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How Much Can a Campground Charge for Electricity?

Campgrounds in the United States are known to charge around $3 and $7 daily for electricity use. Note that this cost might as well be part of the campsite’s amenities fee or as an add-on, depending on the campground’s policy on electricity fees.

You will find that some campgrounds tend to offer discounts if you pay for your stay in advance. Some also have varying options such as primitive campsites and ones for partial or full hookups. Note that those with access to full hookups, which usually include water, sewer, and electrical service will charge more.

Electricity is a vital part of modern living, but a good number of folks won’t mind disconnecting from the electrical grid when camping.

Howbeit, a good number of campers prefer to come with their appliances or travel in motorhomes that need power hookups. Although isolated sites might very well not have electricity, it is increasingly becoming common.

Electricity hook-ups in these locations are most often available in 15, 30, or 50-amp services for varying motorhomes. There are individuals who might not need or want to have this feature while camping, but it’s a convenient amenity option.

When evaluating if a specific campsite aligns with your needs, it is important to check the exact type of power hookups they have.

If your RV needs 50 amps and the campground only possesses 30 or 15, you may not be able to utilize the electrical service.

You will find that some campgrounds offer free electricity for all campers, but most campgrounds will charge electricity use fees.

Truth be told, the costs of electricity have been rising over the past decade. Note that this increase is a global trend that negatively impacts all energy sources, such as electricity.

Reports have it that overall energy prices increased by 26.3% between April 2020 and April 2022, and are projected to further rise to 46% by 2023.

Owing to that, experts suggest you budget around $7 and $10 in RV and van camping electricity costs by December 2023, a significant spike from the $3-$5 you are paying today.

Tips to Help Campers Manage Electricity Cost

Most of the things within your motorhome that require electricity will work to create heat or cold, such as your furnace, water heater, AC, or fridge.

Note that these appliances are known to utilize a lot of electricity. You need to decide if it is cheaper to power some appliances on propane even when you have an electrical hook-up.

If you find out that the electricity at a campsite is very expensive and not at a fixed rate, or that propane is cheaper; then consider powering what you can on propane. The following tips can also be of help;

  1. Make Inquiries Beforehand

If you are not certain of how much electricity will cost, it is recommended you discuss these rates with your campground prior to setting up camp.

The essence of this discussion is to understand if there is a daily flat rate or a general rate for electricity use and if the cost is part of your camping fee.

  1. Carry Alternative Power Sources

If you believe that your alternative power sources will be adequate to power the things you want, then it is an option to consider especially since it will help lower your costs significantly over time. Alternative power sources to consider include;

  • Battery packs
  • Solar chargers
  • Rechargeable LED flashlights
  • Portable power stations

A spare battery pack comes highly recommended especially since it ensures you don’t always have to plug an electrical device into the campground’s electrical hookups.

LED flashlights can also be utilized at night after adequate daytime charging. Generally, these portable power sources will work to reduce your energy costs if it helps to limit the need for an electrical hook-up.

  1. Go Small on Meal Preparations

You should also take into account preparing meals over campfires or propane camping stoves. It is also possible to come with dry food such as cereal bars and nut mixes.

Note that any minimalistic mealtime approach will work to reduce energy consumption and inculcate more fun to your camping experience.

  1. Pack Light

It is also recommended you pack lighter electrical appliances and come with just the gadgets you really need to function. Also come with devices that don’t consume that much power or go for clean, renewable energy sources:

  • Rather than expensive RV air conditioning, you should opt for 12-volt DC fans that can run on solar power.
  • Warm your food over a campfire rather than coming with a microwave, especially since it will work to lower energy consumption and make camping more fun.
  • Attach foldable solar panels to your backpack for portable clean energy to charge your devices when you’re outdoors.
  • Utilize battery-powered appliances rather than ones that require a constant power supply, as batteries can last for months before needing a change.