Electric hook-up - what's in our kit

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Minxy Girl, May 27, 2014.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I was chatting the other day to a couple about electric hook-up connections abroad and the bits and pieces we have in our 'kit', then someone on another forum asked similar questions, so I thought I'd type it all up in case anyone else wanted to know about it, anyway here it is:

    Images A to E at the bottom correspond to the below list of items:

    A: Reverse polarity correction cable - you'll to make up your own as you cannot buy them. You'll need one male and one female connector and a length of hook-up cable (you can use a bit of your existing hook-up cable to save having to buy more if you wish).

    female connector end

    male connector end

    To make up your RP converter you need to wire it up in the following way (note that for both connectors the earth wire should be wired correctly to the 'earth' terminal):

    - wire the female connector end correctly, ie the live wire to the 'L' terminal and the neutral wire to the 'N' terminal
    - wire male connector end incorrectly, ie the opposite way, so the live wire goes to the 'N' point and the neutral to the 'L' point - mark this end clearly with an 'R' to show it is reversed!!!

    When you've done it, it should look like the one in image below.

    B: Polarity / wiring tester:

    tester

    C: Continental 2-pin plug connector with UK type female socket:

    pin connector

    D: UK type electrical connector with a UK 13amp socket end to use with a polarity tester and/or to run appliances direct from the hook-up point/lead:

    UK connector with 13 amp socket

    E: UK 13 amp plug connector - to be able to plug your hook-up cable into a standard UK socket at home or away in the UK (useful if you need to plug-in to an electrical supply that doesn't have a hook-up cable connector) - this has a standard 13amp plug on one end with a female hook-up socket on the other:

    UK connector with 13 amp plug

    continued below ....
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    F: How to use the reverse polarity tester with a UK style hook-up point

    G: How to use the reverse polarity tester with a continental style hook-up point

    If you find that there is reverse polarity (and no other socket is wired correctly - this can often be the case!) then use the RP converter you've made by putting attaching this between the MH's input point and the hook-up cable.

    NOTE: I am NOT an electrician and this is how I have wired up my RP converter and use my system which works for me - if you choose to copy this it is obviously at your own risk - if you are not sure of what you are doing please do not attempt to do this.
     
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  3. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    Damn i am really confused now:Doh: were off to France/Spain in 4 weeks an i have purchased a continental 2 pin adapter (C) in your pics - so do i need to buy anything else ? :cry:
     
  4. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    A, B &C are the minimum requirements plug your tester into a socket in the van then connect your hookup lead to the post using the euro converter. then check the tester. if its reverse polarity, unplug the hookup lead and add the reverse polarity correction lead (standard 16A plug to 16A socket with either plug or socket crosswired). this will correct the polarity in your van, but never forget the lead is still reverse polarity

    the reason for this is that "most" vans have switching only on the live conductor and any appliance will remain live when it appears off. most appliances will still work, but its a safety issue
     
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  5. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    As a minimum I would say the tester (picture 2) which you can, if you wish, plug into one of your van's 13amp internal sockets to test the polarity, and the reverse polarity converter which you'll need to make up (picture 1).:Smile:

    I also like to have the one in the 4th image to use the tester with that way I can do it all at the hook-up point and saving having to go back and forth to the camper to check the tester reading, and also it means that I don't risk connecting reverse polarity electrics to my MH in the first place. I've given links of the cheapest kit I could find on a quick scout of the web so all you'd need to do is order them and then make up your own lead.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
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  6. sb8263

    sb8263 Funster

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    i bought all these items from ebay,,the whole lot cost just over £20,,,including the Reverse polarity correction cable :thumb:
     
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  7. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I have to agree and say your wrong on the first one..
    Bought my reverse polarity lead adaptor maybe 10 years ago at a caravan / towing shop and they are easily available now, including a few on ebay.....

    Otherwise All Good info..:thumb:
     
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  8. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    Do I need to bother I have a French motorhome and they all seem not to find it a problem. I used to be very smug about our wiring being better than the French until I found out they had RCD's years before we did!

    David
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I have a hook up lead 25 mt .. another 25mt extension on a drum, and a continental two pin adapter... nothing else.. the extra cable is sometimes needed on aires.

    I test for earth using the 'test button' on the ELCB in the van..

    Not going to start yet another debate about reverse polarity.. there are pages and pages of it already.

    For home use I have a separate EHU lead, just long enough to reach the van, so no coils of cable laying under the van getting dirty.
     
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  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    The last time I checked it was ILLEGAL for a business to actually sell reverse polarity cables ... it may be the case that they are available but whether or not they are LEGAL is the question, if, however, you are prepared to pay for someone else to have done the work for you when you can do it yourself probably cheaper, that's up to you.

    I also posted the information to help people, not recommending where to buy it from, and did say that I'd only had a quick scout around the web, so there may well be cheaper ones out there, so if you can find it cheaper that's great - in which case post the info on here so others can benefit from it too. :Smile:
     
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  12. sb8263

    sb8263 Funster

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    sorry if i have put a post on out of term,,i was just saying i bought all the items you recomend we need from ebay,,,thank you for telling us what we need as we are going to france for the 1st time soon and without the help and advice on here we would be up s**t creek without a paddle :Sad:
     
  13. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    thrown all that crap away and have solar and battery's never been on hook up in the past three years winter or summer would not need it in the likes of Spain :thumb:
     
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  14. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I have all the stuff in the OP except the reverse polarity lead. My MH is French and so should be used to it.

    I do carry a 5m lead, a 10m lead and a 25m lead. The short ones are useful if there's a nearby supply, and I can always plug two together if its a long way away.

    I have a blue socket to 13A plug and a blue plug to 13A socket, which are occasionally useful. At my storage place there is a single 16A socket, but it's a long way away, so I use these with a 100m extension cable on a drum to reach my motorhome if I need to run something higher rated than my 1.5Kw inverter. (like our 3Kw vacuum cleaner)
     
  15. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Seconded, been to France for a fortnight , no solar or hookup, batteries still full at the end:thumb::thumb:
     
  16. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    have you had your van electric looked at vans don't get used to it
    if it is revers polarity for the uk you risk electrocution death:thumb: or even a fire pleas do get it looked at
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
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  17. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We too have a solar panel and 2 leisure batteries and virtually NEVER use sites etc, but may occasionally partake of some free electric, or pay for it if we want to top up camera batteries etc if the weather has been inclement and the solar hasn't been producing much. However not everyone wants, or needs, solar if they use sites, so it is still relevant to a lot of people.
     
  18. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Don't be sorry at all, you posted what you thought was useful, and it may well be that the 'rules' on selling the reverse polarity lead have changed so that you can now do so legally, I don't know for sure one way or the other what the present situation is, that is for the buyer to ascertain for themselves. :Smile:
     
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  19. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Thank you for your kind thoughts Bill. :thumb:

    There was a bit of humour in the way I posted however, most continental vans are wired with double pole switching because of the fact that the French don't seem to bother which way they wire things.

    We rarely use ehu as we have 400w solar and a 1.5Kw inverter. If needed I could always rewire my short ehu lead and use that as a polarity reversing lead, wouldn't take a moment.
     
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  20. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    My ehu cable has an inline two pin continental plug and socket wired in below the blue plug. If the site has the two pin setup, I just plug that in, if it has the blue socket, I plug that in and if it comes up reverse polarity, I just unplug the two pin connector, rotate it 180 degrees and connect it back up.
     
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