What watt ?

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Nov 16, 2015
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We have used sites, with metered electric, cards or readings. Find that ok. Go for 16 Amp power, new caravanners have all the bells and whistles so need power, and as others have said, electric vechiles will need recharge points.
So dont go cheap. Invest, maybe a goverment bonus , some.

As for a week only bookings, not for us as we would go for Sunday night to maybe Friday. . Don't close yourself to that.
 
Jul 18, 2020
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We have used sites, with metered electric, cards or readings. Find that ok. Go for 16 Amp power, new caravanners have all the bells and whistles so need power, and as others have said, electric vechiles will need recharge points.
So dont go cheap. Invest, maybe a goverment bonus , some.

As for a week only bookings, not for us as we would go for Sunday night to maybe Friday. . Don't close yourself to that.
Thank you for your reply. Valid points. Could you elaborate on the government bonus?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Olas, I was just hoping that The HMG might give a bonus for investments, they might be hidden.

What pubs restuarants, walkable, have you near your site as that effects your visitor, certianly in winter months. Remember a lot of folk have dogs, so if the area is damp, a warm dog wash can be nice. But your talking about a large Cl /CS private site. . Good luck , discount to the PC forum members when you open. ?
 
Jul 18, 2020
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I am very grateful for all of the replies it is very helpful indeed. Some really good advice here and I welcome any further comments. It seems that 16amps is what people want and need especially if they are going to be paying a premium. It sounds like it is defiantly needed if it is in the colder months and that does not need to be winter. It is a difficult one balancing initial costs with long term planning. It’s a big cost difference and the extra power does not increase your revenue as such but of course it increases desirability and returning customers. It feels like a case of “Do it once and do it right”. Interesting comments around week stays I defiantly take this on board. I do worry about the one night Huge Campervan that empties his Gallons of collected turds into my cesspool As he leaves and the hassle of shorter stays. With a weekend booked it will be harder to fill the empty days and makes organising pitches so much harder. At peak times I am definitely only taking weekly bookings but other times I think the advice is good and I will find a way to be more flexible. Would anyone care to tell me the most they have ever paid for a site for a week stay? What did you get. Would you pay it again? Would you pay a premium for seclusion?
 
Jul 18, 2020
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Olas, I was just hoping that The HMG might give a bonus for investments, they might be hidden.

What pubs restuarants, walkable, have you near your site as that effects your visitor, certianly in winter months. Remember a lot of folk have dogs, so if the area is damp, a warm dog wash can be nice. But your talking about a large Cl /CS private site. . Good luck , discount to the PC forum members when you open. ?
I see thank you. Interestingly I have been in touch with Business Wales and haven’t talked about the electricity. I will defiantly do that I think. They are excellent by the way I have to say. Really helpful.
Warm dog wash. ✔
Great idea. I may start a new thread for ideas for a new campsite that people would like to see or feel free to post them here.

Sadly the nearest pub has been bought and the chap is hell bent on driving it into the ground and turning it into house. We are secluded so any Decent pub is a short drive. The seclusion is our appeal. It is not for everyone. The packed in tenby touring sites are simply not our market. Nearest pub is Bosherston St Govans Inn. Broadhaven South. Or the Stackpole Inn.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Great info. Do you think people would be put off by a meter? Is this something you come across much?
I wouldn’t be put off by a meter but there again we don’t use heating at night unless absolutely below freezing then only at low. If cold the dogs have fleeces on. We’ve never heated the awning just don pullies or go indoors. Our highest combined energy bill at home last winter was £98 in the coldest month. So that’s my limit for a month using a caravan sites meter (lol) But we are becoming dinosaurs in our approach 😁
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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We also are not put off by EHU metering, again because we are similarly low users of EHUs or that's electrical energy, whilst camping, using our solar system predominately.

Basically we rarely these days venture out mid November through till March, so space heating requirements, way our biggest energy ask, is inevitably modest.

