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.
Here at Ampfibian, we’re pretty proud of our trade-tough X1 weatherproof connector protector, it even won us an Australian Good Design Award ®.
But because we’re all about designing and delivering products that combine safety with convenience, and while the X1 was being snapped up by tradies all around the country, consumers were after a more cost-effective alternative, so we listened and did something about it.
And that ‘something’ is the X2, the X1’s little brother!
As a weatherproof connector protector, it prevents electrocution whenever there’s a chance water will be around, making it a must-have when you’re running power from your caravan to electrical equipment in the annex, like a fridge, TV or stereo. Plus, it’s ideal for using at home too, whether you’re rigging up some outdoor lights, working with power tools in the garden, or hosting a power-hungryoutdoor get-together for your mates.
By keepingall of X1’s independently tested and Australian-standard-approved features that you need to stay safe and giving those that are only required on industrial work sites a holiday, the X2 is great value for money at just $19.99.
Buy it online at ampfibian.com.au or grab it from your local Bunnings store today!
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.
We tripped over the Aussie made Plug-Mates(TM) a couple of months ago and were so impressed by this clever product (and the people behind it), that we wanted to share it as widely as possible. Put a Plug-Mate on all your power plugs: especially relevant for travellers and tradies! It’s one of those simple things that’ll save you tons of grief. These work phenomenally well with all Ampfibian power and safety adaptors, and keep your awesome Hellbender rubber extension leads in tip-top shape!
Now available from our website in packs of five, we wouldn’t be caught without ‘em!
“Guaranteed access to mains power whenever I need it” – Brendan Batty, Australian Caravan + RV February 2017
Even editors of caravan magazines can get stuck without access to a 15A socket to power their caravans. Just ask Brendan Batty from Australian Caravan + RV who nearly ruined the family Christmas camping holiday when he arrived to find only a 10A socket for his caravan. Without skipping a beat, Brendan whipped out an Ampfibian RV-PLUS 15A to 10A caravan power adaptor and saved the day, phew! Read on for the full review.