Airstream Remodel (Part 9) – Exterior Electrical Port

The current setup for plugging the trailer into electric when parked is to run an extension cord down through a hole in the floor and bellypan and plug that into the outlet. One of the downsides to this is that there is a hole which mice can use to climb up the cable and enter the trailer. So over the years I try to plug it by stuffing it full of steel wool scrubbie pads or whatever, but it isn’t a great solution. Also, feeding that extension cord out is a PITA, it is thick and stiff and hard to wrestle down through that hole, and so I usually just use a lighter weight cord which I can run up through the hole. You know what, it would be nice to just eliminate that process all together. So I purchased a marine exterior electrical port.

NOTE: Do not take my word for how to do anything, I just followed the instructions. I am not an electrician!

Step one – I cut a hole in the trailer. There was not much space to play with, but it just fit between the existing electrical fuse box, and an interior rib.

Honestly, getting up the guts to drill the hole was the hardest part, and then I had Dave do it! He cut through the interior aluminum first, then confirmed there was no wiring in the way, then continued through the exterior aluminum.

Next, install the mounting bezel. I don’t know why I used pop rivits, I have Olympic rivits in my toolbox, I just forgot about them.

So far, so good. Now, cut off the existing cord, which is already wired into the fusebox – this way I don’t have to open up the fusebox and do anything with it. The color coded wires in the cord matched the color coded ports in the socket, so no problem wiring it up.

Getting the whole thing snapped back together was tricky because I think the cord is thicker than intended for this outlet, but I got it.

Fastened down, nothing here is going to be moving around. That wire wrapped up behind the box is a pre-wire for an air conditioner, it’s not hooked up to anything.

The only trick fastening it down was that there were pre-drilled holes in the bezel, but because I turned it a little to miss riviting into the rib next to it, the holes did not line up to have the port oriented the way I wanted it. I drilled my own holes and got it mounted. I pre-painted it silver so it wouldn’t stand out so much.

Next – attach the new connector to the remainder of the cord.

This was also pretty self explanatory. No issues.

The new plug has a waterproof casing that screws onto the outlet, so the whole thing is very secure once plugged in.

Another benefit is that now that heavy cord, which used to take up the entire side access area, can be stowed in the rubbermaid tub I carry in the car with other stuff for setup, and that will leave more storage space in the utility area.

One last check to make sure everything is hooked up correctly:

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