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#1 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 08:19 AM
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External Weatherproof 120V Outlet

I've been thinking about mounting a weatherproof flip type female 120V outlet on the opposite side of the trailer outlet. I'd like to wire this to an inverter mounted in the cab. Primary use is so that I can run 120 volt power outside the truck without having the doors / windows open when camping, etc.

I've been searching, but I haven't found any other trucks that have something like this, or any outlet on the internet that might be fit for purpose. I also checked RV / trailer supply web sites, but found nothing. I found some marine style outlets, but they were male. I know some trucks mount in a toolbox in the bed, but that will not work because my retrax housing is mounted in the bed.

Any suggestions?

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#2 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 12:44 PM
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My buddy has a 120v box mounted to the front of his diesel for his block heater. It's just a weatherproof metal electrical box with a spring flip cover.
I'll get you a picture next week when I'm back at work.

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 12:58 PM
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I think you will have better luck just running a cig lighter outlet with a moisture proof type cover, and leave it hot, then plug your invertor into it and you are done.

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#4 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 01:21 PM
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Easier then that is just a Costco jumper battery and you won't have to worry about killing your truck battery while camping. All other solutions and there are many, are dangerous sources in the rain due to hot power leads and no GFI power cut off. I would hate to see a child play and grab the lines at the wrong time.

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 04:38 PM
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I just bought the parts to do that. I'll get to it eventually, maybe when it's warmer.

Get a cast aluminum NEMA single gang enclosure, the kind that you would use on a building outside, a GFCI outlet (sometimes you can get them as a bundle along with the enclosure and includes the weatherproof cover), and a cover if not... and either the new liquidtight flexible conduit (made out of rigid coated spiral plastic) or the older TECK stuff (metal conduit with plastic covering) in the correct length and the correct size fittings (the enclosures use threaded 1/2" usually). Run the conduit along the frame rails into the cab, attach fittings and use silicone (or equivalent) to make the threads watertight, then add your wire (14AWG x 3 Black White Green) into the conduit and wire the GFCI plug and hardwire into your inverter, or if your inverter doesn't do hardwire then just terminate the other end into a normal NEMA 5-15 plug and then plug it into the AC sockets on the inverter.

This is advantageous to extending the 12V line, which you can already get off the 7-pin connector (and various places sell 7-pin to lighter plug adapters) because of the higher voltage meaning less current for the same amount of power. The wiring can be smaller in this case and the voltage drop across the wire is less significant - losing a few volts on a 120V line is not significant, equipment continues to function, but losing a few volts on a 12V line is a big deal because the equipment (inverter) will often trip off from the undervoltage condition.

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 04:51 PM
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Get a cast aluminum NEMA single gang enclosure, the kind that you would use on a building outside, a GFCI outlet (sometimes you can get them as a bundle along with the enclosure and includes the weatherproof cover), and a cover
Thanks. Do you have a link to the enclosure / outlet parts you ordered?
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schreiter View Post
Thanks. Do you have a link to the enclosure / outlet parts you ordered?
I got a Thomas & Betts Red Dot brand enclosure but really any brand will do as long as it's a water tight box made of some non-ferrous material. You may also need threaded plugs to cap all the unused holes on the box. They also make plastic type boxes but I worry about impact resistance.
http://www-public.tnb.com/ps/fulltil...gi?part=IH31LM

GFCI I selected a Leviton SmartLockPro 15A Decora style duplex outlet but again any other brand will do whether it's Hubbell, Cooper, Bryant, Pass&Seymour... whatever, just don't get the dollar store ones.
Non Tamper-Resistant Duplex > GFCI Receptacles > Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) > All Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products
No real need for isolated ground devices because the box is going to be attached to your vehicle frame somewhere which is the reference ground for the electrical system there... and your inverter should then bond the ground line to the DC negative side. If it's not bonded I would just put a small jumper between the chassis ground bolt on the inverter to the negative DC supply cable so it's not floating. Technically the outlet will automatically be grounded simply by being attached to the electrical box (if it is a metal type) but it should be done with copper wire either way. I would still run a bare or green ground wire in the conduit even though the frame or metal conduit (if used) is an applicable grounding method.

Like I mentioned often these two are bundled together as a package deal. The package with box cover and GFCI outlet is under $20.

This stuff isn't really specialized material that you have to go to a electrical distributor to order... it's common hardware store stuff, and since it's on your vehicle you don't have to comply with NFPA or building code standards to the exact letter and many options are available to you. You just have to select the parts so that they won't fail or deteriorate under the harsh environment that is under your vehicle.

