It's annoying enough when your phone charger's cord starts to fall apart near the plug, but it's a whole different level of frustration when it happens to your RV's shore power cord! These cords are not cheap to replace. Trust us, the price is definitely not comparative to running down to the gas station for a cheap-o replacement phone charger! But with this super easy alternative, you can repair your RV shore power cord for the same price as a decent quality phone charger! Here's how!
How To Repair Your RV Shore Power Cord
What You'll Need:
- Replacement plug head. Make sure you get the right configuration (male/female).
- Wire stripper
- Small knife
- Cut the existing plug and about one or two inches of cord off using your knife.
- Strip the outside rubber cable to expose wires, about three inches, according to the diagram included with the plug. Be careful not to cut the wires on the inside! This will reveal one green, one white, one black, and three smaller white wires.
- Strip one inch of the green wire, then cut the white and black wires about 1/4" below the point where the green wire is stripped, and strip another inch off these two cords. Completely cut the three smaller wires to be level with the outer black tubing, as you won't be using these.
- Open the new plug head and the strain relief clamp, and behind the prongs you'll find a green, a white/silver, and a black screw.
- Push up each prong so that you can access each screw to loosen it without completely removing the screw. If it's easier for you, you can fully remove each prong, but make sure you put the prongs back in the exact order they came in to avoid disastrous electrical problems!
- Once you loosen the screws, you will see that they open up a clamp on each prong. The exposed wire will be clamped in these terminals according to corresponding colors.
- Place each wire in the corresponding clamp, then tighten each screw back up. If you removed the prongs, make sure you replace them tightly and snugly in the same hole that they came from.
- Screw the cover back on, then consult your manual to determine which configuration you should use to reattach the strain relief clamp. Once you've determined which to use, screw the strain relief clamp back on.
You're done! You've got the power!
It sounds like it's an intimidating task at first, especially if you have little knowledge of electrical systems, but as long as you follow these and the instructions included with the plug, it's actually incredibly simple! There are a few options for replacement plugs out there, but we like this Camco 30 AMP Mini Power Grip™ Plug, that has a convenient handle! Just make sure that you buy a plug that corresponds to your current amp power.
But how do cords get so destroyed in the first place? Well, like some other types of cords, sometimes shore power cords are just subject to a little extra wear and tear, like being removed by yanking the cord, or even driving your rig away with the cord still plugged in. We're not pointing any fingers, we've just seen it all here at Tradewinds RV!
Other times, not knowing how RV systems work can lead to horrible and dangerous situations! Using your RV's electrical system incorrectly can lead to arcing, which is essentially a small explosion that occurs when gasses are broken down electrically, producing an ongoing electrical discharge. This can happen when you plug your shore power in while other systems, like an A/C unit, are running. It may also happen if a breaker at the campground outlet is still turned on when you plug in. To avoid arcing, which results in damage to your shore power cord, turn off all RV systems and turn off the breaker before plugging in shore power!
Here at TradeWinds, we are happy to see our customers have the confidence to troubleshoot and solve their own problems around the RV, but whenever you feel like you're outside your comfort zone or area of expertise, don't hesitate to give us a call! Our expert RV technicians can help with any issue that comes up, and can get your RV back to new! So if you find that you just don't understand how to repair your RV shore power cord, just let us handle it and you'll be out on the road with power in no time!
Have any other tips or tricks on how to repair your shore power cord? Leave us a comment to share your experience!