Twenty years ago, my sparky added 240V to my Tambo camper trailer, complete with a 15A external inlet plug and a residual current device (RCD), so I could install a battery charger. The problem was my garage only had 10A power points. When I asked if my sparky could simply remove the 10A female end from an extension cord and replace it with a 15A plug he declined, explaining that while it would be an easy solution, it was hazardous. Instead, he installed a 15A power point, costing me a couple of hundred more dollars.
You see, in Australia, not only does all 240V wiring need to be installed by a licensed electrician, but to comply with RV wiring requirements, the RCD and power outlets must be double pole which means both the active and neutral are switched. A 15A extension cord also has a thicker copper wire that allows 1.5 times more current than a 10A cable, and the larger earth pin isn’t there to increase the earthing, but to prevent you from plugging a 10A extension cable into a 15A plug.
There will be times though when a 15A power point won’t be available, such as when you camp in your mate’s front yard or at a free camp behind a pub. In fact, I was in this situation recently when the internal lithium battery BMS shut the battery down due to low amperage. I needed a 240V charge to kick it back into life, but couldn’t find a 15A power point in any of the places I stopped. If I’d had the Ampfibian RV Plus Caravan Power adapter, I would have been saved.
Ten years ago, Ampfibian developed the first adapter that enabled caravans with a 15A extension cable to be safely plugged into a 10A power point and they are still going strong with the RV Plus. It’s compact, tough and easy to use. Being weatherproof (IP55) it is safe to use in all conditions and the unit is certified to comply with Australian electrical standards (AN/NZS-3001 & AS/NZS-3190).
So, what makes the Ampfibian RV Plus safe? The weatherproof housing contains an RCD to protect against electrocution and a 10A miniature circuit breaker that protects your power point and wiring from overheating and a 1.6m lead that connects to a 10A plug. A 15A extension lead can then be plugged into the unit before closing the lid securely. An inbuilt padlock attachment, that also locks the lid, gives you peace of mind that your RV Plus adapter won’t be easy to steal.
Having used the Ampfibian RV Plus during the OPE adventure, I can attest to it being easy to use. Being compact, it took up no room in the front storage box on the OPUS camper, and in saying that, it showed no signs of wear and tear to the polycarbonate housing after travelling 1800km on outback roads.
I highly recommend picking up an Ampfibian RV Plus for yourself and they can be purchased online from Ampfibian for $199 or from Bunnings for $124. Don’t be foolish and adapt an extension cable, it’s not only dangerous but also illegal and your insurance company won’t help you out if something goes wrong — worst yet, what if you electrocute yourself? The RV Plus is a cheap and safe solution that comes with a two-year warranty, so how’s that for peace of mind.