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Old 07-15-2017, 04:19 PM   #1
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Dolphin Hookup Madness

We have a 2003 National Dolphin 6342. It's a fine coach but there's one area that National completely dropped the ball. Running water and electric lines into the compartments is an unnecessary PITA and takes what should be an easy job to an extreme. I can't believe the planners designed this so poorly but alas, they did. Obviously the design engineers never had to use what they designed.

The electric line has to be pulled out of the electrical compartment area to make sure there's enough to reach the plug. Then I have to drag it back and feed it into the compartment and out the access door in the floor of the compartment. Then I have to drag the line back over to the hookup and plug in. Disconnecting is a reverse of that. If it was a 110 extension cord it wouldn't be difficult but it's a fat 50 amp line.

The water line needs to be fed in through a small opening in the floor of that compartment to be hooked up. After unloading the entire compartment of water hoses, sewer lines, water filters and other hookup gear, the hole in the floor is behind the water heater and almost out of reach. Fortunately I have long arms or I'd need help doing that. Then all the gear goes back into the compartment. Again, disconnecting is a reverse of all that, too.

I can live with feeding the modified sewer line out through the hole to hook that up. I say modified because the ends on the line are too big to allow them through the hole. I was able to cut two of the tabs off the narrow end so I can work it through the hole. By comparison to the water and electric line system, that's no big deal.

Has anyone figured out a nice way to modify things so connecting and disconnecting isn't a major ordeal?

If I can't figure any other solution, I'll probably cut a notch in the lip of both compartments and just put some closed cell foam in the holes when I close the compartment doors to travel.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgand View Post
We have a 2003 National Dolphin 6342. It's a fine coach but there's one area that National completely dropped the ball. Running water and electric lines into the compartments is an unnecessary PITA and takes what should be an easy job to an extreme. I can't believe the planners designed this so poorly but alas, they did. Obviously the design engineers never had to use what they designed.

The electric line has to be pulled out of the electrical compartment area to make sure there's enough to reach the plug. Then I have to drag it back and feed it into the compartment and out the access door in the floor of the compartment. Then I have to drag the line back over to the hookup and plug in. Disconnecting is a reverse of that. If it was a 110 extension cord it wouldn't be difficult but it's a fat 50 amp line.

The water line needs to be fed in through a small opening in the floor of that compartment to be hooked up. After unloading the entire compartment of water hoses, sewer lines, water filters and other hookup gear, the hole in the floor is behind the water heater and almost out of reach. Fortunately I have long arms or I'd need help doing that. Then all the gear goes back into the compartment. Again, disconnecting is a reverse of all that, too.

I can live with feeding the modified sewer line out through the hole to hook that up. I say modified because the ends on the line are too big to allow them through the hole. I was able to cut two of the tabs off the narrow end so I can work it through the hole. By comparison to the water and electric line system, that's no big deal.

Has anyone figured out a nice way to modify things so connecting and disconnecting isn't a major ordeal?

If I can't figure any other solution, I'll probably cut a notch in the lip of both compartments and just put some closed cell foam in the holes when I close the compartment doors to travel.
You do know that the electric line comes off of the transfer box, right? I just unplug it from the post, pull it out of the box and roll it up. On the water, I use a 90 degree fitting with a regulator and let the door stay open at the bottom. Hasn't hurt a thing yet. I understand about the sewer hose though, that is a pita. I'm going to look for a larger fitting to install in the bay. My Challenger had the same setup but was larger so the fittings would go thru the opening.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:11 PM   #3
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I have a sea breeze. I am able to unscrew one end off the sewer line which allows the pipe through the opening on the bottom of the compartment. The hose does the same thing. I just take the fresh water filter of and feed through about 3ft of pipe. The electrical should disconnect from the rig so you only have a couple of feet to feed through.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Charlie, I've tried unplugging the electric line from the coach but it's not easy. Maybe I could clean it up some and use conductive grease to lube it. I'll take a look at that. Regarding water, I don't see how a 90 degree fitting would make any difference with the water line. I'd still need to unload the whole compartment to feed anything through either way.

Jonesdg, everything sits on top of the water feed hole cover. hoses, sewer lines, fittings in a bucket, you name it. Ahead of that is the filter system which needs to be out of the way to do anything. I still need to unload everything from the compartment to do run even 6 inches of hose through.

