Thursday, March 30, 2023


SmartPlug promises better connections

By Tony Barthel
I got this information from the folks at SmartPlug and thought it might be worth sharing as I do know a number of people whose 30-amp plugs on their RVs have become damaged. I will caution anybody that working on your RV’s electrical is best left to professionals, but the video does make the job look easy.

So, for your reference, here’s what I was sent by SmartPlug.

Since it was invented 80 years ago, the twist-type power connector hasn’t changed much. It still relies on thin blades that corrode and easily bend at an annoying “L” shape that must be aligned just right. The pioneering SmartPlug is different. It has a robust pin and clip design that delivers more than 25 times the metal-to-metal contact than its predecessor. This provides greater protection against high resistance, overheating and arcing, some of the leading causes of failure. Plus, it pushes straight in and secures with dual side locks, instead of the old-fashioned ring that never seems to thread correctly.

Installing a SmartPlug doesn’t require professional skills or power tools. Because it uses an industry-standard hole pattern, there’s no cutting or drilling involved. Beyond the specialized tools included in the Combo Kit, all that’s needed are a #2 Phillips screwdriver, wire cutters, pliers, utility knife, liquid soap and paper towels.

The SmartPlug Combo Kit uses the existing RV power cord

The second step is faster than the first. It involves removing the inlet from the side of the RV and replacing it with the SmartPlug unit. To match the appearance of the rig, these are available in black, white and grey polymer, and polished stainless steel.

SmartPlug Combo Kits are available in 16, 30, 32 and 50 amps. Prices start at $104. You can find them on the SmartPlug website or at TechnoRV.

You can learn more about SmartPlug and watch an additional video with Mike Sokol, RV Electricity expert, here and here.

Written from information provided by the manufacturer.



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Jim S
8 months ago

I installed the Smart Plug on our sailboat years ago and it performed extremely well so I installed on our Lance TT as well. Same high quality and ease of installation. Great simple investment in convenience and safety!

Rock & Tina
8 months ago

I switched to the SmartPlug two years ago and I consider it the #1 best upgrade we’ve done to our motorhome so far. If I bought another RV, it would be the first upgrade.

8 months ago

All of the negatives you cite for changing out the old RV connector are caused by user error and misuse.

2 years ago

The more compromised connection is at the opposite end. That’s why I use a 50 to 30a. adapter and spray Deoxit at each plug end. There are more advantages to using the 50a connection at the pedestal if it’s available but those are beyond the scope of the article. If people just spend a few more seconds to properly use the twist-lock connector it would be far cheaper and safer for them.

2 years ago
Reply to  Drew

I always thought that if you used a 50a to 30a connector, you would actually only get 25a since you pull from only one 110v leg of the 50a. Also, what protection is there from the 50a breaker which controls your ’30a’ service?
Maybe read this in one of Mikes columns.

2 years ago
Reply to  Paul


The max you’ll use from one leg of the 50 is determined by your rv’s service- in my case that’s 30a. This is also the answer to the second part of your question- if you draw more than 30 a the breaker in your rig will trip. In my case I have a load shedding ems in my rv that will prevent me from ever using the entire 30a load so I have that in addition. Incidentally, the max you’ll draw from each leg of a 50a breaker is 50a- as indicated (most of the time) on the breaker itself.

Thomas D
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

You’re right about having reduced current, but that applies anywhere. Code says outlets, breakers etc are to be derated to 80% in continuous use.
Your cord would be protected by the pedestal breaker at 50 amps. But your rv is protected by the main breaker in the rv, probably at 30 amp. No worrys because you cant overload the cord. A SHORT would blow the pedestal breaker in a quarter second if it came to that. I use a 50/30 adapter all the time. Ive never seen a 50 amp outlet burnt but almost always the 30 amp is toast.

2 years ago

But I have searched high and low, even checked the patents (could not find any so this ‘innovation’ may not even be patented) and cannot find the data to back the claim there is more contact area. Anyone know where I could find the data used for that claim? The company has not returned my requests. :-/

Last edited 2 years ago by WEB
Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

I guess our trailer is ‘old school’. The power cord is permanently attached to the trailer inside that pesky little door.

2 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Love that ‘old school’ stuff. Gimme a switch that goes ‘click’ any day.

Thomas D
8 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Best way ever. No terminals to burn up and if you are close enough, bring out just the amount of cord you need.
Could never figure it out, the manufacturers build cheap, why invest in an extra plug and connector?

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