Lots of discussion of late regarding generators and hookups and their related costs got me to wondering....
How often when you camp do you have electric, how much and where does it come from? We have been out 30 days in the first half of 2012 and looking back I found that we had 30 amp service at our site for ten days and the other 20 we utilized, (though not much), our Honda 2000(s). I find myself running one of the Honda's more for the generators sake than the trailer's and have yet to need to run both with the parallel kit and yes I use Sta Bil.
About an hour a day (starting on day 3), when we are dry camping, seems to keep the batteries topped up nicely and we never fire one off just to run a particular appliance (microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer etc.). I use a 250 watt inverter to charge cell phones, Tablet, hearing aids etc., so don't need dedicated AC for that.
Funny story, last week while dry camping my cold beverage cried out for some popcorn but all I could find was the Microwave stuff. Added one tablespoon of Olive oil to a pan and lit the stove, dumped in the contents of the bag and in 4 minutes had a nice hot bowl of perfectly popped popcorn. So much for the theory that you have to have to run the AC for that snack.
I know some folks have to have 50 amps every time and others never even use a AA battery... so what are your requirements and why? It must vary a lot with location as I know heading to higher, cooler elevations (man I love Arizona), is not an option in much of the country. What works for you?
Looking back at last two years about 20% of our camping was without electric. We can go four days on battery power then use Generator to charge batteries. This is using furnace and Television. Yes, the LED lights do help.
Wonderful wife & 4 Really Fun kids
2008 KIA Sedona 3.8L 24 valve V-6
2001 Bantam Trail Lite B-19
For anything with "summer" around it, we're at 30 amp service thus far, for the air conditioner, just for ease of use. I do have generator power sufficient for the A/C but we just don't do as much of that when we do local camping - there just isn't too many readily available dispersed camping around here.
For the cooler months or elevations/locations of camping, 120v AC is not required, and just one generator to top off the battery, as you explain.
We are about 50/50. November-February and June-August we typically look for electric if it will be really hot or really cold. We run our generator mostly to exercise it unless we happen to be at a site without electric during a snowstorm. We typically don't look for electric during spring and fall but sometimes the site/location we want happens to have electric.
So, the only time we worry about having electric is when it is below 32 or above 90. The rest of the time, we don't care but will take it if it's there. If we don't have it, no worries - we can go quite a few days without it.
Working full timer here with most of the time spent in the S.E. Occasional travel on business to northern climes during the winter (4-5 days usually) In and out. Have an on-board LP generator for; those times when campgrounds are closed; want to boondock in National and State forests; and power outages.
Most all Government parks I use for a base offer electric and water. It's too hot to be without air-conditioning in the S.E. during the summer. The LP genny, due to it's consumption and lack of readily available fuel makes it less attractive for long runs.
Depends on your style.. WIfe and I for example, Spend most of our time in licensed campgrounds, In fact MEMBERSHIP campgrounds where full hook up is part of the plan, so the power comes from the campground.
However sometimes (2x a year) we take a 800 mile hike from summer to winter or back, Then we will overnight in Wal-Marts, Lowes, Fling-J's and the like, Power by ONAN (the gnerator)
At least once a month I run the genny for a while to exercise it.
Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377