We’re glad you asked! In a nutshell…
Circuit breakers protect your circuits from overloading, which is handy because overloads cause fires.
- Overloads happen when more current is drawn than a system is designed for – for example, when you connect too many appliances to one power circuit at home, or if you plug your 15A van into a 10A power point using an illegally modified power lead.
- Your home’s fuse box has a number of circuit breakers, which will cut the power when you connect too many appliances to the one power circuit. They’re not designed to carry the load from a caravan through just the one power point. The excessive heat that situation generates often causes something in the circuit to catch on fire.
- To stay safe, you need to make sure there’s a dedicated circuit breaker in between your 15A van and the 10A power point.
Surge protectors protect electrical equipment from power surges, by absorbing or redirecting the power surge to earth before it reaches the protected equipment.
- Surges are super-short, super-high rises in voltage that can be triggered by a whole range of things, from nearby lightning hitting the grid, to caravan generators running out of fuel.
- They’re way too fast and furious to trigger a fuse or an RCD, so unless your van is protected with a surge protection device when a surge strikes, it (and everything that’s running off it) can suffer serious – and seriously expensive – electrical damage.
- And that damage won’t be covered by your insurance and product warranties.Most policies specifically exclude surge damage!
RCDs, or residual current devices, protect you against electrocution.
- Electrocution happens when electricity finds a path through a person, often due to contact with water or the resultof faulty appliances and circuits that are old, damaged or have dodgy wiring.
- RCDs monitor the balance of the current moving both ways through a circuit and if they’re not equal, which means the electricity has found another path, the RCD will cut the supply.
So, as you can see circuit breakers, surge protectors and RCDs all protect against different things.To keep yourself and your favourite travelling companion safe in every location and destination you explore, ensure you have all 3.
The good news is Ampfibian has made doing that simple.All of our caravan power adaptors feature both an RCD and a circuit breaker, and we make Australia’s only portable, weatherproof 15A caravan surge protector.
Check them out here or hit your local hardware or caravan accessory store.
Only with a 15A to 10A power adaptor or getting an electrician to fit a dedicated 15A power point at home, but without either of those, don’t even think about it.
Caravans and motor homes are designed to be connected to a 15A power point, which is why they’re fitted with a 15A power inlet. But the 15A power leads those inlets hook up to don’t fit into domestic 10A power points.
Tempted to modify the earth pin on a 15A power lead so it does fit? Seriously? Don’t.
Every time you use one of those ‘death leads’, you risk an overload because they always allow more current through than it’s designed for. That can quickly spell fire, one that your insurance policy won’t pay out for. Death leads are illegal, so using one instantly voids your policy.
Ampfibian’s 15A to 10A RV-PLUS and MAX caravan power adaptors will keep you safe and legal. They:
- With a built in miniature circuit breaker, they act like a limiting switch, keeping the maximum amount of power to 10A by simply flicking off if an overload occurs.
- Also feature an integrated residual current device (RCD), which protects you from electrocution due to faulty appliances and dodgy wiring.
- Are certified to comply withal Australian and New Zealand safety regulations.
- Offer greater value for money than having a dedicated 15A power point installed at home. With an Ampfibian caravan power adaptor as a travelling companion, you can also hook your van up at a mate’s place or anywhere else a 10A power point is the only option.
Check them out here or hit your local hardware or caravan accessory store.
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.