Best caravan to live in for 6 months

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Jul 18, 2017
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Not IP67 rated, like I said. Sure you can use it; up to you. I have one basically identical I used to use with an indoor socket and the EHU slung through a window. Now I have an outdoor socket and an IP67 version I made myself.
If you are plugging it into a 13amp socket inside the home which should be dry, is there any need for it to be IP67 rated.
 
Jul 12, 2023
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That would definitely qualify for a Sainsbury bag and duct tape. Or if I was feeling flush one of these.
Even then those sort of boxes tend to rely on the box lying on the ground as part of their waterproof design is in the reliance on it shedding water from the lid downwards. With the little convertor leads as per the pic before the cables tend to hang which doesn't always work so well as the water comes at it from the wrong angles - thats where making a (longer) IP67 cable comes in handy as you can likely find a drier spot for it as it would be 2/3/5m long as opposed to 20cm, and also even if you can't, well it doesn't actually matter.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Even then those sort of boxes tend to rely on the box lying on the ground as part of their waterproof design is in the reliance on it shedding water from the lid downwards. With the little convertor leads as per the pic before the cables tend to hang which doesn't always work so well as the water comes at it from the wrong angles - thats where making a (longer) IP67 cable comes in handy as you can likely find a drier spot for it as it would be 2/3/5m long as opposed to 20cm, and also even if you can't, well it doesn't actually matter.
Thanks, but my post was really a tongue in cheek one, I'm aware of the various methods and parts available but I used to do what suited me.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I do have a concern about power connection bearing in mind the circumstances that have been declared.

With a touring caravan being used full time, I would be concerned about using a 13A three pin plug for a system that is designed to manage 16A. It will be in use for long periods and with a heavy EHU lead, I have seen 13A plugs begin to pull out which will compromise the contact integrity.

you also have the possibility the load could reach 16A which might blow the 13A fuse in the adaptor lead.

For long term mains connections it would be electrically and mechanically better to have a proper CEEFORM socket professionally wired to the 230V supply
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I do have a concern about power connection bearing in mind the circumstances that have been declared.

With a touring caravan being used full time, I would be concerned about using a 13A three pin plug for a system that is designed to manage 16A. It will be in use for long periods and with a heavy EHU lead, I have seen 13A plugs begin to pull out which will compromise the contact integrity.

you also have the possibility the load could reach 16A which might blow the 13A fuse in the adaptor lead.

For long term mains connections it would be electrically and mechanically better to have a proper CEEFORM socket professionally wired to the 230V supply
If the 13 amp 3 pin socket was in a IP66 outdoor box it would be almost impossible to pull the plug out assuming the box lid was closed.
 
Oct 19, 2023
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you also have the possibility the load could reach 16A which might blow the 13A fuse in the adaptor lead.

A bigger worry is that the fuse won't blow at 16A. BS 1362 allows a 13A fuse to carry 20A indefinitely (from memory it has to blow at 21.6A). The problem is that above 13A the wire inside the fuse begins to heat up, then the plug heats up, the cable heats up and the socket heats up. Eventually there is enough heat to potentially cause a fire depending on the environment.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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As said when our home was flooded and we had to stay in the caravan long term, there was no issue using the 13amp connection and certainly no doom and gloom scenario. In the past we have used sites with only 6 or 10 amp hookup with no ill effect, but not using the 13a adapter.
 
Jul 12, 2023
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The simple solution to the (possible but unlikely) amperage issue is never run your heating on electric. If you have to, use on 1kw. If you do that you're really going to struggle to push past 10A let alone 20.
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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It's going to be a very personal choice regarding what you can or can't put up with if living for an extended time in a tin can.

We lived in our smallish motor home for best part of a year while the house was being built. Had to put the bed up every night, ditto table come meal times.

Never even thought about planning regulations.

We had access to a 13A supply which was more than adequate to run the heater. Cooking mostly on the gas but occasionally a single electric ring on the hob. We had access to water but not a permanent hook up, just filling the on board tank every couple of days.

