Originally Posted by Ellentob
Couldn't a 12v cigarette outlet be adapted as a 12v inlet? I mean use some sort of adapter. I notice that many portable solar battery chargers come with a cigarette type plug. Why would they include them if it wasn't useful?
You certainly could use a cigarette outlet as an inlet. The concern is using the male end from the panels would be hot, as your contacts are exposed, and you would have to take good care in handling it. The inlet type connectors have these contacts protected from easily shorting out.
I think the main reason they include those in a portable kit, is to easily hook to an existing plug, such as in your tow vehicle, or even to inside in your trailer.
Most of these panel kits (including the one I bought), came with a male and female cigarette lighter connection, a set of small alligator clips, and a bare end connector for you to hook your own connectors too. I used the latter with a 7-pin trailer connector and just plug it in to the trailer plug. Easy peasy. If I used my panel more, I would likely install a proper DC inlet connector, many of the marine ones are built weatherproof and tough.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA (someday soon, I hope
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
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