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Hi, Can you please advise when visiting france what kind of electric hook up do we need, i have noticed on websites it says 6 volts in most sites, what does this mean do we need another type of mains hook up from uk, it is a hobby 635.

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Hi, Can you please advise when visiting france what kind of electric hook up do we need, i have noticed on websites it says 6 volts in most sites, what does this mean do we need another type of mains hook up from uk, it is a hobby 635.

 

I think you might mean 6amps rather than 6volts! So you have to make allowances in terms of what you use at any one time compared to most UK sites. Have a look here for the type of connectors you will need http://www. davidklyne. co. uk/frencheuropeanelectric. htm There seem to be an increasing number of campsites offering 10amps in France although they can be quite expensive at current exchange rates! Is your van a twin axle van? If so you might want to just check with the campsites you intend to visit as some French sites don't accept twin axles.

 

David (currently at Old Hartley)

David - Milton Keynes

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

 

Caravan Travels

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I think you might mean 6amps rather than 6volts! So you have to make allowances in terms of what you use at any one time compared to most UK sites. Have a look here for the type of connectors you will need http://www. davidklyne. co. uk/frencheuropeanelectric. htm There seem to be an increasing number of campsites offering 10amps in France although they can be quite expensive at current exchange rates! Is your van a twin axle van? If so you might want to just check with the campsites you intend to visit as some French sites don't accept twin axles.

 

David (currently at Old Hartley)

 

many thanks, it is a twin axle, will check first.

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Hi, Can you please advise when visiting france what kind of electric hook up do we need, i have noticed on websites it says 6 volts in most sites, what does this mean do we need another type of mains hook up from uk, it is a hobby 635.

 

You may/will find French domestic type sockets on many sites. To use with your standard U. K. lead you can make up, or buy, a short adaptor lead with a French plug on one end. However, this may give you the 'dreaded' reverse polarity as French sockets can be wired either way live/neutral but the plugs are not reversible. Personally, this doesn't worry me but if, like many others, you are worried about this then you will need a second adaptor lead wired with live and neutral opposite to the first one. And a polarity tester/mains tester plug to check which way the socket is wired. Alternatively, wire the adaptor lead with a German Schuko plug which is reversible and use with a French/German adaptor . This allows the German plug to be reversed, if necessary, in the F/G adaptor plug. This is what I have used for many years.

Amperage will vary between a very low 2 amps (now rarely found) to a maximum of 10 amps. Sometimes an option is available where you pay according to which amperage you choose (EHUs are expensive in France) and you will need to check what you are using at any one time.

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Ldvconvoy are you aware that you cannot tow 635 Hobby on Uk roads with a normal car or 4 wheel drive, you need a transit or similar 3500gvw if you were to have an accident and be towing with the wrong tow vehicle your insurance may be void plus you may be prosecuted something to worth remembering i would not be tempted to ignore this fact mate as the Police and VOSA (Vehicle & operator services Agency) are now carrying out roadside checks during holiday times

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Ldvconvoy are you aware that you cannot tow 635 Hobby on Uk roads with a normal car or 4 wheel drive, you need a transit or similar 3500gvw if you were to have an accident and be towing with the wrong tow vehicle your insurance may be void plus you may be prosecuted something to worth remembering i would not be tempted to ignore this fact mate as the Police and VOSA (Vehicle & operator services Agency) are now carrying out roadside checks during holiday times

 

 

Perhaps the clue is in his Forum Name - LDV CONVOY - many of them are 3. 5 tonnes. :)

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

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. .........did 9 sites in France last year as part of a 'grande tour'........only one site was 6amp, the rest were 10 or higher,including a couple of municipals. ....only on one did we encounter reverse polarity. ..and the next van off same box had his OK!.....On no sites were we needed to bring out our short French 2 pin plug they all had conventional round 3 pin sockets. .but I would still carry one!

 

cheers

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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we carry several items of "connection equipment

 

a] 1 x 25 metre orange cable with European 16 a plug and socket

b] 1 x short extension lead with European 2 pin plug and 16 A socket

c] 1 x short extension lead with European 2 pin plug and 16 A socket with [reversed connections in the 16 socket]

d] 1 x short extension lead with UK 13 A pin plug and 16 A socket [mainly for use at home]

f] 1 x Martin-dale type connector for plugging into the caravans 13 A socket to check for reverse polarity

 

 

the item [c] is clearly marked "REVERSE" so we don't forget.

