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Old 05-25-2017, 09:23 PM   #1
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Replacing 120V outlet with 120V/USB port outlet

Has anyone replaced the 120V outlet in their Escape with a combination 120V/USB port outlet?
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Old 05-25-2017, 09:29 PM   #2
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Has anyone replaced the 120V outlet in their Escape with a combination 120V/USB port outlet?
Yes we have 2 . One by the bed , another under refrigerator . Both the USB port and the 120 work great . Ours has a little green light when you use the USB . The USB will only work if you have 120 hook ups . We have another under dinette that is 12 volt . So everything is covered for charging . I think our combo is Cooper and bought them on Amazon . Pat
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:27 PM   #3
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The problem is that Escape is now using special 120v outlets that are hard to replace with conventional outlets. If you know where, just have Escape add an extra 12v USB outlet, you can use these without hookups.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:24 AM   #4
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The problem is that Escape is now using special 120v outlets that are hard to replace with conventional outlets. If you know where, just have Escape add an extra 12v USB outlet, you can use these without hookups.
Curious what kind of special outlets ? Pat
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:21 AM   #5
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Curious what kind of special outlets ? Pat
They are Self Contained Devices (SCD), which are receptacles which are their own enclosures, rather than a device which gets installed in a standard box. They also mount in a cutout in a panel, not requiring mounting to a stud or other structure.

Jim showed these in Prairie Schooner modifications, and a discussion followed.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:40 AM   #6
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Jim showed these in Prairie Schooner modifications, and a discussion followed.
Yes, it certainly did. Personally I'm not a fan of these type of connections, but they are popular in the manufactured/mobile home industry. Using the specialized tool, it makes wiring multiple outlets much quicker.

I would prefer a conventionally wired outlet, since it's much easier to replace it if desired. Having no data concerning the quality of the connection, my opinion on that may not have much validity.


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Old 05-26-2017, 06:38 AM   #7
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Yes, it certainly did. Personally I'm not a fan of these type of connections, but they are popular in the manufactured/mobile home industry. Using the specialized tool, it makes wiring multiple outlets much quicker.

I would prefer a conventionally wired outlet, since it's much easier to replace it if desired. Having no data concerning the quality of the connection, my opinion on that may not have much validity.


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And it should be noted that the retail price of the special tool to install these outlets is somewhere in the vicinity of $600, U.S.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
They are Self Contained Devices (SCD), which are receptacles which are their own enclosures, rather than a device which gets installed in a standard box. They also mount in a cutout in a panel, not requiring mounting to a stud or other structure.

Jim showed these in Prairie Schooner modifications, and a discussion followed.
Thankyou Brian I had forgotten about this type of electrical installation . Glad it not's what we have . Pat
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:14 AM   #9
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Carl and Robert another item we don't have in our trailer and glad we don't . No special tool needed to install USB , 120 outlet . Couldn't you just cut opening bigger ,install box and use those wires to connect to the outlet you want ? Add a bit of framing if need be? I need guidance when it comes to some electrical , Not what I trained to do . Pat
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:22 AM   #10
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Carl and Robert another item we don't have in our trailer and glad we don't . No special tool needed to install USB , 120 outlet . Couldn't you just cut opening bigger ,install box and use those wires to connect to the outlet you want ? Add a bit of framing if need be? I need guidance when it comes to some electrical , Not what I trained to do . Pat
Yes, you can rewire any outlet, but the SCDs make it a bit more of a pain. I don't think the box is the issue, unless you have clearance issues behind it. The new box might require slightly enlarging the hole. There are also low profile or shallow boxes, and I've had good luck with those in areas where there's not much room behind it. If the wiring ends at said outlet, you could just disconnect and rewire using that end. But if it's passed through, you'd probably have to splice in some wire to be able to use a conventional outlet.

I'm also glad that mine are conventional. I've already replaced two receptacles for ones that have ac as well as usb, and it was a cinch.

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Old 05-26-2017, 11:28 AM   #11
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Yes, you can rewire any outlet, but the SCDs make it a bit more of a pain. I don't think the box is the issue, unless you have clearance issues behind it. If the wiring ends at said outlet, you could just disconnect and rewire using that end. But if it's passed through, you'd probably have to add splice in some wire to be able to use a conventional outlet.

I'm also glad that mine are conventional. I've already replaced two receptacles for ones that have ac as well as usb, and it was a cinch.

