What watt ?

Jul 18, 2020
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Hi. Good forum and very interesting. I would appreciate some opinions. I am doing some research. . I am setting up a small exclusive site with private pitches with 20m of woodland between each pitch. I would be interested in opinions on your electricity consumption. The dilemma is do I instal a £12,000 3 phase system which would give everyone 16 amps or go for the cheaper option and restrict everyone’s consumption to say 6 maybe a bit more amps at a cost of £6,000.
Is a restriction annoying? How often Do you trip them? Do you trip 8? 10? Even 16? Do you avoid a low power site? Will I have lots of novice Caravan folk knocking the door and asking me to walk up to the site in the night and flip a switch? I have a feeling some may even be completely clueless about the implications of running an electric heater, cooking a chicken in the microwave and drying their wet doggie at the same time. I understand this though because it does take some time to get your head around such things.
Also would you decide not to visit a site due to a low ampage connection and look elsewhere? Would you pay more for more ampss? Would meters put you off?
It is a minimum one week stay site so it is not a stop off site it is for a holiday for minimum a week.
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
The site is in Pembrokeshire and we open in 2021. regards, Olas,
 
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A lot would depend on how much of the year you want the site used. I would be looking for 16 in poor weather for comfort.

Your quotes seem widely different when the labour costs must be similar.

John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I agree with the above if you are intent on attracting all year use age then 16 amp would be required. With many units now suitable for year round use there is much more all weather touring these days than even 10 years ago.
 
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Electricity consumption is only going to increase in future decades as the drive to eliminate diesel/petrol is the followed by getting rid of gas - while you can't future-proof your site against all eventualities it seems silly to start with a restriction - from your description, the site isn't going to be cheap to visit so your visitors would expect 16 amps.

I've learnt to cope with the occasional site with only 10 amps if it has other specific merits - we also visit one site with a choice of 6/10 amps but the 6 amp pitches have sunsets to die for!
 
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Electricity consumption is only going to increase in future decades as the drive to eliminate diesel/petrol is the followed by getting rid of gas - while you can't future-proof your site against all eventualities it seems silly to start with a restriction - from your description, the site isn't going to be cheap to visit so your visitors would expect 16 amps.

I've learnt to cope with the occasional site with only 10 amps if it has other specific merits - we also visit one site with a choice of 6/10 amps but the 6 amp pitches have sunsets to die for!

Had our all of our central heating radiators changed last week and the plumber told me that all new boilers are gas ready. The gas being hydrogen. Thursdays Telegraph (The Times sold out) large article on the drive to hydrogen power. So I’m thinking the future economy may well be more diverse than the “ sparkies” think.
 
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Jul 18, 2020
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A lot would depend on how much of the year you want the site used. I would be looking for 16 in poor weather for comfort.

Your quotes seem widely different when the labour costs must be similar.

John
Hi yes the new three phase transformer is a lot of cost compared to an extra supply from the existing 25kw transformer.
That’s interesting. I guess that is so that you can run your electric heater. are the sites that you visit in the colder months busy?
I agree with the above if you are intent on attracting all year use age then 16 amp would be required. With many units now suitable for year round use there is much more all weather touring these days than even 10 years ago.
I think you definitely have a point here to be considered.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
Electricity consumption is only going to increase in future decades as the drive to eliminate diesel/petrol is the followed by getting rid of gas - while you can't future-proof your site against all eventualities it seems silly to start with a restriction - from your description, the site isn't going to be cheap to visit so your visitors would expect 16 amps.

I've learnt to cope with the occasional site with only 10 amps if it has other specific merits - we also visit one site with a choice of 6/10 amps but the 6 amp pitches have sunsets to die for!
I think this is definitely valid. I will be charging a premium and for that then restricting the electricity would definitely be a negative. Kicking off with an immediate restriction doesn’t sound great I agree. So would 10 amps do the trick for winter or would someone still need to be very careful?
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
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Had our all of our central heating radiators changed last week and the plumber told me that all new boilers are gas ready. The gas being hydrogen. Thursdays Telegraph (The Times sold out) large article on the drive to hydrogen power. So I’m thinking the future economy may well be more diverse than the “ sparkies” think.
That’s really interesting thank you for your reply.
 
Jul 18, 2020
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35
Thank you for your replies everyone. That is very helpful. Any further comments are greatly appreciated. Regards.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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A near enough calculation is that:
Power = Voltsx Amps
So 10 amps at 240 volts gives 2400 watts. My electric heater is 2000 watts so switching on a water heater kettle or microwave depending on power could trip 10 amps. Admittedly I don’t necessarily have it running at 2kw for long and we never have it on when we go to bed. But some will heat the van whilst sitting in the awning running a fan heater or such. To be fair to all customers if I were setting up a quality small site I would fit meters at 16 amps. But that would increase your capital outlay and I don’t think that you can “ resell” electricity at a profit any longer.
 
