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Old 01-16-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
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Adding 12v usb/outlet to motorhome?

Has anyone done this mod of tieing into a 12v usb/outlet to the wiring of a 12v light above a dinette area? If it could be done, would this be a do-it-yourself project or a RV Center install? If a do-it-yourself install what steps do I need to do to install outlet? Thanks love this forum for the valuable information people have.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:45 PM   #2
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Are you looking for something like this:
Amazon.com: Astra Depot Boat Marine Carvans 12V Waterproof Power Outlet Cigarette Lighter Socket 2.1A Dual USB Charger Panel Flush Mount For Benelli Aprilia KTM BMW: Automotive

A USB outlet that is powered by 12V so you can put an outlet somewhere that will be live when 12V is live (and 120V isn't).

The hardest thing about that would be fishing the wire from your USB outlet hole to the light fixture. Depending on the proximity that may not be a big issue.

Edit: or this guy:
12V USB Outlet
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:00 PM   #3
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I picked up 2 of these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o04_s00
Added both a 12v cig lighter and 2 USB.

1 is going under the bed for charging phones/tablets - and DW can use her 12v heating pad if we are boondocking...
The second is going outside for convenience...

To install near the dinette - take down the light (2 or 4 screws likely) and see how much clearance there is above it (before the real floor of the cabinet). What I bought needs a good 2 inches from the surface mount to clear the casing and connect the wires - others might be shallower.

Just a matter of snaking the wire from the fixture to the new hole - staying in that area should be relatively simple... I've tapped off of that area for new LED lights - and aux fans...
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:29 AM   #4
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Thanks JamieGeek and gmc for your information. I was thinking about doing it that way. I will pull down 1 light tomorrow to see how much room I have to work with. I really like the idea of using outlet as a usb, or a 12v socket.
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Old 01-18-2016, 02:27 PM   #5
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Jamie you and Ed are much more informed on electrical configurations than I am...so what I would like to add access to 12V via cig lighter back in the bedroom so as to use a small "Coffee Cup" inverter I got for running the TV and a DVD player after light's out and generators off.


If anyone else has done such please advise as any suggestions as to were to access an exiting 12V line or run a new one off the 12V fuse board?


Not sure of how much of a draw on the batteries or the amount of heat that running an inverter would generate.


Doc
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Old 01-18-2016, 02:50 PM   #6
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Its really just math. Figure out how many watts your TV & DVD will use (as a swag look in the owners manual and use those values). Add them up then select the size of the inverter based on that. Then you can figure out what kind of 12V current draw there is (remember watts = volts * amps).

As an example: a 50W inverter would draw about 4.5 amps at 12V.
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Old 01-18-2016, 02:58 PM   #7
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Will do this evening, all RV paperwork/documentation is at home.

Thanks. Then to figure how long one could run the example above, you would divide the 4.5 amps into the cold cranking amps (?) available from the house batteries?

Doc
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Its really just math. Figure out how many watts your TV & DVD will use (as a swag look in the owners manual and use those values). Add them up then select the size of the inverter based on that. Then you can figure out what kind of 12V current draw there is (remember watts = volts * amps).

As an example: a 50W inverter would draw about 4.5 amps at 12V.
Use a pure sine wave inverter for tv
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:09 PM   #9
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Thanks. Will check to see what it is that I have.

Doc
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DocMike View Post
Then to figure how long one could run the example above, you would divide the 4.5 amps into the cold cranking amps (?) available from the house batteries?
No... the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is a measure of how many amps a battery can deliver for 30 seconds in cold weather (0 degrees F) and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12 volt battery). While it may help compare the starting power between batteries - not going to help here..
(MCA - or Marine Cranking Amps is the same test at 32 degrees F... guess they figure 0 degrees doesn't mean much to boaters - other than you might need an ice breaker on the front of the boat.)

For your calculation, you need to know the amp hours (AH) the battery can deliver. To be nice to a deep cycle - you don't want to regularly drive it below 50%... so conservatively the calculation would be:
(battery capacity in AH) / 2 (to get 50%) / (anticipated amp draw) = hours expected
If an 90AH battery and 4.5 amp load - and being kind to the battery you would have 90/2/4.5 = 10 hours... (plug in your actual battery value...)
For two 12 v batteries in parallel (to deliver 12 volts) - you add the AH of each battery (90+90)/2/4.5 = 20 hours...
For two 6v batteries in series (to deliver 12 volts) - you use a single batteries value and formula.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:27 AM   #11
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G,

Thanks for the information above, I'll roundup the specifics tomorrow.

Like I posted earlier on this Forum, paraphrasing Star Trek: "Damn it G, I'm a Doctor not an electrical engineer".

Looks like I need to work on getting some electricl training if I am going to be successful owning a RUV.

Thanks again.

Doc
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMike
Looks like I need to work on getting some electricl training if I am going to be successful owning a RUV.
Naah just go with the flow. As Mr Mom said "220 or 221 whatever it takes"
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:06 PM   #13
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AMEN! Funny movie, back in the day I really lived the part about after school pick-up protocols!

Doc
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