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Old 06-05-2022, 04:24 PM   #1
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Cool Electric Vehicle recharging at campgrounds

Site Team Note: This post and others moved here from another thread.

I’m not sure you’ll be able to wire off the RV for the purposes of your Tesla, I’ll leave that to the electrical experts here on the forum. However, it will be up to you to determine which ones are and are not the experts.

On another note…..the topic of using campgrounds to recharge electric vehicles has already been debated as to whether we’ll ALL END UP paying the penalty of even higher campground costs because campgrounds were not set up to be an expanded focal point of becoming part of the charging grid for the next generation of vehicles as they try to end the internal combustion engine.

I’m sure discussions will escalate as this becomes a more popular question within the camping community. I fear that all of us will experience a rise in camping prices….just like diesel and gasoline.
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Old 06-05-2022, 05:05 PM   #2
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Iím not sure youíll be able to wire off the RV for the purposes of your Tesla, Iíll leave that to the electrical experts here on the forum. However, it will be up to you to determine which ones are and are not the experts.

On another noteÖ..the topic of using campgrounds to recharge electric vehicles has already been debated as to whether weíll ALL END UP paying the penalty of even higher campground costs because campgrounds were not set up to be an expanded focal point of becoming part of the charging grid for the next generation of vehicles as they try to end the internal combustion engine.

Iím sure discussions will escalate as this becomes a more popular question within the camping community. I fear that all of us will experience a rise in camping pricesÖ.just like diesel and gasoline.
It is literally $5-$10 to charge the model y depending on how low the battery is and one charge would get my wife home since we do all the running around in my truck ( I'm a big guy and I'm a little crunched in the y) I am sure that the people who have 3 AC's installed use more than that in a weekend and due to my rv size I am usually in $100 a night sites so we aren't talking about using this at $40 a night sites where I would be driving the owners out of business.
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Old 06-05-2022, 06:08 PM   #3
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It is literally $5-$10 to charge the model y depending on how low the battery is and one charge would get my wife home since we do all the running around in my truck ( I'm a big guy and I'm a little crunched in the y) I am sure that the people who have 3 AC's installed use more than that in a weekend and due to my rv size I am usually in $100 a night sites so we aren't talking about using this at $40 a night sites where I would be driving the owners out of business.
So since you are in an expensive site you can probably go take $5 - $10 worth of merch from the campground store and itís OK? Stealing is stealing whether electricity or soft drinks. Ask the campground management if you can charge your electric car and see what they say. If they are OK with it then by all means go ahead.
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Old 06-05-2022, 06:54 PM   #4
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I have seen the Y splitter mentioned above in use. It works well and is much safer than what you had planned. Be sure to charge your MY only at night or you may have insufficient power for your rig.

On another note, we just returned from an upscale RV park where we attended the bi-monthly shareholders meeting. EV charging was a hot topic as the park has instituted a "No EV Charging" policy. I have routinely charged my EV over the years in this park so I questioned the GM about the new policy and his response was that there are plenty of SuperChargers and other types of chargers within 3 miles of the park. He also said that anyone caught charging their EV was stealing and would be asked to leave the park just as anyone caught stealing from the General Store would be.

I encouraged the board of directors to find a better solution as EV's, and soon EV trucks towing EV trailers (Airstream), will become more prevalent and reminded them of the EV owner's mantra ABC - always be charging.

After the meeting I had a long talk with the GM and he said they are trying to find a solution and actually looking in to a splitter that measures the kWh consumed for the EV and wirelessly reports it. This splitter would be issued/rented to anyone wishing to charge their EV and they would be appropriately charged. However, he also said that the park simply did not have the electrical capacity for charging numerous EV's and unless the park shareholders / BOD were willing to vote for major expenditures for upgrades to the electrical service EV charging will remain limited.

Hopefully solutions will be found but, IMHO, if EV owners think they can just charge their EV in the campground and it's not a big deal, feathers are going to get ruffled and we will see more parks not allowing charging. Also the MY has a 75 kWh battery and at this park with its .32 cent per kWh rate it would be over $20 for a full charge. Imagine what it's going to be like when the EV trucks arrive with 200 kWh batteries.
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Old 06-06-2022, 08:30 AM   #5
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It is literally $5-$10 to charge the model y depending on how low the battery is and one charge would get my wife home since we do all the running around in my truck ( I'm a big guy and I'm a little crunched in the y) I am sure that the people who have 3 AC's installed use more than that in a weekend and due to my rv size I am usually in $100 a night sites so we aren't talking about using this at $40 a night sites where I would be driving the owners out of business.
Most places I've seen have a 20A 120V plug available. Not 15A, but 20A. Not sure if your Tesla can charge from a 20A plug but that would give you ~6 miles per hour. If you leave the car plugged in for a day that 120+ miles. Would save you time and money on adapters and building stuff. While you would be using the same amount of power over all, it might upset people less since the draw would be lower at any one time.

