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Old 01-30-2017, 10:00 AM   #1
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Dummy 120 V Outlets

The FC27 2016 has AC 120V double outlets but only one 'port' (set of three holes to match the plug) is live, the other is dummy or closed. Any reason for this? I am planning on replacing the receptacles with dual normal inputs so I can plug two devices on each, plus 2 built in USB ports. Any ideas on this?

Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:08 AM   #2
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Are these powered by the inverter?
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
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This has been covered in threads some time ago, without an explanation as to why. However, people have replaced the outlets with good quality replacements. Others have simply used a tool to cut out the plastic blocking the plug from inserting.
I could not find shallow outlets at Lowe's that could act as a replacement so I used a Dremel tool, AC power disconnected, to cut out the plastic. Just fine now.
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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No, straight 120V city power
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:12 PM   #5
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Cut open the covered part? Is there a receptacle for that second port past the plastic cover? That would be strange...
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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My theory is to stop people from overloading the circuits. Unfortunetly that does not work. People are always posting how their CBs/fuses are blowing when running the AC, coffee pot, microwave, TV/DVD, and hair dryers all at the same time. They are totaled baffled as to why.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:36 AM   #7
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USB feed appliances

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
My theory is to stop people from overloading the circuits. Unfortunetly that does not work. People are always posting how their CBs/fuses are blowing when running the AC, coffee pot, microwave, TV/DVD, and hair dryers all at the same time. They are totaled baffled as to why.
Aware and appreciative for your input on the limitations imposed by the breakers by design, they are meant to provide security, the weakest link (fail safe) in case of overload before the full rig goes up in smoke. I get it and it is valuable info well taken.

I also have a USB camera, Jetpack, sensors, iPhones, iPads and other devices that take very little juice but still need to be plugged.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitaver View Post
The FC27 2016 has AC 120V double outlets but only one 'port' (set of three holes to match the plug) is live, the other is dummy or closed. Any reason for this? I am planning on replacing the receptacles with dual normal inputs so I can plug two devices on each, plus 2 built in USB ports. Any ideas on this?

Thanks.
The specific location of these outlets is key to your success. Airstream (and almost every other RV company) use what is called a 'speed-wire' outlet which is a thin, convoluted outlet that requires Romex to work correctly. The Romex is pressure fit between 2 metal forks that pierce the insulation and hold the wire in place. Then a plastic back snaps on and forms the box and lock in the Romex. It works like a Scotch-Lok connector.

These were specifically created for RV use and are extremely difficult to install. If you outlets are in an exterior wall, you will not have sufficient depth to replace them with a standard residential outlet without the use of a front extension bezel to deepen the box.

I have used a shallow plastic mounting box from Lowes that has a wide, curved back section that allows it to be rotated and slid in place and also provides room for your wires, but have not attempted to use them on Airstreams yet. They might work....depending on the death of your intended residential outlet fixture.

If they are cabinet mounted outlets, you will have no problem using a remodel box to mount a residential outlet as you should have sufficient depth to do so.

Have fun!!!
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:11 PM   #9
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Lewster, are you saying the outlets cannot be replaced as is and would not lay flush if they are changed out? I too, am planning on switching out to outlets that have usb ports. I am ordering the outlets from Amazon.
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitaver View Post
The FC27 2016 has AC 120V double outlets but only one 'port' (set of three holes to match the plug) is live, the other is dummy or closed. Any reason for this? I am planning on replacing the receptacles with dual normal inputs so I can plug two devices on each, plus 2 built in USB ports. Any ideas on this?

Thanks.
Which outlets are you referring to? Some blank outlets are for code compliance.
Such as outlet in a cabinet for microwave or 110volt refrigerator plugin.Sometimes they can also
be found on inverter circuit.
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekm217 View Post
Lewster, are you saying the outlets cannot be replaced as is and would not lay flush if they are changed out? I too, am planning on switching out to outlets that have usb ports. I am ordering the outlets from Amazon.
The USB outlets I ordered from Amazon were too thick. I tried three different ones from them and two from Lowes. Still have not found any that will fit.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:54 PM   #12
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The only place I could get a USB outlet to fit was the nightstand in the bedroom.

