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I'm looking at ways to recharge our cell phones and tablet while camping with my 2016 Rav4. Leaving the phones and chargers unattended for hours in a campground bathroom is unacceptable (although some people do it). Solar chargers are expensive and slow. The phones will charge off the car when we're driving, but we won't be driving that much so I'm looking for other alternatives.

With the key in accessory mode, the USB and power ports are active and will trickle charge our devices. It does take a long time, perhaps up to 4hrs. I certainly don't want to end up with a dead car battery in the woods. Obviously the car battery itself has plenty of reserve to charge a couple of cell phones, but I'll bet there are other things draining it when the key is in Acc position. Any thoughts on how long I can safely leave the car in this mode before draining the battery too low to start the car?
 

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https://www.walmart.com/ip/TOUGH-TESTED-TT-PBW85-8-000mAh-Rugged-Power-Bank-with-Dual-USB-Ports/50094692?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=8295&adid=22222222227037652517&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=85452733370&wl4=pla-193498416530&wl5=9001859&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=115780854&wl11=online&wl12=50094692&wl13=&veh=sem

Pick up one of these, I got mine from Lowes. It'll charge my phone 3-4 times from dead and my tablet 1-2 times.

Or buy a 12V battery for an emergency light and add a female cigarette lighter adapter. My dad makes these for the strobe lights in his cars and that'll charge a phone 15-20 times and a tablet 10-15 times.

I personally wouldn;t leave the car on accessory for more than an hour or two unless you have a really nice battery.
 

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With the key in accessory mode, the USB and power ports are active and will trickle charge our devices. It does take a long time, perhaps up to 4hrs. I certainly don't want to end up with a dead car battery in the woods. Obviously the car battery itself has plenty of reserve to charge a couple of cell phones, but I'll bet there are other things draining it when the key is in Acc position. Any thoughts on how long I can safely leave the car in this mode before draining the battery too low to start the car?
You are correct that it will kill the battery in a few hours. My daughter has done this at the beach several times while leaving the phone to charge. I would say (from her experience) leaving it about 3 hours will do it.
 

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I keep a NOCO GB40 in each vehicle. Good for jump starts, device charging, etc. Can find them on Amazon & eBay - shop around for best price.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a spare car battery and my first thought was to make a cable like the one pictured above. In a quick web search, I wasn't able to find a female cigarette lighter socket. CB91710, where did you find that one?
 

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So the problem is your 12V accessory socket(s) are off when the ignition is off. Right? There's got to be a circuit where the relay can be eliminated and jumped to allow one or two sockets to remain hot. Everything else will remain off to minimize, practically eliminate, drain.

I don't know the circuit for the 2016, but for the 2006-2012 it is by your left knee and takes all of a couple of minutes to modify using either a bit of solder or a 5-cent chair connector (clip off the single vertical tab).

Here are JuneBug's directions for 4.3 RAV4s just to show how simple it is. Thanks JuneBug!
 

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Start the car and waste a little fuel to charge them. They should charge more rapidly with the engine running. This is providing you are outside and close to the car. If keeping your phones charged is that important then what's a 1/4 to 1/2 gallon to do so?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, all great ideas! Pico, in the olden days cigarette lighters were always on...you never knew when you might need a smoke, right? I used to tap into that when I hooked up my 8-Track players. I may eventually use your suggestion but I'm thinking I'll wait till the car is off warranty. Quickdtoo, thanks for the links, that's exactly what I was looking for.

Since I need a solution for this weekend, I came up with a temporary solution. Turns out I had an old dashboard from a All-Trac up in the garage with a real cigarette lighter still in place. I removed that and soldered on a couple of wires I can connect to my spare battery. I'm building a plywood box for the battery with the receptacle mounted on it. Portable power pack. Tested it on my cell phone tonight, and it does the job.
 

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I have a spare car battery and my first thought was to make a cable like the one pictured above. In a quick web search, I wasn't able to find a female cigarette lighter socket. CB91710, where did you find that one?
I pulled the image from a CPAP supply house, but I've seen those at auto parts stores. They often include them with 12v compressors.
 

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The service mechanics will never find it. Worry not.
.
And the only reason it would be an issue is if the vehicle is taken in for an electrical issue.

Won't impact the drivetrain warranty.
 
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