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One of the little things that has been on my “must do something about that” list for a while is to address the problem we have with not enough places to plug things in and charge them. When we are in the caravan in the evening the front looks like a tech gadget table top sale… Macbook Pro, WiFi router/MiFi device, two iPhones, camera battery chargers, Fitbit charger and all these needed plugging in. The 4 way surge protected power strip I put there just wasn’t cutting it any more.

It was time to do something about it. A couple of years ago Swift supplied a kit to modify the drop down TV system that was installed in a range of their caravans. Our caravan already had the upgrade, however they did supply a new piece of wood to replace the installed piece as some of the holes had moved when they upgraded the latches. Always wanting to repurpose things I thought that this could be the basis of an upgrade… not to the TV drop down but to the rear of the draw unit. I wanted to install USB charging ports but still required a couple of 240 volt sockets and a brief search on Amazon I came across what I needed. The other thing I wanted was a couple of 12 volt sockets so that I could use our 12 volt plug-in USB chargers if we were pitched off grid.

To The Bat Cave…

The build was fairly simple. I had already converted the draw top from a slide and swing open operation to a pull out so the addition was straight forward.

The top being assembles in the workshop

The top being assembled in the workshop

It was a simple matter of cutting out the two rectangular holes for the 240 volt face plates and opening up the two existing holes intended for the new latches to the right size for the 12 volt sockets. I did intend to use the same electrical fittings as are already installed in the caravan but pricing everything up it came out at nearly four times the cost of what I eventually used here.

The two 240 volt sockets are wired with 2.5mm multi-strand cable and have slim line back boxes to protect them and the 12 volt cabling is all done with crimp connections and protected with heat shrink tubing.

The whole project including installation only took me a couple of hours and made me wonder why I’d been putting it off for so long!

I didn’t want to fasten anything to the structure of the caravan so the piece seems to ‘float’ above the front sill. The wiring was all pre done in the workshop and was easy to connect up to the caravan services as we had a 240 volt and 12 volt outlets nearby in the base of the draw unit.

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Plenty of room even with the blind down.

The upgrade now gives me 3 x 240 volt sockets and 6 x USB charging points plus 2 x 12 volt sockets. The space under the sockets can be used to tidy any excess charging cable away while in use.

Shopping...

Use the following bits from Amazon…

Knightsbridge SFAV7USB4MB 13 A 1G Screwless Switched Socket with 5 V DC 5.1 A Quad USB Charger with Chrome Rocker – Matt Black

Knightsbridge SF9902MB 13 A 2-Gang Screwless Switch Socket with Dual USB Charger – Matt Black with Chrome Rocker

The back boxes came from B & Q and the 12 volt sockets came from Go Outdoors caravanning section.