Cargo Area USB Charging Station

Every morning that I’m out camping, I find that I’m standing at the back of the Jeep making tea and breakfast on the tailgate table and could use a spot to charge the phone while back here.

In addition to a charging station, when it’s dark, the tailgate table and cargo area is pretty poorly lit, so this would be a great time to improve on the lighting here.

Parts:

USB charging port:
Waterproof USB Charger Adapter Socket 12-24V Outlet Power Jack

LED strip lights:
SoCal-LED 2 pcs 30cm/12" White Flexible LED Car Strips, High Power Bright 5050 12 SMD Light, Waterproof, Cuttable

Process:

You need to pull apart your subwoofer box – once you know the secret attachment point under the seat belt mechanism it’s really not too difficult.


remove these tie down bolts


a small screwdriver works, but you run the risk of scratching the plastic


proper tool for the job


10mm nut holding the sub box in place


disconnect the factory electrical and speaker wire plug – FYI black is ground and the purple/blue with the pink stripe is constant 12V


cut the hole and mount the usb outlet


rear lighting switch wiring


almost done!


tailgate table light – now with a proper connection (older photo still shows wire hanging)

Depending on how much of an audiophile you are, cutting holes in a sealed subwoofer box is not ideal. In my case, I’m not too worried about the quality of sound, but to solve any ‘air leaks’, you’d want to seal the switch and usb port with silicone or rtv sealant.

In addition, I’ve tied into constant 12V source from the existing power outlet back here. You may prefer to use a switched supply and in this case you’ll need to run a new 12 volt switched source from the front to back here.

For a current summary of my vehicle build out, please click here.

3 thoughts on “Cargo Area USB Charging Station”

  1. Tam Doan says:

    Found your post and link on Wrangler a Forum! Great post for the light and USB add-on! I plan to do the same, can you give any additional input for a novice of wiring work? Do you by chance have a pix of how you connected both the USB and LED lights to the existing wires? Would help so much!

    1. ej says:

      Solder, Solder Solder! That’s my advice for any vehicle electrical work. There are a variety of quick splice connectors, and I do use them, and have used them quite a bit in the past – but if it’s not a solid connection through soldering, you can expect it to fail at some point. So be certain to solder your connections and use a good quality heat shrink on your connection to seal and insulate the soldered connection.

      On my next electrical project, I’ll document some of the details and create a post here and on Wrangler Forum that talks about good electrical connections and some simple how-to’s. For the subwoofer box with the LED light and USB outlet, I’ll have to look through some of my photos to see if I took any on the connection itself. If not, I’ll pull it apart in a few days and grab some photos – I need back in there for another connection anyway.

      1. Tam Doan says:

        So great! Let me know, would love to follow in your footsteps!

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