What is the future of RV park technology?
The RV industry is rapidly evolving in response to a changing world. High fuel costs and environmental concerns have contributed to this evolution. Electric RVs and tow vehicles have been introduced, and sales of electric vehicles have increased significantly. Remote work has also increased significantly, with many workers choosing to work from their RVs. However, it is critical for these workers to stay connected to the Internet.
RV park technology continues to evolve to meet the needs of campers and the environment. Interactive self-booking software is a good example of technology that can benefit campground operators with busy schedules. This article looks at upcoming advances in campground technology.
1. Interactive booking and contactless check-in.
Technology is making it easier than ever to find the right campground. That’s because any RVer can now use Google Street View to survey a campground before they book. Not only that, but if they like what they see, RV LIFE Campgrounds lets them read online reviews to see what other campers are saying about the campground.
But technological advances don’t just help you find a great RV site. Once you’ve decided on a campsite, the latest booking software lets you book the site you want after selecting it from the available sites on an interactive map. Once you have booked your pitch, simply check in by phone when you arrive. No contact. No hustle and bustle.
Of course, campers aren’t the only ones who benefit from interactive self-booking of campsites. This technology relieves campground staff of the tedious task of registering campers and then assigning them a site they’ll be happy with. A real win-win situation for all involved.
2. charging of electric vehicles
The popularity of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly these days. However, most electric vehicles cannot be towed behind a motor home without destroying the electric motor. This is because even if the vehicle is put into neutral, the permanent magnet electric motor will generate a reverse current that could damage the system. However, there are some electric vehicles that are designed for flat towing, such as the Tesla Model S and Model X. It is important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for the particular electric vehicle you own or intend to tow.
Electric pickup trucks are now available that are suitable for hauling an RV or smaller trailer. However, their limited range under load necessitates frequent recharging, making them impractical for long trips. In addition, there are few charging stations that can accommodate a truck with a trailer, no matter how small. However, as demand increases, we can expect the charging infrastructure to improve.
All-electric RVs are also in the works. Not too many years ago, rising fuel prices began to deter some RV buyers from purchasing. Many RVers also wanted to camp in an environmentally friendly RV. The result was real consumer demand for electric RVs. In 2022, Winnebago announced it would test prototype models of a new all-electric RV, the EV2. The EV2 is now in the final prototype testing phase, and while no launch date has been given, it could be next year. Bowlus also recently announced that they are the first manufacturer to offer an all-electric range.
Campgrounds with EV charging stations
You may have noticed that more and more campgrounds are installing charging stations. Some public campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada already have charging stations for electric vehicles. Kampgrounds of America began adding electric vehicle charging stations to its campgrounds in 2022. As the market for e-vehicles grows each year, we can expect to see more e-charging stations at public and private campgrounds in the not-too-distant future.
Can RV outlets be used to charge e-vehicles?
Technically, it is possible to charge an electric vehicle (EV) using an RV outlet. However, it is not recommended.
RV outlets are typically 120-volt AC outlets, while most e-vehicles require 240-volt AC charging stations to charge at a reasonable rate. While it is possible to plug an e-vehicle into an RV outlet with an adapter, the charging speed is much slower than a dedicated charging station for e-vehicles. In addition, RV outlets may not comply with regulations and pose a safety hazard.
EV charging stations are specifically designed for the high power required to charge e-vehicles and have safety features such as ground fault protection.
Overall, it’s best to use a dedicated electric vehicle charging station to ensure your vehicle is charged safely and efficiently.
3. campsites will meet their energy needs with green technology.
In the coming years, there will be more solar-powered campgrounds and RV parks in sunny areas. This isn’t just because many RV campers are attracted to campgrounds that use environmentally friendly technologies. By installing solar panels, campgrounds can save huge amounts of money on electricity bills.
According to Nuance Energy, a typical RV site can use the same amount of electricity as a small town. Purchasing electricity from a utility company is a major cost for any campground. Flag City RV Park in Lodi, California, is a 180-site park. After installing a solar energy system, the park’s electric bill dropped from $20,000 per month to just $20 per month.
For this reason, more and more RV parks and campgrounds are generating “free” electricity from solar power. In addition, a solar array in a hot and sunny location has the added benefit of providing shade for RVs with large-scale solar panels. This makes campgrounds more pleasant and comfortable for campers.
“RV sites are often ideal locations for solar energy for two reasons: they have a large footprint and, as small towns, consume a lot of electricity. RVers also tend to conserve energy and get it from renewable sources, which makes a park with solar generation all the more attractive as a place to stay.”
Ron Boguess, CEO, Nuance Energy
RV sites using solar energy or wind turbines.
Of course, not every campground is suitable for solar power. Solar panels require at least six hours of sunlight per day to collect and convert enough energy to be useful in a campground. However, renewable energy generated by either solar or wind power is on the rise. Sustainable energy will be an increasingly common component of campsite technology in the coming years.
A good example is Melton Hill Recreational Area in Tennessee, which uses both solar and wind energy at its environmentally friendly campground. The result is a campground with a net energy demand of zero. The park’s 70-foot-tall wind turbine alone generates 2000 kilowatt-hours of electricity for the park. To further reduce its carbon footprint, Melton Hill Campground relies on solar-powered LED lighting activated by motion sensors.
4. water conservation measures
Clean, fresh water has become a scarce commodity in many parts of the country. For this reason, water conservation is already a focus of efforts to reduce the environmental impact of campgrounds. Many campgrounds use dual-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads in washrooms and shower houses. We can expect this to increase in the future.
Water recycling systems may be a technology we will see more of in campgrounds. One such system uses micron filters and UV water purification to sterilize shower water before reuse in the shower.
5. better internet technology
The pandemic caused many employees to do their work in their mobile homes rather than in their offices, provided they had access to the Internet. Many of these remote workers have not yet returned to their former jobs. Studies show that companies are satisfied with this arrangement, possibly because remote workers are often more productive than those who work in traditional offices.
Good Wi-Fi is critical for remote workers staying at campgrounds. However, connections at campgrounds are often unreliable or slow. Still, many campers use their own solutions, such as mobile data transfer or Starlink. Campgrounds that improve their Wi-Fi could attract more remote workers and fill unused campsites in the off-season.
That being said, the availability of good, free Wi-Fi not only influences remote workers, but also other campers’ decisions about campgrounds. According to research conducted by Cairn Consulting, 51% of campers intend to go online during their stay. Not only that, but 41% of campers say the availability of W-iFi influenced their choice of campsite. The demand for free Wi-Fi at RV parks will increase in the future.
We can definitely expect campgrounds to come up with better connectivity and more powerful Wi-Fi access points throughout the campground.
The future of the RV park
Campgrounds will look to meet the growing demand for a nature-based camping experience. According to Campground of the Future (via KOA), new campgrounds could be equipped with trails that wind through forests and avoid vehicles and roads.
According to KOA, campgrounds could be built along the coast with sites above the water on “camping dams.” Someday we could even camp below the ocean’s surface in futuristic submarine huts. These campsites would be powered by solar panels on the surface of the water.
Read what other campers are saying
One of the most enjoyable aspects of RV travel is interacting with the community of travel enthusiasts. The iRV2 forums allow you to interact online with other RV enthusiasts and get other opinions on all aspects of RV travel, including products, destinations, RV modifications and more.