The system was designed to allow each trailer connection a max of 2 Amps (approx. 480Watts). The connection on the trailer should be a 16A Appliance Inlet (plug) preferably a Caravan Mains Hook Up Inlet or Surface/Panel Mount Inlet with covers for protection when not connected.
Connectors are available from various retailers.
For examples have a look at the following :-
The preferred option is the surface mounting caravan mains inlet as it is a proven solution (thousands of caravans use it to hook up at campsites throughout Europe) but in reality, many LGC trailers have fitted ordinary surface mounted inlets. The inlet MUST be mounted correctly for the mated combination to work as an IP44(splash proof) connection. The ordinary inlet must come with a cover, for use when not mated with a socket, and must be mounted with the pins horizontal either left or right. Mounting the inlet with pins vertical or angles between horizontal and vertical will still achieve the IP44 specification but makes the socket more vulnerable to water ingress.
The club supplies a flying lead, from a metered supply, with a socket to mate with the trailer fixed inlet. The design intention was originally, and still is, that trailers requiring power would be clustered around the distribution boxes in order to minimise cable lengths and hence voltage drop. The location, therefore, of powered trailers would ideally be within 2 rack positions of a distribution box with an extreme worse case scenario of a maximum supply cable length limited to half the distance between distribution boxes. The socket is ALWAYS LIVE – so don’t be tempted to change the installation or modify this primary connection in any way.
It is recommended that the flying lead is always connected to the trailer when parked on the rack and it is also recommended that an internal trailer isolation switch be installed for supply control. When this socket is not mated with a trailer inlet it shall be placed on the cable distribution tray or suspended face down above the ground NOT thrown on the ground. This solution was adopted to make trailer removal simple, for retrieves, etc, and eliminate trailing leads from trailers.
There is no fuse in the line but each user shares the supply with 2 other users (all individually metered) with a 6 Amp (design compromise) Mini Circuit Breaker (MCB) for the shared supply. Hence the average allowed consumption is 2 Amps each. It was assumed that not everyone will switch on at the same time, will not be using the max 2 Amps and we will not have a large starting surge which will trip the MCB. It was recognised there could be a problem if all user partners are running at or near max current and we have a power cut but it was one of the compromises which had to be made due to limited available power. All supplies are RCD protected.
There is a 63 Amps supply to the south rack with, originally, a maximum of 32 users. In the past there has been a 16 Amp MCB in the main panel of the Ottley workshop and it only tripped infrequently with about 20 users. It was concluded that a lot of trailers are running low current appliances, hence the original design concept of 2 Amps per user with an overall utilisation of 75% giving about 16 Amps for all the 13 Amp pedestal sockets.
Due to increased demand for power it was decided, in October 2019, to fully populate the distribution boxes allowing a maximum of 36 users on the south rack. This gives a worse case maximum load of 72 Amps and assumes 87% utilisation during the Winter leaving little or no power allowance for the 13 Amp pedestal sockets. In addition, fully populating the Ottley allows a maximum of 12 users again leaving little power allowance for the 13 Amp pedestal sockets.
Please minimise your power consumption for the benefit of others and keep use of the 13 Amp pedestal sockets to the minimum from October to March. See FAQs 3).
There are two standard 13 Amp rectangular pin weatherproof sockets for general use on each of the pedestals (as on previous system). While 13 Amps can be taken from an individual socket there is max current limit of 16 Amps simultaneously from the pair of sockets on each pedestal. When inserting a 13Amp plug DO NOT raise the weatherproof covers passed horizontal because the hinge will break. Ensure after use that the weatherproof covers are closed correctly. These sockets are not to be used for trailer supplies and if used at max current together with max demand from the trailers the Ottley 63 Amp MCB may trip – so use wisely. If you trip the main Ottley MCB you will not be popular with your fellow campers!!
All distribution/meter boxes will be locked. This is primarily for safety reasons but also to stop any tampering with the system. It is recognised that in a MCB (three users) or RCD (six users) trip situation this may be inconvenient but again was a compromise in the design. The CFI/ Manager will hold the keys.
Any questions or problems contact the undersigned or the CFI/Manager.
Vic Blaxill June 2015. Updated October 2019