The era of "low cost" electrical energy IMO is over and I can't see a business model of supplying unmetered electrical energy enduring for very much longer.

The difficulty as I see it in living with metering is removing the hassle element of reading the quantity a user takes.
Whilst believing provision cost would be massive here to have it, we need something like "pay at pump" petrol pumps have, read your credit card to get access to energy, charge to it for what you take.


An alternative adopted on a site we use with EHUs, is bollards with both 6 & 16 Amp outlets. The 6 Amps being unmetered, its "included", but the 16 Amps is effectively metered. Both have user resettable circuit breakers.
Availability of the 16 Amps is in buying a preloaded amount of energy the site owner then puts on that meter, either at the start or when you request a top up. There is no refund offered and the remaining units is on visual display all the time.
Done this way there is near zero hassle for clients or the owner, no chasing around for a refund on a few units before leaving. It just requires a bit of prejudgement or wait till the morning for a top up if you run out, though that's no hassle as simply plug back into the 6 Amps till your metered supply is recharged when the farmer has time to get back out to you.
Techically in the bollard it was easily done with the 6 Amp feed pulled off before the meter.

IMO it serves to curtail the profligate from spoiling things for others by placing the cost where really due, stinging the site owner, and far from least ecologically reducing demands on resources.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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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,
Recently we were on a site where the maximum was supposed to be 10amp. Like many other caravans we have ALDE heating for the boiler. If we switched on the 800w kettle, we would trip the mains at the bollard as the amp used by the boiler and kettle exceeded 10amp? In addition to those two items, the fridge was on 240v and also the 25w TV and 45w Sky box.
Our caravan has a load monitor that was initially set to 10amp, but we still kept tripping the mains. We changed it to 9amp and again the mains were tripped. By coincidence there was exactly the same year and model of caravan on the same bollard and they also had issues and eventually switched to using expensive gas.
We will not be using that site again. We have used our caravan on the continent where most sites are 10amp and never had any issues!
Meters would definitely put us off however if a reasonable amount fo electric were included in the pitch fee and if you exceeded that amount you paid extra that would be suitable if the extra was at the same rate, but how do you monitor usage when people are leaving. A card system is a definite NO No for us!
By the way we would avoid a site that had a minimum 1 week stay as sometimes you only want to stay a few nights. BTW it also gives us the impression that there may be something wrong with the site if the site is asking for a week minimum stay.
Just to add if you already have 3 phase electric for the farm, why not use one phase for the caravan site as that will save a fortune and this is an option that many choose. I worked in the utility industry before I retired and we did a number of campsites including CMC and C&CC sites. I still have a friend who specialises in this field and comes recommended as he can offer you the best advice.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Having pitched next to one of the CAMH site inspectors once, he was of the opinion that any new site needs 16 amps. Below that not enough people will use the site as they now rely almost entirely on that level of power. He knows more than most of us, so I would say 16 amps has to be the way to go.
 
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Jul 18, 2020
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We also are not put off by EHU metering, again because we are similarly low users of EHUs or that's electrical energy, whilst camping, using our solar system predominately.

Basically we rarely these days venture out mid November through till March, so space heating requirements, way our biggest energy ask, is inevitably modest.

The era of "low cost" electrical energy IMO is over and I can't see a business model of supplying unmetered electrical energy enduring for very much longer.

The difficulty as I see it in living with metering is removing the hassle element of reading the quantity a user takes.
Whilst believing provision cost would be massive here to have it, we need something like "pay at pump" petrol pumps have, read your credit card to get access to energy, charge to it for what you take.


An alternative adopted on a site we use with EHUs, is bollards with both 6 & 16 Amp outlets. The 6 Amps being unmetered, its "included", but the 16 Amps is effectively metered. Both have user resettable circuit breakers.
Availability of the 16 Amps is in buying a preloaded amount of energy the site owner then puts on that meter, either at the start or when you request a top up. There is no refund offered and the remaining units is on visual display all the time.
Done this way there is near zero hassle for clients or the owner, no chasing around for a refund on a few units before leaving. It just requires a bit of prejudgement or wait till the morning for a top up if you run out, though that's no hassle as simply plug back into the 6 Amps till your metered supply is recharged when the farmer has time to get back out to you.
Techically in the bollard it was easily done with the 6 Amp feed pulled off before the meter.

