What size power supply in caravan parks?

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:59
ThreadID: 75382 Views:13136 Replies:5 FollowUps:26
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Hi everyone,

New to a trailer life so I'm wondering what size power outlets most caravan parks have at their power supply boxes. Our Camper has a 15amps supply so I'm suddenly hoping that this is standard across the camping industry?

many thanks,
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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:02

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:02
It is standard, most of us carry an adapter for when we are camped at a friends house.

There is a legal way to have a 10 amp to 15 amp adapter made up, so have a talk to a Lec lec about that.

AnswerID: 400483

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:23

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:23
Im not aware of this but maybe-but it relies on the supply overload trip being servicable, modern and functioning.

Isnt it legal to file the earth pin down??:-)
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Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 20:12

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 20:12
Definitely Not legal to file down the pin.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:21

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:21
I wouldn't dream of filing down the earth pin of a 15amp power cord.

BUT........ I have about 3 cables here at home which started off life as 10amp extension cords (or 1 is even the short cord of a dead electric kettle), to which I have added an "aftermarket" 15amp female socket.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 23:02

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 23:02
Naughty naughty Roachie Big thread on Caravan and Motorhome forum about this Named how long for the power cord Regs are posted on there as well.

The rule is 1 power cord in 1 piece 15 amp plug and socket in a van park.

There is a box which costs $249 which allows you to plug into it and then into a 10 amp socket IS THE ONLY LEGAL WAY Other than as said a 15 amp socket at home.


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:09

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:09
Graham,
I guess the reason for the one lead between the outlet and the van is to minimise the number of connections especially the earth's and not having a plug and socket laying in the rain.

If you buy a 15a to 10a adaptor box at $249, which I guess is just a 10a circuit breaker to limit the load. You still then have more than one lead from the outlet to the van, which as I see it does not comply with the regs (lead to 15/10a adaptor box then a lead plugged into that.

Roachie, use a piece of 15a lead with a 15a plug and a 10a socket. That will carry the load better, the only drawback being the 10a amp earth pin being a bit small.

Have a good one
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:20

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:20
Wasnt meaning in van parks and what you propose is definitely illegal


You can actually buy at Home hardware shops a 15amp cord with 10 amp connectors on it

Not sure if its legal to plug it in a 15 amp outlet though.

There is also provision in the regs to use an approved connection box that apparently HPM make to allow you to hook up the vans that have two inputs on them. This has circuitry to prevent overloading

This because it is also illegal to put a loop in the end and plug two ends from one cord into the van effectively connecting a 30 amp draw to a 15 amp socket.



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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:32

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:32
"Definitely Not legal to file down the pin."
hence the smiley :-) following it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:58

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:58
I do have a proper 15amp lead that I use if I'm ever in a van park (not very often).

The other leads are used here at home.

So, here's a question.... I have a 15amp caravan-style inlet mounted on the back of my canopy too. When I'm using 240 v (either house, c/van park or gennie), I have the ability to run one cable (let's say the "proper" 15amp cable) to the camper trailer. It has a couple of 240v GPOs and I will often plug one of my home-altered cables into the GPO outlet, then run it to the back of the canopy to run the fridge and charger in the truck's canopy.

The items I run in both camper and truck are only a 15amp charger and a fridge. These items run quite freely off a 10amp outlet.

I know I'm technically breaking the law, but sheesh.....some laws are just plain stooopid.

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 13:24

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 13:24
Roachie,
if we both got up in the morning it would be a race to see who broke one of the 10,000,000 laws we have first.

What you say is right, but it is the stupid ones that cause us the problems. They will try to run a heater, toaster and welder all on the 10a or 15a leads, so it is the circuit breaker that trips and stops a fire.

The 15a lead is to supply the outlets normally via a small switchboard that may have multipule outlets off it, if overloaded the breaker will trip and the supply lead will be fine.

All the people I know carry a 15/10a lead for exactly what you are talking about. If they plug into someones 10a outlet they are smart enough not to overload the lead.

I bet I beat you and broke the law first this morning, I was still driving at 2 am. LOL.
Have a good one.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 13:30

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 13:30
Ahhh Cripes, now you've let the cat outa the bag!
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 13:54

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 13:54
Hi
Rockape said:"If you buy a 15a to 10a adaptor box at $249, which I guess is just a 10a circuit breaker to limit the load. You still then have more than one lead from the outlet to the van, which as I see it does not comply with the regs (lead to 15/10a adaptor box then a lead plugged into that. "

The Ampfibian is one piece 10amp plug one end !5amp socket other end [required protection built in]to plug DIRECTLY into van inlet.
NO joining , THAT's what makes it LEGAL
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Follow Up By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 15:32

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 15:32
oldtrack123,

Not trying to be picky here but how do they connect the circuit breaker in the middle without cutting the wires. If they do cut the wires then this would be called a join would it not. This would then constitute as two leads. Happy to be corrected.

Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 17:27

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 17:27
the write up I saw on it said it was completely sealed and waterproofed and has Standards approval so I guess its classed as a one piece lead..

The HPM one for twin connections, most people tuck it up on a wheel out of the weather. From what I can make out on the otherforum it is lega even though it theoretically contravenes the reg of one unjoined cable.

Will see if I can pick the regs off there and post them here.

They do have pics of the connections.
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 21:27

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 21:27
Hi Greg
Sorry for the delay I was called away.
Graham has basically answered for me.
It does comply to the standards , I BELIEVE A SPECIAL ONE NEEDED TO BE
DEVELOPED
It is classed as a one piece lead ,all connections are PERMANENT & enclosed in an approved weather proof enclosure.

