If you’re a frequent RV traveler, you probably know by now that each trip has costs. And I don’t only mean fuel and the like. Your budget should include the RV park electricity fee if you’re planning on hooking up.
Just like in our traditional homes, RV park electricity is something we can use for a certain cost and how much we are charged depends on how much we use.
The majority of the big appliances inside your RV (microwave, fridge, toaster, water heater) can consume a lot of electricity.
If you are camping outside a campground, you should carefully plan out your electric needs. But if you are camping in a campground, that is much less of a worry.
However, if electricity is not used sparingly, your bill can be expensive.
Take note that the cost of electricity is calculated the same way as at your home. In RV parks, you will be charged according to local area rates based on commercial usage. The more expensive the area, the higher the electricity rates.
Based on experience, the cost would depend on your RV size and what appliances you are using – because that would basically determine your usage.
On average, with average electricity usage in an average-priced location, your bill should not exceed $100 per month. But if you are not mindful of your appliance use, then it can shoot up to as much as $200 per month. So the important thing here is to always be mindful.
A regular RV that has 2 air conditioners, a heater, microwave, fridge, and a TV would cost around $120 per month. But on colder days, you may spend around $150 per month as you will be using the heater more often.
A good practice I can advise is to write down and monitor your usage, so you can plan your future trips around your ideal budget.
If you are at an RV park that gets a lot of sun you can supplement your energy usage with solar panels.
How Many kWh Does An RV Use Per Day?
Those who are new to RVing usually ask this question.
Given all the factors mentioned earlier, the answer can be subjective.
However, the general average for a regular RVer is approximately 20 kWh per day. This could potentially increase during summer and decrease during the cooler seasons.
If you want to get the estimate of how much you might be utilizing, you may use this formula: kWh = (watts x hours) / 1,000.
So let’s say after checking each appliance in your RV and you found that you’d need 3,800 watts for 2 hours, then here’s what you’d be expecting to use.
kWh = (3,800 x 2) / 1,000
kWh = 7600 / 1000
kWh = 76
With that, you can play around what appliances you will be using and how long you need them to run for. If you think you won’t need the air conditioner or any other appliance for 2 full hours, then you can adjust that as well.
How Many Amps Does An RV Furnace Use?
From what I gathered in RVers forums, the amps used by an RV furnace would depend on the heat (btu) rating. The btu dictates the size of the fan and consequently, the amps.
A 25,000 btu model requires approximately 6-7 amps. A 35,000 btu furnace generally draws around 8-9 amps. On the other hand, a 40,000 btu model would be in the 10-11 range.
Another way you can determine the figures is to look for the specs of your furnace model online. If you’re a part of RV forums, you may get other info there, too.
How Do You Hook Up Electric When Camping?
There are trips when getting totally off the hook is not practical for your camping. In extreme weather conditions, you’d either need an air conditioner or a heater, along with other basics.
If your camping trip requires electricity, there are two ways you can do that.
First, you may use a leisure battery. This is more like a car battery and it provides a 12V power supply.
While this option can serve as a backup, other RVers do not prefer to make it the main option because the power is very limited.
Second, you may use an electric hook-up (EHU). This refers to the wire or cable you use to connect your RV to a utility post or an electric distribution bollard. Both ends of the connection are called hook-up points.
To use an EHU, you first need a special hook-up lead that has two or more damp-proof sockets. Each socket has a 13A plug, just like at home.
You connect your cable to both the RV and the utility post. This is how you get more power than you would from a leisure battery.
The RV park’s electric supply has a miniature circuit breaker (MCB). It is important that you understand how much you can plug, else the circuit breaker will trip if it gets overloaded.
What Does Full Hook-Up Mean At A Campground?
The first time I heard the term “full hook-up,” I didn’t really understand what it was.
Later on I learned that full hook-up means that your RV campsite has access to electricity, freshwater, and sewer system. Other camps even offer cable TV as an added service.
By connecting to all these services, you will have all the comforts you have as if you’re home. Simply put, it’s having a home away from home in the comfort of your own RV.
On the other hand, you may have also heard of “partial hook-ups.” This refers to campsites that offer electricity and freshwater but no sewer system.
Sites with no sewage service mean you can either make use of the public restrooms or you would have to pump your RV out before leaving the campsite.
While you may think that the only difference between the two is the sewer service, you should know that the cost differs significantly, too. Depending on the location, it’s best to research the campsites first so you can estimate your budget.
You don’t have to go boondocking all the time just because you’re “camping.” You have other options for your trips, you just have to know what you need so you can plan it out properly.