A 12V Charger That Actually Works For MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air

While I have finally managed to charge my 17″ Macbook Pro through my RV’s whole house inverter, it’s a terribly inefficient way to do it. I researched 12V chargers and found only cheap Asian models that I knew wouldn’t work well, if at all. But in my research, a name kept popping up and I finally decided to look it up. That name was Mikegyver.

This guy offers a number of DC charging solutions that actually work for Macs. How? He hacks the Apple charger brick to connect the magsafe cable to a 16.5 DC charger. Sound confusing? It was to me and I’m quite knowledgeable about all things Apple as well as DC electricity. I went through the site and I just couldn’t make the information connect.

So I finally emailed Mike and he was kind enough to answer my questions until the light bulb went on. I knew immediately that I wanted to do a write up about his system with pictures that would leave no question as exactly what it’s all about. The following pictures are of the Compact Mikegyver Power Travel Kit w/USB port.

A Macbook Pro needs 16.5V to charge. The AC cable will take the 120V power from the grid and convert it to 16.5V. In an RV on an inverter, you start with 12V that become 120V through an inverter that becomes 16.5V through the AC charger. Using Mikegyver’s solution, your 12V are immediately converted to the 16.5V the computer needs. This is much more efficient!

To purchase this system, there are a few options. I went with one of the more pricey ones, which was to order from him a brand new Apple brick to be hacked, at a cost of $160.90 plus shipping. But if you can spend a few weeks without your brick and have him convert it, the cost is just $69.95 for the labour and DC charger. There is also an exchange option where you can send back your brick in exchange for the newly converted one. This is only possible if you have the newer bricks with an L-shaped magsafe. I don’t and couldn’t be without my brick for a few weeks, so I just ordered the whole kit and kaboodle. So I now have an extra brick in case the first one fails.

My number one question once I understood the system is why not just send the DC charger plus magsafe, forget the brick, and drop the price? The answer is so obvious I’m embarrassed to have asked it. The value in this system is in the magsafe cable, not the AC charger.

This DC charging solution for a MacBook Pro is as close to an Apple product as you can get and I can’t recommend it too highly for RVers who spend time off the grid.

The entire team at Mikegyver is professional and helpful. Unfortunately, there were a several problems with the processing of my order. I can’t hold it against them because they made it right and then some, plus their product works! They might be the only folks offering this solution, but you’d never know it from the way they treat their customers.

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4 Comments

  • We had so much fun and I am so excited for your future travels. I look forward to joining you on the road!

  • I’m so glad we met up!

  • Wonder if this would work for my MacBook Air?

  • Yes! You would need the 45W adapter and select the correct magsafe (the L-shaped one like mine unless your MBA is a 2012 model).

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