1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

USB Ports, battery, solar

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by jhawk44, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Jun 18, 2020 at 1:56 PM
    #1
    jhawk44

    jhawk44 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Member:
    #327898
    Messages:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    Vehicle:
    2013 Black Tacoma TRD
    This isn't specifically AV related, but I figure I'll get some good feedback in this one. I have a 2013 Tacoma TRD Double Cab. I'd like to add a couple of extra USB ports for charging in the rear seat area, and in the armrest/console. I'm thinking about using a 12v battery, installed behind the back seat, and a solar charger behind the headrest in the window. I'm thinking that the battery can stay charged by solar, and then the kids could charge phones and iPads off the battery when they are in the car. Before, I start listing the parts I'm considering, I'm looking for some feedback or thoughts.

    I'd like to add a couple in the console also, so I don't have to have a 3 port 12v adapter in the dash anymore. I run a verizon hotspot all the time, plus charger for my phone, and my passenger. I'd prefer to have the USB that I use for the front seats to be "always on".
     
  2. Jun 18, 2020 at 2:18 PM
    #2
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Member:
    #223997
    Messages:
    2,886
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Destin
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2017 SSM DoubleCab TRD Off-Road 4x4
    I don’t think this is the best idea, but I have some suggestions. I’m driving right now, but I’ll type them out when I get a chance
     
  3. Jun 19, 2020 at 7:56 PM
    #3
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Member:
    #223997
    Messages:
    2,886
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Destin
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2017 SSM DoubleCab TRD Off-Road 4x4
    Long story short, adding USB’s is good, but trying to do it with a battery and solar setup is bad

    there are a few reasons
    1. Any solar panel that can fit in the back window is going to be like a 5-10w panel, and that’s in direct sunlight. If you park your truck facing directly in line with the sunrise, you’ll get like 2 hours of usable sun exposure per day to the solar panel. And that’s if your windows aren’t tinted. Even then, the glass alone will probably knock out half the power intake. So your 10w panel is now down to a 5w panel, and only good for 2 hours of charge. That’s like 20% charge on a single iPhone, and your 12v battery is back dead.

    then you have to factory in charge controllers and all the wiring. Then find a place to put the battery safely. Then wire up USB ports to it. Over all, it’s a lot of money and work to get something that won’t really be usable.

    my suggestion would be one of the big capacity Anker USB batteries. Run a long charging cord from a cig socket in the console, leave it plugged in, and it will charge back up whenever the truck is on, and hold plenty of juice to charge several devices. And only cost you about $60. And be removable.
     
    0xDEADBEEF likes this.
  4. Jun 20, 2020 at 9:07 AM
    #4
    Lochalpha

    Lochalpha Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Member:
    #331995
    Messages:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Loch
    Vehicle:
    Beater 2002 prerunner
    Or you can go whole hog with a solar setup on the roof. I saw a guy with a second gen that used a flexible panel setup that inspired me. I don't have much need for my backseats so I built a rack to house my battery and all the electronics behind the passenger seat. I used some vhb to stick the panel on the roof and ran the cables down through a plug in the rear of the cab. I bet with some creative engineering and a smaller battery (I doubt you need a 100ah) you could keep the seats intact and still get a functioning system.

    20200614_162355.jpg
    20200614_162438.jpg
    20200614_162429.jpg
     
    YF_Ryan likes this.
  5. Jun 20, 2020 at 9:20 AM
    #5
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Member:
    #223997
    Messages:
    2,886
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Destin
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2017 SSM DoubleCab TRD Off-Road 4x4
    As much as I love that setup, I want to say thank you for proving my point lol.

    Solar is dope when you need to be off the grid and keep stuff powered and charged.
    But If you just want it for the kids to plug their phones or tablets in the back seat, it’s a ton of money and work.
     
    YF_Ryan and Lochalpha like this.
  6. Jun 20, 2020 at 9:33 AM
    #6
    Lochalpha

    Lochalpha Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Member:
    #331995
    Messages:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Loch
    Vehicle:
    Beater 2002 prerunner
    100% agree. I guess my point is that if you're really set on solar, you can tape a panel to the roof instead of the back window. You'll need to find money and space for a charge controller, fuses/breakers etc. If I was just trying to get ports in the back seat I'd just run some wire to one of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee and drill a hole in the back of my arm rest.
     
    destin_meeks likes this.
  7. Jun 25, 2020 at 7:16 AM
    #7
    jhawk44

    jhawk44 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Member:
    #327898
    Messages:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    Vehicle:
    2013 Black Tacoma TRD
    The issue with most of the consumer USB battery packs is that they won't charge AND supply power at the same time. I have a small one, but you have to hit the power button to turn it on each time to power devices while it charges, which isn't optimal.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2020 at 7:29 AM
    #8
    jhawk44

    jhawk44 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Member:
    #327898
    Messages:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brandon
    Vehicle:
    2013 Black Tacoma TRD
    So probably my best bet then is to just run some USBs back to the back seat or back of the armrest.
     
