Project: Install Auxiliary Receptacle for 5th Wheel
Berlin, OH - Events of Saturday, October 1 to Sunday, October 2, 2016
It has been a very warm summer in Ohio, and it stayed warm farther into September than it normally does. But all that changed the last week in September when the temperatures struggled to get out of the 60s during the day. There was also rain almost every day last week with a good bit of wind, which are also indicative of changing weather. Even though there was a warm-up back into the mid to upper 70s this week, we can see the overall cool-down coming, and that's the reason we are planning to head south soon.
All the rain last week delayed work on a couple of small projects Paul wanted to get done before we left. Although it was still cool with a couple of stray showers, the majority of the rain was finally gone by Saturday, so Paul wasted no time getting to work on the first project, which was to install a 7-way plug for the 5th wheel in the bed of the truck
When we ordered the truck, a wiring harness to install an auxiliary plug for a 5th wheel was available as an option. Fortunately, we ordered it because as it turned out, Paul never liked the way the wires for the 5th wheel draped over the tailgate of the truck to reach the standard 7-way plug mounted on the bumper. The wires could get hung up when turning and possibly pull out the plug. In fact, we did have the plug come loose a couple of times on bumpy roads from the weight of the wires hanging down.
The harness for the auxiliary plug is supplied neatly wrapped up and zip-tied behind the bumper, and the first step was to cut the zip ties to make sure the harness was long enough to reach the spot where Paul wanted to install the new plug. It was. The second step was to mark the spot.
Since Paul doesn't have a hole saw the right size, or one capable of cutting sheet metal for that matter, he drilled a series of 3/8" holes around the perimeter of where the plug would go. Getting up the courage to drill the first hole was difficult; but after it was through, drilling the rest of them was easy.
After all the 3/8" holes were drilled, Paul used an abrasive cut-off wheel and his MotoTool to cut between them.
Paul then rounded out and smoothed the hole to the final diameter with a rotary file in his cordless drill.
Paul coated the freshly cut edge of the hole with primer to keep it from rusting. After the primer dried, he pulled the wiring harness through the hole, stripped the individual wires and connected them to the appropriate terminals on the 7-way plug.
On Sunday, Paul followed a similar procedure to relocate the receptacle for the backup camera from the bumper to a spot beside the new 7-way plug inside the bed. After testing all the trailer lights and the camera, Paul screwed the receptacles to the wall of the bed and zip-tied all the dangling wires underneath to complete the project.
There is still a project or two to be done, there are still some places we want to eat one last time before we leave, we're planning one last trip to Pittsburgh, and there are several places we need to visit to stock up on some food items we want to take with us so it will be a busy week. Stay tuned.