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Old 08-01-2015, 09:59 PM   #1
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Question Shore power cord replacement

I have a 1976 International 31' Sovereign. The shore power cord was frayed at some point and spliced by prior owner, but gets hot under the electrical tape so I would like to replace the whole thing. Is it better to run the new cord to the distribution panel to keep the wiring "as is", or can I cut the cord where it comes out into the bumper and either install a new male plug there (cheapest option) or instal a SmartPlug or Furrion 30-AMP inlet into the bumper area (there is a lot of rust there, so I am worried about stability)?
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:13 PM   #2
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It can be very difficult to get the power cord through the floor/walls to the original power panel. When I did mine over on my Argosy, I spliced a new 30' length onto the original back in the rear bumper compartment where the wire was still good. I used crimp and solder connections and highest quality Scotch electrical tape (#33 or 88) and it has held up fine for about 10 years now.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:23 PM   #3
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On our 1999, AS apparently changed the design. There was a big square 'junction box' where the external cable connected to the internal cabling. The internal cabling then ran up to the distribution (breaker) box. Maybe you could do something like that?
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:21 PM   #4
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Anytime you have a splice or connection you build resistance. Resistance builds heat. If at all possible run the new cord all the way to the inside breaker box. You won't regret it.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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If one disconnects from the interior panel connections and can get to the strain relief on the outside of the box that keep the wire in place, then a gentle -very gentle- small tug by some one outside with someone inside holding the now disconnected wires will give you a clue if there are other intermittent attachment points. Try pulling the the wire a little bit into the box as well.

This exercise determines the viability of the existing power cord to be used as a fish tape or puller for the replacement cord. The challenge many be the existing wiring was not the typical three #10 wires used today for 30 amp service. If they are the same diameter wire cables then making a secure connection outside the trailer to the shortened wire going to the power box would allow the new one to pulled gently into place.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:50 PM   #6
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Shore Power

I have a similar issue with my 1982 Excella. The cable had been spliced and trapped up when I purchased the trailer. A proper made splice should be as strong as the original cable and have no more resistance. Since the trailer I had before this one simply had a receptacle on the trailer I tend to favor this approach but like I said I am still running with a spliced cord. If you can use the old cable as a pull cord this would be an option. The idea of pulling the pans to install the cable does not sound like fun at all.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I ended up putting a new plug on at the proximal portion of the splice, by which I only lost about 2 feet of cable. I have since removed the interior lower skins in the aft of the trailer as part of the subfloor repair, and now will be dropping the belly skin, replacing corroded frame parts and new belly skin (work to be done by a local metal/welding shop as this is out of my league!). So now the junction box has been removed, and I discovered that there was about 3-4 feet of extra shore power cable coiled under the floor. Now that I have the skins removed, what does anyone think about hooking the main power wire for the trailer to a male plug box installed in the exterior wall (such as a smart plug)? At that point the wall is curved, which may be tricky for getting a good seal.

Sean
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:01 PM   #8
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Presuming the cord is the original, you might want to consider replacing... now is the time.. and you will be better off in the long run.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:11 AM   #9
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I removed my hard wired sp cable and installed a furion 30a outlet on the street side just fwd of where the curve ends so it would have a flat surface to mount. Just make sure you have a good idea what's in there before you drill if possible. I had just enough room on mine to get it between the ac drain line and a rib. It's a big hole you don't want to screw up, and highly recommend a properly sized hole saw if you do. The other options I thought of was the back panel to the side of the rear access hatch since there is a little flat space there but didn't like the inward slope. Running the wire along the interior wall low from curb side to street side inside 1/2" nm blue conduit.
If money isn't to tight and buying the smart plug and cable is feasable it seems like a really good choice. Though I think the biggest problem is usually the tightness of the wires not being correct where wire goes into back of outlet.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:00 AM   #10
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When I installed my Hubbell I shot construction foam between outer and inner skins. But not so much it "bulged" the aluminum. Be careful about that. I then used high nickel content stainless bolts and lock nuts and flat washers as retainers on inside. It is solid.
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