12V To Go

The Jayco has an interesting electrical system.  It can be powered from a 12V deep cycle battery mounted on the A-frame, or it can be plugged into “shore power” in the form of a standard 110V outlet.

There is a big transformer and power supply that can take 110VAC down to 12VDC.  The camper has a few lights on it that run off 12VDC.  It also has some electrical outlets for 110V.  But the thing is that there is no inverter, so if you only have 12V available, you can’t power up the outlets.

So, it very much behooves you to use only 12V accessories if you are going to be out in the woods and not in a campground.  Which is fine by me, except there are no 12V receptacles in the camper.

To remedy this situation, I tapped off one of the two 12V circuits and ran power to a new fuse block, which is located under one of the dining area seats.  I additionally added a power switch and the “cigar lighter” style 12V receptacle.

Here is a look at the inside of the seat box.

wm_DSC00964The 12V circuit feeds the SPST switch.  This allows me to turn on/off the power to all of the 12V circuits I add in one place.  The other side of the switch feeds the fuse block bus.  There are six slots for ATC type automotive fuses.  One of them I connected to the 12V outlet.  Finally, there is one common connection point for grounds.  I just put a screw in through the seat box and use ring terminals to connect grounds.  Simple and stackable, so you can add several pretty easily.

I have some background in electronics, so I am very confident about wiring up stuff like this.  If you do not, then please do not attempt this at home.  The previous owner of this camper attempted to add a water pump (that will be another article) and in doing so, just did a shitty job of cutting up the wiring harness and tapping in the wires.  Horrible.  If you don’t know what you are doing, go somewhere and learn.  It isn’t that hard – just don’t screw up the thing you want to fix.  Practice on something else first!

Anyway, the parts are all readily available at any automotive parts store.  Here is what it looks like from the front – the finished product.

wm_DSC00966In retrospect, I could have mounted the 12V receptacle somewhere else that might be more convenient.  However, this made the most sense at the time, so there ya go.

I already have a nice little 12VDC box fan that I ordered online, and a box full of 12V adapter accessories in case I want to plug in more than one thing.

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