Maiden voyage? “Hey wait a sec, you’ve had this EV for a while now?” Yes I have (in fact I’m only about 30 miles from 10,000 miles on the odometer and will probably be making a post about the 10k mark soon). The maiden voyage was in our new camper. Typically when you purchase a new camper you take a short camping trip to someplace close by just to make sure everything works (and if you get stuck you aren’t so far away, etc.). Now my 3 readers are also thinking: “Hey this is an EV blog and now you’re talking about camping..stick to what the blog is supposed to be about!” (I read this comment on many people’s blogs when they stray off of their core subject. Frankly this opinion is absurd: The blog is theirs/mine not yours to regulate and thus they and I can post on whatever topic we want to. Do you complain when visiting someone’s house when they ask you to remove your shoes at the door? Or do you loudly shout: “This is a free country I can wear my shoes around your house if I want to!” Ok I’m digressing here.)
Like I said above, this first trip is typically near by..not too far away that we couldn’t take a particular vehicle with us…
There we are with both the EV and the camper at Harbortown RV Resort just outside Monroe, Michigan. This is a pretty decent campground if you have kids. There is two go-kart tracks, a mini-golf, and a batting cage out front. It is just over 10 years old so the trees they planted haven’t grown enough for shade. Every campsite is paved (which is how we ended up here since our first choice of campground in Frankenmuth, Mi wasn’t accepting reservations as all the snow we’ve had has made their grounds all soft and muddy).
A word on our new camper: A Thor Axis. This is a brand new model for 2014: A “Class A in Class C clothing” (small as a Class C but looks like a Class A). It looks large in the picture, but at only 25 feet long it really is a smaller camper. The small size makes it very easy to maneuver around. Backing into a campsite, driveway, parking spot, etc. is as easy as backing in a van (easier: a van doesn’t have 3 external cameras). The interior is laid out very well–a lot of thought went into what to put where. So far after one camping weekend with it we can say: We’re going to have a lot of fun with it.
As far as camping with an EV: I can’t think of a more perfect vehicle to accompany you on your camping trips (and it means you don’t have to rent that golf cart at the campground). You can simply plug in your car to the electric at the site and charge up. In our case I haven’t made any adapters for our Level 2 charger yet so I just used some standard camping adapters to plug the Level 1 charger included with the car into one of the spare plugs. The slow Level 1 charge didn’t pose any problems since we’re camping–you’re not really in any hurry when you’re camping. By the time we needed the car on Saturday it had more than enough time to charge back up to 100% from the commute to the campground.
Speaking of the ride to the campground, on the way there the car “complained” that we were passing the 1/2 way point and may not be able to return home. This warning got me thinking: If we eventually get that car trailer and haul the car somewhere a few hundred miles away from home will the car freak out? “Um yeah you’re like 300 miles from home there is NO way you’re going to get there on any charge level!”
The limited range of the EV doesn’t really pose a problem here: You can charge all you want (even better if you can get a 50A plug and use Level 2), and usually you select the campground to be in a central spot near all of the points of interest you wish to see. As a bonus you really only camp when its warm out: optimal weather for humans is also optimal weather for EVs: The maximum range will be available in the car.
By the way, ever wonder what it looks like camping in Michigan in early April?
Yeah, we were one of only about 4 campers there getting that early start on the season!