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12v Bed Outlet Install Write-Up

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by rkfoote, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Jun 22, 2015 at 12:20 AM
    #1
    rkfoote

    rkfoote [OP] Active Member

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    Richard
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    LED Hood Scoop
    Toyota Tacoma bed 12v outlet install

    Richard Foote richard_foote@hotmail.com

    It all began when I wanted to save a ton of money on ice. I’ve been going back and forth on getting a fridge/freeze cooler for a while, but really couldn’t justify the cost. I’ve decided that it will totally pay for itself in X years saving the cost of ice; but don’t feel like doing the math to solve for X (probably a good thing as X could be large). So I ordered one up from Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/ARB-10800472-Fridge-Freezer--Quart/dp/B002Q1INDM/


    The problem

    So my fancy new fridge/freezer can run off 110v, or 12v. I’ve got a TRD Sport, so I already have 110v in the bed, but the 110v is only hot with the key on and button pressed (plus it’s not very efficient to convert 12v -> 110v > (whatever the cooler uses). If I want to use the cooler beyond just when I’m driving I need a 12v outlet in the bed.


    The solution

    Put a 12v outlet in the bed! (seems easy enough). I’ve been wanting to run some power to the back of the truck for a while now so this was the perfect time. I’ve been thinking about adding some additional lights (bed lights, backup lights, low power dim lighting to find the truck in a campground at night without busting open my shin on the hitch ball…. etc.). So I decided to put a sub-fuse panel at the back of the truck as well. I started looking on amazon for 12v outlets and pretty quickly realized I needed more that just a little 12v outlet (this is known as feature creep).

    I found a nice looking unit that had a 12v outlet, 2 USB ports (2+1 amp), and a voltage meter. The voltage meter could be handy when monitoring the battery and running the fridge. So obviously I NEEDED it. I also picked up a marine fuse panel to act as my sub-panel. I’m still not sure how much stuff I want to run off the sub-panel so I went with 10 gauge wire up to the battery. I installed a 40 amp fuse at the battery and then broke off a 15-amp for the 12v outlet, and 3-amp for the USB/voltage. (there is also another 3 amp for the existing dome light in the canopy). So I still have 3 circuits available to add stuff later (yeah!).


    Parts List:

    25’ 10 gauge wire (one black, one red)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00INVF40E?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00INVF468?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages01

    Wire protection

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CQ6INU?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages01

    Rocker switch

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007B856YY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages01

    Power ports + USB + voltage

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MODXVO8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages01

    Sub-panel

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000THQ0CQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages01

    Fuse holder for battery (i wanted something with at least 10 gauge wire. please note, these are NOT the small blade fuse holders that they look like. The are much bigger. Oh well).

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NQ8F2JW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00


    Misc:

    Double sided tape and mounting screws

    Crimp connectors

    Fuses

    Solder (I crimp and solder because solder will never slip off. Paranoid much?)

    Heat shrink tubing (makes everything neater)

    Zip ties…. lots.


    Total cost: ~$120


    The process

    I decided to add a rocker switch to the USB and voltage indicator. Since they actively draw power I don’t want any parasitic draw when I’m not using it. Since I’ll use the USB to charge my phone (sometimes), and the voltage to check on the battery (sometimes while camping with the fridge), it will be off most of the time. The 12v will always be hot.


    When my canopy was installed by the fine folks at <BEEEEEEEEEP> they ran a 14 gauge line from the battery to the back of the truck. They used exactly 1 zip tie in the entire run. Otherwise, it was just a lone wire snaked across the frame with no other protection than it’s own insulation. <SIGH>. The good news is that it made an excellent pull string for all my wire, and I rerouted the 14 gauge write into my conduit and to my back panel. Throughout the run of the truck I was able to zip tie to existing wiring harnesses and now feel confident that my wires are secure and protected (hell, it looks like factoring wiring now.. Or will after I get some dirt on it). Woot.

    Once at the back of the truck, I followed the wiring all the way to the 110v outlet. I was able to mount my panel to the side of the adjacent cubby. Mounting was done with some 3M extreme outdoor double sided tape, and a couple screws mounted at the top. (the screws alone should be fine, but I added the tape to ensure no rattles or movement). The sub panel was slightly taller than the cubby. Wiring was pretty straight forward (I opted for a sub-panel with negative and positive, they make a smaller panel without ground but I like having everything in one place).

    That’s pretty much it. Photos are below. Let me know if you have any questions.


    Thanks!


    --Richard

    image001.jpg image002.jpg image003.jpg image004.jpg image005.jpg image006.jpg image007.jpg image008.jpg
     
  2. Jun 22, 2015 at 6:41 AM
    #2
    steelhd

    steelhd Well-Known Member

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    Well done. The combo 12v/2xUSB/voltage meter unit is exactly what I've been looking for.
     
