Electric charges

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Rob&Deryl

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Cost of electricity at campgrounds is a new topic for me.

At what point do campgrounds start metering electric?

One place we are going to charges $50 per month for 50a service . Is this common?
 

JayArr

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Depending on what state/province you are in there are laws regarding selling electricity. The utilities sometimes have a monopoly on selling power by the kilowatt meaning it can't be "re-sold". (It's a problem that is being studied by electric car charger manufacturers as well, how do you re-sell power to charge a Tesla?)

Metering may not always be legal but a "hookup charge" seems to be a workaround, in the case of the car charger it's an exorbitantly high parking fee.

We stayed at several campgrounds last summer that had graduated pricing based on which hookups you were going to use. I don't see this as anything more than marketing, you can charge $25 for the spot and $5 for the hydro or $30 for the spot with "free" hydro, there really is no difference.

In the end... if you don't like it you can stay somewhere else, it's a free market economy.

 

msw3113

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Our experience is: some campgrounds charge, some don't.  We don't see many who charge for day-to-day campers; more charge for monthly campers.  Campground owners may be wishing to pass on some of their expenses.
Depending on your location $50 doesn't seem unreasonable if it will heat--or air-condition--your camper for a month.
 

Larry N.

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What we've seen is that (mostly) a campground will charge extra for electric for campers who pay by the week or by the month, or both, but not many charge extra for those who pay daily fees. However there are some who charge slightly more for 50 amp than for 30 amp, some but not all.
 

DonTom

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I figure they charge either way. If it's "free" they simply charge a higher monthly fee.


If there were more like me, they would probably charge daily for the electricity.  From RV parks I charge my electric motorcycle and during the cooler nights I run a large tower heater so I don't waste my propane.


-Don-  Auburn, CA
 

thumped

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The post above are right from what I have seen.

But I also feel some campground lower the monthly rate and add the "connection fee" just so there monthly rate looks lower on the internet.

Meters have to be calibrated and there are a lot of federal rules that come along with them charging for what power you use.

I travel for my work and stay at one place up to 8 months at a time.  I have only had my own electric meter at my spot in an RV park 4 times in 5 years.  When staying at mobile home parks this is very common if you stay more than a few weeks, but you deal with a power company or a 3rd party vendor most of the time.
 

SeilerBird

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I have a 50 amp fiver and I am permanently parked at a park near Orlando. Electricity is 11 cents per kilowatt hour. And that ends up costing me around $50 per month.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You might want to elaborate a bit on what you call "metering". A $50 surcharge for 50A vs 30A is basically just an extra-amenity fee, not really different than an extra charge for wifi or cable tv.  You pay for having an enhanced capability (50A power) but it's still a fixed amount regardless of use.    "Metering" is usually taken to mean charging by the kilowatt-hour (KWH) for actual power consumed, i.e. paying for what the electrical meter shows you used.    There may or may not be a fixed fee in addition to the  KWH rate, e.g. a "hookup fee" or "service fee" (which covers the power outlet itself, the meter, and the billing costs).  Those things are typically separate because of the laws governing the sale of electricity in near-all states.

Most parks that offer both 30A and 50A service have an upcharge for 50A, either stated as such or simply rolled into different site rental rates. $3-$5 per day or $50-$100+ per month are fairly typical, but rates vary widely by location and owner whimsy.  A fairly common practice is to rent monthly or annually without any power included in the lot rate and use electric meters to measure and bill for actual KWH consumed.
 

Rob&Deryl

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I meant metering as in using a meter to charge for usage.
We are looking at a few sites for this summer where we want to stay for about a month. These would be in the June-August time frame.

Another related question... does a month mean 4 weeks or perhaps 30 days? What is common? As I am new to this, I wonder.
We are looking to reserve May (3 weeks), June & July very soon.
 

Lou Schneider

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Lynx0849 said:
Another related question... does a month mean 4 weeks or perhaps 30 days? What is common? As I am new to this, I wonder.

Usually "monthly" means from a date in one month to the same date in the next month, i.e. 30 or 31 days.  When I was a monthly renter I always felt shortchanged in February with it's 28 days.
 

John From Detroit

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Some. when you plug in.  Some only if you are on a "long term" IE: Monthly, lease.  Hard to say.

As someone said laws vary state to state. Some day they can only "pass on" what they pay. Others allow profit.

had one campground that charged a flat rate. So I switched from coleman coolers (ice chest) to portable fridge.> COST them money .
 