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Old 06-06-2022, 08:55 AM   #6
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Most places I've seen have a 20A 120V plug available. Not 15A, but 20A. Not sure if your Tesla can charge from a 20A plug but that would give you ~6 miles per hour. If you leave the car plugged in for a day that 120+ miles. Would save you time and money on adapters and building stuff. While you would be using the same amount of power over all, it might upset people less since the draw would be lower at any one time.

Jim M.

No... 'you' are not using 'the same amount of power over all'...... 'you' are using MORE electrical power than the 'average' camp site (your cost for camping is going down because of your extra power usage)). If every camp site did this (charge a EV) the amount of electricity would be massive and (A) the campground electrical system may not be about to handle the excess load and (B) all 'standard' campground site charges would be raised to compensate for the extra electrical uses. It may/will come to the point that private and public campgrounds will install stand alone EV charging stations and charge a cost for those EV for the true amount of electricity cost that is used for charging. There should also be a ADDED EV charge for Road Taxes and sent to the State and Federal Road accounts for the EV charging based on hour/mile calculations per the State and Fed percentages....
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Old 06-06-2022, 09:44 AM   #7
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While you would be using the same amount of power over all, it might upset people less since the draw would be lower at any one time.

Jim M.
Actually charging at 120v uses more overall power than charging at 240v because an EV consumes power during the charging process. Since it takes more than twice as long to charge at 120v, the total charging process ends up using more power.
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Old 06-06-2022, 10:00 AM   #8
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Actually charging at 120v uses more overall power than charging at 240v because an EV consumes power during the charging process. Since it takes more than twice as long to charge at 120v, the total charging process ends up using more power.
Ah, I didn't think about the idle/parasitic draws of the car. I would think those are fairly low. Don't own an electric car so don't know. At least compared to the 50KWhr or more the car will take to charge I assume its low.

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Old 06-06-2022, 10:51 AM   #9
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I have an electric car but not a Tesla. Last year, I went on a 3 week trip and left my car unplugged in the driveway. When I returned, the battery showed the same level of charge as it did when I left.
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Old 06-06-2022, 11:23 AM   #10
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I have seen the Y splitter mentioned above in use. It works well and is much safer than what you had planned. Be sure to charge your MY only at night or you may have insufficient power for your rig.

On another note, we just returned from an upscale RV park where we attended the bi-monthly shareholders meeting. EV charging was a hot topic as the park has instituted a "No EV Charging" policy. I have routinely charged my EV over the years in this park so I questioned the GM about the new policy and his response was that there are plenty of SuperChargers and other types of chargers within 3 miles of the park. He also said that anyone caught charging their EV was stealing and would be asked to leave the park just as anyone caught stealing from the General Store would be.

I encouraged the board of directors to find a better solution as EV's, and soon EV trucks towing EV trailers (Airstream), will become more prevalent and reminded them of the EV owner's mantra ABC - always be charging.

After the meeting I had a long talk with the GM and he said they are trying to find a solution and actually looking in to a splitter that measures the kWh consumed for the EV and wirelessly reports it. This splitter would be issued/rented to anyone wishing to charge their EV and they would be appropriately charged. However, he also said that the park simply did not have the electrical capacity for charging numerous EV's and unless the park shareholders / BOD were willing to vote for major expenditures for upgrades to the electrical service EV charging will remain limited.

Hopefully solutions will be found but, IMHO, if EV owners think they can just charge their EV in the campground and it's not a big deal, feathers are going to get ruffled and we will see more parks not allowing charging. Also the MY has a 75 kWh battery and at this park with its .32 cent per kWh rate it would be over $20 for a full charge. Imagine what it's going to be like when the EV trucks arrive with 200 kWh batteries.
That was an interesting discussion with the GM. I think that the vast majority of campground owners will forbid charging of EVs of any type because they simply don't have the electrical grid to handle the perceived extra power draw. Many campgrounds can barely handle rigs with 2, much less 3, air conditioners at one site so the extra draw of charging an EV is not going to be widely permitted. I hope those campgrounds that don't allow it will consider installing separate EV charging stations that are billable as the demand increases.

