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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I'd share how I'm going about my shorepower connection. I'm using the rectangular factory hole in the rear bumper structure. @DaveInSeattle was the inspiration. The dxf files are available on my etsy shop for 100$. Just kidding. Information wants to be free. The details and dxf are here:


Teaser:
Gadget Font Metal Camera accessory Electric blue


Should work in either passenger or driver side (you just have to flip the cut corner to the left for the passenger side to avoid an interference. The holes should also work for a standard shorepower plug as well as a smartplug.
 

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Nice work. I did a similar install but made the plate out of the sheet metal leftover from when I cut a hole in the roof for the Maxxair fan (re-use). If I had to do it again I would definitely use your design to save the time on measuring, cutting, painting, etc. I also like your idea of adding the solar plug. Wish I had thought of that.
 

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A different approach for 15 amp shore power connection. Had no need for 30 amps. Just a male end of an extension cord fed up into the bottom of the "B" pillar and exiting the pillar just above the floor. Existing hole at the bottom and the top existing hole above floor was enlarged.


I wanted the connection at the driver door so I would see it before driving off and wanted to be able to make the connection without having to kneel on the ground.
 

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A different approach for 15 amp shore power connection. Had no need for 30 amps. Just a male end of an extension cord fed up into the bottom of the "B" pillar and exiting the pillar just above the floor. Existing hole at the bottom and the top existing hole above floor was enlarged.


I wanted the connection at the driver door so I would see it before driving off and wanted to be able to make the connection without having to kneel on the ground.
If you need to add a shore power connection in an emergency in Home Depot's parking lot, that looks like a great solution.

I suppose the OP could do the same for 30A, but there is something to be said for investing the time/energy/craftsmanship into a quality solution.
 

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If you need to add a shore power connection in an emergency in Home Depot's parking lot, that looks like a great solution.

I suppose the OP could do the same for 30A, but there is something to be said for investing the time/energy/craftsmanship into a quality solution.
Interesting comment.

I do not park in powered camp sites so no access to 30 amps. I do park occasionally at a friend's house or at home so 15 amps is readily available. I do not have a 120 volt AC air conditioner so 30 amps is not required.

Do not understand the time/energy/craftsmanship and quality solution comment. I seem to have had power for the last 5 years without issue. Time to install is less, I get all the energy I need, do not see an issue with craftsmanship and believe it is a viable solution.

I almost never use real shore power. Charging is done with solar or using the shore power charger powered by the vehicle powered inverter.

If a person does not have a need for 30 amps, the simple and inexpensive connection works.
 

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Thought I'd share how I'm going about my shorepower connection. I'm using the rectangular factory hole in the rear bumper structure. @DaveInSeattle was the inspiration. The dxf files are available on my etsy shop for 100$. Just kidding. Information wants to be free. The details and dxf are here:


Teaser:
View attachment 164342

Should work in either passenger or driver side (you just have to flip the cut corner to the left for the passenger side to avoid an interference. The holes should also work for a standard shorepower plug as well as a smartplug.
Nice! I have ducts and vent covers using those holes, but it sure is nice having my connector under the van like you've done. The advantage is that when it's raining, both the plug and receptacle remain totally dry. It's a small price to pay for having to squat down on both feet to reach under. I haven't had to kneel like some folks mentioned.

Smart plug does look a bit easier to insert/remove, but for all the complaints I've heard about twist lock, I just haven't had any real issues with it. Push up, turn until it sinks in, push up some more, then twist. Even so, if mine starts to become a hassle I may upgrade to the 50A smart plug. Nice find.

What route are you going to use to run your solar up to the roof? I currently just have my power lines terminating near the top of the d-pillar by the roof inside the van, and planned to add a very small port to let them pass through. Are you avoiding the need to create a roof port by running out low, then routing up along the tail-light area?

Cheers.

