We love to boondock in our camper. Boondocking saves us money, and allows us to camp in beautiful, remote locations.
When we first started boondocking our electronics would regularly run out of batteries long before we were ready to head back to civilization. After just a few months of this we decided to install a USB charger port in our camper.
The best way to install a usb socket is to wire the usb charger port to the 12 volt deep cell battery that runs the appliances in your camper. While this may sound intimidating, it actually is VERY easy, and anyone with basic tools and the right supplies can do it in an hour or less!
Supplies you will need:
- 12v usb charger port
- Red and black electrical wire (5-10 feet depending on where you want to place your port)
- Wire cutter/stripper (you can also use a pocket knife for this)
- Circular heat shrinking electrical connectors (at least 2, but I recommend having a few extra)
- Heat shrinking wire connectors (again, at least 2, but I recommend having a few extra)
- Wood screws
- Electric drill
- Heat gun or lighter
The first step is to locate the deep cell battery that powers the electrical systems in your camper. You likely know where this is, as it usually is accessible through a locked compartment on the outside of the camper.
Next, decide where you would like to mount your usb wall socket in the camper.
To make things simple we chose a spot very close to our battery compartment so we wouldn’t have to run too much wire through the camper.
Once you have decided where you would like to mount your usb power outlet you can measure (or estimate) the length of wire you will need to run between the battery and the port.
Your 12v usb charger will come with a small length of black and red wire attached to it. In order to extend this wire you will want to strip the plastic coating off the tips of each wire.
Then, measure and cut the length of red wire and black wire that you will need to run between the battery and the usb charger outlet. Strip the plastic coating off the tips of the red and black electrical wire on both ends.
Twist the stripped ends of the charger port wires to the stripped ends of the corresponding electrical wire. Run a heat shrinking wire connector over the twisted and attached sections. Use a heat gun or lighter to shrink the wire connector down over the bare wire.
Next, insert the OTHER stripped end of the red and black electrical wires into two circular heat shrinking electrical connectors. Use a heat gun or lighter to shrink the connectors down onto the wire.
Your wires are ready to go! Now you need to drill two holes in the battery compartment to run the wires up into the camper.
You want to drill two holes, one for each wire, to avoid the wires chafing against each other over time. You may need to drill another set of holes in your camper depending on where you would like to run the wires. For example, we drilled a second set of holes in our dinette seat to run the wires up the wall behind our dinette.
Once you have drilled the holes you need to run the wires through their respective holes, and attach the circular wire connector on the red wire to the positive terminal on your battery, then attach the circular wire on the black wire to the negative terminal on your battery.
Lastly, you should add a fuse to the red (positive) line near the battery. This is a safety feature in case you get a short in the line. Without the fuse a short could cause a fire.
Now is the time to test your port! Plug something into the port and make sure you are getting power!
Once you have tested that you are getting power to the port you will want to use two wood screws to mount the port to your wall.
Congratulations! You have installed a USB power outlet in your RV or camper!
Interested in further camper renovations? Check out our DIY Guide to Installing Hard Floors in your RV or Camper.
Want to take your RV off grid, but aren’t sure what you’ll need? Read our complete guide to RV boondocking!
Also, read this list of our top 10 must-have RV accessories!