Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm sorting out the EVSE purchase, and one of the attributes is portability, possibly for longer trips. I read some suggestions on using the plugs at RV parks, but when I googled for experiences, almost all of them were over 2 years old, and most older. Has anyone done this recently? How receptive are the park owners, and what's the cost structure? Do you rent the spot, and then pay by kWh (or time)? Minimums? It's fair to assume I know nothing about RV parks, other than that they are primarily for RVs..

Is this really only a practical proposition if you're car camping (something I do pretty much never)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
I've done this several times…basically anywhere I can fine a NEMA 14-50 I'm game to change - I normally pay the normal space rental fee and the RV owner's are quite curious as to how it all works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
That's a very good question. Here in Michigan we have lots, and lots of state park campgrounds. All of these campgrounds(at least all that I know of), have 30 amp 120 volt RV plugs and two 15 amp 120 plugs. You would need a RV 30 amp plug to use it however. I have not tried to charge at a state park, I have a Volt, but I don't think you should have any problems. A lot has to do with how crowded the campground is at the time. If they are no where near at capacity, then the park rangers will be more inclined to let you plug in. I will be able to tell you more when GM finally gets around to selling Bolts in Michigan. It seems that we can make them here alright, we just can't buy them here. We camp a lot during the summer and I will be sure to check at each campground to see what their policy is. I am sure that it is all up to the individual park ranger, since there is no defined policy by the DNR. One last thing, the power is turned off in the winter here even in campgrounds that are still open to drive through, walk your dog, etc. Please post anything you learn about this.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That's a very good question. Here in Michigan we have lots, and lots of state park campgrounds. All of these campgrounds(at least all that I know of), have 30 amp 120 volt RV plugs and two 15 amp 120 plugs. You would need a RV 30 amp plug to use it however. I have not tried to charge at a state park, I have a Volt, but I don't think you should have any problems. A lot has to do with how crowded the campground is at the time. If they are no where near at capacity, then the park rangers will be more inclined to let you plug in. I will be able to tell you more when GM finally gets around to selling Bolts in Michigan. It seems that we can make them here alright, we just can't buy them here. We camp a lot during the summer and I will be sure to check at each campground to see what their policy is. I am sure that it is all up to the individual park ranger, since there is no defined policy by the DNR. One last thing, the power is turned off in the winter here even in campgrounds that are still open to drive through, walk your dog, etc. Please post anything you learn about this.
Thanks
You make an interesting point. When I read about this, I assumed that this was about privately owned RV parks, not state or national parks. In my area of California, the campsites are typically pretty rudimentary, including a fire pit and a picnic bench. Sometimes a shared water source, but no electricity at the campsites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I've done this several times…basically anywhere I can fine a NEMA 14-50 I'm game to change - I normally pay the normal space rental fee and the RV owner's are quite curious as to how it all works.
What would be a normal space rental fee? How empty does your battery need to be to make it reasonable?

