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Question Of The Week

Truck Camper Plugs Power and Outlets

This week’s Question of the Week, “What devices do you need to plug in and charge when you go truck camping?”

“I installed high power USB outlets for my phones and tablets, and additional 12-volt outlets for the television and fan.  I installed these outlets both in the truck cab and in the camper.  It would have been nice for factory installed USB and 12-volt outlets on the opposite side of the camper from the main power panel, which is where I put mine.

With almost all electronics now being USB, there is no excuse not to include USB outlets in campers.  While the little plug-in USB chargers can be used, it is much easier to have a USB power plug sitting there.” – Bill and Francine Peters, 2013 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Hawk

“I pretty much installed what I wanted because my Shadow Cruiser didn’t have much to start with.  AC outlets were fine, but we seldom use them since we are not connected to power much and have no generator.  I put a dual USB 2.1 amp outlet in the forward bulkhead where I could reach it from the east-west bed.  I do my night time reading on my iPhone and it’s also our alarm clock.  I wanted to be able to have it plugged in while using it in bed and, if needed, charging overnight within arms length.

Under the bulkhead edge, on the opposite side, I mounted a four outlet 12-volt plug manifold that is wired through its own fuse directly to the battery.  This is used for additional USB adapters if needed and for plugging in a 12-volt computer charger.  There is too much loss using an inverter to just turn around and convert back to DC.  That location was picked because the computer can sit on the front seat/step area and lean against the wall for charging, or on the small shelf on that side of the camper.  That location is also close if we want to use the computer or iPad while charging at the dinette.

I may add one more 12-volt outlet towards the back of the camper, but I want to put a few more trips on the camper first.  We just bought it last July.” – Jim Bollman, 2000 Ford F250, 2005 Shadow Cruiser, 8 foot soft side

“I travel with a laptop, an iPhone, an iPad, an electric toothbrush, and two cameras with rechargeable batteries; all of which need AC outlets.  My wife travels with the same, so we already have more devices than outlets.

I also have an inverter that plugs into a 12-volt outlet.  An extra AC outlet in the back of the dinette seat opposite where the present one is and an extra AC outlet by the kitchen sink sure would be nice.” – Al Stebbins, 2006 GMC 2500, 2005 Northern Lite 8’11” Queen Classic

“For the laptop and walkie-talkies, I use AC.  The cell phone and camera uses USB.  My F350 has an AC outlet so, most of the time, we charge while driving.  We have never run out of outlets in the camper. The one we use the most is under the seating area in the dinette.  It could be in an easier location to get to.  We have used the AC outlet on the back of the camper to plug the truck in on a couple of very cold mornings (down around zero).  That makes starting a lot easier.” – Dave Erickson, 2011 Ford F350, 2006 Arctic Fox 990

“I may add a 12-volt outlet to the outside rear of the camper.  One of my earlier campers had one and it was handy.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

“What we have found, through the almost thirty years of RV ownership, is that the manufacturers seem to only do what is easy.  As an electrician, I have always added receptacles to every unit we have owned.  That being said, we use our camper for off-road, out of the way places to be unattached, unplugged, and unreachable.” – Tom Elliott, 2012 Ram 1500, Outfitter 6.5 Lite

“I would like a 12-volt outlet on the outside to allow using a small 12-volt DC to 110-volt AC adapter.  Better yet, have the adapter built in.” – Jim, 2003 Dodge 3500, 1999 Fleetwood

“Like many, we have an array of stuff to plug in.  It goes in spades for my wife and I as we are both Software Engineer.  We have a lot of gadgets.  For us, it’s more than finding a plug somewhere.  It’s more a matter of consolidated control panels located in an easily accessible location.  I know it can be done because, on some truck campers, I have seen it.  In one model they were all consolidated in a single cabinet on the wall at eye level.

On the outside, give me a dual plug on the two sides and the rear, and put them bottom center for access.  On the inside, put a plug everywhere you have a workspace, which would be above the dinette, either side of the bed, in the kitchen sink area, and outside and inside the television station area.  Ours is in the upper closet.  I am sure they could get by with fewer if they were better placed.” – Don Pryor, 2011 Ford F-350, 2009 Arctic Fox 1150

“As far as 120-volt outlets, place one duplex at the head of the bed, one duplex at the foot of the bed, one duplex at the table, one duplex in the kitchen, and one duplex on the outside passenger’s side.  For 12-volt DC, place one at the television, one at the table, and one on the outside passenger’s side.” – Philip Bolding, 2012 Ford F350, 1994 Lance 850 Squire Lite

“We travel with a lot of electronics; two cell phones, a laptop, and an iPad.  Of course they all have different plugs so we have to take care to rotate the chargers.  When we bought the Chalet, Bill Penney of Truck Camper Warehouse added a 12-volt to the kitchen area, one under the dinette, and one in the overhead.  There was already a 120-volt AC under the dinette, in the kitchen by the stove, by the kitchen island, and two by the bedsides. 

It would be much more convenient to have the 120 and 12-volt outlets just above the dinette table.  I would also like a 12-volt on each side of the bed.  I do think Chalet has done a good job with the regular electric outlets, but all manufacturers have got to start adding multiple 12-volt outlets.” – Anne Brown, 2013 Ford F-450, 2011 Chalet DS116 RB

“I would like to see outlets for AC and DC along with television cable connections in the dinette and sink areas.  Also, I would like AC and DC on the left and right side of the outside of camper for lights, television, and such.  We love to sit outside by the fire and watch a movie.” – Eric and Linda Anderson, 2001 Dodge 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 990

“We have two solar panels to power two 12-volt dual outlets next to the television and another dual outlet at the table for our computer and phones.  We never run out of power.  Be good and be safe.” – Sylvie and Jake Mathis, 1994 Dodge 2500, 2003 Northerlite 9Q Classic

“Since we mostly boondock off-the-grid, we don’t have a lot of 120-volt plug-in needs in the camper.  The Adventurer comes with AC plug-ins that seem strategically located when we are plugged in.  We do not have a television in our camper.  We watch movies on the computer.  When the battery dies, it’s time for bed.

The truck is where we want plug-ins.  We stack up phones and rotate plug-ins.  An inverter is hardwired into the truck.  It blows hot air on the passenger’s feet when we plug in the DeWalt batteries (to run power tools on Passport in Time or wedding building projects) or computers.

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