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Old 08-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
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Electrical Newbie - Adding 12v sockets to Aframe

Be gentle with me on this one - because it's entirely possible I'm in over my head...

I have an A122BH Aframe and my next mod project is probably going to be to install some 12v outlets. We pretty much only camp without power, relying on our DC batteries for our needs. Next spring I want to do a power upgrade with dual Group31s and a solar panel.

In the meantime, though, we have a lot of USB gadgets, so a way to recharge them would be nice. I'm also a writer/photographer, so being able to recharge/power my laptop and camera and tablets from 12v while away from the world would be very nice.

Thus, specifically, I want to install a single "cigarette lighter" socket as well as a USB Charging socket like this one (Amazon.com: Blue Sea Dual USB Charger Socket - 2 USB Ports w/Watertight Cap: Sports & Outdoors) next to the stereo (behind the microwave), as well as the same pair under the bench where the power panel is (next to the furnace).

So, here is where I'm getting quickly confused because honestly electrical vexes me - largely to do with paranoia about screwing something up.

Where do I tap into with these plugs? I pulled out the microwave to get a look at the wiring back there (picture below), and think I've identified how it all goes. My question is, do I just leech on to the wiring feeding in to the stereo already or should I run a new wire? and if I run new, where do I go with it - back to the battery? under and over to the power center?

Same applies to the to sockets over by the power center.

I dunno, maybe I'm either biting off more than I can chew here and am over my head, or I need a lot more help. I just don't want to fry something (or someone)

(Photo information - Upper left is the thermostat and control for the heating/cooling. Far left is the switch for the nightlight. Upper right is the back of the stereo.)
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderRoad View Post
Be gentle with me on this one - because it's entirely possible I'm in over my head...

I have an A122BH Aframe and my next mod project is probably going to be to install some 12v outlets. We pretty much only camp without power, relying on our DC batteries for our needs. Next spring I want to do a power upgrade with dual Group31s and a solar panel.

In the meantime, though, we have a lot of USB gadgets, so a way to recharge them would be nice. I'm also a writer/photographer, so being able to recharge/power my laptop and camera and tablets from 12v while away from the world would be very nice.

Thus, specifically, I want to install a single "cigarette lighter" socket as well as a USB Charging socket like this one (Amazon.com: Blue Sea Dual USB Charger Socket - 2 USB Ports w/Watertight Cap: Sports & Outdoors) next to the stereo (behind the microwave), as well as the same pair under the bench where the power panel is (next to the furnace).

So, here is where I'm getting quickly confused because honestly electrical vexes me - largely to do with paranoia about screwing something up.

Where do I tap into with these plugs? I pulled out the microwave to get a look at the wiring back there (picture below), and think I've identified how it all goes. My question is, do I just leech on to the wiring feeding in to the stereo already or should I run a new wire? and if I run new, where do I go with it - back to the battery? under and over to the power center?

Same applies to the to sockets over by the power center.

I dunno, maybe I'm either biting off more than I can chew here and am over my head, or I need a lot more help. I just don't want to fry something (or someone)

(Photo information - Upper left is the thermostat and control for the heating/cooling. Far left is the switch for the nightlight. Upper right is the back of the stereo.)
I think because of the "load" you want to add, you need to add wiring from your battery or internal bus with a fuse in the wiring for the expected load added. Add up each device you want to add and wire to them in a daisy chain fashion with wire rated to 1.25 percent of the load amperes. In ohter words if you need 11 amps, use 15 amp wire minimum. If desired use an inline circuit breaker. Point is don't piggy back off existing circuits, you'll overload them for sure. The fuse size should also be rated at 125% of your calculated load.

I don't think "you are in over your head" but you should seek assistance for the design and details of this installation. Two batteries feeding a electrical fault can easily lead to a serious fire. Just "Do it right" and enjoy. A local auto electronics installer is a good source for advice.
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