Electricity on European Campsites
Site power supply
Mainland European electricity supply runs at 220V, which is 10V lower than in Britain. With a reduced voltage the output of power is also reduced, so appliances will generally not work so efficiently.
Increasing reliance on campsites’ electrical supplies by modern outfits means it is even more important to plan ahead to ensure you do not overload any site’s electricity supply. Please ensure your requirements do not exceed the amperage reserved for you on your booking. The site power supply is given on each site’s price panel.
To protect sophisticated equipment, including computers and mobile phones, we highly recommend that you use a voltage fluctuation/power surge protector. The Club cannot be held responsible for electrical damage caused by voltage fluctuations.
The mains lead needed to connect to the electricity supply on UK Club Sites is a blue three-pin plug and socket manufactured to European Standard CEE17. While many continental sites are changing to this system many still use their national-style plugs, especially in France, Germany and Spain. To use your usual lead on these sites you will need to connect it to a lead with a two-pin continental plug at one end and a blue socket at the other. These continental site adaptors are available in all good camping accessory shops for about £7.
How far away will my hook-up be?
It can be right on the pitch, or it may be some distance away, so we recommend taking a 25m electricity cable. Taking a further extension cable is also a good idea.
We advise you to take a mains polarity tester plug, which indicates reversed polarity if it is present in your pitch supply. This is quite common, as the electrical switch system in continental units is different to the UK’s, in that it cuts the power completely from both the live and neutral wires, instead of just the live wire. In the case of reversed polarity the supply enters your UK unit via the neutral instead of the live wire and the appliance remains live when switched off and could give a potentially lethal shock to someone coming in contact with the wiring inside the appliance.
We recommend that you carry a polarity reverser connection as well. This is a short extension lead modified by an electrician to have live and neutral wires reversed (and this polarity reversing device must then be very clearly labelled as such). If your polarity tester tells you the polarity is reversed, then using your reversing device will ensure the supply entering your unit is safe.