One of the great things about camping in an RV is the easy access to powered equipment like the refrigerator, air conditioner, lights, and stove. All of these handy accessories require electricity to run and not all campsites have electrical hookups. That’s where generators come in – they provide electrical power wherever you are.
Not everyone loves to run a generator, though. They can be loud and disruptive for both you and your camping neighbours. Most campgrounds only allow generators to be run during specific times each day.
So, what do you do when you want to use your electrical gear but you don’t want to run your generator? Here are four ways to avoid using your generator while on your next camping trip:
Plan to stay in a campground that offers electrical hookups
Plug in your rig and you won’t have to worry about your electrical appliances or a generator at all. Just make sure that the power in the campsite you reserve is compatible with your RV. Keep in mind that full-service campsites are usually a little more costly than ones without hookups.
Invest in solar panels
Many RVers have traded in their generators for solar panels. There are many options available and the one that is right for you depends on your power usage. If you don’t use your air conditioner or stove while camping, a couple of panels with some extra batteries will probably be sufficient. If your family wants to keep the lights burning and A/C running, you will need to make sure that the solar setup you choose is going to handle the load.
Trade in electrical appliances for propane powered appliances. Many RV stovetops and ovens are available in propane models. This relieves some of the load on your electrical system. Another option is to bring along a propane barbecue and cook outside rather than heating up your RV at mealtime.
You can also invest in a propane heater rather than using your RVs electrical heating system. Just make sure that you follow the instructions with these units, install a carbon monoxide detector, and make sure a window is always cracked open while in use.
If you are trying to avoid using your generator and you don’t have enough solar panels or an electrical hookup, you can always camp the way tenters do it – with no electrical appliances at all. Cook over a propane stove or fire, use flashlights, store food in a cooler packed with ice, and bring along extra battery packs to charge your cellphones. You will need to prepare with extra warm clothes and plan your food storage well, but it is possible. It might even be a fun experiment.
Camping without your generator might not be in your regular routine, but it is possible to have a great trip without too much power usage. Plan ahead and you might be surprised!
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