SmartPlug for 120V 30A shore power - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-09-2019, 12:08 PM   #1
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SmartPlug for 120V 30A shore power

SmartPlug for RVs are excellent shore power connectors. We asked Escape if they would substitute SmartPlug in place of the regular 30A twist connector under the removable power cord option. Escape declined, so we installed it once we returned home.

SmartPlug is ETL listed, as required by the National Electric Code (NFPA 70) and NFPA 1192, Standard on Recreational Vehicles.

You can get the 120V 30A inlet (receptacle) and plug or the receptacle and matching cordset. Recommend also getting the accessory plug cap.

We chose the stainless steel inlet, but SmartPlug has a white non-metallic inlet that should also look good on the trailer.

The replacement took about an hour - with most of the time removing the sealant from the old connector. The additional ground wire ensures the stainless steel inlet (receptacle) is properly grounded.

For mounting, we used 8-32 x 1" Flat Head, Phillips Drive, Stainless Steel 18-8, Full Thread, Machine Screws.

Outside views:






Inside we used matching stainless steel fender washer, flat washer, and lock nut. For the screw with the grounding wire, we placed the stainless star washer and ring terminal between the fender washer and flat washer. Inside views:







73/gus
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:36 PM   #2
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It is a Smart Plug for sure . We had the attached and a couple years ago installed the Smart Plug . I bought besides the system ,another connector end and made another shorter cord after I cut the cord from the attached . It is about 20 ft . So easy to use and smart and completely waterproof . The removable cords is very old 1938 technology which caused many boat fires ,reason for new system . Now we can install on our RV's . I had to make a plate because Escape had made a huge hole on the trailer .
We also wanted to dress up the trailer and went with stainless . Pat
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:45 PM   #3
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Also on the Smart Plug itself used stainless bolts with washers and nuts inside trailer wall to make it harder to steal the Smart Plug , instead of just a screw . Pat
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:38 PM   #4
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What's the reasoning for a Smartplug?
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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Not sure what others are thinking, but on boats, the smart plug lowers the risk of fire due to deteriorating conductivity of plug contacts, a common problem that has burned up many a boat left unattended for long periods while plugged in at the marina. Corroding contacts introduce resistance, which makes heat, which increases corrosion, which makes more resistance and heat, and so on, until either a fire starts, or something shorts out and throws a breaker. The smart plug has a thermal sensor in it which disconnects power if the plug assembly gets hot, thereby defeating the fire risk to a large degree. Arguably, the mechanical lock mechanism might be more secure, especially on a boat that is thrashing around at a dock.


As to using the plugs for an RV, I would not bother unless the standard plug develops problems, and maybe not even then. Smartplugs are expensive, and the main advantages seem more appropriate to the marine environment than to RV's. They are probably higher quality, likely a more secure attachment, but the thermal switch is one more thing to go wrong, and in my opinion at least, the fire risk with the standard plug is nowhere near as big an issue in an RV as it is with moored boats. Salt water has a way of getting up to mischief with electrics... As the saying goes though,YMMV.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:01 PM   #6
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Not sure what others are thinking, but on boats, the smart plug lowers the risk of fire due to deteriorating conductivity of plug contacts, a common problem that has burned up many a boat left unattended for long periods while plugged in at the marina. Corroding contacts introduce resistance, which makes heat, which increases corrosion, which makes more resistance and heat, and so on, until either a fire starts, or something shorts out and throws a breaker. The smart plug has a thermal sensor in it which disconnects power if the plug assembly gets hot, thereby defeating the fire risk to a large degree. Arguably, the mechanical lock mechanism might be more secure, especially on a boat that is thrashing around at a dock.


As to using the plugs for an RV, I would not bother unless the standard plug develops problems, and maybe not even then. Smartplugs are expensive, and the main advantages seem more appropriate to the marine environment than to RV's. They are probably higher quality, likely a more secure attachment, but the thermal switch is one more thing to go wrong, and in my opinion at least, the fire risk with the standard plug is nowhere near as big an issue in an RV as it is with moored boats. Salt water has a way of getting up to mischief with electrics... As the saying goes though,YMMV.
I believe there was a discussion here the other day about power posts etc. I would think you have the same issue with plugging and unplugging removable plugs , making them loose over time , potential for heat and then fire.The Smart Plug has a lot more substantial connectors in the Plug . Also when I spoke to them unless things have changed the thermo sensor isn't in their Plug any longer for RV's . Based in Seattle Washington . Pat
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:30 PM   #7
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As the saying goes though,YMMV.
For us, the safety and easy of use are worth every $ spent.