Hi Graham

I have yet to see the 15amp cord type double adapter
It may be approved for industrial use but not approved under As 3001:2008
It may not be approvedfor van use.
This could be the case with many of the portable rcd/olcb outlets, including those witn a 10amp plug & a 15 amp socket approved for general use but NOT FOR CARAVAN USE
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 21:59

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 21:59
Here is the thing I was talking about


Image Could Not Be Found

I have a copy of the standard and can email them to anyone who wants then

but cant post on here as they are copyright
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:12

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:12
Hi Graham
That is the ones I was referring in my last sentence
Does not meet As 3001 :2008 as it entails the joining of leads
As i said in last post what may be legal for general use may not be legal for vans motor homes ,portable buildings as covered by As 3001;2008.
STRANGE BUT TRUE

Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:26

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:26
Unfortunately the copy of the Standard I had mailed to me has expired so cant read it

When I did it showed methods of supplying power to 2 tents or from a van to a tent using a similar type of thing

There was several illustrations of it showing the boxes and where to put them.

Im not disagreeing at all Just saying what I read in the Standard

I believe some manufaturers either recommended or supplied these with the van.


I dont need one but on the other forum a guy had bought a Boroma and it has two inputs.

He has also bought one of the 10 to 15 amp legal waterproof breakers as mentioned in links on here.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:43

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:43
Hi Graham
Yes you are correct that is in AS3001 there is a section specific to tents on THE SAME SITE
Tents & annexs with small loads on the same site can be fed via such a devise either direct from power pole or from a van power point
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:53

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 09:53
Thanks Graham and Peter.

There are more standards than you can poke a stick at, but I suppose it is to protect us from ourselves. Just hope that each state doesn't have an amendment to each of these standards otherwise you would do your head in trying to understand them all.


Greg
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:27

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:27
Hi zigdog,
Caravan Park outlets are by law required to be 15 Amp. All you need in a caravan park is a lead with a 15 Amp plug and socket.

Bunnings should carry them ready made for a price less than I can buy the cable!

As to hooking your caravan - camper up at home you have two options, install a 15 Amp outlet near where you park the van or use a device thats name escapes me at the moment.

The device has a 10 Amp circuit breaker built into it. If you contact one of the advertisers on this site, RV Powerstream he can point you in the right direction.

Note: Electrical installations in caravan parks, houses etcetera are covered by AS3000, the caravan come camper is covered by I think from memory AS3004 or AS3006. Either way it'll be enshrined in law in the AS3000 range.

Geoff

Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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AnswerID: 400491

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:49

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:49
Hi Geoff

I think this is the connector you are referring to:
http://www.amp-fibian.com/products.html
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:30

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:30
Hi OT,
I think you are 100% correct.

Geoff

Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

Lifetime Member
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Reply By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 20:18

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 20:18
Yes 15amp is standard across the industry.

While it is illegal to 1..file down the earth pin and 2..make an adapter to go from 15amp to 10amp alot of people do it.

Also a good idea is to carry a couple of different lengths of 15amp power lead. We carry a 5m and a 15m length, this way if you are close to the power pole you can use the 5m or as I have seen at numerous caravan parks the power supply is a fair distance away, so then you can use the longer length.

Cheers Greg

Oh..and happy camping
AnswerID: 400497

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:18

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:18
hahahahaha......I really do know the reason why you carry 2 different lengths of cable, but it just sort of sounds funny to me.

Reminds of the bloke who saw his Irish neighbour digging holes in his backyard. He was on his 4th hole. The bloke asked him why he was digging the holes and the Irishman replied (with tears in his eyes) that he needed to bury his dog, which died over night. "So, why do you need 4 holes if you only have 1 dog to bury?"......... Reply was: " Well, the 1st 3 holes weren't big enough"...... ;-)

I'm hoping you see the analogy.......????

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 22:49

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 22:49
It's not Friday yet Roachie....lol....I like it though

Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - mazcan - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 23:21

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 23:21
hi
i thought you were going to say he buried his dog standing up
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Reply By: zigdog - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:06

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:06
Thanks everyone - you've all helped settle my worries.

cheers,
AnswerID: 400512

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:51

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 21:51
Hi Zigdog
This is the legal way.to connect to 10amp outlets

http://www.amp-fibian.com/products.html
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Follow Up By: travelmate2 - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:56

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 22:56
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Reply By: Redback - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:40

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:40
Here is the real story!!!!!!!


TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Within the last 10 years there have been a number of changes in power cord requirements. Generally speaking all RVs require a 15A power cord. A 15A cord is easily distinguishable from the normal rating of 10A by looking at the plug. On the 15A plug, the earth pin is considerably wider than one on a 10A socket. Apart from anything else, this means a 15A cord cannot be used in a normal 10A socket.

We should point out that we are aware that hidden away in many a caravan and motorhome are very short extension cords that have a 10A plug on one end and a 15A socket on the other for occasions when a 15A socket is not available, like at home. Technically these are not legal but do get used for things like charging up the house battery or cooling the fridge prior to a trip. In any event, they should not be used for any current that exceeds 10A.

In case you do not have an ammeter handy, the latter can be from high energy devices like an electric kettle or air-conditioner. Remember the formula, Watts = Volts x Amps, so if you have 10A and 240V and the device (or devices put together) is more than 2400W, you're in trouble.

((((You can use 10A power cords but there are a few restrictions. The length cannot exceed 10m unless a 1.5sq mm conductor is used, and the inlet socket on the RV and the circuit breaker must be rated at 10A only.)))


For 15A power cords, Australian/NZ standard 3001 specifies that four lengths can be used as per the table below.

The reason for the increase in cross-sectional area is to do with the fact that increased length causes voltage drop, and low voltage will result in dimmed lights but more seriously, damage to items like fridge motors.

If you're contemplating a 40m cable, keep in mind that it can be both expensive and heavy to carry!
AnswerID: 400591

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