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 hook-up abroad

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Jimmymarts



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PostSubject: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:07 pm

Hi, we're going across to Europe in a couple of weeks to do a mini-tour of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. We've booked electric hook-up at the campsites and we have the usual hook-up lead that works over here. Probably a very stupid question, but do we need some kind of Euro adapter to use the hookup on campsites in the above countries?? Any help appreciated!
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Bloke_Off_The_Internet

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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:08 pm

Been to a few in France that have this weird adapter thingy that goes on the end of your regular EHU lead. Try http://www.towsure.com/product/Continental_Mains_to_Caravan_Electric_Adaptor ? Some of the sites that use them do have them available for hire, but it's not always as cheap as it might be. Apparently polarity is occasionally an issue too, as per this thread on another forum:

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/chatter/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=6&TopicID=214361&PagePosition=1

Other ones just use the regular UK-style hook-up. Not tried farther afield yet though.
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:53 pm

I carry one of these:

mains socket tester

(£6.99 from Maplin) to check the mains connection whenever I hook up
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Kev

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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:30 pm

As Tilly suggests the mains socket tester is a must, you should also make up (or buy one from a local caravan accessories shop ) a short extension with the polarity reversed. My experience camping in France over 25 years I can't recall a time when I have NOT had to use the reversed polarity lead. Not sure about B, NL.

Also sound advise from Bloke _off _the _internet, should always carry an adapter with a standard continental 2pin plug as many of the older style sites still use these.

Last but not least make sure you have a good length mains cable, some Euro sites tend to require a long mains lead, this year in Annecy my 23M mains lead didnt reach the electric post. Most sites will normally hire you extensions but would say the 10m leads that often carried in campers would be too short on most sites.

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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:51 pm

As above, reversed polarity can be a problem and a tester may be beneficial.

Saying that, we have been through France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, all Scando countries and the Czech republic, didn't use a tester and mostly used our UK hook up lead. We only had to use a European one in Spain and Slovenia.

The only concern we had was occasionally overloading the circuit as we were running too many things in the bus. The main culprit was an electric heater (couldn't use the petrol heater due to a petrol leak in the pipe).

As Kev said, have a couple of hook up leads. We had a 10 and a home made 30 metre lead.

Have a grand time!

Kev, where did you camp in Annecy? We were in Doussard at the end of the lake, fab place Isn't it. Stayed here:

http://www.camping-lac-bleu.com/gb/

Up every morning down to the lake, feed the birds and occasionally have a dip. Anna awent paragliding from the Col de la forclaz and loved it. Going back as soon as we can.
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Kev

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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi Den,

We were over in August Annecy was mental busy we saw Lac Bleu but was full so we ended up staying on a much smaller lake near Aix, st Jean Du Chevelu, very small really nice family site. Annecy and area is great!

My kids went Paragliding they loved it too, parents were a bit nervous though pale

http://www.camping-lacs-savoie.com/

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Jimmymarts



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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:08 pm

Brilliant thanks for all the help. Will make myself up a super long lead then! Can't wait to get over there, I'll be sure to post some pics when we're back.
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mcd116

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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue May 16, 2017 8:21 pm

Hi - helpful posts. We're off to Northern Spain in a couple of weeks and wondering whether the same applies. We have a 2-pin Euro plug adapter already and a long EHU lead.
What's all this about reverse polarity though? I thought that with AC it didn't matter and that 2 pin plugs can in any case be plugged in either way around?
Thanks,
Martin
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bobbo12



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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue May 16, 2017 9:34 pm

clown I think you will find the euro adapter is 3 pin but the earth is a female connector. The sockets you may find have a male earth pin so you can only connect one way. The polarity is important from a safety point of view. As the switch sockets on the camper only disconnects the live pin, the right hand connector. Having reverse polarity means the live pin is still active even when the socket is switched off. You can get a socket tester from Amazon and elsewhere which detects reverse polarity. However even if you find that to be so it is unlikely the camp site staff will  fix it. You will have to swap the live and neutral wires on the euro plug. Some people have 2 adapters with live and neutral wires swapped on each plug.
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mcd116

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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Tue May 16, 2017 10:00 pm

Thanks Bobbo12 - you're right - there is a 3rd connector - female. I hadn't realised.
I understand re the polarity. I'll check out the tester.
Cheers,
Martin
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bobbo12



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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Wed May 17, 2017 9:52 am

This is the kind of thing you could use.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/kenable-Mains-Power-Tester-Socket/dp/B007JIRFYU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495010742&sr=8-1&keywords=13+amp+socket+tester

I don't go to the bother of taking 2 adapters. As long as you are aware of reverse polarity just unplug devices you are not using rather than just switching off. So far I have not come across reverse polarity on EHUs with the international 16 amp IP44 sockets.
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Tallulah

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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Wed May 17, 2017 10:45 am

Another alternative is to swap the 13a sockets in your kombi which will likely be single pole, for double pole sockets that switch both live and neutral, then it won't matter either way.

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bobbo12



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PostSubject: Re: hook-up abroad   Wed May 17, 2017 11:08 am

That's an even better idea.
https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/GU3020.html?ad_position=1o4&source=adwords&ad_id=45425533757&placement=&kw=&network=g&matchtype=&ad_type=pla&product_id=GU3020&product_partition_id=174054627187&test=finalurl_v2&gclid=CNf-4M3U9tMCFZQK0wod0EQPIA

I didn't realise you could get double pole switched 13 amp sockets. Trouble is I just replaced one of mine with neon indicators as it was an immediate indicator to see if the EHU was working in the van. Trouble is they are single pole.

However these could fit the bill
https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/BG826.html
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