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Breaking Down Your Number 1 Concern with Electric RVs: Range & Infrastructure

Breaking Down Your Number 1 Concern with Electric RVs

September 9th is World Electric Vehicle (EV) Day, a day that celebrates sustainable mobility and changes coming to EV industries. Despite the special occasion, some campers are hesitant to consider electric RVs.

RV Trader recently held a survey on social media, asking our followers their number one concern with electric RVs. Participants answered that a lack of range and infrastructure to support these vehicles was their main point of skepticism. To help RVers fully understand electric RVs, we’re breaking down your primary concern while providing insights into what improvements are being made. And for more information about electric vehicles, visit our EV Resource Page.

When we asked “What do you think is the biggest issue with electric RVs?” we received thousands of responses, with most RVers sharing feedback like this: 

“We don’t have the power grid to support them.”

“Initially range; then aged battery fatigue; battery replacement cost, and impossible battery recharge from an overburdened electrical grid.”

“Lack of adequate infrastructure.”

“You would need a charging station every 50–100 miles.”

“Range, battery degradation over time.”

“Trees don’t have outlets.”

Previously we’ve covered the benefits of electric RVs, including their innovative designs, low maintenance, and how they’re an eco-friendly alternative, among other advantages. However, the market is still in the early stages of developing electric RVs, noticeably lagging behind other EV industries, partly due to vehicle size and infrastructure needed. Yet public concern about the effect of greenhouse gasses from gas-powered vehicles is incentivizing manufacturers to develop more EVs to meet the interests of an expanding consumer base.

Electric RVs are starting to appear on the market, though many are still in their early phase of development. Bloomberg recently reported that Winnebago is developing an electric RV, or eRV that can reach a 125-mile range. Meanwhile, Thor has introduced eRV concepts using a lithium-ion battery pack, hydrogen fuel cell, and solar roof to reach 300 miles before needing a recharge. Green Car Reports shared that Thor’s electric RV meets an expectation that RVers have that they would like to be able to travel 5–6 hours from home before needing to recharge a battery.

Charging stations for electric RVs are becoming more evident at RV parks and fueling stations, but still aren’t widespread. On-board, portable hydrogen fuel-cell systems would mitigate the issue involving a lack of charging infrastructure for EVs, but distributing these fuel cells could be difficult. Aside from this, there remains a gap in the market for larger types of electric RVs, including motorhomes and fifth-wheels.

All of this said, the RV industry is starting to make headway when it comes to improving EV infrastructure, and even beyond the early electric RV concepts. Support is coming from manufacturers, dealers, RV organizations, the government, and RVers that are eager to purchase EVs as they become more accessible in the market.

The RV Industry Association and the Federal Highway Administration are showing their support for developing and building a national network of charging stations for electric RVs by utilizing grant and incentive programs provided by local and state governments. This is part of the effort to promote and ensure Americans have access to outdoor spaces while supporting new electric technology with RVs and other vehicles, and reducing harmful carbon emissions.

These infrastructure improvements, which would improve accessibility for electric RVs, would help increase the visitation to America’s campgrounds and parks, which already contribute $689 billion to the U.S. economy and support 4.3 million jobs. The state allocation of funds from these incentive programs would improve electric grid systems for RVs, supporting a broader infrastructure for you to enjoy the great outdoors and travel further. Recipients of these funds would include private campgrounds and dealerships.

When you combine this with an increase in demand from the public for EVs in the market, manufacturers have plenty of opportunity to capitalize and develop vehicles with greater charging ranges. This also implies that as the EV market expands, there will be a higher availability of charging stations and longer lasting batteries.

Right now, it’s understandable to have concerns about the current limitations with EVs in comparison to their fuel-powered counterparts. But as World EV Day approaches, it’s worth considering the improvements being made. When you look at the many advantages these vehicles present, and the direction the world of RVing is headed, the future looks bright for electric.

If you’re ready to purchase your next new or used RV, be sure to shop from all the nationwide listings on RVTrader.com.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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6 Responses

  1. Absolutely no discussion of where the batteries are coming from, raw materials to manufacture them and the fossil fuels and water required to mine the minerals needed to make the batteries. Limited raw material resources are probably a bigger issue. Absolute no forward vision in what it will take to convert an entire industry. Solar and wind are no without significant fault when there is no sun or wind. Sun and wind energy is not easily transferable from point to point, energy loss. Storage of wind and Sun energy is limited, energy loss. Let’s put on our big boy pants and understand that fossil fuels are never going away.

  2. I guess we need to grow more current bushes 😁
    Seriously, the whole idea of camping and RVing is to get away from it all. Staying on the grid all the time defeats the purpose. The only answer I can see is solar and the batteries needed are out of the question due to the size, price and the pollution factor. This whole movement is not well thought out as we have seen recently in CA. Before we put all these electric vehicles on the road we need to upgrade the grid. How can we upgrade the grid when we are shutting down coal, gas and nuclear power generation? The big reservoirs are shrinking so our cleanest source of power is about to go down. Environmentalists want to breach all the dams anyway. Hydro electric power is about as clean as you can get. If Lake Powell drops a few more feet the power generation there will shut down. This is reality in our face. I am too old to go back to tent camping but unfortunately I see that coming. This is a potential disaster in the making. The smartest way to go IMHO is to promote hybrids, stay on fossil fuels in the short term and work on the grid because as it is, the grid can’t handle the load.

  3. “To the Horizon” would be a global trip of a new dimension of time vs distance! I don’t think I’ll live long enough to enjoy a carefree RV trip, having to stop every 100 to 125 miles to recharge for an hour or two or even more every time. For example: If I planned a weekend trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia, from Tampa Bay, the mileage would be 470 miles each way. Aside from the almost 7 hours driving time, I’d have to add as much as 5 hours at 5 stops to recharge. That would make this easy one day trip a stupidly long 12+ hour trip each way!!!
    Someone who just has to feel ‘Green’ has better have plenty of time on his/their schedule to go anywhere in any kind of timely manner. RVing with an eRV would be ludicrously long trip/distance experience.

    1. The conversion to EVs has really not been well thought out. The grid needs to be improved so much before all these EVs hit the road. Thr idea of having it all and having it right now is not good policy. EVs will happen but not overnight.

  4. I can’t imagine the size and or number of lithium ion batteries required to power and electric 40’ RV to make it’s power comparable to a diesel engine driven RV. Nor would I want to imagine the fire and resulting explosion from a failure or electrical short of an enormous lithium battery under the vehicle that my family rides and sleeps in! I would venture to say not only would that RV be in danger but those around it would be as well and all the enjoyable wilderness that we are enjoying🤔

  5. Eventually we will have the technology to extract hydrogen from the air using photo-voltaic electrical panels. Batteries will not be the storage solution because, as people of said, the harmful and irreversible environmental impacts of battery production, storage, use, and eventual disposition through destruction or recycling.

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