Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What is “Glamping”?  Glamping is a combination of the words glamour and camping that describes a style of camping with more amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services, not usually associated with camping.

What does that mean, exactly?  It means that you’re not roughing it by sleeping on the ground in a tent, or struggling with the weather!  It means you don’t have to leave your accommodation to stumble to the rest room in the middle of the night, and it means that you’ll have less work and feel less like a pioneer while doing it.  If your significant other’s idea of “roughing it” is a 4 star hotel, then this might be for them!  Basically, it’s a little more luxury, and lot less “roughing it”! 

In the case of Meadville KOA, it means a two bedroom cabin that can sleep up to 8 people with heat and air conditioning, a master bedroom with a queen size bed, and a bunk house that includes a double bed, a single bunk over it, and another set of single bunk beds, a full service bathroom, and a full service kitchen. 

Our deluxe cabins includes a full kitchen with a refrigerator/freezer, counter-top stove, microwave, and kitchen sink and large table for inside dining.  The living and dining area can accommodate 8 people comfortably, and rainy days are saved by the Direct TV services that are included.  The full service bathroom has a shower, toilet, and sink to make your stay complete and convenient.  The deluxe cabins are conveniently located near the main building so they are close to the camp store, pool, bear playground and all the fun! 

Your lake-front deluxe cabin rental includes catch and release fishing right at your cabin!  There are no fees and no license is required.  Just bring your equipment, bait and a lawn chair to begin your camping adventure! 

Your stay also includes free outdoor recreation which includes use of our pool, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and horseshoes facilities!  And, we have all the equipment you need.  You just sign it out at the store/office to use it, and sign it back in when you’re done.  There are no fees for the equipment use, unless you fail to return it. 

Meadville KOA Campground also provides a rental amenity Fun Band which includes unlimited paddle boats, pedal karts, and mini golf all week long for just $7/day/person or $12/stay/person (up to 7 days).  On weekends, the Fun Band also includes the use of our jumping pillow for an hour Sat morning, an hour Sunday afternoon, and again for an hour on Sunday morning at the scheduled times.  It’s great fun and great exercise!                       

Our weekday deluxe cabin rentals are $10/day less than are our weekend rentals.  The weekday rentals do not include the themed weekend events with planned activities that our weekend rentals do, thus the lowered prices.  Holidays and special event weekends are at a holiday rate because of the increased demand, and holiday rentals are a 3 night minimum, while all others are a 2 night minimum.

Of course, if all that isn’t enough to entice you, you’re also centrally located to enjoy all of the local recreation, festivals, and events in Crawford County and the Great Lakes Area of Northwestern PA!  Home to the Erie Wildlife Refuge, Ernst Trail in Meadville, Oil Creek State Park, The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad, Drake Well Oil Museum, Pymatuning State Park & Spillway, French & Indian War Re-Enactments, Civil War Re-Enactments, Crawford County Fair, and of course the places you’ve heard of like Waldameer Amusement Park, Lake Erie’s Presque Isle, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in the Northwest corner of PA! 

Our Northwestern Pennsylvania lakes range in size from the shores of Lake Erie to the smaller lakes and marshes that are so prevalent throughout the area.  Our “great lakes” area offers all kinds of water and outdoor recreation in Crawford County and Northwestern PA!  So whether you seek to get back to nature, canoe, kayak, hike, bike, boat, fish, bird watch, or attend fairs, hot air balloon events, or historical re-enactments, Crawford County and NW PA has something for you!  We refer you to the Crawford County Visitor’s Bureau and their schedule of events and more!  You can find more information at: http://www.visitcrawford.org/.  

Would you like a guided fishing trip, to go on a rented kayak trip of French Creek, or take a boat ride?  Ask us for more info!  If you would like a more complete list of things to do in the area, please visit our page at: https://meadvillekoa.com/things-to-do-local-attractions/.

