Fitting a USB socket in the motorhome

Our ‘van is a 2014 model and brilliant though it is, one thing it lacked was USB sockets and we need plenty of those to charge our phones, tablets, iPod and the 4G mobile broadband modem. The cab area does have two 12 volt sockets, but these only function when the van ignition is switched on. There are no dedicated USB sockets in the habitation area. We do have some mains to USB adapters, but these are only useful when we are hooked up to a mains electric supply. There are two USB outlets on the satellite TV unit and we have been using these to power the Chromecast and  the bluetooth speaker.

So I decided to install some additional USB power outlets.

The TV runs on a 10A circuit but really only draws around 2A maximum so I decided to extend the TV circuit rather than wire in a new circuit. A double USB socket can draw up to 3A at 5V, so doesn’t use too much  on the 12V circuit.

I got the necessary components from 12 Volt Planet and set about installing a double USB socket and an isolating switch with a fuse so that it can be switched off in the event of any problems. The van’s ‘tech’ cupboard already contains the Satellite TV box and has a blanking panel at the back to hide the excess cable. I decided to fit the USB socket and the switch onto this panel.

It’s now wired so that I can easily add another double USB socket if need be. It’s fused  with a 3A fuse to be on the safe side. Now all I have to do is connect it to the van’s 12volt TV circuit. Simple eh?

Having removed the panel and drilled the holes, I then cut and crimped the wires while enjoying some afternoon sun in the garden.

Final product, in place and switched on, glowing nicely.

Proper USB charging

As this was quite a simple task, I now plan to install a few more USB sockets on the passenger side of the van, but next time I will install a new circuit rather than piggyback off an existing one.