Need power to cigarette lighter when truck off??? (1 Viewer)

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1994 Landcruiser. Power only works to cigarette lighter when the truck is turned off (as they all do).
I have a fridge in the truck and need the power to be on all the time.

Is there an easy way to mod this?

Thanks
 
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Just go to NAPA or your local parts store and buy another outlet and place it where you want it, just wire directly to the battery. Make sure to put the appropriate in line fuse to prevent the wire from melting in case of a short.
 
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You can just take the positive wire from the back of the plug throw a inline fuse and run it to the 12+ constant on the radio so you don't have to go all the way to the battery.
 
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FWIW, when the sunroof is open, there is still power to the cigarette lighter. Just noticed this the other day, after the sunroof was left open and the GPS didn't shut down like it does when the truck if off.

My guess, Toyota designers figured if you have the sunroof open, you might be smoking;)

So you can at least get a signal to leave the cigarette lighter on if you want to investigate the sunroof circuit. Not sure if you want to draw power that way, but a relay could be used to simulate the sunroof open signal to leave the cigarette lighter on, I suppose.

I've got circuits directly to the batteries to draw power when the ignition is off I use when camping. Make sure you fuse these properly and protect against shorting to the frame in any form or fashion or things can get dicey real quick.
 
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run it to the 12+ constant on the radio so you don't have to go all the way to the battery.
That wire is not going to handle the power of a refrigerator. Check the manual, but you will probably want a 12 or 14 ga wire.
 

e9999

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I put an outlet in the back, direct from the battery.
 
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Thanks for the responses guys. Eventually im going to run dual batts and have another outlet in the back but we leave for a camping trip this coming tuesday so just need a temp solution. I think I will run a new socket directly from the battery.
what size inline fuse do you think would be acceptable?
 
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Check the amp draw on the fridge. Presuming it's an ARB, Edgestar or other such portable fridge, that shouldn't be too high. Add 50% and that probably close to an appropriately sized fuse.

I recommend using 10 or 12 gauge wire. If it's too small, the voltage drop may be too big to let the fridge work properly. I've heard a few new ARB owners say they've had problems with some factory power points because they may not have enough capacity, as they have pretty sensitive volt sensing to protect them. Not heard that so much about our relatively unsophisticated Edgestar, but they also sense low voltage and shut down.

I recommend trying to get this done today, so you have a chance to run a test with the fridge plugged in before leaving on your excursion.
 

LandCruiserPhil

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Your manual will give you max fuse size. #12 wire is rated for 20amp but the recommended fuse will be smaller.

Based on a 2% voltage drop and a 5amp load you can run #12 wire 15'
 

e9999

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I measured the amp draw on my big Edgestar. I have listed the numbers somewhere but from memory it was like 6A on startup and then 4 or 5 later. Similar to ARB and the like. A regular cig lighter circuit should be able to handle 10 I would think, in a pinch. But I much rather have a dedicated circuit.

and yes, as discussed elsewhere, the voltage drop is important. Putting in an extension on my big circuit will make the fridge stop working much earlier than without, as it sees a significantly lower voltage at the fridge. Good if you're worried about making the battery too weak to start the engine.
 
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Thanks for the helpful responses. I have the edgestar fridge. Will pick up some 10 or 12 gauge today and run a dedicated line to the batt
 
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BTW, here are couple of pics of the power point I installed for our Edgestar fridge. The fridge is mounted in a drawer built into our drawer/sleeper system.

I installed this after our shakedown run last fall. Originally, I had the socket just installed into the plastic panel. But this stuck out and was easily bumped and in the way when sleeping in the truuck. So I made this recessed receptacle.

The box is just a simple square plastic receptacle box. I mismeasured a little on the hole cutting, so that could easily be neater if you take more care than I did on that. But it works fine. The switch is one of those cheap covered ones that protects the switch, keeping it off, until you use it, then when you flip the cover down turns it off.

I got a Marinco locking socket and plug and used them, installing the socket in the box and the plug on the end of an extended power lead. That way the plug won't vibrate out of the socket, plus the Marinco socket has a LED to let you know it's getting power. The longer lead is needed on ours, because the drawer rolls out onto the tailgate when we're sleeping in there. But if you fridge is just sitting in the cargo area, then it doesn't need to be longer. Least length possible is better to limit voltage drop.
PowerSocket1.jpg
PowerSocket2.jpg
 

e9999

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BTW, here are couple of pics of the power point I installed for our Edgestar fridge. The fridge is mounted in a drawer built into our drawer/sleeper system.

