Hookups are Great – But They Aren’t Required for a Fun RV Trip

One of the big reasons that many people cite when switching from tent camping to RV camping is the ability to plug their RV in to a power source. Quite obviously, having power during an RV trip is a huge bonus, as it will allow you to have many of the comforts of home right there at the campsite. If you are tired of ‘roughing it’ yet would still like to spend time out in nature, an RV with full hookups is the way to go.

Power Might Not Be Essential to a Great RV Trip
Power Might Not Be Essential to a Great RV Trip

Of course, not every campground offers power hookups for your RV. If you are staying in a particularly remote area, or in a state-run park, you may not be able to tap in to a power source right there at the campsite. So, does a lack of power mean you should simply leave the RV at home? No way! While it might not be quite as ‘luxurious’, you can still enjoy a great RV trip without the bonus of having power onboard.

Think Like a Tent Camper

When you are getting ready to embark on an RV vacation that you know won’t include power hookups, you will want to pack as if you were going on a tent camping trip. Some of the amenities you may have gotten used to having in your RV won’t be available, so you don’t want to make the mistake of relying on them. Think carefully about everything on your RV that runs off of the power hookup, and then think about how you can replace the lost functions with traditional camping gear. You might not be able to replace everything that you can’t use – such as a TV – but you want to make sure you have enough supplies to have an enjoyable trip.

Other Forms of Entertainment

If you aren’t going to be settling in to the RV at night to watch TV, you will want to think of other forms of entertainment to take with you. Things like card games or board games are camping classics that can be played inside or outside of the RV depending on the weather. Even without full power you should be able to find a couple of forms of entertainment that will help you to enjoy the entire trip.

Shorten Your Stay

One adjustment that you may wish to make in light of not having power is to shorten the overall length of your stay by a day or two. If you would normally stay in your RV for an entire week when you go for a trip, consider staying just four or five nights instead. While you can still have plenty of fun without having access to hookups, you may find that lacking the luxuries of home starts to wear on you a little sooner when you can’t plug in. However, your experience may vary, so make a decision that is best for you and your family. If you are loving the RV lifestyle even without hookups, then go right ahead and enjoy!



  1. Our rig has a 2000 watt inverter/charger with a 480 ah battery bank. It will run everything in the rig except the air conditioner in total silence, thus permitting watching a movie or a ball game off the satellite at night or bad weather. A 2 hour run of a small generator during permitted hours tops up the batteries. When we have a power outage at home I run an extension cord from the rig into the house for a few lamps and sat/TV.

  2. Some of the newer motorhomes are such energy hogs they are not well suited for dry camping. The ability to run from battery power for extended periods greatly influenced our choice of a coach, which has a gas absorption refrigerator, propane range and LED lighting.