Myrtle Beach, S.C. Campground Now Has One Of Only Two Electric Vehicle Charging Locations East Of I-95 

June 22, 2011, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Ocean Lakes Family Campground, a subsidiary of The Jackson Companies,  now has the first electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the Carolinas coast. Ocean Lakes built its new stations as part of its award-winning iCare Program which is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the campground and its guests. The two Level 2 EV Charging Stations are open to the general public (see below) in addition to Ocean Lakes guests.

Ocean Lakes is now one of only two locations east of I-95 in South Carolina that has EV stations available for public use. According to the U. S. Department of Energy, there are only 30 EV stations in S.C. The closest to the coast is Monks Corner which is 77 miles southwest of Ocean Lakes or  Lumberton, N.C. which is 95 miles north of Ocean Lakes.

“Building the  EV Charging Stations was an easy decision because it fits right in with our iCare Program,” said Barb Krumm, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “The idea for the EV stations was inspired by an article our Ocean Lakes IT consultant forwarded to our management. At the same time, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) requested information from campgrounds that were catering to EVs. That piqued our interest and we set about researching EV technology.”

Ocean Lakes has all 893 campsites equipped with 50 amp/240-volt service to operate camper appliances and air conditioners. Upon learning that the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defines 240 Volt AC charging as “Level 2” charging, management decided that they could affordably provide a site for someone to park on to charge an eco-friendly vehicle.

“It’s a win-win to help someone who is trying to help our environment,” Krumm said. “Research also helped us determine that accommodating East Coast travelers with this new eco-friendly technology made good sense. We felt that establishing a charging station location at an oceanfront destination about 75 miles from I-95 would be good business as well.”

Ocean Lakes Family Campground invested about $3,000 in the two EV charging stations. Expenses included the asphalt parking pads, the outlet stations, the adapter cord, and signage.

2021 Update:  To use the EV charging stations, EV drivers simply need to visit the Ocean Lakes main office and obtain a $10 visitor pass to the EV station. There is no additional cost to charge.

Ocean Lakes management does not really know what kind of demand to expect.

“It’s not about making money and we really don’t expect to generate much income from the stations,” Krumm said. “It’s more about stepping up to fill a need and continuing our efforts to encourage good stewardship of our environment. It also gives us the opportunity to show off our campground to potential and future customers. It takes about four hours to charge a vehicle, so we invite EV guests to enjoy the campground amenities. They can rent an electric golf car,  tour the campground, grab a bite to eat on-site, and relax on the beach if they wish.”

With the addition of the EV stations to its iCare program, Ocean Lakes now covers a broad range of transportation alternatives that meet both consumer needs and promote some smart “green” options. Rentals of golf cars, which have proven to be the most popular electric transportation inside Ocean Lakes,  are a strong revenue source for the campground, as well as an important amenity for guests. Recently, Ocean Lakes partnered with Tomberlin who manufactures LSVs (low-speed vehicles). The Tomberlin product line also includes the Vanish, an electric vehicle for all-terrain purposes such as hunting. LSVs have some advantages by law; they can be driven on roads 35 MPH or less and unlike the golf car, can be driven at night.  These vehicles can run up to 25 MPH and have a range of 25-30 miles per charge.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground’s iCare Program continues to expand. Guests and teammates have recycled more than 250,000 pounds of solid waste, averaging about 2 tons per week. Ocean Lakes’ landscaping department’s composter produces mulch and fertilizer for the flower beds. Solar-heated water is being tested at one of the bathhouses to determine how much water and gas it saves.

About Ocean Lakes Family Campground

Ocean Lakes Family Campground, a division of The Jackson Companies, is the largest campground on the East Coast and one of the largest in the United States. Located in Myrtle Beach, S.C., it has received numerous awards for excellence. In 2010, it received the Earth Day Award from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for its iCare Program. It is the 2008-2009 National “RV Park of the Year” and has received that honor from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) four times.

In 2006, Ocean Lakes received the prestigious South Carolina Governor’s Cup for making a significant economic impact on South Carolina. Ocean Lakes covers 310 oceanfront acres with nearly one mile of beachfront. It offers 3,447 sites — 893 of which are large and pull-through to accommodate larger RVs. It was built by Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson and their five daughters, starting in 1970. It opened with 30 campsites and one bathhouse in 1971. On an average seasonal day, Ocean Lakes has 25,000 to 30,000 guests enjoying the countless amenities that have made it a local favorite and a national vacation destination. It currently holds a 9.5/9/9 ranking out of 10/10/10 from the Trailer Life Directory for its overall operation, recreational offerings, services, and appearance.

Ocean Lakes is a division of The Jackson Companies, a family-owned enterprise that includes Prestwick Golf & Country Club, Ocean Lakes Properties, Crystal Lake Mobile Home Village, Ocean Lakes RV Center, and the master-planned development SayeBrook.


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