How to convert UK Hook-up cable to Euro Domestic electric sockets...
Stuck with a UK cable... in Spain?
Here's our dialogue from the video . . .
How to convert UK Hook-up cable to Euro Domestic electric sockets...
Great! So, now we're at the campsite so now we ought to connect up the electric!!!
So first of all, you get these standard caravan and motorhome hook up cables you can purchase at any good store in England, (like DIY stores, B&Q’s and such and caravanning dealerships as well).
So the female end of the cable just plug into the campervan here… that's how I connected up. Then you've usually got a little stay here on the door so that it just nicely seals up this from any rain. Then you've got this hole to allow the cable through, and to make sure that's not being and under any tension okay so now over to the place you hook it up to!
Okay so now we're at the other end and you come to the electric campsite hookup points that you get at pretty much every camp site… to provide electricity.
Of course, the other end of the plug is the male version and a lot of the European campsites have a normal mains connector, the sort of thing you'd see in a hotel or a house in Spain or France…
Now we're in Spain, and at least half of the campsites we've come across have had these normal mains connectors which means cable (with an English, 3 prong plug), this is absolutely useless… but of course, if you get prepared before you come over, you could get one of these, a camping hookup cable!
It's very useful as well at home, because it means you can connect up your motor home or caravan to the house, (when you have one of these camping hookup cables), it just connects up nice and easy.
Okay, so the cable now gets plugged into the electric hookup point at the campsite. BUT of course, now it’s an English plug and an European connector… so “What do you do?”
Well one of the things you can do is, (if you're thinking), “Okay, I'll just get an adapter (a UK mains plug to Europe Adaptor), and put that onto the end of an English plug.”
And if you've ever used these (a UK mains plug to Europe Adaptor) before, you’ll know that they're not the most sturdy of connectors… anyway, so you can put this Europe Adaptor on and that does solve the problem, albeit it's a little bit of a dodgy connection. It's not a particularly firm fit, and that's what we had done.
So, when I checked the rating on this UK mains plug to Europe Adaptor, which says that it can take up to 10 amps.
Ok now what I'll do… is explain here how you work out the amps because, “What do I mean?” and “What does current mean to most people?”
It just means the amount of power that you can put through this adaptor before it starts to melt, because electricity is when you put all the power through something it creates a lot of heat. So, of course, I worked out that this (UK mains plug to Europe Adaptor) is 10 amps for thinking well that should be okay with that just even a win one killer more two kilowatt heater, but if you look closely at this adaptor of ours, that I am holding my hand, you'll see that we put this in and tried this and within about half an hour it burnt out and electricity went off.
It took me a while to work out what had gone wrong… I thought that the camping site electricity had tripped, I thought that the system had gone wrong on the camper!
But that wasn't actually the case, it's because this UK mains plug to Europe Adaptor had melted inside obviously the connection had broken. So this adaptor isn't the best solution!
Plus to work out whether this can actually take it, here's the quick formula which is where math FINALLY came in useful from school! :)
Here's the formula to work it out. When you know what the power of the heater is because you'll see on the side of the box… it will say something like a “one kilowatt” or a “two kilowatt” heater. And basically you divide that figure by the voltage, and the whole of Europe pretty much uses the same voltage of 240 volts. So you divide those two like this (shown on screen) and you get the current that that particular device will draw.
Then if you've got more than one you just add to do the same calculation for each and then just add up those results to give you the total!
That's assuming, of course, that this should be a handle ten amps. This adaptor burnt out around about two or three it should never have happened!?
So, what do you do? The only other solution is, IF you can prepare yourself, is to even buy the correct adaptor online which comes with a cigs AK, the same female to male connector and it comes with the European plug which doesn't have a fuse. Okay, a lot of European plugs don't have fuses like your English ones do… but that's the way there's work. It still has an earth, so there are two pins that provide all the power and you'll see also on the sides there are bits that basically earth and make it safe.
Which means, your earth earthing your motorhome as well, which is really really important!
So you can buy these European connectors… now, if you don't have one, again DON’T PANIC… you can go to a store like I did in Spain. They're Spain’s version of B&Qs, or similar. You can buy just the plug like you're connecting, and with English plugs and what you're doing there then is just to take off the English plug, and then put on one of the European plugs. Like this, so let me just show you what's inside one of these European plugs…
Basically I put this plug on when we arrived so that we could connect electrics and they're very simple. You basically just undo the screw off the top of the plug to the point where… yeah, we can't actually take that out so that the plug can now slide out… so what happens is you actually push the plug through.
Now if you've ever taken off an English plug before, you'll know that there's a brown cable, a blue cable, and then inside there there's a green and yellow cable which is the earth cable.
Okay, so what we need to do, is in it… in an English plug, you'll see from the diagram in the video that you have to put the brown cable into a certain terminal, and you have to put the the blue cable into a certain terminal on the European ones.
As you probably see from the the picture, the beginning of their sockets, it doesn't matter which way round these go. So it means it doesn't actually matter which is brown and which is alive (or blue) as long as the brown and blue are connected to the two terminals, (which are those two screws there and there as pointed to in the video), and then we need to make sure that the earth cable is screwed on to the correct point, which is connected to these (as seen in the video) which is the outside terminals we showed you earlier for when you're actually plugging it in.
Then, once you've done all that, you clamp it down nice and tight. You see, all I've done is use this very very similar clamp as you'd get in an English plug, to make sure that the thick “orange” cable is the bit you're gripping instead of all the tension being on the smaller (brown, blue and green/yellow) individual cables. You then push the cover back up into the slot, making sure that the two terminals slide into those points correctly, and then in goes the screw!
Then we just tighten up the screw completely and there you go. You've got yourselves a European ready to go plug, because of course, if you turn up to a campsite that's already got the normal connector you don't need this… but, when it comes to a campsite that's using a mains socket outside, then you can just plug this onto the end of your electrical cable, plug that straight in and you won't have the same problem with the power surge melting your adapter for the UK plug!
So there you go that's how to get prepared for Spain!
We'll speak to you soon...
Bye for now!