73/gus
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:03 PM   #8
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For us, the safety and easy of use are worth every $ spent.

73/gus
With you on that Gus ! Pat
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:22 PM   #9
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When I ordered our Escape in 2018 I asked if they would not install the standard mouse hole that they put the cord through.
They had no problem with that and just ran the power cable out the passenger side hatch when building the trailer.
This allows you to put in your own power hole where you want it and not have to deal with removing the old one.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:30 PM   #10
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When I ordered our Escape in 2018 I asked if they would not install the standard mouse hole that they put the cord through.

It's an option to have a removable cord. No mouse hole. Nothing for you to buy. No wiring for you to do.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
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When I ordered our Escape in 2018 I asked if they would not install the standard mouse hole that they put the cord through.
They had no problem with that and just ran the power cable out the passenger side hatch when building the trailer.
This allows you to put in your own power hole where you want it and not have to deal with removing the old one.
When we ordered the trailer didn't think we wanted a detachable cord . We didn't check on this very carefully . We were used to the attached cord being in a enclosed box , like our other RV's . What a eye opening when we found cord just laying under the bed in trailer . That was the first time had to untangle cord under bed . Added some thin ply to the framing under bed and that seem to work for a few years until , coming home from Washington , in the pouring rain , couldn't get the cord out to hook up . It was tangled really bad . After getting under the bed in the dark , undoing the ply to get to cord , that was the last straw . Ordered the Smart Plug after checking what was available . So far very happy . If cord was in compartment with door as before never would of had to change to removable . But do like the stainless on trailer . Pat
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:48 AM   #12
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The only downside to the detachable power cord is forgetting to pack it, in a rush, or leaving it home after cleaning it off. I opted for the attached cord set up, but will only need it when using air conditioning. Instead I installed a through the compartment door 15 amp removable cord set up, for use with smaller and easier to handle 15 amp power cords and now having 2 options for hook up, these options and backup choices are good to have.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:14 AM   #13
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The only downside to the detachable power cord is forgetting to pack it, in a rush, or leaving it home after cleaning it off.
We don't find this an issue at all. Everything gets packed up as we remove them, and if for some reason something is still sitting around it is pretty obvious to us.

For us, changing the cord from fixed to attached on my 19 was one of the best changes we made.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:14 AM   #14
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Instead I installed a through the compartment door 15 amp removable cord set up, for use with smaller and easier to handle 15 amp power cords and now having 2 options for hook up, these options and backup choices are good to have.
Nice approach. How do you isolate the two - 30A and 15A so that both cords and inlet contacts will not be energized at the same time? Mechanical interlock, transfer switch,...?

We made a second 30A SmartPlug cord from the originally provided power cordset. Hopefully, we will not leave both cordsets.

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Old 06-10-2019, 08:32 AM   #15
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We don't find this an issue at all. Everything gets packed up as we remove them, and if for some reason something is still sitting around it is pretty obvious to us.
We find the same - pack as you remove and make sure the site is clear. Hasn't been an issue in our 16 years trailering.

The cordset is known affectionately as the "anaconda".

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Old 06-10-2019, 08:43 AM   #16
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Nice approach. How do you isolate the two - 30A and 15A so that both cords and inlet contacts will not be energized at the same time? Mechanical interlock, transfer switch,...?

We made a second 30A SmartPlug cord from the originally provided power cordset. Hopefully, we will not leave both cordsets.

73/gus
The 15 amp plugs into the 30 amp plug inside....via 15/30 adapter.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:08 AM   #17
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The cordset is known affectionately as the "anaconda".
You're weird......I like that.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:24 AM   #18
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I've been happy with the standard removable power cord so far. Don't know if this has always been the case, but the cord supplied now is yellow...makes it pretty hard to ignore and accidentally leave behind.

I did have a concern about the cord either being stolen or possibly left behind. I also carry a standard 30 amp extension cord for those rare instances when the power post is out of reach, and got a pigtail adapter that can connect it to the trailer port in case anything happened to the regular cord. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:16 AM   #19
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It's an option to have a removable cord. No mouse hole. Nothing for you to buy. No wiring for you to do.
I don’t understand how paying $150 for the optional ETI removable plug helps anyone that wants to install a “Smart Plug”.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:43 AM   #20
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I don’t understand how paying $150 for the optional ETI removable plug helps anyone that wants to install a “Smart Plug”.
I think Glenn was being facetious as he has been known to be sometimes....
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