Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mammoth gets "smarter" with a SmartPlug

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

Today was finally a nice day to do an outdoor project! So we decided to finally install our SmartPlug 50 amp Connector.

We had seen this product on display at Camping World this summer, and instantly thought it was a great idea. The folks at SmartPlug have redesigned the RV power inlet and power plug, stepping away from the old "Marine" style connection. When the old style connection has a securing ring (unlike the one pictured below), it's very difficult to get the ring secure in cold or damp weather. Even with the ring secure, the cord is able to twist in the inlet. This always made me nervous, was our cord properly connected?



I contacted the company hoping to learn more about the product and see if they would help support our next  Heartland Owners Club - West Texas Chapter Rally. They agreed, and sent us a sample to install, as well.

We were very pleased with how easy the instructions appeared, with photos and written instructions that were very clear and exact.

Sample of instructions

Here are some pics of the install:

Packaging of the SmartPlug 50-amp RV Power Inlet

Packaging of SmartPlug 50-amp Connector (cord end)

A 50 amp cord we purchased separately, with no plug. We wanted to keep our original power cord intact, so we could sell it later if we wanted to.

Taking Apart the Cord End

Innards removed. Note the wire-color coding on the clear sections. This is where the wiring will feed into the plug itself.

Preparing the wires on the power cord. The instructions are very specific of the length of exposed wiring needed.

Adding the black rubber gasket to the plug housing. There are two sizes, depending on the wiring size used.

Feeding the wiring through the plug housing. The white cap is sized for the 4 wires, and is only used for this step. It makes it quite easy.

Inserting the prepared wires into the plug housing

Using the supplied allen wrench, tightening the screws that hold the wires in place.

Securing the clamp that secures the plug end to the wire housing.

Tightening the plug innards to the plug outer shell. 
(Not pictured, adding the rubber seal to the plug.)

Second project, swap out the RV's power inlet. This is the old inlet.

It takes some patience to keep unscrewing screws to get this all apart.

Preparing the wires. The instructions are very clear about how to do this.

Push wires into the plug... then using the allen wrench, tighten the screws to secure the wires.

Push unit until it is in place, and resecure with the original screws in the same location.

Finished inlet.

Inlet closed

Preparing to plug in

We have contact! the silver pieces on the side click to secure the plug. No twisting!

Fold the inlet cover down over the top, and it grips a ridge on the top of the plug to secure (3rd point).

Finished project!

Overall, the project took about 2 hours. We had no issues with the instructions, only slowdowns with stripping the wires or getting the right tools in the right location to do the job. We consider ourselves fairly DIY savvy, but most of the time, projects take WAAAAYYY longer than they should, and require a trip or two to the hardware store. 

This was probably the smoothest upgrade (that required multiple steps and tools) we've ever done!

We also discovered SmartPlug recently added 50-amp RV Cords that are already equipped with their connector already.

I highly recommend this product - for safety, for ease of use, and for durability.