On adding inside outlet for plugging in USB - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-03-2014, 05:45 PM   #1
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On adding inside outlet for plugging in USB

I am now giving up solar panel etc and going back to putting in a cigarette lighter type plug in scamp to recharge my Mac via USB. Is that cheap to do as I can't do it myself. Other options? I decided I don't need any energy access most of time except outlet like my cars cigarette lighter. (Goal is off grid 3/4 of time and no need for other electrical energy except recharging Mac and iPad.). Please don't suggest using car for recharge as I am planning on not driving for many days at a time and committed to environmental responsibility. I do not use AC or microwave or need other electric access. Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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There is a "Charging Center" available that connects direct to the battery through a in-line fuse and has both 12volt and USB charging ports on it. I put one in a pop-up I restored, but it's not where I can get at it to give you a make and model, but here's a pic of it. The USB inserts pull out for 12 volt outlets.

P1010730_zps59583c12.jpg Photo by advocateone | Photobucket
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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Son of a gun, this looks like a slightly different version but is the same idea. <$13

Sigma Switchs Car Charger and USB Port Charging Center Dual Port 5215 A0204 891s | eBay
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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You might try a portable charging system something like this.
Portable Power Station
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:52 PM   #5
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Usb

There are USB outlets that plug in to the 12v cigarette lighter and give you 2 USB slots. Most automotive stores have them.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:25 PM   #6
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Judi, check out the recent post nifty battery box. Just the ticket, it has a built in 12 volt outlet and you can hook a 400 watt inverter up on the wing nuts if you need ac.
Buy a portable battery charger, they have 12 volt outlet, led lights, jump starting, some have air compressors. And can be recharged 110 or plug into your lighter while traveling.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/500-Amp-Jump...58f435&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Trolling...691ccf&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Decker...item3cd3469cea

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2pc-Car-Char...item35cf2dea0b
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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It looks like these are mostly for car charging? Or am I misunderstanding? I don't want to use my car as I will not be driving. The first few looked good and in Rv installed except when I searched for chargers they only said for tablets and phones. The ads for them made no mention of being able to charge laptops. Do they?
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:38 PM   #8
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Installing a 12v outlet isn't at all difficult. Hardest thing may be cutting the hole for the plug to fit into. You of course need a power source- many/most folks just tap an existing line, usually lights. Here's one how-to page

You could also have it done at any RV shop, if you can find one that won't charge an arm-and-leg for the job.

I'm not sure about directly-charging a laptop from 12v power...that would depend on whether the laptop itself was 12v.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:06 PM   #9
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Your missing something, if you have a battery? The battery box has a 12 volt outlet installed in it. It also has a power level gauge to let you know your battery power level. It also has wing nuts you can hook a inverter, your solar panel. Which will allow you to use a 110 volt plug to charge a laptop or any small appliance.
The battery charger is a back up power supply. I wouldn't be off grid without one.
You can put air in your tires, jump your car, plug a inverter in it, has a light, and a 12 volt outlet.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mszabo View Post
Your missing something, if you have a battery? The battery box has a 12 volt outlet installed in it. It also has a power level gauge to let you know your battery power level. It also has wing nuts you can hook a inverter, your solar panel. .

She's not "missing" anything. The box you describe isn't standard equipment on any trailer that I know of.

I did buy such an (aftermarket) box, and recently posted a thread about same.
Herewith, the link: Nifty Battery Box

Certainly a good, cheap alternative to installing extra 12v outlets...but of course they're on the outside of the trailer. If that suits the O.P.'s purpose I highly recommend it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #11
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I've had one for years, only problem is the gauge didn't hold up.
Mine quite working after four years. No complaints!
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:27 PM   #12
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I think that there is some confusion about what you want/need. In the op you asked for a USB port for charging now you want an outlet to charge your laptop, which a USB port isn't.

Because most laptops require more than 12 volts for charging, a direct battery connection usually won't do the trick. In that case it's easiest to get an inexpensive 100 watt plug-in inverter and plug that into a 12 volt outlet, plug the computers regular power cord into that, and charge the battery in that manner. The Charging Center I linked to has both a USB port as well as a fused 10a 12 volt outlet that would do just fine for a small inverter. But a single 12 volt, group 24 battery isn't an infinite source of power.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:35 PM   #13
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Just make sure it's wired correctly and you get the amps required for whatever MAXIMUM recharge you need. Click image for larger version

Name:	usb-2.jpg
Views:	33
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ID:	68672 From what I understand the "i" stuff takes more juice.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Son of a gun, this looks like a slightly different version but is the same idea. <$13

Sigma Switchs Car Charger and USB Port Charging Center Dual Port 5215 A0204 891s | eBay
Nice find Bob.... kind of like that!!! hummmmm
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