 

If we are going to one particular site that we have frequented before [Moulin Campech] we take an additional 25 M Cable -- as it is a long way to plug in the electrics

 

Maurice

Volvo S60 D5 (now sold 😥) new Vauxall soon
Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again
48 Year Member of The Caravan Club

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. ..........only on one did we encounter reverse polarity. ..and the next van off same box had his OK!..

 

 

 

geoff

 

You were lucky then. Live/neutral can be wired either way round in France as there is no specified polarity. I've worked on 90+ French sites wiring holiday tents,stayed on many more and often found the same bollard would have sockets with opposite polarity. On one site the owner was a qualified electrician who had wired his own circuits and every one was the same polarity but this is rare. In Germany, although the blue CEE17 socket IS polarity specific the German Schuko domestic plug used in the caravan is reversible and can be inserted either way round. Continental caravanners don't worry about reversed polarity. All modern caravans have double pole switched appliances to comply with EC regulations. RCDs are double pole. If you avoid sticking fingers in live light sockets then there is no risk involved.

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We've been to France regularly since 1985 using electrics and have never once had reverse polarity. We have always used the short converter lead.

 

However, we have stayed on sites with as little ampage as 3 so one has to be careful with switching things off to ensure not tripping.

2008 Swift Challenger 540 towed with P reg diesel Discovery

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We've been to France regularly since 1985 using electrics and have never once had reverse polarity.

 

 

Lucky you! Last year just about every site we used in France had RP - thank God we had an indicator and reversing lead!

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all, sory to be a pain, but I'm not really an electrics person, and as we are setting off for our first holiday in France in Sept, I was just checking out this thread, and I'm a bit confused?? We have a new '09 van, and the normal 25 m leccy cable. I realise i must now buy a french adapter cable, no probs, but I'm a bit concerned about this reverse polarity issue!! My main question is, if we plug in, with no contingency for this, what exactly will happen?? No electric supply? Blown out van wiring? Just how big an issue is this?

 

Apologies in advance for probably a 'daft' question! :huh:

 

Cheers. ..................adenuf.

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More and more French campsites have adopted the same connector as we use in the UK due to euro regulations you may still find reversed polarity though on both types of plug it will not harm any of your equipment and will not cause problems unless you intend to dismantle items and work on them while pluged in. We normaly try other spare sockets on the post until we find one with the correct polarity.

If not I have a old lead that I have cut down to about 18 inches long which just hangs out of the battery box with the wiring reversed and use that it saves carrying a assortment of leads just one French type and my standard lead.

Steve

2017 Dethleffs Globus I1 Motorhome.

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More and more French campsites have adopted the same connector as we use in the UK due to euro regulations you may still find reversed polarity though on both types of plug it will not harm any of your equipment and will not cause problems unless you intend to dismantle items and work on them while pluged in. We normaly try other spare sockets on the post until we find one with the correct polarity.

If not I have a old lead that I have cut down to about 18 inches long which just hangs out of the battery box with the wiring reversed and use that it saves carrying a assortment of leads just one French type and my standard lead.

 

 

Cheers steve drew!!

 

I can now take my holiday without the fear of my pride and joy going up in flames!! :D

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You only need two adapter leads

One for the "French/German" sockets and a reverse polarity UK type site plug and socket lead

The first one has to go at the site box and the second reverse polarity can go at either end

I have mine at the van end hooked up off the ground

The adapter sold in UK has a plug with the French earth socket and German side earth connection

 

 

revpol.jpg

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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With reversed polatity all the fuse / breaker will protect will be the neutral so not very safe. LDV van + twin axial may not be that popular in French camp sites.

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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With reversed polatity all the fuse / breaker will protect will be the neutral so not very safe. LDV van + twin axial may not be that popular in French camp sites.

Sorry, but this is wrong as the breakers are double pole so if there is a fault and one of the breakers trips then it will turn off both line and neutral.

 

British caravans differ from continental one in that the switches are double pole. ie when you turn them off it disconnects both the line and neutral so it doesn't matter if you have reversed polarity. Uk vans only switch the line so if you switch off an appliance with the polarity reversed it will still be live inside. As I've said many other times as this subject keeps cropping up, I never bother to check for polarity as it makes no difference whatsoever to the operation or safety of an appliance UNLESS you go doing things like sticking knives or fingers in a toaster or something similarly stupid with it still plugged in but turned off. If anyone is that stupid then they maybe deserve to get a shock.

