Monthly Archives: October 2012

Electrifying add-ons…

It’s amazing to me how many things there are that require electrical juice in our little motorhome. A few items that come to mind:

  • Garmin Zumo 660 GPS
  • CB/weather radio
  • Charger for the ICOM TH-7C ham radio HT
  • Charger for Wendy’s iPad
  • Charger for Wendy’s iPhone
  • Charger for my Google Nexus tablet
  • Charger for my iPhone
  • Charger for my Motorola RAZR M Android phone
  • Power supply/charger for a MyFi LTE wireless hotspot

Admittedly, not all of these will be running at the same time, but many of them could be. Using cigarette lighter adapters to run everything would be complicated, would run the risk of overloading the plugs, and would be, most of all, unsightly. So what to do?

Drawing on typical ham radio setups, I decided the way to handle this was to run a 10-gauge red/black wire pair (fused at the battery) directly from the battery compartment to a Rigrunner 4008 power panel under the dash. This gives me up to 40 amps, with eight individually fused distributions points. Using Anderson PowerPole connectors, these 8 connections are then distributed as follows:

  • A 3-way cigarette lighter adapter, attached neatly at the fore end of the tray, with 2 dual USB plugs (4 connections total). This allows us to connect up to four USB-powered devices, which can then plug into any of the phones or tables. (Shown in photo¬† below.)
  • A separate connection to the CB radio.
  • A 12-gauge wire pair running to a driver’s side 4-point Powerwerx splitter. This gives me the option of tying in additional power-needy devices without running the wires all the way to the Rigrunner.
  • From the Powerwerx splitter:
    • One connection to the GPS
    • Another connection to a 3-way cigarette lighter adapter.

The photo below illustrates some of these features, but the basic point is that, by wiring various connection points in this way, I can now power all the devices without long and unsightly wire runs.