10 Step Guide to Camping with Electric Hook Up

Whether you’re a newcomer to camping or a grizzled old veteran, there is always something new to learn. Here is a 10 step guide that is guaranteed to improve your camping life.

  1. Consider what you would use electric hook up for, and do you really need it? The possibilities for using electricity in a tent are endless – heating, lighting, kettles, keeping food cool, charging devices and even watching TV – but are they essential? There are battery or gas alternatives for all of them, except of course TV, but then who wants to watch telly when they’re camping and supposedly enjoying the great outdoors. Well, quite a few people it seems. Electric hook up is convenient, efficient, safe and generally gives better results, so why not?
  2. Once you have decided to get ‘hooked up’, buy a camping electric lead from your local outdoor store. Prices range from £30 to £50. The longer the better, as it will give you flexibility on some parks. At one end the lead will have a weather-proof plug (usually blue) that connects to the electric hook up box on the pitch. At the other end is a damp-proof box containing either a single or multiple 13amp sockets. It will also incorporate an RCD safety mechanism (trip switch), designed to cut off the supply in case of an emergency.
  3. IP ratings are about protecting sockets from water penetration – or little fingers. IP44 is the minimum rating to consider.
  4. If your tent has a cable entry point, feed you electric hook up lead through it rather than through the front door. It would be a trip hazard.
  5. Water and electricity do not mix, always keep the socket box off the floor of the tent. Electrical equipment should also be kept off the ground.
  6. Even small amounts of damp could result in the system tripping, causing fire or even electrocution. If the conditions inside the tent get damp, stop using the electricity immediately, unplug the appliances and replace the covers over the sockets.
  7. Never leave appliances running in an unoccupied tent, or when you go to bed.
  8. Use appliances specially designed for camping and avoid using normal household appliances in your tent. They are not designed for outdoor use and will regularly overload the system, and could even cause a power cut.
  9. Don’t overload your socket box. Use only one appliance per socket, and multi plug adaptors are a definite no-no.
  10. Different campsites are able to provide a different size of electrical supply, ranging from 5amp to 16amp. Check in advance so you know what appliances will be safe to use.

Article by Iain Duff – Camping Magazine | April 2014

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