Today's Bigfoot project - 30 amp inlet - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-28-2015, 04:50 PM   #1
Senior Member
Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot 17' DLX
Posts: 347
Today's Bigfoot project - 30 amp inlet

It's become quite clear that a fair amount of my camping happens in chilly weather. My trips between Alaska and California often happen in winter, or on the fringes of winter in the early spring and mid fall. And when I'm in California in the late fall/early winter months we usually get a family camping or two in and those can happen in all sorts of weather and climates from blazing hot to sub-freezing.

After a number of these trips, I decided I'm getting tired of wrestling with the 30 amp shore power cable, which, until now, was the original one that you had to pull through a small hole in the side of the trailer. In the colder months, it's a PITA to get that heavy and stiff coiled up cable through the hole. Plus, there is always a draft coming through that hole, and all sorts of dust and dirt accumulating in the water heater compartment, which shares space with the back of the converter where the cable ultimately terminates.

So last week I was roaming around my local Camping World and noticed a decent looking 30 amp inlet on sale for 30 bucks.

30 Amp Flanged Inlet with Power Smart LED - Furrion F30INS-PS - Electrical Hatches & Outlets - Camping World

The 30-foot matching cable was on sale too for $69 so I figured the planets were lining up and trying to tell me something. I bit the bullet and committed to tackling this project.

The problem is that the original door over the hole is quite a bit larger than the 3-inch square hole through the side of the trailer. Even if I could get the receptacle to just fit over the hole, there would be six unsightly screw holes in the side of the trailer.

As it turned out screw holes in the 3.4-inch flange on the receptacle were set in just far enough to miss anything the screws could bite into so I set about to figure out how to make an adapter plate.

At first I settled on some .030" aluminum sheet. But after what-iffing that to death, I went over to my local plastics supply house and dug through their scrap bin and found what I thought might be the ideal material.

It's some type of marine-grade high density plastic. It's slippery like Delrin or "engineering plastic" and you can cut, drill and route it like wood. So I bought a piece. It's about 3/16 inch thick, smooth on one side and textured on the other and it's an off-white color.

I cut a 5-inch wide by 6-1/4 inch tall piece to match the back of the original door flange exactly and used my router to round off the edges. Then I sandwiched it and the back of the old door flange together to mark the mounting holes, which I drilled and then made recesses for the screw heads using a forstner bit. The material is very easy to work with.

After the mounting holes were drilled, it was time to cut the 2-1/2 inch hole for the back of the receptacle to fit through using a hole saw. I positioned it so at least the top two screws would bite into the plywood behind the fiberglass surrounding the cable hole. The bottom ones would simply bite into the adapter plate. There were a few notches and grooves to add to the hole to clear various tabs and such on the back of the receptacle. I did these by hand with a couple small files. It took me about an hour to make the plate.

The images below show the original cable and door. The second shot is the completed adapter plate and the new receptacle that will mount to it.

Continued in next post...
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_2254_30A_inlet.jpg   IMG_2270_30A_inlet.jpg  


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Old 04-28-2015, 04:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot 17' DLX
Posts: 347
Continuing from the post above...

Then it was off to the storage place where the trailer is parked right now. after thoroughly cleaning all the old silicone from the door flange mounting off the trailer body, I mounted the adapter plate. Since it is a flat plate mounting to a flat area of the trailer body, this is one place I thought silicone would be appropriate as I basically wanted a gasket to form under the entire plate. I then screwed it on using stainless steel square drive pan head screws (#10 x 1-1/2 inch).

Once the adapter plate was on I lopped off the original harness and wired up the receptacle per the instructions that came with it. Then I mounted the receptacle using the included rubber gasket and more stainless steel square drive screws.

The final touches involved cleaning up the excess silicone sealer and tightening the cable strain on the back of the receptacle.

Now I'll keep the cable somewhere warm so it's easy to handle when it's time to hook up. No more wrestling with pulling it through the hole, or cleaning dirt out of the compartment. I can't wait to put it to use next week when I head north for the season.

Here's the installed mounting plate before I installed the receptacle then two shots of the completed upgrade.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_2272_30A_inlet.jpg   IMG_2282_30A_inlet.jpg  


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Old 04-28-2015, 07:16 PM   #3
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frank_a's Avatar
Name: Frank
Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
Posts: 2,047
I did the same thing, but mounted the receptacle right in the door. We also bought a short right angle 30 amp cable so as not to put much tension on the plug.

2012 ParkLiner #006
2013 4wd Escape 2L Ecoboost with 3500# tow package
2001 F-150 XLT 4wd Super Cab 4.6L
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