Multiple 12v laptop charger failures!

Warning! These are terrible 12v laptop chargers!

One of the worst investments we’ve made on the boat so far, is having tried to find 12v laptop chargers. We thought that this would keep us from having the run the big 1500w inverter all the time. The laptops want about 5 amps at 17v DC so its relatively inefficient to take the 12v DC in the battery, convert it to 120v AC with the inverter, and then convert it back to 17v DC at the power adapter. With a 12v car charger we could go from 12v DC straight to 17v DC which sounds great in theory.

CJ has a MacBook Pro and we tried to use this WeCharger. It worked for about a week before it got extremely hot and blew the 15 amp fuse. I swapped the fuse and the same thing happened again. Thinking we’d gotten a dud, CJ contacted the manufacturer and got a free replacement. Great! Well after using it for about 30 minutes the exact same thing happened. The charger is sitting in a bin somewhere waiting to get thrown away at this point.

I have a PC and have tried both this Pwr+ charger and this Optimum Orbis charger. Neither has shorted itself out yet, but they both seem to not actually charge the laptop about half the time. This problem may be exacerbated by my battery being old so I’ll update this if I change the battery and it solves the problem.

We’ve resorted to abandoning all the 12v charger and go straight for the inverter and just charge the computers from the 120v power output. This is not ideal so if you’ve found a 12v car charger for a Mac or PC that has worked well for you with heavy use, let us know in the comments, because we’d love to get one!