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Old 03-13-2015, 04:22 PM   #1
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Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash Ford

I'm adding a 12V power outlet to the passenger side of the dash....(2008 E350)...where is the best place (to make the electrical connection) to get "always on" 12V power to the outlet?
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Old 03-13-2015, 05:27 PM   #2
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

I pretty much tap in to anything that's constant hot by probing one of the many wires under the dash with a test light, or if you know you only need a couple amps for it you can use the radio's clock wire, which is always powered. I've done this on countless vehicles and never overloaded a circuit or blown a fuse. I would fuse that power point though, of course. If something blows a fuse afterward and that power point quits working you'll know why.

Though not nearly as convenient, I do recommend running anything constant hot from the rear battery bank and not the van's battery. YMMV but if someone who doesn't know what's what plugs in a tablet charger or something you have a lot more reserve in your coach batteries............usually.

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Old 03-13-2015, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
I'm adding a 12V power outlet to the passenger side of the dash....(2008 E350)...where is the best place (to make the electrical connection) to get "always on" 12V power to the outlet?
The battery... Just kidding
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

86Scotty: That's also the way I've done it for years......was hoping there is a cleaner way........

Thanks dave!......of course I have to get the wires through the firewall....
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:22 PM   #5
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

I put 3 12v outlets on our front center console. Wired them to the house batteries. So it I drain a battery its the house and not the starting.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

....I think you guys are trying to tell me something regarding that house battery thing.......
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
86Scotty: That's also the way I've done it for years......was hoping there is a cleaner way........
Yeah, I agree. Here's what I think is a better plan, but a little more time consuming. I have found that over time I add little things here and there near the dash that require power. Lights, switches, removable electronics like GPS, radar, etc. etc. I think the best way would be to add a small aux fuse block under the steering wheel behind the lower dash panel, and spend the time running an 8 gauge wire to the coach battery bank. Make it about a 5 fuse model, and then wire in whatever you want whenever you want. Since you would go ahead and take everything apart to do this you could go ahead and run about 2 'pre' wires for future add-ons to the right side of the radio, then maybe one or two up the pillars to the overhead console, along with some grounds, then adding stuff later would be simple and not require removing all the panels. It would be pretty easy to access the wiring behind and beside the radio by just removing the doghouse.

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Old 03-14-2015, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

Have you looked to see if there's not already power there now? Mine already has a single, powered hot-wire in that exact spot.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:01 PM   #9
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Re: Adding an "always powered" 12V power outlet to the dash

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
86Scotty: That's also the way I've done it for years......was hoping there is a cleaner way........
Yeah, I agree. Here's what I think is a better plan, but a little more time consuming. I have found that over time I add little things here and there near the dash that require power. Lights, switches, removable electronics like GPS, radar, etc. etc. I think the best way would be to add a small aux fuse block under the steering wheel behind the lower dash panel, and spend the time running an 8 gauge wire to the coach battery bank. Make it about a 5 fuse model, and then wire in whatever you want whenever you want. Since you would go ahead and take everything apart to do this you could go ahead and run about 2 'pre' wires for future add-ons to the right side of the radio, then maybe one or two up the pillars to the overhead console, along with some grounds, then adding stuff later would be simple and not require removing all the panels. It would be pretty easy to access the wiring behind and beside the radio by just removing the doghouse.

This is a good way to go. You can get fused power block buss bars at marine places. Run and fuse a decent sized wire back to the van battery, through the firewall (there are usually holes with rubber grommets) and then put it on say the back of that panel on passenger side. On my 2001 you pull off the plastic and there's a fairly beef metal structure underneath. That gives you a bunch of sources of hot power for future use. I attached fuses and wires and use Anderson power poles for connectors. I even have a small inverter to attach there if I want to run say a laptop off it.

I have used the power going to the stereo in the dash, since it's easy to pull the unit out and access it. Messing with random hot wires can work, but I once ran into an issue with an alarm wire I spliced into, so now I'm more careful. Usually the stereo has always hot, and ignition on power sources.

Van power is good too, but sometimes you want the direct van power.
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