Q: I want to power my minivan with campsite power overnight

asked by on

I want to plug in my minivan's power system to a post at a campsite so I could sleep in it with the heat/AC on, and so I can charge my phone and whatnot. I can't seem to find a single thing online on how to accomplish this or even mentioning that it's possible. But I don't know why it wouldn't be.

My car has 64000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is no provision for plugging the vehicle electrical system into an external 120 volt A/C source, thus backfeeding the system. With regard to the on-board power inverter on your vehicle that does supply A/C power at 115 volts, the maximum load that can be attached is 150 watts. So, you could plug in some low wattage LED lighting, a phone and so forth but obviously no heating or air conditioning. Your best bet by far is to plug an AWG 12 extension cord into the campground supply and bring the cord into the vehicle. Make sure that you use a GFCI (portable ones are sold at Home Depot, etc.). As always, NEVER run the vehicle engine with anybody in it, if you are just stationary, as you will likely be poisoned by CO. I personally have found the extension cord option works just great. I used a 1,500 watt electric heater in the van just this past winter (keep it on low, of course). If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I want to power my minivan with campsite power overnight

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: All lights are on; on the dashboard and the battery continues to die.

Hello. The first thing to consider is that amount of work that has already gone into the vehicle. With the lowering of the battery's power so quickly after starting, I have a strong prediction that the alternator/charging system is not...

Q: Q: Turn signals not working

The turn signals and hazards have separate fuse and relays. The common part between the two of them is the multifunction switch. The switch is most likely the cause of your problem if all fuses are good. I would have...

Q: Convertible stop not closing.

Hi. The system for the convertible top has a motor which requires power. The electrical circuits must be checked as well as the motor for faults. Have a technician check for binding in the convertible top assembly and check for...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.