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Author Topic: how make my rv in dash radio run off plug in rather than front end battery?  (Read 6867 times)


  • Posts: 2
or i could just plug into the speakers with a different unit. i could happily buy a home style receiver and just use the speakers i suppose. i just need to know were/how to bypass them. any ideas?


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  • Posts: 1410
    • Seaworthy.com, Your Bahamas and Caribbean Cruising Advisory
Not quite sure I understand...are you wanting your dash radio to run off AC instead of DC? 

Wiring in an AC "home-style" receiver to your speakers may or may not be difficult depending on where you speakers are and the access you have to them but should not be too difficult if you're handy.

1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'

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I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
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A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
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  • Posts: 2
Not quite sure I understand...are you wanting your dash radio to run off AC instead of DC? 
yes i rather it run off AC so it wont kill my batt. is it something that i may be able to do without to much trouble do you think? i am pretty handy

...yah the second idea would leave me more options. i will prob just end up doing the receiver thing.


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  • Posts: 7977
  • Central IL
Is your goal to be able to run the radio, without depleting the chassis (engine) starting battery?  If so (I have this same issue), then I'd recommend buying a $20 trickle charger that you can hook up to that battery whenever you are camping and the engine is not running.  I plug in the charger to the exterior 110v jack and run an extension cord up to the battery.  This is when we're camping and I am hooked up to shore power.

The problem with trying to bypass speakers and power supplies is that somewhere along the line you'll be trying to mix 12v DC (automotive current) with 110v AC (household current).  That won't work too well.  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Just Lou

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  • Posts: 8125
IMHO, it's hardly worth messing with beyond the way Scotty does it. 

My coach has a Radio Park switch which will transfer the load to the house batteries when parked. 

If you don't have something like that already installed you will need at least a converter from ac-to-dc to wire in to the radio feed.

If you try to just wire in a receiver to the existing speakers, remember that the impedance of a car speaker is generally much lower than a house speaker.  Crank up a home audio amp and you'll blow your speaker cones into the next camp site.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Mike and Sherrie in VA

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  • Posts: 278
Not to get too off topic, but that answers the question of the "park" switch for my radio.  Hadn't understood why it was there in the first place until now.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind Storm 30H


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  • Posts: 5060
  • Bill & Jolene/USA 00 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
    • WorKamping in ????
If you can find a 12 v source under the dash that is wired to house battery, then all you need to do is instal a switch like the road/park switch.  ZThis changes the power source.  Ground stays the same.  Not a lot of current so I don't think you would need a relay involved. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60

John From Detroit

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  • Posts: 21284
  • ^My New Home^
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If your rig does not have a switch to switch the radio to house power

The very easiest is to pick up a couple of "tab" connectors (well, at least one) and an in-line fuse holder for the dash radio.  With the ignition in the ACC position remove the radio fuse (or fuses) from the fuse block.  Using a volt meter find out which terminals are "hot" (12 volt) and which are not. Plug wires "Tab" type ends into the "not" side of these fuse slots.

Run the wires to a house power location (you may have to run a LOT of wire to get there) and put an in-line fuse holder, put the original fuse in the holder. and that's it

You need one fuse holder per fuse

If you wish to switch between "house' and "Vehicle" power. add a SPDT switch and a 2nd (3rd) length of wire and fuse (Same as radio main) to the "Hot" slot

Hot lead to switch "Road" position
Cold lead to switch Center
House lead to switch Park side

And that's it.

A better way involves tracing and cutting and splicing wires, but that's the easy way
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