Hooking up to the mains.
Thorntonloch Caravan park offer electric hook-ups all of our touring pitches. (Not tent pitches).
These provide a 230V supply, which can power some of the appliances you might use at home. However, our Park has a 6 Amp supply so you need to be careful what you use to avoid ‘tripping out’ the system.
Never forget, electricity can be dangerous, especially in the damp conditions and in the open air. Even a 12V battery can give you a nasty shock if used incorrectly. Used in the right way however, campers can benefit from mains electricity and, if they take the right precautions, they can do it safely. You must use a purpose-built lead designed for bringing electricity to your unit. These leads will have special weather-proof plugs made to connect to the sites hook-up point.
When you connect to the hook-up point, plug your cable into your unit first and then into the site’s hook-up point. That way you avoid carrying a ‘live’ lead to your unit.
The Park recommends you use a cable length of up to 25m, because the layout of some pitches means you could be pitched a fair distance from the hook-up point. However, if you’re closer to the point, you should still uncoil the full length of your cable, to avoid it overheating in use. Avoid using extension cables. If you need to, always use weather-proof connectors and keep the connection off the ground – to avoid water getting inside.
One of the reasons for using a properly-designed electrical connection to your unit is that a Residual Current Device (RCD) safety device will be wired into the circuit at the hook-up point. This is designed to cut off the supply immediately in the case of a leakage of current to earth.
Keep it all dry! Awnings, and particularly the floors of awnings, can be damp and moisture and electricity do not mix. The socket end of the cable should be fixed well above level ground. The equipment you plug in must also be placed safely. Don’t use electrical equipment on the awning floor as flooding, leaks or condensation could lead to problems.
You’ll also need to think about the equipment you want to use on site. If you are using an electric kettle it really ought to be a small camping one. Heaters should be low powered and ideally designed for camp life, and don’t try to run your heater and kettle together – you will probably overload your pitch socket causing it to cut out and you may even cut out other sockets on the campsite.
Small petrol-powered generators are easily available today and for just a few hundred pounds you can bring your own power station – albeit a small one – to your touring pitch. However, most generators are noisy and there is no better way of annoying your fellow campers on a quiet summer’s evening than to start up your generator so you can watch Coronation Street. For that reason, the Park ban generators except in extreme circumstances. (The Wardens will advise you on this).
Gaining in popularity with campers is solar power – or more accurately photo-voltaic power (PVC cells). A solar panel can charge a 12V battery and keep it charged on those long bright summer days. The panels can be fitted to the roof of a caravan or motorhome and there are plenty of portable panels designed for camping use.
Increasingly today you can buy camping equipment with small built-in solar chargers. Torches are now available, which if left in bright light all day will light your way when darkness comes. And those little garden lamps with in-built solar panels make an ideal beacon to guide you back to your pitch.