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I think this is definitely valid. I will be charging a premium and for that then restricting the electricity would definitely be a negative. Kicking off with an immediate restriction doesn’t sound great I agree. So would 10 amps do the trick for winter or would someone still need to be very careful?
I think for winter use, 16 amps is vital - the electric side of many of our heaters is 3kw so that's about 13 amps on its own - sites often struggle late afternoon in winter as all the caravanners arrive back from their day out and all put the heating on!
 
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Looking at your first post a weeks stay in Pembrokeshire. A beautiful area we were at Freshwater East last summer. But well away from major population centres.

The sites that tend to attract year round business at a good level seem to be those nearer to centres of population. Such that even working people can visit for a short break over a long weekend by only taking a few days leave. A minimum of a week may be good from late Spring to early Autumn but as the days draw in numbers may reduce, especially if the weather forecasts are variable.

You may need to develop a few business model options and cast around to see what other sites may do.

Keep us in the loop as I am not gainfully employed any longer 👍
 
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JTQ

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For us 6 Amps, enough to charge the battery and run the fridge whilst any high energy loads are addressed by using our LPG would be fine, if the costs reflected that limited facility. Through most of the year we survive [ actually very happily] without the need or desire for an EHU, our solar panel satisfies the needs identified, and the heat needed to heat the water boiler, space heat the van or boil a kettle we use LPG.

But I fully accept that others want to do everything they can on electricity as doing that is potentially "cheap", as well as convenient and hassle free, no hunting for more LPG every week or so.

"Cheap" here because the law does not allow campsites to mark-up electrical unit costs, leaving only the provision of an EHU as the revenue stream. So, if into paying for that EHU in the basic site fees, then hammer everthing you can out of it makes user sense, cost wise and for convenience, as opposed to like us using our LPG for big energy loads.

Pembroke is so remote that to gain large numbers of users, using the site has to be very attractive to invest in going there, so any "restriction" like limited power is going to work against you.

Plus we are moving into an era where increasingly vehicles will need to be recharged with electricity. That needs some real amounts of energy compared to camping demands, the more so after treking way west into Pembrokeshire.
I see those towing will be amoungst the last moving that way, but probably not motorhomers for their second vehicle, the run abouts many bring. [You can't really go far off site exploring the charms of an area with a gert great motorhome] Even the motorhomes themselves might not be that far off going electric as these are based on commercial "White vans", and the pressures are on for that commercial vehicle sector to get into electric powered.
What suits todays requirements is unlikely to stay for long.
 
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For us 6 Amps, enough to charge the battery and run the fridge whilst any high energy loads are addressed by using our LPG would be fine, if the costs reflected that limited facility. Through most of the year we survive [ actually very happily] without the need or desire for an EHU, our solar panel satisfies the needs identified, and the heat needed to heat the water boiler, space heat the van or boil a kettle we use LPG.

But I fully accept that others want to do everything they can on electricity as doing that is potentially "cheap", as well as convenient and hassle free, no hunting for more LPG every week or so.

"Cheap" here because the law does not allow campsites to mark-up electrical unit costs, leaving only the provision of an EHU as the revenue stream. So, if into paying for that EHU in the basic site fees, then hammer everthing you can out of it makes user sense, cost wise and for convenience, as opposed to like us using our LPG for big energy loads.

Pembroke is so remote that to gain large numbers of users, using the site has to be very attractive to invest in going there, so any "restriction" like limited power is going to work against you.

Plus we are moving into an era where increasingly vehicles will need to be recharged with electricity. That needs some real amounts of energy compared to camping demands, the more so after treking way west into Pembrokeshire.
I see those towing will be amoungst the last moving that way, but probably not motorhomers for their second vehicle, the run abouts many bring. [You can't really go far off site exploring the charms of an area with a gert great motorhome] Even the motorhomes themselves might not be that far off going electric as these are based on commercial "White vans", and the pressures are on for that commercial vehicle sector to get into electric powered.
What suits todays requirements is unlikely to stay for long.

