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Electric hook up vs Mobile mains unit - whats the difference?

Understanding the differences between an electric hook-up and a mobile mains unit is important to ensure that you are booking, purchasing or bringing the correct equipment to enjoy your camping trip. 




Camping enthusiasts, both seasoned and new, often encounter decisions regarding their electrical supply needs for outdoor adventures. One common query we receive is about the difference between an electric hook-up and a mobile mains unit when completing our booking form. Here, we aim to show the differences between the two and illustrate how they can be used together to add a litle extra comfort of your camping experience.


Electric Hook-Up:


An electric hook-up is a permanent or semi-permanent fixture found at campsites designed to provide a reliable source of electricity to campers/ tourers. Here are some key features and considerations:

Fixed Installation: Electric hook-ups are typically installed directly into the ground at established campgrounds. They consist of a power outlet box mounted on a post, offering campers access to electricity without the need for additional equipment (you will need to bring your own cables to 'hook up' into the boxes). 

Power Capacity: Campsites with electric hook-ups commonly provide varying levels of power capacity, typically ranging from 6 amps to 10 amps [for Karrageen] or higher [in bigger commercial touring sites]. This allows campers to connect appliances such as lights, and small electronic devices.

Convenience: Electric hook-ups offer convenience and ease of use since those in vans, motor homes or caravans [units with an electric system] or campers with mobile mains units can simply plug their units into on of the electric hook-ups on site and enjoy the use of electricity.

Safety: While electric hook-ups are generally safe when used properly, campers must exercise caution to prevent overloading the circuit or exposing electrical components to water and other elements. Equipment such as high watt heaters and domectiuc kettles can overloasd the circuit - if unsure its always bet to ask the staff at Karrageen before you arrive. 



Mobile Mains Unit:

A mobile mains unit, on the other hand, is a portable power distribution device designed to provide electricity to campers in locations where you are able to plug into fixed electric hook-ups. Here's what sets it apart:

Portability: The primary advantage of a mobile mains unit is its portability. Consisting of a compact enclosure with multiple outlets, it allows campers to bring power into their tents so that they are able to power low watt devices and charge phoens etc.

Versatility: Mobile mains units typically feature multiple outlets, USB ports, and circuit breakers, enabling campers to connect and power several devices simultaneously. 

Power Source: Mobile mains units are powered by various sources, including rechargeable batteries, solar panels,but mainly traditional electric hook up boxes when available. This flexibility ensures that campers can enjoy electrical amenities without relying solely on fixed infrastructure.


When deciding between an electric hook-up and a mobile mains unit for camping, consider factors such as your camping destination, power requirements, and level of convenience desired. Campers seeking the comforts of home in established campgrounds may prefer to bring their own or hire [from Karrageen] a mobile mains unit, while those with motor homes or caravans (which have the necessary electrical connections and internal infrastructure) can plug straight into our electric hook up units on site; provided you bring your own cables.

At Karrageen we have 54 electric hook up pitches (24x 10amp supply & 30x 6amp supply) in the main season, and when the Top Field opens this increases to 60 (6x 6amp extra electric pitches on the Top Field). 

So when booking, and confused about what to select:

Chose electric hook up (EHU), if:

  •  you need electric and are planning to arrive in a motorhome, caravan, motorvan or unit with its own electrical infrastructure. In that case all you will need to bring is a hook up cable to connet to one of our EHU boxes. 

Chose electric hook up & mobile mains unit hire, if: 

  • You would like electric, but don't have the means of connecting into an EHU box, and need the outlet to plug in your devices. Therefore you will be using electric and hiring the box from us.