Added: Elba Kiser - Date: 24.01.2022 12:08 - Views: 14815 - Clicks: 3994
Using the electric hook up supplied on powered campsites lets you charge up your leisure battery and run higher-wattage devices such as kettles, toasters, and hairdryers. Or does it? Most campervans and motorhomes have a 12V leisure battery onboard which will offer enough power to run a small fridge, mobile phones and LED lights for a couple of days. Campers may choose to be close to nature and not use electrical power at all, be smugly self-sufficient with the 12V leisure battery in their caravan or motorhome, or take advantage of the V mains power supply provided by the campsite. This article is about the latter type — campers who want to plug into the campsite electric hook up supply.
This will power appliances and will also recharge most camping vehicle leisure batteries. The parts of the campsite with powered pitches electric hook up will have power supply bollards dotted around the area for campers to plug into. Each power bollard or EHU post usually has one to four power connection points, although sometimes up to eight.
One connection for each pitch. Your deated power supply point may be on or next to your pitch, or it could be one or two pitches away from yours, requiring a long cable to reach it. Electric current capacity is measured in Amps A. It is fairly typical for most campsites in the UK to offer either 16A or 10A on electric hook up pitches. As the power supply user, you need to make sure your total usage does not exceed this amount. How much power each camper uses, especially at busy times, will potentially affect all other campers on the site. Too many appliances drawing power at once can cause the power to trip, either locally on the bollard cutting power to your neighbours or potentially the whole campsite!
To plug in your motorhome or campervan to use power in the vehicle at a UK campsite may only require a single cable. There are a few other possibilities to consider, however. The mains cable will have a 3-pin electric hookup male end socket to plug into the power bollard. The other end depends on whether you are camping in a tent or a vehicle. The cables are usually brightly coloured for visibility, to stop them being trip hazards or accidentally damaged by campsite lawnmowers.
Power supply bollards can be spaced far apart, but a cable length of 25 metres will give you enough reach between your unit and the power supply at most UK and European campsites. For this reason, we would recommend going for a full m cable if you have the carrying capacity. Your supply cable will need to conform to standard BS EN Hook up cables are therefore fatter than your standard domestic power cords. Your mains cable should ideally be kept in a bag or on a reel when stored and transported to protect it from damage.
Make sure your cable is uncoiled before connecting the power as a coiled cable can overheat. A powered pitch at a campsite will usually come with a single power supply access point. Should you wish to run more than one power cable, you will need a 2 way or 3 way mains hook up lead splitter. This is an adapter which plugs directly into the power supply bollard and turns one power access point into two or three. We use a Y splitter if we are using our mobile mains roller power unit as well as our 25m campsite extension lead.
We will only do this if we are running power to our drive-away awning in addition to our campervan. This secondary power unit is only brought along on our trip if we have the drive-away awning with us. We use it to power lights, mobile phone charging and in cold weather a camping heater inside the awning. It has two handy USB points for charging phones, three covered three-pin sockets and a light. This type of unit is suitable for use in a tent or awning where power will be used separately from a vehicle power supply.
These adapters enable a campervan or motorhome user to connect their vehicle to a UK domestic 13A three-pin socket. This is useful for testing equipment before leaving for a journey or charging the leisure battery. The adapter connects to your extension cable cable, creating a cable with a three-pin plug, ready to plug into a domestic socket. Definitely worth always carrying an adapter with your power extension cable so that you have the option to use a regular plug socket. Electric hook up on the continent can be a mixed bag.
Many sites have the three-pin camping power system as we have in the UK, some sites offer only a two-pin power supply. If this is the case you will need to use your European mains adapter to plug your extension cable into the campsite power. On European sites, there is a risk that some electric hook up posts have reverse polarity wiring. When camping in Europe it seems a no-brainer to carry an RP tester and adapter. For a small outlay, it will give you extra peace of mind.
We drive a VW California Ocean. As it is a German-made vehicle, one of the plug sockets built into the campervan is a two-pin European socket which connects to the leisure battery. The travel adapter is similar to the type you would take away on holiday.
It has four international plug options which cover over countries, including the UK. It gives us the facility to charge mobile phones or tablets whilst either on the road or camped up. We move the travel adapter when we are on-site to our single three-pin UK plug socket in the kitchen area. This gives us greater use of the socket because the travel adapter also has two USB points for charging phones or other electronic devices. There is a blue light on the top of the adapter which is illuminated when the adapter is receiving power. This usefully acts as a nightlight, and tucked around the side of the kitchen it is not too intrusive.
Doing anything involving electricity is potentially dangerous. It is important to use campsite power carefully and treat it with respect. Not only for safety but to protect your camping vehicle and equipment. Ideally your van should have a switched Residual Current Device RCD to protect you from a potential electric shock or fire by switching off the power in the event of a fault. Reverse polarity exists when the live and neutral wiring has been reversed in a plug socket. This can and does happen on some European campsites. For UK-wired vehicles, this can cause a safety issue.
Power is travelling down the neutral wire rather than the live wire. This means that an appliance will work, but live power will continue to flow to it even when it is switched off. Plug the tester into your van plug socket, or directly into the EHU bollard if you have the right cables. It will indicate the polarity setup with lights. If the polarity is reversed, you should attach a Polarity Reverse Adapter to your hook up cable so that the power flowing to the van is the correct way round.
Note that you should only use the Polarity Reverse Adapter if it is definitely needed. Otherwise, you will have inadvertently created reverse polarity in your van! Home appliances can be power-hungry, and many are definitely not suitable for use on a campsite or a leisure battery.
Due to the high wattage used by these domestic appliances, it is not advisable to bring them onto a campsite. Instead, a low-wattage, camping friendly, version should be used. It may be useful to think of your total campsite power in Watts, as this is the power unit which will be shown on your appliances. As you can see, an average household electric kettle will draw more power than a 10A campsite supply! Leave it at home, and instead get an electric kettle deed for camping.
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The Must Know Guide to Electric Hook Up – EHU