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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the past few weeks I've been sleeping in my car on the weekends to try it out (camping and mtb'ing) There have been only 2 things that really bother me.

1) 12v (cigarette outlets) All 3 are never always hot. It would be really nice to be able to charge your phone etc without turning on the vehicle. I mean at least make the rear one always hot..

2) Turn off all the lights. This was kinda annoying. They would only turn off if all the doors were closed. You can manually turn off the switches but i noticed the notification center by the speedometer stayed on along with the puddle lights if any door was open. I loved sleeping with the hatch open.

Anyone else have these issues or know of maybe some little fixes??? I have a 2012 premium fyi.
 

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So the past few weeks I've been sleeping in my car on the weekends to try it out (camping and mtb'ing) There have been only 2 things that really bother me.

1) 12v (cigarette outlets) All 3 are never always hot. It would be really nice to be able to charge your phone etc without turning on the vehicle. I mean at least make the rear one always hot..

2) Turn off all the lights. This was kinda annoying. They would only turn off if all the doors were closed. You can manually turn off the switches but i noticed the notification center by the speedometer stayed on along with the puddle lights if any door was open. I loved sleeping with the hatch open.

Anyone else have these issues or know of maybe some little fixes??? I have a 2012 premium fyi.
A phone charger believe it or not can wipe out the car battery if you left it plugged in for a long period. Given how light weight the battery and power system is in the Subaru all subarus - the dead plugs other than when car is turned on is a precaution to prevent people from stranding them selves with a dead battery.

If you do lots of this sort of thing and find your self running a number of power items etc - the small power pack units which come with lights and other items tied to a battery unit with a handle on it are ideal for this sort of thing and you can charge it up at home before you leave etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow you figure in todays world subaru would would make them to allow this. My buddy has a new Honda Pilot and we can charge 2 cell phones that are completely dead without even worring about his battery dying. Its all stock to..

Thanks might have to look into one of these packs your talking about. Bummer just another thing to take up more space though.
 

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2016 3.6R Limited
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A phone charger believe it or not can wipe out the car battery if you left it plugged in for a long period. Given how light weight the battery and power system is in the Subaru all subarus - the dead plugs other than when car is turned on is a precaution to prevent people from stranding them selves with a dead battery.

If you do lots of this sort of thing and find your self running a number of power items etc - the small power pack units which come with lights and other items tied to a battery unit with a handle on it are ideal for this sort of thing and you can charge it up at home before you leave etc.
I agree with this sentiment. Standard car batteries are meant for starting engines and not much else (you could make a case for regulating the electrical system as well). Deep cycle batteries (or marine batteries) are appropriate for powering other devices.

For your use case I'd suggest either the external battery pack which you can bring along with you or get a solar panel charger. I bring one with me when I got for extended trips out to the beach or woods. Good amount of success with Goal Zero
 

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The little solar kits now days are pretty slick for sure that would be an option for keeping a secondary deep cycle battery fresh for night time power needs on extended stays etc.

All the camping I do with the car - the car gets used enough on a daily basis be it heading off to a trail head - running down to town for an ice cream etc that charging various items while on the move is easily done. If we are parking the car and staying put for a day or more some type of small solar charging kit or simply just a power pack from Costco we charged up prior to leaving town would suffice and be a great thing to have.
 

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I agree with most of what's been said. Subaru is playing it safe by not allowing full power with the keys off. Honda isn't. That's not to say either car has a superior/inferior battery system.

If you're dead set on using your car's battery, simply run a constant fused hot line to an aux plug, or tap into your rear plug and keep it hot. We had a bad power outage a few weeks ago and I charged both mine and my wife's iPhones with my car battery, and it started right up afterwards. However I felt rather comfortable knowing I had another car to jump it with and, eventually, a battery jumper.

But since it sounds like you will be doing this type of thing regularly, I think an alternative power supply sounds best. Plus if you ever hike into the woods to camp, you can take it with you.
 