Your point about motor homes going electric is a good one. But there could be a half way house as I notice that some Transits are now hybrid with petrol Ecoboost engines of 100 -125bhp. Don’t know if they are plug in or self charging. But either way the recreational vehicles might initially opt for a hybrid approach. Notwithstanding it could still impact site electrical supplies.
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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If you charge a premium rates 16 amps it should be. In cold weather our heating is a mixture of gas and electric to start with, then over to safer electric only, to maintain the temp. I say safer because try as I may I can't convince the wife that the gas is safe when we are asleep.
 
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Aside from the question of power availability the OP needs two other considerations:
Will the TV signal be good or very good at every pitch? If not the consideration must be given to providing a TV aerial point (that also feeds VHF/FM and DAB) at each pitch pillar.
Do you have fast broadband as most people now consider wi-fi at a good speed mandatory? If not then look at providing wi-fi sourced from 4G (or even 5G in the near future.) We visit a CL in Somerset where I advised the farmer how to go about it given he gets typically 2Mb on the landline: the wi-fi feed to the pitches for a single user is now in excess of 40Mb and only slows at little with others present. However you will need a good ISP package as people seem to be unable to differentiate between a bit of surfing and e-mail and downloading music and films etc by the shed load.
If the OP needs to know more he can PM me.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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A further thought. We have twice stayed at sites in France which have a two charge system, On one the amperage could be switched on the locked post. The other needed the trip to be swapped over. Don’t know if that sort of thing can be done over here. It also needs to be monitored.

Out of interest what size site is being considered in van numbers?

John
 
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Jul 18, 2020
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A near enough calculation is that:
Power = Voltsx Amps
So 10 amps at 240 volts gives 2400 watts. My electric heater is 2000 watts so switching on a water heater kettle or microwave depending on power could trip 10 amps. Admittedly I don’t necessarily have it running at 2kw for long and we never have it on when we go to bed. But some will heat the van whilst sitting in the awning running a fan heater or such. To be fair to all customers if I were setting up a quality small site I would fit meters at 16 amps. But that would increase your capital outlay and I don’t think that you can “ resell” electricity at a profit any longer.
Thank you for the reply. I don’t think I could stop myself from commenting on a fan h
A near enough calculation is that:
Power = Voltsx Amps
So 10 amps at 240 volts gives 2400 watts. My electric heater is 2000 watts so switching on a water heater kettle or microwave depending on power could trip 10 amps. Admittedly I don’t necessarily have it running at 2kw for long and we never have it on when we go to bed. But some will heat the van whilst sitting in the awning running a fan heater or such. To be fair to all customers if I were setting up a quality small site I would fit meters at 16 amps. But that would increase your capital outlay and I don’t think that you can “ resell” electricity at a profit any longer.
such a good point thank you.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
A near enough calculation is that:
Power = Voltsx Amps
So 10 amps at 240 volts gives 2400 watts. My electric heater is 2000 watts so switching on a water heater kettle or microwave depending on power could trip 10 amps. Admittedly I don’t necessarily have it running at 2kw for long and we never have it on when we go to bed. But some will heat the van whilst sitting in the awning running a fan heater or such. To be fair to all customers if I were setting up a quality small site I would fit meters at 16 amps. But that would increase your capital outlay and I don’t think that you can “ resell” electricity at a profit any longer.
Great info. Do you think people would be put off by a meter? Is this something you come across much?
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
Looking at your first post a weeks stay in Pembrokeshire. A beautiful area we were at Freshwater East last summer. But well away from major population centres.

The sites that tend to attract year round business at a good level seem to be those nearer to centres of population. Such that even working people can visit for a short break over a long weekend by only taking a few days leave. A minimum of a week may be good from late Spring to early Autumn but as the days draw in numbers may reduce, especially if the weather forecasts are variable.

You may need to develop a few business model options and cast around to see what other sites may do.

Keep us in the loop as I am not gainfully employed any longer 👍
Looking at your first post a weeks stay in Pembrokeshire. A beautiful area we were at Freshwater East last summer. But well away from major population centres.

The sites that tend to attract year round business at a good level seem to be those nearer to centres of population. Such that even working people can visit for a short break over a long weekend by only taking a few days leave. A minimum of a week may be good from late Spring to early Autumn but as the days draw in numbers may reduce, especially if the weather forecasts are variable.

You may need to develop a few business model options and cast around to see what other sites may do.

