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Author Topic: Shelf and 12V Outlet  (Read 398 times)
fandj
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« on: November 10, 2016, 07:21:05 am »

After spending many nights in our 2552 I found at bedtime I was always looking for a convenient place for my reading glasses, cell phone, etc.   Also our 2016 PC did not have a 12 volt outlets in the coach.  We frequently stay in campgrounds without electrical hookup which means to charge cell phones, laptops, etc. I would need to run the generator or charge from the chassis 12 volt battery outlet.

 To address both issues I added a shelf on the the side of each shirt closet above the beds.  The shelves were covered with ultra leather to match the PC ultra leather trim.  I also added an outlet for charging 12 volt or USB devices.  The shelves allow a place for an IPad  to watch movies.

Adding another 12 volt outlet near the couch is in the planning phase.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 07:35:43 am by fandj » Logged
ron.dittmer
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 08:01:22 am »

Ah......Now the fun begins.  nod

fandj, I LOVE your ideas and implementations....Nice work!  Thank you for sharing them.  You have the wheels spinning inside my head for such a shelf in our bedroom on the wall with the thermostat.

BTW, Did you find the 12V outlet in the cabinet above the passenger?  Unless Phoenix recently deleted it, you should have one there.

FWIW, I addressed our gadget charging needs by adding a shelf in that same cabinet along with a power strip with the outlets positioned at different orientations for all styles of 110V chargers.  I store my 17" laptop on a foam pad in the upper shelf.  When driving with the inverter on, on shore power, or generator running, everything gets charged up.  It is nice to close the door and the house being free of such wire.

Yet I do like the in-bed convenience your 12V outlets offer.  ThumbsUp

Here is what I had done.  My original plan was to follow up with a 3-gang 12V power strip, but the need never surfaced.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 08:32:13 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
fandj
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2016, 09:49:17 am »

Ron, when we ordered our unit I was under the impression there were 12 volt outlets in the coach area.  When we took delivery and did not find one I asked Earl about it and he told me the only one provided was in the chassis by Ford.  There are two 110 volt outlets in the overhead cabinets above the passenger seat but no 12 volt outlet.  I guess it was a $10 cost savings.

For those that stay at campgrounds with electrical hookups this is not a big deal but for us we typically stay at sites without hookups and minimize generator use thus conserving battery power..  As you know using the inverter to produce 110 volt and then convert it back to 12 volt doesn't make a lot of sense when battery conservation is important.  In your case the chassis engine alternator recharging both the chassis and coach batteries definitely makes sense.  We often stay at sites for several days so we typically don't have the alternator benefit unless we start the engine just for charging.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 09:59:31 am by fandj » Logged
jatrax
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 10:52:40 am »

Great idea Fandj.
Many of the newer coaches from Pleasure Way, LTV and others come with USB charge ports already installed.  I was really impressed with the PC folks but in some ways, like USB charging, they are a little behind.  Anyway, I addressed this by having a shelf installed as a headboard with a 12vdc USB receptacle installed there.  I will have another installed at the dinette so tablets or phones or cameras can be charged from the 12 volt system.

Here is a link to the receptacle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZOIIQAO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1WLP8HQZHG16D similar ones are available in both 12vdc and 120vac models.  There are also ones that are a direct replacement for existing receptacles and include a regular 12vdc plug https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SVVQHKW/ref=pd_sim_263_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=XE7WBD63SHSW87F57C43 or a regular 120vac plug https://www.amazon.com/Receptacle-Chargers-Resistant-Outlets-Certified/dp/B01IXAVSD6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478793042&sr=8-1&keywords=usb+receptacle+120 .  These need to go on to either the 12vdc system or the 120vac system depending on the plug of course.
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fandj
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 11:40:18 am »

Thanks jatrax.  I have not seen the 12 volt input to USB standard wall mount units.  This is a very clean solution.  I think you were wise to have this problem addressed during the factory build phase.  Had I known that PC was not currently installing 12 volt outlets I would have this addressed when I ordered my unit.

Perhaps Phoenix should consider a "Boondock" option package that would provide items such as what you did and others like Trimetric or Victron battery monitor, pure sine wave inverter, solar panels, programmable solar controller, smart converter for battery charging, lithium batteries, etc. 

Since we frequently visit National Parks, National Forest, BLM campgrounds without electrical hookups and either no or limited generator use these components are important.  There may be so few PC boondockers that marketing such a package may not make sense but as you mentioned other higher end motorhome manufactures are starting to address this demand.
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jatrax
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2016, 12:10:08 pm »

Agree 100%.  The market is there for a coach with those features already spec'd and tested.  I think this is all a little new for the factory to take a chance on though.  They have to warrant it works and take the hit if anything goes wrong.  And for a small company that might be a little dangerous.

I think if they got a few of their existing owners together that have done after market mods or are knowledgeable with this technology they could figure out a nice package that works though.  Or partner with a cutting edge solar charging company who would provide a package they could install.  There are any number of those such as AM Solar here in Oregon, or Arizona Wind and Sun in Arizona.

I asked about Lithium and the answer was "NO".  To be fair I think Lithium is about 3 to 4 years out to be accepted.  But Pleasure Way is offering Lithium 200ampHour packs as standard on their coaches now along with solar and pure sine wave inverters so it can be done.

I like your idea of a "boondocking" package.  
  • 2 to 4 160 watt panels
  • 600Amp hour lithium battery pack
  • 4 stage solar MPPT charger
  • Trimetric battery monitor
  • 2k to 3k watt PSW inverter
  • 12vdc USB chargers
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 12:12:47 pm by jatrax » Logged
KB9OMH
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2016, 10:00:58 am »

Fandj,  The 12 volt outlet in the PC was part of the old winegard tv antenna amplifier system, I got the newest amplifier and lost the 12 volt outlet, that most likely why you didn't have one

Jim
   
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 10:09:29 am by KB9OMH » Logged
fandj
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2016, 11:43:17 am »

Jim, you are probably right.  I substituted a King Jack antenna for the Phoenix standard when I ordered our PC.  When I asked them to make the substitution no one at the factory mentioned I would loose the 12 volt outlet.  Had I known the PC coach would not have any 12 volt outlets I would have requested an outlet in the cabinet above the passenger seat along with a couple more in the back of the coach.  Most all my electronic gadgets (cell phone, iPad, camera, laptop, Kindle, etc.) have 12 volt chargers.
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Don and Belinda
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 10:32:00 am »

We're about to order a 2552 and it's our understanding that the TV plug in the bedroom space runs through the inverter so you can use the batteries to charge with 110 chargers.  Am I misunderstanding this?
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fandj
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 10:52:31 am »

Don and Belinda,
You are right various 110 volt outlets do run off the inverter when no shore or generator power is available.  The reason I installed a 12 volt outlet was to maximize the stored energy in the batteries.  We often stay in campgrounds without electrical hookup with some not allowing generator use.  In this case we must rely on the stored energy in the batteries and the energy gained from the solar panels.  The inverter is pretty inefficient when only a small amount of power is needed to recharge phones, cameras, etc.  By eliminating the need to convert DC to AC and back to DC saves on battery power.  This is not a big deal but small savings in power can add up.
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