Connecting to house power

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 11:46
ThreadID: 32819 Views:4820 Replies:14 FollowUps:21
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Can anyone tell me how to connect my caravan (15amp) to mains (10amp) in my house.
We have just bought our new caravan and the dealer said it is very difficult to do this. I would have thought you could by an adaptor?

Thanks

Travellingblooms
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Reply By: Member - Tony G (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 11:51

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 11:51
Just get a short lead made up with a 10amp male one end and a 15amp female the other. Carry this with you in the van as you will need it at some time on yoyur travels.
AnswerID: 166634

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 11:53

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 11:53
You get an extension cord, plug it into a handy power point and plug the other end into your poer in point of your caravan. If you need to use those ones with the wide earth easiest way is to atack the earth you are plugging into the house with angle grinder or file so it fits I actually had a short extension cord which was pliable enough to fit the larger earth blade in so I plugged the long extension from the van to the short extension and then to the power point
AnswerID: 166635

Follow Up By: Leroy - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:02

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:02
also illegal. there is a reason why the earth has a larger earth pin!

Leroy
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:09

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:09
Yep you wouldnt want to caught doing anything illegal eh
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Follow Up By: Feral - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:21

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:21
...and the reason would be????

I'm not doubting your intelligence, Leroy but this thing would be happening all over Australia.
The leads are only modified to usually power the frigde when in storage. And how much amps does that take. As long as it is safe and properly done with plugs and leads there should not be a problem.
I am amazed that there are people here who tell us we have to build the Titanic when all we want to do is go for a little paddle.

Cheers.
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FollowupID: 421556

Follow Up By: Leroy - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 13:54

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 13:54
It's to protect the people that have no idea about current draw. I've filed a 15a plug to fit in a 10a outlet but I was also aware what was being powered and what current could be drawn on the cct. If there weren't rules and regs for wiring then a lot of people would just use figure 8 or twisted pair to power thier 240v products.

Leroy
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 14:00

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 14:00
At Pottsville caravan park last January, the "lead police" went throught the park and pulled all the "illegal" plugs from the boxes despite the protests of the many who said they would lose food.

No mercy given and they were told to get 15amp lead .

Pedro

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:16

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:16
I have been caught in caravan parks with a 15amp lead & they have only 10amp outlets!
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Follow Up By: Johnny boy - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:48

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:48
Just listen to the guy in the 1st few post that said to buy a short piece of 2.5 flex (heavy extention cord) and buy a 15 amp female to fit your van as that will never change and a 10 amp male in case the park has only 10 amp GPOs (POWERPOINTS) like you at home and keep the 2 of them with you at all times , just go to any electrical wholesaler or maybe Bunnings it should not cost any more than about $20.00.

P.S it wouldnt hurt to buy a waterproof coupler for when you join the 2 leads in case of wet wheather ( its just a cover that holds the leads from seperating and keeps water out ) Hope this helps.

Regards J.B
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FollowupID: 421630

Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:11

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:11
Peter R,

Was that Pottsville North back of the surf or Pottsville South on the creek?

Don't remember them coming through Pottsville south during january, but then I easn't there the whole month.
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 11:30

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 11:30
Old Plodder,
It was Pottsville North and would have been towards the end of January.

I assume they would have done the South park at the same time.

Pedro
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Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:03

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:03
Travellingblooms,

Short extension leads with a 15A female and 10A male is fine, but make sure you use suitable heavy duty cabling to be on the safe side. They put a 15A plug on there for a reason and the earth pin is larger to carry the extra load.

The safest way is to get an electrician in to install a dedicated 15A socket and switch near were you are going to park your van. This way you know you are electrically perfect and can run all the equipment in the van safely. In reality a 15A socket on your house is simply a single circuit on the power board with no extra outlets on it, as I understand.

I've found some caravan park outlets need a 15A male to go into their powerboards, so don't chop off the only 15A male you have.

Tim
AnswerID: 166638

Follow Up By: Chucky - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:44

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 12:44
A 10 amp male will plug into a 15amp female no worries.

The reason the caravan has a 15amp plug is that with everything running it caravan can draw upto 15amps no worries. If you are using a 10amp power socket it is easy to draw more than the 10amps from it and either trip the supply breaker, or if that dosn't happen, you could overheat the supply circuit starting fires, melted insulation etc. The reason the earth is larger is because if you have a full phase short from either the active or neutral phases to earth, it can handle the full current and not burn out the socket which can leave you with a active housing on equipment was well as a fire.

Using a 10amp plug attached to a 15amp cable to power you caravan is illegal and will void insurance if caught. As well as receiving a fine from the states elec. board.