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Thanks Robert . Same here and glad it was so easy . I guess if there a will there is a way I always say . Pat
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:30 AM   #12
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Carl and Robert another item we don't have in our trailer and glad we don't . No special tool needed to install USB , 120 outlet . Couldn't you just cut opening bigger ,install box and use those wires to connect to the outlet you want ? Add a bit of framing if need be? I need guidance when it comes to some electrical , Not what I trained to do . Pat
You could, Pat, if you wanted to go through the bother. I think the reason Reace uses these type of outlets is that they actually pierce the conductors rather than relying on screws to secure the conductors to the outlet. That prevents vibration from loosening the screws, and loose connections can arc, potentially presenting a gore hazard. When I put an inside switch on my water heater, I used a plastic box and a "conventional" switch. That way, I don't have to crawl under the dinette table or go outside in the rain to turn the electric element in the water heater on or off. The reason I did it is because I didn't want to use the breaker as a switch, and it has been said that the outside switch is fragile and a PITA to replace if it goes bad. It was just an added benefit that being inside makes it more convenient. I just leave the breaker and the water heater switch on and control it with the "new" switch, except at the end of the season I will also flip the breaker off before draining it to prevent any "empty tank accidents."
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:33 AM   #13
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You could, Pat, if you wanted to go through the bother. I think the reason Reace uses these type of outlets is that they actually pierce the conductors rather than relying on screws to secure the conductors to the outlet. That prevents vibration from loosening the screws, and loose connections can arc, potentially presenting a gore hazard. When I put an inside switch on my water heater, I used a plastic box and a "conventional" switch. That way, I don't have to crawl under the dinette table or go outside in the rain to turn the electric element in the water heater on or off. The reason I did it is because I didn't want to use the breaker as a switch, and it has been said that the outside switch is fragile and a PITA to replace if it goes bad. It was just an added benefit that being inside makes it more convenient. I just leave the breaker and the water heater switch on and control it with the "new" switch, except at the end of the season I will also flip the breaker off before draining it to prevent any "empty tank accidents."
Thanks Carl . I think I still prefer the old outlets though . Pat
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:42 AM   #14
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And it should be noted that the retail price of the special tool to install these outlets is somewhere in the vicinity of $600, U.S.
Carl, I was looking into adding some of these outlets to our trailer and was reading a thread by Jim titled Prairie Schooner modifications. He had a link to a Snap-On SCDT Tool that was priced at $38. The webpage has instructions on how to use it. It may not be a tool that would stand up to production usage, but for what I plan to do I'm sure it will do the job. And at a good price.

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Old 05-26-2017, 12:37 PM   #15
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Carl, I was looking into adding some of these outlets to our trailer and was reading a thread by Jim titled Prairie Schooner modifications. He had a link to a Snap-On SCDT Tool that was priced at $38. The webpage has instructions on how to use it. It may not be a tool that would stand up to production usage, but for what I plan to do I'm sure it will do the job. And at a good price.

Gary
If that is true, Gary, that would be good to have. I mean at most you might add 1or 2 outlets or have to replace a few if necessary. I could swallow $38. I actually have access to one of the "expensive" ones because my father-in-law was an electrician, and he passed it on to my wife's cousin, who is also an electrician. If needed, I just have to drive 15 miles to pick it up. Thanks for posting this; I guess I missed Jim's post.
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:41 PM   #16
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One thing about such a tool: it takes quite a bit of force to properly seat the wire. The high end one is easier to use because you just close it until it can't close any further. But, it does require you to use a matching type of SCD, while the cheaper one doesn't. I also like the handy hook on the cheaper one - would make removing the wires easier.

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Old 05-26-2017, 01:05 PM   #17
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You could, Pat, if you wanted to go through the bother. I think the reason Reace uses these type of outlets is that they actually pierce the conductors rather than relying on screws to secure the conductors to the outlet. That prevents vibration from loosening the screws, and loose connections can arc, potentially presenting a gore hazard. When I put an inside switch on my water heater, I used a plastic box and a "conventional" switch. That way, I don't have to crawl under the dinette table or go outside in the rain to turn the electric element in the water heater on or off. The reason I did it is because I didn't want to use the breaker as a switch, and it has been said that the outside switch is fragile and a PITA to replace if it goes bad. It was just an added benefit that being inside makes it more convenient. I just leave the breaker and the water heater switch on and control it with the "new" switch, except at the end of the season I will also flip the breaker off before draining it to prevent any "empty tank accidents."
While I'd love to find the "stab" type receptacles are better, all my experience with them says they aren't. They also fail due to vibration, particularly when poorly installed by non-electricians, and the burning of the stab occurs as often as the screws come loose in a standard receptacle. The best solution is to use receptacles that don't place the wired directly under the screw head, but in a slot that the screw tightens a piece of brass onto the wire. Referred to as back wired, “screw-actuated clamp”, They are faster to wire than the "under-the-screw head" type, and less likely to vibrate loose, but more expensive.

An article that compares the different type of receptacle wiring (but doesn't include the SCD's (Self Contained Devices)) used in trailers is here.

An example of a back wired, “screw-actuated clamp” receptacle is a Leviton 5252W.

For those interested in installing or replacing SCD's, here is a link to a PDF.

I suspect the reason that Reace uses SCD's is the reduction in time & labor costs.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:51 PM   #18
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I went through the entire cabin and replaed all of the outles in our 21'.
and in some cases the electrical box also need to be replaces as the stock one could not acomidate the larger outles.

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Old 05-26-2017, 03:24 PM   #19
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The best solution is to use receptacles that don't place the wired directly under the screw head, but in a slot that the screw tightens a piece of brass onto the wire. Referred to as back wired, “screw-actuated clamp”, They are faster to wire than the "under-the-screw head" type, and less likely to vibrate loose, but more expensive.

I agree 100% - I love these things! They're so easy to use and I'm always confident that the wire is secure.
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Old 05-26-2017, 03:42 PM   #20
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Thanks for the great info, Jon! I'll certainly consider all my options before proceeding.

And Carl, it's great that you have access to a professional tool!

Gary
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