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Site Electric Hook Ups


Tigerdoom2

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Why in this day and age of modern high tech vans, heaters, cookers, tv/video combi's do sites still have a limited capacity on mains electical usage. :angry:

 

Ok, obviously this is to save money and guard against abuse, but is it not time to increase the available wattage to reflect the modern van users needs and expectations. Caravanning is taking a completely different route from 5-10 years ago and sites with main hook ups are the expected as opposed to luxury.

 

And if that happens, are we going down the road where site fees will double/treble to account for electric mains usage? :o Any thoughts?

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One thing to take into account is the fact that you are limited to the 16amps that your caravan cable/input allows, you will never be able to expect to run the kettle, heater, toaster etc. together.

 

I heard of one couple using a 3kw heater in the awning in October if this becomes the norm I would not be surprised if the site fees go up !

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Apart from specialist exceptions (eg. electric cookers, electric showers) sockets at home are limited to 13A. However, most domestic appliances use far less. For instance, a laptop computer running off mains and charging it's battery will typically use a maximum of between 3A and 5A. So 16A should be plenty. It's sites with 5A or (to a lesser extent) 10A supplies that are letting the side down. I've seen continental sites listed at 2A and 6A. 2A is really pathetic but I suppose if you are in a warm area and don't need heating, 6A might be just about ok for most things.

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I agree that we will eventually need more.

 

However, I have to say that we have never had a problem anywhere (and I'm known as a bit of a gadget man!).

 

We usually run TV/DVD combo, Sky TV box, Internal charger for lights etc. , Kettle, water heater. ........................all off the hookup. Cooker, heating and barbecue off gas.

 

If you do want to use more appliances, you could always switch water heater over from electric to gas for a while.

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I've read a thread about this some where else (old board?) From what I remember if you divide wattage by voltage you get amps. (Am I correct?)

 

On the thread I saw someone had produced a list of all likely appliances in a caravan with their wattage and amps used (UK version)

 

Would it be possible for someone to reproduce that list and post it so that lazy so and so's like me can print it off and keep it in our caravan.

 

I would do it myself if I was sure I had all the correct info.

 

Pete.

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You are right. Amps is indeed Watts divided by voltage.

 

W -:- V = A

 

It is important to remember that whilst we all accept that we are operating on 240V in the UK it is more often about 230V which could affect calculations.

 

Therefore, a 2000W (2KW) heater will use 8. 69 Amps (2000 -:- 230 = 8. 69)

 

Furthermore you should remember that some appliances (particularly TV's) will require more 'surge' of power to switch them on than they require to operate.

 

Look here for leisure battery advice

 

Leisure battery advice

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Part of Ohms law, is the calculation.

 

A few older houses still have only 30 amp protection which in general is enough unless you start to cook with electric (all rings and oven) and use the modern hi power showers. New properties are rated at 80A (recently down rated from 100A) So 16A hook ups are no problem for modern vans.

 

Even the people with the 3Kw awning heater are not causing a problem, 3kw is 3kw hours 3 x 7p (rough price per unit) = £0. 21 per hour. and at a cost of £3/4 a night for a hook up who is in the right?

 

The 2 to 6 amp hook ups really should be upgraded or should not be charged for. Because of low power hook ups I've bought a low wattage kettle so I will have to wait 3 mins for a brew instead of 90 secs, gives time for toast to cook.

 

Wildkat

B)

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I THINK I'm right in saying that it is cost of the 'upgrade' not the cost of the electricity that is preventing sites from giving us more power.

 

I'm sure I read that somewhere.

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I THINK I'm right in saying that it is cost of the 'upgrade' not the cost of the electricity that is preventing sites from giving us more power.

 

I'm sure I read that somewhere.

578[/snapback]

 

 

It's the cost of having to lay new cables, Thick heavy duty to put it bluntly (Less voltage drop able to carry more current and all that)

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Precisely Karl, If the cables buried in the ground to supply the plots are are old and of limited capacity (conductor size & dated insulation) no amount of Amps shoved in at the front end is gonna make a ha'porth of difference.

You can't get a quart out of a pint pot.

If you constantly draw too much current through a cable not deisgned to carry that amount something has to give. In most cases we hope it's the trip mechanism.

If you tried to tow your van with a bit of string between the towball and hitch you wouldn't get very far. If you used a bit of chain you'd move it no probs.

DON'T ANYBODY TRY IT -- PLEASE

The point being the investment of the underground cable distribution network on any site is quite substantial.

