Cable Control - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Cable Control

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Cool Gadgets, RVEXPERT

Photos by Bob Livingston
We all love the convenience afforded by a 50-amp electrical system — but moving a heavy, bulky power cord in and out of a storage compartment without the use of a power reel can make an RVer cringe. A simple containment strap and carry handle will “lighten” the load.
Lugging around a 50-amp power cord takes some muscle, not to mention dealing with 25-30 feet of unruly cable. When it gets cold, the wrestling match almost needs a tag team. Over the years, I’ve toyed with a number of ways to keep the cord rolled up neatly and stored when on the road. RV Enthusiast Publisher Bob Livingston has faced the same travel travails, and even employs a Marinco Marine Electrical Shore Power Cable Organizer Bag ($45.28 on Amazon), which keeps the cable contained once it’s wrestled into the bag. Strapping it with a length of wide hook-and-loop material helps, but it’s still a pain.

If you peruse the Internet, you’ll find a number of straps and handles designed to transport cables, but most of them are too small to fully wrap around (and too weak to transport) heavy 50-amp cords. Recently, I purchased a package of cord straps that have a triangle buckle on one end; I use these hook-and-loop straps to organize the storage compartment. Plus, I’ve found that they work perfect for hanging extension cords and hoses, keeping them accessible but somewhat out of the way.

These 1 ½-inch straps are sold eight to a package and come in 10-, 13- and 16-inch lengths. They are designed to hold hoses and cables — even rope — and have a 50-pound capacity. The straps, sold under the labeling “Extension Cord Organizer (8 Pack), Extension Cord Holder for Garage Organization and Storage” sell for $12.99 on Amazon. They are decent quality for the money but, individually, they don’t have the girth to wrap a 50-amp power cord.

three Extension Cord Organizers of different lengths
These Extension Cord Organizers are sold in packages of eight, in 10-, 13- and 16-inch lengths. They can hold up to 50 pounds and are perfect for hanging hoses and cables. The smallest straps in the package were used for this project.
two Extension Cord Organizer straps connected and held in hand
When two straps are “connected” they can be opened to surround the bulky diameter of a 50-amp power cord — and provide a triangular buckle with spring bales on each end.

Fiddling around with the straps one day, I put two together and the light went on. (Okay, full disclosure: I don’t get total credit for the idea — they are packaged originally with two straps “stuck” to each other. But I did recognize this potential.)

By connecting the two straps — leaving a triangle buckle on each end — they were able to be adjusted to keep the 50-amp cord coiled tightly. But I still needed a way to carry the cord comfortably. To get there, I tied loops on a short piece of polypropylene rope and clipped the ends into the buckles. Then I added a “Bucket Boss 08010 Bucket Grip, Black” ($5.89 on Amazon) to the rope and the result was a handy carry strap that controls the cable and can be moved with one hand — without digging into the skin.

I found some polypropylene rope in my junk box that was cut to size. Burning the ends keeps the rope from unraveling.
I found some polypropylene rope in my junk box that was cut to size. Burning the ends keeps the rope from unraveling.
a buckle on one of the doubled-up straps is connected to a loop made on one end of the polypropylene rope
Loops were tied on each end of the cut rope and connected to the buckles on the doubled-up straps. The polypropylene rope worked okay, but my plan is to replace it with a nicer, climbing-type rope, which is smoother and more durable.
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the polypropylene rope is tucked into the Bucket Boss handle
with the desired rope handle length determined, the other end of the polypropylene rope is burned with a torch lighter to prevent unravelling
Once the exact length of rope was established, the Bucket Boss handle was added and the end of the loop in the rope melted to prevent fraying. The Bucket Boss handle is designed to go over the skinny handle on standard buckets that would otherwise dig into your hands when carrying heavy items.
the doubled-up straps, now with the Bucket Boss handle polypropylene rope connected, is wrapped and fastened around the thick power cord roll
The straps can be adjusted to fit around 50-amp power cords and allow enough “bite” for the hook-and-loop material. Here, the strap was wrapped around a 15-foot, 50-amp cable; the other 15 feet were in use. In this instance, there was plenty of room to add a spare 30-amp cable that I carry all the time.
an Extension Cord Organizer strap is wrapped around a long orange power extension cord roll and hung in an external RV storage compartment
an Extension Cord Organizer strap is wrapped around a water hose
The remaining straps were used to contain extension cords and water hoses. Hanging the cords and hoses via the triangular buckle added versatility to storage organization.

Now, if I can just find a place to store that cord without getting in the way.

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RV Enthusiast September/October 2023
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