This debate reminds me of the debate about deploying a device like the Hughes Autoformer. I'm of the opinion that if I'm a customer paying for a 50A or 30A site, I should be able to draw up to that amperage any time, all the time. My trailer can handle its GVWR any time, all the time. However, I realize that NEC rules allow campgrounds to size the wiring in their grids with an assumption that most campers will draw substantially less power than the highest amperage receptacle can provide (perhaps only 80%?). The campground owners seem to have won that debate because it would be a costly project to upgrade their campground grids to allow for 100% of the rated power usage at all sites (assuming a wire sizing upgrade would be required). I suspect for the next few years it'll be no different when EV owners want to charge their vehicles. Eventually the campgrounds will either provide EV charging stations or issue permits to charge an EV on the campsite pedestal IF they are comfortable with subjecting their grid to the extra draw.
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Old 06-06-2022, 01:37 PM   #11
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The RV electrical system is designed to handle typical needs of RV usage. A RV air conditioner is not as efficient as a home whole-house air conditioner because they all run off 120VAC. You might want to ask why they don't have 240VAC circuits inside the rig.
One of them is that some rigs have inverters wired on one or both legs of incoming power. Either way the wiring is not designed for high load continuous use like charging beyond the rig's internal batteries.
That said, I do wonder if people ask the campground for permission or use the "beg for forgiveness" approach. Asking for permission would be best as in the long run it should not negatively affect other campers in higher fees.

Ask yourself this, would you go to their maintenance shed and grab a gas can to fill up your car? Would you ask for for free gas for your car? I would hope all that ask to hook up their car would offer payment up front.

This is all moot when a campsite is charging using an electric meter except for constant high draw on the overall campground electrical system.
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Old 06-07-2022, 09:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by moff34 View Post
I have seen the Y splitter mentioned above in use. It works well and is much safer than what you had planned. Be sure to charge your MY only at night or you may have insufficient power for your rig.

On another note, we just returned from an upscale RV park where we attended the bi-monthly shareholders meeting. EV charging was a hot topic as the park has instituted a "No EV Charging" policy. I have routinely charged my EV over the years in this park so I questioned the GM about the new policy and his response was that there are plenty of SuperChargers and other types of chargers within 3 miles of the park. He also said that anyone caught charging their EV was stealing and would be asked to leave the park just as anyone caught stealing from the General Store would be.

I encouraged the board of directors to find a better solution as EV's, and soon EV trucks towing EV trailers (Airstream), will become more prevalent and reminded them of the EV owner's mantra ABC - always be charging.

After the meeting I had a long talk with the GM and he said they are trying to find a solution and actually looking in to a splitter that measures the kWh consumed for the EV and wirelessly reports it. This splitter would be issued/rented to anyone wishing to charge their EV and they would be appropriately charged. However, he also said that the park simply did not have the electrical capacity for charging numerous EV's and unless the park shareholders / BOD were willing to vote for major expenditures for upgrades to the electrical service EV charging will remain limited.