Bathroom was in use every day, naturally , and we had to arrange for disposal of the toilet cassette...which is another long story with some humourous outtakes 😃

Storage was a bit of a problem as we needed more than we'd normally travel with. But we packed it in somehow.

We couldn't connect to the internet without traveling to the nearest village and getting hooked up to a local WiFi provider. Mobile phone signal virtually non existent so we got people to call us at the nearest call box at prearranged times.

Biggest problem was keeping the midges out. I had to tape up all the air vents in the cab area, including some cling film in the engine bay.

Come winter we would go to bed with a lot of coats etc piled up on the bed and occasionally wearing a beanie hat. Eventually some friends took pity on us and let us use their holiday cottage over Christmas as it was free.

Pays your money and takes your choice.

Good luck
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If heating is set to 2kw the system is drawing about 8amp, but it is not a constant draw as thermostat would kick in from time to time. Using gas in the winter for heating, a 6kg bottle will last about 4 days at the most. Refill is about £28.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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From time to time we use 10 amp EHU. Never been cold , just use all equipment sensibly.
If there truly was a realistic possibility using the full 16 amps the EHU extension lead could over heat and melt including the plug ,surely the specification needs urgent upgrading.
I am not however aware of any such fires🤔
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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The normal EHU lead is rated at 16 amps so I wouldn’t expect it to have problems as there will be a design margin applied. The biggest risk though is running the lead with coiled unwound lengths. I alway fully unwound the lead and any surplus was loosely stuffed under the caravan. That way heating effects were minimised.
 
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The normal EHU lead is rated at 16 amps so I wouldn’t expect it to have problems as there will be a design margin applied. The biggest risk though is running the lead with coiled unwound lengths. I alway fully unwound the lead and any surplus was loosely stuffed under the caravan. That way heating effects were miminimised.
Just checked my EHU lead, it's 2.5mm cable so rated at 25 amp. You're right about unwinding the cable, with it coiled it won't carry anywhere near 25 amps without overheating.

Edit for clarification. The actual cable is rated at 25 amps. The plug and socket on the ends aren't.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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The normal EHU lead is rated at 16 amps so I wouldn’t expect it to have problems as there will be a design margin applied. The biggest risk though is running the lead with coiled unwound lengths. I alway fully unwound the lead and any surplus was loosely stuffed under the caravan. That way heating effects were minimised.
What do you think about #59?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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What do you think about #59?
Fortuitously I dropped electrical technology after university year 1. I prefer mediums I can hear, feel or see, so stuck to mechanics, materials and fluids.

But here’s the paper from the PAT testing site that explains the way in which these system components are designed to function. It’s not as bad as it seems when first presented with a pessimistic hypothesis.


PS when buying items such as plugs, sockets, I always buy from recognised British companies such as MK, Crabtree. You pay more but hopefully they meet the specs even if made out of UK.
 
Oct 19, 2023
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What do you think about #59?
Don't believe me?

How about the London Fire Brigade.

Or Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue

Or Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

Running a caravan from a 13 amp socket is like having an extension lead with equipment capable of drawing 20-30 amps plugged into it. Perfectly safe if you are aware of the individual loads and use them sensibly, but easy to overload if you aren't. The risk of fire won't be in the caravan, it will be at the point it's plugged into the 13 amp socket.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Don't believe me?

How about the London Fire Brigade.

Or Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue

Or Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

Running a caravan from a 13 amp socket is like having an extension lead with equipment capable of drawing 20-30 amps plugged into it. Perfectly safe if you are aware of the individual loads and use them sensibly, but easy to overload if you aren't. The risk of fire won't be in the caravan, it will be at the point it's plugged into the 13 amp socket.
I don’t dis believe you, but what you say is cause for concern and makes me wonder if the kit we use is adequate. Hence asking our guru Clive.
 
Oct 19, 2023
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I don’t dis believe you, but what you say is cause for concern and makes me wonder if the kit we use is adequate. Hence asking our guru Clive.
A 16 amp supply will normally be protected by a MCB (miniature circuit breaker) which will have significantly different trip characteristics to a fuse. They are available in different 'types' with different characteristics, most commonly type B, C and D for different applications. My guess is that type B would be used on a caravan park. They will eventually trip at around 1.2 times their rated value so around 19 amps. The more you overload them the quicker they trip. They are much more reliable and predictable than fuses.

