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Old 01-10-2020, 05:19 AM   #1
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Adding 12v USB charging ports

So our 2019 came with a handful of USB ports:
- Two on each side of the bedroom
- Two more next to the radio, under a door


Are these ports driven by the 12v system or the 110v? I suspect it's the latter


What I'd like is a host of 12v USB ports throughout the camper. We have four phones, laptops, USB speakers, ipads - all kinds of stuff that must be plugged in. I'd like to turn off the inverter entirely unless we're watching TV.



Anyone done this?



TIA
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:29 AM   #2
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All of our factory USB ports are tied to the 12v system. Easy to check.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:10 AM   #3
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The chargers run off battery, not 110v.

The stock USB charging ports are complete crap. Every single one of mine died in the first year.

I installed new Blue Sea 12v charging panels. Much better.

A good solution is a very good battery pack. Should work for everything but the laptops. Ours will easily last a long weekend with 3 phones & a tablet.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-n-Janet View Post
All of our factory USB ports are tied to the 12v system. Easy to check.
Yes.
USB is 5v. but the conversion from 12v to 5v. happens in the plug.
I'm replacing one of my many USB charge points back to 12v. lighter so I can power my rear camera (inside) without an adapter.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:52 AM   #5
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Great to hear about the existing USB being on 12v!

I'd still like to add more. My kids hang out near the couch and need to charge their devices. Even on the kitchen counter area I'd like 4 ports.

I'll likely add total of 4 more of these dual chargers:
https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...a-844112369515

What's the best way to drag the 12v cables to the locations? (somewhat apprehensive about this, hate to start poking holes in a brand new AS )
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:03 AM   #6
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Consider a Goal Zero Yeti?

Thinking slightly outside the box, have you considered a portable power solution like a Goal Zero Yeti 150 or 200? They're very small, could fit in one of the many storage spaces and you can use it inside your tow vehicle while on the road. *You can recharge it in the tow vehicle too.

Bonus - has AC power capability to charge a laptop in addition to the USB capability.

Some guys on the forum have permanently installed Yeti's larger lithium 1000 - 3000 systems to replace the Airstream inverter.

Just a thought!

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/portab...ower-stations/
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:14 AM   #7
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Easy solution: Get a multi-Port plug-in USB charger

Semi-Easy: Add USB port by connecting to existing 12v lines.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:44 AM   #8
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Get covered USB ports if there is any chance of exposure to moisture. Blue Sea and other marine grade ports work great.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:01 AM   #9
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The stock lights and water pump should all be 12V, so just look for a switch for lights, the water pump or a light with a switch on it for 12V power.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:47 AM   #10
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Warning, following suggestion requires drilling hole(s)!

I have a 2014 Flying Cloud that came with swivel lights in each corner, next to the speaker. These lights are 12V.

Using a hole saw, I drilled the appropriately sized holes for 12V receptacles (aks cigarette lighter) next to each of the lights. Removed the speaker grills to gain access to the lamp wiring, installed the receptacles, , wired them into the lamps and purchased dual USB adapters to fit the receptacle. The wires leading to the lamps were 14GA, so plenty heavy for whatever you throw at them.

Greg
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:03 PM   #11
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we use these in our AS.
no phantom power when unplugged

https://www.newertech.com/products/power2u.php
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greghoro View Post
Warning, following suggestion requires drilling hole(s)!

I have a 2014 Flying Cloud that came with swivel lights in each corner, next to the speaker. These lights are 12V.

Using a hole saw, I drilled the appropriately sized holes for 12V receptacles (aks cigarette lighter) next to each of the lights. Removed the speaker grills to gain access to the lamp wiring, installed the receptacles, , wired them into the lamps and purchased dual USB adapters to fit the receptacle. The wires leading to the lamps were 14GA, so plenty heavy for whatever you throw at them.

Greg
So you have USB ports in the ceiling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
The stock lights and water pump should all be 12V, so just look for a switch for lights, the water pump or a light with a switch on it for 12V power.
Good idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
we use these in our AS.
no phantom power when unplugged

https://www.newertech.com/products/power2u.php
Do you wire 110v into those as well? They look good though
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Do you wire 110v into those as well? They look good though
I've installed a couple of these at home so we don't have to use the "wall warts" to charge our phones. They are specifically designed to replace an existing 110VAC outlet. You might be able to modify one so the 110V outlets are wired to the 110V system and the USB ports are wired to the 12VDC system, but that is not how they are designed.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalashnikov View Post
So you have USB ports in the ceiling? :

I have overhead cabinets across the front and back of my trailer and under each corner is a lamp and radio speaker.

Greg

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Old 01-22-2020, 02:27 PM   #15
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When I was designing my Airstream's interior, I knew that I'd need a bunch of USB charging stations. So my main charge point went into a cubbyhole, where I could pile devices to my heart's content.

Remember that some devices light up when they get a notification, or just plain feel like it. Good to hide them! If you feel the need to be drilling into something... if you did it inside of a cabinet and tapped into the 12V power (which would be running off of 110V when plugged in), that would help to corral all of these devices, and keep them from stealing all of the attention. And waking you up in the middle of the night. I like the WestMarine 12V plugs, with a flush-mount double USB plug inserted. Make sure to get the high power ones for things like tablets.

Both my wife and I have a cubbyhole right under the device cubby. Really helps with the "Where's my phone/sunglasses/sunscreen/keys? I put them right here in the middle of everything, totally in the way, now I can't find them!" problem.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:46 PM   #16
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I should point out that USB type A connectors are on their way out. If you specifically install these today, it would be like it's 1980 and you are installing an 8-track player (if you know what that is, or it's 2001 and you're installing a VHS player, ok?)



The best future proof method, frankly, is to install a cigarette lighter type socket and then you can plug in inexpensive Type A or Type C adapters or any of a variety of appliances that will plug into such a socket. And not just today, but in two years, and into next decade.

For instance: https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Cigar.../dp/B07FSCSRY7
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:01 PM   #17
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That's a good point.


Yet I think the TypeA connectors will be around for a long time. And even once USB-C becomes mainstream you'll be able to find TypeA-C converters



Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
I should point out that USB type A connectors are on their way out. If you specifically install these today, it would be like it's 1980 and you are installing an 8-track player (if you know what that is, or it's 2001 and you're installing a VHS player, ok?)



The best future proof method, frankly, is to install a cigarette lighter type socket and then you can plug in inexpensive Type A or Type C adapters or any of a variety of appliances that will plug into such a socket. And not just today, but in two years, and into next decade.

For instance: https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Cigar.../dp/B07FSCSRY7
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