IMO it serves to curtail the profligate from spoiling things for others by placing the cost where really due, stinging the site owner, and far from least ecologically reducing demands on resources.
Great reply thank you.
 
Jul 18, 2020
26
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Recently we were on a site where the maximum was supposed to be 10amp. Like many other caravans we have ALDE heating for the boiler. If we switched on the 800w kettle, we would trip the mains at the bollard as the amp used by the boiler and kettle exceeded 10amp? In addition to those two items, the fridge was on 240v and also the 25w TV and 45w Sky box.
Our caravan has a load monitor that was initially set to 10amp, but we still kept tripping the mains. We changed it to 9amp and again the mains were tripped. By coincidence there was exactly the same year and model of caravan on the same bollard and they also had issues and eventually switched to using expensive gas.
We will not be using that site again. We have used our caravan on the continent where most sites are 10amp and never had any issues!
Meters would definitely put us off however if a reasonable amount fo electric were included in the pitch fee and if you exceeded that amount you paid extra that would be suitable if the extra was at the same rate, but how do you monitor usage when people are leaving. A card system is a definite NO No for us!
By the way we would avoid a site that had a minimum 1 week stay as sometimes you only want to stay a few nights. BTW it also gives us the impression that there may be something wrong with the site if the site is asking for a week minimum stay.
Just to add if you already have 3 phase electric for the farm, why not use one phase for the caravan site as that will save a fortune and this is an option that many choose. I worked in the utility industry before I retired and we did a number of campsites including CMC and C&CC sites. I still have a friend who specialises in this field and comes recommended as he can offer you the best advice.
Thanks for the reply. The electricity choice and scenario are quite complicated. There are three phase wires to a very ugly pole outside the property. The wires run overhead over the site to the ugly pole and transformer. I have a 25kw Single phase transformer and can have one more single phase 100 amp supply off it. I do however want all of the overhead lines put underground for safely and because it doesn’t look very nice.

The choice is a) move the existing transformer to the far end of the fields and bury the lot adding an extra 100amp supply. This means I just use the existing transformer.
B) I pay for a new three phase transformer and connect up to the third phase thus having more than enough power.

Unfortunately B is twice the price.

🤔
 
May 7, 2012
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The problem is that if you have only 6 amps you will put a lot of people off and you will probably have to charge less. It is a difficult choice, but if you want a longer season than just the summer months, I cannot see 6 amps being enough. The answer may depend on the kind of person you are aiming at.
 
Jul 18, 2020
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Thank you all for taking the time to comment on this. Very helpful indeed.
Signing off and thanks again,
Olas.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Recently we were on a 10amp CL site . Even though the load monitor in the caravan was set to 9amp we still tripped the bollard if we switched on the 800w kettle so best is 16amp.
 
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May 7, 2012
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The site looks very close to a C&CC CS. It might be worthwhile contacting them with a view to entering their scheme and it will give you plenty of advice on the facilities that are preferable and power consumption and cost.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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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,
My requirements are a minimum of 10amps, but prefer 16amp.
And i hate metered elect but accept that its now becoming more common.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Thanks for the reply. The electricity choice and scenario are quite complicated. There are three phase wires to a very ugly pole outside the property. The wires run overhead over the site to the ugly pole and transformer. I have a 25kw Single phase transformer and can have one more single phase 100 amp supply off it. I do however want all of the overhead lines put underground for safely and because it doesn’t look very nice.

The choice is a) move the existing transformer to the far end of the fields and bury the lot adding an extra 100amp supply. This means I just use the existing transformer.
B) I pay for a new three phase transformer and connect up to the third phase thus having more than enough power.

Unfortunately B is twice the price.

