UPDATE! The “CRRA-50” referenced in the video has had a model number change to “CRMA-50” but it’s the SAME exact cord reel!
It’s time to install our new power cord reel, plus we’re excited to announce that Glendinning has agreed to become the latest manufacturer of fine RV gear to be added to our Discounts page, offering special savings on the same CRMA-50 power cord reel that we’re installing in our RV. Glendinning coupon code RVGEEKS saves $70!
And, of course, Hughes has been on our Discounts page for a long time now, offering 10% off 30- and 50-amp autoformers.
Our installation isn’t really the standard way you’d normally install a power cord reel. They’re usually mounted on the floor, which is a much easier way to do it! Our issue was wanting it all… in a very small space. Our little electrical compartment wasn’t designed to fit much more than the original power cord reel, and we want an optimally-placed autoformer, as well as a large solar controller…. AND space for more in the future!
So we took the somewhat unusual step of hanging our reel from above, which was complicated by the ceiling not being designed to be load-bearing (there’s insulation up there, apparently backed by wood… not the type of structural steel we needed to hang 60+ pounds from… think about the vibration and torsional loads placed on that while we’re driving, and you can imagine it pulling loose from the ceiling in fairly short order).
We’re obsessive enough about this type of project to go the extra mile to make it as close to perfect as we can. And luckily, we already had a great contact in Andrey at DNA Custom Metal Fabrication, and we were still in the area. So custom-welded brackets were no problem.
If you have space for a power cord reel, you can almost certainly mount it on the floor of your electrical compartment. So what was a pretty involved installation project for us would boil down to just 6 screws into the floor. Of course you still need to connect the power cord into the RV, and you need 12-volt power to the reel motor. But the whole “custom-brackets-hanging-from-the-ceiling” thing is not the way most people will end up adding a power cord reel.
This will complete Phase One of our project. Stay tuned for updates on all of our new gear as we get more experienced with it, as well as Phase Two – Solar!
Oh, one more thing…
We’re often asked how we’re able to arrange for manufacturers to offer discounts to our viewers. It’s actually pretty straightforward, and both Glendinning and Hughes joined us in the same way.
When we’re shopping for gear, we start by doing the same type of research most RVers do before buying new equipment… Googling, figuring out which features are most important to us, reading reviews on RV forums and Amazon about quality & customer service, talking to fellow RVers, etc.
Once we decide what brand we’re willing to spend our money on, we take advantage of the fact that we do indeed have an online presence that can bring positive attention to deserving companies that make great RV gear. We contact the company to ask if they’d be willing to allow us to try out their gear, with the understanding that we will only feature it in a video if we love it.
We’re basically asking companies to bet on themselves, and demonstrate their pride and confidence in their own products. If they believe we’ll be totally satisfied, they often provide the gear we need for our RV (and our video shoot). Our interaction with them also gives us an opportunity to see if they really are the customer-service oriented people our research led us to believe. Yes, we know that, under the circumstances, they could treat us differently. But we like to think we’re pretty good at determining who really cares about ALL of us RVers, and who doesn’t (we’ve got a solid record of featuring products and companies that our viewers have been very satisfied with).
If, after spending time with their gear, it lives up to our expectations, we’re happy to make a video sharing our enthusiasm with our fellow RVers. So we don’t actually do “reviews” per se, but rather what we consider to be video testimonials. If we love it, we’re eager to tell you about it… not just to share a great find with you, but to support a well-deserving RV-related company, too.
At that point, we’re alert for opportunities to do something really special… what we like to call “using our power for good!” If the company is willing to offer a discount to our viewers as part of our featuring them in a video, it makes us that much more eager to share.
Such was the case with Hughes, and with Glendinning today. When we originally approached Glendinning, we didn’t know anything about the CRMA-50, because it wasn’t on the market yet. We were interested in the reels they make exclusively for Newmar’s high-end coaches, like the King Aire.
They told us about their new & improved reel that was just coming out, and asked us if we’d like to install that one instead, giving us the opportunity to debut a brand new product. We saw the specs and photos, and were very interested in that unit… the CRMA-50.
