How important is an electric hookup when you camp?


Are you a boondocker who uses solar or wind power to generate your electricity? Or do you just keep your electric usage to a minimum and depend on your deep cycle batteries? 

Most RV parks and other campgrounds charge extra for electricity. Do you prefer to go without and save a few dollars?

How important is an electric hookup to you?

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I boondock all the time, 4 months now and I have 1 agm battery with an inteligent charger and need to run the generator 3 to 4 hrs a day to charge the battery and to use microwave/convec oven, toaster and other small appliances during the day. Works fine for now, thinking to add solar to keep the battery full. How much solar panel power would I need to do that?


I prefer all the above but cannot do without electric and remember hauling water while tent camping. Even though I have a water tank I would rather not deal with that. Although I will eventually. Full hook up I much prefer but can do without if need be.


Can do without water and septic for a week but just a night or two without electricity. I know – we’re spoiled!

Tom Gutzke

We both have sleep apnea and even a dual 12-volt battery will not supply enough power for two CPAP machines. Electrical hookup is a must for us.

Al & Sharon

The only time we care about having elect hookups is when we need to run the air conditioner. We boondock a lot and have lots of solar and lithium batteries so never need elect hookups. I prefer to not run the generator for hours on end for air conditioning.

Joel & Betty

We never boondock so power is always necessary. TV and air and microwave we cannot do without. The generator is OK but noisy and disturbing to neighbors. (and us).
We need our creature comforts in our late senior years.

Debbie Mason

We travel with a dog and need to be sure he will be safely cool when we leave for places we can’t take him with us. Of course, we like to be cool, too, but there’s no way we’d leave our dog without temperature control, if we have to leave him.

Leanne Hopkins

My husband has a c-pap machine. It, theoretically, works with an inverter but not well. He’s getting a new one next month so we’ll see if that one is better without hookups. We use hookups about 50% of the time. We’ve found when we camp with friends they prefer total hookups.


As Buzz mentioned above, don’t forget that for some of us, power is no longer a luxury.

I’m super efficient using my large batteries (I can boondock on battery power over a week without extreme power scrimping), but have a recent heart condition REQUIRING A/C as needed. I try reserving power sites when heat is expected, and having a 4KW generator, I shouldn’t worry about surprises, but lately there are too many generator Gestapo sites that prohibit running it medically enough even on freakish hot days. One park ranger outright said “its not his problem if campers die in the heat”, so I should just go home. I travel long distance where I can’t just go home when weather goes crazy, and powered sites are often just not available in areas I have to travel through. I’ve actually spent days idling my 500HP truck just for the AC (yeah, because THAT is really quieter or better fuel than my little Genny?). I think as more of us are not optionally able to “go home,” and campsites (esp. with power) get scarcer, we may need some sort of medical override for shortsighted policy enforcers.


We prefer to have full hookups, but spend a couple of months a year without. Not really boondocking, we use our onboard 8KW generator to keep the batteries charged and occasionally run the A/C or microwave, with everything else running off the inverter. Using cost as an indicator of impact, running the generator 4 to 8 hours a day costs $6 to $12 (mostly maintenance cost) which is less than a full hookup campsite and probably comparable to the cost of solar if we put in enough to support the same loads.

Dr4Film ----- Richard

The only times it makes sense to have access to shore power is when the outside temos are in the high 90’s to over 100F where the air conditioners need to run 24/7. Don’t want to run the generator AND the A/C’s 24/7 too


I have 200 watts of solar …

Bob Burton

We have 800 watts of solar with 6 AGM batteries and a 3000 watt inverter. Makes us pretty independent.

Tommy Molnar

We don’t really care. We boondock most of the time anyway. Electricity is a luxury when we have it, but our solar array handles our needs 95% of the time.


My wife has MS and needs to stay cool. So we do prefer power.