Over the last few weeks we have seen a few comments about Electric Vehicle chargers pop up on Facebook. While having a EV charging station on property is a great amenity to have as we discussed in our April newsletter, you also want to be vigilant to how your customers are using your RV site pedestals. You may have seen quite a few drivers using adapters, meaning they are not NEC rated for use. You want to get familiar with these adapters.
Problems with Non-Compliant Adapters:
• No safety system in place to prevent the car overcharging
• Doesn’t met NEC, NEMA, or UL codes
• No GFCI Protection
• Among others…
There are plenty of generic adapters out there that can fit into your typical 50-amp receptacle, but that’s about all they can do. They won’t prevent overloads to your car and/or the campground power grid (more on that later). They also will not have GFCI capabilities so they will not prevent trip and possible electrocution.
These adapters also pose similar threats to you entire campground and its occupants.
Concerns for Your Campground:
• Voltage drops to other sites because of large current draws
• Not NEC, NEMA approved or UL listed
• No GFCI Protection
• If your site is not metered, you will not recover that extra electrical cost
For example, TESLA vehicles are known to have higher capacity batteries. That is why TESLA specific chargers achieve the highest battery charge in the shortest amount of time possible. But that also means it will also be taking a huge draw from your grid when plugged into you RV site pedestal. Draws like this can result in voltage drops in other parts of your park and may even shut down RVinverters. Which means a lot of angry people at your door when their A/C (et.al.) gets fried.
The proactive approach would be to outright ban all adapters that don’t met the NEC, NEMA, or UL codes. Most plug in EV owners will have an adapter for situations when they cannot find EV Service Equipment. In my April newsletter I recommended use of written agreements requiring the vehicle owner to be responsible for the charging of their cars using adapters.
If you’d like to familiarize yourself with the NEC compliance regarding EVSE there is an entire section dedicated to it in the 2017 NEC – knowledge is power(Article 625)