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david_42
06-20-2012, 04:56 PM
Is there a place where I can thread an electrical cord into my TIN without drilling? Eventually, I'll be installing an auxiliary battery, converter and outlets, but for now just having a cord I can plug into will do.

Aqua Puttana
06-20-2012, 05:16 PM
There is a rubber boot under the driver seat to the underside. Some people have indicated that they cut the sealing cable tie and threaded a cord through there. I don't know if you can fit a male or female extension cord end complete... probably not, so you'll likely need to cut off one of the ends, thread the cord through and then install a replacement end. Good luck. vic

autostaretx
06-20-2012, 05:35 PM
I roll my front window down a bit, and pass the cord through it.
Then i place a split-lengthwise piece of gray foam pipe insulation over the edge of the glass (cord above it)
and then roll the window back up.
The foam seals the gap, and prevents over-pinching the cord.

It allows me to choose which side the cable exits, too.

...and there's no question about remembering to unplug it before driving off...

43746

(piece of foam is usually full length of gap)
--dick (photo may be was attached later)

d_bertko
06-21-2012, 04:21 AM
I roll my front window down a bit, and pass the cord through it.
Then i place a split-lengthwise piece of gray foam pipe insulation over the edge of the glass (cord above it)
and then roll the window back up.
The foam seals the gap, and prevents over-pinching the cord.

It allows me to choose which side the cable exits, too.

...and there's no question about remembering to unplug it before driving off...

--dick (photo may be attached later)

This was also my solution with my old Econoline.

But really, cutting in a Marinco outlet in the side of the van would be quite useful even if you weren't ready to add all the rest. An inside ac power line is pretty insensitive to length so you would not be pinning down a future design. Most campgrounds have their power posts on the driver's side of the parking space. Not much difference where the outlet is placed on the van.

Dan

thinice
06-21-2012, 05:31 AM
If the scuff plate on the bottom of your rear door has any worn spots like mine you may be able to find a low spot were you could lay the cord and just close the door on it. I extended carpet over that plate and glued it down. Cheaper than replacing (don't know were I could find one anyway) the plate and the carpet cuts down on some of the door rattle. Probably would not pass a electrical inspection but it works and I have a pretty heavy (former boat shore power cord) that I use. Might work for a temp. solution? My cord does not seem any worse for wear as the door gasket is quite thick with no sharp edges to cut into the cord. I made a screen for the rear doors (mesquto net with Velcro sew on that attaches to a sticky back Velcro strip around the inside of the door frame. Most of the time when I camp we leave the back doors open for ventilation and the cord just goes under the mosquito netting. Works great, been well tested hear in Minnesota were the mosquito is the State bird. Funky cheap solution that may not appeal to the purist but it work for me.

Boater
06-21-2012, 01:03 PM
This was also my solution with my old Econoline.

But really, cutting in a Marinco outlet in the side of the van would be quite useful even if you weren't ready to add all the rest. An inside ac power line is pretty insensitive to length so you would not be pinning down a future design. Most campgrounds have their power posts on the driver's side of the parking space. Not much difference where the outlet is placed on the van.

Dan

I would support that, except to say you do need to think about how you intend to arrange services and appliances. Siting the gas bottle and gas appliances may depend on where you can arrange drop out vents given that you don't want them close to anything hot (exhaust) or that might spark (electrical connections) and this might then dictate an area you don't want to fit the external power socket, simply because it's the best place to put the gas bottle or something else.

But for temporary, have a look under and between the seats, I'm sure I moved a piece of loose foam/trim and saw the ground under the van - whether that is an original feature or due to a PO having something routed through there and then taking it away again I don't know.

Jim

david_42
06-21-2012, 04:44 PM
autostaretx - that's exactly what I've been doing.

d_bertko
06-21-2012, 05:35 PM
I would support that, except to say you do need to think about how you intend to arrange services and appliances. Siting the gas bottle and gas appliances may depend on where you can arrange drop out vents given that you don't want them close to anything hot (exhaust) or that might spark (electrical connections) and this might then dictate an area you don't want to fit the external power socket, simply because it's the best place to put the gas bottle or something else.

But for temporary, have a look under and between the seats, I'm sure I moved a piece of loose foam/trim and saw the ground under the van - whether that is an original feature or due to a PO having something routed through there and then taking it away again I don't know.

Jim

Good points, Jim. It would help to have a plan for the most location-sensitive appliances. My diesel d2 furnace got first dibs on a midship driver's side location, resulting in an easy install and no ducting.