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Old 01-31-2017, 05:00 PM   #13
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Why not use a plug in outlet that has the USB built in.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekm217 View Post
Lewster, are you saying the outlets cannot be replaced as is and would not lay flush if they are changed out? I too, am planning on switching out to outlets that have usb ports. I am ordering the outlets from Amazon.
If the outlets that you are replacing are on the exterior walls of your Airstream, you will not have sufficient depth to use a regular residential outlet, as they MUST be placed in an insulating plastic box with all connections accessible from inside that box.

I would try Lowes or Home Depot and look for a double wide blue plastic box that provides space for the wires to gather and has a curved back that allows the box to be rotated into place. I have not tried to fit these into an Airstream exterior wall so I don't know if they will work.

I do have a 2015 25FB in the shop now for a lithium battery/Magnum Hybrid inverter upgrade and will try to fit one of these boxes tomorrow when I'm back at the shop.

I'll report back with photos either way............

Stay tuned!!
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:54 PM   #15
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If the outlet is one of the "speed wire" outlets without side wire connectors, these replacement covers that contain a USB power circuit may not work. But if it does have such side wire connectors they might do the trick. Watch out for shorting to the aluminum skin of the Airstream if you do use them.

https://www.snappower.com/product/du...FQSUaQodhtkFkQ

Another thing to consider is the quality of any USB power circuit you plug your expensive electronics into. You cannot see the poor voltage regulation without an oscilloscope but it does have a negative effect on the reliability and longevity of your devices.

Plus the cheap ones can put out a lot of radio frequency noise that can be seen as interference on your TV.

For those reasons I just have a nice 5 outlet power strip (with surge protection) that I place out on the counter and plug in the highest quality USB power cubes I can buy.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:31 AM   #16
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Outlets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schu View Post
Which outlets are you referring to? Some blank outlets are for code compliance.
Such as outlet in a cabinet for microwave or 110volt refrigerator plugin.Sometimes they can also
be found on inverter circuit.
There are two by the tv opposite the kitchen galley, one runs from inverter and the other is straight city power; similar set by the bedroom TV (as I remember, I am in Europe now and far from my RV).
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:39 AM   #17
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It appears from the discussion tha there is no easy solution for improvement on the power receptacles original from factory. I still don't understand why, if they make only one live, they even include a dummy one at all. Nowadays we all need USB power sources and adding them appears to be only possible by bulky power strips and/or 'cubes'. That creates 'noise' to an otherwise streamlined, clean look of our trailers. Nothing dramatic yet it should go into the wish list as options, upgrades or standard features for Airstream.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:43 AM   #18
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Instead of banging your head against the wall until it hurts........why not simply use DC direct 12VDC or USB outlets as your solution. I use them regularly and they provide available USB power almost anywhere in the trailer by either running a new 12VDC 2-conductor cable or tapping into an existing one.

You will find available 12VDC pairs almost everywhere in an Airstream.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:11 AM   #19
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You can get RV-type speedwire shallow outlets with two receptacles, and use them. As Lewster points out, they are somewhat difficult to install properly, however.

It is also possible to install a standard junction box if you are willing to have the junction box and outlet protrude from the wall somewhat. Boxing it with molding would help with the appearance.

I use 12v USB adapters and a 12v laptop charger for my electronics. I've had the best luck with the Scoche usb adapters although others have worked. Charge rate can be a problem particularly as the actual voltage of the 12v circuit drops somewhat. Best to check the USB output before depending on it. I use an app called "ampere" on my Android phone that does it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:49 PM   #20
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Dummy outlets turned functional

Thanks. I will explore those. BTW, by the TV in main cabin I have a marine fan, a security camera, of course the TV and provision for future needs, all needing power exceeding what is available at the wall. For my taste, having cables dangling or even bulky USB adaptors is not practical or aesthetically acceptable. I got the nicest (and most expensive) new trailer in part because of aesthetics after all.
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