Best 12 Volt Extension Lead Buyer’s Guide 2021

August 15, 2021 by Eamonn

If you’re not an electrician or some kind of technical whizz-kid, even thinking about caravan electric hook-up cable options probably makes your head hurt. We know that feeling very well. But don’t fret too much, don’t feel so daunted, because it’s not as difficult as you’d imagine. This is essential knowledge that every caravan owner should know.

Affiliate DisclosureThis post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchase (at no extra cost to you).

If you’ve ever visited a campsite and didn’t use the provided mains power supply, you are missing out big time. Because once you power up for the first time, there’s no turning back. Your caravan life will never be the same again. Let’s talk more about why you need a caravan electric hook-up cable and the best products types that are currently available. We all know the dangers of electricity, but for a comprehensive guide check out "electric safety and you",  a government publication. An alternative to an electric hook-ups is to invest in a portable and silent caravan generator to provide power in the sticks. Either solution will help you run your must-have appliances that include can include a portable washing machine or low wattage kettle.

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[amazon fields="B00C1G8EOK" value="thumb" image=1 image_size="large" image_alt="Semloh ML25 Mains Extension Lead, 25 m"]
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Connecting your caravan with a campsite’s electrical power access point has never been easier than with this heavy-duty 25-meter long cable. This Semloh Mains Extension lead is so rugged and durable that it’s nearly indestructible. It’s perfectly suitable for caravans, motorhomes, camping vans, and tents alike. 

This is a 240V/16A product that has solid coupler connectors. The bright orange coating is not for aesthetics alone. It’s actually an approved high-visibility colour by caravan sites for health and safety reasons. It’s 25 mm² thick and comes equipped with a 100% copper 3 core that is highly conductive. The strong, robust, and durable material makes this one of the most reliable and popular electric mains extensions in the marketplace.

In terms of health and safety requirements, it is CE-approved and conforms to BS 7671 and EN 60309 standards. It’s water-resistant with an authentic IP44 rating and is a safe and meticulously designed cable. 

Semloh is a respected company for designing and developing very safe and reliable electronic cables and goods. And although they might not be the market-leading brand, they merge quality and affordability like no other. This is why we have chosen this cable as our Number-1 top pick in this category. 

[amazon fields="B004DV6UXS" value="thumb" image=1 image_size="large" image_alt="Semloh ML25 Mains Extension Lead, 25 m"]
[amazon fields="B004DV6UXS" value="thumb" image=2 image_size="large" image_alt="25M caravan hookup cable"]
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Using a single mains supply extension for your caravan can be limiting. With this Crusader Mains Supply Unit, you not only get one of the best extension cables, but also a 3-socket adapter for enhanced versatility. This 15-meter long cable comes in high-visibility orange for improved safety protocols. You get 3x 13A sockets that give you the chance to hook up numerous things at the same time.

This cool Mains Supply Unit is a mobile mains kit that allows you to hook up your caravan to a campsite’s public power points. You can plug it in and get 230V of power for your caravan to run low-wattage appliances. This product has a 10A double main circuit breaker with 25amp RCD.

It works perfectly on UK campsites and comes equipped with a multitude of safety certificates. This extension cable has an IP44 rating and is fully 100% water-resistant. It’s fitted with the correct polarity and also has a warning light. In terms of health and safety, this product follows all the protocols and procedures.

We have chosen this as a runner-up in our list because it offers great value for money, is rugged durability, and is one of the most reliable caravan mains extension cables out there. Caravan holidays have never been more enjoyable or versatile.

[amazon fields="B07RL3Q15K" value="thumb" image=1 image_size="large" image_alt="Luigi's 14 Metre Mains Extension Cable"]
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This is one of the most popular caravan electric hook-up cable options that money can buy. This Luigi’s Mains Extension Cable has a reputation that precedes itself. This 3-in-1 cable hook-up set has everything you need to make that vital connection between your caravan and a campsite’s electrical access points. But it also comes with a fly lead cable for at-home power as well. Basically, you can as easily connect your caravan to the power source at home in the same way you would in a caravan park.

This high-quality EHU cable is a 14-meter long orange cable that comes equipped with a 16amp mains plug and a 16A mains coupler. It exceeds British Safety Standards with its extra-thick rubber encasing that protects the wires from overheating and even from leakages. This cable has undergone serious and rigorous testing by Intertek. It’s received numerous certifications such as the highly regarded as an S Mark 1812768 & 1717449 certificates. 

When you purchase this model, you automatically receive a waterproof bag for tangle-free storage. It fits your cable perfectly, and makes it easy to safely transport around. A 2-year warranty is also included in the price with a money-back guarantee.

This might well be the best electric cable caravan mains hook up on our list, and could easily be in the number-1 spot. It’s uber reliable, dependably durable, and phenomenally easy to hook up and uses at home or while caravanning on the road. It’s quite possibly the most versatile 3-in-1 cable you will find.

[amazon fields="B01D8KQQN8" value="thumb" image=1 image_size="large" image_alt="Silverline 981201 16A Extension Lead 14M "]
[amazon fields="B01D8KQQN8" value="thumb" image=2 image_size="large" image_alt="16 Metre Mains Extension Cable"]
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This rugged and durable 16A power extension hook-up cable is a caravan owner’s dream. It comes equipped with a CEE 3-pin plug and socket and is easily connected to the electrical supply points at caravan parks and campsites. It can also be used to hook up to any off-site generators, making it your perfect caravan travelling companion. The standard pre-fitted 16A plug uses a spring shut female connector that attaches one end to your caravan and the other end to the caravan park mains.