Come explore these great, nearby parks for even more outdoor recreation like biking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, boating, and more!  Then, return to your deluxe glamping rental at centrally located Meadville KOA Campground, and enjoy all the modern facilities and amenities like satellite TV, our swimming pool, catch and release fishing, our creek, hiking trail, other outdoor recreation, or, just relax by a campfire!  This is glamping the way it was meant to be!   

You can enjoy the great lakes region of Northwestern PA and find outdoor experiences like biking, boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, hunting, or use the glamping cabin as a base for you to attend the Roar on The Shore Motorcycle event, local hot air balloon event on Father’s day Weekend, the Crawford County Fair, the Fall Franklin Applefest, Conneaut Lake’s Pumpkinfest, and much, much, more!  So why not get out of that hotel and enjoy the sun, fun and fresh air in the wide open spaces of Crawford County?  Come enjoy your great lakes glamping vacation in the beautiful surroundings of Crawford County in Northwestern Pennsylvania at Meadville KOA! 

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson are both CPO, own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Save BIG with KOA's Big Discount Weekends!

March is a great time of year to begin booking your later summer holidays and other summer camping.  Everyone loves a discount, and that is why you need to know about the KOA Value Kard Rewards Membership, and these special discount weekends offered at KOA Campgrounds.  They provide big savings for your family!

All campers are welcome at KOA campgrounds.  You do not have to be a KOA Value Kard Member to camp at a KOA campground.  If you do become a KOA Value Kard Rewards Member, it pays you back with big savings!  The more you camp at KOA Campgrounds, the more points you accumulate and the more discounts or free camping you’ll receive.  It’s a great customer loyalty discount program! 

First, for a yearly membership of just $30.00, you save 10% on every stay at any of the 500 KOA Campgrounds across the US and Canada. 

Secondly, you receive points for each stay, card renewal, special offers, and more.  Those points can later be redeemed for more discounts or free camping, as long as you maintain your membership (i.e. renew your membership each year prior to its expiration). 

Third, being a KOA member entitles you to these special discount weekends listed below, and the Hot Deals advertised on the KOA website for each individual KOA Campground.  You can get more information about KOA’s Value Kard Rewards Program at https://koa.com/value-kard-rewards/.  If you have any questions about the program that we can answer for you, please feel free to call us, and we’ll help you!

We hope you’ll join us for these three super savings weekends offered by KOA! 

May 12th & 13th is Care Camps Big Weekend!  All paying guests renting a campsite Friday May 12th, receive Saturday May 13th for just $10.00!  We dedicate this weekend to raising money for Care Camps across the United States to help send sick children to enjoy the healing nature of camp.  In 2016, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful campers and suppliers, KOA raised over $1,000,000 for this effort.  KOA covers all the administrative costs for the charity, which means, that every dollar of every donation you make, goes directly to sending a critically ill child to camp! 

This one weekend can save your family 40% on camping!  We hope you’ll donate to help us send a child to camp!  Your family saves big on your weekend of camping, and you’ll walk away feeling great about helping a sick child enjoy just being a kid at camp!  It truly redefines who they are, and as always, we thank you for your generosity.  Remember that if you purchase a KOA Value Kard, and camp just this weekend each season with KOA, you’ve saved more than the cost of your value kard, and still saved money!   

On Father’s Day Weekend, June 16th & 17th, kids camp free for all Value Kard Reward Members at all participating KOA Campgrounds.  If you have a large family or want to take the grandchildren camping for Father’s Day, this is the perfect weekend for you to go camping!  The campgrounds will have fun family events and activities planned to celebrate Father’s Day!  And of course, our rates include 2 adults and two children every weekend all summer long!  But bring along their friends, and introduce them to camping!  Not everyone’s kid is as lucky as yours to get experience camping!  And, your kids will love having a friend come along! 

