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Old 12-28-2019, 03:02 PM   #1
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Better Power Connector

I have had trouble with the connector for the 30a power cable ever since I have had the 2018. The plastic ring with the threads is held in place by 4 tiny screws. Just handling the cable in cold weather broke the ring loose due to the stiffness of the cable.

I replaced the screws in new holes with the ring slightly rotated, but the screws pulled partially out again last time we had a cold snap.

The Airstream Store has a better connector set with a price of $227 + tax + shipping (always high with Airstream). I found the same stainless-steel set for about $80 less with free shipping. It comes in either stainless or black. A gray non-metallic set can be found for not much more than $100.

This is an impressive bit of hardware. The cable end part pushes straight in and provides about 20 times more contact surface than the twist-on connector. It is locked in place by spring-loaded catches at each side. The lid also has a notch that locks it in place. The contacts are protected by a rubber gasket against any water getting in.

The mounting flange matches the holes from the old mounting flange so that no drilling is needed.

It took me a little over an hour today to install the socket and modify the cable. I'm really pleased with the result. I'm not worried now about someone tripping on my power cable and yanking my cable out or handling the cable in cold weather.

Seems like Airstream could install these given the price we pay.
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:16 PM   #2
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Better Power Connector

Yup. Designed for marine and boat applications. Solid connector and very waterproof both closed up or connected. I have two of them on my Airstream. Replaced the original and added one up front for easy generator connections.

Airstream probably wonít install them because of the cost. Itís also real hard to find them in the usual RV parts store. Mine came from Amazon. I replaced the trailer end on my OEM cord myself. A bit of a struggle getting the new strain relief on the cable but it works great. I rout it carefully to avoid trip hazards because the Airstream end will not pull out and it will trip you up.

Much easier to hook up and stays in place better. Just stab it in and wiggle from side to side to set the latches whilst pushing hard on it. I wiggle it the same way to disconnect whilst squeezing the latches to open them. When itís plugged in itís very solid and waterproof.

They also make a 50-amp version. I carry the modified 30 amp OEM cord and a 25 foot extension on the road with my Champion Dual fuel 3400 watt generator that has a 30 amp RV connector built in. Runs my single air conditioner easily on propane.
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Old 12-28-2019, 05:33 PM   #3
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I have the 50 and version. On my last trailer, a 40 ft 5ver, the electrical connection fused together due to low voltage. I replaced it with this one. When I traded that trailer in on the Airstream I uninstalled that kit and then reinstalled it on the Airstream. Never another problem. However I also use a power protection device that shuts off power if needed.
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Old 12-28-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
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I also installed these about a year ago. I have 30 amp and installed one on the side and up front where I had a second connection. I also used their TV/SAT plug and it works great. I really like the looks of the matching plugs. I also like how secure the connection is on the 30 amp.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:47 PM   #5
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I saw these connectors at the International Rally in Doswell last summer. I thought they really looked like a significant upgrade from the standard connector. But I didnít buy one (fear of electrical things).

Thanks for posting your results. I may have to reconsider.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:20 PM   #6
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Better Power Connector

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
I saw these connectors at the International Rally in Doswell last summer. I thought they really looked like a significant upgrade from the standard connector. But I didnít buy one (fear of electrical things).



Thanks for posting your results. I may have to reconsider.


The installation instructions are very clear, and they include the hex key you need to make the connections. Only other item you need is a Phillips screwdriver.

If you OEM connector has wads if caulking compound behind it it does take some work to get the old connector off. Mine must have had a pound of caulk all over the inside of the opening. Sigh.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:28 PM   #7
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Better Power Connector

My stock connecters are fine for me and I like the little blue LED light. Down vote from me. I think I would have started with the aluminum hot water heater door sold by Airstream, but sounds like you had some issues, you do you! Not much on aftermarket stuffs here.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:32 PM   #8
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The socket is the easiest. Wires are already stripped and are solid wires. Just have to stick them in the appropriate color-coded holes and crank down on the provided Allen wrench.

The cable is a bit harder. I cut off the old connector with a hacksaw. I used the hacksaw blade to carefully cut around the outer covering without nicking the wire and then pulled off the cover. I twisted the wire ends and clamped them in the appropriate holes. The wire is stranded and it takes care to get the whole wire in the clamps.

The instructions say to insert all three wires simultaneously. Hard to do without soldering them. That would work with solid wire, but it is impractical with loose strands since it isn't likely to get all three wires to go in cleanly, without crushing one or another. I put them in and clamped them one at a time.

I used liquid dish soap to lubricate the rubber sleeve and the cable. Even then, it took some strong pushing to get it through the sleeve and later, to get the two parts of the plug back together.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:58 PM   #9
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Here is a blog post I did on our install.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...0/#comment5045
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:33 AM   #10
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This thread is right down the alley of a question that I have about sharing power. If I am running my generator and wanted to share some of that power with a trailer parked next to me, could they just plug into my stock 30 amp power connector that I use now for shore power?

I do a group boondocking campout with friends every year, and an older member of our group doesn't do well in the heat. He has ac on his Bambi, but doesn't have a reliable generator. I don't run my ac during annual camp out, because I am out and about all day, and it is cool at night.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgeurin View Post
This thread is right down the alley of a question that I have about sharing power. If I am running my generator and wanted to share some of that power with a trailer parked next to me, could they just plug into my stock 30 amp power connector that I use now for shore power?.
No. Doesn't work. When you start the generator, the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) disconnects your internal 120v system from the outside receptacle. Otherwise, you could be trying to pump power back out to the power pedestal.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:26 AM   #12
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Thanks Pahaska. I suspected something like this might be the case.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jgeurin View Post
Thanks Pahaska. I suspected something like this might be the case.
Even though you can't use the 30A shore power plug to share generator power you can use the external 120VAC outlet on your Interstate. Mine is located on rear passenger side under an outlet cover and on a 20A circuit breaker. I think all Interstates have this outlet.

Good Luck!
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