What type of electrical
cord do you need for your caravan / rv.
What the legal requirements and what safety aspects do you need to consider.
caravans, motorhomes, camper vans, 5th wheelers and
camper trailers you will need a 15 amp, 3 pin plug electrical
extension cord/lead. These 15 amp cords are mostly a different colour
(usually orange) than the 10 amp (usually grey) household electrical
extension cords and can also be identified by a wider earth pin.
What is a 'Mushroom'?
extension cord connects from the ‘mushroom’ as it was once
mains power supply box
/pillar (female power inlet connection) at the
caravan/trailer park to the external (male power outlet
connection) plug on your RV.
Electrical Supply Cord Care and Maintenance
should always be taken when dealing with electricity and
power cords and
the power cords should be regularly inspected for any
wear or fraying. It is important to replace worn, damaged
or frayed cords.
RV will most likely have an earth leakage circuit breaker.
To avoid electrical shock never modify lighting outlets,
plugs or cords. All electrical work should be undertaken by
a licensed electrician.
electrical cords usually come in 10, 15 and 20 meter
The extension cord supply lead must be one continuous length
and the cord should be fully unwound before use as a
wound cord may overheat and catch fire.
reasons there are maximum lengths (including in line length
combination of cords).
Set Rating (amp)
Flexible Cord (metre)
Some caravan parks or tourist parks have conditions of use
or ‘park rules’ relating to the recommended maximum length
of power cords to 15 metres.
To prevent overload, larger caravans and RV’s with air
conditioners and 240V hot water systems running consistently would be best
suited to use a shorter 15A ‘contractors’ heavy duty (heavier conductor
area) electrical lead. These electrical cords are normally blue in colour
and your can pick them up at Bunnings or other tradesman type stores.
of Extension Cord Do I Need to Carry?
In some caravan/trailer parks the power supply box
can be some distance from your RV so it is
recommended you carry different length cords for
Obviously the shorter one for when your RV is
closer to the power supply box and the longer one
when it is further away. For easier convenient
storage, purchase a reel on which to store your
Please note - The extension cord must not be
connected to the supply while it is coiled up.
If you need to maintain a
state of charge for your RV batteries whilst your motorhome
or caravan is stored at home it is recommended you get an
electrician to install a 15 amp power point at your
residence. The 15 amp power extension cords are not
suitable for use for standard domestic power
as your residence is rated 10 amps.
™ have an Australian Standards approved portable
adaptor to easily, safely and legally connect your
RV 15 amp to any 10 amp domestic power supply. The
adaptor is made from industrial grade components,
weather resistant and comes with a 10 metre lead. It
also comes with a 12 month warranty.
The Amp-Fibian uses a 10 amp domestic
combination circuit breaker and a residual circuit
device (RCD) which allows a safe amount of power to
be drawn and trip it off if it becomes overloaded.
From May 1993
new power outlets supplying caravans or similar
accommodation in caravan parks are required to have safety
switch protection. Your caravan must be wired to Australian
New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 3001.
is the difference between a surge protector and a safety
protectors and safety switches play entirely different
roles. Surge protectors protect electrical appliances and
safety switches protect people.
Safety switches or Residual Current Device (RCD) provide a
fast cut-off of power when electricity ‘leakage’ to earth is
detected at a level which may be harmful to anyone using
Safety switches are not the same as fuses or circuit
breakers but rather an additional form of protection to be
used with circuit breakers and fuses. Safety switches
monitor the flow of electricity and automatically shut off
the electrical supply when current is detected leaking from
faulty wiring, switches or electrical appliances. Portable
safety switches are available.
protectors safeguard your wiring and electrical appliances
for voltage surges such as lightning strike.
is a circuit breaker ?
Circuit breakers cut the power off
when the wiring has too much electrical current
flowing through it. Circuit breakers and fuses do not
provide personal protection against electrical shock.