A small electrical addition to the camper

Since beginning the amateur radio hobby, I’ve been trying to make my vehicles radio friendly, and adding Power Pole electrical outlets has been part of it. I’ve added them┬áto the Nissan and Ford cabs, but I hadn’t put them in the camper, until this afternoon. I’d been avoiding doing the addition because the new plug was much shorter than the Blue Sea Systems 12V cigar plugs I’d previously installed. Here’s a view (crummy cell phone pic, sorry):

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Right to left is the new Power Pole plug, the Blue Sea Systems USB outlet (it sucks, by the way, but more on that later), and one of the Blue Sea Systems 12V cigar plugs.

Here’s a view of the interior of the bed platform, showing the three plugs and their wiring. I had to counterbore the hole with a borrowed Forstner bit (thanks, Chuck) to get the plug (which is much shorter) to work. If you look carefully, you can see some heat shrink tubing that I’ll heat up tomorrow when I have a heat gun-it’ll keep the wires nice and tidy:

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The wires at the top of the photo disappear into a hole that leads to a groove under the seat area- it goes to the Engel Fridge. You can just make out the glass fuse holder for the fridge- it’s not just a fuse, but a reverse polarity device.

Another view, with the Blue Sea Systems fuse box open:

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The two big black wires on each side of the fuse box are 4 gauge welding cable, and they get 12V from the camper battery in the truck’s engine bay.

I’m going to tidy up the wires to the USB and cigar outlets, maybe this weekend. If you’ll look closely, you can see that the counterbored hole is off center. It works, if it’s not my finest work.

The next view is the best shot of the whole box. If you look to the right, you’ll notice the two pieces of aluminum channel-I built a hinged board that drops into it, and sets on the two 2X2 supports on the left side of the pic.. The wiring runs beneath the board to the right, and supplies pixies to the furnace, water pump, bed lighting, USB and cigar plug in the bunk:

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You can also see the switch and LED light that I installed “temporarily” five years ago. I found some much better LED lighting on ebay, and I’ll likely be installing it this summer.

I’m a fan of Power Pole connectors, and I recommend them to anyone who desires to upgrade their 12V system.

The Blue Sea Systems USB outlet is pretty wimpy, and won’t charge many different cell phones. That’s why I don’t like it much.

Power Pole connectors and accessories can be purchased many places, but I like Quicksilver Radio. Give them a try. (No affiliation).

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