KOA campgrounds and Electric Tow vehicle charging.

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Viajeros

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Hi folks. The list of KOA locations with dedicated electric tow vehicle charging continues to get longer. Their website shows I think 14 now although I believe it hasn’t been updated as I think there are now 20. Hard to tell from the pics but it looks like they are using a sema connect 8 KW EVSE although we have seen pics of others as well. We have the sema connect app and RFID card but haven’t used it in a KOA.

KOA has reworked there corporate policy and asks that campers not use their camping pedestals for charging EV’s. Although later it kind of suggests you can ask the operator. We do that and have been told to go ahead and charge although one asked that we rent a 50 amp site. We politely declined as the 30 amp sites were nicer. (More trees). Although it didn’t matter. It rained both days. :).

I think the rates will be standard sema connect rates for the area which seem to fluctuate from region to region. I would count on anywhere from a 1.50 to 3 bucks an hour. They seem to compete with ChargePoint in this regard. I have not been able to confirm this.

Anyway. We stumbled on to some of this as we plan on staying at St Mary east Glacier park for 3 or 4 days this summer and they just got their first two Sema connect EVSE’s installed. Nice and good timing for us.

There is a list on the KOA corporate website. It has doubled in the last 6 months and I know it’s not up to date so if not sure just call and ask the campground you are planning to stay at.

Cheers and happy camping all.

Here’s the pic from the Glacier KOA.

BA4E4522-A857-4C8D-84B3-A6F2A6635DC2.jpeg
 

DonTom

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The list of KOA locations with dedicated electric tow vehicle charging continues to get longer.
I don't see the big advantage when one can just plug into a 14-50R and get the 240 VAC charge at close to 50 amps at any of the sites. Bring your own stuff to charge from a 14-50R.

Yeah, they ask to not do that after they put in the charge stations, still no advantage that I can see.

AFAIK, getting a slow AC charge at any of the RV parks that have juice has never been a problem. I have charged my electric motorcycle at 6.3 KW at RV parks several times. But I more often use only 1.4KW (on-board charger only) as I am usually not in a hurry to recharge up. Then I just use the outside 120 VAC AC outlet on my RVs.

Are those J-1772 charge stations open to those who are NOT staying overnight at the KOA? That would be a nice advantage that I could find handy.

I hope the KOAs are not doing what many others do, such as Wal*Marts with their CCS. They only put the CCS charge stations where they are not needed much (such as in or near Sacramento, CA), instead of a place such as the Susanville, CA Wall*Mart where there is no place at all to charge with CCS. Still isn't to this day.

But there is for Tesla in Susanville. Doesn't do any good for the non-Tesla. It sure will be nice when the Tesla Supercharges can be used for CCS.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Viajeros

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I don't see the big advantage when one can just plug into a 14-50R and get the 240 VAC charge at close to 50 amps at any of the sites. Bring your own stuff to charge from a 14-50R.

Yeah, they ask to not do that after they put in the charge stations, still no advantage that I can see.

AFAIK, getting a slow AC charge at any of the RV parks that have juice has never been a problem. I have charged my electric motorcycle at 6.3 KW at RV parks several times. But I more often use only 1.4KW (on-board charger only) as I am usually not in a hurry to recharge up. Then I just use the outside 120 VAC AC outlet on my RVs.

Are those J-1772 charge stations open to those who are NOT staying overnight at the KOA? That would be a nice advantage that I could find handy.

I hope the KOAs are not doing what many others do, such as Wal*Marts with their CCS. They only put the CCS charge stations where they are not needed much (such as in or near Sacramento, CA), instead of a place such as the Susanville, CA Wall*Mart where there is no place at all to charge with CCS. Still isn't to this day.

But there is for Tesla in Susanville. Doesn't do any good for the non-Tesla. It sure will be nice when the Tesla Supercharges can be used for CCS.

-Don- Reno, NV
Yah I hear ya. But a dedicated 8 KW charge is nice if you have your RV plugged in. This type of setup has been convenient for us in the past.
 

