Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Plug Dogs for Your Shore Power Connections

One of the things that we have struggled with when connecting shore power connections - particulary between the Roadtrek power cord and the surge/power protector unit and between anything and the 30 amp power extension cord that we have - is getting a grip on the plug and socket and pulling them apart. This has never been a problem with a campground power box outlet, as these are often so frequently used that they are easy to pull the plug out of. Some adapters, 30 amp power extension cords, and surge/power protection units plugs and sockets have handles built in on the back. The Roadtrek shore power cord does not and appropriately so because it needs to fit in the mousehole when the cover cap is closed. Our Surge Guard does have handles on the plug and socket and our 30 amp adapter plug/sockets also have handles. Our extension cord does not, but I have seen ones that do. Had I known how difficult these plugs and sockets can be to separate I would have bought a 30 amp extension cord that had the handles.

This problem is worse in the cold when things contract. If it is a very hot day, the plugs are usually easier to pull apart - sometimes. I kept looking in RV shops and websites for something that would add a handle. Short of cutting off the plug or socket and wiring ones on with handles I did not find anything. Until I heard about these...

I read about Plug Dogs when looking through a general RV forum. I did a search and eventually found the manufacturer's website. A Plug Dog is a handle that you temporarily add on to any connection between a plug and a socket. They are made for 30 amp connections, 50 amp connections, and regular household three prong connections. What you want for your Roadtrek is the 30 amp Plug Dog. Here is how they work -

Here is the Plug Dog out of the package. You see the rubber grip handle on the back and a velcro strap between the handle and the face of the Plug Dog. The strap is to secure the Plug Dog to the plug or socket. There is only one style of Plug Dog - you use the same for both plugs and sockets.

Here is the face of the Plug Dog - see the slots at the top and the hole in the middle - this is what your plug fits through. Like this ->

You just slip the prongs of the plug through the slits and hole and use the velcro on the back to secure it to the plug. The material according to the company is non-wicking and non-conductive and they state that it will not interfere with the electrical connection - even in the rain.

This is installed on the plug. Obviously, there are no prongs on a socket to push through the Plug Dog - so if you have a socket that you are plugging into that also needs a handle all you do is put the Plug Dog onto the plug with the handle facing front rather than behind as you see here. A plug and a socket that both need handles that you are plugging one into the other - just put the socket's Plug Dog over the plug's Plug Dog and then plug into the socket. Attach the velcro strap on the back of the socket and you have a plug and socket each with a Plug Dog.

That is all that is involved in putting them on. Simple! Now do they work? YES! Here is Meryl pulling the two ends apart. She could do it with very little effort and she has not been able to separate these ends herself before. And I have struggled just as much to get them apart - often resorting to slipping something between them - NO POWER ON, of course - to pry them apart.

And according to the company, if you still can't get them apart, the handles are made strong enough and large enough so that you can put one side on the ground, slip the toe of your shoe into the handle loop, step down, and pull with the other hand and they will definitely come apart - but I don't think this will be necessary as they came apart so well just with a pull.

Plug Dogs in use with my extension cord, the Surge Guard, and the Roadtrek power cord:

The Surge Guard plug and socket have their own handles so only one Plug Dog was needed for each connection shown here.
This is what the package looks like.

 And here is the back of the package -

I looked for these in RV shops and did not find them anywhere including Camping World. I purchased mine directly from the manufacturer's website which is here - PLUG DOGS . They cost $10 each. I purchased four of them - we counted all of the plugs and sockets that we have that may have to go together that do not have handles of their own. You do pay shipping (USPS) but it is not unreasonable and they shipped that same night and arrived about four days later at our post office box. I have no connection to the company that makes Plug Dogs. They are a good product that works  and does just what it claims to do. There are few things that you buy now a days that this can be said about. (Roadtrek is another company you can say this about.)  They solved the problem we had. If you have the same difficulty getting plugs and sockets apart on your shore power connections, you may find these great too!


  1. Interesting, I would have never thought of such a system... I would be afraid of electric problems or even fire, but I guess that's just ignorance on my side... thanks for the post!

    1. There is nothing to interfere with the electrical connection - the plug and socket make a complete connection. And there is nothing conductive in the material that would result in a fire.

  2. I just ordered this product. I remember you had blogged about it and I said today is the day. I hope I've struggled with the connections for the last time! Thanks!

    1. Next to the Ezee Lift these Plug Dogs are the best thing that we have ever purchased for the Roadtrek. We use them on every trip and every time we plug in to charge the batteries at home. Even in the cold, the plugs pull apart!