The overall cable length is 180 mm with a maximum voltage range of 200V to 250V, and a frequency range of 50Hz to 60zHz. The cable length is 14 meters, which should be long enough to make up the difference between your caravan and the campsite power supply. In our opinion, the cable length is the only minor drawback, as 25 meters is more convenient.

This cable also adheres to British Safety Standards and is well versed in health and safety protocols. It meets the IP44 and EN 60309 certification standards in the UK. It comes in a highly visible blue that is also an approved colour by campsites in the UK.

If you are looking for affordable mains extension cable options to power your caravan, this is a wisely informed choice. It’s reliable, durable, and meets all safety standards.

[amazon fields="B01KOU7TOA" value="thumb" image=1 image_size="large" image_alt="5 M A1 ELECTRICS A1ELECTRICS.COM 16A mains extension hook "]
[amazon fields="B01KOU7TOA" value="thumb" image=2 image_size="large" image_alt="5 Metre Mains Extension Cable"]
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When you need to buy the most affordable and value-for-money electric mains cable for your caravan, nothing can beat this A1 Electric Extension lead. It’s one of the cheapest on this list, largely due to being only 5 meters in length. But no worries, because you can buy 10, 15, or even 20-meter versions, but the price will obviously go up with the length increase. 

This cable is a 16A and 230V mains extension hook-up lead with a 2.5 mm arctic blue flex for caravan usage. It comes with a female 16A 3-pin coupler and a male 16A 3-pin coupler. It can be ideally used at campsites for motorhomes, caravans, camping vans, and even for tents. 

This product is not just highly recommended by us, but also by a cacophony of caravan owners who swear by its amazing value for money. This might not be the longest or best in terms of quality on our list, but it still meets all UK safety standards and performs well in all conditions.

This cable is 100% waterproof and comes in a blue Arctic colour that is approved by UK campsites. And if the 5 meters isn’t quite long enough, you might have to shell out for the longer options. But all in all, this is a quality product. 

What is a Caravan Electric Hook Up?

The simple definition of ‘electric hook up’ is access to a mains power supply for your caravan. You should be easily able to hook up your caravan at any campsite with a minimum of fuss. This works for any caravan, motorhome, campervan, or even tent. 

In order to perform the ‘hook up’, you’ll need to buy an electrical cable to connect it to the mains supply. A cable that can receive a normal A/C electrical current is essential in this instance. Most campsites have these electrical access points, but we would suggest that you check with the campsite owners beforehand. 

You should simply be able to plug in the cable to the electrical access point and the mains on your caravan, and hey presto, you’ve got more light and an Alabaman missionary worker. All these access points should already have safety checked bollards. But before we plug in and play, it’s important to check out the common amp ratings.

What Are Common Amp Ratings?

Starting with the basics, electrical power is measured in watts, while electrical current is measured in amps. A good explanation is that an appliance using power is drawing a current measured in watts. Hairdryers, for example, draw approximately 1.500W (watt)s, or 6.5A (amps).

Campsite electric hook-up access points are generally 6A, 10A, or 16A. The higher numbers offer more power supply. This is generally what you will find at campsites in Britain, but in Europe, the power supply is only 5A rated. But regardless of the power capacity you are drawing from, you always need to calculate your estimated caravan power usages. You will need to work out how many amps you’ll need.

If you are simultaneously using a hairdryer (6.5A), a standard kettle (8.7A), and a fan heater (8.7) at a 10A campsite electrical access point, you are going to make some enemies quickly. You will inevitably trip the campsite's power by being irresponsible. You seriously need to consider the power you are using and the power source you are drawing from on a campsite.

What is a Caravan Electric Hook Up Cable?

You will need a specific caravan electric hook-up cable to connect to a campsite’s electrical access points. These types of cables have both male and female socket ends. The length of the cables is usually around 25 meters, but in all honesty, it will depend on the variety you buy. When connecting such a cable, make sure you first connect the female end to the cable and then connect the male end to the power bollard where the female socket is. Connect it up, turning it clockwise and ensuring it locks securely.

It’s pretty much that simple when connecting a caravan. In the event you are using a tent, the setup is much different. There’s no electrical input socket for tents. So alternatively, you would need to connect in the same way that you would with a standard power adaptor.

What Risks and Dangers Are Associated with Caravan Electric Hook-Ups?

Before we even start looking at the best caravan electric hook-up cable options, we need to talk about health and safety. This is electric we are talking about, folks, which is no laughing or joking matter. It’s deadly serious and should be treated with the same respect. Let’s take a look at some dangers and risks associated with caravan electric cable hook-ups.

It’s always important to follow safe precautionary procedures when hooking up your caravan with electricity. Here are some things you need to consider:

  • Always ensure your mobile mains unit is not on the floor to prevent it from getting wet.
  • Ensure that your cable has an IP44 safety rating.
  • Do not overload the power supply by connecting numerous appliances at once.

Overloading Issues

Do you know how much power standard household appliances use on a daily basis? Of course not. Because it doesn’t really matter in everyday life. But on the road in a caravan, it really matters. For example, a standard household 800W household microwave uses approximately 1000W of power, which is equivalent to 4.3A. Something as inoffensive as a standard 2Kw fan heater uses around 8.7A. And a small item like a toaster can use up to 3.9A.

An average kettle runs on a massive 2000W and takes up 8.7A. If you’re connecting to a campsite’s 10A hook with that kettle, you’ve nearly used up all the power capacity just for a coffee. But if you purchase a special low wattage camping kettle, you can cut the power use down to 750W and 3.3A. Investing in special camping appliances with lower wattage requirements is essential. If you use too many of your appliances at once, you will overload the campsite’s entire electrical system.

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