Using Electricity in Your Tent - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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Using Electricity in Your Tent


Some pitches have a single electrical connection socket

Beware of the hazards

  • Water and electricity do not mix
  • Proprietary hook-up equipment is designed to resist damp conditions, but is only fully effective when appliance plugs are not inserted and covers are over the sockets
  • Only use the blue plug to connect to the site electricity bollard
  • Most domestic electrical appliances are not designed for the damp outdoors
  • Supply leads in a confined space can present a trip hazard

A typical electrical hook-up bollard

Minimise the risks


  • Use only proprietary hook-up equipment purchased from a reputable dealer with safety devices including an RCD and an IP rating of 44 or greater
  • Keep hook-up equipment off the ground and close to the appliances
  • Use only when someone is present otherwise switch off and remove plugs, ensuring covers are over sockets
  • Test the operation of the circuit breaker before plugging-in appliances
  • Be prepared to stop using electricity when conditions in the tent are damp


Keep hook-up equipment off the ground


  • NEVER use a household extension cable, even with an RCD plug, instead of proprietary hook-up equipment

Use only proprietary hook-up equipment with RCD’s and circuit breakers and test them regularly

  • Do NOT use household plug adaptors and never more than one appliance per socket
  • Do NOT allow children to be involved in the installation and operation of electricity

Avoid excessive cabling inside tents and keep all electrical appliances and connections away from water

If in doubt about the safety or suitability of your equipment get advice from a qualified electrician.

For further information see our Expert Guide to Campsite Electricity, alternatively contact the Club’s Technical Department (See contact details below). Benefit from expert advice, retail discounts and money off pitch night stays when you join the Club.


Residual Current Device (RCD)
A protective device used to automatically disconnect the electrical supply when an imbalance is detected between live conductors. This could be related to an earth fault resulting from a damaged conductor.

Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCB)
Commonly known as a circuit breaker. An automatic protective device fitted in the fusebox that will disconnect a circuit if there is a fault or overload.

IP rating
IP or Ingress Protection ratings are defined in EN 60529. They are used to set levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies. The numbers that follow them have a specific meaning. The first indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc). 

Tech team contact

If you're a member of the Club, you can contact our tech team to discuss your needs.