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Old 07-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #1
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Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

My 2002 EB50 SMB has the rear 110v power inlet mounted immediately below the right rear tail light.

It looks to me (and Aluminess) like the horizontal brush guards and vertical post on the bumper will obscure access to the power inlet.

Has anyone else had this issue? Or do I have a weird one-off van?

Seems like there are two options: relocate the power inlet (not crazy about that, will leave a hole to cover up and seal) or have Aluminess do a custom bumper to avoid it, which entails a bit of a wait. (also not ideal due to my camping schedule)

My van:


Someone else's van with an Aluminess bumper:
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

My shore power connector is on the lower body panel, a couple feet behind the driver's seat.

Just took a look at my setup. The outer edge of the vertical post of the passenger's side bumper swingarm is just about even with the screws that hold the taillight in. That vertical post is just over 2" from the taillight lens.

Hope this helps, even if it isn't the answer you want to hear. Maybe check to see if there are right angle cable connectors available?


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Old 07-05-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

Instead of relocating, just add another one. The existing one will be hidden behind the bar mostly, and you won't have a body hole that way. Plus you can think of interesting things to say when people ask you what that thing is for...

Seems like a non standard location made to work with that bumper, probably ideal for somebody's parking situation at one time. Should be easy to access the back if you pull the taillight.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:59 PM   #4
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

Excellent idea jage! Yeah, I don't want to deal with filling the hole and making it watertight, but adding a new one and wiring it in parallel would be a piece of cake. I also like the idea of taking the Aluminess rear bumper as is. I could even RTV the access flap closed.

I'm going to call Peter at SMB to find out why the outlet was put there and if there should be any issues with putting it where you guys mention. (maybe some other reason in my build?)

Anyone have a picture of the exact location of their power inlet?

PS I did look at Marinco right angle adapters, but even opening the cover looks pretty tight.

(edit)
Thinking about it, the safe way to do it is to disconnect the existing inlet, because if I wired them in parallel it would be hot with shore power applied to the new inlet. But that's not too hard to do.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

I doubt you'll be able to open the panel to the hot, once that bumper is in the way, but I agree moving the wires would be better anyway.

The shore power goes all over depending on the build- I've seen them right, left, mid-ship, back lower corner. If you move it somewhere your wires reach it would make things a bit simpler- like around the corner from where it is now. Then again, find out where the wires run and see if you can shorten them and use the existing wires (like maybe they're run all the way down the side...)
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:51 PM   #6
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

Yeah, other than cutting the hole (hole saw? threaded draw-through punch+die?) it should be pretty easy to move it.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

Hole saw plus patience. Invest in a new one, Line up, line up again, check there is nothing behind, center punch and pre-drill with slightly smaller bit (if you're uncomfortable using the hole saw guide on first pass).

Then drill out that hole and keeping as square as possible to the surface go as slow as the drill will move. The first few bumps of the drill as I make contact I usually just let it scribe the paint, then check placement (easier to fix one hole and a deep scratch...). It's also a good time to check squareness, if you're doing a flat surface or symmetric, as the scratches should start at the same time on each side of the circle. Adjust as necessary before you're in the metal.

Then just spin the hole saw slowly and let it take it's time cutting keeping it square to your original hole. You don't want to push down and deform the metal or heat things up... despite the lengthy instructions it goes easy and you'll soon be like, "OH MY GOD, WHAT DID I DO, I JUST CUT A HOLE IN MY VAN!"

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

Most shore power and water hookups are usually on the drivers side of a rig due to the placement of hookups in RV parks. Seems strange that yours are on the right side. You might think about that if you plan on frequenting parks with plug-ins. Save carrying a longer cord.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:11 AM   #9
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

Not sure it's a valid theory or not, but I picked up the habit of covering painted surfaces with painter's tape before doing any drilling or cutting. Maybe it's just an urban myth, but I've been led to believe that it helps prevent chipping the paint along the edge of the cut surfaces.


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Old 07-06-2011, 08:25 AM   #10
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Re: Rear power inlet vs Aluminess rear bumper

re: opening post bumper...
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