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Old 06-22-2021, 02:16 AM   #1
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Portland , Oregon
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Connecting the 30amp electrical plug

My apologies if this is a previously answered topic.

Just starting out, I watched the airstream official video showing how to connect the shore power 30amp female cable connector to the male plug on the trailer.

My trailer came with a gray Marinco cable that has a threaded collar to tighten after the plug is connected.

I can shove the connector in, but it won't turn clockwise a quarter turn like they show in the video.

If I try and thread the collar tight, gently, that does secure it but it is very floppy and no red light.
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:25 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, and thank you for the excellent first post . . . with photos . . .

Not sure why this is happening on your 2017 Basecamp, but you might try looking [or asking] in the following Basecamp sub-forum IMO:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f404/

Also this "2017 Basecamp Issues" thread may help:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f40...es-162632.html

. . . although that is a very long thread. You can "Search this Thread" in the blue menu bar there.

These "Marinco plug twist" search results [incl. search term "site:airforums.com"] may be fruitful?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Mari...=airforums.com

Good luck,

Peter

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Old 06-22-2021, 02:43 AM   #3
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PS -- There is some mention in those search results about Hubbell having a similar female connector. Maybe buy one plug locally, to see if the twist inter-lock works?

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Old 06-22-2021, 04:58 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. I would just add to Peter’s thorough reply that it is not a quarter turn. Probably less than an eighth. And the red light comes on after you flip the breaker on the post, which I usually do after my wife yells “We still don’t have power!”
Good luck!
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:04 AM   #5
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Mochisuki,

Welcome to Airforums.

I have Marinco also. The trailer receptacle has threads and notches I think just two.

Getting the plug collar to thread on just get the collar lined up and start turning it should engage the threads and tighten to the receptacle.

And I have one plug on my spare cable that has the ears for the notches 1/4 turn like you mention. for that plug I line up the ears to notches, push plug in slight turn and collar in lining up to notches, hold and then turn to lock.

Getting this connection secure is important. My receptacle is original 2007 and shows no damage or burning on the blades.

Gary
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:34 AM   #6
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Hi

The plug should only go in one way. If not, there's something wrong with either the plug or the socket. If you can rotate it 1/3 turn and still plug it in, that's a big problem. Something needs to be replaced in that case. (this is not common ....).

The plug shoves in to the socket first (there is a bit of force required). Once it bottoms out, you rotate it to lock it in. After it's locked in, screw down the ring. Next turn on the power at the post. Do not apply power to the connector before it's locked in place.

If things seem a bit to crazy, spray it with some silicon lube spray. If the PO dropped the plug in the mud, you might need to flush it out with a good spray of WD-40 or something like that.

Do *not* lube or clean any of this stuff while it's plugged in !!!

Bob
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:51 AM   #7
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The problem is the threads are the collar are way too fine and delicate. Unnecessarily so, making the collar hard to thread easily and way too easy to cross-thread.

As others have pointed out, you barely have to turn the plug clockwise (maybe a 1/16th to 1/32nd turn), then carefully thread the collar which isn't easy.
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Old 06-22-2021, 10:12 AM   #8
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30 amp hookup

Bottom out the plug, twist is slightly clockwise - no where near 1/4 turn for that plug. The plug face should be snug against the receptacle.

It can take a few tries to get the collar properly threaded. If not working, try reversing (counterclockwise) the collar a bit to seat the threads, then clockwise to tighten it. Do not force the collar-better to fiddle with the plug until it seems flush and centered with the receptacle. Once fully threaded, the plug should be snug, not loose.

The red light indicates power at the tower -regardless of the connection to the trailer.
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Old 06-22-2021, 10:31 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

Great follow through thanks.

Peter
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Old 06-22-2021, 11:56 AM   #10
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Guessing everyone has had a struggle with those. You said it feels loose which might indicate it was not seated. The plug is called a twist lock. Maybe give it a try with more authority. Not like destructive force but it's not a simple push in and walk away. Align the blade with the key to the proper slot, then get the other two in and push to bottom them out in the receptacle - then twist. It will feel snug when it is in correctly. Now the ring can be threaded. The Smart Plug works easier but is a bit expensive, yet a good upgrade. The NEMA type like you have do fail. Smart Plug connector is being brought over from marine use and I believe now standard for Airstream starting with 2021.5 models.
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:38 AM   #11
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Hi

If you do decide to go the SmartPlug route: be aware that things like a simple dog bone will cost you $200 (and are out of stock everywhere) vs $10 ....

Bob
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

If you do decide to go the SmartPlug route: be aware that things like a simple dog bone will cost you $200 (and are out of stock everywhere) vs $10 ....

Bob
Call me a Philistine, but I see the 'Smart Plug' as a solution in search of a problem. Yes, it's eye pleasing, but is the old fashioned cable that difficult?
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Call me a Philistine, but I see the 'Smart Plug' as a solution in search of a problem. Yes, it's eye pleasing, but is the old fashioned cable that difficult?
I read this at a marine site so I'm just quoting. The 30 amp twist lock was introduced in 1938, remains grandfathered, but speculation is that if introduced today would not make it through a test lab for approval. The twist lock plug and socket wear from mechanical stress and heat. The SmartPlug has 20 times more contact surface area, has a better plug/inlet support design, and a better seal. This means it is much less prone to poor connection and to corrosion which leads to the resistance and heat that causes failure. Appears the twist lock is being phased out by consumers as you can see by the switch made in marine and now RV use.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:18 PM   #14
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Thanks!

I just wanted to thank everyone for the really detailed and welcoming responses.

In the end, the PO came by to drop of the title and he helped me out. Not sure what was different but I think it was something he pointed out: making sure that the little red light is at around 11', or just... beginner's jitters.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:55 AM   #15
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Hi

Pretty much *every* electrical connector you find in a normal house or factory was introduced some time between 1890 and 1940. Coming out in 1938 actually is a bit late in the game.....

SmartPlug is selling their product hard. That's fine, everybody gets to market as they see fit. You pay a lot for each plug to support all that marketing.

Bob
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:59 AM   #16
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The SmartPlug is much, much easier to connect. I was having evidence of slow deterioration of the old twist lock plug and socket. The SmartPlug is a much easier and more reliable connection.

Simply open the cover, stick it in, and wiggle side to side to latch. Itís also more waterproof because of the rubber gaskets that are part of the design. I like the fact that I donít have to screw around with the locking ring on the old twist lock one.

Yes, itís pricy, but itís orders of magnitude a better connection. Glad to see Airstream finally improved the hookup.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
Align the blade with the key to the proper slot...
This step is key and may not be obvious in the YouTube videos.
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