A modified power cord can void your caravan insurance. Discover a safe, legal alternative to this age-old caravanning question.
Why you need caravan insurance
Whether you’re touring our wide brown land or permanently connected to power at home, caravan insurance is essential. Insurance gives you peace of mind and protection for your valuable asset, inside and out, in case of an accident, natural disaster or theft. Your caravan insurance also covers you for loss or damage to your caravan in the event of an electrical fire – or does it?
Caravan insurance – The Fine Print
Let’s face it. The Fine Print of your insurance policy is never going to make it to the top of your must-read pile. So it’s no wonder many caravan owners have little idea about the things that can void an insurance policy.
A quick read of some of the most popular caravan insurance policies reveals that:
- You may not be covered in the event of a rebellion or riot (the Cabin Fever Clause)
- You may not be covered if you use nuclear waste or material in your van (the Holidays with Homer Simpson Clause), and,
- You may not be covered if you keep illegal combustible or flammable chemicals in your van (The Breaking Bad Clause).
But the main clause that many van owners remain sweetly oblivious to is a little something we at Ampfibian like to call the Death Lead Clause.
Illegal modifications and power cords
One of the most common ways van owners accidentally (or sometimes intentionally) put their caravan insurance policy – and the lives and property of others – at risk is through the use of non-standard electrical leads.
Your insurance policy will certainly contain wording along the lines of any “alterations to the standard equipment on the on-site caravan, touring caravan or trailer which may affect its value, safety, or appearance” could impact your ability to make insurance claims.
Using illegally modified power cords is one such alteration.
Caravans and motor homes come equipped with a 15 amp power inlet which does not fit into domestic 10 amp power points… some people literally ‘force the issue’ resulting in a connection which is both illegal and dangerous.
Why ‘death leads’ are dangerous
So you’ve dodged around and saved a few dollars. Good for you. You’ve set up on a friend’s property using your new piece of electrical handiwork to connect to their home’s 10 amp power supply. Your fridge, lights and other appliances all draw power from the main electrical supply. Switch on the telly and you could easily blow a circuit or worse, start a fire that burns down your mate’s house and everything in it. They’re not called ‘death leads’ for nothing.
The Ampfibian RV-PLUS – a safe, legal caravan power converter
We were not about to let a pesky power problem ruin the joys of caravanning, so we came up with a solution.
The Australian-made Ampfibian RV-PLUS caravan power convertor.
Simply plug your caravan power cord into the sexy see-through RV-PLUS weatherproof housing, then plug the RV-PLUS power cord into any home 10 amp power socket and away you go.
It features an RCD (Residual Current Device) for personal protection, and a 10 amp circuit breaker for extra peace of mind. It’s even padlockable to prevent theft! And if you need extra length, may we recommend the fully waterproof Hellbender heavy-duty rubber extension lead?
Avoid nasty shocks with your caravan insurance policy – and keep your loved ones safe – with an Ampfibian caravan power adaptor. Available online and from leading hardware, electrical and camping/caravanning stores.
We’re excited to launch Ampfibian’s New Zealand website! There are a couple of differences:
– There is no online store in NZ;
– The product range is slightly different.
The MINI and MAX adaptors are for travel and trade in Australia, but NZ caravans use different plug and socket. So we created two new caravan adaptors: the MINI-BLU for indoor/undercover use, and the weatherproof MINI-BLACK for unrestricted outdoor use.
The MINI and the MAX adapt “normal” three-flat-pin 15A power tools to 10A. These are for DIY, trade and construction users; the MINI is popular with welders, the MAX on-site where it’s wet (e.g. concrete cutting) and conditions are tough.
All adaptors include 2400W overload protection to protect wiring from fire and a residual current device (RCD) for personal protection.
You can’t get HELLBENDER rubber extension leads, carry bags and PLUG-MATEs in NZ. If you’re interested in an Industrial Series adaptor, which allows 10A or 15A devices to adapt to single and three phase outlets up to 50A, please drop us a line directly.
Ampfibians are available from hardware and caravan accessory stores throughout New Zealand, but please note that the MINI-BLACK won’t be available until July 2017.
All Ampfibian adaptors have a two-year warranty – just return it with your proof of purchase. Remember that when an Ampfibian trips, it’s not broken: it’s doing its job!
We are always keen to improve our products, so if there’s anything you think we should know, please get in touch.