🤔
One site i use started out with 6 amp supplies but over the years he converted to 15amp, it was very expensive and included burying the supply cables and a new distribution building, since then a road has been laid and amenity block built. The owner a farmer must have considered the improvements necessary.

And he is no longer a CL site as they restrict van numbers which makes it difficult to make a profit..
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I think the question was about sites electrical limits, not whether its a club site or not.

Even if you decide to limit the current to each pitch to just 6A, the only physical difference would be the MCB in the pitch side bollard. All the wiring leading to the bollard from your distribution room would have to be capable of carrying a full 16A just to meet present wiring regulations. So your site's wiring costs are not going to be significantly different what ever current you choose.

There is every indication that as we move forward, caravan developments will increasing rely on pitches with healthy 230V ac current capacities. Whilst 6A might seem attractively bohemian to-day will I think become an Achilles heal in the near future. Some one has already mentioned Electric Vehicles, and that is real increasing possibility as Nissan has just released an new EV which has a 1500kg towing capacity. Having a full 16A might seriously improve your sites appeal.

You should also consider what you are getting for your £6K spend for the single phase supply.
The power company will need to plan the scheme (and where necessary have the plans approved by the local authority for the positioning of poles or other necessary structures or excavation permits)
Get the workforce mobilised
and purchase the materials.

If you later decide to go for the 3 phase, the power company will need to do exactly the same stages, Bear in mind that some of the works for a single phase supply might not be suitable for a 3 phase and poles and excavations might need to be changed and of course there will be three times as much cable (which isn't cheap) and possibly a transformer. All of this will be on top of your previous single phase spend.

That additional capacity may have other benefits. You might wish to further develop your site, a small shop with chillers, a swimming pool a club house for entertaining etc, and having the power capacity readily to do it would be a clear advantage.

I suggest you go straight to the three phase supply to future proof the sites potential.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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I think the question was about sites electrical limits, not whether its a club site or not.

Even if you decide to limit the current to each pitch to just 6A, the only physical difference would be the MCB in the pitch side bollard. All the wiring leading to the bollard from your distribution room would have to be capable of carrying a full 16A just to meet present wiring regulations. So your site's wiring costs are not going to be significantly different what ever current you choose.

There is every indication that as we move forward, caravan developments will increasing rely on pitches with healthy 230V ac current capacities. Whilst 6A might seem attractively bohemian to-day will I think become an Achilles heal in the near future. Some one has already mentioned Electric Vehicles, and that is real increasing possibility as Nissan has just released an new EV which has a 1500kg towing capacity. Having a full 16A might seriously improve your sites appeal.

You should also consider what you are getting for your £6K spend for the single phase supply.
The power company will need to plan the scheme (and where necessary have the plans approved by the local authority for the positioning of poles or other necessary structures or excavation permits)
Get the workforce mobilised
and purchase the materials.

If you later decide to go for the 3 phase, the power company will need to do exactly the same stages, Bear in mind that some of the works for a single phase supply might not be suitable for a 3 phase and poles and excavations might need to be changed and of course there will be three times as much cable (which isn't cheap) and possibly a transformer. All of this will be on top of your previous single phase spend.

That additional capacity may have other benefits. You might wish to further develop your site, a small shop with chillers, a swimming pool a club house for entertaining etc, and having the power capacity readily to do it would be a clear advantage.

I suggest you go straight to the three phase supply to future proof the sites potential.
Whoa there! The individual pitch wiring may be no different but the distribution wiring within the site and supply wiring into the site would be quite different - that's where the extra cost comes in to the site owner in deciding to provide 16A to every pitch.

Future-proofing has a cost - easy when it's not your money!
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Whoa there! The individual pitch wiring may be no different but the distribution wiring within the site and supply wiring into the site would be quite different - that's where the extra cost comes in to the site owner in deciding to provide 16A to every pitch.

Future-proofing has a cost - easy when it's not your money!
I thought I had made those exact points.

