Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Tent Camping: Converting power for tenters
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 > Converting power for tenters

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jodydoj

BC

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Posted: 07/21/13 02:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi! I'm a long time tenter, used to own a campervan that could plug into the electric sites at campgrounds, loved the luxury of the van...sold it due to rising fuel costs way back in 2006. Since then, my family's expanded, we're now 4 strong, and driving a minivan, and sometimes here in BC, Canada when I book a campsite I have to pay for electricity to get any site. So here's a thought:

Is there a converter or a process of conversions or cords that I could purchase that could be purchased to convert electricity provided at a campsite into good ole fashioned useable energy for my family and my minivan? It'd be nice to use that electricity that I'm forced to pay for, but I know that I need some guidance here!

Thanks!
Jody

RoyB

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Posted: 07/21/13 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camp grounds that has electric will have a electrical pedestal that will have a 20AMP service that you can plug a regular extension cord into and run that to your tent or minivan and plug in 120VAC appliances you want to use...

This is a typical electrical pedestal


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Ka Ron

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Posted: 07/21/13 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi BC member.
As you know if you use the BC provincial parks, they have no services, including electricity, but if you are using a private campground they will have services.
I agree that if you use an extension cord then you can run normal appliances and lights off their power. You could use a multiplug power bar to run more than one thing at a time.
Also, in Canada Canadian Tire stores carry inverters that will change the power from A.C. to 12V or 12V to A.C.


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Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 07/21/13 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many campgrounds will have all three size electrical outlets, but some only offer a 30 amp connection, and you can buy a 30 amp adapter to regular 15amp output size.

THen you will need a 25 AND 50' long extension cord, and a plug in strip, like used in a computer, with about 3-6 outlts, so you don't have to keep unplugging one thing to plug in something else. You can keep the fan and lights plugged in at the same time. You can also plug in multible cell chargers, DVD player, ect. And a computer that can also play a DVD.

Sometime you might want to set up the tent 50' from the electrical source, or you might want a lamp 50' away, and the tent 25' away, or even 75' away sometimes. It will give you choises that having a single 50 or 100' cord will not give you.

I would suggest bringing along a drop light (find them in the auto section of Wal Mart) that has a enclosed light bulb. I like the florescent ones. They now make LED ones too.

If you bring a electric heater or 1500 watt hair dryer, make sure it is the only thing on the extension cord.

Fred.

path1

Wa State (wet side)

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Posted: 07/21/13 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting subject. Next time at equipment rental place, ask them what to rent for a job site so many will have elec available. Don't know name of box looking device but could plug into 50 amp, and then have several 110 plugs. You could end up with A/C in your tent!
Sort of like this http://shealyelectrical.com/hubbell-wiring-spider-ii-temporary-power-boxes/

naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 07/21/13 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dunno what you think you need to convert from/to. The hookups are standard 120 volt, 60 cycle household electricity, although the plugs might be configured differently in some locations. The box RoyB pictured is pretty standard. Anything you have at home can be plugged straight into the white receptacles on the far right, and there are adapter plugs available all over the place to make the right-most black one compatible with any home device, too.





enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 07/21/13 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am guessing the OP wants to use the lights and radio.
Use an extension cord for 120 volt appliances with surge protection power strip. Purchase a small baytery charger (2-6 amp)to keep the vans battery from running down. You could add a power receptacle that is hot all the time, then wire the battery charger to a male plug and plug it into the power outlet. Only bad thing is the male cord body has the positive exposed.


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smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 07/21/13 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a small battery charger you could use the interior radio and lights without worry of running the battery down.

You will need an electric vehicle if you expect to get some motive power. I recommend a Toyota RAV4 EV for a family of four camping. RAV4 has about 140 mile range before plugging in to recharge and get home.


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tplife

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Posted: 07/22/13 05:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What you might want is a "house battery". Buy an AGM type like the Optima Blue-Top 55AH. It is smaller, lighter, and longer lasting than a lead-acid battery, doesn't require a box, doesn't give off explosive gas, doesn't need maintenance, the advantages are many. I set mine up with quick disconnects, dual fusing, multiple outlets, etc. It powers a 200W Kenwood/Polk stereo, special effects lighting, chargers and inverters and converters, etc. Now in its 6th year, it paid for itself in about 18 months vs. the cost of disposable batteries.



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