New Zealand’s natural beauty makes it one of the world’s top travel destinations. Its highways and byways brim with caravans and RVs as local and international visitors soak up the land and its delicious bounty.
New Zealand caravans and motorhomes use a superior 16A plug and socket arrangement that’s weatherproof and robust but still limited to dedicated 16A connections. The freshly released weatherproof Ampfibian MINI-BLACK lets 16A vans connect to regular 10A outlets safely and legally.
It is New Zealand’s first and only weatherproof power and safety adaptor incorporating R.C.D. and overload protection – meaning people can cool the fridge and charge their batteries at home before their trip, with their insurance intact.
Designed and made in Australia, it was developed with input from NZ safety authorities and expert travellers to ensure maximum protection and convenience.
The MINI-BLACK has the same electrical properties as the MINI-BLU and can be used outdoors in rain, hail or shine for maximum convenience.
The MINI-BLACK does not magically convert 10A to 16A but limits the amount of current the van can draw to 10A, protecting the domestic powerpoint and wiring from overheating. Pretty considerate if you’re plugged-in at a friend’s place.
The R.C.D. (residual current device) turns the power off extremely quickly if it detects a difference between incoming and outgoing electricity, protecting anybody who accidentally joined the circuit from the effects of electrocution.
Ampfibian designs and manufactures electrical power and safety adaptors in NSW’s Northern Rivers region (which is almost as beautiful as New Zealand). Dedicating to making life safer and more convenient, all products are designed and made to meet and exceed electrical standards.
The MINI-BLACK will be available in stores from July 2017.
Thank goodness it was a long weekend because there were a few sore heads at Ampfibian HQ: we are humbled and excited to have received a Good Design award on Thursday night for the Ampfibian X1 Connector Protector. Judged by a panel of 35 local and international design experts, the awards are open to entries from around the world – we were up against products from Dyson, Tesla, Miele, Breville and many more… fortunately divided into different categories.
The Ampfibian X1 keeps electrical plugs and sockets connected and dry. The patented seals eliminate the risk of electrocution in the wet, while the retaining mechanism locks the connection together by acting on the leads, not the plugs. At home or on-site, the X1 keeps you connected and safe.
The jury commented: “This is an incredibly well-resolved product that ticks every box in the design criteria. Every element has been meticulously designed and detailed to deliver a highly functional product that does what it was designed to do with no fuss. The Jury was very impressed with the robust construction and intuitive operation. This is a terrific product that deserves recognition at the highest level. Well done.”
Mr Oliver Kratzer, Ampfibian’s director said, “This is the first competition we’ve ever entered, so are completely stoked to walk away with this award. We work very hard to provide well designed, quality Australian-made products. The feedback from our customers has been incredibly positive, and it’s great to get additional recognition at this level.”
“A design award is really for the customers’ benefit: we are not asking them to take our word for how great our products are; they can rely on an independent third parties’ opinion”, said David Betterridge, director and founder of Ampfibian.
The X1 is available nationally from hardware, outdoor and electrical retailers. For more information please click here.
When we identified a gap in the market we gave it our best shot to come up with a product that solved the problem. At a price and with a set of features that we thought would hit the spot. Since then we have asked for, and generously received, your feedback. Online, via emails and letters, and more recently with questionnaires, you have told us what you think. To us there is no such thing as negative feedback: it’s all feedback, an opportunity to make things better. Many of you are very complimentary which we appreciate, and 100% of questionnaire respondents would recommend Ampfibian products to other people!
Your safety concerns made us increase the weatherproofing from IP44 to IP55 on the (RV02) MAX, higher than required by Australian Standards. Concerns about theft saw the addition of a stainless steel security bracket, and construction site users wanted the ability to add a lock-out tag.
You let us know that the MAX was too expensive, so we created the lower cost RV-PLUS specifically for travellers, and when we were finally in a position to do it, we reduced the cost of the MAX as well.
We’ve received many more great ideas, and while the built-in bottle opener is certainly popular, there are probably other ones that might appear sooner 😉
So thank you for caring, for taking the time to let us know. Please keep up the ideas and the feedback,
Yet more furious activity behind the scenes: after the launch of the RV-PLUS at the start of June, we immediately jumped into developing another new product. Although it has been gestating for more than six years (on-and-off), we’re about to get it over the line.
