Need help with RV electrical outlet...not like a household outlet?

Hi all - 

Decided I would tackle replacing two of the outlets myself (they don't screw into the wall - the box hole was cut too large and one actually shows a melted insert).  So I ordered RV outlets (which match what are in there) but they don't come with instructions and every YouTube video I have reviewed look nothing like these (no side screws) and I can't get out the existing ones because the big wire runs into the top and out the bottom - not smaller wires that hook into the back or side of the outlets in the videos.  

These are the ones that have two catty corner screws and I guess their own housing?

Not finding any slack to move the outlet more than half an inch from the wall and I can't seem to reverse engineer from the new one to figure out how to potentially release it. There is a back fit piece with side clips, and I've loosened those but to no avail.  Certainly don't want to force it - so hoping someone here has these type of outlets and can walk me through the process?

I'm going to continue to google and maybe I can find some diagrams - I'll post if I get anywhere.



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Okay once I found the word "self-contained" I was led to this video: - so I think initially my issue is figuring out how to get some slack in the wire so I can pull the outlet out.  Reassuring to see that it's meant to pull out as a unit. Will add notes as I progress.

Not having a picture to look at it sounds to me like it is a higher current maybe even a 220 AC outlet maybe 30 amp for something like a small appliance like maybe a portable Washer Dryer  or portable AC unit. 

I'm betting Lakota will be jumping in here. He described an outlet box like that a couple months back in his new 5er;  you might give him a shout out on this sights e-mail. You can get there by going to your home page and get into your friends list. select him and then message him ( e-mail). Or as always just wait for him to jump in.

I got em out of the wall - and one back popped right off when you loosen the clamps.  The other one hasn't budged but that's the one that shows evidence of melting in the outlet insert.  Yeah, it's a thicker white wire - but both these are just regular outlets.  When you look into the back, with the self-contained junction box popped off, the wire runs through, the coating is stripped off to either side and through the center the wire is bare and "clamped".

Which concerns me because it looks like a splice and I think I'm going to have to cut the wire on the one outlet - I suspect the melting on the outside is much worse on the inside and fused some stuff. 

YES - I'll poke Lakota if he doesn't chime in.  In the meantime at least I have a handle on what I'm dealing with now.  MORE QUESTIONS to come (yes, plumbing is on hold while parts come in - replacing water valve on back of toilet and city water inlet - so why not pull more crap out of the walls - LOL).  

Thanks for the support Rich :-)  Are we having fun yet???!

FYI - the issue was the wallboard was so thin and the wire so stiff it felt like I was going to rip out the wall pulling out the vertically positioned wire.

But thank goodness I did find enough slack to be able to work.  Tight, but enough I am hoping.

Those boxes are a royal pain,,, I switched over to a standard 2 wire screw on outlet with ground,, My Box type was melted also and looked to me as it was a fire waiting to happen,

I guess was designed for speed through the assembly line. The poor electrician was given maybe 12 seconds per outlet.. Plus local RV sales dealer here didnt have a clue when I showed him my old one,,,

Hmm, spent $30 on these (and not returnable - ordered them online a couple of months ago) but if I have to cut the wire anyway, maybe it's better to go that way. I don't want to have to buy another tool (I understand they make one for punching the wire in) or risk doing these wrong.  I guess the first thing would be getting a regular outlet with a junction box and ensuring I've got the depth?  I've heard I could probably add a bit of wood to create the depth I need...

Attached my pics just so anyone reading this in the future will know what I've got. Dining is the one the back won't come off of - you can see the wire discoloration.


Mine started getting that burnt discoloration, and the connections didnt look all that secure,, and with me, I prefer a nice solid connection, and used a shallow outlet box in the hole,, with the swing out type blades to hold it in...

On the dining room outlet in your picture,, those side clips unsnap and like mine had 2 screws holding it to the back plate,

 As a retired electrical power distribution design engineer I HATE AND DONT TRUST THOSE CHEAP PUSH IN WIRE RV OUTLETS. I was a used RV dealer and 40 year user and have seen soooooooooo many that were burned and damaged by heat due to poor resistive (carbon due to arcing) electrical connections. In cheap thin easily combustible wood sheets and plywood found in RV walls and ceilings, I just don't consider it a very safe installation especially where low quality push or plug in (NOT screws) connections are used grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr end of rant lol 

 What I would do is replace with a standard residential 15 amp NEMA 5-15 R (or even better yet a 20 amp T slot NEMA 5-20R for high current appliances) 120 Volt 3 Wire Grounding outlet, and I don't care how it looks or if it appears jury rigged or whatever or is re mounted to a surface mount metallic handy box. JUST ANYWAY TO USE IT REGARDLESS HOW IT LOOKS. In addition I would use the side screws to attach the wire and NOT any of the easy to use push in rear connections.

  In the event you have to splice wires, code requires such be made in a readily accessible approved junction box NOT hidden or tucked away behind a wall etc unprotected and I prefer a grounded metallic box versus plastic.

 The RV outlets are more susceptible to failure when high current devices like a toaster or coffee maker or heater or hair dryer or a microwave are plugged in. Its those outlets I would first replace if I were remodeling.

 As we all know RV's are expensive to purchase, but unless they are like a Prevost or Newell or Marathon etc., THEY ARE JUST BUILT CHEAP grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

 Nuff said, thas my story n Ima stickin to it

 John T

Hi John - I appreciate the rant.  I really wasn't that much on the fence and was going out today to find workboxes and outlets and just take the loss on the RV outlets.  One of the mounting list of monetary live and learns :-)

And, with that in mind I expect I'll end up replacing all of them.  Screwing on the side plugs makes sense to me - most youtube videos recommend that.

And thank you for the heads up on the amps/heavy load appliances.  I thought it just related to the breakers, didn't consider the outlets themselves.

I'll post back what I get and my progress!

 Typical of many RV convenience branch circuits are 14 Gauge 15 amp rated wired protected by a 15 amp circuit breaker in the panel where a 15 amp NEMA 5-15R receptacle suffices. It's just that a 1500 watt electric cube space heater (or maybe a hair dryer or toaster etc) might draw 12.5 amps, so I'd feel better using a 20 amp rated NEMA 5-20 R T slot receptacle even if its a bit overkill. But I'm an old conservative fuddy duddy engineer too lol.  Still A standard 15 amp is sooooooooo superior compared to those push in RV receptacles Id have no hesitation using them.

 John T




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