At Ampfibian, we receive a lot of calls from caravan owners who can’t plug their new 15A power lead into their old caravan. They find that the new lead has a collar which stops it from plugging in all the way. This is not a glitch or a mistake but required by a new safety standard to protect you and your precious caravan.
Australian Standards are updated regularly to keep us all safe and sound. This particular change came into effect in 2011 with had a grace period of 5 years until 2016, when it became mandatory. If your caravan was made after that date, it will have an inlet that allows collared plugs to connect. It also became illegal to supply leads without collars.
The collar is not just a fancy addition but provides an extra layer of protection by shielding the plug’s exposed (metal) pins. This reduces the risk of accidental contact, shock, or short circuit that can pose significant dangers to users and their caravans. The change improves your safety and that of your fellow campers.
Please resist the temptation to cut off the collar! Attempting to modify the 15A lead is not a safe or legal solution. Doing so compromises the safety features designed to protect you and your caravan from potential electrical hazards. We’ve also heard about people cutting themselves quite badly… those collars are tough.
If you’re currently unable to plug a 15A lead into your caravan because the collar is in the way, you’ll have to upgrade your caravan’s inlet to match the new standard. This involves replacing the old inlet with a new one that can accommodate the collar on the 15A leads.
When it comes to electrical modifications and installations, you must rely on the expertise of a qualified person. Please find a licensed electrician or a reputable caravan service provider who specialises in electrical work. They will have the knowledge, training, and experience to ensure the necessary changes are made safely and in compliance with Australian Standards. Even though caravans use 240V just like your home, they fall under tougher safety standards, are wired-up differently, and even though you can’t see it, use different outlets and switches… all in the name of safety.
Remember, prioritising safety is the key to enjoying worry-free travels and making lasting (happy!) memories in your beloved caravan. Stay informed, take action, and always put safety first. Happy caravanning from all of us at Ampfibian!