Each year in September, KOA hosts a national Value Kard Reward Members Appreciation Weekend!  KOA wants to make sure you know how much we appreciate all of our great KOA Value Kard Reward Members!  All KOA Value Kard Members receive Saturday night at no charge when they purchase Friday night at all participating KOA Campgrounds.  This year, the national Value Card Weekend is September 15th & 16th at all participating KOA Campgrounds.  However, at Meadville KOA, we’re actually having ours the weekend prior on September 8th & 9th.  That gives our campers the opportunity to camp with us for one night free, and then to camp for one night free when they buy one, with another participating KOA on the weekend of the national campaign! 

No matter how you add it up, if you take advantage of just the Care Camps Big Weekend, or just the Value Kard Rewards Membership Appreciation Weekend, you’ll have more than paid for the cost of the KOA Value Rewards Kard Membership fee and already started saving money and collecting points.  You can get more information about KOA’s national events and which campgrounds are participating at http://koa.com/national-events/

If you don’t have an RV, but want to try camping, some KOA’s offer these discounts on cabin rentals.  It’s a great, low cost way to introduce your family to camping!  Check out the KOA deluxe cabins.  Most KOA Campgrounds now offer Cable TV in their deluxe cabins.  All KOA Campgrounds offer Wi-Fi.  KOA deluxe cabins will change your perception of camping, as they are a great, affordable, fun family vacation value.  

We hope that your summer camping plans include us at Meadville KOA Campground! We invite you to join us for Care Camp Weekend and to not only get a great discount for your family, but to help us change the lives of critically ill children. We sincerely thank you for your generosity.  

We also have other great discount offers!  Make sure you check out all the special discount offers we have for police, Fire fighters, and EMT’s, and our repeat camper’s discounts (within the same season) that will save you up to 20% on all future campouts this season!  And we have a very special cabin offer of buy 4 nights for the price of 3 for May!  You can find all of those discounts and more at: https://meadvillekoa.com/discounts-and-free-camping/
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  We provide fun family camping info!  We share great camping recipes, hacks, tips, RVing maintenance tips, and much, much more!  And of course, we love to have you share your photos of camping at Meadville KOA Campground with us! 
We look forward to seeing you this summer!  Until we do, we always wish you safe and fun camping, wherever your travels take you!     

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! It's 2017 and It's RV Show Season!

RV Shows are a great place to begin your search for local reputable RV dealers.  They are generally scheduled for January and February in the Northeastern US when dealerships are slowest. 

RV Shows provide you the opportunity to see newest models and talk to dealerships that you may not have heard of, and reduce your expenses and time by not having to drive to many different dealerships.  As a customer you can see and compare prices, brands, layouts, and more with one stop shopping.  There is always a huge range of quality & prices.  So when comparing units, make sure you’re comparing the prices of like models of differing brands.  One RV may look like another one, but you need to compare the options, construction, equipment, and features they both have to offer. See who offers the best deal but remember if the dealer isn’t reputable or isn’t equipped to work on the RV, or is located too far away to conveniently return the RV for service, your purchase may not turn out to be the best deal.  Don’t be afraid to talk with other RVers at the show. Many of these people have years of RV experience and knowledge of different products and dealerships.  Most will be honest and tell you when and where they’ve gotten the best deals & service.   

We talk to dozens of RV owners each year.  One of the biggest complaint we hear is that campers bought their RV from one of those big “discount dealers” that is 4-5 hours drive away, have trouble with it, and it’s a pain to take it back to the big discount dealership, and the local dealerships don’t have time to work on it. 

If you think about it, you can kind of understand the local dealer’s position.  After all, you didn’t buy it from them, and them doing the work and getting the refund from the factory is very time consuming to their business.  Time is money.  That time also means time that they are taking away from serving the customers who did buy from them.  Who can blame them?  If you were their buying customer, you wouldn’t want to stand in line behind a repair for a non-customer, would you?  There, you have it.  So, keep that in mind, these small business owners can’t compete with these “Wal-Marts” of the RV industry on price because they can’t buy the volume of RVs those mega discount RV dealerships can.  But, those big discount RV Dealerships can’t and don’t offer you that home town connection, service, and responsiveness that your local RV Dealer can.  And remember, you’re not just purchasing an RV, you’re supporting your neighbor’s and their employees families!    