It’s not a power adaptor – but you’ll be able to use it with all our products, and your power tools… especially where things are wet: electricity and water don’t mix!
Stay tuned, we expect to have it out to stores in time for Christmas!
Big announcement: we have decided to reduce the recommended retail price of our premium Ampfibian MAX from $269 to $199 effective immediately.
Thanks to efficiency gains and economies of scale, we are happy to pass on the savings to our customers with the goal of improving electrical safety for everyone!
The recent release of the traveller-specific $149.00 RV-PLUS, allows the already H-Class approved MAX to be further tailored to the trade and commercial markets… stay tuned!
To meet the highest workplace safety standards, all Ampfibian Industrial Series power and safety adaptors are now shipping with armoured leads and a lock-out fitting.
The armoured leads have an earthed woven metal sleeve around the conductors, this is in turn encapsulated in clear PVC. The lockout tab prevents the RCBO lid from being opened – it fits padlocks / tags with shafts up to 6mm (1/4″) diameter.
The industrial units are now also fitted with stainless steel security brackets.
Ampfibian is all about empowering individuals to take charge of their own work place safety!
We are delighted to announce the new power & safety adaptor from Ampfibian: the RV-PLUS.
It is built on nine year’s experience designing and making power adaptors, feedback from more than 7000 surveys (thank you for those), and innumerable conversations with people who love to travel.
The RV-PLUS includes everything travellers need: nothing less, nothing more.
It is weatherproof, really weatherproof, to IP-55… accidently hit-it-with-the-hose weatherproof. No matter which way it faces, not matter how large or small the lead plugged into it, or if there is one at all. If it rains or storms, you’re safe.
It is compact: smaller than it’s big brother the MAX, and lighter, too. The housing holds the lead wrapped in place, with a clip to keep it there.
It is safe: the case is tough-as-nails, the power lead is thick and strong, every single unit is individually tested. All Australian electrical and other standard have been met or exceeded, approved and certified.
The socket has a power-on indicator light. It’s not super bright to distract you from the stars at night, just enough to let you know it is “on”.
The clear cover that seals the breaker and internal socket can be padlocked closed for extra piece of mind while you’re off fishing and exploring.
The quality is what you expect from Ampfibian: this is one tough puppy. Once you hold it you’ll know what we mean. Designed and made in Australia, our standard two-year warranty applies.
Our purpose is to make life safer and more convenient for people. The less our products cost, the more people can afford them, making the world a safer place for all. At a recommended retail price of $149.00, we reckon it’s within everybody’s reach.
The RV-PLUS will be launched at the Brisbane Caravan, Camper and Touring Supershow on the 8th of June, and rolled out across the country after that. Travel well, stay safe.
“Hellbenders™” are Ampfibians new heavy-duty extensions leads.
When you consider buying an extension lead, remember that extension leads are not all created equal: they are manufactured to be used in different environments, under different conditions, and to carry different amounts of electrical current. By basing your choice of extension cord on your specific requirements, you increase the usable life of the lead, making you safer and ultimately giving you better value for money. Safety, longevity and convenience were the key factors in the creation of the revolutionary Hellbenders.
Exclusively available online, these 15A leads are made of rubber, which means they are extra tough and flexible. Unlike conventional P.V.C. leads, Hellbenders wind tightly which makes them very compact and portable. As rubber does not have a “memory” effect, they won’t become difficult to wind, or get kinked from regular use.
They won’t go soft in the sun (they can be used up to 150 degrees Celsius!) and the outer is completely waterproof. The rubber is extremely durable and highly resistant to physical abuse. These toughies will outlast cheap PVC leads, saving you money.
The current range of Hellbenders is for 15 Amp caravans, RVs and camper-trailers. Remember you must never modify a 15A extension lead to fit into a 10A outlet! This is dangerous and if (when!) something goes wrong, will render your insurance void. It could also kill you.
Available in three different lengths (10m, 15m, 20m) they come with a wide Velcro® strap, which means once they’re rolled up, they stay rolled up: perfect for travel! The caravan/RV Hellbenders fit both old and current caravan/RV power inlets.
Regardless of whether or not it’s being used, when an extension cord is plugged into an outlet, it is potentially live. To avoid safety hazards, the Hellbender is fitted with a ‘power-on’ indicator light so you always know what’s going on.
To find our more or purchase the Hellbender, visit our SHOP page or call 1800-FIBIAN and speak to our team.