Standard Electric Campsite Vs Standard Non-Electric Campsite

When trying to book campsites, you might have come across some confusing language or terminologies that stopped you on your track.

With all the camping jargon you’ll find on websites and blogs, it can be quite difficult to understand what kind of camping site you’re booking. 

You’ll see words like standard, basic, and premium, and you’ll probably also see things like electric and non-electric campsites.

I wouldn’t want you to go through the challenge of trying to figure out what type of campsite you’re booking, and what is entailed on the site.

So, in this post, we’ll be comparing and contrasting electric campsites and non-electric campsites, to let you know what they entail and why you should choose either of them.

Standard Electric Campsite

What Does Standard Electric Campsite Mean?

Standard electric campsites are sometimes used interchangeably with basic electric campsites, and they are one of the most common campsites you find within the US and outside.

Standard electric campsites often have the usual features such as a paved driveway, a grill or fire ring, a picnic table, and electric hookups. Most times, such sites are designed for 6 people or fewer.

However, depending on the type of campground, the electricity features might differ a bit. For instance, some standard campsites might have electricity, partial RV hookups, water service, and even a shower and restroom facility.

Some other standard electric campsites will only have a simple electric hookup without a sewer or clean water services.

Hence, it isn’t okay to simply conclude that you’re visiting a standard electric campsite; always ask for the specifics concerning the electricity features and what is included in/excluded from the setup.

Depending on the nature and location of the campground, most standard electric campsites are suitable for both RVs and tent campers.

However, they are mostly visited by tent campers, which is mostly because many driveways in basic campsites are small, and also because some RV campers prefer full electric hookups to the partial ones available at standard campsites.

Most tent campers don’t plan to do much with electricity; they are comfortable with campfires for cooking, and warmth, and they will probably only need electricity to charge a device or two while camping.

However, RV campers need to power a lot more things, including a water heater, refrigerator, furnace, AC, lights, water pump, and for some, even a carbon monoxide detector. 

It is important to note that not all RV campers will need to power as much stuff, as some will be okay getting just enough electricity to keep the lights on and run the heater or air conditioner, as the case may be.

If you don’t mind forgoing all other features or equipment in your RV that isn’t a necessity, such as a cable TV, and RV sewer, then a standard electric campsite will be perfect because it is less expensive, and 

Most public campsites have more standard electricity features that might not go higher than 30 amps of power.

An average RV might need 50 amps of electricity, which you might find private campgrounds offering. However, the difference in cost is always noticeable.

Key Features of a Standard Electric Campsite

As we stated earlier, there is sometimes a bit of difference between the features of one standard electric campsite and the next. However, this is a guide to what you can expect at a standard electric campsite.

1. Partial RV hookups

Key features of Standard electric campsite - Partial RV hookups

Partial RV hook-ups mean you get electricity and water, but no sewer.

In most cases, you don’t get sewer services because the campsite is situated near a body of water.

2. Enough electricity

Key features of Standard electric campsite - Enough electricity

With a partial RV hookup, you can enjoy as much electricity for your AC or heater.

However, when it comes to watching TV, you might not get a cable connection, so you’ll most likely have to depend on some other mechanism of yours to get visual entertainment.

3. Water service

Key features of Standard electric campsite - Water service

You will get water services, so you won’t run out of water during your camping.

If you have a little water heater in the RV, you can still heat water to bathe with, thanks to the electricity connection. It’s a relief.

4. No sewer hookups

Key features of Standard electric campsite - Water service

Without sewer hook-ups, you’ll either need to drive your RV to a nearby dump station, buy your own disposal tank, or find another way to dispose of your wastewater.

You can also buy a tote to help with the disposal. You can also use the public showers that are available on the campground.

How Does Electric Hook-Up at Standard Electric Campsites Work?

When you arrive at your camp, you’ll need to purchase a good electric hook-up cable that you’ll connect to the electric power points, and then run the cable into your tent/RV.

From there, you can plug in the regular 3-pin plugs and begin to use as many appliances as the electric supply can carry.

Bear in mind that electric hookups are often only able to carry appliances with low-power consumption, so always check your appliances if they fit.

The electrical points at a standard electric campsite are fitted with miniature circuit breakers that will turn off the supply once there’s an overload, so you must avoid overload.

When you’re camping and sharing circuits with neighbors, you must be careful to avoid tripping them off in the process.

It always helps to confirm with the campsite what their supply provides before you go camping.

Standard Non-Electric Campsite

What Is a Standard Non-Electric Campsite?

Standard non-electric campsites have the same features as the standard electric campsites, except for electricity.

You can expect that all the things expected in a standard campsite, such as a paved driveway, picnic table, grill or fire ring, and suitable parking space for vehicles and RVs will be available.

However, you can’t expect standard nonelectric campsites to have electricity because the phrase is self-explanatory about the absence of electric hookups.

When you’re tent or RV camping at a non-electric campsite, you should go prepared that there will be no electricity-related amenities. However, on rare occasions, you might find showers or restrooms in the campground. 

Standard non-electric campsites are mostly used by tent campers, and rarely by RV campers. This is because tent campers can live on the necessities. In fact, the idea for some people is to live with as little as possible. 

However, the very nature of RVs makes them need electricity for a lot of things, from their lighting systems to heating/cooling, refrigerators water heaters, electric furnaces, and the like.

But, if you’re an RV owner and you are comfortable camping without electricity, then the standard nonelectric campsite also works.

Key Features of standard non-electric campsites

Key Features of standard non-electric campsites
  • No electricity/ Tent/RV hookup
  • No sewer hookup
  • May or May not find water
  • No food storage facilities
  • Grills/fire rings are available

How To Get Electricity at A Non-Electric Campsite

The fact that you’re camping at a non-electric campsite doesn’t mean you’ll be subjected to having no power at all. You can, and should go with alternative power sources to help meet your most basic needs. They include:

A power bank or portable charger. Ensure that the power bank is charged full, and use your phone sparingly so that it lasts for a few days. 

A gas generator. If you can afford the investment, a generator will not only give you a reliable power source, but it can also power a small electric stove and run your fridge.

A lithium battery portable power station is an expensive option and can be recharged by solar panels. You can depend on the sun to charge the power station and deliver all the electricity you might need.

Standard Electric Campsite Vs Standard Non-Electric Campsite

Now that we know what the standard electric campsite and the standard non-electric campsite both entail, it is easy to compare and draw a distinction between them. This table is a simple guide to comparing them.

AmenitiesStandard ElectricStandard Non-Electric
Parking SpotYesYes
Picnic TableYesYes
Grill Or Fire RingYesYes
DrivewaysYesYes
WaterYesYes
SewerNoNo
Electric Hook-UpsYesNo

Final Words:

As we have seen so far, the primary difference between standard electric campsites and standard nonelectric campsites is the presence or absence of electricity. 

However, you only get a partial electric hook-up from a standard electric campsite, while you get no electricity at all from a non-electric campsite.

If you want full electric hook-up, you should visit a premium campsite. Premium sites have full electricity, up to 50 amps electrical hook-ups, which is suitable for larger RVs, as well as the other elements like grills, fire pits, and picnic tables.