RVelectricty’s Mike Sokol, who has become the de facto RV power expert among many RVers, recently stirred up a bit of controversy when he asked, “Should RV parks meter pedestal power?”
Sokol raised the question in an email to thousands of his subscribers and, as he put it, “I was blown away by both the number of responses and the passion.”
For those unfamiliar with Sokol, he is a Master Electrician with a mechanical engineering degree and over five decades of experience. He has provided expert advice for major RV manufacturers and conducted hundreds of seminars about RV electricity to industry and consumer groups, owner rallies and major RV shows, including the Florida RV SuperShow and America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa. Additionally, he has published hundreds of articles for RVers, especially addressing issues like “hot skin” and other safety concerns.
Although the survey was directed to RVers, Sokol told Woodall’s Campground Magazine (WCM), a sister publication to RVBusiness, that he believes the results and the comments that followed are relevant for campground owners and operators. One of the challenges campground owners face, as the campground industry well knows, is to provide satisfactory campground electrical service. Also, another unknown is how campgrounds will handle EV charging with approaches running the gamut from “not here” to “welcome aboard,” according to Sokol.
The “metering” survey was sparked by discussions Sokol had with Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) members during a seminar a few weeks ago in the Poconos. “When I mentioned metering, everybody paid attention because of the high cost of electricity. These guys were really, really vocal: ‘Yes, no, how should it work? Consumers don’t care. How much does it cost?’ And so on and so on. It was a hot-button topic with the couple of dozen campground owners in the room with me.”
Should campgrounds be metering pedestal power?
- No, they charge too much already 17%
- Maybe if I always get full power 14%
- Only for EV charging 20%
- Yes, it’s only fair for everyone 50%
Sokol told WCM that he didn’t expect these results. “Not at all. I was kind of shocked,” he said. “I know many RVers think that since the electricity is free, they can use all they want — the ‘air and electricity should be free’ mindset. But the percentage that feels metering is fair surprised me. I think many of these are people with smaller rigs and believe they are, in effect, subsidizing those big rigs with two or three air conditioners.”
Join this Town Hall for Further Discussion
Sokol will host a YouTube Town Hall Webcast with consumers to discuss metering and EV charging issues in collaboration with Stressless Camping’s Tony Barthel, who i also a freelance contributor to RVBusiness. The event will be at 7 p.m. EST, Thursday, Jan 11. Join here. All WCM and RVB readers are invited. Expect to hear a wide variety of opinions.
Looking forward, Sokol plans to hold a campground industry-exclusive webinar jointly with WCM to discuss and share metering ideas within the industry. An announcement of this invite-only event will appear on the WCM website.