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Old 01-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
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Waterproof power cord connections????

I can't find a category for this or any specific info on a Google search but I need serious help and advise. I'm on house power with a 30 amp RV cord and I taped the connections but I used the wrong tape, water got in when it rained & fried my cord. I had the taped connections elevated hung over a metal plant hook a few feet high. I think water got past the tape. It was raining.

So this really scared me. I bought the good waterproof tape but I want to be sure I'm doing this right, getting all the info I can.

Can anyone tell me what I need to do besides call a qualified electrician. How do you keep the cord connections dry when it's raining on shore power? Am I supposed to encase or bury? Is there a waterproof box? I cannot find any info or products or solutions so if you know what I need to do I would really appreciate some advise. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #2
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The easy solution is to get a 120 VAC 30 amp outdoor RV connection box.
Mine is mounted on the side of my house and pluged into a regular 120 VAC 15 amp outlet. The box is drip proof and you don't need tape. It does limit you to 15 amps so you don't have full power in the trailer. (AC = OK, Microwave= OK, AC + Microwave = Not OK)
No more wet connections. Check any of the home improvement stores for this item, usually about $30.00.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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Yes, have a 30 amp outdoor connection box installed. Your trailer plug may also need replacing with the damage that I see in the photos.

I know this may draw some flack, but my experience is that trying to tape electrical connections as you did succeed very well in holding the water in once it gets there, but seldom holds the water out. I would rather let it be in open air, getting wet, but drying out easily, than to tape it.

In addition, it looks like the photos are showing 30 amp to 15 amp adaptors. They are almost universally poorly built and fail no matter what you do. A little corrosion, a little time, and an AC unit on is about all it takes to finish them off. Have a good new plug put on the RV end, and a good 30 amp outlet installed and you will have a much better stituation.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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if thats a cord to cord deal cut back cords until you have bright coper, then install
a 30 Amp male plug on trailer cord and a 30 Amp Female on house cord.
that will repair prob. If you dont know how to do it git someone who can.
(water dose not run UP) i use a 3-4 Ft WOODEN stake set in ground, tie plug to top of stake,
put a 5 Gal pail up side down over plug and stake tie to stake.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Silverwoman,

Not sure from the photos what your set up is exactly but it looks like the failure was were you join two cords.

Since the cords need serious repair or replacement you can now consider Marinco, perhaps the best out there. Go here and click on RV.

Home Page | Marinco

I've also simply modified a plastic storage box and a plastic index box, cheaply and commonly available, to make cord socket protectors:

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when the 7 way 12v cord is not in use


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Old 01-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #6
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My RV power cord looks fine but I haven't tried connecting again while I'm gathering info and parts. I'll go to the Marinco distributor in my neighborhood and get some professional help too. The homemade plastic box looks like a great option so thanks for the photos.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwoman View Post
I can't find a category for this or any specific info on a Google search but I need serious help and advise. I'm on house power with a 30 amp RV cord and I taped the connections but I used the wrong tape, water got in when it rained & fried my cord. I had the taped connections elevated hung over a metal plant hook a few feet high. I think water got past the tape. It was raining.
I'm not convinced that the water had much to do with your problem. Connectors fail and melt when they get old, due to corrosion. While water can speed that process up it's not something that happens in an hour or even overnight.

It helps to use antioxidant grease on the blades of the plug, sold in home centers for connecting aluminum wiring.

Quote:
Can anyone tell me what I need to do besides call a qualified electrician. How do you keep the cord connections dry when it's raining on shore power? Am I supposed to encase or bury? Is there a waterproof box? I cannot find any info or products or solutions so if you know what I need to do I would really appreciate some advise. Thanks in advance for your help.
I don't tape the connections or use a box.

What I do is work the whole thing into a large plastic bag, so that both cords come out together, and then tape the bag shut tightly where the cords go through. If I'll be in the same place for a while I double-bag. Then I prop the connection up somehow so it's above ground level at least a little and so that the bottom of the bag faces down. Heavy garbage bags work OK but I've also used grocery bags.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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It happened when it was raining. Maybe it got hot & melted the tape. It could have been a coincidence and not only because it got wet. I should state I used the original trailer adapter cord to plug into a new 30 amp walmart rv cord. The guy at HD told me to tape the connections. So the trailer cord, then the original short cord adapter, then plugged into an adapter into the sheltered wall socket(photo).

I'm plugging into a 20 amp outlet, there's no 30 amp - might need to do that. It was working fine & I could use 2 little heaters or 1 heater & an electric burner for coffee.

Walmart exchanged the $50 - 10 gauge 30 amp cord. I got a 30 amp to 15 amp and plugged that into the sheltered wall socket made a plastic bin shelter for the connection & taped the open space around the cords with waterproof electric tape so water doesn't get in the box.

I don't run my heater much and have a compact electric fridge, use my hot plate only in the morning to boil water.

Can anyone see anything wrong with the way it's hooked up now or anything I should change or watch out for before I run it like this? Do I have it all wrong? LOL It's hard to get some one to come over to help me since they're all so busy.

I'm surprised there's not a 30 amp outlet here. Thanks for this forum and all the experienced, helpful people here.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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First rule of water-management: Water runs downhill.

The way you have it the water can land on the cord and run down to the plug.

It would be best to have the plug above where the cord goes into the container.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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...
I'm surprised there's not a 30 amp outlet here...
Where is "here?" It looks like you're in somebody's yard.



Are you really in a campground somewhere?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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Wasbro- Can you tell me how to do that? Tape it to the underside of the lid? I also covered it up with plastic. I don't think water will get past the tape???

Wswingfield- I'm on a friends residential property.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #12
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Wasbro- Can you tell me how to do that? Tape it to the underside of the lid? I also covered it up with plastic. I don't think water will get past the tape???
I'd do something like that. As long as it's uphill you should be OK.

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Wswingfield- I'm on a friends residential property.
Then why are you surprised that there is not a 30 amp receptacle? 30 amp outlets are an RV specific item that has to be installed. If you're going to be there for a while, you might want to looking into getting that done. Especially this summer when air conditioner season rolls around.

Really nice looking place, by the way.

On Edit: My first Airstream didn't have a proper 30 amp plug on it when I got it either. I've been through all the same things as you.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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I'd do something like that. As long as it's uphill you should be OK.

Then why are you surprised that there is not a 30 amp receptacle? 30 amp outlets are an RV specific item that has to be installed. If you're going to be there for a while, you might want to looking into getting that done. Especially this summer when air conditioner season rolls around.

Really nice looking place, by the way.
I'm surprised because it's like an old horse property on a large lot perfect RV's and it looks like people camped here in the past. And I plan on heading north in the summer in my new '58 Shasta.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:39 PM   #14
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Wasbro- Can you tell me how to do that? Tape it to the underside of the lid? I also covered it up with plastic. I don't think water will get past the tape???

Wswingfield- I'm on a friends residential property.
Tape might work or have the plug on top of a bucket, a couple blocks of wood or something.
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