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Shorepower Location/Install

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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:
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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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... 馃
I used the "underneath" method with one of the Noco 15A plugs. Nothing fancy - I reinforced the plastic Ford cover with a piece of wood glued to it, drilled through both, and then used some windo-weld to seal the whole thing back under the pillar. My van has a stealership spray-on protective coating which actually reinforces the plastic a bit too.

Now I've done it, I'm unsure if I'd use the "underneath" mount again. I've been down on my knees in the snow here in Calgary and I can imagine it being fairly muddy on a camp site. I managed to get nasty road goo (that brown mush from snowy roads) all over my jacket sleeve. On a do-over I might go rear bumper like Checks.
 

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I used the "underneath" method with one of the Noco 15A plugs. Nothing fancy - I reinforced the plastic Ford cover with a piece of wood glued to it, drilled through both, and then used some windo-weld to seal the whole thing back under the pillar. My van has a stealership spray-on protective coating which actually reinforces the plastic a bit too.

Now I've done it, I'm unsure if I'd use the "underneath" mount again. I've been down on my knees in the snow here in Calgary and I can imagine it being fairly muddy on a camp site. I managed to get nasty road goo (that brown mush from snowy roads) all over my jacket sleeve. On a do-over I might go rear bumper like Checks.
Exactly my thoughts... but for some reason I really like the hidden feature this provides.
 

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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.
Automatic cord disconnect, They also have a 20 amp model.

 

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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.
Funny... I was just searching for how I might address this concern. Reminds me the considerable advantage of just running the cord through the window... not likely to fail to SEE that. 馃ぃ


I can't help but think I could just make more of a "break off here" setup somehow... 'cause $300+? Wow.

I'm picturing something more like the computer chargers that hold in with magnets. 馃

Guess the demand is too low. 馃槩
 

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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.
Like it. I was lazier and just used the stock rubber cover for the tie-to-shore outlet. Didn't need the Smart Plug, so just used a Marine grade regular outlet tied straight up the pillar with a premade Y to where my Bluetti sits so I can charge it but also have a 240 watt solar.

Also wanted a conduit to the other side for my wires going there, including a 110v and 12v receptacles on the other (drivers) side of the van + lighting and solar. Underneath, on driver's side, I used a stock exterior electrical plastic flat plate. The stock plate screw holes match a tapped thin metal plate that's wider than the opening to "sandwich" it to frame.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle door Bumper Gas
Gas Bumper Fixture Auto part Machine
 

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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.
If this is a big concern, a low tech solution is to tie a very brightly colored string (see tent guy lines) to your cord where it plugs in and the other to your steering wheel.

;)


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Thanks for the suggestions.

Of course there are four aspects to all of this:
  • The van plugged into shore power
  • External devices plugged into the van
  • Making something sufficiently bullet proof that it can be implemented on a customer's van without requiring them to put in place a reminder tag
  • Knowing that people in my family are just as stubborn as I am and likely to ignore a reminder item

I am currently on the same path as @raybtarkington as far as using 15 amp shore power style plugs.

I have in fact used the cord through the window option but that is less useful when it is raining.
 

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If this is a big concern, a low tech solution is to tie a very brightly colored string (see tent guy lines) to your cord where it plugs in and the other to your steering wheel.

;)


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Sometimes I get home from the shop at 10 pm and head out by 7 am. I can easily imagine forgetting to do this at least once.
 

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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.
I put a wheel chock behind the wheel next to the power plug. If a campsite was a pull out forward spot, I'd put the chock in front. Would be very hard to drive over accidentally from a dead stop. It only gets moved after plug is removed, usually the last two things before takeoff. I plan to add an electrical shock sticker to it as a reminder but so far it's doing its job just fine. They also help level the van when camping. I carry two with me.

Cheers.
 

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Just add a little 120VAC relay to the shore power input circuit. Have it provide a ground to a buzzer or warning light. Get the +12VDC from the "engine running" signal.
Good idea! Know any silent 120V relays? I tried two expensive supposedly silent contactors but they still buzz a bit. I'm also on shore for weeks or even months sometimes, and a relay being held activated with no cycling for very long periods is the kiss of death. Would need a good latching relay. Those giant blue sea latching solenoids are excellent but way oversized for this job. A smaller version would be perfect for this. Any ideas?

Cheers.
 

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I have a couple of kids that are constantly 'talking at me' and it can be very distracting, so I think I'll probably tap into the brake shift interlock as @asdrew details here: 2020 dealer installed keypad question?
and have a 120V relay prevent the van from being shifted out of park when the shore power is plugged in instead of the hidden switch that he uses in the post linked above
 

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Good idea! Know any silent 120V relays? I tried two expensive supposedly silent contactors but they still buzz a bit. I'm also on shore for weeks or even months sometimes, and a relay being held activated with no cycling for very long periods is the kiss of death. Would need a good latching relay. Those giant blue sea latching solenoids are excellent but way oversized for this job. A smaller version would be perfect for this. Any ideas?

Cheers.
Solid state relays are very quiet, They have been used in most industrial applications since the 1980s. Oldfashioned mechanical relays are a thing of the past.

 

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I have a couple of kids that are constantly 'talking at me' and it can be very distracting, so I think I'll probably tap into the brake shift interlock as @asdrew details here: 2020 dealer installed keypad question?and have a 120V relay prevent the van from being shifted out of park when the shore power is plugged in instead of the hidden switch that he uses in the post linked above
That is a great idea!
 

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...
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... 馃
Alan D - That's the same hole/grommet I mentioned that I used.


For the others:
1. Make sure the cable can not chafe on the metal of the hole. I wrapped the cable in nylon and then used some black sealant to fix it in place so it can't rub.
2. Having a black plug on the black bumper cover is not very conspicuous.

3. Inside the rectangular hole is a great spot for a magnetic spare key holder. Or so I may've heard.
;)
 
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