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A small battery for phone charging is perfect for this. It charges my iphone 4-5 times and is the size of a deck of cards.

This is the one I have:
Amazon.com: XPAL XP8000 (Amos) Portable Power for MP3 Players, Cell Phones, Bluetooth Devices, Digital Cameras, Mini PC's, Portable DVD players, Gaming Devices: Electronics

This one looks good for your situation
Amazon.com: Energizer Energi To Go Xpal SP2000 Triple Solar Charger Power Pack: Electronics

The smaller ones can charge from USB as well. Like the 4000 series.
 

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I agree with most of what's been said. Subaru is playing it safe by not allowing full power with the keys off. Honda isn't. That's not to say either car has a superior/inferior battery system.
Most 12 volt accessories draw very little power. I have left my satellite radio on in my work vehicles for a day or two at a time and the engines will still start. The only time the batteries have died is in the middle of winter and I leave the satellite radio on for a few days (opps!). A cell phone that is left plugged in all night would not kill a battery unless the battery is junk and needs replacement.

I too prefer hot all the time 12 volt power plugs. It is annoying for my satellite radio to always turn off and on whenever the engine is stopped and started (like while filling with gas for example). It deletes all the channel information for songs and artists. Likewise, the GPS is always losing power but at least that can run on battery while the car is off.

I can see both sides to the argument. On one hand, it is very nice to have hot all the time plugs for charging stuff and for accessories like satellite radios. You just have to be smart about what you use it for. On the other hand, people wouldn't be smart about it and try to run refrigerated coolers and/or heated blankets off the battery or leave other accessories on for days at a time and then blame the car for when the battery dies. I think it comes down to the classic "too many idiots were doing it so we took the ability away from all" approach to solving a problem.

The simple solution to all of this would be if Subaru programed the plugs into the battery run down protector system (I assume Subaru has battery run down protection if the lights are left on). The car could cut power to the plugs if the battery dropped below a certain voltage.
 

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For your use case I'd suggest either the external battery pack which you can bring along with you or get a solar panel charger. I bring one with me when I got for extended trips out to the beach or woods. Good amount of success with Goal Zero
Interesting. The solar chargers have come a long way. I've been using a 100Ah battery that is meant to survive 3-4 days of extreme use with 50% charge left so I don't have to recharge. Being able to do the same thing in a smaller space with less weight is certainly intriguing.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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It would take forever for a cell phone to drain a car battery. Most of them draw about 0.5 watts while charging, and then they are going to draw a lot less once the phone battery is charged. All of my previous cars have has plugs that stayed hot, and none of them EVER drained the battery.
 

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The simple solution to all of this would be if Subaru programed the plugs into the battery run down protector system (I assume Subaru has battery run down protection if the lights are left on). The car could cut power to the plugs if the battery dropped below a certain voltage.
Nope, the lights shut off with the engine too ;)

I think Subaru has lost it's faith in humanity and tried to make everything "idiot proof"

Except that stupid parking light switch on top of the steering wheel :confused:
 

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Nope, the lights shut off with the engine too ;)

I think Subaru has lost it's faith in humanity and tried to make everything "idiot proof"

Except that stupid parking light switch on top of the steering wheel :confused:
Going main stream with your products these days means a couple of things.

#1 It looks like all the competitors products
#2 You engineer as many dumb customer product tricks out of it as possible - electronic parking brake, Auto head lights etc etc

LOL

You could say the most Idiot proof vehicle tends to get top reliability scores we all know Idiots are very good at wrecking cars. LOL
 

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Nope, the lights shut off with the engine too ;)
I think Subaru has lost it's faith in humanity and tried to make everything "idiot proof"
Except that stupid parking light switch on top of the steering wheel :confused:
Not quite, HL off requires removing the key too (and folks were pissed with that).<O:p</O:p