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#8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 05:03 AM
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2011 F-350SD - SRW XLT FX4 CCLB: 6.7L PSD, 6R140, 3.55:1 EL, Job 2 (Daily Driver)
With BDS 6" 4-Link & Rear Leafs, Fox 2.0 IFP, Toyo MT 38x13.50R18 on 18x9 Fuel D525, Bulletproof Prerunner Bumper, EGR/DPF/SCR delete.

1994 RAM 2500 - SLT Laramie 4x4 RCLB 5.9L 6BT NV4500 (Project)
2009 Tundra - SR5 4x2 RCLB 5.7L 4.30:1 (Sold)
Others: 1995 F-350HD DRW 4x2 CCFB 7.3L-T444E PSD // 2004 F-350SD SRW 4x4 CCLB 6.0L-VT365 PSD.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the reply and the pic. I've make it up to Edmonton every now and then - you guys definitely need those block heaters up there!
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 06:19 PM
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You all are aware that the TRD Tacomas have these factory mounted In the bed so there is a Toyota part number for these.
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#11 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 06:55 PM
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Yeah I was always curious if anybody has taken the Tacoma outlet and installed it in the Tundra. You will be going way over board if you are going to install sealtight to run those wires up to your cab. I am pretty sure they make fittings that would seal up a 14-2 cord that would run up through the frame alot easier. And if you install a GFCI there should be no worries about electric shock in wet conditions.
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#12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 07:27 PM
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Yeah I'm fully aware that I could just ziptie a chopped up extension cord to the frame but that's not my style.

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#13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 08:13 PM
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Im no hack either dude but I work commerical electrical constuction and even I wouldnt run seal tight underneath my truck. In residential electric you can run UF cable in the ground, thats just a few condutors in a sealed romex jacket, perfectly OK by code. I understand going overboard with seal tight but unnessary in my book.
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#14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 09:20 PM
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Yea, seal tight is a bit over board. Maybe you could check a marine store to see what they carry or recommend if you don't want to go the Tacoma route

You could also use something like this tucked up under the bed rail

OUTLET PWR NEMA 5-15R SNAP-IN/FO - 738W-X2/03
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#15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 09:44 PM
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I was going to run TECK aka LFMC, but then I figured that would be TOO overkill. But some overkill is good. It just costs more. Sealtite LFNMC is cheap (compared to TECK), I have several rolls of the stuff, they cut easily with hose cutters, those thread-in terminations are quick to use and it maintains minimum bend radius for me automatically. I figure the underside of a vehicle probably sees more wetness and other crap hitting it than attached to an air conditioner or hot tub beside a building.

I wired my shed in the backyard all with 3/4" EMT... certainly not required but I did it anyway. I'm obsessed with conduit. I do data/com structured cabling in pipe too, makes future add-ons and repairs easy. It just takes a lot more people-hours but for my own stuff I have all the time in the world. Same with my truck.

Yeah, NMWU or UF would probably work, but how would you approach waterproofing the entry point to the 5-15R outlet or into the cab? I guess I should see what the backside of the Taco outlet (that was suggested earlier) looks like. Maybe it's even just a plug-in connector.
The alternative is to get 14/3 SJOOW cable and a cord grip end, if it works for vehicle block heater cords it should work for this.

How does the Toyota inverter and power outlet system deal with potential fault scenarios? Just relies on the OEM inverter being a little 400W model and tripping off in a fault condition? I have a 2500W inverter in my truck (full load spread across 2 circuits) so it theoretically has the potential to deliver as much current as a building circuit can.

Not saying anyone has to do it the way I'm doing it, but I'm just doing a similar add-on and just sharing my procedure for anyone to pick ideas off of. I agree there are a dozen ways to accomplish the same thing, I rationalize my methods with my thought process but I acknowledge that it's not the only way.

2011 F-350SD - SRW XLT FX4 CCLB: 6.7L PSD, 6R140, 3.55:1 EL, Job 2 (Daily Driver)
With BDS 6" 4-Link & Rear Leafs, Fox 2.0 IFP, Toyo MT 38x13.50R18 on 18x9 Fuel D525, Bulletproof Prerunner Bumper, EGR/DPF/SCR delete.

1994 RAM 2500 - SLT Laramie 4x4 RCLB 5.9L 6BT NV4500 (Project)
2009 Tundra - SR5 4x2 RCLB 5.7L 4.30:1 (Sold)
Others: 1995 F-350HD DRW 4x2 CCFB 7.3L-T444E PSD // 2004 F-350SD SRW 4x4 CCLB 6.0L-VT365 PSD.
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