Dealing with electricity on campsites
Gone are the days when going on a camping or caravanning holiday meant doing without electricity for the duration of the break. This is no longer the case though, and many larger sites offer electricity hook up points for caravans or motorhomes, and some campers even come supplied with small generators to power lights and other appliances for their tents.
There are however some precautions which need to be taken with electricity on a campsite.
Weather proof cables
If you are planning on taking advantage of a site’s electricity supply, you will need a special cable to run from the hook up point to your caravan or motorhome’s electricity point. You will need a cable at least 25m in length as the power point may be some distance from your pitch, and always use waterproof connectors to join lengths of cable together if needed.
Never be tempted to use standard electrical cables; you will need ones specifically designed for camping and outdoor use.
If you want to pitch your tent or park your caravan or motorhome somewhere without an electricity supply, then a petrol driven generator can be used to supply electricity to run your fridge or power your television. Generators cost just a couple of hundred pounds to buy and are relatively cheap to run. The problem with generators is that they are often very noisy, and can irritate your fellow campers, especially if you are running them in the evening or overnight. Some campsites have banned the use of generators completely or limit their use to certain times, so check this out when booking your pitch.
Water and electricity don’t mix, and it can be difficult to keep appliances and other items free from damp in a tent. Try to keep electrical equipment off the floor wherever possible, either on a small table or by using special clips which allow you to attach smaller appliances and things like mobile phone chargers to the frame of the tent. Properly designed electrical connections will also have a cut off device in them, and this will ensure that the supply cuts off if someone touches a damp appliance. Although when used safely electricity causes very few problems, it is worth refreshing your memory about the first aid procedure which should be follow if someone gets an electric shock.
Solar powered appliances are becoming hugely popular with campers and caravanners as they can help take the load off the mains supply, making it less likely to trip and stop working. Solar powered lamps can be charged up during the day, and will light the area around your tent at night. Solar powered battery chargers can be used for mobile phones and tablets. You can even get larger solar panels which fit to the roof of your motorhome or caravan and can be used to heat your water, or provide power for lighting or heating. Solar power might cost more to install in the first place, but will cost you very little to run.