Detachable Shore power mod, etc. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-29-2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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Name: John Michael
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Madison, Wisconsin
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Detachable Shore power mod, etc.

I chose to add a removable shore power cable like so many before me.
I made a plywood donut to fit in the Scamp's original shore power port and inserted a ParkPower 150BBIWRV 15 Amp White Power Inlet from Amazon at $20.00. Sealed it up with some sticky white sealer. You may question why I downgraded from 30 to 15 Amp. I have no Microwave or AC and the electric heater I carry is only 13 amps on high (7 at my usual low setting). All my loads will total less than 15 amp, usually far less. There is now no entry for little critters crawling up the cable.

I also moved the converter from the aft end of the dinette seat storage compartment to the forward end of the same compartment. Without the shore cable and converter I now have a large empty space for storage and space for my battery when I move it from the tongue.

I also added a 15 amp Tripp Lite Surge Protector to the circuit that feeds the whole trailer. I am not sure surge protection is necessary, but I do have several electronic toys that will now be protected. I chose the Tripp Lite ULTRABLOK Isobar Surge Protector/Suppressor 2 outlets, Direct Plug In, 1410 Joules again from Amazon at $23.00.

You can also see the Charge Wizard that I plugged into the converter to better charge the battery. (about $23.00)

Before any of this I replaced the trap door Scamp had furnished for one at least double in area. Now it is much easier to access this space with its wiring buses and storage.

Not pictured - I added a Blue Sea Systems Dual USB Charger Socket that is powered by the 12 volt lighting circuit above the dinette. With the new LED bulbs there is power to spare. Scamp fuses all the circuits at 20 amps so I suppose there was power to spare even before the LEDs. The USB charger is very high quality and works whether I am plugged to shore power or on battery. (about $19.00) I also added a 12 volt outlet from the same folks.

Three weeks and counting til we are off South. More mods to come.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:47 PM   #2
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John, I did something similar with the power inlet:
Power inlet dimensions needed
I am kinda curious about why you have two hatches though. what is the inside power inlet mounted to, or more precisely what is what it is mounted to, (plywood?) mounted to?
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #3
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John, I did something similar with the power inlet:
Power inlet dimensions needed
I am kinda curious about why you have two hatches though. what is the inside power inlet mounted to, or more precisely what is what it is mounted to, (plywood?) mounted to?
David. Looks to me that the outer hatch is the original 30A outlet for the trailer. The OP has modified the original hatch by inserting a smaller 15A outlet with hatch inside it.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:53 AM   #4
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David,

Ice-breaker is right. I left the original hatch cover in place. I debated whether to remove the Park Power's small inner cover and decided it could wait. It is "waterproof" as opposed to the outer cover. The inside park power inlet is mounted in a plywood donut sized to fit tightly in the shore power inlet cylindrical housing. I use lots of sealant and a some screws thru the plastic into the plywood from inside the trailer.

I intend to paint all the exterior plastic covers, water fill port, porch light, etc on the outside of the Scamp after a season of weathering and before waxing. Unpainted they turn yellow with UV radiation and the plastic gets very brittle. Paint will slow both processes.

The surge protector sits on a small plywood tray on top of the wheel well and is attached to the bulkhead on the forward end. I didn't see a need for firmer attachment. I will monitor any heat generated in the surge protector and see if contact with wood is OK. It has a nice metal grounded case so I expect it will be fine. I may slide a ⅛ inch aluminum sheet underneath as a heat sink.

I have space on the tray for the solar charge controller but not sure about how hot it runs and it may need vertical orientation for convective heat dissipation. I haven't bought it yet. I did buy a 100 watt panel from Amazon for $145.00. I was careful with the converter orientation to allow for air flow and its internal fan cooling. I will also monitor how hot it gets when charging a low battery, probably its largest load.

I also have a remote reading digital thermometer in the compartment to make keeping an "eye" on things easier.

Now I am thinking about battery case design for inside placement. It has to allow proper venting of the Hydrogen gas to the outside. I may make it of plywood if I cannot find a compact commercial version. It might be as simple as some kind of plastic tote.

Next, Solar power and Water system.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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I love the idea of the detachable cord. However, being new to fg trailer camping, is there any concern over the power cord ever being stolen?
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:52 PM   #6
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I love the idea of the detachable cord. However, being new to fg trailer camping, is there any concern over the power cord ever being stolen?
I don't think it is much of a risk. If someone is going to take your power cord, they will probably take anything else that is not nailed down in your campsite, maybe even the water hose and stinky slinky.

I would not worry about it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:07 AM   #7
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David, I haven't heard where anyone has lost a detachable power cord while out camping. But, I have read where it's been left behind when leaving! There's a reason for having a departure checklist or at a minimum to walk around the campsite prior to pulling out and hitting the road. Just ask all the folks that have left water regulators attached to the hose bib.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Assuming that your power center (converter) has a 30a circuit breaker it would be wise to replace with a 15a.

If you only plug into a 15a source it won't matter. If you plug into a 20a, 30a, or 50a source you could smoke those 15a components and maybe even the trailer. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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I'm thinking of just cutting the cable short, order a pair of cable ends and going that route since the door is already there.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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It was the possibility of spiders, or other pests, coming in the cable hatch that made my wife very nervous. No danger of that now.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:37 AM   #11
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Nice clean installation. Should you forget the cord, any hardware store will have one. Good job. Raz
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:07 PM   #12
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Good idea on changing the breaker to 15 amps Beemerphile. I am embarrassed I didn't think of that. I will pick up a 15 amp breaker today.

Thanks, john
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:16 PM   #13
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John the conversion looks great but I am wondering about the down grade from 30 to 15 amp. What are you planning to do if at a campground that doesn't offer a 15 amp plug at the post? I have stayed at a few of those.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:52 PM   #14
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30 to 15 A adapters are readily available at your local RV store. As long as your trailer has a 15 A breaker, that protects the extension cord, except from mechanical damage, like cutting it with a pair of pliers. If it is damaged this way, the cord may melt, and catch fire, but your trailer should be OK. Not so good for your pliers though.

Otherwise the 30 A service wont mind you only drawing 15 A.
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