12v power supply for camping (roof top tents, tents, ect) (1 Viewer)

Mar 22, 2006
Auburn, WA.
I have a 12v light in my roof top tent that plugs into the back of the FJs dual 12v outlets I have back there.
The other outlet is used for the ARB fridge.
I really do not like running the tents cord into the rear door and pinching it, so an idea came to be to try and build a setup just for the tent.
Plus I just added the 12v heating pad for the mattress for some winter camping, and I may want to plug in a reading light too.
Running all three of the above plus the ARB fridge would overwhelm the wiring that is used for the FJ Cruisers dual 12v outlets.
This means I could use a total of three new 12v outlets inside the tent for the above items, and run a box inside the tent with the outlets, and a 20' power cord with battery clamps on the end to hook up to my auxiliary battery under the hood.

A guy that goes by Jacket on Expeditionportal.com suggested a Radio Shack "project box."
He did a similar setup for his Jeep.
I went to Radio Shacks site and sure enough, they have these cool boxes available in many sizes.
My local Shack had some in stock, and I went with the 6"x4"x2" one.

I ended up using the marine 12v plugs as I liked the way they mount better than the Radio Shack ones.
With the former ones you insert the plug and secure it from behind with a threaded plastic nut that threads onto the shank of the 12v plug.
With the Radio Shack ones like I used for my dual 12v plugs in the FJ Cruiser, you push them into the hole and tangs pop out and secure it from behind.
If I have to remove a plug for any reason, the marine ones will be much easier to remove.
I did end up using the wires though from the Radio Shack outlets.
I did not use their fuses though, as I have a 30 amp mini fuse connected inline by the positive wire that clips to the battery terminal.

No time to open up the tent today and try it out, but I will update this thread with photos when I do.

I hope this info here can be of help to others wanting to do the same.
It turned out pretty good, and I am happy with it.

If I end up storing this in the tent, I may use some Velcro and attach the heating pads controller to the 12v box.

(1) Parts all laid out.
(2) I used the 1 1/8" hole saw to cut three holes into the side of the box.
(3) Yeah, I slipped while doing the middle hole, marred up the box a tad.

(4) 12v sockets all in place.
(5) Used a step drill to enlarge a hole big enough for the rubber grommet.
(6) Pulled the 12 gauge wire through the grommet and tied a knot in the end to prevent it from pulling back out.
All three red power wires from the sockets are twisted together along with the stripped end (I made this the positive wire) of the 12 gauge wire, and connected all to each other with the yellow wire caps.
Ditto on all of the black ground wires and the 12 gauge wire.
(7) Installed the two battery clamps, and buttoned up the box using both lids.
The black lid is on first along with the aluminum lid hanging off the bottom with the two lower screws that hold the black lid on.
My working theory here is I can slide the aluminum one down next to the tents mattress to help hold the box in place, that is if I mount it that way.
I may find another way to mount the box in the tent next time I open it up.

Here is a breakdown on my parts:
6"x4"x2" project box
20' 12 gauge low wattage underground outdoor lighting wire (bought 20' at Lowes)
Radio Shack 12v outlets
Marine Grade 12v outlets (I bought both to try out, I think I like the marine ones better)
In-Line Fuseholder with Protective Cap (I will throw a 15 amp mini fuse in it)
Lenox 1-1/8" Non-Arbored Hole Saw Drill Bit
Arbor for hole saw (no link at Lowes, but mine is a Lenox like the hole saw)
Radio Shack 12v car battery alligator clamps (do not see them on the website at this time)
Rubber grommet for 12 gauge wire to pass into the box

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