on their own blog as well as videos on their YouTube Channel, also called Henley's Happy Trails.

23 thoughts on “Product Review: SoftStartUp™ All-In-One RV Surge Protector and Soft Starter

  1. Does the SoftStartUp have a negative effect or damage any other appliances or pumps, ie microwave, water pump, etc? My new microwave makes funny noises with it installed.

  2. Question: I already have the soft start RV installed on my Air Conditioner, but really like the idea of this as a surge protector as well. Is there any problem with using this in addition to the already installed soft start rv on the air conditioner?

  3. Received my SoftStartUp and it works as advertised, I plugged my 30 amp cord from our TT into the SoftStartUp and into my small portable generator with the included dog-bone adapter. My 13.5 rooftop AC fired right up without issue with normal load as if I was plugged into the pedestal at the campground.

  4. I have a 30 amp diesel pusher with 2 ac’s. Where we keep our RV during the winter month is in Florida. The RV resort only has 50amp service, which requires use a 30 to 50 amp pigtail. Can this Softstart be used like this? I don’t want to purchase, if it is not capable to use it that way.

  5. There is one drawback to the new SoftStartUp that affects some boondockers. I have an original SoftStart installed in my 5th wheel & has worked perfectly for several years. But I’ve now parked my 5er as a home base & have added a triple slide truck camper for our continued fulltime travels. It’s set up with 720AH of Lithium battery & 760 watts of solar. With that much power, I don’t even carry a generator. I can run my A/C for 6 hours on the battery power, which we had to do just yesterday, with a power outage in the park we’re in that lasted 8 hours, with outside temps at 115 degrees in Bullhead City, AZ. But the new SoftStartUp is useless when running A/C or fridge on battery power, since there is no shore power or generator to plug into. The SoftStartUp only works if you’re plugged into shore power or a generator. Whereas, the original SoftStart will work regardless of your power source, shore power, generator or battery power. Keep that in mind when you’re envisioning how you’ll use the SoftStart

  6. Brilliant idea! Softstart technology in a plug-in design, with BlueTooth connectivity for monitoring, the perfect add on accessory for hot summer months! Hurry up and release 50AMP please.

  7. I take it this is a different product than the one that allows you to run your A/C off lesser power than normal. “Soft Start Up” is the brand name?

  8. How would this work if I have an EMS-HW30C Progressive Industries Surge Protector? Would they conflict with each other? Is there a plugin softstart without the surge suppressor?

  9. I’ve been trying to get an answer from the company about this question. So far without success. The new plug in Softstart seems like a fantastic if spendy evolution of RV electronics, but I foresee one problem: easy in, easy out. Anyone passing by who recognizes it can walk off with your $600 Softstart in less than 30 seconds. Buying it is a long but probably wise leap for an RVer on a fixed income, but I certainly couldn’t afford to replace it. How do you protect the device against theft?
    B.J. Williams

    1. That is exactly the question I want to be answered. I believe most people are honest but there are a few who are not, it would take a moment when you are away for it to be taken and like you I’m on a strict budget and can’t afford a theft.

    2. It comes with a locking ring built in. I use a cable lock by Master, wrapped around the pedestal. Nothing is infallible but I haven’t lost mine yet.

      1. Mike, do you notice any performance changes on other electric appliances besides the air conditioner?

  10. I understand how this new and unique device would work when hooked up to shore power. But SoftStart initially was so you could run the one AC with a generator like the Honda 2200. Would this device function the same if you are boondocking and needing to run the AC or more with pugging this into the generator and then the RV power cord?

    1. That $600.00 thingy could save you a $1,200 Air Conditioner. It has a ring so you can lock it to the pedestal. Even though I don’t have this one yet I encourage everyone to have some type of surge protector, as a RV tech I have seen the damage without the protection.

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