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Old 04-05-2018, 11:08 AM   #1
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Drilling through outside wall

have all the parts needed to put a 20 amp inlet into my 25BHS Micro Lite. I want to put it in above the 30 amp and cable inlets that are on the outside wall of the entertainment center and add an outlet on the face of the entertainment center. I have prior experience with electrical wiring.*

The only thing I seem to be lacking is the nerve to drill through the outside wall of my trailer to install it.*

I took the radio out to get a look at that outside wall and was surprised both the 30 amp cable and coax cable appear to come in the same hole through the inside when they are a few inches apart on the outside wall.*

Can you tell me how thick the wall is so I know what to expect when drilling? It requires a 1 7/8" hole. Any suggestions, advice, recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I hope to learn enough that I won't be afraid to drill through the wall.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:10 PM   #2
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The wall is about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" thick.

As long as there isn't anything in the way (on the inside) drill away.
I often put a piece of 2" masking tape on the outer surface where the hole is going to be when using a hole-saw bit to keep chipping of the fiberglass to a minimum when the bit starts.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:22 PM   #3
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Yeah, shouldn't be a problem. I drilled through my last trailer and it went through clean. Taping it's a good idea though.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:02 PM   #4
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The wall is about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" thick.

As long as there isn't anything in the way (on the inside) drill away.
I often put a piece of 2" masking tape on the outer surface where the hole is going to be when using a hole-saw bit to keep chipping of the fiberglass to a minimum when the bit starts.
Good advice. Also, if you're drilling from the inside out, drill a small pilot hole first then use a hole saw from the outside to reduce tear out of the fiberglass. Once you hit the insulation move the drill to the inside to get a clean cut in that panel, then finish installing that hole!
It's a bit of back and forth, but results in a cleaner cut.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:13 PM   #5
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Just curious. Why do you want to add a 20 amp circuit to your trailer? Wife and I and the cat live 24/7 for 4 months on 30 amps.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
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Reason for 20 amp inlet

I live in my travel trailer full-time volunteering around the US and have tripped the breaker countless times because I'm running the space heater and forget to turn it off when I go make coffee or run some other appliance. Adding an inlet is the perfect solution.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:07 AM   #7
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I live in my travel trailer full-time volunteering around the US and have tripped the breaker countless times because I'm running the space heater and forget to turn it off when I go make coffee or run some other appliance. Adding an inlet is the perfect solution.
You might try "the other circuit"for your heater. Your trailer should have TWO 15 amp circuits. One will be for the GFI circuit, Bathroom, outside, kitchen counters. The other one will be labeled General.
. It will be living area, bedroom. Might save you some work.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:22 AM   #8
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Another outlet

My fix for your tripping of breakers is run your "BUMP-OUT" in about a foot. Run your extension cord through one corner at the floor of the bump out. This will give you access to the 20 AMP at the pedestal for your heater. You can then close the bump out against the cord. The wall flange for the bump out has a soft seal where it fits against the wall on the inside. There is a opening space at the floor on the outside where your cord will fit through.

GOOD LUCK
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:28 AM   #9
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My fix for your tripping of breakers is run your "BUMP-OUT" in about a foot. Run your extension cord through one corner at the floor of the bump out. This will give you access to the 20 AMP at the pedestal for your heater. You can then close the bump out against the cord. The wall flange for the bump out has a soft seal where it fits against the wall on the inside. There is a opening space at the floor on the outside where your cord will fit through.

GOOD LUCK
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:13 PM   #10
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I run my electric water heater off the 20 amp outlet. I made up a short (3 ft) extension cord that goes through the floor. I did this by cutting off the MALE end of a 12 gauge cord and routing it up into the coach through a small 3/8 hole in the floor and then installing a replacement female outlet on the inside of the trailer. The male end hangs about six inches below the floor. I then run a 12 gauge extension cord over to the pedestal. The reason I left male end intact is that it is waterproof from the factory but a replacement would be waterproof. Perhaps something similar would work for you.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:14 AM   #11
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Drilling through the wall.

I have drilled 1 7/8" holes through several RV walls. I did just what you are trying to accomplish. I used Marinco rubber bass boat charger plugs to install my exterior connection. That connection has a male plug, so you don't have to make up an extension cord with both male ends. I have a 50 amp Cedar Creek and I have two exterior plugs for electric heaters. I run extension cords to both plugs. In the winter as "snowbirds" we heat our 42' RV totally with electricity and never have to worry about the coffee pot, hair dryer, etc. I have a "dogbone" for 30 amp that I plug both extension cords into. I use both the 50 amp plug on the pedestal and the 30 amp plug.

A recommendation to keep from hitting any part of your frame is to look at the side of your trailer where you want to drill for the plug in the early morning or late night when the side of the coach has moisture on it. You can see exactly where your wall members are. Good Luck.
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CedarCreekWoody View Post
I run my electric water heater off the 20 amp outlet. I made up a short (3 ft) extension cord that goes through the floor. I did this by cutting off the MALE end of a 12 gauge cord and routing it up into the coach through a small 3/8 hole in the floor and then installing a replacement female outlet on the inside of the trailer. The male end hangs about six inches below the floor. I then run a 12 gauge extension cord over to the pedestal. The reason I left male end intact is that it is waterproof from the factory but a replacement would be waterproof. Perhaps something similar would work for you.
X2 on this idea. I did the same in a previoius camper into the bathroom area for DW. Her hair dryer kept tripping breaker if anything else was running. Going down through the floor made more sense to me because there was no additional penetration so less potential for water damage later on.

If you insist on penetrating the wall, Id suggest going to a big box store first and buying an electronic Stud Finder.

They are ultrasonic and look for items inside the wall with greater density than the wall. They will locate the studs for you which in your case are aluminum.

This will keep you from drilling your hole where there is a stud. Imagine the mess if you were to drill into the stud and subsequently have to relocacte the hole and repair the ugly hole you drilled in the wrong place.
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