Buying an RV from a local reputable dealer insures you the best possible service, convenience, and shortest distance to travel for maintenance, repairs, & warranty work.  It is always a good idea to visit the dealership’s physical location before you buy, check out their service department, service hours, etc.  In addition, many RV dealers offer show discounts and sometimes manufacturer rebates are available.  So not only do you save money with the one stop shopping, but there are huge savings in the purchase prices!  RV shows sometimes include educational seminars, entertainment, and raffles for door prizes, free RVs, and more!  So there are a lot of potential gains to attending!  Show specials also sometimes include discounts or coupons from campgrounds.  So, your new RV sometimes comes with savings to use it, too!

For more information about local RV Dealers who have partnered with campgrounds in Western PA who offer $800.00 in free Camping with the purchase of a new RV from those dealerships in a Very Special Camper (VSC) Discount Offer, visit our website at: http://meadvillekoa.com/discounts/

RV shows aren’t just for RV dealers to showcase new and used RVs.  RV shows offer a wealth of information on the whole RVing industry.  Most campgrounds & RV resorts are slow or closed for the winter.  RV shows allow campgrounds to showcase new activities, special events, new amenities & extended stay (aka seasonal camping) availability to potential campers.  Make sure you stop by their booths and find new places to explore and exciting things to do with your family this summer!   

You can also find information for aftermarket RV products, RV accessories, RVing insurance, Camping or RVing Clubs, Discount Clubs, pick up brochures, camping directories for your state and other states, or the free KOA directory for the whole USA and Canada and more! 

You don’t even have to own an RV to enjoy camping or go to the RV Shows!  Even if you don’t intend to buy an RV, you can learn about cabin camping or pick up information about campgrounds for tent camping!  Many people think of camping as ‘roughing it” with a tent, on the ground, in the rain, and a less than pleasurable “vacation”.  This is no longer the case.  For about the price of a hotel room, most campgrounds are now offering cabin rentals.  Prices for the cabin rentals vary by campground and the amenities offered.  “Camping cabins” are generally the least expensive because they offer the fewest amenities.  They are generally one room with beds and a table.  Cottage Cabins sleep 2-4 people may offer kitchenettes, or a few more amenities. Deluxe cabins are lodges with deluxe facilities like multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and bathrooms.  There is no requirement to own an RV to have a family fun camping vacation!  You can enjoy the luxury of RVing with a camping vacation in a cabin and not miss any of the campground recreation programs and planned activities! 

Why not pack up the family for a fun winter-day activity and attend one of the local RV shows in your area.  Invite a friend to come along, and enjoy a day of looking forward to a summer camping season filled with friends & fun at these RV Shows: 

Cleveland, Ohio RV Super Show, January 4 – 8, at the I-X Center, Cleveland, OH.  Info on show hours, admission, and parking fees along with discount coupons for admission available on their website at: http://www.ohiorvshow.com/!

Pittsburgh RV Show January 07 - 15  At David Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA!  See their website for show hours, admission prices, parking, and discounts offered at:  http://www.pittrvshow.com/!  Check them out on Facebook (they raffle off free tickets)!  And follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MeadvilleKOA, for a chance to win free tickets too!   

Erie RV Show Feb 11 - 14 At the Bayfront Convention Center, Erie, PA!  The show entrance is family affordable and the parking is free, but the limited floor space limits the number of dealers and RVs on display! For more info see their website online at:

Butler RV Show at the Clearview Mall is Feb 17-19 during Mall hours. This show features Penn RV Center in Titusville.  There is no entrance fee and parking is free, making this show very family affordable and fun! See the mall website for mall hours at: http://www.shopclearviewmall.com/events.php. Penn RV Center is online at: https://www.facebook.com/pennrv/?fref=ts

We invite you to attend any and all of these RV Shows!  Stop by the KOA Kampgrounds booth and pick up some brochures, a KOA directory and a KOA bag!  Tell folks in the booth that you received your invitation to the RV Show from Meadville KOA Campground!  We hope to see you there!    

