Author Topic: Charging e bikes while camping.  (Read 844 times)


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Charging e bikes while camping.
« on: November 05, 2021, 08:15:34 PM »
Sort of this has been covered elsewhere in the archives. I normally tour once or twice a year in Europe, up to about 600 miles per trip, fully laden and camping en route.
I am thinking about an e bike but I am concerned about charging it. In particular, is a camping electrical hook up suitable for charging an e bike, with or without special adaptors?


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Re: Charging e bikes while camping.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2021, 06:30:17 PM »
It's no problem you can easily get an adapter which works.

Andre Jute

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Re: Charging e bikes while camping.
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2021, 04:49:02 PM »
I am thinking about an e bike but I am concerned about charging it. In particular, is a camping electrical hook up suitable for charging an e bike, with or without special adaptors?

The regulatory (CE) label on the charger box tells the story:
Input: 100V240VAC 50/60Hz 1.5A
That tells you it can be used almost anywhere in the world, as long as you have the correct plug.

Chances are all you'll need (if you buy the bike with a UK plug on the charger box) is a UK to Euro plug adaptor which you can order when you order the bike or buy at any pound shop. Don't buy the weight weenie shaver type; buy the heftiest version you can find, with a rating of 1.5A or higher. This isn't so much an electrical warning as a mechanical one -- if you break a flimsy adaptor, you're stranded. Some cheap multi-adaptors I bought in bulk in China a good few years ago are rated at 10A, which I tested at the full 10A which didn't even make the pins warm, yet are built with hollow pins merely covered with conductive paint; but I won't tour with one of those even locally for fear of having my schedule disrupted when a pannier lands awkwardly and smashes the thin plastic body of the precious little thing.

The dealer who sells you the e-bike will probably, if you tell him you need it, throw in a Euro-adaptor if there isn't already one with the bike's "welcome kit".

Apple sells, or sold a few years ago, a complete kit of adaptors that will take you around the world but it is monumentally overpriced and totally unnecessary. The reason I mention it is that Apple is very protective of the customers who splurge on their products, which are consequently electrically and mechanically overbuilt (as long as you keep them in Apple luggage -- only an idiot doesn't keep an iPad Pro in a hefty hard case).


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Re: Charging e bikes while camping.
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2021, 07:20:08 PM »
I haven't toured by E-bike, but when I had a young family we spent several summers it Europe caravanning.
The situation then, and I doubt it's changed much, was the majority of campsites use the same CEE17 hook-up plug as UK sites, so you're going to need one of these.  Those that don't use the CEE17, use a 2 pin, it might be the same fitting as a domestic plug (I'm not sure) either way it's an outdoor, splash proof version, so you'll need one of these to a CEE17, like this one:

It gets quite bulky. two adapters, a length of cable, the charger itself. It can also get expensive, some sites are metered and you pay for what you use, others are a flat fee for a hook up, they will have based this on what a motorhome or caravan will use, it'll be a lot more than you use to charge a battery or two.
Alternatives might be a fast charger and charging when you stop for an hour or so, or asking fellow campers if you can share their supply.


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Re: Charging e bikes while camping.
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2021, 12:44:20 PM »
I was given a Bionx motor, battery and charger station from a friend who asked me to convert his KTM MTB into a regular bike. The KTM charger station used a bog standard 'PC' style power cable ending in a C13 connection. The device switches automatically from 110-250v, so for most of the world, it is just a case of having a suitable wall pug connecting to a C13 connection.

C13 are plentiful and inexpensive and should be easy to find via Amazon or Ebay in European/USA and other variations due to use on PCs, many monitors and other devices, and can probably be sourced with compatible wall socket plug for wherever you intend on travelling to.  You could then just leave the UK cable at home and get one that meets the requirements of the country you want to travel to.

This assumes that your camp site has suitable power outlets available for you to use.

An alternative solution, and one I use when I travel to/from or receiving visitors from UK/Germany is a 4er UK extension cable where I cut off the UK plug end and replaced with an EU plug. So it fits securely in the German/EU standard wall sockets, but provides 4 UK outlets that can be used without extra adapters. And I made the same in reverse with a UK plug with 6 EU outlet extension cable for when I am in the UK and want to to the same with EU plug devices.

This is not the best idea if you are trying to save weight or space in your luggage- but otherwise offer a good sturdy alternative to adapter plugs.

BE AWARE that different countries have different rules that apply to E-bikes. In Germany, to ride without a licence plate, the bike as to be an electrically assisted cycle that only assists when pedaling at same time AND restricted to 25km with e-motor assisting it. Faster bikes, or ones which can be powered without pedaling, you need to have a number plate and special insurance. I don't know that there is an EU standard rule when you cross borders, but if you were involved in an accident with a bike that did not fulfill local regulations, you might end up in a heap of trouble and potentially be liable for costs for riding contrary to local laws even if you were not at fault in that accident.

Best would be to check with manufacture about the standards the model of e-bike you are interested in covers, and then research what are the requirements in the country you wish to travel to- to make sure if there any rules you need to follow for those standards.

If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...