Just get a sparky to put a 15amp extrnal power point in. You will be able to run normal household equipment from it when not powering the caravan. Or fit a 10 amp power socket in the caravan to power just the fridge from.
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FollowupID: 421564

Follow Up By: V8troopie - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:06

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:06
Not quite right Chucky. if the socket is wired correctly then you cannot have a "full phase short??" from neutral to earth since neutral and earth are conneted together already at the switch board in single phase supplies. There is no such thing as a "neutral phase".

Look at it this way: the power comes from the active lead and returns on the neutral lead. The extra earth lead adds a safety factor as it connects to exposed metal parts and makes the fuse blow if the active wire should come in contact with those parts.
Klaus
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FollowupID: 421600

Follow Up By: techie - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:40

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:40
Caravan parks are now being fitted with 15A sockets with an internal switch which will not allow power until a 15A plug is inserted. The switch is operated by the earth prong on the plug.
During normal operation the earth wire carries no current. It is only there for safety ie a short.
earth pin is designed to carry a short until the fuse/ CB blows.
Placing 10A plug is reducing the current carrying capability of the earth lead, reducing the effectiveness of the lead coping with a short cct- result cct braeker/fuse does not blow and results in fire or DEATH of individual. (read rcd device).

Expensive Van - Play safe - have a 15A outlet fitted to house or inside fuse box and run Extension lead.
Anything less is dangerous! (and illegal).

Regards
Techie.
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FollowupID: 421628

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 17:27

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 17:27
I think maybe the lead will fail first rather than a cut down 15A earth pin, the bigger deal here is the size of the lead to run the caravan, 15A leads are bigger, and have less volt drop
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FollowupID: 422038

Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 13:20

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 13:20
travellingblooms.

It is not my intention to be rude but you paid good money for your van.
Do it right, 15amp outlet with earth leakage circuit breaker.
I have seen what happens when poor wiring makes the hole van live (240vac).

regards
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AnswerID: 166651

Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 18:58

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 18:58
That's right. Not that dear compared with a van. Thgen your insurance will remain covered.

I've never found a caravan park where the sockets are 10 amp.

Max

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Reply By: seqfisho - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 14:24

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 14:24
As an Electrician by trade for the last 25 years I think there should be some mistruths staightened out here.

The earth pin carries no load until there is a fault of some description.

The reason the earth pin is bigger than a standard 10 amp plug top is to STOP you pluging in a high load to a standard 10 amp circuit

Yes you can go the other way and plug a 10 amp plug top into a 15 amp outlet

Technically, reducing the earth pin size on a HD 15 amp lead will not cause any performance or safety issues as the current carrying conductors (active and neutral) should be be large enough to support maximum demand and as already stated the earth pin doesn't carry any load, it is however illegale and if inspected would be made inoperable by the relavant authority, and given insurance these days I would not like to have a fire or some one get a shock in a van park and be using a lead with ground down earth pin.

As stated most people usuall only want to run the fridge etc before they go and these are usually plugged into a gpo (powerpoint) in the adjacent cupboard, so if you dont want to go down the path of a seperate 15 amp gpo at home or aren't able too, then just run a standard 10 amp lead to the fridge lead and you will be perfectly inside the law and comply with all the regulations.

Regards Glen.
AnswerID: 166670

Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:11

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:11
Yes!
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Follow Up By: Johnny boy - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:55

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:55
Listen to this guy !!!!! he is spot on .
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Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:02

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:02
I also 100% agree with the above.

(registered electrical inspector)
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FollowupID: 421741

Reply By: travellingblooms - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:14

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:14
Thanks everyone for your replies.

I work in aviation under a strict safety management system

We deal with risk, likelyhood and consequences that may affect aviation safety.

Weighing up the likelyhood of something going wrong with do it yourself electrical work and the consequences of mistakes, It is obvious to me to leave it to a proffessional. Electric shock, fire, no payout on insurance and overall the safety of my wife and kids. just not worth it.

Thanks,

Travellingblooms
AnswerID: 166690

Reply By: Feral - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:55

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 15:55
..just one of life's little observations.

Isn't it funny how we can have a 'million & one' power boards plugged into our greatest asset (our homes) and run multiple power appliances from these and yet when we want to plug in our van fridge into the garage, we get all sorts of different opinions and theories. In the home we use logic, fuses and circuit breakers and we trust them, but when we use a modified lead for the van this same logic, fuses and circuit breakers are discarded.
It's illogical to me.

Cheers.
Lyndon.
AnswerID: 166700

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 18:16

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 18:16
Not to mention that in Australia (and many other countries) we routinely plug appliances (table lamps etc) with a supply cord rated at 3 amps into an outlet backed up by a 10 amp wire fuse which under low overload conditions of (say) 15 amps will take hours to blow (I'll stand correcting on the time because I can't be bothered to look up the curves - but it will be a long time) long after the 3A cord has set your carpet on fire and burned your house down - but we don't worry about that do we? Because it's legal. It's wrong, but it's legal. This is the reason the UK has an appropriately rated fuse in the plug of each appliance.