Yes - the site does make a small profit from the electricity it supplies - but the cost of renewing the underground network would be collosal. Not to mention the disruption to the site while the work was being done.

I stayed at a site in Somerset about 10 years ago where they were extending the site.

This was in January and they were hoping to get the work completed for the summer.

Don't know if they did, but the only traffic moving on the work site was driven by tracks - plus it rained every day.

Sorry to ramble on - bottom line - The site is there for the benefit of the owners not the vanners. They will only do what is necessary to fill their order books.

Cynical old git - ain't I :D

ATB

You can not reason with an unreasonable person.

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I THINK I'm right in saying that it is cost of the 'upgrade' not the cost of the electricity that is preventing sites from giving us more power.

 

I'm sure I read that somewhere.

578[/snapback]

 

I'm sure you're right.

 

Mains power in UK is 240V. power (watts) = current (amps) X voltage.

 

So to get the current you need to divide power (watts) by voltage.

 

So, a 100W lightbulb is 100 divided by 240 which is just under half an amp (0. 41666 to be precise)

 

A 2KW (2000W) heater (2000 divided by 240) uses 8. 33 amps.

 

It is cumulative, the voltage remains constant but the current (amps) are added up.

 

So, a 2KW heater and a 2KW kettle at the same time and you'll have problems.

Switch to 1KW on the heater, buy a 1KW kettle and you'll still be able to have a couple of lights and the radio on.

 

Oh, and earlier I mentioned 3 - 5 A for a laptop, this was wrong, that's the power output of the adapter, power consumption is around the same as a lightbulb, 100W, therefore less than an amp. Sorry.

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The only time we've blown the site bollard RCD was when I let the kettle lead fall into the washing up bowl - oops!!!

 

The 16A that everybody is quoting is unlikely to be available to everbody at the same time. The 16A is supposed to be the maximum.

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I've read a thread about this some where else (old board?) From what I remember if you divide wattage by voltage you get amps. (Am I correct?)

 

On the thread I saw someone had produced a list of all likely appliances in a caravan with their wattage and amps used (UK version)

 

Would it be possible for someone to reproduce that list and post it so that lazy so and so's like me can print it off and keep it in our caravan.

 

I would do it myself if I was sure I had all the correct info.

 

Pete.

558[/snapback]

I for the caravan electrical load i made up a crib sheet form the manufactures manuels

here is a sample

ELECTRICAL LOADS.

CARVER ELEC with FAN MASTER

HEAT Setting 1.= 1 KW. = 4. 0 AMPS

HEAT setting 2 8. 0 AMPS.

FAN ONLY. 12 VOLT.

 

CARVER WATER. HEATER.

ELEC HEAT. 0. 6 KW. 3. 0 AMPS.

 

FRIDGE 240 VOLT. 105 WATT. 0. 5 AMPS.

 

 

Regards

Dave

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Thanks for the info Dave. It will be useful in France later this year one of the sites we will be on is only 6 amps max. Doubt we will need the heater though because the site is on the med.

 

Pete.

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From a cost POV boiling 2 litres of water still uses the same number of kWH's. If a 3kW kettle takes 1min and the 1kW takes 3mins then the energy involved in getting the water from say 15deg C to 100 deg C is the same.

In addition to this it allows others to utilise the capacity of the incoming mains supply. Getting the load removed quicker frees up the capacity :)

 

I was staying at a site in Brean a couple of years ago at Easter, the electricity kept going off across the site. Being in the trade I was talking to the site manager, he said that the incomer to the site was limited and the local supply company refused to uprate his supply. During period of high demand he ran some of the site on his own diesel generators to ensure that the incomer wasn't overloaded .

Most of the evening when we had power it was around 170 - 190V due to voltage drop because of the load being drawn by everyones heaters being on.

At the end of the day it would be better for all it they scrapped EHU flat charges and provided metered EHU at normal supply rates + % for the site owner.

Hoburne Cotswold state that EHU is for fridges, lighting, TV's/ Laptops and recharging Leisure batteries only. Heaters, hairdryers and microwaves are listed as verboten!!

 

Virtually every house cannot supply 13A to every household socket, it is accepted practice to give the ring main(s) 32A. In my own house i have a single 32A ring for a 4 bed house. A washer dryer, a microwave, a kettle, a couple of TV's and PC's and then the ladies of the house using the hairdryers puts the system virtually at the limit even before the dishwasher goes on.

