Adding dual USB outlets via replacement existing ones

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by mtbdudex, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

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    I'm adding dual USB outlets via replacement existing ones.


    Honestly it's hard to believe that camper makers are selling their campers with "old school" duplex 120v receptacles instead of single 120v + dual USB ones.


    Using this one, it's rated 3.6 amps for both USB ports combines, fast charging and also handles tablets.
    [​IMG]


    This one do NOT use it! The USB plugs interfere with the simplest 120v cord plugging in, I tried it and found out hard way
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice on which outlet to use. I was looking at these the other day at the home improvement store. I intend to install one next to my bed and actually wondered about the plug interference . If my memory serves me correctly, the single 120v dual USB was cheaper anyway.
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Our 2010 Coleman did not have a 12v or USB outlet. We added the 12v, mostly so we could use a plug-in battery meter and fan, but also use the 12v USB adapter. Our 2015 Retro arrived with a combo 12v (cigarette lighter) outlet with 2 USBs. Since we usually dry camp, that makes more sense for us (unless there were also 110 USBs in the same camper). We actually use the Goal Zero Yeti free-standing storage battery to charge the phone, Kindles and table most of the time. However, if I need to charge something when the solar panel is recharging the TT batteries or we have power, I use the built-in outlet. (It's in a less-than handy spot.)
     
  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I guess you have looked at your RV 120VAC receptacle from behind the cabinet. Most of the trailers use the flat slim line models that are strung in series daisy chain fashion. These are connected to the stripped ROMEX single wires laying in a path inside the unit then pushing the back on to make connections etc... There is NO electrical junction boxes used

    Does not look anything at all like the receptacles we are all used to seeing. Also as soon as you move the ROMEX it usually breaks the cut wiring... Being small and tight without a electrical junction box you have no room to install the larger size. Good luck haha...

    Everytime I have had to work on one I usually cut the ROMEX a few inches away from the receptacle and install an electrical junction box there. Then run regular wiring to a real 120VAC receptacle using a electrical junction box from LOWES... If the ROMEX you just cut goes on to feed other Rv receptacle downstream then you ar ein trouble again... Will have to install another junction box behind your cabinet wall to tie into the ROMEX again. I got so mad at those flimsy RV receptables in my POPUP trailer I pulled all of them out and replaced with regular Receptacles and wall boxes... geesch...
    [​IMG]

    You will see what I mean if you look behind your cabinet where the RV STYLE compression Type receptacle is installed... Cheap Cheap stuff... Once you wiggle the ROMEX the wires breaks inside the unit...

    There is no place to install the receptacles like you are showing... You will have to install a wall box from LOWES first if there is room...

    [​IMG]

    Roy Ken
     
  5. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

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    Roy;
    Awesome feedback, honestly I bought them but did not attempt the install yet, so you've given me good heads up on what to expect and do, and others also.

    btw, I strictly HATE push in wiring, I'm an old fashioned "around the screw" electrical mindset myself.


    I'll document my little journey here with pictures.
    fwiw, those USB wall plug in ones are only 2.1 amp total, which means if you put a tablet on 1 and a phone on the other you may/will blow the internal fuse, which we have done at our home - twice - and given up on these and opted for the more robust 3.6 amp combo receptacle I posted above.
    For others: typical 2.1 amp plug in module, these are not reliable, stay away from them!
    [​IMG]



    FYI - I did my complete basement wiring/boxes, 11 new circuits back in Dec-2007, so no problem with safe wiring to code.
    1 of many rooms done, here's framing with rough wiring
    [​IMG]


    yep I did my own circuit plan, load analysis, etc also. Kinda fun actually.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Residential and commercial receptacles MUST be in a box. RV and mobile home receptacles are designed to be used without a box.
     
  7. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

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    Back when I embarked on my whole basement wiring I read books on code and got this code check to make sure I met it.
    So, when retrofitting a non RV Mobile home receptacles into a RV the box is used to meet "code"?

    I therefore have to transparently ask;
    Is it to current RV and Mobile home code to use residential receptacles, even in a box?

    fwiw, this was - is worth it's weight in gold for anyone doing home electrical work, both to meet code and simply be safe, after all it's your family for the DIY guy.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Although I have to meet code on the job, one must understand the reason for the building codes = safety.

