Monday, November 9, 2015

Adding More 12 Volt Sockets

12 volt sockets with USB for carOur 1995 Suzuki Sidekick came from an era in which the only thing you plugged into the vehicle's 12-volt plug was either the cigarette lighter or perhaps a radar detector. And since we often use our Sidekick for camping and travel both on and off the pavement, we're bringing along a lot of 12-volt-powered or 12-volt-rechargeable items, such as mobile phones, GPS, CB radio, battery chargers, and such. But unfortunately, our trusty 20 year old trucklet only has one 12-volt plug.

Yes, I have a 12-volt splitter—the kind that plugs into the lighter. But since the wiring to the truck's existing 12-volt socket is such thin gauge wire, if I run the GPS and try to charge a phone, it'll blow the fuse, which, by the way, is also responsible for the radio. No bueno. So now what?

12 volt sockets for carWhen I got my ARB off-road fridge for the truck, I also got the wiring kit, which runs a dedicated 12-volt plug into the vehicle. That plug is wired directly to the battery, in my case, an Optima Yellow Top, and the wiring has its own fuse. And guess what? I can do the same thing to add another 12-volt socket—even with USB ports—so we can have more places to charge devices. I see a project in my future.

Browsing eBay I found a number of options including the 12-volt dual USB and cigarette lighter power adaptor seen here. I think this would probably work really well for the Sidekick. It flush mounts, so I could have it come out of the center console on the side. I'd have to get wiring and a fuse to get it directly to the battery, but that's no biggie.

We've been talking about adding something like this for quite a while, and this might make a good little project. Plus, I like the fact it also has USB charging capability.

Have you ever installed something like this? What was your experience, and do you have advice or pointers? Post up in the comments.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've done stuff and seen stuff like this before.....if you have room for it you should install not only in your center console but in the trunk area as well so when your tail gating you have lots of access.

Wiring is the easy but the time consuming part. Make sure to use a big enough fuse for the items you will be using and good quality wiring. Make your own harness and protect your wiring for those "off-road" water hazards.

-Nate from "OTOC"