By Robyn Chilson

Robyn and her husband Tim Chilson, are CPO campground owners who own and operate Meadville KOA.  You can reach her at https://meadvillekoa.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Geocaching While Camping & RVing

Geocaching is the equivalent of a high tech scavenger hunt!  There are over 2 million geocaches world wide!  So there is bound to be some great caches near you – no matter where you’re camping!  And, you can do it any time of the day, any day of the week, and as little or much as you choose, making it convenient, family fun with no fees!    
Who plants or hides the caches?  The caches are created and placed in the hiding spot and then listed on https://www.geocaching.com/play by fellow geocachers.  You simply look up caches in the area where you’re camping and then go find them!  Then, share your experience on the same site!  Who knows, you may even decide to create geocaches in cool places near where you live or camp often!  And that is how this craze got started!    

Caches come in all kinds of different sizes, shapes, and difficulty!  They often contain a log or paper to sign, or you can swap trinkets if you choose.  As trinkets, people use personalized guitar picks, pencils, toys, polished stones, etc.  Each cache is a reflection of the person who hid the cache.  In many cases, the trip leads the geocacher to new and unusual places they may never have seen had they not been geocaching!
What equipment is required to go geocaching?  All you need is a hand held GPS or smart phone – and to download the geocaching app.  Create a free geocaching account and you’re ready to go!  Search for geocaches in the area where you’re camping, choose the geocache you want to go find, and then navigate your way to the find the geocach!  It’s that easy!
It’s very important to be respectful of the geocache requests posted on the app.  If they request you park in a certain area and walk, please do.  Many times, geocaches are on private property.  Damage to the property will inhibit others from being able to experience the cache.  Just as with national parks, the best policy is to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.  You should be able to take all the time you’d like – and take lots of great memories with you!  Don’t forget to get photos!     

Geocaches aren’t always easy to find – which is part of the fun!  So it’s okay to take the time to celebrate your find when you make your discovery!  Don’t forget to sign the logbook, swap trinkets if you choose, and put the geocache back where you found it.  Then, post your find on the app.  Allow the kids to take photos or selfies of themselves with the geocache and share it on their social media pages for their friends to see.  It’s that simple and it’s that much fun!  This is a great family activity!  It’s fun, great exercise, and gets the whole family outdoors discovering and enjoying the great outdoors!

Make sure you are properly attired for your geocaching adventure.  Make sure you have  jackets, rain gear, and proper footwear for different types of weather and conditions for the area you’re camping, hiking, or exploring.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re a few miles from the state hwy or town that there aren’t snakes, bear or other animals that you could encounter, or other hazards such as bees, bugs, or poison ivy.  That is, it’s a good idea to have a first aid kit in your nearby car, at the very least.     

Some areas have “geotrails”.  A geotrail is an area or route through an area which offers multiple geocaches tied together by a common theme.  You collect up the cache items by travelling through all those areas and visiting the caches, and then achieve a coin or some other symbol when you’ve collected them all.  In our area, you can find information about the Allegheny Geo Trail at http://www.alleghenygeotrail.com/.  We hope that you’ll spend time exploring Crawford County as part of the Allegheny Geo Trail – the largest geo trail of its kind in Pennsylvania!  You can find more information and get geo coins at the at the Crawford County Visitor’s Bureau.   

One interesting geocache in our area can be found here at: https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC11RQE_george-washingtons-lil-drummer-boy?guid=793d21ae-4342-49d9-9f4e-c732b1be414d.  It seems that just a few miles from the campground, in the Brawley Cemetery, is the burial site of Joel Jones, Revolutionary Soldier and drummer boy for George Washington.

As you can see, you may find interesting and little-known historical sites, explore areas and sights off the beaten path not normally experienced, or earn coins for a geo-trail, all while having a blast exploring the beautiful surroundings of Northwestern Pennsylvania! 

