Shore-power connector replaces pull-out cord - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-29-2007, 02:11 AM   #1
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One of the down-sides of my Scamp is there's a fair bit of storage space under the street-side dinette bench, but some of it is unusable because (by design) the shore-power cable gets stuffed in through a hole in the side of the trailer into that space, and it does not stow into that space neatly. It just piles up all over the place.

I cut the cord and turned my shore-power cord into an extension cord that plugs into a 30 amp locking connector designed for yachts.


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I made plywood disks that fit inside the old power cord port and around a "Marinco 304EL-B Contoured 30A Power Inlet with Rear Safety Enclosure" that I got at West Marine ($70). I used lots of 5-minute epoxy to glue the two 1/2" plywood disks to the new power connector rear housing, cut my cord so about 6 inches could be pulled out the side of the trailer, trimmed and stripped the wires and attached a Home Depot female locking connector ($14) to the longer wire cord I'd cut off. By this time the first round of epoxy had set, so I wired up my new Power Inlet connector and used more 5-minute epoxy to glue the assembly into the old trailer cord port. I made a butyl-tape gasket, pre-drilled some pilot holes and used three 1-1/2" sheet metal screws secure the connector to the plywood ring after the second round of epoxy had cured.


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The new port closed.

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The new port open.

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And plugged into my newly made extension cord.

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Inside wiring. Note I had to cut the old cord port so the power cable had room to pop up and through the old housing.

Now I can neatly coil and store my shore power line with the rest of my "setup" supplies.

--Peter
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:39 AM   #2
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Hi: Thankyou...thankyou...thankyou Gotta do the same thing as our power cord takes up the whole under counter cupboard...not neat nor efficient use of space!!! Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:46 AM   #3
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Absolutely thank you! Great idea!
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Old 03-30-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Mine does the same wadding back there.

In my 13, the former owners actually glassed in a "Box" to contain the cord. Pretty cool! In the 17, I am going to use a tote bin to block the cords snaking into the rest of the cubby. It can snake into the bin instead.

I will have to crawl into the cubby and fasten the bin to the floor. Fortunaetly.. I fit in there!
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Old 03-30-2007, 06:24 PM   #5
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Here's one done by Nevin Lescher on his Scamp 13' (before he sold it); he didn't use the commercial twist-lock (if someone trips over it, it will just disconnect rather than risk breaking something) and he also made a convenient outside GFCI-protected outlet.
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shorebox01.jpg   shorebox02.jpg  

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Old 03-30-2007, 06:28 PM   #6
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Here's one done by Nevin Lescher on his Scamp 13' (before he sold it); he didn't use the commercial twist-lock (if someone trips over it, it will just disconnect rather than risk breaking something) and he also made a convenient outside GFCI-protected outlet.
Oooo, I like it. Very nice.

ALL, these ideas are good.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:26 PM   #7
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Here's one done by Nevin Lescher on his Scamp 13' (before he sold it); he didn't use the commercial twist-lock (if someone trips over it, it will just disconnect rather than risk breaking something) and he also made a convenient outside GFCI-protected outlet.
That's nice, too. I would have considered doing something like that, but we already have a (very convenient) curbside 110 outlet, and our power hookup is on the (less useful for an outlet) streetside.

I hadn't thought about there being advantages to not twist-locking the power cord, though. Chances are that, if I'm hooked up to shore power, I'll probably also have a garden hose hookup to the water spigot inches away from the electric hookup. If you were gonna trip on one, you'd probably trip on both.

What I'd like to find is a twist-lock connector with a 90-degree bend in it so the power cord and connector drapes down the side of the unit rather than sticking straight out several inches, but that's a minor worry.

--Peter
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:01 PM   #8
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That's really NICE. My shore line cord fills my entire closet - but - if I detached it,there's always the chance I'll forget where I stuffed it!! . Gina's box sounds like a foolproof idea for us. Little things make a lot of difference when every square inch counts.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:19 PM   #9
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When I ditched the converter in my Scamp 13', I also ditched the 30Amp@120VAC power cable because I didn't have a/c and saw no reason for the weight and space penalty for the cord -- I replaced it with a short 15A@120VAC cord and use a household extension cable for the infrequent times I am connected to shore power -- The extension cable does double duty (I like double duty stuf!) between the inverter clipped to the truck or trailer battery and whatever I'm powering inside the egg.

