Wells Touring Park, Somerset
Wells Touring Park, Somerset

They say there are 2 types of caravaners, those that have tripped the mains supply, and those that are going to trip the mains supply! It was while we were experiencing our first winter trip at Wells Touring Park on a cold January night we encountered our first experience of the electricity tripping out.

As this had not happened before a little investigation was required to discover the reason. The first culprit was the Alde heating set at 2kW drawing it was drawing 9A, (it was freezing outside but toasty inside out Bailey) All was good with the world watching TV and enjoying a generous G&T with ice, when the wife switched on the microwave drawing an additional 5A, at the point the 16amp mains supply tripped. We thought that this should have been well within our limit, however, we had not taken into account the addition of fridge, TV, charger, and lights which took us over the 16amp limit. Which meant a trip out into the cold and rain to the supply to reset the RCD, After of course reducing the load by switching the heating down to 1KW

Appliance Watts Amps
Kettle, household 2200 10
Alde Heating 1 kW 4.5A
Alde Heating 2.1kW 9A
Alde Heating 3.2kW 14A
Toaster 1200 5
Microwave 1200 5
Air Con Unit 1000 4.5
Water heater 750 3
Hotplate 1000  –   2000 4.5 – 9
Kettle, low wattage 750 3
Charger/Power supply 125 + 0.5 – 1
Fridge 125 0.5
Mains lights 60 0.25
TV 60 0.25

Note: All measurements are approximate and may vary dependant on make and model of appliance.

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If the Touring site has a modern electrical distribution system each pitch will have an individual supply protected by a residual current device, this acts as a protection against electrocution should one of your devices be faulty or you accidentally cut your mains cable, it also prevents damage to the electricity supply and will trip out cutting the supply to your caravan to prevent you from drawing too much current. if not you may need to go to the reception, unfortunate if you have discovered this out of office hours.

Most sites in the UK offer 16amp or 10amp connections, however, in countries abroad power supply may be as little as 5amps. Therefore, it pays to know how much current each device uses in your van so that you do not exceed the supply.

It is important to know that some items can draw more current when first switched on and may cause a spike in the supply.

In summer when you are connected to a 16amp supply you may not experience any electricity supply issues. If you caravan all the year round and you have Alde Central heating, you need to consider how much current you may be drawing prior to switching on a mains kettle or microwave. And if you use a mains kettle consider investing in a low voltage appliance.

Caravan Appliances Average Power Consumption Appliance consumption


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