Cable news

The Club’s technical team answers your pressing questions – this month we look at electrical hook-up (EHU) cables.

Q What should I look for when choosing an electrical hook-up (EHU) cable?

A The electrical installations in your leisure vehicle and on campsites are controlled by British Standard BS 7671 (IET Wiring Regulations) and the specification of the hook-up cable is included within that. 

While the Wiring Regulations are non-statutory (ie they’re not in themselves a statement of law), they’re referenced in several UK statutory instruments, so for most practical purposes, they have legal force as the appropriate method of electrical wiring.

The basic specification defined by the Regulations for any EHU cable assembly is:

  • A continuous length of 25m ±2m. Shorter lengths are not permitted, as the distance between hook-up point and pitch can be up to 20m. Multiple lengths joined together are also not allowed, as the connectors required are usually only rated as ‘splash proof’ and can’t therefore be left on the ground where they could end up in a puddle. Incidentally, the ‘continuous length’ part of this requirement is one reason why ‘splitters’ should not be used in conjunction with EHU cables.
  • To cope with the 16A supply on Club sites and commonly elsewhere, the cable itself must have conductors of minimum 2.5mm² cross-sectional area. The cable conductors will usually be copper, but the standard allows for ‘equivalent’ specifications. Some suppliers use cheaper steel cable instead, which can readily be identified using a magnet – copper is not magnetic, of course. The Club doesn’t recommend choosing these steel cables. Steel is less malleable than copper, so more vulnerable to strands breaking over time which can lead to hot spots in the cable and eventually failure. If moisture gets into the cable, these steel wires can rust too.
  • Connectors must be the blue cylindrical type to BS EN 60309-2 (which used to be called CEE 17).
  • The colour of the outside of the cable is not controlled by the Regulations, but it really should be conspicuous (orange or yellow, typically) so that it can be clearly seen in long grass. That’s a safety precaution as cables are a trip hazard, plus site staff need to be able to see them when mowing.

New leisure vehicles which are certified via the National Caravan Council’s Manufacturers’ Approval Scheme should be supplied with a cable to the above specification. These cables don’t last forever, though, and should be replaced with another of similar specification when required. Any cable which is showing visible deterioration – eg damage to the outer sheath or signs of overheating – is likely to need replacement, so check whenever you coil or uncoil it.

A basic check of the cable’s condition is usually included in an annual service, but a more thorough test which will indicate any internal deterioration of the conductors will usually only be included in an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), the more comprehensive check on the condition of a leisure vehicle’s electrics which is recommended to be done every few years. 

Don’t skimp on the quality of an EHU cable – it’s a safety-critical part of the electrical supply to your vehicle. A good one should give many years of safe, reliable service.


Please address your questions to:
Technical Information,
Tel: 01342 336611

...and quote your membership number  


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