 

gav

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From a cost POV boiling 2 litres of water still uses the same number of kWH's. If a 3kW kettle takes 1min and the 1kW takes 3mins then the energy involved in getting the water from say 15deg C to 100 deg C is the same.

In addition to this it allows others to utilise the capacity of the incoming mains supply. Getting the load removed quicker frees up the capacity  :)

 

gav

890[/snapback]

 

This is not correct. The capacity of an electrical system is determined by the amount of current that can be passed not the amount of energy (volts x current x time). Thus using a domestic 3kw kettle taking 12. 5 amps stops others from using the system whilst it is on or blows a trip somewhere. In my caravan (and I suspect there are others the same), there is a 10amp RCD for the heating and sockets and a 6amp RCD for the water heating, so you cannot use a 3kw kettle anyway. I use a travelling kettle, which is lighter and is 800w taking 3. 3amp.

 

The fact remains that if there are 100 pitches at 16 amp each the total supply available is not 1600amps but considerably less on the basis that not everybody uses the maximum available at the same time. This means that on cold mornings on a full site it is possible that the site can become overloaded.

 

 

Brian

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The techie side apart the only reason you would want a greater supply would be to complete run the van on electrics? The purpose would be so that you would not need to carry gas. My van already has one ring on the hob which is electric. I just can't see that its likely to happen within the next ten years if then.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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This is not correct. The capacity of an electrical system is determined by the amount of current that can be passed not the amount of energy (volts x current x time). Thus using a domestic 3kw kettle taking 12. 5 amps stops others from using the system whilst it is on or blows a trip somewhere. In my caravan (and I suspect there are others the same), there is a 10amp RCD for the heating and sockets and a 6amp RCD for the water heating, so you cannot use a 3kw kettle anyway. I use a travelling kettle, which is lighter and is 800w taking 3. 3amp.

 

The fact remains that if there are 100 pitches at 16 amp each the total supply available is not 1600amps but considerably less on the basis that not everybody uses the maximum available at the same time. This means that on cold mornings on a full site it is possible that the site can become overloaded.

Brian

954[/snapback]

 

I agree with you on the loading aspect, but you need to take duty cycle (think of the probability of everyone boiling slow kettles or boiling quick kettles) into account. An electrical system can run at 120% capacity for short periods. My kettle boiling example was probably not a good example when the theoretical max of max van circuits is 10 Amps

 

A 10 Amp MCB (not an RCD which detects an imbalance between the conductors) can pass 12A easily for a short period, It is possible to pass 20- 30 Amps through a 10 Amp MCB for very short periods. Certain MCB's (those with a type D rating ) can pass 15 Amps os so for about 2 mins even though it may be rated at only 10A. Old-style fuse wire would take 2 -3 times its rating for 4 secs before it melted. Systems with MCB's tend to be more sensitive than systems with wired fuses.

 

The main 'breaker' in my Bailey is a 40Amp dual pole MCB and a combined 30mA RCD.

To trip that you need to have an imbalance (ie leakage to earth) of 30mA for 25mS to trip the RCD or in excess of about 45-50 Amps over a couple of mins to throw the MCB part. Bear in mind that the max rating of your supply cable and the site supply, this 45-50 amps is never likely to be reached - hence you have individual mcb's to protect the supply cable and the internal van wiring.

 

MCB's protect the wiring and equipment

RCD's protect you

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To put it very simply.

 

Upgraded electric supplies cost the site money which has to be recouped from the pitch fees which will inevitably rise.

 

It's no good complaining about poor electric supply AND subsequent high site fees.

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The only time we've blown the site bollard RCD was when I let the kettle lead fall into the washing up bowl - oops!!!

 

The 16A that everybody is quoting is unlikely to be available to everbody at the same time.   The 16A is supposed to be the maximum.

826[/snapback]

 

If a site quotes 16amp hookups,that is 16amps for each pitch.

Frank

 

Frank

If you read the later posts- that what I meant to say :lol:

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If a site quotes 16amp hookups,that is 16amps for each pitch.

Frank

 

 

In a perfect world maybe, in practice i'd be surprised if many sites (or even the incoming supply from the local supply company) could cope with even 10Amps constantly from every van

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Hi all

 

I feel sorry for anyone that takes as much as the Gadget man.

We go away with our Xbox a few games, the DVD remote to plug into the xbox and a Tv.

 

The reason we go away, is to get away from all the things in our homes, for peace and quiet.

 

Peter

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