I gave the 30Amp cable to a friend and he put a female end on it to use as an extension cable for his Avion 26'.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:28 PM   #10
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Pete, I now own this trailer. The trailer AC is wired to the load side of the GFCI protecting the entire AC system.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:28 PM   #11
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Pete, I now own this trailer. The trailer AC is wired to the load side of the GFCI protecting the entire AC system.
I know this sounds good, but it actually doesn't do that much for a fiberglass RV owner, where just about everything in the trailer is insulated from the ground.

In electricity the current into a load always equals the current coming back out. GFCIs monitor the current going in the "hot" wire connection and the current coming back on the "neutral" wire; when one wire has more current going through it than the other the GFCI knows that extra electricity is finding its way "out" somewhere else (such as through the feet of someone standing on the ground while using a power tool with a frayed electric cord) and it turns the electricity off.

That's a good thing, because it saves lives, but since almost all the surfaces in our trailer are things like fiberglass, plastic, and wood, which don't conduct electricity, the only way for the "current in" to get back "out" is through the neutral wire, so the GFCI will never trip. Once again, this is really OK, because with no other way "out" the electricity can't go through someone inside a trailer using that same power tool with a frayed electric cord

--Peter
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:16 PM   #12
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One of the down-sides of my Scamp is there's a fair bit of storage space under the street-side dinette bench, but some of it is unusable because (by design) the shore-power cable gets stuffed in through a hole in the side of the trailer into that space, and it does not stow into that space neatly. It just piles up all over the place.

I cut the cord and turned my shore-power cord into an extension cord that plugs into a 30 amp locking connector designed for yachts.


Attachment 7060
I made plywood disks that fit inside the old power cord port and around a "Marinco 304EL-B Contoured 30A Power Inlet with Rear Safety Enclosure" that I got at West Marine ($70). I used lots of 5-minute epoxy to glue the two 1/2" plywood disks to the new power connector rear housing, cut my cord so about 6 inches could be pulled out the side of the trailer, trimmed and stripped the wires and attached a Home Depot female locking connector ($14) to the longer wire cord I'd cut off. By this time the first round of epoxy had set, so I wired up my new Power Inlet connector and used more 5-minute epoxy to glue the assembly into the old trailer cord port. I made a butyl-tape gasket, pre-drilled some pilot holes and used three 1-1/2" sheet metal screws secure the connector to the plywood ring after the second round of epoxy had cured.


Attachment 7061
The new port closed.

Attachment 7062
The new port open.

Attachment 7063
And plugged into my newly made extension cord.

Attachment 7064
Inside wiring. Note I had to cut the old cord port so the power cable had room to pop up and through the old housing.

Now I can neatly coil and store my shore power line with the rest of my "setup" supplies.

--Peter
Peter,
Thanks for the insight.
I was thinking about doing the same thing, but am putting the trailer's receptile INSIDE the unit and just passing the power cord thru the opening. That way I don't have to modify the outside cover. I can even unplug from inside and start coiling it up from there.
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:03 PM   #13
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I know this sounds good, but it actually doesn't do that much for a fiberglass RV owner, where just about everything in the trailer is insulated from the ground.
What about the situation where a defective appliance, plugged into the trailer's 120VAC, is being used outside the trailer by someone standing in a puddle? Or someone inside the trailer has one hand in running water from the city water connection and the other hand on a defective appliance? To say nothing of the fact that the frame is grounded both through the shore power cord, the tongue jack and the stabilizers.

I prefer GFCI on the basis that it doesn't hurt and it might help (I had one trip at home once when I was standing barefoot on the ground and had a hand on a reversed connection, which was an excellent setup for a heart-stopping experience, so I am a believer). I replaced one of my factory 120VAC outlets inside with a GFCI and configured the wiring so all the outlets were protected. It's likely overkill in my case, because in the few instances where I use shore power, I am using the CG's GFCI-protected 15A@120VAC outlet, but it wouldn't be overkill for folks using the CG's 30A@120VAC unprotected outlet or when I am just plugged into someone's unprotected outlet.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:33 AM   #14
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Just a litle hindsite here I also did this many years ago with a regular 3 prong plug and after about 4 days of being plugged it at a camp using the air I found that the non locking conecter would slowly work itselfe out and as it got near unpluging and was making less contact and would get hotter as it came out . So replaced it with turn to lock type. I found that a 10 foot cord will work at most sites and carry an extension for the others. I also added a small LED lite just above the plug so when you plug it in you can see that you have power.
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