Don't become paranoid about electricity people, sure it can be dangerous but it won't stalk you in the night and kill you and far fewer people die from electrical issues worldwide each year than from many other areas we accept without concern - nor is basic electrical knowledge complicated (despite what the electricians union would have you believe) or beyond the average person's capability to understand - just do a (very) little study and you'll be safe enough if you have any sense at all....

Don't you just love electrical threads on this forum?

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 421661

Reply By: Rod E B - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:27

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 16:27
Travellingblooms

do you have an airconditioner with a plug into a power point

you may find this is a 15amp outlet , evident my the wider earth plug

unplug the aircon and away you go
AnswerID: 166711

Reply By: Peter - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 19:46

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 19:46
Now I'm confused. I've just bought a Yamaha 2400iS generator to run the van but it only has 2 10amp outlets. Does this mean that legally I can't use the generator to run the van? Also the inverter only has a 10 amp outlet so therefore I can't legally run the van via the battery bank/inverter? Also the split system room airconditioner fitted at home came fitted with a 10amp plug and is plugged into a 10 amp socket. Does this mean the aircon at home has less draw than the roof mounted one on the van?
AnswerID: 166754

Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:28

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:28
Don't be confused Pete, your generator can't put out more than 10 amps so the power lead couldn't overheat & if you try to overload it by turning everything on in the Van the circuit breaker will trip or the motor will stall.
Modern home split systems (soft start inverter models) don't draw that much power so if your Van aircon system has a 15 amp plug it's quite possible it uses more particually when you start it.
Cheers Craig........
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FollowupID: 421747

Follow Up By: Peter - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 11:32

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 11:32
Craig,
Thanks for the info mate. Makes me feel more comfortable about the gene. Have a good Easter!
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FollowupID: 421837

Follow Up By: Chucky - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 09:13

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 09:13
You may find that the split system in your house only uses the 10 amp plug to power the head unit inside the house. The compressor and whatnot outside the house most likely has it's own power supply.
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FollowupID: 421992

Reply By: Feral - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 20:09

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 20:09
...oh, one more final word.

You are more likely to be killed towing the van to your fantastic holiday spot than to be electrocuted!!!

But don't worry about that..take care and enjoy your Easter.

Cheers,
Lyndon.
AnswerID: 166761

Reply By: Member - Barry C (NT) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 23:49

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 23:49
It may pay to re read post number 5,,,, it says it all IMHO. Well stated Glen.

Others also say why spend many thousands of $$$$$$$$$ and baulk at something that WILL void your insurance if a fireetc, and MAY kill (it IS possible) but who wants to risk that.

Another post quite rightly points out IMHO (again) that these safety features are designed to assist those who don't know basic elec safety. By encouraging them to modify you could unwittingly contribute to a sad accident.

I'll probably draw the crabs with this but it has to be said.

Barry
AnswerID: 166811

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 00:07

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 00:07
I bought a long 15 amp extension lead and cut it in half. On one length I put a 10 amp male and on the other length I put a 10 amp female.

Now I can plug the camper in at home, or, plug my waeco in at a caravan park, or, join the two together and keep everyone happy.
AnswerID: 166813

Reply By: seqfisho - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 09:09

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 09:09
It is true that more people are killed on the roads getting to and from their perfect holiday destination and apart from always advising people to take it easy and slow down, remember your there for enjoyment not an endurance contest.

It is also a higher number than most realise as electrocution (not always resulting in death) is a very real danger around the household.

The main reason as quite a few people here have demonstrated is the lack of understanding and respect for the danger involved.

You cant see the danger till it bites you!

I've done my share of electrical accident investigations and repairs after the event and believe me you dont want to go anywhere near it ever happening to you.

Also if you value your home and your family, install a safety switch.

Heed my warning all you people out there playing around with something you are not really sure about, you may get away with doing the wrong thing for years, but one day it will get you unless you treat it with care.

Sorry for the rant and I'll step off the soap box now.

Regards Glen.
AnswerID: 166855

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 16:11

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 16:11
KISS...for about $100 an electrician can install a 15 amp outlet in your power meter box. No more problems.

A 20is Honda Geni will run an Electrolux caravan air con. Turn all other electrical appliances off when starting the air con. Then when it's running steadily, you can turn the essential appliances back on. Make up a short (about 300mm) adapter (10 amp male to 15amp female) using 15amp rated three core cable.

Enjoy your travels...........Rob
AnswerID: 167020

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