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Top tips for looking after your motorhome’s hook up lead

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When you’re using your motorhome, you’ll likely also be using a hook up lead to access mains electricity for your appliances, by attaching your lead to an electric hook up unit (EHU). While the leisure battery in a motorhome can run most basic 12 amp appliances, connecting to an electric hook up means that you'll be able to run more appliances at the same time, including those that have a higher voltage, so it’s definitely a useful item to have with you on board. 


So, why are we talking about this topic today? Well, the hook up lead you use needs to be regularly inspected - and also used properly - to avoid any safety incidents from occurring (we are talking about electricity here, after all) so it’s a good idea to be aware of what’s required. 


Have a read of our top tips, which we’ve written to help make sure your hook up lead is safe for use, and also kept in tip-top condition for as long as possible.




Here we go, then…


1. Hook up leads come in varying lengths, but having a long one (often 25m) can be useful if you are not always parked directly next to an EHU. There is a British Standard (BS7671) which motorhome hook up leads need to conform to, so make sure you are using a lead which complies with this, as well as it conforming to IP44 to ensure it is water resistant. Check that any lead you buy is suitable for motorhome use, as some might not be - generally a heavy duty, 2.5mm² 3 core (16 amp) cable is recommended. Also, check the amp rating of your lead and compare it with the total voltage of the devices you intend to power - it’s always better to err on the side of caution and use a lead with a higher rating if you’re unsure.


2. Check that the lead is fully unwound when used. If necessary, lay out any excess cable in lines next to your motorhome.


3. Don’t coil it up when using it (or tightly coil it when putting it away) as this can damage the internal wires. It could also overheat and cause a fire during use. Loosely coil it and secure it with a strap or tie to prevent it from unravelling when storing.


4. They don't last forever, so when the time comes be sure to replace the current lead with another one of the same specification. Using the right cable means that you’ll have more useable power inside your motorhome.


5. Any cable which is showing signs of deterioration – e.g. damage to the outer sheath or any signs of overheating – should be replaced as soon as possible. Make it a habit to inspect your hook up lead before each use. Look for any visible signs of wear and tear, such as cuts, abrasions, colour changes or fraying. Pay special attention to the male and female connector ends for any signs of damage or corrosion. 




6. Be mindful of who else might be around your pitch, and make it clear where your hook up lead is. Those working in the area (for example cutting the grass) might run it over, or it could pose a trip hazard.


7. Be mindful of children who might pick up the live end of the cable when it’s in use.


8. Whilst they are designed to be weather-resistant, try to not leave the lead out in the elements when not in use. If the cable comes with a waterproof case, use it for storage and to prevent it getting damaged in transit.


9. Ideally, your lead will last you a long time. How you store it can significantly impact its lifespan, though, so always store it in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.


10. Make sure there aren’t any loose or poor connections on your lead. Not only is that a safety hazard, but any current drop might affect the power you are actually able to use.


Hopefully these tips were helpful, and have given you some food for thought when it comes to looking after your hook up lead. If you keep it in good condition and make sure it is the right rating for what you are using it for, you won’t go far wrong.