It might be worth considering ease-of-transfer on something as old as an 04. I figure my all-electric kitchen would transfer readily to a replacement van.

Dan

Graphite Dave
06-21-2012, 06:39 PM
...and there's no question about remembering to unplug it before driving off...

I bought a short velcro strap from REI. Put it around top of steering wheel every time I am plugged in.

On the NCV3 I ran a temporary cord through the electrical wireway boot that is under driver's seat. Used short cord under van. Wired to a loose duplex plug located behind drivers seat. Cord and plug remained in place when not plugged into shore power.

Final solution was a electrical reel located behind left rear wheelwell. No exterior holes in Sprinter body. Cut access hole in floor above reel to get cord inside. Works well. I can feel the plug that I hung from a single hole strap. Put rubber O-ring around end of cord to hang it from the strap. Can deploy and return cord by reaching under van to hook or unhook cord.

Hmr
06-21-2012, 11:03 PM
I was within a few hours of cutting a hole in the side of the van for the Marinco plug when I discovered that an extension cord fits perfectly in the lower, aft, corner of either front door. Our doors are nice and tight and there's still room for the cord. It just compresses the rubber door seal more than normal. No problem at all and avoided any external holes. Like the others have recommended, I loop the cord through the steering wheel.

This is a removable door I made for one of our cabinets. I installed the Marinco plug here instead. It sits right behind the driver's seat. Works great.
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-wc6hq9n/1/M/i-wc6hq9n-M.jpg

Amboman
06-22-2012, 01:04 PM
Before i say "why not do it properly" firstly i will ask "does 115 volts mains power kill people" ??
where i live 240 volts AC is mains power and it kills people every year, the requirement is to have in the circuit a "safety switch circuit breaker combination" which detects small amounts of current going from active to earth, the same as like somebody being electrocuted, some caravan park owners are putting safety switches in as the perceived risk and threat for not having them, mostly though power pole switches in most are only high current draw circuit breakers, so really the van owner should have their own fully installed mains safety switch combination, they cost around $26 which is fairly cheap if it stops you from being electrocuted, most vans are all metal which means any jammed power cord in doors will travel through whole van quiet readily if its sheath is penetrated...unless of course if your trying to get the trailer lights to work :laughing:

Aqua Puttana
06-22-2012, 01:45 PM
Very good points.
Before i say "why not do it properly" firstly i will ask "does 115 volts mains power kill people" ??
Yes, 120 volts will kill people. When I did medium and high voltage safety training sessions I always included that 120 volts will kill you just as dead as 115,000/230,000 volts... you would just look prettier in the coffin.


...the requirement is to have in the circuit a "safety switch circuit breaker combination" which detects small amounts of current going from active to earth,
Over here in the States that "safety switch" is called a GFCI Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFI Ground Fault Interrupter.

the same as like somebody being electrocuted, some caravan park owners are putting safety switches in as the perceived risk and threat for not having them, mostly though power pole switches in most are only high current draw circuit breakers, so really the van owner should have their own fully installed mains safety switch combination, they cost around $26 which is fairly cheap if it stops you from being electrocuted, most vans are all metal which means any jammed power cord in doors will travel through whole van quiet readily if its sheath is penetrated...unless of course if your trying to get the trailer lights to work :laughing:
A permanently installed GFI for the caravan system can protect everything fed within the vehicle (depending upon where the GFI is installed in the circuit), but it does nothing to protect the cord feeding the vehicle. As you mentioned, you are depending upon any GFI protection provided by the supply receptacle (campground power pedestal, wall receptacle, etc.).

A temporary cord doesn't preclude adding your own GFI at the supply receptacle so you know that your supply cord and entire vehicle are properly protected. I use a portable GFI unit installed right at the supply receptacle (power pedestal, wall receptacle) for my power cord all the time and encourage others to do so also.