Lou Schneider

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I don't see the big advantage when one can just plug into a 14-50R and get the 240 VAC charge at close to 50 amps at any of the sites. Bring your own stuff to charge from a 14-50R.
RV parks aren't designed to handle simultaneous large loads on their sites. They're designed to handle the anticipated loads which are less than adding up the full rated capacity of all the outlets. Just like your home and the rest of the grid, BTW. Try drawing 20 amps simultaneously from all of your home outlets and watch what happens.

For example, the park I'm in now was built to code but has 200 amp distribution lines feeding eight or so 50 amp sites each and a main feed from the utility company designed to cover that load. It's not a problem under normal conditions including the hot 100+ degree summer days when everyone's running their air conditioners. But it wouldn't take more than a handful of EVs charging at 10-12 Kw each to overwhelm the system and leave no power for anyone else. Not to mention you're essentially stealing power since the park's operator isn't being reimbursed for the excess consumption.
 

Viajeros

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RV parks aren't designed to handle large simultaneous loads on their sites. For example, the park I'm in now has 200 amp distribution lines each feeding eight or so 50 amp sites. It's not a problem under normal conditions including the hot 100+ degree summer days when everyone's running their air conditioners. But it wouldn't take more than a handful of EVs charging at 10-12 Kw each to overwhelm the system and leave no power for anyone else. Not to mention you're essentially stealing power since the park's operator isn't being reimbursed for the extra consumption.
Hmm. No stealing power happening. You are either paying for the charge directly thru the SemaConnect app or the office has given permission.

Logistics of the park don’t concern me. They put in the facilities. I assume they knew what they were doing.
 

Lou Schneider

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Hmm. No stealing power happening. You are either paying for the charge directly thru the SemaConnect app or the office has given permission.

Logistics of the park don’t concern me. They put in the facilities. I assume they knew what they were doing.
Look again. I was replying to DonTom's suggestion that you bring your own gear and siphon power from the 50 amp site outlets that weren't designed to support that kind of a continuous load..
 

DonTom

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RV parks aren't designed to handle simultaneous large loads on their sites.
I don't think there are that many EVs at RV parks. At least not yet.

FWIW, the very few times I have charged at 6.3 KWs, I unplugged my RV until the charge was done. If I am charging at that rate, I won't be waiting around for long and I won't be going back into the RV so won't be needing the A/C. I would have to be in a hurry to get somewhere fairly far, which is very rare when I am on an RV trip.

In most RV's, the charge rate can be adjusted. Down to five amps in my Tesla which is only 1.2KW @ 240 VAC for when not in a big hurry. So many ways to handle the issue. But if all the EV owners will is a different question.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

DonTom

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But it wouldn't take more than a handful of EVs charging at 10-12 Kw each
J-1772 rarely are capable of more than 7.2 KW charging. Some are as low as 3KW, but there are two at Lake Tahoe that are 70-amps (16,800 watts) but I have never seen those anywhere else in the USA. That is my Zero SR motorcycle in the photo there, charging at 8KW.

I don't see the KOA ones on Plughshare. But I assume they are around 7KW AC. Not a charger, but an AC supply, much like a 14-50R but can usually handle less current.

. It has doubled in the last 6 months and I know it’s not up to date
I assume you're a Plugshare member as I am. That means you can update Plugshare. I did such for the AC outlet at OPCNM, AZ as well as in Silver Springs, NV when I discovered the CCS and J-1772 there.

All the J-1772's have the ratings on the labels right on the unit. I read every one of them before plugging in. Believe it or not, I can overload many such stations with my electric motorcycles because the way I charge does NOT use the pilot signal. I often charge faster than any car can on J-1772--on a little motorcycle! I can charge my Zeros at 1C. Up to around 17 KW on my Zero SR, but I do not carry that many external chargers. But I often charge my Zero SR at 8 KW during a road trip. I sometimes even hog up two J-1772 stations as many cannot do 8 KW.