So, why not add this fun family activity to your family’s adventures on your next camping or RVing trip?  It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s free!  What’s not to love! 

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson are both CPO, own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thank you for kamping with us in 2016!

2016 has been a great summer! We met new campers and were visited by old friends, making 2016 another banner camping season!  Thank you for choosing Meadville KOA!   

We are so excited to have had Meadville KOA featured on Crawford County Outdoors!  If you missed seeing that video, please check it out at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Krzbt086qY!  We appreciate them coming to see us, and trying to capture the essence of what Meadville KOA is really all about!

We had some great fun this last season, and hope we got a chance to catch you and your family having fun!  You can check out some of those camping memories at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onoAty8QaXk.

As we’re planning our events and activities for the 2017 season, we want you to know that it is our plan to continue to make improvements to our events, facilities, amenities, and customer service at Meadville KOA Campground. 

We hope that you will bear with us while strive to make those changes, and that you will continue to provide us your input and assistance in making the changes that you, the camping consumer want.  We hope you’ll continue to do that through our KOA Guest Surveys.

Sadly, we fell just a few points short of achieving our Founder’s award for 2016.  So we’d like to ask you, especially if you’re a regular who camps with us multiple times a summer and loves our campground, to please remember to complete and submit your Camping Customer Survey to KOA each time you camp with us!  All you have to do is provide us an email address to do that.  KOA will automatically send you the survey, which has just two questions, and only takes a couple minutes of your time.  Your ratings and comments count and are important to us!  And, we thank you for your support and making Meadville KOA an award-winning KOA Campground!      

Your ratings in 2016 helped us to achieve the KOA President’s Award this year!  We thank you, our campers, for taking the time to tell us what we need to hear!  We sincerely thank you!  We’ll proudly accept that award at the 2016 KOA Convention this fall in Chattanooga, TN. 

We have some great fun in store for next season which you can find on our website at https://meadvillekoa.com/themed-weekends/.  We hope that when you’re spending time with friends and family over the holidays, that you’ll include some great fun family camping at Meadville KOA in your schedule for 2017!  We hope you’ll check out and join us for some new fun events like our “Free the Butterflies” KOA Care Camp Fundraiser for 2017 and some old favorites!  Don’t forget to book early to ensure you get your favorite campsite!   

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the winter RV Shows and then again next spring!  We hope you’ll stop by the booth to see us and say hello!  The RV Shows are a great opportunity to get out this winter, and start thinking about the summer season and camping!  
Until we see you again, we always wish you safe and happy kamping, where ever your travels take you!

See you soon!

Tim & Robyn Chilson, Owners
Tim & Robyn Chilson are both CPO, own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Electric Breaker at Your Campsite Keeps Tripping!

When we hear a camper say, “Your electric breaker is bad, because all I’m running is my water heater and air conditioner and it keeps tripping!” we know we have to share more info with them!

Brace yourselves, because here comes the truth you may not want to hear!  Are you ready?  Just because the RV manufacturer put all of those electric appliances in your RV does not mean you can run it all at the same time!  There, we said it.  Yes, we know, it hurts a little, but it is the truth.  And you need to understand what exactly that means for you, as an RVer.

If your new travel trailer is wired for 30 amps (110 volts), your RV can sit on a 30 amp campsite.  That’s great, you think, because the 50/30 amp sites cost more at the campground!  So, it saves me money!  True story!  It certainly does.  And the RV dealer sales person may have even told you, “This baby has a propane/electric water heater, so you can heat your water on electric and save even more money, by having to purchase less propane.”  However, that is not necessarily true.
Here’s why!  A 30 amp campsite only provides 30 amps of electricity or slightly less, depending upon the safety margin and age and condition of the breaker itself, it could provide slightly less – like 26-27 amps.

