Upgrading the single Power Point in the rear cargo area, to more choices | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Upgrading the single Power Point in the rear cargo area, to more choices

Bobs2018ExplorerSport

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 4, 2019
Messages
252
Reaction score
99
Location
USA
City, State
Livermore, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Explorer Sport 4WD
Callsign
KD6ANY
My 2018 XLT came to me with only some fairly basic options; an example of this was that in the rear cargo area, there was only a single "power-point" socket installed in the LH rear side panel (see pic). I wanted to "upgrade" that option to something that maybe offered a couple of USB ports as well, but I never really found an easy answer to that... that is, until recently.

I stumbled on this unit being sold on eBay, that not only offers the usual "cigarette-lighter-style" of socket, but also a dual-USB port, plus, a digital voltage meter... all in one unit. Additionally, the voltage display, as well as the lighter socket AND the USB ports, are all backlit, which is a nice touch. Here is the current link to the Seller that I got it from:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-...0001&campid=5574912417&icep_item=253135717714

To make this conversion, I pulled-out the LH panel only enough to get my hands behind it, and removed the factory outlet and plug. Using a 1-1/8" hole saw, I then cut two more matching holes on either side of the original hole. This allowed me to mount the unit over the original location; I then followed the included wiring instructions, and connected it all to the original pair of power/ground wires that used to go to the single outlet.

Because the voltage-monitoring guage would hypothetically always be drawing low-level current once it's connected (as it displays the line voltage), you would think you'd be at risk of running the battery down eventually. Fortunately, however, all of the vehicle's Power Point outlets are pre-set (through ECM software) to eventually time-out. The length of time that the unit is "hot" seems to depend on if the car was originally "running" for a while or not, with something plugged into one of these Power Points, but it could allow phone charging up to an hour, possibly.

Anyway, this panel is incredibly cheap (only about $13 shipped), and its size makes it an ideal fit on the panel's ledge that had the original socket on it.

Check out the pics, and let me know if you have any questions.
 

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  • Cargo Area Power Center Pic1.jpg
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  • Cargo Area Power Center Pic2.jpg
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  • Cargo Area Power Center Pic4.jpg
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My 2018 XLT came to me with only some fairly basic options; an example of this was that in the rear cargo area, there was only a single "power-point" installed in the LH rear side panel (see pic). I wanted to "upgrade" that option to something that maybe offered a couple of USB ports as well, but I never really found an easy answer to that... that is, until recently.

I found this unit on eBay, that not only offers the usual "cigarette-lighter-style" of socket, but also a dual-USB port, plus, a digital voltage meter... all in one unit. Additionally, the voltage display, as well as the lighter socket AND the USB ports are all backlit, which is a nice touch. Here is the current link to the Seller that I got it from:


To make this conversion, I pulled-out the LH panel only enough to get my hands behind it, and removed the factory outlet and plug. Using a 1-1/8" hole saw, I then cut two more matching holes on either side of the original hole. This allowed me to mount the unit over the original location; I then followed the included wiring instructions, and connected it all to the original pair of power/ground wires that used to go to the single outlet.

Because the voltage-monitoring guage would hypothetically always be drawing low-level current once it's connected (as it displays the line voltage), you would think you'd be at risk of running the battery down eventually. Fortunately, however, all of the vehicle's Power Point outlets are pre-set (through ECM software) to eventually time-out. The length of time that the unit is "hot" seems to depend on if the car was originally "running" for a while or not, with something plugged into one of these Power Points, but it could allow phone charging up to an hour, possibly.

Anyway, this panel is incredibly cheap (only about $13 shipped), and its size makes it an ideal fit on the panel's ledge that had the original socket on it.

Check out the pics, and let me know if you have any questions.

Great job. Will think about it. Did you tap the power from the old one for all 3 functions?
 






I love this!!
 






To answer your question... YES.

I pre-wired all three items on the panel in parallel (as shown in the instructions), which resulted in a single pair of leads to connect to a single power and ground source. I then connected it to the pair of wires that had originally fed just the one power point socket.

In retrospect, I should have taken a photo of the wiring I did on the back of the panel, before I reassembled it all into the cargo area side-panel, but, if you follow the included wiring instructions, it will make sense to you.
 






FYI, it looks like the price of the power strip went up, from $13 to $18.45, since I did my initial post, but it's still a good deal for what you get!
 












Good catch, Jack!

I'm sure the same item is available from many other sellers (other than the one I happened to get mine from), so thanks for finding it cheaper, and for sharing it on the Forum!
 






Ordering one now! Gonna have to find some better screws though.
 






In my installation, instead of just using the 4 screws to mount the entire thing to the panel, I instead used a 1-1/4" hole saw to cut three matching holes in the panel... then pushed the sockets and gauge through not only the mounting strip, but also all the way through the body panel... and THEN screwed-on each of the 3 large retaining nuts onto the back of each of the three units. This places each of the 3 large threaded nuts BEHIND the vehicle's body panel... making the mount as strong and secure as it could possibly be. It also means that each of the 3 units are not relying only on the decorative strip to mount them. I did it this way because sometimes removing a cigarette lighter plug can put a lot of stress on the socket, as you go to pull it out, so I wanted it mounted as securely to the body panel as I could. In my install, those 4 phillips screws were only added upon completion of the mounting process... and are pretty-much now only purely decorative!
 






Since i have never used the power point in the cargo area, but the daughters always use the one on the back of my console, i went a little different route. I ordered a switched outlet that has quick charge capability, since ipads are used frequently. I will pull the panel off and mount it when it gets here.
 

Attachments

  • 3A504D3A-8AD0-47D6-8EF3-DE24F596DDA1.jpeg
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THAT is a great idea as well! (Nice-looking unit, too)!
 












Since i have never used the power point in the cargo area, but the daughters always use the one on the back of my console, i went a little different route. I ordered a switched outlet that has quick charge capability, since ipads are used frequently. I will pull the panel off and mount it when it gets here.

I'm looking at a similar unit, wondering how much cutting it's going to take to mount it in the center console. :P
 






If you take a look at the 2nd photo in my original post, you can see what holes I, at least, had to do to mount this thing in my rear cargo panel. Don't know if that helps answer your question, though...
 






If you take a look at the 2nd photo in my original post, you can see what holes I, at least, had to do to mount this thing in my rear cargo panel. Don't know if that helps answer your question, though...

I'm pretty sure it will be very similar, just a different hunk of plastic to cut through. I think I just need to pull off some panels to see what I have to work with.
 






If you take a look at the 2nd photo in my original post, you can see what holes I, at least, had to do to mount this thing in my rear cargo panel. Don't know if that helps answer your question, though...
I followed Bobs lead:
download (1).png
download.png
 












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