Adding USB Outlet

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by nefarious, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. nefarious

    nefarious New Member

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    I would like to add a USB outlet for charging devices in the front cabinet of my Fleetwood Saratoga. I like the idea of the 12VDC input because I'll be able to use it even when I don't have hookups. The challenge for me is that the trailers power distribution is at the rear of the trailer and one wall has the door and the other has the slide out dinette. So my question is: Does anybody have any suggestions for routing 12VDC from the power distribution in the rear back up front?
     

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  2. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I would most definitely want to use a fused circuit. I think Each of those USB ports can draw around 2AMPS from the battery so you would want to have a goof fuse to cover those drains.

    If you cannot find any DC wiring you can tap into then run a separate circuit from the 12V Power Distribution Panel where all of your ATC TYPE fuses are located. I have done this for a few items and used what is called BOAT CABLE which is covered good and has either 12GA or 14GA wire size. You can order this from AMAZON... You can order this cable with WHITE and BLACK color wiring to go along with the same wiring scheme that RV trailer's use. BLACK is for positive and WHITE is for negative ground.
    [​IMG]

    I added a couple of these type BLUE SEA 12VDC Panels from AMAZON doing the same thing... These can mount directly to the thin walls instead of using a standard 120VAC Electrical box like you are proposing. The round modules rotate so it can be mounted horizontal or vertical. BLUE SEA carries many different purpose round modules like these...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. nefarious

    nefarious New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response and the suggestions on the wire. That's perfect.

    Keep in mind that at full capacity (8A @ 5VDC) the draw will be ~ 4A @ 12VDC (8A * 5VDC = 40W / 12VDC = 3.3A
    I do NOT want to tap into an existing circuit. I want a separate fused circuit which is why I want to run the power from the distribution panel in the rear of the trailer to the cabinet up front.

    Back to the orignal question: suggestions on routing the wire when I have a door on one and slide-out on the other? Through the floor and under the trailer?
     
  4. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    I would first pull the kick panel on the glide-out and check see if any wiring is already running through that space. On our NIagara Fleetwood ran wiring from the converter to the shower under there. If you don't want to do that, then drill holes and run it under the floor using the cable Roy suggested.
     
  5. JeepinAndCampin

    JeepinAndCampin Member

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    good info!
     
  6. michaeltdyer

    michaeltdyer Member

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  7. Boatnman

    Boatnman Well-Known Member

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    Please note that all of the products shown here have a small LED light on the USB outlet. As long as the USB outlet is powered, the LED light will be on. You may want to consider running the power to the USB outlet through a switch so you can turn off the light at night.
     
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  8. jackquontee

    jackquontee Active Member

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    Similar to this:
     

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  9. nefarious

    nefarious New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Sounds like my best bet.

    I looked at that one as well but ultimately decided on the 4 USB port version as I rarely charge anything that is not USB based.
     
  10. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    Follow your wiring out of the converter. In my Avalon, the main wiring loom runs from the front at the converter, counter clockwise in the body panels, to the rear, through the slide, under the shower pan to the rear body panels. Circuits drop through the floor and up to the roof along the way. I followed the wire path when I had to replace my lift circuit the whole way. I had to unscrew the shower pan to loosen then used a fish tape to chase it. Next time, I'll remove it and install a conduit tunnel. If your going through the trouble of installing a new run, I'd put a few circuits in in case you want anything else down the line. You actually don't have to run pairs since you can use a chassis ground, or a common from another circuit, Keeping in mind your draw in that particular circuit before you rob a ground from an adjacent one. You can even run a 10 awg and distribute off of that for several smaller circuits.

    Good luck with the project.
     
  11. nefarious

    nefarious New Member

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    Thanks 94-D2.
    I opened up the trailer and confirmed the circuits are run from the converter in the rear under the slide and up to the front. I'll just follow the same path.
     
  12. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    on this thread
    questions

    how much “juice” will the USB ports w LED lights use in 24 hours?
    enough to make a difference over a 3 night boondocking trip?

    i have a solar panel with meter on back, & kill switch on battery line to camper (that i installed.)

    I am looking at the usb ports w voltmeters to monitor power use at night, when im using the built in lites & then charging devices.
    i want 2 dual usb ports, but only front one needs a meter.

    i know blue light uses more power & is much brighter than red & green is in the middle of the range.
    a red light would use the least power.
    how big a difference between RGB lites? blue uses double? triple?

    does the color/power use matter?
     
  13. Mamie

    Mamie Active Member

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    Or, you could use a USB Wall Charger Adapter and plug it into any wall outlet.
     
  14. JeepinAndCampin

    JeepinAndCampin Member

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    I am by far not an electrician so I cant answer that accurately, but i can say it affects very little on mine. i have double battery and use solar so never have an issue (if there is sunlight :) )
    My USB port has an on off switch too though. LED draw is so low. If you dont have a switch on your USB outlet, you could wire a switch between it somehow too..
     
  15. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    970C5EE4-92DF-4F6A-8DDA-5E974D809B19.png
    me three.
    ok im reading what you all suggested. here is my shopping list, these are pre wired w inline fuse
    i am planning to put these close to each bunk, so we can charge phones overnight
    the cigarette port is for airbed pumps or other 12v devices.

    i want to run wires directly to battery somehow.

    any additional info we should know?

    all the 12v is for non-elec sites, which are usually available at last minute/holiday weekends. i can glamp off grid!
     