Hopefully solutions will be found but, IMHO, if EV owners think they can just charge their EV in the campground and it's not a big deal, feathers are going to get ruffled and we will see more parks not allowing charging. Also the MY has a 75 kWh battery and at this park with its .32 cent per kWh rate it would be over $20 for a full charge. Imagine what it's going to be like when the EV trucks arrive with 200 kWh batteries.
I can tell you exactly what's going to happen. You are going to "PAY" for it. Electrical infrastructure is not cheap, and nobody is going to provide FREE electricity. The EV will bring about the Law of Unintended Consequences. My State is now building a corridor of charging stations from the Kenai up through the MAT-SU Valley. Plenty of places to charge at as long as you have a credit/debit card.
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Old 06-07-2022, 09:49 AM   #13
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There is a campground just outside of Sequoia national park, CA that charges $55 a day to charge your vehicle, and another $55 a night to camp. If you have a truck and trailer why is are you driving an additional car anyway?
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Old 06-07-2022, 10:12 AM   #14
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There is much larger issue here than just the cost of charging an EV. Most campgrounds (especially public) were built many years ago when RVs were smaller, had one or no toilet and one or no A/C. The infrastructure was not built to handle the large RVs with multiple bathrooms, large holding tanks, multiple A/Cs and electric vehicles. Add to that the large increase in utilization due to Covid and the expectation of having all the comforts of home and you have a disaster waiting to happen. The cost and effort to upgrade electric, water and waste systems is staggering. One campground we frequent had to close their failed dump station and is having issues building a new one due to it's close proximity to water. Another has frequently had to close their dump station for being full. During summer weekends there are periodic power outages when A/C usage is high. Until upgrades are made, we all need to remember we are camping.
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Old 06-07-2022, 10:34 AM   #15
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I can tell you exactly what's going to happen. You are going to "PAY" for it. Electrical infrastructure is not cheap, and nobody is going to provide FREE electricity. The EV will bring about the Law of Unintended Consequences. My State is now building a corridor of charging stations from the Kenai up through the MAT-SU Valley. Plenty of places to charge at as long as you have a credit/debit card.
Agreed, but as a shareholder in this park, we have already been paying for it as the parkís electrical service is provided by PG&E which is under a multi-billion dollar judgement due to the wildfires it sparked, hence the reason our kWh rate is so high and the park now forbidding EV charging. Fortunately the park has the resources and is working on a project to build our own solar farm by using one of our RV storage lots to install permanent covers over the RVís which will hold about 2500 solar panels. This should replace about 85% of our usage with an ROI of under seven years.

My only points here are that EVís are coming, it will be expensive, and solar has to be a major component, else we are just shifting the pollution to the power plants. It will pay for itself, however, and at this point it should be clear to all the benefits of getting off of foreign oil.
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Old 06-07-2022, 10:43 AM   #16
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There is a campground just outside of Sequoia national park, CA that charges $55 a day to charge your vehicle, and another $55 a night to camp. If you have a truck and trailer why is are you driving an additional car anyway?
There are campgrounds that will now store your rig for you. When you make your reservation you make a request to have your rig spotted for you. Our park even levels the rig and connects all your hoses and electrical.

Many users are now showing up in their EVís and expecting to charge them.
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Old 06-07-2022, 10:51 AM   #17
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There is much larger issue here than just the cost of charging an EV. Most campgrounds (especially public) were built many years ago when RVs were smaller, had one or no toilet and one or no A/C. The infrastructure was not built to handle the large RVs.
Our park knows this issue first hand. Fifteen years ago when the huge rigs with three ACís began showing up we had brown-outs on hot days as the electrical service was inadequate for the load. The park embarked on a major capital project and upgraded the service to future-proof it. Now here we are only 15 years later and EV charging has to be banned because our service is inadequate to power these power hungry rigs and charge their EV.
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Old 06-07-2022, 07:40 PM   #18
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This probably won't be the most popular opinion but here it is.


When I book a campsite with 50A service, I should have unlimited use of my 50A pedestal for the duration of my stay. If I want to use part of my 50A allotment to charge my car then that's my choice.
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:01 AM   #19
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This probably won't be the most popular opinion but here it is.


When I book a campsite with 50A service, I should have unlimited use of my 50A pedestal for the duration of my stay. If I want to use part of my 50A allotment to charge my car then that's my choice.


X2 I agree with this method.
I did watch someone slip into a site after the RV left to charge there EV last week. A few hours later the camp host couldnít find the owners and shut off the breaker. As always people take advantage and abuse the services.
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:56 AM   #20
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This probably won't be the most popular opinion but here it is.


When I book a campsite with 50A service, I should have unlimited use of my 50A pedestal for the duration of my stay. If I want to use part of my 50A allotment to charge my car then that's my choice.


I donít necessarily disagree with that IF the park has capacity for it and has worked it into its budget for the extra electricity expense. However I do disagree with the sentiment though itís like saying I paid for my spot I can do what I want be as loud, messy as I please I paid for my spot. Or since I paid for the water I should be able to use all the water I want and can in the manner I want. I understand you arenít saying this as it would potentially create an unpleasant experience for most if this happened. I would think most RV parks figure and refigure the cost of operation and make the appropriate adjustments in the price they charge. I have stayed at several parks that charged me extra because I had 50 amp and I was fine with that as I know I use more electricity. I donít understand the mentality ( not saying yours) that thinks that others should pay for the ďfuelĒ of an EV by plugging in wherever possible. Nobody believes that the RV park should be buying my diesel for staying them.
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