Make plug-in electric heaters safer with SmartPlug

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Product review

By Bob Difley

Portable heaters are a convenient way to ward off the season’s chill, but these devices increase amperage loads that poorly maintained electrical systems can’t handle.


SmartPlug Systems, maker of the revolutionary SmartPlug, offers tips to identify potential safety hazards in a shore power system, and ways to safeguard against overheating and possible fire.

With a traditional twist-type connector, pitting and corrosion forms on the metal surfaces due to arcing. A moist environment speeds the process. With less surface contact, electrical resistance increases causing overheating, especially when running high-amperage devices like heaters. Scorching – a yellow or brown discoloring – around inlet pins is the first sign this is happening and that the parts should be replaced.

SmartPlug Systems’ Retrofit Kits include everything needed to safeguard against this and other dangerous shore power situations. Its easy-to-use design provides more than 20 times the metal-to-metal surface contact to safely and efficiently transfer maximum electrical power.

Unlike twist-type power cords, the SmartPlug System has dual locking clips and a sleeved inlet that is easier to use than older traditional styles. The asymmetrical design pushes straight in – making connecting easy, even in the dark.

Replacing an inlet and connector is straightforward and requires only common household tools. Instructional videos on the process are available here.

The Retrofit Kits include an inlet and connector and are easily installed using an existing cable. The inlet typically uses the existing mounting hole pattern. It comes in four trim colors: black, white, grey and stainless steel.

For more information visit the SmartPlug website or Amazon.

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

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Gary Stone

I’ve seen too many instances of burned, scorched and melted old-style twist plugs. The boating industry has been using the SmartPlug for years. The SmartPlug is a small investment for personal safety. VERY easy to DIY install to your existing 30-amp or 50-amp cable.

John Whitney

I purchased a 50 amp complete kit for RV end. Went to install it, and the back of the fixed socket had the screws for the wire end exposed. No missing cover. The installation instructions showed exactly that. Since the back of my receptical was exposed, the smart but unsafe plug went back. Beware!

Richard Edmonston

Sounds more like a shore connection rather than for a heater. As such title seems misleading.