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Old 04-08-2018, 09:58 AM   #1
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Charging Devices when dry camping

Hi All,

We just picked up a 2018 minilite 2306 and i would like to charge ipads and phones in the trailer while dry camping. I tried plugging in an iphone and ipad into the USB port next to our bed and it would not charge the Ipad and very slowly charged the iphone. Do i need an inverter to charge our devices? I dont need microwave or TV just enough power to charge the ipad and iphone as well as camera batteries. We will have 150 watt solar and i have 2 6volt batteries.


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Old 04-08-2018, 10:05 AM   #2
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I added a 150w inverter to my unit which works real well for charging my devices. Used it a lot when boondocking on my 2016 Alaska trip.

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Old 04-08-2018, 10:12 AM   #3
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wire a cigarette lighter to the battery and charge off the battery.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:14 AM   #4
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We have a 150 watt inverter in the truck that's charges all our iPhones and iPad. Plus it runs our Garmin and TPMS
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:17 AM   #5
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Sounds like your trailer USB is not wired to 12 VDC and instead is tied through the 120 VAC circuit. So, that's out, unless you want to play electrician and switch that up.

So, you have some other options.

Tie directly to your RV battery using a battery tender system. I use one of these on my motorcycle for long rides.

Get a solar panel that is specific for charging small devices. I've never used one, but here is an example.

Use portable chargers (battery packs) to charge your devices. Then, recharge those chargers/batteries from your car when you drive around or from your solar/RV battery. I have used a portable bluetooth speaker from JBL that doubles as a charging device. I listen to music and charge my phone at the same time. Later, I'll recharge the speaker.

Use your TV. Doesn't take much to charge an iPhone. I will toss my phone in my truck for an hour or two if it needs a charge.

Inverter idea given above. Lots of ways to tie this in to make it more or less integrated into your RV.

Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:22 AM   #6
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You need a higher powered USB charger to charge the iPad. Amazon has several dual 2.1 amp USB chargers that accept 12v input. If you are boondocking, I’d recommend a switched one.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:30 AM   #7
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Just need to swap out the current outlet for a higher powered one. You want one that puts out 2.1 amps vs the .5 amp that a standard USB provides. Or you can put in a cigarette lighter style outlet, then either use a 100 watt plug in inverter or a high powered car adapter. Lot's of choices.

I have a mix of both in my motor home. I primarily use the small inverter to power a printer or turbo charge my phones using the wall wart.

Another gizmo that I have found handy for camping is a large battery pack to charge phones and tablets up. I have a 30,000 mAh one that will get 3 phones and 2 tablets through a 3 day weekend with no problem. Then just charge it up again when I get home so it is ready to go again. I also have a couple of smaller ones that I use for traveling.

Aaron & Rhonda
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:46 AM   #8
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Using an inverter to charge DC devices is just not that smart. Wire in some 12V DC outlets and/or USB ports.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:36 PM   #9
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Use your Tow Vehicle
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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we use one of these...

2018 DURANGO 2500 343MBQ | 2017 Ram 2500 Cummins
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camping, charging, dry camping

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