The Battery Saver works by last-trigger/timer, but the Fr door puddle lights remain on when ajar. IIRC the Cargo-On doesn’t shut off (that’s a bug). And sampling by V wouldn’t work, a ‘dead’ batt will measure 12VDC at rest but it won’t crank – amps is the question.<O:p</O:p
A cell/mp3 isn’t exclusive to an acc port, with kids in the equation (and Roadside std nowadays)… no hot sockets for you.<O:p</O:p
Nevertheless, it’s easy enough to tap from the fuse block (Add-a-Circ).<O:p</O:p
 

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A USB power adapter will put out 1A of juice. Enough to drain a battery? Maybe after a long time. Agree that Subaru is playing it safe for all us idiots out there.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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One thing to consider, you could get one of those car jump starter boxes. They plenty of power to charge your phone and run a few other toys off of. Many today even feature a USB power port.

That way you can charge your phone without having to worry about the car's battery at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone. Looks like I'll prolly be getting the jump start box.

Does anyone have any instructions on how to make one of the outlets always hot? Say the back one? Some of you made it sounds really easy with a fuse or something.

The only thing I ever needed it for was my phone and usually just 1 full charge. I don't take any other electronics on my camping and biking trips as I want to get away as much as possbile :D (Phone is nice to have in case of emergency but it's also my camera)
 

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Going main stream with your products these days means a couple of things.

#1 It looks like all the competitors products
#2 You engineer as many dumb customer product tricks out of it as possible - electronic parking brake, Auto head lights etc etc

LOL

You could say the most Idiot proof vehicle tends to get top reliability scores we all know Idiots are very good at wrecking cars. LOL
Speaking of the parking brake, has anyone verified that this can be used as a true "emergency brake" to stop the car if the hydraulic system fails (however unlikely that is) -or is it disabled over a certain speed? I personally would rather have a lever to pull and can modulate if the main brakes fail. As little as I drive this car, I would probably just as well "Fred Flintstone it" before I could even fumble around enough to find the button.
 

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Thanks everyone. Looks like I'll prolly be getting the jump start box.

Does anyone have any instructions on how to make one of the outlets always hot? Say the back one? Some of you made it sounds really easy with a fuse or something.
It just take some basic electronics knowledge.

Personally I'd run a 12ga or 10g line straight from the battery with a 15amp fuse, should be plenty for anything you'll need. From them just fish it to the back through floor sills and under carpet. I've taken apart a few outlets, and most use a 2 prong plug that the wires can be taken out of. So I'd just use a screw driver to release the hot wire, cap it and plug your constant power into it. 100% reversible and still look stock. I did something similar to tap an extra plug under my console to plug my XM into so you couldn't see the plug.

Another thing to check is HOW the plug is shut off. It's quite possible that the negative lead is on a relay, and the hot is already constant. If that's the case you could simply ground the negative to the back sheet metal. To check that you'd just need to find the plug on the back of the outlet and use a simple test light to check the positive feed while the car is off.

Honestly though, if you have to ask how to do this, you might want to find a friend that has some experience to help you out.

GL
 

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Speaking of the parking brake, has anyone verified that this can be used as a true "emergency brake" to stop the car if the hydraulic system fails (however unlikely that is) -or is it disabled over a certain speed? I personally would rather have a lever to pull and can modulate if the main brakes fail. As little as I drive this car, I would probably just as well "Fred Flintstone it" before I could even fumble around enough to find the button.
The manual says to HOLD the button while the car is moving to activate the brake. It will work as well as any manual brake, as the mechanism is the same. Although I agree with the modulation factor. I tried it in a parking lot at low speed, and it seemed to slowly engage the brake, not an abrupt lock per se, but at full speed I'm sure it wouldn't be pretty.
 

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... if you have to ask how to do this, you might want to find a friend that has some experience to help you out.
True, especially considering today’s integrated electronics.
A basic garage tool should include a multimeter, or 'don’t try this at home'.<O:p
The most bullet proof circ is tapping direct/fused from the batt, basic 12VDC Pos/Neg discipline. You get clean power without loading other circs and adding failure points.<O:p
 
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