I agree its the incoming supply and necessary switch gear that would change the cost. But if my guess is correct in a year or two in a 6A supply will seem a significant limitation and updating to 3 phase will incur the full 12K plus any inflationary costs.
 
Mar 10, 2006
3,120
15
20,685
I think the question was about sites electrical limits, not whether its a club site or not.

Even if you decide to limit the current to each pitch to just 6A, the only physical difference would be the MCB in the pitch side bollard. All the wiring leading to the bollard from your distribution room would have to be capable of carrying a full 16A just to meet present wiring regulations. So your site's wiring costs are not going to be significantly different what ever current you choose.

There is every indication that as we move forward, caravan developments will increasing rely on pitches with healthy 230V ac current capacities. Whilst 6A might seem attractively bohemian to-day will I think become an Achilles heal in the near future. Some one has already mentioned Electric Vehicles, and that is real increasing possibility as Nissan has just released an new EV which has a 1500kg towing capacity. Having a full 16A might seriously improve your sites appeal.

You should also consider what you are getting for your £6K spend for the single phase supply.
The power company will need to plan the scheme (and where necessary have the plans approved by the local authority for the positioning of poles or other necessary structures or excavation permits)
Get the workforce mobilised
and purchase the materials.

If you later decide to go for the 3 phase, the power company will need to do exactly the same stages, Bear in mind that some of the works for a single phase supply might not be suitable for a 3 phase and poles and excavations might need to be changed and of course there will be three times as much cable (which isn't cheap) and possibly a transformer. All of this will be on top of your previous single phase spend.

That additional capacity may have other benefits. You might wish to further develop your site, a small shop with chillers, a swimming pool a club house for entertaining etc, and having the power capacity readily to do it would be a clear advantage.

I suggest you go straight to the three phase supply to future proof the sites potential.
You can't ignore costs if you want to run a profitable business, as the cost is practically double for a 16amp supply consideration needs to be given to determine whether its practical.
You need to get the units on site to regain any capital cost, a 5 van site such as a CL will immediately reduce income.

Which is why many previous CL sites are no longer certified to allow an economical number on units on site, I use three sites that were previously CL's.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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You can't ignore costs if you want to run a profitable business, as the cost is practically double for a 16amp supply consideration needs to be given to determine whether its practical.
You need to get the units on site to regain any capital cost, a 5 van site such as a CL will immediately reduce income.

Which is why many previous CL sites are no longer certified to allow an economical number on units on site, I use three sites that were previously CL's.
I don't follow the logic of your post? you have highlighted my comment about electrical limits and whether its a club site of not, and then you go on to suggest I have ignored costs!

Please read the thread. The OP has suggested he might have just 5 caravan pitches and a number of Tent pitches. Did you know there are now many camping sites that offer tenters a 230V supply ?

The OP has already identified that the 100A single phase supply may not be enough to service all his intended pitches, so there is potential need already to consider a 3 phase supply.

He hasn't asked for a financial assessment from he has asked about the pros and cons of the various options.

Clearly one of the issues is the installation costs, the point I hope I had made clearly was that choosing the single phase option now may make financial sense in the short term, becasue of its lower cost but if a year or two down the road he discovers he should have gone for the 3 phase option then teh single phase costs will have been wasted because he will still have to find the full 3 phase installation cost on top of what he has already spent. So the longer term view which must also consider how caravans and cars are developing strongly points to needing the 3 phase system. So is its save by spending 6K now but discovering you need to spend a further 12K in a couple of years, totalling 18K or biting the bullet and spending 12K now for a future proofed solution.

He needs to do his research , and to produce his business plans. I am not spending his money - i have just added my perception to the thread, as he asked.
 
May 7, 2012
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While I understand the arguments on cost I am afraid that I would think a 5amp supply will not attract enough people to justify even its lower costs.There are some sites who get away with no electricity and it may be you can go for that very limited market. Once you install electricity I think there is no real argument but that you should bite the bullet and go for 16 amps.
 

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