    Lochalpha likes this.
  9. Jun 25, 2020 at 7:52 AM
    #9
    YF_Ryan

    YF_Ryan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2017
    Member:
    #211450
    Messages:
    2,290
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Kent, WA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Silver Tacoma TRD Offroad
    Icon Coil Overs. Deaver U402 Stage 3 Leafs w/ Bilstein 5160s. ARB Deluxe Bull Bar. Fuel Boost wheels w/ Wrangler Duratracs. Brute Force Fab Sliders & HC Rear Bumper w/swingout
    If you use a ton of power while the truck is not running, then maybe a second battery would be worthwhile. I'd say maybe doing a DC to DC battery charger/isolator and a second battery. When the truck is running it would charge the battery. I have a direct connection to 2 house batteries from my Starting battery via a Blue Sea ML-ACR, but i think the DC charger would probably be better for you, especially if you want to use a smaller/different battery style than your starting battery (maybe a smaller lithium?). Then you just hook all your USBs to that battery (via a small fuse block).
     
    Lochalpha likes this.
  10. Jun 25, 2020 at 8:00 AM
    #10
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Member:
    #45273
    Messages:
    34,399
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tim
    Garner, NC/Boone, NC
    Vehicle:
    '06 SR5 Off Road
    ARB Front Bumper, Projector Headlights w/Slimcubby 4300K HID's, Oznium LED's, LED taillights, DIY Washable Cabin Moose Filter, Sockmonkey SR5 Off Road, Aux Audio plug, OME 886x, OME Nitrochargers, Wheelers 3 Leaf Progressive AAL, ImMrYo Rear-View Mirror Lift Bracket, Dodge D-Rings
    Solar is not expensive, more expensive than an Anker/other battery pack yes. You don't have to buy from the Overland Name brand cottage sellers, and buy into all the crap that they think they need to be "offgrid". Complicated, it doesn't have to be. Even a little in window solar panel will keep a battery topped up just fine, you just have to factor in the amount of time you will be using the system vs not used time so the battery can actually charge. I have a simple setup using a Renogy 200w panel/charge controller on the roof, a walmart battery box with USB, Cig, volt meter connected in the bed. This setup can easily be adapted to a 12v power wheels battery and in window solar panel if you want it to be super cheap and easy.
    [​IMG]

    I recommend a dual battery setup with larger solar panel if you are serious about needing/wanting extra power.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  11. Aug 18, 2020 at 3:34 AM
    #11
    savin yours

    savin yours Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Member:
    #266644
    Messages:
    789
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bryan
    SE Tx
    Vehicle:
    2018 TRD Off Road
    How safe is it to put a 2nd battery inside the cab? I know a SLA will off gas while charging, but does AGM or lithium? I’d love to move my second battery out of the bed....
     
  12. Aug 18, 2020 at 9:31 AM
    #12
    Lochalpha

    Lochalpha Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Member:
    #331995
    Messages:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Loch
    Vehicle:
    Beater 2002 prerunner
    After looking into it, I was comfortable installing lithium in my cab. It was the only type that I was seriously looking at though. I did see anecdotal reports/conjecture about other battery types off-gassing but at the end of the day, gas aside, that's an acid filled potential projectile in a wreck that weighs 3x as much as lithium. If I had gone for any acid battery, I'd have moved some stuff under the hood and mounted it there. Might be easier in a 1st gen than yours though.
     
    savin yours likes this.
  13. Aug 18, 2020 at 9:46 AM
    #13
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Member:
    #223997
    Messages:
    2,886
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Destin
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    2017 SSM DoubleCab TRD Off-Road 4x4
    I wouldn’t hesitate to put lithium in the cab. Just ensure it is securely mounted like the above post touched on. Don’t want anything flying around the cab in a wreck or roll-over, especially not a battery
     
    savin yours likes this.

Products Discussed in

To Top