EV Charging just_KOA

Published on April 20th, 2011 | by Jo Borrás

8

Turning RV Parks into EV Parks

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That map above?  That shows the results I got on Google Maps when I typed in “KOA Campground“.  As you can see, that company’s RV campgrounds do a pretty fair job of blanketing the US and parts of Canada … and that’s just the one company.  The map doesn’t include RV parks owned by other companies or maintained by the US military (like the ones at Travis and Keesler AFB).

Why am I sharing a map of RV parks?  I’m glad you asked.

  1. To show how many RV parks (featuring EV-ready high-output electrical connections) are out there, and
  2. because it turns out that many of the features built into the sites to cater to RVs make the ground ideal “rest stops” for EVs as well.

Specifically, electric car owners are drawn to the campgrounds because of their high-capacity electrical outlets, which push out enough juice to power big Class A land yachts, but the campgrounds also tend to offer scenic locations, parks, wifi, and convenience stores on-site.  “We’ve been getting quite a few calls from people wanting to charge their vehicles at our park,” said Russ Yates, the owner of Holiday Park Campground in Greensboro, Maryland.  Yates has even begun installing dedicated EV chargers near the office to keep other plugs free for campers.  Other campgrounds offer cabin and cottage rentals, as well, so long-distance road trippers can stop for the night and still have access to charging points (something that can’t yet be said of America’s interstate motels).

Campgrounds across the country seem to be embracing their new role as the ad-hoc EV charging infrastructure, and Wired claims there are plans in place to launch a dedicated website promoting the idea at America’s 3,300+ GoodSam member RV parks.

To me, this seems like a brilliant move on the part of the RV parks, since the kind of people I imagine driving their EVs on cross-country adventures are exactly the kind of people that RV parks near lakes, national parks, and scenic overlooks are trying to attract.  In other words:  people who appreciate nature – but who might have considered a hotel over a campground were it not for the way the campgrounds catered to their specific needs. Perhaps one day we might see electric vehicles towing recycled Airstreams into campgrounds on a regular basis.

What do you think, readers?  Is this a great move, or a wasted effort on the part of the RV parks?  Let us know what you think in the comments, below.

Source:  Wired Autopia.


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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • http://Web DaveD

    I think it’s a brilliant move. I hope they succeed and it brings them a new line of business to become the Interstate “refueling stations” of the future.

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  • http://Web Jerry

    I have enjoyed RV vacations in the past. I have reserved an EV. I would love to be able to combine the two activities. RV parks have so many other amenities that you could make use of during a recharge, so much nicer than sitting at a gasoline station converted to an EV or sitting at Costco for hours.

  • http://www.DesMoinesKOA.com Chris Rademacher

    We just purchased a KOA campground in the Des Moines, IA area, and although I’d say it’s not the hottest EV market on the planet, there’s no reason every campground in the country couldn’t offer this to folks on the road. In fact, I talked to one of the campgrounds that have allowed it recently, and they said there’s actually no cost to the campground to do so, because the owners of the EV’s are beginning to carry the 50 amp plugs that convert from the EV style plug to the standard 50 amp plug that campgrounds have. So, to me, it’s a win win situation for everyone. We’re going to allow it for free at our campground…to me, charging for it won’t be a big concern, because they’ll be hanging out spending time at our campground while they’re either waiting for the charge to complete or while they’re camping anyways, so it’s either their car or their coach, which is not a ton different cost wise for us…just my thoughts.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/joborras/ Jo Borras

      Great points, and congrats on the purchase!

    • http://Web DaveD

      Congratulations Chris! I wish you well and hope it is prosperous and enjoyable.

      I haven’t been back to the Des Moines area since I lived there as a kid, but if I do go back, I’ll make sure to stop by and use your campground!

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