  16. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Everything in the list looks good except the size of the RED/BLK wiring cable. I would 'UP' that to either 14GA or 12GA... You may start seeing loading down using the 18GA and pulling more than 4AMPS DC Current... Should not be a cost thing for you. I use 12GA most everywhere with my 12VDC wiring inside my OFF-ROAD trailer and all of my BATTERY CABLE wiring is 4AWG. Some of that should probably be 2AWG actually where my draw is around 50-60AMPS DC CURRENT.

    All of my battery connections uses the ring terminals on the back of the BATTERY SWITCHES or TERMINAL BLOCKS... My rule of thumb is never stack more than two ring terminals to a battery lug connection point. Can never have too many of the 4-position Battery lugs around close to the battery setup for your larger DC current needs... I have the base sprayed RED for positive 12VDC or BLACK for frame ground connections. I like to use ANCOR BRAND cable and ring terminals... I also use ADHESIVE TYPE heat shrink tubing since most of my items is subject to outside use. All available from AMAZON...

    [​IMG]

    Showing lugs behind the 12VDC switches
    [​IMG]

    I make up all of my larger DC cables using one of these hand crimper tools... Makes life for me much easier as it seems I am always changing something... This one goes up to 2AWG wire size...

    [​IMG]
    ALL photos here GOOGLE IMAGES

    I get all of my items from AMAZON or LOWES it seems hehe... AMAZON brings it to my door in two days free shipping with the PRIME ACCOUNT and that is cheaper in the long run then driving 60 miles round trip to a store somewhere...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  17. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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  18. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    54F3871F-F66A-4293-8A7F-0C975D8E7C8A.jpeg D4E1CEAF-A045-4B78-923A-1722235348FD.jpeg D4E1CEAF-A045-4B78-923A-1722235348FD.jpeg @roybraddy
    thx. i bought the size wire that matched the parts. 18. so fatter guage is the SMALLER number?

    my plan is to get buttsplice crimps to extend wire from back dinette bench to battery on the plain port, & the voltmeter port from front bunk cabinet to battery.
    how will mixing different size be better? im confused.

    red box w blue outline is desired location of these ports, next to existing electrical outlets.

    i either add terminal rings & hook them up direct to battery,
    or
    figure out how to add to existing lines going thru battery kill switch which is now before the green fuse. (photos on my phone & on blog)
    my battery: i can use the large terminals?
     

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  19. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    When I have to use more than two ring terminals on the battery post or single 5/16-inch stud I will use a short 4AWG cable to feed one of those four position Blue sea Bus bars... Then I don't break my rule of no more than two ring terminals on a lug connection...
    [​IMG]

    I am in the process of building up a new Torklift 5-foot long BATTERY box that will be housing four 6V 220AH Trojan T105 Batteries and a center distribution point with switches and meters etc. This is going to have several distribution BUS BARS so i can run some RED and BLACK cables from the battery bank to some items that will draw some heavier DC Current. Thinking ahead on this install and will be using some square PVC ducting with slide on lid cover to get from the tongue area into my trailer. All will be weather resistant sitting on my trailer tongue area. This will replace my three 12V Interstate batteries shown here on my trailer... My Torklift box fits perfect sliding inside the metal angle strips under my interstate batteries... the new Torklift battery box will extend out on both sides of the tongue and should look great sitting up next to the trailer deck rails shown here...

    [​IMG]

    I'm running out of room behind the Battery Switches doubling up on cables you can see on the frame cross member where the Blue Sea battery switches are mounted. .


    This is what my Torklift Battery box looks like from Google images
    [​IMG]

    Since I will have two 12VDC Battery groups in this setup I want to add a second solar panel to trickle charge both groups of two 6V batteries inside the box when sitting in the high sun. My Blue sea switches and other monitor meters etc will be centered in the middle of the box accessible from the front. Behind the box will be my PVC ducting that will go down to the tongue area between the Box and the front deck railing. This is going to add some tongue weight for sure but it is all built to park some four wheelers on the deck which I won't be doing so I should be ok with things weight wise... The batteries box with the four GC2 6V batteries will be adding around 400lbs to my tongue I suspect. Note my trailer tongue frame size is hugh compared to some other manf of trailers with front decks.

    All of this is somewhat overkill but I need to support my OFF-ROAD Ham Radio Emergency COMMS operations and be able to pull some serious DC current running things for long time periods...

    My off-road trailer is slowly becoming a real WAR WAGON haha... I originally was thinking of getting one these WAR WAGON trailers setup for my Emergency Comms but then I would have to pull two trailers way back in the woods....
    [​IMG]

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    in texas, you can tow 2 trailers! yes!
    i was going to ask why so big, but emergency radio explains it.

    i like the roof on your green wagon. thats what i wanted for my kitchen trailer. ended up w shelter logic 10x20 garage tent.

    right now that trailer is in garage as my camping gear closet with extra gear for larger entourages & tent camping. popup is in other half of garage. truck sleeps outside.
     

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