Henry J Fate

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It is a large project to get meters to existing rv sites. Most existing parks without meters are better off raising the rates than adding meters, maintenance and management of them. New camps will include meters in the build. It sheds the power issue from the camps operating budget which will vary a fair amount unmetered. This enables accurate income projections. It is sensible to only charge for the monthly or yearly leases. Days and weeks would still interject variables in projected income.

If an older camp gets a good face-lift scheduled, this becomes an opportunity to get meters at sites. I have seen this done. I have not seen the finacials or the costs associated with it but I suspect things look much better on paper for the camp either for income projections or a sale of the camp.

If you travel about and you like unlimited free electric or need it, you should have plenty of choices. What may be a problem is when folks have been in a place long term without meters and suddenly find out they will have a meter in the near future. I suspect there will be plenty of time to figure that all out.

There are ways to reduce electric bills if you are or become metered. Appliance choices, solar and just being smart about electric will help the new electric charge a bit.

It is probably fair to say that existing campgrounds can accurately enough predict or estimate unmetered electric  costs and adjust site rates accordingly. As previously mentioned above, some camps do include a fee for 30 and 50 amp services. Those fees can be considered like a line fee for using the grid much like customers will see in their bills at home for electric or gas.
 

Kevin Means

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SeilerBird said:
Electricity is 11 cents per kilowatt hour.
Good grief! We're paying 48 cents per KWH - and that's WITH a 14KW solar system on our roof. Our house isn't huge, but it's bigger than average (4300 square feet) so we're always over what SDG&E says is the median usage for any given time of the year. LED lighting and energy star appliances are all we have. Can't wait to move out of this state.

I can't think of a single RV park near us (San Diego) that charges a separate fee for power, but then again, there aren't very many RV parks in San Diego. I know many of the month-to-month parks in Yuma charge separately for electricity. Don't know what the rates are.

Kev
 

DonTom

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Kevin Means said:
Good grief! We're paying 48 cents per KWH - and that's WITH a 14KW solar system on our roof.
Right there, I knew you're in CA.


Kevin Means said:
I can't think of a single RV park near us (San Diego) that charges a separate fee for power, but then again, there aren't very many RV parks in San Diego. I know many of the month-to-month parks in Yuma charge separately for electricity. Don't know what the rates are.

Kev
I can remember it was around 25 cents per KWH in Payson, AZ when I stayed at the Oxbow RV park for a month, around a year ago. I used up around $60.00 bucks worth in a month, but that includes charging my electric motorcycle and running my large tower heater every night. They charge for the meter readings and then a ten dollar "administration fee" is added to that, so it's really a bit more than 25 cents per KWH. Just expect it to cost around $500.00 per month there in reality.


FWIW, I really like that RV park as I am into hiking and there I can go far enough to get lost in any direction (if I didn't take my hiking GPS!).


-Don-  Reno, NV
 

Old_Crow

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The park I use in Quartzsite meters the electricity to people who stay a month or more.  Overnighters or weekly people it's included in the price of the site.
In addition to all the normal appliances in the RV, I have a electric heater that is used to heat the salon portion of the RV.  My average monthly bill is about $80 on top of the site fee.
 

SeilerBird

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Kevin Means said:
Good grief! We're paying 48 cents per KWH - and that's WITH a 14KW solar system on our roof.
When I mentioned that I was running my A/C all day long in Florida and my electric bill was $60 per month I had a few people who didn't believe me. Now I see why. I have moved to a shadier spot with a more efficient A/C and it is only run a few hours per day so now it is about $50 per month.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Our actual energy charge from our electric co-op is 8.9 cents/kwh, but when fixed access fees and local taxes are added it climbs to 12 cents/kwh during an high month.  It rises to about 21 cents/kwh in a low usage month when the fixed fee & taxes dominate the billing.
 

Kevin Means

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garyb1st said:
We're in California and our electric bill is no where near as much as Kevs.  Then again we sweat a lot.
I believe it. SDG&E has the highest rates in the country. When we were getting solar installed a couple years ago, in a futile attempt to get into a lower tier, the salesman said SDG&E's rates were twice that of Riverside county, which is just north of us - and ours have gone up since then.

Here's one for ya...  we, and probably half a million other households, recently received an email from the company that monitors the output of our solar panels. By contract, they're on the hook to guarantee a certain amount of power from all the arrays they've installed. They said their arrays aren't putting out what they forecast, and they attribute it to dust accumulating on the panels. Since rain is a fairly uncommon event around here, they instructed homeowners to wash them off with a garden hose once a month, or hire a company to do it.

In addition to having the highest power rates, we also have the highest water rates. It would be like spraying liquid gold onto your panels every month. I'll get right on that. What a bunch of morons! And they're the largest solar company in the state.

Kev
 
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