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Question about RAGBRAI RV Campgrounds

We’ve done RAGBRAI several times, but this year is the first we will be pulling a trailer. We have vehicle and RV passes. Do people typically run generators or are there electric hookups in some places? Do they run generators all night?

If the weather is really hot, our little trailer becomes a little oven, even long after the sun goes down.

11 Replies, July 11, 2023 at 5:50 pm

Last year my wife followed in our van and we stayed in the RV Campgrounds (more of a parking area). Simple answers are; yes, many folks run generators. No, there are not electric hookups. Unfortunately some do run generators all night; however, I recall the rules may have had a restriction at 9 or 10 pm. This year I am doing the normal campgrounds and going to miss my van…

This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by


Curtis Moore, July 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm

If you’re set up near tents it’d be nice not to run the generators all night. Tents have a reputation for not being very soundproof! And these tents will have tired people inside them.


Artembroidery, July 11, 2023 at 8:17 pm

I have a husband following us in a support vehicle (still need a pass for him) but have a question on where he can park the trailer each night? Is it first come first serve in each town? Where does he head to each day?? Sorry, newbie here. Doing this for the first time with a young son. Originally hubs had a conflict, but now thankfully he can support us. Just need to get him the right info.


direwolf, July 11, 2023 at 10:03 pm

All night generators is a big reason we ride self-contained, i.e. to find a secluded nook out of earshot. Then too: you do you. No hard feelings.

– Bobby


hnschipper, July 11, 2023 at 10:26 pm

Personally, I love tenting near an RV running a generator. It’s great white noise, and I get my best sleep those nights!


3 Pedal, July 12, 2023 at 10:12 am

If you are going to run a generator all night, and I understand why you might do it, please do not bring a construction generator. Quiet ones are not that expensive any more. They make alright white noise. I have had people with super loud ones near where you hear each other talk, let alone sleep.

Some camp sites might have no generator hours. Others may not.


PhilT, July 12, 2023 at 10:31 am

I too will be using a TT this yr. ( This is my 1st ride too.) As far as generators go….get a inverter generator. They are quieter but they cost more also. As said in earlier post, work site generators are a lot louder and they are not inverter types. Inverter generators produce cleaner electrical power that is used for tv, computers, etc. Make sure that the gen will carry your A/c. I had to buy 2 of them to get it right. “Surge” power or the power when a generator starts up is different from when it is just running/cooling. Camping world told me that a little 4500 watt would do the trick…..NOT. I had to go with a 7000 watt cause when the A/c cycled off and then back on it would trip the main on the generator and I would lose the whole trailer. Just FYI for you.
See there.


garywilk, July 12, 2023 at 11:35 am

Pray for cool weather so there will be a few less generators running all night. I also hope they do not cram us in too tight. I bring ear plugs and sleep great. But if too many are running and close together, it is not pleasant and also may set off your CO detector. 2 years ago, we moved from the camp ground and found a side street a few blocks away for the night because of the CO detector going off. It just added a few blocks of extra riding for us in the morning.


hnschipper, July 12, 2023 at 11:49 am

With the number of people registered this year, expect to be crammed together (especially in the smaller towns like Storm Lake, Carroll and Tama-Toledo.)

#1393059, July 12, 2023 at 1:19 pm

Artembroidery: RAGBRAI has designated RV Parking areas that are a first come, first served basis for those who purchased the RV parking passes. If you don’t have a pass, maybe you can find a side street to park on. Saw a few RVs doing that last year. Also, the towns have maps that designate where to park, camp, and so on. For support vehicle drivers there is an orientation session on Saturday to help guide them including maps to get from town to town as GPS will likely not work well as it may want to cross or follow the bike route….


PhilT, July 12, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Need to correct this… The “surge” is the surge of power needed to start the A/c or refrigerator or any other electrical item. The generator is already running and this is the power surge that it gets at the start up of these things. The A/c is usually the highest of them all.


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