Adding a 12v Outlet to Pop-Up

May 1, 2022
40
I will preface this by saying that I'm not an electrician and have no expertise or knowledge when it comes to wiring, etc.

I recently ordered a new LiFePo4 battery for our pop-up to power lights and water pump during dry camping trips. (Generally trips to national parks that don't have electric)

I wanted to explore the prospect of adding a 12v outlet that I could use a "car adapter" with to charge phones off the 12v battery.

I have no aspirations of doing any more than charging phones with this outlet

Is this something that's difficult to do? If not, does anyone have any good video/written guides handy?

Thanks for any advice/ information anyone has to offer!
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
It's very easy to do. I've added three to my camper. In my case I just ran a white and Red wire directly from the battery to the place I wanted to at the 12 Volt outlet. Just be sure to sue the correct color of wires and also put a fuse in the line as close to the battery as you see fit. I have added one in the space under the table, one in the rear of the battery compartment, and one inside of the battery case. Before you start to tinker with the wiring, make sure you disconnect the battery and the Shore Power line. Also, use a volt meter to make sure you have the correct polarity. In the outlet, the center button contact is positive 12 volts, and the case is negative. Very important to get that correct. Red wires are positive and the White wire is negative.

Also, when you run the wires through the camper, make sure they will not get pinched or shorted out over time from movement of the camper.
 

NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
502
West Palm Beach, Florida
A project I need to do also.
I plan on installing a “cigar” lighter fixture and tapping into the wiring for the outside light.
That fixture will accommodate many automotive accessories like air pump, vacuum, work light, volt meter, and usb outlets. 1 hole to drill and a couple wires to connect.
 
May 1, 2022
40
Thanks for the replies, you two!

I'm trying to think of the cleanest way to get at existing 12v wiring, and I think that'd either be the water pump or the ceiling lights (but I'd have to get in the ceiling to get to their wiring and would prefer to avoid that)

Do you think it'd be a problem to splice into the 12v wiring to the water pump and install a 12v plug in the side of the seat? Would there be any wiring available by the power converter or would that be a bad idea to tread in that space?

Thanks again for the information!
 

NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
502
West Palm Beach, Florida
Thanks for the replies, you two!

I'm trying to think of the cleanest way to get at existing 12v wiring, and I think that'd either be the water pump or the ceiling lights (but I'd have to get in the ceiling to get to their wiring and would prefer to avoid that)

Do you think it'd be a problem to splice into the 12v wiring to the water pump and install a 12v plug in the side of the seat? Would there be any wiring available by the power converter or would that be a bad idea to tread in that space?

Thanks again for the information!
Do you have a “porch” light?
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,745
Northern Virginia
I haven't done it yet, but a project on my to do list. I was planning on tapping into my thermostat since like you, it's just phones. Even easier since it's located in the cupboard it's very easy to access the wires. At least that was my plan
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
There is a 12 volts line coming directly from your battery and connected to the converter. It probably already has a fuse in it, so that would be okay to tap into. The main consideration when tapping into an existing line, is the amount of power you will be pulling through it. You wouldn't want to pull more amps from the circuit than the wire was designed to handle. If you are just going to charge your phones or a Laptop, pretty much any 12 volt line in the camper with do just fine.
 
Last edited:

SteveP

Super Active Member
May 21, 2015
2,618
Try to avoid the water pump wiring, the pressure switch can cause problems. There may be a removable panel above the converter so that you can get to the wiring there if that general location is ok.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
My cousin installed the power strip in the video above. But we found that the 12 volt socket was very loose and would not always hold the plug to whatever was plugged into it. Maybe he just got a bad one. Regardless, we could not use it on the last camping trip. Also, you have to drill some hole in the cabinet to install it. Then if you figured out later that you didn't like where you installed it, you were screwed. I have already had to reposition mine once. I used an external type receptacle from Autozone like this.

 

NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
502
West Palm Beach, Florida
My cousin installed the power strip in the video above. But we found that the 12 volt socket was very loose and would not always hold the plug to whatever was plugged into it. Maybe he just got a bad one. Regardless, we could not use it on the last camping trip. Also, you have to drill some hole in the cabinet to install it. Then if you figured out later that you didn't like where you installed it, you were screwed. I have already had to reposition mine once. I used an external type receptacle from Autozone like this.

I like that one Don! Would mount nicely right by my extinguisher 🧯!
 

Johneliot

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Jan 1, 2022
235
Chico, CA
In your picture, the 12 volts feeds are the 4 fuses on the far right. Depending on what each one runs, you can tap one of them.
 
May 1, 2022
40
In your picture, the 12 volts feeds are the 4 fuses on the far right. Depending on what each one runs, you can tap one of them.
Two ceiling lights, outside light, water pump, furnace fan. I guess it's just a question of if any of them are on the same fuse.
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
May 21, 2015
2,618
Turn on all your 12 volt appliances, pull one fuse at a time and note what goes off. The fuse that seems to do nothing is probably for the fridge, which is a good circuit to tap into for adding accessories because if the fridge is running on 12 volt at the campsite it will be due to user error.
 
May 1, 2022
40
Turn on all your 12 volt appliances, pull one fuse at a time and note what goes off. The fuse that seems to do nothing is probably for the fridge, which is a good circuit to tap into for adding accessories because if the fridge is running on 12 volt at the campsite it will be due to user error.
Oh yeah. I forgot that was even an option because I've never considered using 12v on the fridge. Haha
 

jeepster04

Active Member
Nov 23, 2010
294
I chose to run new wiring right to the battery. Wanted it to have its own circuit and fuse.

 




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