Last Update: 5/23/2017

Install Marine Plugs on High Amp 12v Devices

Marinco 40A 2 prong plug and socket
Vanholio got some good advice. Changed out the cheap, standard 12v plug on his Max Burton Digital Stove to Go. Swapped it for a Marinco 40A 2-wire plug. Been tickled pink!


DISCLAIMER: Take what follows as a tip, not a how-to. I ain't providin' enough info to learn ya how to rewire your own plugs. But file this notion away for later. All the how-to ya need is out there on the internets when you're ready.


Marinco 40A plug on my Max Burton
Back to it … So, yeah, I installed a trollin' motor plug on my Max Burton Digital Stove to Go. Voided the warranty straight off, I'm sure. But dammit, works way better than all them spring plugs. Those fuckers kept overheatin' and breakin' on me!

See, your standard, legacy 12v plugs are an afterthought design for car cigarrette lighters (I'm pretty damn sure). They're fragile and can't handle much juice neither. But as they're "standard" and "legacy," they're everywhere. Fuck 'em. You can do better.

At top's a picture a what I swapped for – Marinco 40A 2-wire plug (also sold under the MinnKota brand, both brands available in 2 or 3 wire configurations). It's solid as shit, locks in with a twist, and can handle the juice. It's that 40A rating. Don't even get warm when I'm runnin' that 12v stove full blast.

'Course, ya need a matchin' socket for that plug. Duh! So I wired the female into my house battery with 12 AWG wire and a 20A fuse.

For those of you that don't speak electri-tech, that 12 AWG wire is a fatter kind that can handle more juice without overheatin'. The fuse is a fail-safe.

Now, why did I wire the plug into my house battery instead a just replacin' one a the 12v sockets in the van? The most important two reasons is 1) that the Marinco plug would stick up outta the dash funny, and 2) the van's sockets ain't wired to handle enough juice for cookin'.

The third reason I wired the plug to the house battery is that it's part of my solar setup. Vanholio's cookin' with the sun!

If swappin' out plugs and sockets has got your fancy, here's some videos and links with more how-to. And if that ain't enough info, hit up some techie types on the van life forums. (But don't ask Vanholio for no more advice. He knows just enough to get hisself in trouble.)





Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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Last Update: 5/11/2017

Review: 12v Max Burton Digital Stove to Go

Photo of max burton 12v digital stove to go with non-stick pot and steamer tray outside it. Vanholio.com

Vanholio’s trusty old RoadPro Stove finally died after 2 years. But no worries! He’s love, love, lovin’ his new 12v Digital Stove to Go by Max Burton. It beats out the RoadPro by a mile! Here’s a review with 10 reasons why …

10 Reasons to Buy a Max Burton Digital Stove to Go


1. Adjustable Cookin’ Temps


The Max Burton has 2 modes: Heat and Temp. Heat mode just keeps pumpin’ juice till the temp gets to a roasty 350° F (177° C). Temp mode, though, lets you set the final temperature to one of 11 settings, from 100-350° F (38-177° C). And the digital display shows you the current temp inside. Meanwhile, the RoadPro just has one temp, 300° F (149° C), and their ain’t nothing to tell you how hot it is presently.

2. Better Shell


I’ll say it: The RoadPro Stove’s plastic lunchbox shell is a bit flimsy. Well, what do ya expect for about $35! And the Max Burton better be better at $70 – and it is. The plastic clamshell’s round edges and superior cover latch’ll hold up more over the long haul.

3. Vertical Design


The RoadPro is more flattish, which ain’t good for soupy things and cookin’ rice while drivin’, or even parked on an angle. Look at the non-stick pan in the photo at top. It’s mainly vertical, so shit won’t slosh around so much. Only thing vertical is worse for is bakin’ a pan a biscuits.

Buy at Amazon.com

4. Raised Feet


On bottom, the Max Burton’s got little feet that raise it half-inch or so. That helps keep from burnin’ your van floor, or wherever you got this thing stuck. The RoadPro is flat on bottom and tends to heat up where it sits.

5. Auto Safety Off


It don’t say nothin’ about this in the user manual, but I discovered it myself. Vanholio had his Max Burton in a tight spot. After startin’ to heat up a bit, it’d turn itself off. Then it worked in a more open spot. Obvious then, it turns itself off if the components get too hot. Better than startin’ a fire!

6. Non-Stick Pan


The Max Burton’s pan is removable for washin’ and non-stick inside. The RoadPro ain’t got no pan included, so you end up havin’ to buy tiny aluminum bread pans.

7. Large Volume


That non-stick pan is 1.5L in volume (a bit more than 6C). Vanholio’s made him enough stew at one go for 2 hefty meals!

8. Steamer/Warmer Tray


Wanna steam your veggies? Maybe warm some tortillas while your beans finish up? Easy. The Digital Stove to Go comes with a fitted steamer/warmer tray, as shown in the photo at top.

9. On-Off Button


Done cookin’ and can’t reach to pull out the 12v plug while drivin’? No problem. Just hit the handy on-off button.

10. 2 Spare Fuses Included


Higher-Amp 12v devices like these are known to pop a fuse now and then. No problem! The Max Burton Digital Stove to Go comes with 2 extra 20A glass fuses. Replacin’ them is easy, too: Just unscrew the 12v plug.

Downside to Max Burton Digital Stove to Go


The one downside to the Max Burton (hell, even the RoadPro Stove) is that it pulls a lot of Amps. Up to 12 or more at times! In some vehicles, that overwhelms the 12v socket's wires and fuses. You'll see that's the No. 1 complaint in the Amazon.com reviews. Or at least, the cause of it.




Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Install Marine Plugs on High Amp 12v Devices
Choke Your Chicken in a RoadPro Stove
12 Volt Cooking (website)
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Last Update: 5/05/2017

Van Life Tax Free Income, Courtesy USFS

Altered US Forest Service sign says "Smokey is Very High Today."
Only YOU can get paid for volunteer work with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Corps of Engineers. It ain't much, but for van life down by the river, you don't really need much neither.

Vanholio's been tappin' this resource for months. It's a good gig for rubber tramps. Mind you, it ain't been enough to save. But it's been coverin' my expenses. Been makin' over $500 a month as a park host – tax free! – plus other benefits good as cash.

If you're thinkin' about workin' for better pay with a concessionaire, these volunteer positions is good experience. It ain't just camp host and park host jobs neither. You can do landscaping, trail maintenance, tree planting, visitor info booths – all kinds a shit.

Most a the volunteer positions just give ya an RV spot, true. Worth it if ya need hookups, but useless for true van life. But the payin' ones is hidden around Volunteer.gov. LOOK! Check state sites, too.

I done wrote up all the details in an article on Gohobo.com. Check it out.



Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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