Are surge protectors a necessary expense to protect the electrical systems of the Airstream?
Surge protectors and related electrical protectors are like insurance policies: you only need them when something goes wrong, but you have to buy them in advance if they’re going to be of any use at all.
A basic surge protector can stop a sudden electrical spike from damaging electronics in your Airstream. More sophisticated power protectors can do that as well as protect against unsafe conditions like incorrect wiring, or low/high voltage conditions that might burn out your air conditioner or microwave oven.
Most campgrounds have good wiring, but if you travel a lot you’ll eventually run into a shoddy-looking receptacle with bad wiring, or find a campground that is struggling to maintain proper voltage to all the campers (especially during air conditioning season). Since you can’t be there to monitor the power all the time, a good power protector is a wise choice. Expect to spend about $200-300 for a quality unit.