Need help with exterior 110 power outlet install - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-14-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
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Need help with exterior 110 power outlet install

Ok so after a number of years of wanting I decided to finally add an exterior power outlet to my Scamp for patio lights etc. I have the waterproof exterior cover, wiring and plug etc but I am puzzled as to what type of junction box others have used.

I would have thought that one of the heavy plastic type junction boxes would be the one to use but havent found any that have tabs on outside corners of them that would allow me to rivet it to the fiberglass. Found some with screw holes on the inside four corners of them but for the life of me I cant figure out how one would go about drilling holes into the fiberglass & get the line up just right or even if you can put a rivet into the holes in the box that were designed to take screws?

Are people just using the retrofit light weight galvanized type junction boxes with tabs for mounting, for their exterior plugs? Are they safe? If not what types/brands have others used?

Second question is in regards to the junction box at the end of the kitchen counter I will be tapping into for the power. What Scamp put in that area is the heavy metal type box not the light weight galvanized type. They have punched out only one of the wire holes and I will need to punch out another so I wondered how much force will be needed to punch out the bottom hole on that type of box? To much to leave it in place riveted to the fiberglass? or will it require enough that I risk cracking the glass the box is currently mounted to? better to drill out all the rivets and punch out the junction box hole off the wall and re install?

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom on this.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:50 PM   #2
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There are 2 or 4 little weld points on the plug once you break 1 or 2 you can twist it off. Try hitting it with a peen on a ball peen hammer, or screwdriver. Make sure the power is off!!! There are plastic blue boxes with tabs, get a switch box, an outlet should inside and it should have at least 2 tabs. I found the best tool to install outlets is the oscillating cutter sold at H/F Oscillating Multifunction Power Tool
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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Is the outside box going to be flush or exterior mounted? If it's flush, you can use any of the new plastic boxes(they make a remodel or retrofit box that will clamp to the siding), then use a waterproof cover on the outside. If using an exterior mount, you can get a waterproof box with flanges on the back to screw to the walls. I prefer the flush mount, but have thought of mounting an exterior box under the trailer.
Not sure of your box your are tapping from. On my Scamp, I could break the tab off from the inside of the box.
Be sure to use a gfi duplex for the exterior.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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Thanks guys Yup the power will be off. It is a flush mount, Jim where did you find the Blue box? What store? Heading south tomorrow so I may be able to find one. We only have yellow boxes no blue & the tabs are not in a position to fit flush to the fiberglass
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Home Depot....or an electrical supply store- check yellow pages/google your area
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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And, while you're at it, make sure you put a GFI outlet in there! Simple insurance for not too much money.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #7
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Carol,

Usually more than one wire can fit thru a hole on the back of a junction box. Sometimes these holes have a clamp in them that needs to beloosened to get a second wire into it, though not the case on my '91.

I did not make any holes in the fiberglass for the outside electrical box. I attached mine to the floor and on my son's trailer to a frame member. To attach it to the floor you can simply mount it on a small board and screw the board to the floor or directly screw the box to the floor. I so rarely use it that it's not an inconvenience.

I brought my wire thru the floor near the water tank and caulked the hole afterwards. I used 14 gauge wire good for 15 amps instead of 12 gauge wire.

Where the wire runs under the floor, I put a piece of plastic tubing over the wire, similar to the stuff used in many cars.

As well I did cut a hole thru the side for our cable and sat dish. I installed 2 tv cable connectors in this covered unit (you can see it under Preparing a 1991 Scamp). This covered piece can also fit traditional outlets instead of TV connections.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008
Home Depot....or an electrical supply store- check yellow pages/google your area
Yup tried Home Depot here & 4 other places, no luck so far as any thing that will work cleanly other than the light weight one designed to retrofit inside a dry house wall. Will look at Home Depot when I cross the line clearly different brands than what they carry here.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions re plug type. & wire all good on that front - just the darn box that's being a problem finding.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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I also have plans to add an outside 120VAC outlet, and speaker, TV antenna, USB, HDMI.... I plan to use a small RV access hatch, with a box inside. I will mount the various outlets to the walls of the box. This way the connections which are not weather proof are protected.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Clinton View Post
If it's flush, you can use any of the new plastic boxes(they make a remodel or retrofit box that will clamp to the siding), then use a waterproof cover on the outside. <cut>Be sure to use a gfi duplex for the exterior.
Thanks Dennis I have done some home remodeling so I know which ones you mean but here I cant find any in plastic only the light weight galvanized metal ones. So far two big box stores and two electrical shops..... no go... today I stopped at a marine supply store and they have a nice looking little power kit that would work well and look good but at $85 it was a little steep! I do indeed have a gfi plug to use with the box should I ever find one :-(
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I also have plans to add an outside 120VAC outlet, and speaker, TV antenna, USB, HDMI.... I plan to use a small RV access hatch, with a box inside. I will mount the various outlets to the walls of the box. This way the connections which are not weather proof are protected.
David thats a good idea but I have already added the TV cable and antenna connections on the outside so only really need/want the 110 plug in.

Norm thanks for the suggestion of putting it to the floor but as you know having spent most of this spring on the wet coast having to put a knee down on the wet ground to see/find the plug doesnt have a great deal of appeal for me.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:07 PM   #12
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outdoor box

Here are pictures of my portable solar connector box, it will work for 120V also. It is a diecast metal box with threaded connections. It is mounted to an angle that is mounted to the bumper hardware. i used threaded connectors and flexible conduit to run the wire through. everything is common and available at lowes , menards or an electrical store. you could mount the box to an aluminum or steel angle that is screwed into the floor at the location of your choice. i like the threaded connectors as they are more water proof than a typical gang box and wire anchors. You cand find compression glands that will make a vearly good seal on exterior rated wire similar to an extension cord but that starts to become pricey when starting from scratch.
My 2 cents
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #13
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Carol,
I used one of those plastic remodeler boxes, cut a outline of the box on a piece of 1/4 or 3/8 plywood, traced outline where I wanted it, cut fiberglass, on inside epoxied wood to fiberglass, installed box and outlet the box fit fairly flush with outside of fiberglass, installed cover, I gfi'ed the outlet on side of counter and ran wire from that to outside outlet.........with all that I never thought to install one on bumper
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
Carol,
I used one of those plastic remodeler boxes, cut a outline of the box on a piece of 1/4 or 3/8 plywood, traced outline where I wanted it, cut fiberglass, on inside epoxied wood to fiberglass, installed box and outlet the box fit fairly flush with outside of fiberglass, installed cover, I gfi'ed the outlet on side of counter and ran wire from that to outside outlet.........with all that I never thought to install one on bumper
Thanks Tom, with the boxes I have found so far that appears to be pretty well the only way to go & not have the rivets holding the box in place be visible on the side of the trailer as the water proof cover isnt a big as most of the boxs I have seen so far even without the right tabs needed to secure it. I am having a hard time believing though that everyone who has installed one has gone to the trouble of using the wood and epoxy though. I am actually heading to a vintage rally & hoping some of the gods of rebuilds will have an easier answer assuming I dont find what I need at the Home Depot across the border close to where I am heading.

Thanks to Michael for posting the bumper idea - I would not have thought of that either. I was kind of hoping to have the outlet under the awning area though as thats where I would use it the most. Currently run an extension cord from the campground power post to that area and would still need to do that if the outlet was at the back of the trailer. hummmmmm
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