Mod #2: 12-Volt Outlet
Submitted on: 06/06/08
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“You can never have too many 12-volt outlets.” I don’t know who said that but it’s true. Think about it. How many electronic devices do you bring with you camping? Some my say “Why would I do that? I’m going camping” while others bring the cell phone, DVD player, 2-way radios, electric blanket, 12-volt TV, etc. And guess how many 12-volt receptacles there in a typical RV? Usually just one, and it’s most likely in the least convenient location.
Now you may not need to charge all of your devices at one time and you could by a 2 or 3-into-1 receptacle adapter to plug in to the lone 12-volt receptacle. But what if the kids want to watch a movie on the portable DVD player in their bunk bed? What if you want to plug in a low-power inverter for small AC appliances? What if you DO want to charge multiple things at one time? Then you need another (or more) 12-volt receptacle.
Modding your RV with a new 12-volt receptacle is pretty easy. You will need the following:
- Wire cutters/crimpers
- A few feet of red and black 14 gauge wire
- A 10 amp fuse and inline holder
- A few Scotchlock splicing connectors
- A couple of ring connectors
- A hole saw the same size as the receptacle body
- A drill
- A couple of screws
Locate where the receptacle will go and ensure nothing is behind the area where it will mount. Locating the receptacle near a 12-volt light will make it easy to tap in to the power going to the light. Drill the hole. Attach the red wire to the center post of the receptacle using a ring connector. Using a Scotchlock splicer, attach the red wire to the fuse holder, attach the other end of the fuse holder to the white wire going to the light using another Scotchlock. Attach the black wire to the receptacle with a ring connector and the other end to black wire running to the light using a Scotchlock. Slide the receptacle in to the hole and secure with screws. Plug something in and test it.
The wire colors depicted above are typical for most RVs but if you find they are different than described here, make sure you connect the wires correctly, ensuring the right polarity. Otherwise, you may risk damage to the device you are trying to power. If there is not a light nearby where you want the receptacle, you will have to find a power source to tap in to, so make sure the wire you tap in to can handle up to 10 amps. Most RV accessory wiring can handle up to this amount.
ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
Marine Grade Cigarette Lighter Socket 12 VDC
Can-Am Spyder 12V Accessory Plug Jack Outlet
Truckspec TSP-312 12-Volt 3 Outlet Cigarette Lighter Adapter with 30 Cord