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October 4, 2015 practical

Our RV Device Charging Set-Up

Up until now, our charging cables have been a hot mess. There are fewer outlets in our RV than we had in the apartment, which means that all the devices that would normally be spread out between four sockets are concentrated at two. Also, since we’re more off-grid now, using our solar panels for power rather than plugging into shore power, we can’t power devices off of the built-in AC outlets. Instead, many Amazon orders later, we’re using the DC sockets to power:

  • two iPhones
  • two Apple Watches
  • two laptops (one 2015 Macbook, one Macbook Pro)
  • two fans for the bed area
  • and intermittently:
    • two Bluetooth headphones
    • two Bluetooth computer mice
    • hard drives
    • a sewing machine
    • a straightener/curling iron
    • a Kindle
    • soldering iron

Here’s how we do it. There are two spots right now where most of the devices are concentrated - one on the counter in the office” and one at the end of the sofa nearest the front. The one in the back (the office) is our main charging station, where our phones/watches get plugged in every night and where we also charge headphones etc. This was an existing DC socket. To charge all these devices (neatly), we use:

all inside an IKEA TJENA box in which I cut a hole for the extension cable and made a false bottom out of scrap cardboard to hide the chargers.



Right now in the sofa we have the following set-up:

  • an installed 2-DC socket station by the chaise section (currently unused)
  • an installed DC socket by the front section just behind the driver’s seat that is running:
    • a high output 1-USB/1-USB-C adapter
      • USB-C charging cable for my laptop - this is the one that came with it originally. Before we got this adapter (with the USB-C outlet), I was using a USB-C to USB cable plugged into one of the other adapters.
    • 9.8 foot USB extension cable going up to the bed area. There was an existing DC socket in the cabinet by the bed, but it’s not working, so this is our work-around for now.

We also have a mini-inverter (175-watt) for running my sewing machine/straightener/other small devices, as well as a separate 1-USB adapter with lightning cable that lives in the car instead of bringing it back and forth.

Overall, we’re very happy with this set-up. It took a while to cobble together something that met all of our charging needs, but we’re finally at the point where we’re not hunting for cables or having to decide what gets to charge first. And it can all run off of DC, which means when we’re off-grid using our solar panels, we can still be charging every device we own.


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Fall Foliage, Day 18 - Cleveland Heights, Ohio While Chrisitan was sleeping in to recover from the last two days driving, I worked on some video editing/blog post writing. Once he was awake and