Btw, my 14-50 is along the driver's sidewall in front of the tires (behind I was concerned about rocks/dust/wet road spray). I'm pretty much never doing anything along the driver's side in that area, but I'm always doing stuff behind the van, working, cooking, getting things in/out, etc, so I didn't want the power cord at that location.
Hood Automotive exterior Wood Wing Auto part

Automotive tire Pipeline transport Bumper Gas Composite material
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What route are you going to use to run your solar up to the roof? I currently just have my power lines terminating near the top of the d-pillar by the roof inside the van, and planned to add a very small port to let them pass through. Are you avoiding the need to create a roof port by running out low, then routing up along the tail-light area?
I'll be cutting holes in the roof. Not totally sure but: The solar will drop in near the C-pillar through a gland. There will be a pass through box on the rear with penetrations for antennae, roof lights, etc.
 

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I'll be cutting holes in the roof. Not totally sure but: The solar will drop in near the C-pillar through a gland. There will be a pass through box on the rear with penetrations for antennae, roof lights, etc.
Oh I see, I just scanned the link real quick and saw solar, but it was aux solar for ground array. Did you change it to a standard 5-15 receptacle inlet, or an outlet for delivering power to a remote campsite via extension cord (or both?).

I'm really glad I added at 25' extension cord with the male end removed and wired directly in the AC switch gear with its own 15A breaker, and with the long 5-15 female end available for campsite power. The slack is normally normally stowed in that same frame member you're using but in the center area. Getting ready to camp with family and they're already asking if I'll have power available for them to use.

Cheers.
White Light Road surface Asphalt Grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh I see, I just scanned the link real quick and saw solar, but it was aux solar for ground array. Did you change it to a standard 5-15 receptacle inlet, or an outlet for delivering power to a remote campsite via extension cord (or both?).
I'm using the adjacent square hole for an outlet, but I missed an interference when I designed the plate for that. That will be a standard receptacle. The plate the main post is concerned with is for either a standard 30A or Smartplug 30A shorepower inlet receptacle (and an SAE DC connector for aux solar input).
 

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I'm using the adjacent square hole for an outlet, but I missed an interference when I designed the plate for that. That will be a standard receptacle. The plate the main post is concerned with is for either a standard 30A or Smartplug 30A shorepower inlet receptacle (and an SAE DC connector for aux solar input).
Gotcha. So ground based aux solar? What's the thinking on that? I'm hoping to fit 1100W on the roof, so I can't imagine I'd want more.

I had to go through 2-3 iterations with the local innovation space (3d-printers) to get my vent covers to work down there. The passenger side has a wire routing clip interference in one corner that required some customization to avoid. "The map is not the territory!"

I like the aluminum final product you'll have. I'm worried my passenger side abs vent cover is going to melt being so close to the tailpipe. But cost right now is like $10, so no problem if it does. I'll keep an eye on it this summer. I saved the link to the place you're using for the custom aluminum cuts. Thanks for that. Only downside I see is adding four holes for rivets, but then the plate is very easy to remove after that. My silicone job was pretty ghetto. I'm just running out of steam. Need a few months of vacation in the van to restore energy for the next wave. Hopefully that starts in two weeks. Can't. Wait.

Cheers.
 

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I like your solution and was originally going that route, but kneeling under the van on wet ground changed my mind. I ended up making a new mounting box that connects to the receiver hitch and shares space with the trailer wiring.
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Much as I like the look of that setup... we ended up removing the tow-bar until such time we need it to gain ground clearance. If you're mid-length, that's probably fine; for an extended, I'd guess my departure angle is about the same as mid- between no tow bar and airbags. Only way to get the off-road clearance in the big rig.

But I'm rethinking @Checkswrecks method again now: I could put one of those on either side and join them on the way in... easier to get to and pretty attractive. I'm not trying to fool anyone into thinking this isn't an RV... 🤔
 

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I am increasingly torn between the reliability of a twist lock type solution and the reality that at some point, someone in the family is likely to drive away with the van plugged in.

Either power going in or power going out - either way - non ideal.

Not completely convinced that the "dashboard reminders" concept will always be sufficient.
 
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