120 Volt Charging Plug

A 240 volt cable plugged into a truck's gas cap area.

Our “new” electric pickup came with a 240 volt twist-lock connector where the gas cap would be. This is great for plugging into a 240 volt outlet, such as used by an electric range or clothes dryer, but we are primarily charging it with a 120v convenience charger. (So called because 120v outlets are more convenient to find. It actually takes about twice as long to charge using 120v so from a time standpoint it is less convenient.)

I decided to add a second 120 volt plug behind the fuel port door so that I could plug in either voltage cable. I bought a 25′ 12-gauge extension cord to route the power and it came with a plug already attached. So instead of buying a 120 volt panel plug, I made a mounting bracket for the extension cord plug out of PVC pipe parts and epoxy putty. The total cost of this project was around $45, and most of that was spent on the 25′ 12-gauge extension cord and eight feet of 5/8 inch vinyl tubing used to protect the extension cord as it snaked through the truck’s frame.

I used a PVC 1-1/2″ to threaded adapter to hold the extension cord plug, and a 1-1/2″ slip joint nut to hold the adapter on the inner panel. (I cut a hole in the inner plastic panel with a hole saw.) I had to cut the end off of the PVC adapter so that it wasn’t too long, and I also had to cut the end off of the slip joint nut so that it would screw down far enough. The extension cord plug is held inside the threaded adapter using epoxy putty and I painted the whole thing black.
pvc parts cut up to make a panel mount
A power plug designed to be screwed into a panel.

After mounting in the truck (which included routing 20 feet of power cable through the tilt-bed and frame into the passenger compartment where the chargers are located) we can now charge using a 120 volt extension cord without having to run it through a slightly open window. (A much better solution when it rains….) I am also happy with how the 120 volt panel plug is at the top of the gas filling area protected by the overhang, and the cord hangs down, which should keep water out of the plug area if it rains while charging. (The outside outlet the truck is plugged into has a GCIF circuit breaker, but it’s better to NOT trigger it and continue charging all night.)

120 volt extension cord plugged into new panel plug


1 comment so far ↓

#1 S-10 Electric Pickup — Jay’s Technical Talk on 10.05.11 at 7:18 am

[...] A 120 volt external plug for the convenience charger. [...]

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