Electric Hookups (EHU) for camping


img_3573Many campsites now offer an electric hookup on their camping pitches. Typically the campsites charge about £4 per night for this and it is perfect for if you want to run a kettle, fridge freezer, fan heater, recharge your phones and lights etc.

We recently asked people the question on FaceBook whether they camped using an EHU or not. The overwhelming response was yes, people stating that they could never again camp without it. Granted there were people saying that this wasn’t real camping, but most could not live without some creature comforts. Also trying to keep kids entertained whilst camping

Typically in the UK the hookups are either 10amp or 16amp, sometimes lower at 5 or 6amps. You will need to have a play with how much electrical stuff you can use before you trip the electric.

In order to make use of the electric hookup, you will need to purchase a mobile mains unit that will convert from the round 3 pin plugs (like on on 110v supplies) to the ones you use at home. This will provide you with 240v electricity supply that you can plug your home appliances into. The one that we have is 20 metres long, has 3 plugs and also includes a circuit breaker.

New, these typically cost about £30. Ours was second hand, being sold locally on eBay and only cost us £10. There are cheaper versions available but these typically don’t include a circuit breaker, but why would you risk electrocuting yourself or blowing your appliances up

Here is a photo of our (old) mains unit;

Mobile mains unit
Our mobile mains unit

Typically, we run a low-voltage kettle, a George Foreman grille, a fridge freezer and various phone chargers and have never had a problem with tripping the electricity. We did on one occasion add a Tefal Actifry to the above list, and as soon as we switched the kettle on, everything else went off. We just flicked the switch on the RCD, carried on with our cooking and had our coffee a little later.

Our mains unit has 3 plug outlets, so we use an extension lead to fit everything into.

One of the most amusing creature comforts we heard of that necessitated a hookup was from a lady who hated instant coffee and always had to take her Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee machine with her, now that’s class.

Buying tips.
Make sure that you buy a mains unit that is long enough for all your needs so it easily reaches your tent and does not restrict where you can pitch up.

Choose a mains unit that has its own, RCD or circuit breaker. That means that if any of your appliances develop a fault or you are drawing too much current, the RCD will trip and not affect the campsites electricity supply. It is just the flick of a switch to turn it back on again, like the on your fuse board at home.
What are the alternatives?
You could camp without using any electricity at all. You could also consider having a more limited power supply, say from a leisure battery, charged up before your journey and even recharged using solar power whilst you are away. We will be looking into these options in more detail soon – link to follow.

If you are interested in buying a Mobile Mains Unit, we have provided links below to both eBay and Amazon so you can shop around for the best deals.

Here is our review of our current EHU mains unit, Vango Voltaic Roll Away;
vango voltaic roll away mains cable

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