Whilst connected to a campsites electric hook-up may seem the least likely time you need to consider how you use your appliances, these few tips will save you money.
So, you’ve paid your pitch fee, within the cost is an allowance for unlimited use of the sites electric. If you are used to wild camping in your motor home, you’ll be well rehearsed in being economical with your power use. Well, it’s time to forget that and make full use of the electric you have paid for.
A lot of motorhomes / camper vans have diesel heaters, and very efficient they are too. But, when on electric hook-up leave your heater switched off and save diesel. Instead, buy a small thermostatic fan heater. They’re very reasonably priced, compact, lightweight and quieter than your diesel heater to run.
On a hot summers night it’s tempting to cool down your van with the air conditioning (if you have it). As above, save your diesel. The same thermostatic fan that keeps you warm in winter can permanently fan you all night long. Another good gadget to consider is a portable air conditioner or evaporative cooler. Units such as the ‘Transcool‘ evaporative cooler will run on 240, 24 or 12 volts.
Most camper vans hobs & grills run on gas. Whilst you’re on a campsites electric hook-up save your gas by investing in a small freestanding electric hob. There are some very small single ring versions available that cost around £30 to £40. We have an induction type electric stove. These are super efficient, we have induction friendly pots and pans that we use on gas too.
Make sure you have your 240v chargers with you for all your kit. Whenever your on hook-up get your phone, tablet, laptop and anything else that accepts a charge, charged! Another good idea is to invest in a potable battery bank so you can store power in reserve. If you’re next few days are off-grid, you can charge your phone, tablet and other kit from your battery bank. Remember to have plug extension leads and multi-bars so you have enough plug-points so you can have everything charging overnight.
Leisure and Vehicle Batteries
If you don’t already have one, fit a ‘connect & forget’ charger for your leisure battery. These charging units will charge your leisure battery automatically when you’re on electric hook-up. This unit will detect the state of your batteries and provide the level of charge required. If you have this type of battery charger fitted, leave it on. As you use power from your battery, the charger will top it up to keep it at full charge.
If your cranking battery stands alone from your leisure battery and isn’t charged from a fitted charger, carry a separate charger. Keep an eye on your starter batteries power, should it need it, you can charge it whilst on electric hook-up. Disconnect your battery from your vehicles power connectors and connect it to your charger without having to remove the battery itself.