Anyway, what I do is put the J-1772 info. on Plugshare, such as its current or KW rating. I noticed the J-1772 is not on Plugshare for Glacier KOA. I just now checked.

Notice how I am hogging two J-1772's below, 7.2 KW per side Chargepoints, charging at 8KW (I have no way to configure bike for 7.2KW) (Cisco Grove, CA):


1674600658728.png

-Don- Reno, NV
 

DonTom

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That question cannot be answered so easily. It depends on how often they charge, and at what time. In the USA, most drive less than 40 miles per day. That is a one-hour charge per day average and never all at the same time.

See here.


  • There is plenty of spare capacity in the nation's electric grid to power hundreds of millions of EVs, multiple studies have found — as long as charging is properly managed.
  • Most EVs charge overnight when people are sleeping and electricity demand is low.

-Don- Reno, NV
 
Last edited:

Viajeros

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J-1772 rarely are capable of more than 7.2 KW charging. Some are as low as 3KW, but there are two at Lake Tahoe that are 70-amps (16,800 watts) but I have never seen those anywhere else in the USA. That is my Zero SR motorcycle in the photo there, charging at 8KW.

I don't see the KOA ones on Plughshare. But I assume they are around 7KW AC. Not a charger, but an AC supply, much like a 14-50R but can usually handle less current.


I assume you're a Plugshare member as I am. That means you can update Plugshare. I did such for the AC outlet at OPCNM, AZ as well as in Silver Springs, NV when I discovered the CCS and J-1772 there.

All the J-1772's have the ratings on the labels right on the unit. I read every one of them before plugging in. Believe it or not, I can overload many such stations with my electric motorcycles because the way I charge does NOT use the pilot signal. I often charge faster than any car can on J-1772--on a little motorcycle! I can charge my Zeros at 1C. Up to around 17 KW on my Zero SR, but I do not carry that many external chargers. But I often charge my Zero SR at 8 KW during a road trip. I sometimes even hog up two J-1772 stations as many cannot do 8 KW.

Anyway, what I do is put the J-1772 info. on Plugshare, such as its current or KW rating. I noticed the J-1772 is not on Plugshare for Glacier KOA. I just now checked.

Notice how I am hogging two J-1772's below, 7.2 KW per side Chargepoints, charging at 8KW (I have no way to configure bike for 7.2KW) (Cisco Grove, CA):


View attachment 161166

-Don- Reno, NV
Great pic. Love that colour.

Yah I don’t know if KOA adds there charge stations to plugshare. I haven’t looked. We stumbled on this one because we hope to camp there this year.

KOA has big plans for adding J1772 stations to may of their locations. Works great for us. Either way we make it work.

Cheers.
 

DonTom

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I don’t know if KOA adds there charge stations to plugshare.
Most often it's people like you and me that adds found stations to Plugshare.

BTW, you can even add your own house to Plugshare. I don't, but only because there are countless places to charge near both of my houses. A lot of people like to use home charging and you can set Plugshare to show such. A fun way to meet other EV owners, many say.

People out in the middle of nowhere should do that, as that is where such is most needed.


-Don- Reno, NV
 

Viajeros

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Most often it's people like you and me that adds found stations to Plugshare.

BTW, you can even add your own house to Plugshare. I don't, but only because there are countless places to charge near both of my houses. A lot of people like to use home charging and you can set Plugshare to show such. A fun way to meet other EV owners, many say.

People out in the middle of nowhere should do that, as that is where such is most needed.


-Don- Reno, NV
We did that. Just so friends can find us though. 😂
 

Lou Schneider

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I think the rates will be standard sema connect rates for the area which seem to fluctuate from region to region. I would count on anywhere from a 1.50 to 3 bucks an hour. They seem to compete with ChargePoint in this regard. I have not been able to confirm this.
With 33.7 kWh of electricity containing the same energy as there is in a gallon of gasoline (EPA statistics) at an 8 kWh charging rate it takes an hour to transfer the amount of energy you'd get in a quart of gasoline. If you're paying $1.50 an hour to charge the cost is the same as buying gasoline at $6 a gallon. $3 an hour is equivalent to gasoline at $12 a gallon.
 