Why are we telling you all this? Because we can’t get over how well the reel works, and can’t hide our enthusiasm for it. We were fine with our original Glendinning reel (remember, it worked flawlessly for 13 years, and we only removed it to free up floor space in our small electrical compartment). But the CRMA-50 is more compact, has a significantly longer cord (50′ vs 35′ on our old reel… a big difference, especially when it’s mounted mid-RV -vs- at the back) and has other clever, useful features that we never even thought of before: the light on the plug that confirms power’s on, and the special handle that “pushes” the plug out instead of wiggling and pulling on it.
Most of all, it has the look, feel and sound of a truly quality product. We are very impressed, and very satisfied, and we want to share that, since we know that the question of exactly how we get some gear does come up. And although this reel was provided to us at no cost, two things are for sure: 1) We would still be as thrilled with it had we paid for it, and 2) We will never tell you we love any product if we don’t.
This piece of gear is a reel winner, and our enthusiasm for it is reel, too. 😄
We hope you enjoy the video showing the process of installing this new gear. We didn’t make it a step-by-step tutorial, since our situation was so specific to us. But maybe it will give you some ideas about how you might set up your own electrical compartment.
When we find RV products we absolutely love, we’re thrilled to be able to add them to our Discounts Page. We’re pleased to announce that Glendinning Products is now offering RVgeeks viewers a $70 DISCOUNT on their brand new CRMA-50 50′ power cord reel (the exact same one we just installed). Order factory-direct from their store at GlendinningProds.com and use Coupon Code “RVGEEKS” at checkout to SAVE $70.00!
NOTE: The discount is valid only on the CRMA-50
Hughes Autoformers also offers RVgeeks viewers a special discount. SAVE 10% when you order either a 30-amp (Model #RV2130-SP) or 50-amp (Model #RV220-50-SP) factory-direct at HughesAutoformers.com. Use Coupon Code “RVGEEKS” at checkout to get 10% OFF!
If you don’t know what an autoformer does, check out our video.
NOTE: The discount doesn’t apply to any other Hughes products, but these are the latest models, newer than our own!
Thanks to all of the fine companies that are participating in this project for providing the expertise, equipment and service required to get this big job done.
- XantrexRead more about the Freedom e-GEN Lithium System
- Full Throttle Series AGMs by Fullriver Batteries
- Glendinning ProductsThe brand new cord reel model we’ve installed, the CRMA50, is now available directly from Glendinning.
- Hughes Autoformers (keep in mind that Hughes offers a special discount to RVgeeks viewers!)
- DNA Custom Fabrication
- Pacific Mobile Power Systems
Recent & Related Videos:
- RV Lithium/AGM Battery & Electrical System Upgrade – Part 4: Lithium Battery Installation
- RV Lithium/AGM Battery & Electrical System Upgrade – Part 3: Cord Reel Removal
- RV Lithium/AGM Battery & Electrical System Upgrade – Part 2: Battery Tray Expansion
- RV Lithium/AGM Battery & Electrical System Upgrade – Part 1: Project Intro
- Protect Your RV From Low Voltage – Hughes Autoformer
- Xantrex Inverter/Charger Installation
- Xantrex AGS & ComBox Installation
- How to Replace an RV Battery Bank
- Plugging in an RV (Dog Bones 101)
- The Best RV Leveling Pads (Utility Blocks)
- How To Install The WeBoost Drive 4G-X Cellular Booster & 4G-OTR Antenna
- RV Maintenance: Part One — First Truck Centre
- RV Maintenance: Part Two — Decision Making + A Ticking Time Bomb!
- Newmar New Aire — First Impression: Space & Quality
Featured & Related Products:
- Glendinning CRRA50 Power Cord Reel (save $70 with Coupon Code RVGEEKS)
- Hughes Autoformers (use Coupon Code RVGEEKS to save 10% on a 30- or 50-amp Hughes Autoformer)
- Utility Blocks RV Leveling Pads
- Xantrex Freedom SW 3000 Watt Inverter/Charger
- Full Throttle Batteries, made by Fullriver
- Thermo-Tec Cool-It Insulating Mat (24″ x 48″)
- Thermo-Tec Spray Adhesive
- Thermo-Tec Self-Adhesive Heat Reflective Tape (1.5″ x 15′ Roll)