The notch still sounds like the way to go, especially with the water because I like to leave everything connected except for the external feed hose. This last trip I finally got fed up with all the monkey motion. I would like to string out enough hose and electric line, and connect, closing the door afterwards. As it is now, I hesitate to connect anything if I don't have a couple of days to stay somewhere to make it worth the effort. On our last trip, we spent one night in a casino park and I only plugged in the electric and didn't bother with water because it was too much screwing around for just one night.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:10 PM   #5
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When I had my Sea Breeze, I just left the door to the compartment agar and hung the power and water line out. Just sipped the sewer hose up from the bottom into the compartment. Like it much better than my setup now with the hookups on the outside of the coach.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:23 PM   #6
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On my 05 Dolphin the slinky hose hole is a little smaller than I would like but I do have one hose that fits thru it. You can modify your hose ears or put a larger deck plate in. My service plug hooks up on the side not in the electric compartment. The work is just beginning if you want to make it your own as they say.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

Charlie, I've tried unplugging the electric line from the coach but it's not easy. Maybe I could clean it up some and use conductive grease to lube it. I'll take a look at that. Regarding water, I don't see how a 90 degree fitting would make any difference with the water line. I'd still need to unload the whole compartment to feed anything through either way.

Jonesdg, everything sits on top of the water feed hole cover. hoses, sewer lines, fittings in a bucket, you name it. Ahead of that is the filter system which needs to be out of the way to do anything. I still need to unload everything from the compartment to do run even 6 inches of hose through.

The notch still sounds like the way to go, especially with the water because I like to leave everything connected except for the external feed hose. This last trip I finally got fed up with all the monkey motion. I would like to string out enough hose and electric line, and connect, closing the door afterwards. As it is now, I hesitate to connect anything if I don't have a couple of days to stay somewhere to make it worth the effort. On our last trip, we spent one night in a casino park and I only plugged in the electric and didn't bother with water because it was too much screwing around for just one night.
I don't like the fact that the water connection is even in that bay, but have to live with that. I keep my water hoses in a tote where the electric cords are stored, and leave the door ajar when hooked up to city water. I do agree though they could have come up with something much better. I don't have a 50 amp set up at home so I don't lug that cord around at home. I have a 8 gauge cord setup for home use, as I never run both airs at home.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:08 PM   #8
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Well, then. I guess leaving the door ajar is a possibility. It gives me the thought that I may be able to make something that would lock the door in that position Close it and lock it ajar. I really don't like leaving the doors unlocked. I'll look into that. Thanks to you both for that idea, Floridflash, Charlie.

tmw, I did modify my hose tabs already. Maybe some day I'll install a slightly larger hole/cover. Don't know if I have a place to put an external plug on the electric. That sounds like it could be more difficult than other solutions.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:54 AM   #9
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Dolphin Hookup Madness

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Originally Posted by rgand View Post
Well, then. I guess leaving the door ajar is a possibility. It gives me the thought that I may be able to make something that would lock the door in that position Close it and lock it ajar. I really don't like leaving the doors unlocked. I'll look into that. Thanks to you both for that idea, Floridflash, Charlie.

tmw, I did modify my hose tabs already. Maybe some day I'll install a slightly larger hole/cover. Don't know if I have a place to put an external plug on the electric. That sounds like it could be more difficult than other solutions.


No you wouldn't want your plug on the outside I had to put a strain relief on it and not possible.
In the photo I have no strain relief. I thought of wiring in the electrical bay but not unless I install Progressive unit.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-16-2017, 10:24 AM   #10
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No you wouldn't want your plug on the outside I had to put a strain relief on it and not possible.
In the photo I have no strain relief. I thought of wiring in the electrical bay but not unless I install Progressive unit.Attachment 168907
Thanks for the feedback. I'll look at other alternatives.

I have an idea how to do it with a notch and still be able to have a compartment seal to weatherproof it while driving. I can fashion a rectangular plate with a piece of the compartment seal on it and attach it to the outside bottom of the compartment with a piece of piano hinge so it can be flipped down to open the notch and up to create a seal across the notch when not connected. I'll probably also have to re-enforce around the notch with a doubler so vibration doesn't start a crack there. If I do it this way, I'll post photos here afterwards. First I need to round up some materials. I do see a place for water to collect at the hinge so I may attach it there with a liberal application of silicone or Permatex to prevent rust from starting under the hinge. This is still just an idea.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:11 AM   #11
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Are you talking about the hole for your slinky? If you are that's too involved, just install larger deck plate.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:20 PM   #12
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Are you talking about the hole for your slinky? If you are that's too involved, just install larger deck plate.
No. That is livable the way it is. I'm talking about the electric and water lines.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:55 PM   #13
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No. That is livable the way it is. I'm talking about the electric and water lines.

Oh I see.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:05 PM   #14
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My suggestion on the water line is this: Make up or buy a 5/8"X3' drinking water grade hose. Install a 90* elbow at the water regulator that feeds the MH whole water system. Install one end of the hose in the 90* elbow. Now all you have to do is feed the other end through the small opening in the bottom of the utilities compartment. Then hook up your main water hose.

I use small bungee cords or tarp bungee ball cords two per water line that is in a coil, easy to store this way and no tangled mess!

50A line I just unplug, lay out the cord to it's power source, and feed the plug through the floor of the compartment and plug it back in.

Sewer line I found a clear plastic fitting that just did fit through the compartment access.
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