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hi guys ive got fed up of hanging an extension lead out of the window to get power in the awning so i bought a flush fit externeal 240v socket. all i have to do if run a power supply to were the plug will be then cut a whole in the van. any tips on how to start and what the best tools are to use and how to avoid the timber frame any help will be great thanks chris

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I have just fitted one myself and it's a relatively simple job.

 

I pressed gently on the sides of the van where I expected to put the external socket to feel for strong resistance where a timber frame might be. Perhaps there are other ways but in my case this worked.

 

Next step was to draw a line around the external socket only just large enough for it to fit through with the flange sitting on the outside skin of the van. I made doubly sure that there was nothing on the inside where I was fitting - In my case under the rear fixed bed. And it was there that I cut into the cable and placed a junction box to lead new wire to the new socket (Use flexible stuff - I think from memory I used 1. 5 amp - certainly not the 2. 5 used in the home)

 

Next step was to drill 4 holes, one in each corner of the rectangle I drew to indicate the cut-out. These were large enough to fit a pad saw into.

 

After that just cut all round keeping saw level and straight, plop out the bit of van side, smear sealant inside the hole you've made and plenty on the outside. As you press the new socket home and excess will be pushed out - just trim it away. Drill small pilot holes for the fixing screws and again pop sealant in and aroung the threads.

 

Apart from wiring and keeping the cable run neat and secure that's about it I think!

 

Good luck.

Santa Fe 7 Seater Premium Manual towing Swift Eccles 480 plated to 1500 kg. 

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I have an external socket on the motorhome, so can't advise on the where's and how's etc, but it is definitely very useful!

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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I also fitted an external socket to a caravan that we had many years ago using the same method excellently described by 'John_b_45' above. I did however add an additional small rectangular piece of 6mm ply inside the caravan for the 2" long stainless steel wood screws to 'bite' into, as I was not totally satisfied with their grip into the foam insulation between the inner and outer skins of the caravan.

 

The socket should be wired using 2. 5mm2 flexible cable, NOT the 2. 5mm2 Twin and Earth solid cored flat cable used in domestic installations.

 

Regards,

David

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Im still planning to fit an external socket. The problem Ive found is that most of them, including the one in the link above, dont look like they would accept the larger bulky square shaped plug found on many electrical items. Perhaps I would have to plug an extention lead into the new external socket and then plug any bulky plugs into that?

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http://www. ebay. co. u. ..E-/120748568730

 

My socket is one of these - cost around £12 - and I have no problem fitting standard 13amp plugs. In fact, there's enough room for a double adapter if you need it.

 

David suggested using 2. 5mm flexible cable whilst I used 1. 5mm. I actually bought 2. 5mm to use then found that the existing cable was only 1. 5mm! I'm no electrician but I read that the 1. 5mm would carry up to 3600watts and with 15amp current. Since the existing cable was 1. 5mm I saw no point in using anything else. I supposed that caravan manufacturers and site suppy has guided choice and I now hope I'm correct!

 

http://www. ebay. co. u. ..=item336b24345a

this is the socket i bought to fit this weekend

do i use a mini grinder to cut the outside body

 

Same as mine - Why use a mini grinder? Can you control it right up to the corners? Will it cut deep enough to penetrate the caravan walls? But a pad saw (max £5) and use the method David and I used.

Edited by John_b_45

Santa Fe 7 Seater Premium Manual towing Swift Eccles 480 plated to 1500 kg. 

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http://www. ebay. co. u. ..E-/120748568730

 

My socket is one of these - cost around £12 - and I have no problem fitting standard 13amp plugs. In fact, there's enough room for a double adapter if you need it.

 

David suggested using 2. 5mm flexible cable whilst I used 1. 5mm. I actually bought 2. 5mm to use then found that the existing cable was only 1. 5mm! I'm no electrician but I read that the 1. 5mm would carry up to 3600watts and with 15amp current. Since the existing cable was 1. 5mm I saw no point in using anything else. I supposed that caravan manufacturers and site suppy has guided choice and I now hope I'm correct!