Viajeros

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With 33.7 KwH of electricity containing the same energy as there is in a gallon of gasoline (EPA statistics) at an 8 kWh charging rate you're getting the same energy in an hour as what is you would get in quart of gasoline. If you're paying $1.50 an hour to charge the cost is the same as buying gasoline at $6 a gallon. $3 an hour is equivalent to gasoline at $12 a gallon.
Yah pretty much. These are convenience chargers. You pay for the convenience. Same with DC fast chargers.

At home it is about 8 times cheaper. Most charging is done at home. Hard to do that on a camping trip though. 😂

We go about 6 kilometres on a kilowatt and that costs us about 11 cents on a blended rate at home.
 

DonTom

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If you're paying $1.50 an hour to charge the cost is the same as buying gasoline at $6 a gallon. $3 an hour is equivalent to gasoline at $12 a gallon.
The price to charge an EV varies a lot. From free to MORE expensive than gasoline. The price is usually set by the owner of the charge station.

Here in Reno, the norm to charge on the road is free. Many casinos have free (slow) AC charge stations. So do the city halls, such as in Reno, Sparks, and even in Virgina City, which is a tourist trap and those are higher power than most (40 amp J-1772 <9.6KW> for J-1772. A bit less for the Tesla Destination charge station, 8 KW (usually Tesla destination chargers are higher power than J-1772, so this is opposite of what is normally expected).

There is also some free charging near Auburn. The Cofax train station and several private businesses.

Also, a free DC fast charger at the Donnor Summit Rest Area, paid for by Cal-Trans. Perfect place for my Energica motorcycle, right in the middle between Auburn and Reno.

Gas prices are much more stable than electric prices on the road.

One of the biggest rip-offs I have seen are the slow AC charge stations in Yerington. Five bucks for the first hour, J-1772, 6.5KW. But I am glad it is there as they used to have nothing.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Viajeros

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You will probably be interested in this link.

"Driving 100 Miles in an EV Is Now More Expensive Than in an ICE"

-Don- Auburn, CA
That’s a weird article Don. 100 miles is about 160 kilometres. That’s about 3 bucks for us. I had no idea power was that pricey down there. It’s still about 6 times cheaper to drive electric here. And that’s not including oil change costs.

Interesting.

Cheers.
 

DonTom

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That’s a weird article Don. 100 miles is about 160 kilometres. That’s about 3 bucks for us. I had no idea power was that pricey down there. It’s still about 6 times cheaper to drive electric here. And that’s not including oil change costs.
When it comes to home charging, the price in the USA varies a lot more than does gasoline. Reno is 11.05¢/kWh for home charging. And has countless places to charge up for free.

Here in Auburn, CA the price is 27.25¢/kWh. Two and a half times the price for the same home charge. A few places to charge up for free, but not many interesting places to wait around for a slow AC charge. The Colfax train station isn't too bad, walk around town for an hour and get a free 32-amp (7680 watt) charge. A free 30 or so miles on a Tesla. But I have only charged my electric motorcycles there and that hour is more than a full charge on my smallest electric motorcycle (the same one I take on my RVs), which is good for an average of around 50 miles. I can only charge it at 6.3KW max.

Auburn is an expensive place to live. If I use NO water at all, turned off, I get a bill for $330.00 US. But it's billed every three months, so it's $110.00 per month to use no water at all. That is just the connection fee. But I can understand that, because not enough houses in this area to support the cost of the water supply that's a few miles down the hill. But for various reasons, everything is kinda pricy here, even for CA.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Western Slope

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I'll be filling up in Gunnison, Colorado at around 7 AM in the morning tomorrow. There's no way that I would walk around town for an hour in winter there even if my electricity and/or gasoline was free.

"The Colfax train station isn't too bad, walk around town for an hour and get a free 32-amp (7680 watt) charge."

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