First, Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far. I posted the same question on Wrangler Forum and interestingly have gotten pretty much the same answers.
Have you tried using a USB powered HUB?
Hadn't thought of that until it was mentioned on WF, but I like the idea if it will work. I have tried throwing a non-powered USB hub inline with the iPad, just to see if the HU would recognize it. Unfortunately, it didn't, but I'm still willing to try a powered unit to see if the extra power makes a difference.
Not unless he wants to run a 12VDC to 120VAC converter
Actually there are a few powered USB hubs out there that have a 12V input, so that's not as big an obstacle as it might sound at first.
You should be able to split the USB data and the power wires. Run the data set to the head unit and the power set to a 12v USB charger elsewhere. A little cut and splice.
This was suggested on WF as well, and I may end up going that route. One concern I have is injecting noise into the data stream as a result of the broken shielding. Any thoughts on that?
Interesting thought on the wire splicing.
Why can't you just connect your iPad and headunit via bluetooth and leave your ipad plugged into a 2A charger? I stream music from my phone to my headunit all the time and use bluetooth, works just fine.
Couple of issues there. 1) Unfortunately (and a little surprisingly), my HU will only store 2 BlueTooth device pairings, and since this is our only vehicle at present and my wife drives it as well, I need those two pairings to be my phone and hers. 2) When connected via USB, the HU itself controls the functionality on the iPad for iTunes, Pandora, iHeart Radio, etc.; when connected via BlueTooth, the apps have to be controlled on the iPad, which is less convenient and less safe since I have to look farther away from the road and it is at a really bad spot for my progressive lenses to make the on-screen text readable at the size and contrast levels used on most apps not designed for driving.
I think I have some things to try here. Thanks again for your help. And if you think of anything else, please post it up.