 

 

 

Same as mine - Why use a mini grinder? Can you control it right up to the corners? Will it cut deep enough to penetrate the caravan walls? But a pad saw (max £5) and use the method David and I used.

must be me brain this time of the morning but whats a pad saw? lol i probably have 1 but have mental block and cant remember what it looks like

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For something that is going to be at 230V and exposed to the elements (high pressure cleaning hoses, road spray, ice, grit and salt), I would be looking at fitting something IP66 rated and with its own RCD,

Edited by Barry J
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I intend fitting a 3-socket 13A device from Miriad (01283 60599)

Pt. no. 01646T around £30.

This has 13 amp 3-pin socket 12vdc socket and

Both types of TV/ Sat fittings, One hole all the trimmings

Edited by gumdrop
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I decided earlier this year that I will fit power to the outside. Very rarely need it but useful on occasion. Rather than faff about with external fittings and hole cutting I am going to use a permanent extension through a grommeted hole in the top of nearside wet locker. I can then plug a short extension into this on the rare occasions that it is required as it has the same provision in the door for routing a cable as does the battery locker door. .

Edited by Easy T
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I don't know about the thoughts of others, but some of these leisure sockets worry me.

 

Messing around with 12V on the outside of the van is one thing, but mains is a whole new ballpark.

 

They look very similar to the quality of fittings that you have for the 12V water pump, etc.

 

Would a professional electrician fit these as an outdoor socket for a house ? - I very much doubt it.

 

What standard are they built to ?

 

Obvious van owners are at liberty to fit as they wish on their own van and take the risk, but if the van gets sold, the new owners could be

totally unaware. Also, if anybody gets hurt, it could come back on you - not the supplier of the socket.

 

At the very least, I would be looking at these sockets first in the event of nuisance RCD tripping on the van.

Edited by Barry J
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The caravan has its own RCD so really does not need another, the whole van is covered for safety, that is why you find sockets near taps/sinks etc.

 

For something that is going to be at 230V and exposed to the elements (high pressure cleaning hoses, road spray, ice, grit and salt), I would be looking at fitting something IP66 rated and with its own RCD,

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In theory, yes, but its very trusting to rely totally on it. Have you ever had it tested ?

 

I have an electricians RCD tester and you get some very interesting results especially on older vans.

 

My house sockets are RCD protected, but I would still fit a dedicated and separate one on any spurred outdoor socket going out into the garden.

 

Belts and braces possibly, but what price safety ?

 

The caravan has its own RCD so really does not need another, the whole van is covered for safety, that is why you find sockets near taps/sinks etc.

Edited by Barry J
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Cannot disagree with what you say, but yes mine is tested at every annual service, and not really very old.

 

 

 

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The ebay listing from Alouette95 is exactly the version factory fitted in mine and I hane no problems with it getting moisture or dirt in it on the road. The back of it is in the side wet locker rather than into the habitation area and I use a short extension to allow a power brick to fit

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I have a factory fitted awning socket protected by one RCD on the usual control panel. A second RCD simply introduces an unnecessary complication and more to go wrong. When not in use it is double protected from the elements. I've actually bought a second one to have at the opposite end of the van after aquiring an awning annexe which gets used at either end according to the pitch

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Never ever had any issue with water getting into the socket. It is well protected by the clip down cover and the socket itself is set well back. In use it is almost certainly inside an awning. I would be rather more careful if using an extension lead outside whilst a storm raged. The socket itself is protected by the RCD that is part of the van electrics.

 

Simply common sense.

Santa Fe 7 Seater Premium Manual towing Swift Eccles 480 plated to 1500 kg. 

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Why not fit a waterproof socket underneath and below a suitable cupboard or recess and of course sealed, wired with identical electrical cable to the nearest socket. There's no need for extra mcb's (unless your van is not fitted with this type of fuse, then extra protection is an absolute must!!). The weatherproof socket underneath is totally sealed from the elements, and is easily accessed.

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I don't think the waterproof version will be like that in the link-it will be the type where you connect your mains lead i. e. blue socket. That in the link has a splashproof cover for the socket, as well as the outer cover-I think that's the usual factory fit

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I did manage to find the "water-proof" version on their Ebay site when I looked the other day.

It looked the same from the outside (flap), but had what looked like a cheapy domestic outdoor socket (socket with hinged splashproof cover) inside.

 

If you need to fit such a mains outlet on the outside, I quite like the idea that the previous poster had, of mounting a proper waterproof mains socket underneath the van. Alternatively, put it inside a side locker (not the battery locker).

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