Yeah, times are changin’. When traveling with kids in your California, you will be short of USB ports. The one in the ashtray is too far away or your partner confiscated it. And the one under the back seat always gets the comment: ‘Daaad, what a super illogical place!’
That could be better. Time to get started.
Starting point: I wanted to have a USB charger on both the left and right of the backseat. So that your phone or iPad can also lie on the kitchen unit without sitting on it or hassle with the cables.
We’ll start with the kitchen side
I found out that the best place is where the lights are located above the kitchenunit. Enough space to bring the charger in and a cable to it.
We tap the power from the – inaccessible and vulnerable 12V supply due to the back of the chair – connection on the side of the kitchen unit.
- Use a flat screwdriver to pry off the frame.
- Then you see 4 tiny T10 (torx) screws and you disconnect the 12V power supply.
- Connect an extra cable with cable shoes that branch out.
- Unclip the trim panel containing the seat belt.
- There the cable goes up, and lead the cable behind the lights above the kitchen.
- Determine where you want the USB charger. Note: Choose a place close to a light, because you have to be able to reach it with your fingers to mount the charger!
- Drill a hole, usually about 28 mm (differs per USB charger). Use a step- or hole drill for this.
- Connect the charger with the correct plus and minus.
- Mount the original 12V unit back in place.
- Voila, happy kids, happy parents!
Sliding door side, hidden under the back seat
This one is easy (so easy I didn’t make photos, sorry):
- Remove the ventilation grille by pulling it out
- Pull the interior trim a bit loose for extra space
- Drill a hole with a step- or hole drill
- Re-route the power supply cables from the original 12V outlet and fasten it to the new USB charger. (it’s easier if you pry the original outlet out to loosen the power cables)
- Click the ventilation grill back in and fasten the interior trim to the clip on the floor.
Learning: choose a USB charger with no led lights in it. This is using minimal, yet, power from the battery. And most of all: I want it to be dark when I sleep.
Sliding door side:
1 thought on “Extra USB chargers”
Hey, this is a nice modification, and it looks very clean too. My kid doesn’t require iPad or phones yet. Still, I did replace the “inaccessible and vulnerable” 12v socket on the side of the kitchen cabinet with USB and USB-C ports. Here’s how I did it: https://medium.com/@maxi-mizer/replace-vw-california-kitchen-12v-outlet-with-usb-ports-f5f6394d7993