Plugging a (potential) 16 amp load into a 13 amp supply is where problems can occur. I'm not saying don't do it (I do), but be aware of the load your pulling. As an example if you have the 2kw caravan heating/water heater on then plug in a 2kw fan heater you're over 16 amps and the 13 amp plug will start heating up. The longer you overload it the hotter it will get. Stay below 13 amps and you'll never have a problem.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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A 16 amp supply will normally be protected by a MCB (miniature circuit breaker) which will have significantly different trip characteristics to a fuse. They are available in different 'types' with different characteristics, most commonly type B, C and D for different applications. My guess is that type B would be used on a caravan park. They will eventually trip at around 1.2 times their rated value so around 19 amps. The more you overload them the quicker they trip. They are much more reliable and predictable than fuses.

Plugging a (potential) 16 amp load into a 13 amp supply is where problems can occur. I'm not saying don't do it (I do), but be aware of the load your pulling. As an example if you have the 2kw caravan heating/water heater on then plug in a 2kw fan heater you're over 16 amps and the 13 amp plug will start heating up. The longer you overload it the hotter it will get. Stay below 13 amps and you'll never have a problem.
I don’t agree that the longer you overload the plug the hotter it will get. The PAT link above gives details of the effects of overload on 13 amp plugs and fuses. The plugs are designed to dissipate heat and gradually warm without detriment. So you would expect the temperature to plateau out for a given load,but not be at a level that creates a fire. The fuse should go before that happens. Of course if anything is wrong with the plug by manufacturer or owner actions then the risk increases. But that could be the case in other alternative powering solutions, and the home protection hasn’t been discussed. But I guess that different views and experiences make this a circular discussion. But like you I certainly would not advocate pulling in excess of 13 amps and the Fire and Rescue bulletins give good advice on how to calculate load.
 
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Oct 19, 2023
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I don’t agree that the longer you overload the plug the hotter it will get. The PAT link above gives details of the effects of overload on 13 amp plugs and fuses. The plugs are designed to dissipate heat and gradually warm without detriment.
Take a closer look at fig. 2 in your link. Did that plug gradually warm without detriment? Is melting not detrimental? Plastics are generally very poor at conducting and dissipating heat.

The plug looks like it might be ABS which has a melting point of 190-270 degrees C. Paper has an ignition point of 233 degrees C.

and the home protection hasn’t been discussed.
The vast majority of domestic premises in the UK are wired with 30 or 32 amp ring mains , far more than can be safely conducted by a single socket and 13 amp plug. They may be MCB and RCD protected but they won't trip if you draw 30 amps from a single socket.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Take a closer look at fig. 2 in your link. Did that plug gradually warm without detriment? Is melting not detrimental? Plastics are generally very poor at conducting and dissipating heat.

The plug looks like it might be ABS which has a melting point of 190-270 degrees C. Paper has an ignition point of 233 degrees C.


The vast majority of domestic premises in the UK are wired with 30 or 32 amp ring mains , far more than can be safely conducted by a single socket and 13 amp plug. They may be MCB and RCD protected but they won't trip if you draw 30 amps from a single socket.
Whilst Fig 2 in my PAT link shows a heat damaged plug through overloading ,the text gives meaning to the incident involving a loose wire in the terminal, But the damage is minor compared to a counterfeit plug. The BS plug did what it was designed to do.

Perhaps the lesson here is to ensure the plugs and connectors used are a reputable brand from a reputable supplier to counter non compliance with BS by counterfeits.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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A simple question comes back with a lot of indepth relies. Most people are sensible about the amount of load they place on the circuit. If you are running the heating in the caravan why would you want to run a 2kw fan heater? It must also be remembered that the hot water heating etc will operate using a thermostat so it will not be a constant load.

I would think that whether using the 13amp connection or plugged directly into a bollard you will have the same problem unless something trips and most caravans have a circuit breaker. The other excellent suggestion is that the cabling should never be left coiled up.
 
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