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Old 08-19-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
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Installing 12V Outlets

I'm going to install a couple 12V outlets on the stereo/night light circuit, which people here say is pretty easy to get to by removing the microwave.

Any advice on drilling into the wood panel? I have a spade bit that I used on my last camper, but I'm not sure what sort of wood this is. Is it just that flimsy wood with a veneer on top, that splits and shatters when you try to drill it?

The mounting brackets for the outlets will cover a bit of imperfection, but I want to try and make it look good!

Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:45 PM   #2
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As a woodworker from childhood... use masking tape over and around your drilling spot and use a minimal speed setting. A slow sharp bit will make a world of difference on the fairly thin materials.

One other small tip is to measure your bit and wrap a couple of turns with tape on the bit itself. It will often prevent over drilling once the desired depth has been reached.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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USB or like a cigarette lighter type plug?
If the cigarette type I would use a hole saw type bit rather than the spade.

The hole saw will leave a cleaner hole, be sure to put some painters type tape where the hole will be.

Search results for: 'hole saw'
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
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I decided to install 12V outlets in place of the useless (to me) cable outlet to avoid cutting the cabinetry in a visible way. An oversized nylon blank switch plate cover will fit into the space nicely and has room for two outlets. Use a hole saw on them. The luan underneath can be cut with the same saw and anymore cutting can be done with a fine work hand saw. I used a dual Blue Sea outlet, similar to this single outlet. What I liked about it is the mounting plate can be put on from behind and used to hold the switch plate cover tightly to the luan making room for two outlets. Two outlets are tricky to install without covering the screw holes.

I also tapped into the fridge circuit for power, something that is easy to do on A-frames with a fixed bed. Because the fridge circuit is 20 amps, I ran 10 gauge wire to the outlets and put a 15 amp fuse to protect each one.

Others have been successful in using the radio circuit. My thought on that is to make sure to watch the amps. IIRC the fuse for the radio is in the cabinetry and the microwave has to be pulled to change it. Again IIRC, the thermostat is powered by the same circuit, so if the fuse blows, the Coolcat and furnace won't work. So at least check out the fuse situation so you will know how to fix it at camp.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarome View Post
One other small tip is to measure your bit and wrap a couple of turns with tape on the bit itself. It will often prevent over drilling once the desired depth has been reached.
Nice tip, I'll put that in my tool box.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:53 AM   #6
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I installed one off my radio circuit and one off my master bedroom light circuit. On my 24HFS, the radio and rear / kitchen lighting all shared a single circuit. I tested the draw on the circuit (15amp circuit) and it was only around 3-5 amps with the radio turned almost all the way up and all of the lights on so I had plenty of room to work. I installed the first 12volt socket in the media cabinet near the radio so that I can run a small inverter to power my LED tv and blu-ray player. Even with all components on (radio, tv, blu-ray player, lights) I was still not even to 10 amps so I shouldn't have any issues at all.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
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Put a block of wood behind so you don't blow out the hole at the back. Start slow.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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One more thing to think about before cutting. Some people have put in a 3 outlet "power strip" attached to the countertop. The wire runs over the side by the bed into a small hole in the cabinet.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-42223-3-.../dp/B0012FDDGK

Others have installed a dual USB outlet instead of one 12V outlet

Dual USB Charger Socket - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:17 PM   #9
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Here they are installed! It was very easy. The spade bit worked fine, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have something to cover the edges, like these outlets do.

The microwave does come out with just four screws, and the cord is long enough to set it on the bed or the floor. It leaves plenty of room to work inside the cabinet.

With how easily the microwave comes out, I could see replacing it with additional storage, and still be able to reinstall it if desired.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:31 PM   #10
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