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Discussion Starter #1
So I have read through a few posts about adding 12v plugs to the backseats/cargo area and I am looking to do that. I have a 2015 XLE AWD if that helps. I am thinking of adding 1 12v plug to the backseat and a dual USB port and 1 additional 12v plug in the cargo area. My question is how many power wires do I need to run? One power wire for each or can I get away with just one? Most likely will not have all of them used at once either...

Also, what gauge wire should I plan to use?

I am new to car wiring (and electrical in general) and unsure of how to best do this.

I am thinking of using these for the add a fuse

These for the outlets:

12v plug


USB ports

Which slots in the fuse panel by the hood release are powered that I could use?

Thanks so much for any insight and advice!
 

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Year and trim of your RAV4 might be helpful.
 

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I would run wire straight from battery with in-line fuse. One 12-14 gauge wire will be plenty to handle what you be using them for. You can attach the wire to the screw terminal on battery post clamp with ring terminal..

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Discussion Starter #4
My apologies for not including that, 2015 XLE.

And what would the difference be of running straight from the battery vs the add a fuse option?

If the plugs are always hot (and nothing plugged in) will they still drain the battery? Or would having them switch on and off with the ignition be better?
 

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My apologies for not including that, 2015 XLE.

And what would the difference be of running straight from the battery vs the add a fuse option?

If the plugs are always hot (and nothing plugged in) will they still drain the battery? Or would having them switch on and off with the ignition be better?
Yes you potentially could drain the battery using the ports while the car is not on. If you want the new outlets to be switch powered then you would tap into existing 12v switch wire or fuse (plenty to be had). I personally would make them hot all the time since you already have switched outlets up front. difference between the add a fuse method or going directly to the battery is with add a fuse your sharing the supply wire (this could be a issue depending on the gauge wire supplying the the current to the fuse and cluttering the fuse box with another wire. With going directly to battery it more reliable connection.

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Discussion Starter #6
I suppose if I went from the battery back, I could just add a switch in myself to turn them on or off as well...might be an idea. So run one hot wire from the battery to where they will be located and then ground wires for each switch?
 

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I suppose if I went from the battery back, I could just add a switch in myself to turn them on or off as well...might be an idea. So run one hot wire from the battery to where they will be located and then ground wires for each switch?
You can add switch or just unplug anything that could potentially drain the battery sitting for a long period of time. I mainly use my outlets for charging phones and light duty stuff so I'm not worried draining the battery overnight (worst case senerio for me). You ground the outlets at the location, I go directly to body or share another ground if available.

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Obviously 12V outlets with nothing plugged in won't cause any battery drain but USB ports will since they have 5V converters with active components built in. May not be much but won't be zero.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, that is good to know about the USB ports. I drive a short distance everyday for work so I am not too worried about the drain, I may still try the switch idea. Any idea where I could fine a switch to make it look factory? Such as to fill in one of the blanks by the eco/sport buttons? I have a few ideas, I just will probably play around with it.
 

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Ok, that is good to know about the USB ports. I drive a short distance everyday for work so I am not too worried about the drain, I may still try the switch idea. Any idea where I could fine a switch to make it look factory? Such as to fill in one of the blanks by the eco/sport buttons? I have a few ideas, I just will probably play around with it.
Ebay has them that will plug into the dash switch blanks. Just verify the switch dimensions are 22x33 mm. Try this link
for a idea of switch type I'm talking about.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371927219803


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Discussion Starter #11
Ebay has them that will plug into the dash switch blanks. Just verify the switch dimensions are 22x33 mm. Try this link
for a idea of switch type I'm talking about.
33x22mm 12V Blue LED Illuminated Switch On/Off For Toyota Landcruiser Camry RAV4 | eBay


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Thanks, I found some on amazon here

However looking at the wiring for it, I see the live and ground wires and to the plugs, but what is the 12V ACC+ go to? Or would I not need that since the power wire is straight from the battery and always hot?
 

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Thanks, I found some on amazon here

However looking at the wiring for it, I see the live and ground wires and to the plugs, but what is the 12V ACC+ go to? Or would I not need that since the power wire is straight from the battery and always hot?
I have purchased similar switches and I would say it's for the switch illumination. At least that's what it has been on all the other switches.

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Discussion Starter #13
What other wire would I need to tap into for that if I chose to?

For wiring the plugs, run one power wire through the firewall and split it off three separate ways for each plug? or wire them one after another?
 

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Either way will work.
Fuse it before it penetrates the firewall, preferably near the battery, @ 15a if you use #12. I'd go 12a on #14, that's a little conservative.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was thinking of using 10 ga for it all and wiring in 15 amp fuses before each plug and grounding at each plug. Wouldn't it be better to have the fuses in the cabin where they are easily accessible?
 

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I was thinking of using 10 ga for it all and wiring in 15 amp fuses before each plug and grounding at each plug. Wouldn't it be better to have the fuses in the cabin where they are easily accessible?
Using 10 gauge wire is just overkill. A good 14 gauge stranded wire is more than adequate. As for the fuse, it's only purpose is to prevent a fire in case your wire gets shorted to ground. For that reason, you want as much of the wire as possible to be protected by the fuse. Therefore, putting the fuse as close to the battery as possible is the way to go. The power feeding the cabin fuse box is going through a large fuse close to the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ah ok, so I will plan to do it that way. If I have trailer wiring installed, there should be a power wire already going to the back, correct? Depending on what was used for the trailer wiring I suppose
 

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Josh--Since battery charging technology for portable devices has advanced significantly (and will continue to advance), have you considered putting in standard 12v "cigarette lighter" power ports and then using USB adapters that take advantage of the new charging technology (such as Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 on https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B2BMIMS?aaxitk=RlPZfEbcAQooJB1VkjeG-A)? Then you could always update the adapter to match the charging technology on whatever portable device you have.

This is a thought I'm considering as I upgrade my motorcycle outlets.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had not thought of that...something else to look into! :)
 

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Really the best way to go.
Installing USB charging ports sounds like a good idea, and it is convenient not having to have extra car chargers around, but sticking with a standard lighter socket effectively "future proofs" your car for anything that's going to be introduced.

Now that Samsung and some other manufacturers have moved to USB-C for phones, I've noticed that the commercial chargers are no longer dedicated... I bought a Samsung charger and it was a dual-outlet USB quick charger and came with a USB-C cable and a Micro-USB cable.

USB isn't going anywhere, but the plug-in chargers are both safer for your devices, more reliable (I had a USB adapter kill a dashcam), and when they DO fail, you don't have to rip the car apart to replace it.
Also gives you a convenient place to plug in a portable compressor, coffee warmer, etc...
 
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