electricity and caravanning for idiots?

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 18:37
ThreadID: 76825 Views:3000 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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so - we just bought a caravan - it doesn't have an onboard battery - it does have 240v normal sockets in it. We'll only use it in caravan parks. Can i buy a normal telly and microwave? its an old 1988 windsor. Thanks again!

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Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 18:40

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 18:40
Yes you can use any normal 240 volt appliances.

AnswerID: 408693

Follow Up By: arias - Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 18:42

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 18:42
Super! Thankyou for your help! Off to the shops....
FollowupID: 678634

Follow Up By: Farmboywa - Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 22:36

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 22:36
Remember you will need the 15amp extension leads to connect to the caravan park power.
FollowupID: 678663

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 19:25

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 19:25
Hi Arias

Look for light weight appliances. It is all too easy to overload your van when packing.

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AnswerID: 408697

Reply By: disco driver - Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 20:47

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010 at 20:47
Hi Arais,
I too have an older caravan with 240Voltpower wiring.
Have you checked that your van is fitted with 240V fuses or safety devices?
Many older vans were not so fitted.
IMHO it is a wise move to get a suitable safety device fitted by a qualified electrician to ensure your family's safety. Some Caravan Parks insist on these being fitted before they let you plug into their powerboxes.

You may also find that there is a rudimentary 12volt lights set up with conventional auto bayonet globes in the same light fittings as the 240volt ones.
These 12v lights are suitable for a couple of hours use only unless you have a dual battery system in your tow vehicle. (overnight stop only)

If your van has both white and brown light switches that is a reasonable indicator that there is also a 12V system of house lights.

Assuming that you have a 3way fridge (240v,12v and gas) only use 12v when the engine is running and either 240v (if available) or gas when you are camped. With your current van set up you will flatten your car battery
Under no circumstances should you run the fridge on gas while travelling.

If you have a 2 way fridge (240v/12v), you can leave it connected to 12v and running if you are only stopped for a couple of hours, any longer you need to turn the fridge off and restart it when you start travelling again.

Hope this is of some help.

AnswerID: 408710

Follow Up By: arias - Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 13:07

Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 13:07
Thankyou for taking the time to explain all of this! I did get a quick handover from the guy I bought it off, but didn't really understand it. Your explanation is excellent. Also, the previous owner was an auto electrician, so it has a fuses fitted thankfully. There are 12v lights, on separate switches. The fridge is three way. Now I know when to use what! Thanks again,

FollowupID: 678716

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 16:32

Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 16:32
If you have the option, get a TV set that will operate from the mains and 12 V. You can identify these as there will be an external power brick that converts the 240 V power to 12 V and that is fed into the TV through a small plug and socket. If you have a 12 V set then you can watch TV on the odd nights when you stop off power and use the car battery for your lights.

To operate your TV off 12 V - get someone to extend the 12 V feed to the fridge to a convenient spot and make up a lead that goes from the new socket to the TV. (I suggest you don't run the TV for too long and carry a set of jumper leads.)
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AnswerID: 408785

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