(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Outside electrical outfit repair

The plastic (or is it particle board?!) gang boxes on the Xplorers tend to dry rot over the years, especially the outside one. A past owner attempted to "fix" it with a larger screw which only broke the box more. The box itself is pop riveted in and there's no way to get at it from behind, short of tearing into the wall from behind the sink!

I went down the road to a garage sale that is usually open every weekend and got a package of adapter plates meant for sheetrock and low voltage installation, such as phone lines. However, the way I have installed it, it is perfectly safe. You do need to drill through the adapter plate and into the body of the van so you can drive in sheet metal screws to hold the plate on. The plate has threaded holes that accepts standard outlet screws, so it repairs the outlet mounting situation that happens from the gang box threaded holes breaking.

I need to go back and replace the two wood screws I put in since I didn't have anymore sheet metal screws to fit. Also, I am going to replace the outlet itself and put in a new foam gasket, or two, if I can't find a single one that is extra thick like the original. I am also going to put a bit of silicone caulking around the edge of the adapter plate for extra protection against water seeping inside since it sits back from the body of the van a little due to the rivets holding the box in.


A: Damaged gang box
B: Holes drilled and sheet metal screws driven in
C: Threaded holes for standard electrical outlet screws



Needs caulking and new thick foam seal for outdoor outlets.



Reinstalled for demonstration purposes. A new outlet will be installed in the near future along with a new foam seal.



Old foam seal.



Caddy Fasteners Cat. No. MPLSBP adapter plates. I broke off the fold out mounting wings from the one I installed since they are not needed for this application.

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