Frequently asked questions
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Technical - Electrical
A microwave oven uses a lot of power. Check the actual input power requirements in the manufacturer’s specifications or on the plate at the back of the oven – or, if in doubt, use twice the cooking power quoted. This will allow for the extra power requirement used on start-up. Hence an oven with a cooking power of 900watts may use as much as 1,800watts, which at a nominal 240 volts will require a power supply of 1800/240 = 7.5 amps.
Club Sites typcially have a 16 or 10 amp supply. You are normally limited to only 10 amps as this is typically what the electrical circuit serving the power sockets in your caravan will be limited to. You need to consider what other electrical equipment is being operated at the same time on the same circuit. If the refrigerator and say water heater were being operated at the same time as a microwave, this could be enough to overload the circuit.
If you feel you need to use a microwave in your caravan, keep it to a low-power version and be careful with what other equipment you operate at the same time.
The blue plug and socket that we use in the UK is the European standard, but many sites in parts of continental Europe still use a two pin connection, with either contacts at the side or a central third pin on the supply side for the earth connection. A continental two pin adapter lead can be bought from camping stores to connect from your existing lead to the old style connections.
Do take a mains tester though, to check the mains polarity. If the tester shows reversed polarity, which is often the case in Europe, for safety sake you should not use the supply unless you have the means to change the supply back to normal polarity. This can be achieved with another adapter lead that needs to be made up by an electrician or other competent person. Alternatively, there are units that can be wired into your motorhome or caravan’s electrical circuit that will safely deal with the reverse polarity problem, for more information see:
In our Getting Started section we include some useful information on electricity whilst camping - find it here
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