If you're already camping, it's just a bonus, but if you're stopping just to charge up, when does it make sense (assuming you're not so desperate for a charge that price is no object)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
That's a very good question. Here in Michigan we have lots, and lots of state park campgrounds. All of these campgrounds(at least all that I know of), have 30 amp 120 volt RV plugs and two 15 amp 120 plugs. You would need a RV 30 amp plug to use it however. I have not tried to charge at a state park, I have a Volt, but I don't think you should have any problems. A lot has to do with how crowded the campground is at the time. If they are no where near at capacity, then the park rangers will be more inclined to let you plug in. I will be able to tell you more when GM finally gets around to selling Bolts in Michigan. It seems that we can make them here alright, we just can't buy them here. We camp a lot during the summer and I will be sure to check at each campground to see what their policy is. I am sure that it is all up to the individual park ranger, since there is no defined policy by the DNR. One last thing, the power is turned off in the winter here even in campgrounds that are still open to drive through, walk your dog, etc. Please post anything you learn about this.
Thanks
It sounds like the Provincial Parks in Ontario are very similar to those in Michigan. One 30A 120v and two 15A 120V. I have been digging around a bit trying to confirm if there is any way that the Bolt can be charged on 120V at 24A? I found some level 2 chargers that are able to be limited to a customized amperage, and are auto switching between 120V and 240V. Has anyone ever successfully charged above 12A on 120V? This could be very helpful over a long weekend trip, instead of trying to charge for (up to) 50 hours on 120V.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
It sounds like the Provincial Parks in Ontario are very similar to those in Michigan. One 30A 120v and two 15A 120V. I have been digging around a bit trying to confirm if there is any way that the Bolt can be charged on 120V at 24A? I found some level 2 chargers that are able to be limited to a customized amperage, and are auto switching between 120V and 240V. Has anyone ever successfully charged above 12A on 120V? This could be very helpful over a long weekend trip, instead of trying to charge for (up to) 50 hours on 120V.
Yes you are exactly correct. We camp at the Pinery Provincial Park at least two times a season. It is one of our favorite campgrounds. Funny thing about the Pinery is that electric sites and non-electric sites are mixed together. In Michigan "state park campgrounds" have electricity, running water, and showers, etc, while "state forest campgrounds" and "walk in campgrounds" are totally non electric(aka rustic). It would be up to the individual campground's ranger whether you would have to pay for the entire site or a nominal fee, or free. In Michigan, most "modern" sites go for about $25 a day. You can pay a day use fee($7) or if you have a yearly pass you don't have the daily fee. I am thinking that if you pay the daily fee, they would let you charge at an empty site. It is a good way to take a break from driving and have something to eat, a nap etc. The worst thing is that there is no way to be sure that you would be able to charge, and if you are running on electron vapors you could be in trouble. When I finally get my Bolt(late September they tell me), I will test it out. It could add to the number of charging stations available.
Thanks guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
I've paid anywhere from $8 to $40 to charge - normally if I'm using a camp ground to charge it's "filling" in for lack of DC Fast Charging/Tesla Supercharger or any public charging infrastructure - I'm normally not car camping - rather I'll stay some where near by (hotel) and drop the car off for charging while I sleep. The other place I charger is at "race tracks/motor sports" - a lot of tracks are setup for RV's to stay overnight and when I'm at the track playing with my track toys I'm charging my EV during the day while I'm out on track killing polar bears…cost here is zero since normally access to the Track's facilities and infrastructure is includes in the cost of the track day. The best charging outlet to find while traveling is a 50 AMP RV hook up - which lets you charger at 40 AMPs with the appropriate portable charger and a car that can charge at 40 AMP's - I've charged my Bolt @ Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California @ 32 AMPs from one of their 50 AMP RV hooks up using a modified Tesla Universal Mobile Charger and the NEMA 14-50 adapter.

When doing this type of charging I'm not claiming it's cost effective - rather I do it to be able to charge the car and continue my trip.

The real point in my opinion is once you realize there are a lot of camp grounds in the US and with a little planning there is more EV charging available than most people realize, and the options balloon by quite a bit if you're willing to plan a little and invest in a good portable 240 volt charger - with proper equipment you can charge an EV at most any 240 Volt outlet and most trips are possible once you include these types of resources in your planning. I'll admit it's still not like traveling with an ICE car, but for the infrequent road trip you have options beyond formal charging infrastructure if you want to pursue them…blending these types of charging resources (sites with RV hookups) with formal public charging infrastructure and you're rarely stuck anywhere with no charging options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
I usually go glamping and there's always a short pole? sticking out of the ground with power outlets for whatever you need. Just need to book those sites ahead of time as they're meant for RVs and campers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The PlugShare web site (plugshare.com) is a good source of information on RV park charging. Select "NEMA 14-50" under "More Options" and all the sites in the selected area will be displayed on the map. Clicking on a specific site will bring up details on the location and the "Show Comments" section will typically list who has charged there recently and what sort of experience they had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The PlugShare web site (plugshare.com) is a good source of information on RV park charging. Select "NEMA 14-50" under "More Options" and all the sites in the selected area will be displayed on the map. Clicking on a specific site will bring up details on the location and the "Show Comments" section will typically list who has charged there recently and what sort of experience they had.
A good tip. I tried that initially, and none of the parks in my area (50 mile radius) had any entries, so I gave up. I expanded my search and found a few. The quality/detail level on the reports is pretty variable. Some include pricing, some just show success/lack therof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
A good tip. I tried that initially, and none of the parks in my area (50 mile radius) had any entries, so I gave up. I expanded my search and found a few. The quality/detail level on the reports is pretty variable. Some include pricing, some just show success/lack therof.
Yup - it's the GIGO principle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Now that has me thinking, forums like this can use a reporting system of its own. Seeing reports here with all the other forum tools make it of high value. Admins/Mods should consider it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
Now that has me thinking, forums like this can use a reporting system of its own. Seeing reports here with all the other forum tools make it of high value. Admins/Mods should consider it.
I've never been a big fan of reinventing the wheel. I don't see why new garbage strewn here would be any better than the garbage already on plugshare.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top