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Infrastructure upgrades, including provisions for 50-, 30- and 20-amp service, are becoming a necessity for RV park operators seeking to accommodate the full spectrum of today’s RV enthusiasts.
“Today’s RVs have got nice microwave ovens, flat screen TVs and all the amenities you’d have at home, so they have greater power requirements,” explains Martin McDonald, vice president of HyPower, a division of Claremore, Okla.-based HydroHoist International Inc.
And campground operators who want to accommodate everyone from popup owners to big rig enthusiasts, he insists, need to have electrical pedestals with 50-amp, 30-amp and 20-amp connections.
They also should consider pedestals that include telephone, cable television and Internet connections, adds Paul Croteau, sales manager for Kansas City, Mo.-based Milbank Manufacturing Co. Inc.
These words of advice are hitting home with growing numbers of public and private park operators across North America. Indeed, many of the newest parks – as well as parks undergoing expansions – are equipping their campsites with 50-, 30-, and 20-amp connections.
Buckhorn Lake Resort, a six-year-old park in Kerrville, Texas, currently has 134 sites. But when its expansion is completed, it will have more than 200 sites, each with 50-30-20 amp pedestals, said Dee Christiansen, co-owner of the resort.
Taking a similar approach is Elkhorn Ridge Camping Center in Spearfish, S.D. The $16 million resort, the first phase of which will open next summer, will include 400 RV sites and 35 log cabins, all equipped with utility connections offering 50-30-20 amp pedestals.
Heritage RV Resort in Homer, Alaska, also upgraded electrical hookups when adding 26 sites earlier this year. “We’ve got 20-30-50 amp connections on all of our sites,” said Tina Barton, a front desk clerk for the 107-site park. She added that while most visitors don’t need 50-amp service for air conditioning when they’re visiting Alaska, they do need it to run their washing machines.
“Anybody new is doing almost 100% 50-amp service, unless they’re catering to tents or popups,” said Bobby Dively, RV marketing and sales manager for RV Park Hookups, Williamsburg, Va. “Most folks are trying to attract the big rigs because (the owners of those vehicles) have more money.”
Campground and RV park operators have known for some time that they need to upgrade their electrical pedestals. Five years ago, in fact, the National Electric Code required that parks with hookups provide 50-amp service to at least 5% of their campsites, with 70% having 30-amp connections, Dively said.
But national codes tend to lag behind consumer trends, and savvy park operators know that they’d better equip many of their sites with 50-30-20 amp pedestals if they want to accommodate consumers who have purchased the latest motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
“In my opinion, it’s better to have everything than to not have it in case someone needs it,” said Fran McDonough, production manager for Willington, Conn.-based Trumbull Recreation Supply Co. Inc.