Has anyone added a 3rd row 12v outlet? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Has anyone added a 3rd row 12v outlet?


Well-Known Member
November 19, 2016
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Interceptor Utility
I was looking for a place to tap into the wire harness and get 12V. It looks like the location where the outlet should go (on civilian Explorer, or maybe PIU w/ upgrades) is rear driver side, beneath the cup holder where the third row would go.

I popped off this piece and found a connector on the wire harness that looks promising.


Here's the connector I'm referring to:



I checked each pin but the only one that I get substantial power from is the red, but it's only 4.9VDC.
I don't claim to be a pro with electricity, but I'd like to think I can at least use a multimeter. For a sanity check, I tested one of the factory-installed cigarette plugs up front, and got 12V just fine.

Am I taking crazy pills, or what? Where's the 12V for the back?

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Here is a picture of where the outlet is located in the Explorer. The outlet is integrated with the 3rd row seat power buttons.



Thank you Peter. That is the same location where I am looking for power, so I suspect it's in there somewhere. What would be awesome is if someone with the factory outlet has a photo of behind the panel, to show which wires connect to the outlet.

You could always splice from a power source further up in the vehicle. Only problem is it's more work to run wires. A lot of power wires were clipped and left underneath my rubber flooring.

I've worked on a bunch of 16's and 17's back there. We used to remove the whole interior panels on both sides of the rear before we figured them out good enough to use fiberglass rods to run everything. I've had my 17' just a little while now and wanted to add the 12V plug there. I can confidently say that the factory plug isn't back there anywhere but there are plenty of 12v sources back there to utilize. You could pick up the OEM power point so it will fit nicely in the trim panel with the plug removed. You don't really need the OEM plug, pretty easy to use some generic male / female connectors to mate everything up.

Thanks lnane222. Would you mind sharing what the easiest / closest place to connect to is?

Thanks lnane222. Would you mind sharing what the easiest / closest place to connect to is?
The Interceptor has a fused 12V source in the cargo area, however its on the right side behind the trim. You could always grab power there and run wire to the other side if you really wanted the 12V plug installed on the left side of the truck.

Hey Blob19, I agree with 16PIU.

I'd hit the 12V source that is right behind / under the passenger side of the 2nd row seat. Lift up that little flap and you'll see it. I'd fish that over towards your rear driver side area where the plug is for the retail Explorer power point, just below that tray you've removed. The beauty of this is it's an easy run, just take up the cargo area floor that covers your spare. Fish your hot wire over there and then I'd just ground your outlet over there where you're working. You could tap an existing ground, find a existing ground point or make your own with a sheet metal screw.

I'm sure an aftermarket powerpoint would fit in that opening, but I'm a stickler so I'd buy the OEM one.

Good deal, thank you both. I'm a bit surprised the 12v isn't right there, but the more I think about it maybe they used a totally different wire harness for the PIU?

Either way, as you said, it sounds easy enough to run from the big red power point on the passenger side over to the driver side. I'll give it a shot.

It seems to be no method to the madness. I've been all over the 16' / 17' models and it's amazing what wiring is there for the nicer features found on the retail units (connectors present, but plugged up and taped off), but then you have this example where a simple 12V power point connector is missing.

I looked over this thread, but I ended up running a wire to the front center console area and tapped into the police harness. connector view below. this area has options for power in ran and always hot.


If you are needing power back there, and dont mind the extra work why not run you a power inverter back there? tuck it away somewhere nice and you have all your power needs met in the back.