Keep us in the loop as I am not gainfully employed any longer 👍
Thank you. This is good advice. If the Caravan Club site at Freshwater East is considered Isolated then my small new site at Freshwater West is definitely isolated. Tucked away though and pretty sheltered from the weather. Wet in winter too and judging by this year March to October/November would be realistic. I think you are right. I’m not sure we will be open for winter or even be able to attract people during this time especially for a week stay. My reservation about short stays is that it increases the work load massively. With a week stay there is one changeover day which makes things easier. I may need to just take what I can get though during the quieter periods. Great advice thank you.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
For us 6 Amps, enough to charge the battery and run the fridge whilst any high energy loads are addressed by using our LPG would be fine, if the costs reflected that limited facility. Through most of the year we survive [ actually very happily] without the need or desire for an EHU, our solar panel satisfies the needs identified, and the heat needed to heat the water boiler, space heat the van or boil a kettle we use LPG.

But I fully accept that others want to do everything they can on electricity as doing that is potentially "cheap", as well as convenient and hassle free, no hunting for more LPG every week or so.

"Cheap" here because the law does not allow campsites to mark-up electrical unit costs, leaving only the provision of an EHU as the revenue stream. So, if into paying for that EHU in the basic site fees, then hammer everthing you can out of it makes user sense, cost wise and for convenience, as opposed to like us using our LPG for big energy loads.

Pembroke is so remote that to gain large numbers of users, using the site has to be very attractive to invest in going there, so any "restriction" like limited power is going to work against you.

Plus we are moving into an era where increasingly vehicles will need to be recharged with electricity. That needs some real amounts of energy compared to camping demands, the more so after treking way west into Pembrokeshire.
I see those towing will be amoungst the last moving that way, but probably not motorhomers for their second vehicle, the run abouts many bring. [You can't really go far off site exploring the charms of an area with a gert great motorhome] Even the motorhomes themselves might not be that far off going electric as these are based on commercial "White vans", and the pressures are on for that commercial vehicle sector to get into electric powered.
What suits todays requirements is unlikely to stay for long.
Great post and I agree. I would have a specific charging point but I do worry about people using the 10amp trickle chargers for the electric vehicles rather than the specific charge point. I need to find out what I should charge for the electric charge point. There is something called Zapie which throttles back the charge if the demand is too highe. Clever bit of kit.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
Aside from the question of power availability the OP needs two other considerations:
Will the TV signal be good or very good at every pitch? If not the consideration must be given to providing a TV aerial point (that also feeds VHF/FM and DAB) at each pitch pillar.
Do you have fast broadband as most people now consider wi-fi at a good speed mandatory? If not then look at providing wi-fi sourced from 4G (or even 5G in the near future.) We visit a CL in Somerset where I advised the farmer how to go about it given he gets typically 2Mb on the landline: the wi-fi feed to the pitches for a single user is now in excess of 40Mb and only slows at little with others present. However you will need a good ISP package as people seem to be unable to differentiate between a bit of surfing and e-mail and downloading music and films etc by the shed load.
If the OP needs to know more he can PM me.

Great advice PM sent.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
Your point about motor homes going electric is a good one. But there could be a half way house as I notice that some Transits are now hybrid with petrol Ecoboost engines of 100 -125bhp. Don’t know if they are plug in or self charging. But either way the recreational vehicles might initially opt for a hybrid approach. Notwithstanding it could still impact site electrical supplies.
Good point. Yes I think the electric future for Vans etc will be using the engine like a generator and then running the drive train on electricity. This tech is moving really fast.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
A further thought. We have twice stayed at sites in France which have a two charge system, On one the amperage could be switched on the locked post. The other needed the trip to be swapped over. Don’t know if that sort of thing can be done over here. It also needs to be monitored.

Out of interest what size site is being considered in van numbers?

John
I will have 5 caravan pitches for now and 10 camping pitches. Every pitch has its own large area various sizes but no smaller than 12x12m plus 15/20m of woodland in between. I want to offer something different. Seclusion and not being able to see any other pitch. VeryEco and low impact. Camping pitches will be in the ancient woodland. Caravan pitches will be in new woodland but access needs to be better for Camper vans and caravans so they won’t be deep in the woods. Everyone will have access to the woodland for walks and recreation.It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but there is definitely market for it.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
4
35
A further thought. We have twice stayed at sites in France which have a two charge system, On one the amperage could be switched on the locked post. The other needed the trip to be swapped over. Don’t know if that sort of thing can be done over here. It also needs to be monitored.

Out of interest what size site is being considered in van numbers?

John
Sorry I didn’t understand what you meant at first but yes I do now. I also considered for winter charging the amperage around a bit so that there were some good winter pitches with a higher amperage at this time when the site is much quieter and dropping it off in summer. our summer can be cold at times though and the heater will fire up if it gets chilly I’m sure. I think the post about starting with a limitation and trying to make something work is really valid though. Constantly worrying about the consumption may drive me a bit potty. Thank you for your reply.
 

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