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Old 05-13-2011, 07:43 AM   #1
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To un-plug or not to un-plug

OK, We have our 50 amp breaker installed and the RV is plugged in ( boy the plug is tight, going to have to turn off power and use a screwdriver to get it loose ). Are you supposed to un-plug before starting the engine?
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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I don't think it matters at all.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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No need. You can start engine while plugged in, won't hurt anything. Just don't forget to unplug befor driving off.

As tight as your plug is you should get a device that slip over your plug before you plug it in that has handles on it to make it easier to uplug. Can't remember what it's called or where to get it, I hope someone will belong shortly to give you a name and location to purchase.

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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Only if you're planning to drive away.

Running the motorhome engine while plugged into shore power is no different from driving down the road with the generator running.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:11 AM   #5
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No need to unplug.. Now, I have a sugestion for you the NEXT time you plug in.
Amazon.com: Coil n' Wrap 16 Plug Dog 50 Amp Plug: Automotive

This is a nylon strap thing, the ends are cut to fit over the "Pins" (blades) of the 50 amp plug, you push the ends over the pins and the strap loops over the handle.

Now you have a strap you can use to pull the pulg,, Very effective, beats the heck out of a screwdriver.

NOTE: 2: YOU SOULD always turn off the breaker before pluging in or unpluging anyway. Even with the plug dog.

I use a "Power Pull" plug on the end of my 50 amp cord.. Kind of like a built in plug dog.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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Plug Dogs come endoreced and highly recommended. No wiggling and wobbleing - pull straight back using the built in handle. At the National Rally, the Mobile RV Medic, Dale Sumner, will have these products for sale at his display.



Stay safe; pull straight out using the Plug Dog and only push in the cord cap in using your palm while bending your fingers back.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:45 PM   #7
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I probably shouldn't tell on myself, but here goes...

I had an extra length of 50 amp cable left over from my previous coach that had a twist-lock connector on one end. My current coach doesn't use that type so I ordered several new 50 amp male and female connectors to renew the one on the coach and to make a 25 foot extension cord. I ordered the nice kind that had handles molded in. In total, I put on 6 of these. Boy my hands were sore the next day after wrestling all those connections. My original cord was hard-wired to the coach so I cut it inside the bay and put a new plug on it. I bought a Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C and put plugs and sockets on it where I could bypass it if need be. Then all new connectors on the other cords.

I can't tell you how proud I was of my work. After mounting the PI box and running the display wire inside I thought I'd connect everything up and do a smoke test. Imagine my surprise when I found that the brand-new yellow connectors were much too big to go through the access hole in the bottom of the electrical bay.

Now, until I can find a larger access cover and enlarge the hole, I have to leave the door open just to plug in to shore power. It seem like the stores would know not to sell products to unqualified electricians with wives who ask, "Did you know the rear door is open?"
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyWJones View Post
Now, until I can find a larger access cover and enlarge the hole, I have to leave the door open just to plug in to shore power. It seem like the stores would know not to sell products to unqualified electricians with wives who ask, "Did you know the rear door is open?"
The best laid plans like they say and then having to hear about it from the DW ... I'd say it time for a cold one!
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:24 AM   #9
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You might try some dielectric grease on the prong ends it is used to make better conductivity but will also help with silding in and out
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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Unless you use a check list to stop or leave I would not run the engine without unpluging if starting engine was to leave. To much going on and one time you forget to unplug could cause lots of problems. I came close one time and have never done that again. I unplug and start the generator.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:46 AM   #11
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Regarding the open door......

Drop by your RV dealer and get an electrical hatch This can be installed in the door or, depending on the design of the compartment nearby.. Another options would be to install it in the BOTTOM of the compartment opening up into the compartment (in fact this would be a good way)

Note, the standard round hatch you would need to break off the "Fingers" if mounting in the bottom of the compartment (not a problem)

HOWEVER it wont' pass a 50 amp power pull plug so perhaps not the best choice

The other type has a door, usually locking, and WILL pass a 50 amp cord,, You may need to drill out or cut out the back side of it.

Several of the products on this page seem to fit what you need:
Save at RV Partscenter - RV Parts and Supply

I would visit a good RV dealer or Camping World and look at them there, you can order or buy over the counter at your discretion.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:34 AM   #12
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Wiggling a plug on the way out can cause problems. If you left the breaker on and wiggled it enough so that the angle was enough that you were to disconnect the lower neutral blade while the two mid hot blades were still connected you would run 240 volts across the system without a neutral. That's the reason (actually, one of many) why you never plug or unplug your cord with the breaker turned on.

The second reason is that you can crack the bakelite insulation on the receptacle. I'm sure we've alll seen those at various campgrounds. That makes for a loose connection.

Using some sort of straight pull device like those previously mentioned help eliminate those issues. If you don't have one of those make sure to pull the plug out of the receptacle nice and straight. And ALWAYS switch off the breaker.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:53 AM   #13
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Wiggling a plug on the way out can cause problems. If you left the breaker on and wiggled it enough so that the angle was enough that you were to disconnect the lower neutral blade while the two mid hot blades were still connected you would run 240 volts across the system without a neutral. That's the reason (actually, one of many) why you never plug or unplug your cord with the breaker turned on..
Mark! Thanks for joining in the conversation! It's nice to see you here posting in the forums.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Regarding the open door......

Drop by your RV dealer and get an electrical hatch This can be installed in the door or, depending on the design of the compartment nearby.. Another options would be to install it in the BOTTOM of the compartment opening up into the compartment (in fact this would be a good way)

Note, the standard round hatch you would need to break off the "Fingers" if mounting in the bottom of the compartment (not a problem)

HOWEVER it wont' pass a 50 amp power pull plug so perhaps not the best choice

The other type has a door, usually locking, and WILL pass a 50 amp cord,, You may need to drill out or cut out the back side of it.

Several of the products on this page seem to fit what you need:
Save at RV Partscenter - RV Parts and Supply

I would visit a good RV dealer or Camping World and look at them there, you can order or buy over the counter at your discretion.

Thanks for the link. The access I have now is a round hole with cover in the bottom of the hatch. The hinged cover has a slot for the cable. The hatch is plywood over steel and very close to one wall. This makes getting a jig saw in to enlarge the hole a real pain. I will need to go about an inch larger than I have now.

The entire arrangement was just fine until I got the bright idea to "upgrade." Unfortunately this isn't the first time that I thought newer, bigger, or faster was better.
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