Marinco RV Detachable Power Conversion Kit (30ARVKIT)

Starcraft travel trailer > Mods > Marinco 30ARVKIT


Background

Many trailers, ours included, are equipped with a 30 amp AC cable that exits the trailer through a port in the side (commonly called a "mouse hole"). The cord is stowed by feeding it back through the port.

Mouse hole - open

The installation of this Marinco conversion kit is a popular modification among our camping friends but we never really saw the value until we discovered mice in our trailer.

You can find it starting at the Marinco site, but because it's listed on one of their brand sites there's a lot of clicking to do. The direct link is http://www.park-power.com/en/30arvkit.

Marinco RV Detachable Power Conversion Kit (30ARVKIT)

Issues

The instructions could be better. There's a soft copy on the website which makes the photos much easier to see. However, there is no parts list, and I think the steps could be better written.

My own steps are in the Installation section below; here is my parts list.

Marinco 30ARVKIT - parts list

Installation

I started by gathering what I needed for the job.

Tools:

Supplies:

Preparation

Unplug shore power and disconnect the battery. Ensure that the shore power cord is pulled all the way out of the mouse hole.

Unplug shore power
Disconnect battery

Socket

Remove the screws that secure the mouse hole housing to the trailer. Set the screws aside; you'll use them later.

Remove mouse hole screws

Separate the mouse hole housing from the trailer and slide it down the power cord.

Separate mouse hole from trailer - 01
Separate mouse hole from trailer - 02

If there are jagged edges around the hole, wrap some electrical tape around the power cord to protect it.

Wrap cord to protect against jagged edges

Clean up the remaining sealant around the opening.

Clean area around opening - 01
Clean area around opening - 02

Mark a spot along the power cord about 18" from the opening and cut the cord.

Mark ~18" in of cord
Bolt cutters for 30A cord
Cut 30A cord with bolt cutters
Cord cut

Slide the mouse hole housing off the severed cord, wrap the open end, coil and set aside.

Mouse hole off cord
Wrap open end of severed cord
Coil severed cord and set aside

Fill the low spots in the aluminum channel with butyl tape, and tape the back of the 5-1/8" ring plate.

Butyl tape and scissors
Fill valleys in aluminum siding with butyl tape
Layer back of 5-1/8" ring with butyl tape

Attach the 5-1/8" ring plate to the trailer using the same screws and holes that secured the mouse hole housing.

Screw 5-1/8" ring into place*

Remove the excess butyl tape.

Trim excess butyl tape - 01

Slide the gasket onto the remaining power cord and keep it from slipping off (or into the trailer)

Slide thin gasket onto cord and hold in place

Remove six inches of outer sheath and filler from the 30A cable. Be careful not to nick the insulation of the individual conductors.

Remove 6" of sheath and filler*

Wrap the wire in electrical tape, leaving the last two inches uncovered.

Wrap with electrical tape, leaving 2" exposed

At this point you're supposed to "feed" the wrapped conductors through the strain relief at the back of the rear safety enclosure. It's a very tight fit - "force" would be a more appropriate word. A litte dish soap as a lubricant helps.

Feed cord through rear safety enclosure*

Strip 1/2" to 5/8" of insulation from the conductors and insert them into the colour coded terminals on the back of the socket. Tighten the terminal screws firmly, ensuring no insulation is trapped between the terminal plates.

Strip 1/2" to 5/8" of insulation and install in colour-coded socket terminals

"Feed" the cord back through the rear safety enclosure and secure the enclosure with the screw on the back. If your electrical tape shreds like mine did, wrap it again.

Slide rear safety enclosure into place and secure with screw*

Slide the cord and rear safety enclosure into place and thread the 8-32 screws through the socket housing and gasket into the 5-1/8" ring plate.

Thread 8-32 screws through socket housing and gasket

Socket installation complete.

Installed - 01

Plug

Start by trimming the end of the boot to the diameter of the power cord (I did use two hands; for the photo, one's holding the camera).

Trim boot to cord diameter
Boot trimmed - 02

Remove the three long screws from the face of the plug.

Plug - long screws reinstalled
Plug - long screws removed
Long screws

Slide the plug boot and the now-separated plug housing onto the cable.

Remove plug housing from plug; slide boot and plug housing onto cord

Remove two inches of outer sheath and filler from the 30A cable. Once again, be careful not to nick the insulation of the individual conductors.

Remove 1-1/4" of sheath and filler*

Strip 1/2" to 5/8" of insulation from the conductors and insert them into the colour coded terminals on the back of the plug. Tighten the terminal screws firmly, ensuring no insulation is trapped between the terminal plates.

Strip 1/2" to 5/8" of insulation and install in colour-coded plug terminals

Slide the plug housing back onto the plug and reinstall the three long screws. Securely tighten the strain relief on the side of the plug housing at the rear (not visible in this photo).

Plug and housing installed

Dab a little dish soap on the opening of the plug boot and the shoulders of the plug housing. Slide the boot onto the plug as far as it will go.

Boot installed

Reconnect the battery.

In use, plug the trailer side in first by inserting the plug into the socket and turning the black ring clockwise to lock it in place. Then connect the other end of the plug to shore power.

Plugged in

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