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Charging your toothbrush from 12V DC in a car, caravan, boat or RV

We have been asked several times about options for charging your electric toothbrush from a 12V DC supply as available in-car or in caravans, RV’s, boats, yachts, etc. for when you are travelling or living off-grid. You can read the various options in the article below.

The USB toothbrush charging option

One option is to use a USB powered toothbrush charger. You can then use an in-car USB adapter to convert 12V DC to a 5V USB connection to power the toothbrush charger:

belkin-12V-usb-car-charger

There are various 3rd-party USB powered chargers for both Philips Sonicare and Braun Oral-B toothbrushes available on eBay here, though we have no experience in how reliable they are or how well they work:

Generic-toothbrush-USB-chargers

The second option is to use an official charging travel case from either Braun (for Oral-B toothbrushes) or from Philips (for Sonicare models), as described below.

Braun Oral-B charging case

These charging cases are supplied with some of the Genius range of toothbrushes and allow your toothbrush to be charged while stored in the case. They are available in black, white or white/rose gold, part numbers 81574166 (black), 81574167 (white) and 81621558 (white/rose gold) and they are available on eBay here. Many Oral-B electric toothbrushes will fit into these cases as the Genius brushes are quite large (total length of toothbrush approx. 204mm).

Braun-Oral-B-Charging-Case-Travel-Black

The charging case uses a separate mains power supply, which has a rated output of 12v DC at 400mA (click to enlarge photo of power adapter):

Braun-Oral-B-charging-case-charger-spec

After buying the case you can wire it up to your 12V supply for toothbrush charging. You will need to find a suitable connector or solder wires internally/externally to the input socket. Below is a photo showing the polarity of the input plug. Click to enlarge the photo:

Oral-B-Braun-travel-charging-case-plug

Please let us know in the comments section if you can measure the diameter of the connector pins. Perhaps a trimmed down female Tamiya type connector would fit? Or simply get the mains adapter at the same time as the charging case and chop the cable in half to use the plug and wire it into your vehicle. An in-line fuse of 500mA would be a good idea too.

Philips Sonicare charging case

These charging travel cases or USB travel cases are generally only available for the DiamondClean brushes, though they might possible accommodate and charge other Sonicare toothbrush handles of a similar size.

DiamondClean-USB-charging-case-cable

The Sonicare charging travel cases are available on eBay here.

The cases appear to have a standard USB-mini input socket so a standard ‘USB to USB mini’ cable should fit the case if it is not supplied with one.

DiamondClean-USB-charging-case-specification

Let us know in the comments section below how you get on, or if you have any other solutions for 12V toothbrush charging!

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