So, like the case of the camper above says, “I was only running my water heater and air conditioner.”  That is never true.  More experienced RVers know that you are running your air conditioner (15-17 amps), water heater (12.5 amps), refrigerator (5.7 amps), and electric converter (2-3 amps)!  You were trying to pull almost 35.2 amps on a 30 amp breaker.  (Light bulb comes on!)  The new RV thinks, “Oh wow, now I see the issue! So, I guess I can’t do that?”.  Yes, that’s right.  You have to shut something off.  You can shut the refrigerator over to gas, and that might bring you below the threshold for the breaker to not kick, but that is, until you turn on a light, the TV, or the wife tries to make coffee, dry her hair, or attempts to thaw the chicken in the microwave, in which case, you’re outside resetting the breaker again! 

In addition, if your RV comes with an outside kitchen with a refrigerator, it too is running and eating up another 5.7 amps or so of power.  And so on it goes!  That 12.5 amps the water heater is using is the easiest way to drop that amperage draw back down below a safe area that won’t trip your breaker.  It gives you the room and flexibility to dry your hair, run the microwave, or have lights on.

This has been a recurring theme this summer as more people are buying these travel trailers that are wired for 30 amps – and trying to operate a 42-45 amps of electrical appliances draw off a 30 amp breaker because they are running their propane/electric water heaters on electric.  And apparently, some RV dealers are telling people to do that – as a sales pitch that it’ll save them money.

Okay, so how about if I move to a 50/30 amp campsite.  Can I do that?  Yes, you can do that, if one is available, but that won’t help the situation.  Your RV is only wired to use 30 amps!  You cannot plug into a 50 amp hookup with an adaptor and draw more than your 30 amps, anyway!  The only way to prevent breakers from tripping is to manage you amperage usage.

And of course you're welcome to read what others have written on the topic: http://rvservices.koa.com/rvinformation/rvmaintenance/rv-electrical-101.asp

Below, we’ve attached an info sheet that will show you the approximate use of different appliances.  You are free to go through your RV and calculate your own appliances!  The sheet will show you how!  Hopefully, it’ll be of some use to you in calculating your approximate electrical usage, and save you some time and aggravation!  So if you’d like a hard copy to keep, please email us, and we’ll be glad to email you a copy.  We sincerely hope it helps you! 

Before You Blow Your Breaker!
Take a minute and see how many amps you could be using in your RVs 30 or 50 amp electrical system. It is surprising how fast the amps add up which causes your breaker or the RV park's breaker to "trip". Knowing the amps of all the electrical appliances in your RV can help you manage electrical use and prevent the inconvenience of "My electricity went out!". This list is the typical appliance used and the average amps required to operate them:
Air Conditioner
15-17 amps
5.7 amps
Electric Water Heater
12.5 amps
Microwave Oven
12.8 amps
Electric Coffee Pot
9 amps
10 amps
Hair Dryer
10 amps
2 amps
Dirt Devil Hand Vacuum
2 amps
Electrical Power Converter
2-3 amps
Electric Fry Pan
10 amps
10 amps
Food Processor
6 amps
Crock Pot
1.5 amps
Heating Pad
0.5 amps
1,100 Watt Heater
10 amps
In the morning - if you start your air conditioner and the hot water heater is on, then you start your coffee pot, make some toast, watch some TV - you are pulling 50 amps when all appliances are operating at maximum. If you also cook something in the microwave at the same time - LOOK OUT! Most RVs have a switch so you can run only the microwave or the water heater at one time - HOWEVER, NOT ALL RVS HAVE THIS FEATURE.
Most electrical products show how many watts or amps it takes to operate the appliance printed on the product itself or on the instructions. If it shows the watts - divide the watts by 120 (volts) and that gives you the amps. To get the watts - multiply the amps by 120 (volts).
It is worth your time to take an inventory on the "amps" each of your electrical appliances uses, then you can manage your total usage at one time and this greatly reduces the "My electricity went out!" anxiety.
Reprinted with Permission from Frank & Willy Surrell of the New Orleans/Hammond KOA.
We wish you safe and happy kamping where ever your travels take you! 

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251 or at www.MeadvilleKOA.com