    Residential and commercial receptacles should be in a box for safety, regardless of the specificity of the relevant code.
     
  9. Natureangel

    Natureangel Everythings better outdoors...

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    My making code [;)]

    Very handy by the galley
     

    Attached Files:

  10. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

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    Is the code question better asked on the mike holt forum? I'm a member there, his is the de facto forum for all things electrical.


    Via Mikes brain/thumb interface, LLAP
     
  11. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    YAK - I just got one of these myself from AMAZON... Those round modules will rotate and you can mount this horizontal or Vertical on the cabinet face. You can mount these almost anywhere. You are shocked somewhat when you see how small they really are haha...

    The other great feature is these work from 12VDC (Battery) so you don't have to mess with the 120VAC wiring to install the other kind of USB ports.. Always available to use if 12VDC models

    I really like the small 12VDC Volt Meter on this panel as well but it did turn out to be very bright and I had to tone that down using some clear tape haha...

    Roy Ken
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    They actually make film to go on LEDs. We put it on the CO/LP detector, the microwave, and the tell-tale on the 'fridge. It was amazing how bright all those tiny lights made the inside of the TT. We can still read the microwave clock with the film on. I used it for something in the pup, but can't remember just what it was.
    https://www.amazon.com/LightDims-Original-Strength-Electronics-Appliances/dp/B00CLVEQCO/ref=pd_sim_60_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41KUXX9M3sL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR89%2C160_&psc=1&refRID=205RW1BWB03ESJWE0CTM
     
  14. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    The dual 120/USB outlets are only good for shore power so they would only help me about half the time or less. We put in dual 12V accessory (lighter)/USB outlets and they have been much more useful to us.
     
  15. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

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    To also bring closure here:

    The RV 120v plugs are indeed slimline and sealed so no stray sparks will cause ignition, in other words like a home where exposed wires are in a blue box for protection from combustible stuff.
    [​IMG]

    Now there was enough depth room to put a dual USB plug and 120v
    [​IMG]

    However I'd have to add a rework style blue box for safe code, so instead gave up and used this $10 Home Depot
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Via Mikes brain/thumb interface, LLAP
     
  16. Don_D

    Don_D I'd rather be camping!

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    We re-wired the outlets in our pup with a set of these USB/110 outlets using the blue gang boxes sold at the big box stores and it really wasn't that bad to do and they fit fine. We seldom use these but it was pup upgrade time anyway. We use the 12v receptacles much more often.
     
  17. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    With all the changes in the USB charging standards (Quick Charge 3.0 just came out, and USB 3.1 with the C connector is on the horizon and even more powerful), I am sticking with the universal 12V outlets. It is trivial to plug a compact, 2-port USB charger into one. Many folks here have hard-wired old USB charger technology into their camper. For me that just isn't the way to go. I have upgraded chargers several times over the short period I have owned the camper.
     
  18. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you, that the USB standard is changing.

    But backwards compatibility has always been the hallmark of USB. A USB port introduced in 1996 will charge my Galaxy S7. Granted, it won't charge it very fast, but it will charge it.

    I'm waiting for all the fuss about standards to die down. QuickCharge 3.0, Quickcharge 3.1, Qi, Fastcharge Qi.

    I fully expect USB 3.1 and the Type C connector (which are NOT the same thing) to be settled in about a year, and by then people will be making new USB chargers. But will it be USB A or USB C connector? Time will tell.

    I put a 2.4Amp USB A dual port charger in my camper last month. I figure by the time I need to swap it out, I'll probably change campers. If not, it's a panel mount, so I can just get a compatible sized charger and replace it.
     
  19. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I've gotten 3 seasons so far out of my 12V USB outlets, which is well worth the small amount of money and effort it took to put them in. I would guess I'll get at least another 3 years out of them if not far longer, plus they have a 12V 'lighter' outlet incorporated in so I can always just use that if necessary.

    If you wait for standards to settle down, you might be waiting forever lol
     
  20. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    I did not suggest waiting, only that the plain old 12V outlet with a low-profile dual charger is fairly future proof. I did a complete overhaul of my electrical not that long ago and have no plans to touch it again, no matter how minor the revision.

    That is the great thing about trailers, you can customize them however you like.
     

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