Ok so why does your caravan electric trip ?


The stock answer / assumption from most people is that is must be the 'dodgy' electric hookup point on the site you are on !!

Whilst five to ten years ago that may well have been the case ( it still may well be in France today !) but most modern touring sites provide good quality supplies and with todays frequent testing requirements faults at the site end are generally quite rare (on well maintained modern sites). Weve invested >£10k in upgrading all our site electrics and in the past 18 months have only had one failure due to our equipment (and that was because a branch had fallen on the box !). So before you have a rant at the site owner read this first - it could save you embarrasment of having to apologise later !!

So What is the Problem then ?

Most UK campsites provide EHU points that operate between 4 and 10 amps, the Caravan Club and some premium sites offer upto 16amp supplies. At Steadings we operate EHU's between 10 and 16 amp. As a comparator most French sites operate a 4-6 amps !

So why do campsite electrics fail ? The challenge comes when we introduce our power hungry modem lifestyle into a metal box in a rural field and we add domestic appliances not designed for caravans. Caravan designers in their wisdom have tried to fill modern tourers with the lifestyle devices we expect in a bricks and mortar home without really giving consideration to the constraints of campsites. We then fill every spare plug socket with laptop power supplies, iPad chargers, phone chargers, widescreen tv's etc !!

A typical modern tourer will boast electric heating, immersion heated hot water, microwaves, flat screen TV's etc. The challenge however comes when you look at the amperage demands of this equipment and you discover that there isn't a campsite hookup point in Europe that will power it all !


A 10amp supply you will find on the better equipped sites will deliver an ongoing 2.5kw and will generally handle short periods of 3kw. With a 16amp supply managing 3kw norm and upto 3.5 for short spikes. When you then look at what your caravan appliances draw its easy to see why EHU's trip.

Typical examples are:

Hot water immersion 1-3kw

Electric heating 2-3 kw

Kettle upto 3kw (cheap kettles surge much higher !)

TV's 0.5 to 1kw 

Microwaves typically 3kw


So have the hot water, the heating and the TV on and that's upto 7kw which is twice what any UK campsite EHU can safely handle and that's without your battery charger and lights !! Oh and don't even think about that electric hob (what idiot designed them into a caravan !)

In normal circumstances your van circuit breaker should blow to protect you, if it fails then our breaker at the EHU will cut in and a belt and braces if that too fails then a secondary breaker in our distribution boxes will cut in. It's worth noting that every time you trip a breaker in your van then you weaken it so next time it will trip at a lower level.

What's the solution ? Yes we all want creature comforts but the joy of camping in rural Britain means we need to be sensible about what we use. Turn hot water heaters on only when you need hot water and off at all other times (they are the biggest cause of elec fire hazard in a van !). Use gas to power your heating - no that's not us trying to save on the elec bill, gas is far more efficient in getting you warm quicker and keeping your van warm. If you are buying appliances (microwaves, kettles etc) buy low power camping versions - yes the are more expensive but they won't blow your power supply out !).

No campsite can account for unreasonable use age. We pride ourselves on providing 10+ amps and our hook ups are tested regularly. We regularly have people asking about why their electric is tripping, in the last two years we have only had one example where it was a failure of our circuit breaker.

We aren't electricians but we are seasoned campers so if you want advice & guidance then just ask. If we find people being un reasonable or dangerous with their EHU demand on our site we will disconnect the supply.

An absolute no is the use of non RCD protected power into tents so no homemade leads etc please !



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Take a look at the Visit Suffolk website for plenty of things to do and see.

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Go on spoil yourself and your loved one - try a winter break in our luxury lodge - its fully wintersied with real central heating, double glazed and a private garden & deck !!