Andrew McPheeSee other Advice articles filed in ‘Running a motorhome’ written by Andrew McPhee
Satellite-navigation systems, phone chargers and even laptops create an increased demand for power in your motorhome’s cab, so one 12V socket just isn’t enough for many people any more. Here’s how to add another – it’s easy and cheap to do.
You will need:
• Wire strippers
• Flat-bladed screwdriver
• Phillips screwdriver
• Cordless drill with 27mm hole-cutter
• Insulating tape
• Insulated spade terminals (15A)
• Black and red 28/0.30, 2.0mm2, 17.5A cables
• In-line fuse holder, 15A fuse
• Supplementary cigarette lighter (£8.99 from Halfords)
1. Find a suitable place to mount the new cigarette lighter socket. If you have a flush-mounted one, you need to find a place where you can drill a hole with a space behind it of at least 10cm to clear the wiring.
2. Once you have chosen a location for the socket, start examining the wiring. You need to run a feed and return to the socket from whichever battery you are using, so look for a suitable route for the wires.
3. By using 15A fuses, a 16A lighter socket, and wire rated at 17.5A, you can use the socket for appliances that draw a max current of 15A. Fit the fuse holder as close to the battery as possible on the live supply.
4. The connections to the socket are spade terminals. Bare 1-2cm of copper from each wire and attach an insulated female spade terminal to either end. Push these onto the socket’s connections and wrap in insulating tape.
5. Mount the socket in place. We drilled our dashboard location using a 27mm hole cutter. This was a slightly loose fit, but once the steel inner had been pressed into place and rotated, it clicked into place.
6. Use insulated ring terminals to attach the earth and live connections to the battery. Push the 16A blade fuse into the holder. The circuit will now be live. Unlike the main lighter socket, this one is live even with the ignition off.