  3. Jun 22, 2015 at 7:48 AM
    #3
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    CLEAAAAN!!! i like it!
     
  4. Jun 22, 2015 at 7:50 AM
    #4
    Mad T

    Mad T Well-Known Member

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    Awesome write up! Thanks
     
  5. Jun 22, 2015 at 8:14 AM
    #5
    Jefes Taco

    Jefes Taco Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. Not a bad price at all on the fridge. I decided to just order the ARB 12v battery direct unit.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2015 at 8:20 AM
    #6
    stroM-

    stroM- @alteregoadventure

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  7. Jun 22, 2015 at 8:26 AM
    #7
    Mademan925

    Mademan925 Senor Taco

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    enough to go over stuff
    Thanks but I already wired one up in the bed of the truck but with the new bedrack there wont be room to open the fridge under the tent so Im putting the fridge in the cab. Same process as wiring it in the bed. Also adding some usb ports that will always have power so I can charge my phone when the car is off.
     
  8. Jun 22, 2015 at 10:06 AM
    #8
    TheTrooper

    TheTrooper Someone has to be part of the problem

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    OP, where did you wire to the battery? do you mind taking a picture of it under the hood?

    I also know you have a specific usage in mind with the fridge, but what do you think would be too much draw on the 12v outlet with this kind of setup? Obviously you have the 15 amp fuse at the outlet, but if you went to .. say a ... 30 amp fuse ?
     
  9. Jun 22, 2015 at 10:25 AM
    #9
    rkfoote

    rkfoote [OP] Active Member

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    The ground line is wired to the frame where the battery ground is connected. The hot line is connected directly to the battery (i'd snap some photos and post). Most 12v outlets are fused at 10amp (max 120 watts of power or so). The ARB fridge draws around 6 amp. I went to a 15 amp to give plenty of head room. All my wiring would support up to 30 amp (again, I'm running 40 amp fused from the battery). As for the actual plug, I'm not sure it would handle that much current without melting. If I ever run anything off 12v drawing more than 15 amp I would feel much better hard wiring it in, or using a different connector.
     
    TheTrooper likes this.
  10. Jun 22, 2015 at 10:32 AM
    #10
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    bad to the bone!
     
  11. Jun 27, 2015 at 4:06 PM
    #11
    Joey388

    Joey388 Well-Known Member

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    Nice! Planning on doing the same thing in my taco!
     
  12. Jun 27, 2015 at 4:46 PM
    #12
    IPNPULZ

    IPNPULZ Well-Known Member

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    Very nice work!!
     
  13. Jun 28, 2015 at 5:10 AM
    #13
    Joey388

    Joey388 Well-Known Member

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    What gauge wire did you use to wire from the fuse block to the plugs? I was thinking of using 14Awg
     
  14. Jul 6, 2015 at 10:29 AM
    #14
    rkfoote

    rkfoote [OP] Active Member

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    I used small gauge (14-16) from the fuse block to the USB and voltage indicator. I stuck with 10-gauge (#Overkill) to the 12v (mostly since I had an extra 12" left over).
     
  15. Feb 1, 2016 at 11:59 AM
    #15
    rkfoote

    rkfoote [OP] Active Member

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  16. Feb 8, 2016 at 8:06 AM
    #16
    denver osborne

    denver osborne Octoyota

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    Excellent write up, thanks for all the detail. I will likely do something very similar. Am in the middle of purchasing a 2016 tacoma... wanted the TRD models but they come with a sun roof and that drops the corner ceiling clearance by about 3 inches. Meaning that I really do not fit in this truck... and I am only 5'11. Ridiculously short cab in my opinion... so I am going with the SR5 model without the sun roof. that model does not come with an AC power outlet. Do you have any advice for installing the AC outlet in the back on my own. Options are install the toyota hardware if I can purchase it and the vehicle has available wiring harness access points, or do something on my own. ANy advice appreciated.
     
  17. Feb 9, 2016 at 8:54 PM
    #17
    jerent66

    jerent66 Well-Known Member

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    Nice. I found another project to put on my to do list
     
  18. Sep 19, 2017 at 6:56 AM
    #18
    jesse.thomas

    jesse.thomas MisguidedMelon

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    Excellent write up and the install looks great. How did that usb power hub hold up (2 years later). I was looking at something very similar but was worried about weather and trail grime on it.
     
  19. Sep 19, 2017 at 8:55 AM
    #19
    rkfoote

    rkfoote [OP] Active Member

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    It's held up great! Keep in mind that I have a canopy on the bed 24x7 so there is very little moisture that gets in. Frankly if I did it again (and I still may update), I'd replace the USB with another 12v socket. The USB has a 1-amp, and a 2-amp socket, so if I charge two phones concurrently one charges slowly. I'd rather just plugin in one of these:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VH84L5E/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    (I use these in the cab for charging) and when new technology comes out (USB-C anyone?) I'll be able to replace with higher wattage plug. That would also relieve any concern around grim in the USB if you're storing in the cab when not in use.
     
  20. Sep 19, 2017 at 11:49 AM
    #20
    stbear

    stbear Well-Known Member

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    Nice setup. Good write up.
     
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