43756

Mike Sokol calls me periodically to chat about his Hot Skin awareness programs. He has taken a lead in helping to make people aware of the real dangers associated with feeding power to an RV or other vehicle. I recommend that anyone supplying shore power to their vehicles look over his excellent website. He has some great safety awareness information there. vic

http://www.noshockzone.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obeh9m4OMv4

jmsokol
09-21-2012, 12:41 AM
Vic,

Thanks for posting links to www.noshockzone.org. I also have a lot of videos at www.youtube.com/howtoseminars. And here's my latest info about something I call an RPBG (Reverse Polarity Bootleg Ground) Outlet. This occurs when an older "ungrounded" outlet needs to be upgraded to a "grounded" outlet, and there's no actual safety ground wire. So many electricians used to simply wire a jumper between the green ground screw and the white neutral wire. This creates what's called a Bootleg or False Ground. While a direct code violation since it allows neutral return current to flow in the safety ground wires, it's not all that dangerous in and of itself. However, if the electrician (or DIY guy) has the black (hot) and white (neutral) wires reversed in the wall somewhere, then the Ground and Neutral slots on the outlet will be at 120-volt potential, while the Hot slot on the outlet will be at earth-ground potential. See http://www.rvdoctor.com/2001/07/friends-of-gary-mike.html for my latest article on the subject on Gary Bunzer's (The RV Doctor) newsletter.

This RPBG outlet will electrify the chassis and body of ANYTHING plugged into it that has a ground pin on its power cord. Now you might think you can discover this very dangerous condition with an outlet tester, but in fact any 3-light cube tester will indicate a RPBG outlet as correctly wired, when it is not. And even a sophisticated tester like an Amprobe INSP-3 or Ideal SureTest won't be able to tell the difference between a CPBG (Correct Polarity Bootleg Ground) and RPBG (Reverse Polarity Bootleg Ground) outlet. And you can't even tell the difference between a normally wired outlet and a dangerous RPBG outlet using a volt-meter between H-N, H-G, and N-G. All voltages will test OK even though the entire polarity of the outlet has been reversed. The only way to know using a standard voltmeter is by testing between a known earth ground point (ground rod) and your pedestal safety ground contact.

Note that while a CPBG (Correct Polarity Bootleg Ground) is a violation of code, it's not all that dangerous most of the time, while an RPBG (Reverse Polarity Bootleg Ground) outlet is terribly dangerous ALL of the time. See below for a demonstration video of me testing outlets for this condition using both traditional methods as well as a NCVT (Non Contact Voltage Tester) the same tool I recommend for finding RV hot-skin conditions. Please feel free to contact me directly at mike@noshockzone.org if you have any questions off-line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLk-6pvSlWg&feature=plcp

Mike Sokol
www.noshockzone.org

david_42
09-21-2012, 02:49 PM
Sometimes I wonder about the people who write the regulations. My spa has to be plugged into a GFI. It also has a GFI in the cord.

BOTH say do not plug a GFI into a GFI!

jmsokol
09-21-2012, 03:21 PM
Sometimes I wonder about the people who write the regulations. My spa has to be plugged into a GFI. It also has a GFI in the cord.

BOTH say do not plug a GFI into a GFI!
Yeah, crazy isn't it. At first blush I don't think that plugging a GFCI into a GFCI will do any harm, and only one of them should trip. But I'll draw it out a bit and consider the current trip paths.

For those of you curious about how GFCI's actually work, see my article at http://www.noshockzone.org/rv-electrical-safety-part-viii-gfci/

Note that a GFCI doesn't need a safety ground wire at all to perform its function of tripping off to stop you from getting shocked. However, they're supposed to be tested once a month, and I don't think many of them are ever tested again once they're installed. I remember reading a report that perhaps 30% of them were installed improperly or the electronics have died from moisture or vibration or a near lightning hit. So maybe only 2 out of 3 will work anyways. Time to test your GFCI's on critical appliances such as your spa.

I'll be up doing some roof work on my porch today, so I could use a little spa treatment tonight. Where are you located? :bounce:

Mike Sokol

david_42
09-21-2012, 05:43 PM
The spa is drained for cleaning.

Aqua Puttana
09-21-2012, 06:19 PM
Sometimes I wonder about the people who write the regulations. My spa has to be plugged into a GFI. It also has a GFI in the cord.

BOTH say do not plug a GFI into a GFI!
Crazy isn't it? Yes.

Because I don't trust campgrounds and marinas to periodically properly test their equipment I've been plugging my own portable GFI units into their GFI's for literally decades. I've never had a problem.

I even learned that GFI receptacles will operate properly on 120 volt 25 cycle (hertz) power after one of my guys accidentally installed one in the wrong place. They aren't advertised for use on other than 60 hertz in the USA.


The spa is drained for cleaning.
Let us know when it's clean and back in service so we can schedule the FASSISGTASM **. vic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCUXjdlaJII

** 1st Annual Sprinter-Source International Spa Get-Together and Swap Meet.