When you have your caravan looking great and with all the gadgets and gizmos you will need you might feel it’s time to sit back and enjoy what you have. But that will change when you introduce an awning. An awning is a great idea in itself, of course, because whether you have a big wrap-round awning or a small porch awning, you are going to want to put things in it. When you do that, you need power. Power to run the things you want to put in it.
For instance, you might like to leave your boots and shoes in the awning, because you don’t want to mess up your beautiful caravan. But what if the kids come in with wet boots and mud up to their armpits? You might want them to wash off before they come in. You might have a little portable shower head that runs off your 12v socket….so you need a 12v socket in the awning!
You might have put the kids to bed and want to sit and look at the countryside. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some music…? but your phone needs charging before it will play anything. You need a 3-point socket to plug your phone charger in.
It’s raining and the kids want to go outside in the awning. With their iPads. That means they are going to need to have them on charge for a while. Another reason for you to have a socket in the awning.
Here we look at some of the available sockets and discuss the pros and cons of each one.
1. Caravan Camper Flush Fitting 240v Oblong Outlet
This is a nice outlet with good reviews. It has a 240v three-pin socket and two-layer covers so no water is going to get in there and spoil things. Lots of people are nervous about cutting a hole in their caravans, their pride and joy, but everyone seems quite happy when it’s done. It can be done by a layperson; it doesn’t need you to go and get an electrician to fit these. I gather that most modern caravans expect people to need to get electricity to their awning and it isn’t difficult to fit them with a little electrical know-how.
It is worth noting that you will need sealant to seal the caravan side of the hole you made to fit this. It isn’t provided for you in this kit.
2. 16 Amp Plug to 13 Amp Socket Converter Adaptor Compact 220 – 250v Camping Caravan Generator
This is a 16amp to 13 amp plug converter/adaptor, it converts to a standard UK socket. It is quite small at 13cm long and it will stick out approximately 9.5 cm or 96mm when plugged right in. The hinged spring cover closes over the plug socket making it ideal for caravans and camp sites. It is weatherproof rated up to IP44.
The total size is 13cm by 6.8cm x 5.5cm and the plug diameter is 44mm. This converter conforms to EN50250
3. Crusader V762 Mains Supply Unit with 3 Sockets 15 meter Cable
This V762 mains supply unit is a mobile mains kit. It can be used in your caravan, or for camping or other outdoor uses. You can use it to bring 230v power to appliances that have low wattage.
You can use it in tents, hung up to the tent pole. It is fully protected as it has waterproof casing. There are a handy three 13amp splash proof sockets. Also, it has a 10-amp double pole main circuit breaker. It comes with a 15-meter cable. It is waterproof to IP44 standard. It’s fitted with correct polarity – thank goodness! It has a warning light too.
4. All Lengths 13 AMP Weatherproof Mains Outdoor Extension Lead IP65 Orange 2 Socket (25m)
This is an extension lead that goes outdoors, so you can use it in your awning. The socket is rated to IP65, and it has a 1.5 metre orange flex cable. Other cable lengths are available. The whole unit is suitable for outdoor use.
5. Motorhome Caravan Mains Outlet Socket Point
This is an electrical outlet that will allow you to bring power out of the caravan to power tools and other leisure products you might like to use. It has IP55 protection against water ingress (when the lid is closed). It requires 105cm cutter and 4 self-tapping screws.
If you want different plug styles such as European, US or Australian then you can get these too, with the same housing but with different sockets. Also available with 12v cigarette lighter fitting.
Whichever way you decide to get the electricity needed from inside your caravan to the outside, it is important to be very careful to make sure none of the plugs get wet. Also, if you are going to cut a hole in your ‘van, make sure you know exactly what you are doing. It might be worth getting an electrician to fit the sockets since they have insurance in case anything goes wrong.
Please take advice before you cut your caravan.