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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I completed the install of our rear bumper shore power receptacle today and wanted to share the details.

This receptacle was used: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NI38MG/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It turns out there is an existing route from beneath the rear of the van into the cargo area wall at the rear driver's side corner. I'm guessing it is for the trailer power if you have the tow package. I decided to utilize this, and put the shore power receptacle in the rear bumper.

1) Discover that a ~1/8" steel tube runs behind the rear bumper. Think plan is thwarted. NOTE: If you do not have the parking sensors, it should be easy to mount the receptacle without touching the steel tube. If you do have the parking sensors, you might be able to avoid the steel tube by mounting the receptacle in the corner moulding at the end of the bumper, underneath the light.

2) Buy tungsten carbide grit 1-7/8" hole saw to get through that steel (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0011MPKJ2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Also buy some cutting fluid to keep things lubricated while you are cutting the hole (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B003X3ZKXI/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

3) Cut the hole. Keep it nice and slow with significant pressure on the hole saw. I had to stop and let my cheap drill cool several times. Make sure you keep the saw and steel well lubricated. Once you are through, clean up and primer the hole.



4) Route your triplex AC wire.



5) Connect to the shore power receptacle and push receptacle into the hole, flush with the bumper. I put a 2x4 over the top of the receptacle and gave it a few whacks with a hammer to get it completely flush. Drill pilot holes and use provided screws to secure the receptacle.



6) Steal power from all your friends.

 

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Many of us have used the same route but there is no need to make any holes other than in the bumper for the receptacle.
I was thinking the same thing...There are cutouts in the steel behind the bumper that many have used as a place to put the AC plug by just drilling thru the rubber bumper in the right spot.

I also noticed this install has the back up warning sensors in the bumper.... wondering if the holes in the steel base are for the sensors and so another hole was needed......

Inquiring minds want to know....:D

ed

ps. a rear facing receptacle is good, so when you forget to unplug and just drive away, no damage is done - you just leave a cord behind. Back when I had my last campervan in 1972, I did that a few times! >:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep, it's because of the sensors. The connectors for the sensors sit sideways so it blocks more of the bumper than just the sensor itself.

If may be possible to modify the sensor connector or just squeeze your receptacle right up against it, but I didn't want to risk breaking the sensor. It might also be possible to get a smaller receptacle or modify this one so it needs less bumper real estate.

-Tyler
 

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They are all about the same. You might get a better quality one by paying more or you might not. That price seems about average. The caps tend to not stay tight after a while but it doesn't seem to make any difference (at least on mine).
 

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Sucks that the black Marinco one wants $13 shipping. The $20 black is out of stock. There is a Minnkota brand black for $15 inc shipping with Prime.
 

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I’d also add that Romex is not my first choice for this application now that I have been informed that all wire in a vibrating vehicle should be stranded. Perhaps type MTW, or THHN in some flex conduit? Now for full disclosure I did run romex from my shore power entrance to my RV converter/fuse panel, and I hope some smarter electrician type posts up to help us all.
 

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I put the shore power through the side of my van. I know I could drive away and rip it out, what was I thinking? Well actually I was thinking I would look in my mirror and if the cord was still attached I’d see it! So far so good. The spot I drilled enters the side vertical rib so the wire is where I can access it by removing trim only and it feeds to the converter where it is accessible all the way. If changing that wire to a stranded type is a good idea I can do it in an hour w/o taking any of my conversion out. BTW the other cover in the van’s side is the vent for my FLA batteries.
 

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I based mu under-the-bumper AC input on the fact that when I had my '72 Dodge van, I would frequently leave a campground and discover I forgot to disconnect the AC about an hour down the road. In the back, it just pulled out with no damage.

As a reminder, I now always curl the orange power cord past the driver side of the van so I might notice it if I look in the rear view mirror before departing!

so far, so good....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I’d also add that Romex is not my first choice for this application now that I have been informed that all wire in a vibrating vehicle should be stranded. Perhaps type MTW, or THHN in some flex conduit? Now for full disclosure I did run romex from my shore power entrance to my RV converter/fuse panel, and I hope some smarter electrician type posts up to help us all.
I used stranded Ancor marine grade triplex wire, it is nice and supple. I ended up using some solid romex for my AC outlets as I had the slim single-piece RV outlets and they didn't like the stranded.
 

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When possible I try to park so I can run the cord over the drivers mirror. I like your bungee idea even better.

Living in ND we often have to plug in our cars (block heater) overnight when the temp is forecasted to drop below 10 degrees F; that is if you want to get to work or school on time in the morning. I have driven away many times with the extension cord dragging behind, you usually see it in the rear view mirror when you turn your first corner.
 

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I’ll bet that spoils your pleasant warm morning commute when you have to get that dirty wire coiled up! AAGGGRR!
 

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Having no air conditioning unit I have no Earthly reason for more than a few amps of shore power. Remember even if I am charging my batteries they want something like 1-10 amps at about 14 volts or less thats about 2 amps at 120 volts. If I had a Class B motorhome with heat and AC electric then 30 amps would be appropriate.
 
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