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Is There An Alternative to Electric Hookup When Camping?

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Regarding camping, having a reliable source of electricity is essential. However, not all campsites offer electric hookups. Even if they do, they can be expensive and limited in availability. This is where solar generators come in — a portable and eco-friendly solution that harnesses the sun's power to provide electricity for your camping needs. This article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using a solar generator for camping and provide tips on choosing the right one for your needs.

What is a Camping Electric Hookup?

A camping electric hookup is a standard amenity offered at many campsites. It allows campers to securely plug in their electronic devices, such as phones, laptops, and tablets, and medical equipment like CPAP machines or asthma nebulizers. It also provides power for heaters and air conditioners and outdoor lighting.

The most basic type of electric hookup is a 30-amp system which delivers 120 volts of electricity to the camper’s RV or tent. It's best suited for smaller appliances such as TVs or microwaves. For greater power needs, a 50-amp system can be used that supplies 240 volts of electricity; it's usually suitable for larger RV units with high-wattage electrical appliances like air conditioners or space heaters.

Electric hookups are convenient but can also be expensive and limited in availability. Some campsites may not have any electric hookup options, which is why many campers turn to alternative sources of electricity, such as solar generators.

tent camping electric hook up

Why Do People Need Electricity When Tent Camping?

For many campers, a lack of electricity can be a major inconvenience. Many tents don’t allow for campfires or lights, so having access to an electric hookup can be essential for keeping warm and safe during your camping trip. Additionally, if you plan on cooking food or using electrical devices such as laptops or hair dryers, then electricity is also necessary.

Related: Solar Power For Camping: Most Popular Solar Powered Items

Risks of Using Electrical Hook-Up For Tent Camping

Unfortunately, some risks are associated with using a tent camping electric hookup. Here are some of them:

1. Power Surges

One of the risks when using electrical camping hookups for tent camping is the possibility of power surges. These can be caused by faulty wiring or incompatible equipment and can damage your electrical devices and cause injury.

2. Fire Hazards

Electrical hook-ups are a significant fire hazard, especially when used in tents. Sparks from damaged wires or overloaded circuits could ignite flammable materials inside your tent, leading to a devastating fire.

3. Campsites That Forbid Electricity

Some campsites prohibit electricity for safety reasons, so it’s essential to check before you connect any wires or devices to an electric hook-up point at these sites.

4. Electrical Devices Being Damaged

Electrical hook-ups can cause damage to electronic devices, such as laptops and phones if the correct surge protection isn’t in place. Make sure you have adequate protection before connecting any electrical devices.

5. Excessive Heat

Because of their energy output, electrical hook-ups can create excessive heat inside tents due to the close proximity of wiring and equipment. It’s essential to limit the amount of time your tent is powered by an electric source and ensure that all connections are secure.

Is There An Alternative to Electric Hookup When Camping?

When camping, many campers are looking for a way to have electricity without using an electric camping hookup. Fortunately, there are several options you can choose from.

1. Campground with Electrical Outlets

Camping with electric hookups is not the only option. Many campgrounds offer electrical outlets, which can provide a source of electricity for camping needs. These outlets usually require an extension cord and should be used cautiously to avoid potential hazards.

2. Bringing Electricity with You

Bringing electricity with you is another option for having electricity while camping. Portable generators, portable power banks, and batteries are all viable options that can be used to power small appliances on the go.

3. Camping Generators

campsite electric

Camping generators are a great way to bring electricity on camping trips. These devices can be powered by fuel or solar energy, depending on the user’s needs and access to resources. Solar generators offer a more sustainable option, requiring little maintenance and no refueling. They are also quieter than traditional gas-powered generators, reducing the impact of noise pollution for nearby campers. Also, portable solar generators are lightweight, which makes them easier to transport.

Series Capacity Ports Recharge Time Outdoor Appliances
Growatt Solar Generator VITA 550 538Wh 5V/9V/12V/20V, 5A, 100W Max USB-C Solar 200W: 2.5H Light(6W): 76H
5V /2.4A, 12W Max USB-A Radio(100W): 4.5H
5V /2.4A, 9V /2A, 12V /1.5A, 18W Max
Laptop(50W): 9H
13.2V /10A, 132W Max Car Outlet Wall Charging: 1.6H Drone(60Wh): 7Cycles
13.2V /3A, 36W Max DC5521 Output Car Charging(100W): 5.4H Headphone(6Wh): 76Cycles
Growatt Solar Generator INFINITY 1300 1382Wh 2 x 5V/9V/12V/15V/20V, 5A, 100W Max USB-C Solar 800W: 2.5H Light(10W): 117H
2 x 5V/2.4A, 12W Max.USB-A CPAP(65W): 18H
2 X 5V/2.4A, 9V/2A,12V/1.5A, 18W Max.USB A-FAST Charge Camera(10Wh): 117Cycles
1 x 13.2V/10A, 132W Max.Car Outlet Wall Charging: 1.8H Drone(60Wh): 20Cycles
2 x 13.2V/3A, 36W Max.DC5521 Output Car Charging: Support 12V/24V Standards Headphone(13Wh): 90Cycles
Growatt Solar Generator INFINITY 1500 1512Wh 2 x 60W Max (5V/9V/15V/20V, 3A)  USB-C Solar 800W: 2.5H Light(10W): 128H
2 x 12W Max (5V, 2.4 A) USB-A CPAP(60W): 21H
2 x 18W Max (5V/9V/12V, 2.4A)
Quick Charge 3.0
Laptop(65Wh): 19Cycles
12-24V, 8A Max
Car Outlet
Wall Charging: 2H Drone(60Wh): 21Cycles
Car Charging: Support 12V/24V Standards Headphone(13Wh): 99Cycles

Related: The Best Portable Generator for Camping - Buying Guide

Advice on Using Electricity Safely in a Tent

Using electricity in a tent requires special precautions to ensure safety. To prevent potential electrical hazards, here are a few precautionary tips and guidelines for anyone wanting to use electricity in their tent.

camping hook up

1. Keep Electricity Away From Water

Ensure that all electrical items such as cords, outlets, and plugs are kept from water — even if only a small amount.

2. Always Carry a Fire Extinguisher

Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case an electrical accident does occur. This can help to put out the flames quickly before they spread any further.

3. Shut Off Power Sources When Not In Use

Unplug all power sources from the outlet or switch them off when not in use to prevent any potential accidents from happening.

4. Don’t Overload Camp Sockets

Only plug in what is necessary and ensure that camp sockets are not overloaded with too many plugs or devices drawing too much power.

5. Understand Basic Electrical Safety

Read up on the basics of electrical safety and ensure you understand how to use electricity safely while camping — including what can go wrong to be prepared for any potential accidents. This knowledge will help to keep your family safe while enjoying their outdoor experience.


Are Electrical Hook-Ups For Your Tent Safe?

Using a campsite electric hookup is generally safe if you follow safety and campsite regulations. Ensure that all of your electrical items are waterproof and away from water sources, and don’t overload the sockets with multiple appliances at once.

What amps does a campsite use, and what does it mean?

Most campsites will have a 10-amp circuit breaker installed in their outlets. This means that any device plugged into the outlet can only draw up to 10 amps of electricity before tripping the breaker. It's essential to check the wattage rating of all devices you plan on using in order not to overload the circuit breaker.


Using electricity while camping doesn’t have to be risky. If you adhere to safety guidelines and take precautions, using an electric hookup while tent camping can be perfectly safe. Alternatively, you can bring your own power source, such as a solar generator, which has the added benefit of being quiet and eco-friendly. With the right knowledge and preparation, your camping trip can still be enjoyable and hassle-free!

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