 

Although some of the sites in France are 10 amps the voltage can drop quite significantly when alot of people start arriving on site. This year I noticed that sometimes the blue light on my fridge started to flash indicating it had lost the mains supply, but when I switched a mains light on it worked ok. I measured the voltage and it was down to 190volts!

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When we were in France in August one year the site was full and several of us had poor performance from fridges and chargers but if checked late at night when not so many appliances were in use they worked Ok

Voltage again was measured and it was as you say if not lower

Well it was a lot lower when it rained and the site supplied adapters filled up with water and the supply tripped out

Swift vans now use no switched sockets so it will depend on whether the appliance is double pole switched or not if left plugged in

In a Swift van if its unplugged then its off :D

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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If it is a site in a normal commercial area the chances are that you will be able to use the same gear as UK. .....don't care who argues with me on this! Out of 9 sites last year only one, a small 'muni' on Swiss Border needed a 'French' plug. ..and only one had any form of reverse problems. ..on one side of the pole only!

 

have fun

 

rgds

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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No arguement just fact

We go the the same site evet year in Brittany on the C & CC rally and you can believe me that they have the French 2 pin plus earth sockets on most of the rally pitches

So it makes sense to take the French connection that costs about £5 as well as your £10000+ caravan because if you don't and you DO meet one of the many sites so equiped then you won't even be able to plug in until you've been to the shop for a lead

I have seen people having to do this after no electric the first night :rolleyes:

 

 

http://www. towsure. com/product/349-Contine. .._Converter_Lead

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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Sorry, but this is wrong as the breakers are double pole so if there is a fault and one of the breakers trips then it will turn off both line and neutral.

 

British caravans differ from continental one in that the switches are double pole. ie when you turn them off it disconnects both the line and neutral so it doesn't matter if you have reversed polarity. Uk vans only switch the line so if you switch off an appliance with the polarity reversed it will still be live inside. As I've said many other times as this subject keeps cropping up, I never bother to check for polarity as it makes no difference whatsoever to the operation or safety of an appliance UNLESS you go doing things like sticking knives or fingers in a toaster or something similarly stupid with it still plugged in but turned off. If anyone is that stupid then they maybe deserve to get a shock.

 

Although some of the sites in France are 10 amps the voltage can drop quite significantly when alot of people start arriving on site. This year I noticed that sometimes the blue light on my fridge started to flash indicating it had lost the mains supply, but when I switched a mains light on it worked ok. I measured the voltage and it was down to 190volts!

Cann't be double pole and only switch the live?

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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If it is a site in a normal commercial area the chances are that you will be able to use the same gear as UK. .....don't care who argues with me on this! Out of 9 sites last year only one, a small 'muni' on Swiss Border needed a 'French' plug. ..and only one had any form of reverse problems. ..on one side of the pole only!

 

have fun

 

rgds

geoff

 

 

Just returned from 7 weeks touring France and without exception every site had the standard French sockets - and we used commercial and municipal sites! So make sure you have an adaptor! :o

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

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Ted. ..You & I must go to different parts of that massive country!

 

Of my 6 weeks touring, 7 of the sites were Camping Cheque/Kamac operations, the other two Municipals near Limoges and Annecy. .the last one was the only one I needed 'the French Connection'...but yes I do have the gear if needed. ...

 

Lifes rich tapestry. ...or something!

 

rgds

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Ted. ..You & I must go to different parts of that massive country!

 

Of my 6 weeks touring, 7 of the sites were Camping Cheque/Kamac operations, the other two Municipals near Limoges and Annecy. .the last one was the only one I needed 'the French Connection'...but yes I do have the gear if needed. ...

 

Lifes rich tapestry. ...or something!

 

rgds

geoff

 

We've just returned after a month touring france and spain out of the 6 sites visited all had 2 pin connection and 2 reversed polarity i just swapped the live and neutral cables at the site end and every thing was ok

 

Regards

Richard ;)

Richard Davies driving a Kia Sorento 2. 5 turbo pulling a Bailey Pageant Burgundy

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