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Old 06-11-2010, 09:41 AM   #1
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Exterior 120V outlet...

I have decided that I like the luxury of having electrical outlets, not only inside the bus, but also on the outside. I know you are supposed to use GFCI protected outlets, and that you should have watertight covers over the outlets, but I am having a hell of a time finding out how to mount the outlets flush with the exterior skin of the bus while being in a watertight electrical box. All of the exterior boxes I have found seem to be surface mount and would end up sticking out 3 or so inches from the side of the bus. I want to be able to run the wires inside of PVC conduit under the bus to the outlet box, but I want the thing flush mounted so it keeps the clean appearance and doesn't stick out. I have become a big fan of electrical conduit on this project, it makes running wires under the bus sooooo easy and protects them from the elements. Also, on the topic of conduit, do I need to run special wire inside the conduit under the bus, or can I use regular indoor romex (or loomex, not sure the difference but that's what is available here) because it is protected, or do I still need outdoor rated wire inside the conduit? I am learning sooo much about stuff here, I feel I could wire and plumb my own house when it comes time to build a new one, and I probably will!!!
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

Why are you having such a hard time? You need one of the "skinny" boxes designed for use in remodels. http://www.lowes.com/pd_10004-223-B1...roduct_price|1


and a weatherproof cover like this http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1



Don't forget to use the foam gasket with the cover plate. and you only need the GFCI outlet is there isn't another on on the same circuit (like in the bathroom) or you don't have a GFCI breaker http://www.lowes.com/pd_14387-1318-Q...anel%20breaker on your main circuit (you SHOULD be using a GFCI breaker in your panel box... do not trust the ones in the campground power posts).

As for the wiring... I think the wiring in our RV that runs to our exterior plug is regular household Romex. I will ask David tonight when he comes in (I edit this to say for sure weather it is or isn't). Given that the wiring is protected and not buried underground, you should be okay with regular interior Romex.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

the one I have on my camper is not flay with the wall, it sticks out on the top and angles downward so water doesnt get in it. It is waterproof also.In other words the oulets are actually aimed downward instead of out at a 90' angle. Check a rv supplier. I am going to use 2 of them on my bus....
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by putterspitt
the one I have on my camper is not flay with the wall, it sticks out on the top and angles downward so water doesnt get in it. It is waterproof also.In other words the oulets are actually aimed downward instead of out at a 90' angle. Check a rv supplier. I am going to use 2 of them on my bus....

Handy online catalog that many of the small "local" RV dealers use. http://www.go-rv.com/coast/do/chooseState BTW, water doesn't get in ours either (mounted on side with the hinged cover on the top). The current Rv has has this in it fsince summer 2006. Our popup had 2 duplex outlets in it from 1987 to 2005 when we sold it. Never any problems... never tripped the GFCI breakers. If any of you have houses with exterior outlets... take a good look at them. They should be the same waterproof plate cover. The foam gaskets are what keeps the water out of all of them... unless you take them swimming. The RV version of the $3 Lowes plate cover is $8 to $13... As for the angled outlets... I've only seen them on some trailers, not in a store to where you can buy them.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

I understand the front part of the outlet with the gaskets and such, but where I am planning on mounting the outlet, the back side is open to the underside of the bus. This is why I was planning to run the wires in conduit, but all the boxed that I have found that are watertight are surface mount.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:57 PM   #6
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

So, could I then use one of those PVC surface mount boxes that fits the conduit? I would have to be careful to cut the hole in the side of the bus small enough to allow something to attach the box to without leaving too much metal to short out the wires on.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I have this figured out now. I will try to remember to get pics...
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkindt
Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I have this figured out now. I will try to remember to get pics...
And don't forget to wet both fingers for good contact.... zzzzztt
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:21 AM   #8
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

1. GFCI outlets are usually much cheaper than GFCI breakers for a load center.
2. A number of regular outlets can be wired "downstream" of one GFCI outlet and all be protected by it.
- GFCI outlets have an "input" (hot) side and an "output" (protected) side. Follow the connection instructions: both white & black wires are fed through it.
3. I'm with Bender. I've had a GFCI outdoor outlet in a weatherproof box on the side of a house require replacement twice in a year due to moisture.
- The replacement GFCI outlet is now in the bedroom and feeds protected power to the outdoor fixture from a safe (dry) location.
4. I'm with Smitty on the mounting - try an undersized opening and use an extra gasket behind the sheet metal as well as the one outside behind the cover.
5. After a couple of exposures to rain, splash, or both, remove the cover to see how the waterproofing is doing.
- I've seen more than one "waterproof" enclosure that was good enough to keep water in, but not good enough to keep water out.
6. If the box does start to fill up with water, two to four 1/16" holes as drains drilled into the bottom corners of the box can help. Or make up a downward-facing vent using a cord fitting and some layers of fine screening under the compression nut for splash protection.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: Exterior 120V outlet...

you said the backside will be to the open part under the bus right? well just make a wooden frame around it or just mount a wood board down the inside of the skirt and then mount a conventional box to it?
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