I installed this after our shakedown run last fall. Originally, I had the socket just installed into the plastic panel. But this stuck out and was easily bumped and in the way when sleeping in the truuck. So I made this recessed receptacle.

The box is just a simple square plastic receptacle box. I mismeasured a little on the hole cutting, so that could easily be neater if you take more care than I did on that. But it works fine. The switch is one of those cheap covered ones that protects the switch, keeping it off, until you use it, then when you flip the cover down turns it off.

I got a Marinco locking socket and plug and used them, installing the socket in the box and the plug on the end of an extended power lead. That way the plug won't vibrate out of the socket, plus the Marinco socket has a LED to let you know it's getting power. The longer lead is needed on ours, because the drawer rolls out onto the tailgate when we're sleeping in there. But if you fridge is just sitting in the cargo area, then it doesn't need to be longer. Least length possible is better to limit voltage drop.

a piece of flex plastic sheet as cover would complement this nicely and be very easy to do
 
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a piece of flex plastic sheet as cover would complement this nicely and be very easy to do
e
Thanks for the idea. It needs help. It's the ugliest mod I've done and I kind of regret it.:crybaby:

It needed to go there, it forced me to bend the way the back most doesn't want to and I got in a hurry. It ended up even more secure than planned, as the top screws go into the lip of the metal around the opening the side panel covers. So that baby is screwed in tight.

You'd actually want to go about .25" lower, guys.:rolleyes:

Attaching it to that heavy plastic panel would be more than good enough to support the box and the strain the plug would put on it, plus make the install a lot easier.

However, it works great and beats the heck out of the "happy to see you" plug mount perpendicular to the panel. The wife was not happy about that 1.0 ver, but it turned out to be cool enough to unplug the fridge at night in Oct. in the UP.:idea:

BTW, for reference here, the lead to it is dedicated 10 gauge, runs in the wiring run that goes along the DS bottom of the cabin, either protect in it or very safely tucked away behind the panel. Fused at the battery. Works fine with our 43 liter Edgestar.
 

1973Guppie

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The OEM cigarette lighter will not handle the draw of an Edgestar fridge. BTDT.
interesting, I have had the same issues, good to hear as I was worried it was the edgestar that was the problem, but figured it was the stock thin wiring. Really the stock cig lighter is only good for charging phones, gps's, etc.
 

e9999

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interesting, I have had the same issues, good to hear as I was worried it was the edgestar that was the problem, but figured it was the stock thin wiring. Really the stock cig lighter is only good for charging phones, gps's, etc.
so you think that getting the big lighter element red hot is equivalent to the draw of a 2W phone charger?
 

1973Guppie

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so you think that getting the big lighter element red hot is equivalent to the draw of a 2W phone charger?
huh? don't know how to answer your question? I am just saying that I don't think that the stock circuitry is allowing enough start up surge power that the fridge needs. Plus, I would guess that the cig lighter piece is basically a large heat sink resistor, plus I don't smoke. :)
 

e9999

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huh? don't know how to answer your question? I am just saying that I don't think that the stock circuitry is allowing enough start up surge power that the fridge needs. Plus, I would guess that the cig lighter piece is basically a large heat sink resistor, plus I don't smoke. :)

well, my point was that that circuit is built for much more than a phone charger. By numbers it should handle the fridge just fine, given that the cig lighter circuit is 15A, and the circuit must be pretty short. I measured (just checked) 6A peak when starting my big Edgestar, with 4A later in reg mode and 5A in FF. So it's unlikely that a short wire built for 15A would lead to such a drastic voltage drop that the fridge would not work. Unless the battery is weak to start with, of course, and the engine not running.

But I'll admit that I don't recall trying to put the fridge on the cig lighter circuit since I built a dedicated circuit, which is nice to have; and I'm not saying that using the cig lighter plug is better.

On that note, one should also keep in mind that a lot of these common 12V outlets are rated only for 10A or so anyway (even the nice marine one I got, IIRC), so outside of voltage drop issues, having huge wires to get there would be overkill if the outlet is the weak link anyway. Nice to have an outlet with a built-in/nearby fuse, btw, in addition to the fuse at the battery which is a must.
 

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