Recharge Your EV at Campgrounds

It is not a stretch to see campgrounds with charging stations, in addition to national parks, state parks, Camping World, and other places where RVers travel. And of course, the bottom line is, that if charging does become ubiquitous then an Electric Vehicle (EV) as a dinghy becomes a viable decision, wrote Bob Difley in dinghytowing.rvtravel.com.

A sign of the times. Image courtesy pluginrecharge.com

“Costs of charging would be passed on to the driver, as are regular fuel costs, but if utility companies continue with reduced rates for overnight use, then charging your EV toad in your campground while you sleep would be not only efficient but cheaper. Meters on the charging stations would calculate costs and add to your campground charges,” added Difley.

Two short months later it’s a reality!

EV Owners Getting a Charge at Campgrounds

Across the country, campground operators are reporting a gradual uptick in inquiries from EV owners who are considering using campgrounds as refueling stops on long-haul trips. Travelers who do this typically have adapters that enable them to plug into 50-amp, 240-volt electric pedestals that campgrounds often provide with their RV sites, reports Edmunds.com.

“We’ve been getting quite a few calls from people wanting to charge their vehicles at our park,” said Russ Yates, owner of Holiday Park Campground in Greensboro, Maryland, adding that he’s installed a separate 50-amp/240 volt plug on the side of the campground office so that people can recharge their vehicles without having to park in a campsite. He charges $8.50 for a four-hour charge.

“Most people who come to our park to recharge their vehicles come up to our store and buy snacks. Or they get on their laptops and send email. But most of them simply take a nap in their vehicle or they walk around our park and sit by the river,” Yates said.

EV owners can charge their cars at Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, Maryland. Photo courtesy Edmunds.com

Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland, has been one of the greenest campgrounds in the country for several years, having made substantial investments in solar panels for water heating and power generation. And then there’s the campground’s electric-vehicle charger, something EV drivers are not accustomed to seeing at campgrounds.

Mike Gurevich, owner of Cherry Hill Park, the closest campground to Washington, D.C., recently recalled a proud moment two years ago: “This guy knocked on the door and said, ‘Can I charge my car?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ ”

Using the campground’s 50-amp, 240-volt electric hookups, EV owners with special adapters can charge their cars at Cherry Hill Park in about four hours. While their cars get juiced up, the owners typically “just hang out. Some sit at our picnic tables and work on their computers, using our Wi-Fi system. Others eat lunch at our cafe,” Gurevich said.

Only a handful of electric-car owners have used Cherry Hill Park for refueling purposes so date, but Gurevich plans to market the feature in coming weeks in an effort to increase his business. He charges $10 for a four-hour charge.

On the West Coast the Ciudad del Rey Motel & Trailer Park is a mandatory stop to charge on trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco if you only have 100 something mile range.

Getting juiced up! Photo courtesy inhabitat.com

Patrick Stone, owner of Mountain Gate RV Park in Redding, California, said he’s also had several people stop by his park to recharge their vehicles. “Normally,” he said, “they’re on their way north or south and they need a pretty good charge to get over the mountains.”

RV sites have also bailed EV owners out from a defective charge station. When the chargers at the Long Beach Convention Center turned out to be inoperative the Golden Shore RV Park, a mile to the west, helped drivers out with parking, charging, and a bike rental to explore the area.

While the idea of using campgrounds as refueling stops for electric vehicles is enticing for many park operators, campgrounds may need to install dedicated chargers so as not to tie up too many camping hookups if the EV-charging idea takes off, said Wade Elliott, president and CEO of Utility Supply Group, an RV and EV pedestal supplier based in Preston, Washington. That will be particularly true as more EVs and plug-in hybrids hit the streets.

Happy Trails. Life is an adventure. Enjoy your journey.

To be continued tomorrow…

Worth Pondering…
Shoot for the moon, Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.

—Les Brown

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