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Charging in/around Pinnacles National Park

Oil Freedom

Member
Nov 10, 2017
140
251
Southern California
I just returned from a 2-day stay in Pinnacles National Park, dry camping with no hookup.

@ecarfan, looks a great trip! I'm planning a visit to Pinnacles (sans trailer with my Model 3 Long Range). We'll be camping a few days, so I expect to need some charging while there since we're traveling through and charging at the Kettleman City Superchargers outside the park.

Would you (or anyone else) have details about charging at the camp site store? I called the store, and according to the person I spoke with, they've got some kind of outlet for EV charging in front of the store. It's available for $3/hr through the store or some online portal for the code to turn it on. Unfortunately, the person at the store didn't have any details around the kind of outlet, rating, etc. I'm hoping to find out if it's a 220 outlet and which NEMA standard to ensure it's a good option for charging.

Worst case, I can probably just reserve an RV or cabin just for the 220 charging option.
 

hgpayne

Member
Nov 6, 2017
87
116
San Diego, CA
@ecarfan, looks a great trip! I'm planning a visit to Pinnacles (sans trailer with my Model 3 Long Range). We'll be camping a few days, so I expect to need some charging while there since we're traveling through and charging at the Kettleman City Superchargers outside the park.

Would you (or anyone else) have details about charging at the camp site store? I called the store, and according to the person I spoke with, they've got some kind of outlet for EV charging in front of the store. It's available for $3/hr through the store or some online portal for the code to turn it on. Unfortunately, the person at the store didn't have any details around the kind of outlet, rating, etc. I'm hoping to find out if it's a 220 outlet and which NEMA standard to ensure it's a good option for charging.

Worst case, I can probably just reserve an RV or cabin just for the 220 charging option.
We camped at Pinnacles Campground at the east entrance. They only had 30 amp (TT-30 plug) service. I tried to plug our car in to the TT-30 and our trailer into the 20 amp but popped a circuit breaker upstream, not in our campsite. I had to go get a maintenance guy to turn it back on. He told me to just charge our car in another campsite that wasn't shaded. No one wants the unshaded campsites so it worked for us. Still, that's only 24 amps at 110 volts, or 2.6 kW. It takes a while. We drove all the way around to the west side -- about 55 miles and then on the way back, used the CHAdeMO in King City.

Supposedly the Visitor's Center has 2 J1772. From what I read on plugshare it's a flat 35 cents plus $1 for every 20 minutes. There is no cell service and you have to use their app so you need to hook into the store Wifi -- it gets complicated.


Just an additional point: We've been to lots of National Parks and many are very impressive and well worth the visit. This wasn't one of those in our books. We actually left a day earlier than planned an booked.
 
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Oil Freedom

Member
Nov 10, 2017
140
251
Southern California
We camped at Pinnacles Campground at the east entrance. They only had 30 amp (TT-30 plug) service. I tried to plug our car in to the TT-30 and our trailer into the 20 amp but popped a circuit breaker upstream, not in our campsite. I had to go get a maintenance guy to turn it back on. He told me to just charge our car in another campsite that wasn't shaded. No one wants the unshaded campsites so it worked for us. Still, that's only 24 amps at 110 volts, or 2.6 kW. It takes a while. We drove all the way around to the west side -- about 55 miles and then on the way back, used the CHAdeMO in King City.

Supposedly the Visitor's Center has 2 J1772. From what I read on plugshare it's a flat 35 cents plus $1 for every 20 minutes. There is no cell service and you have to use their app so you need to hook into the store Wifi -- it gets complicated.


Just an additional point: We've been to lots of National Parks and many are very impressive and well worth the visit. This wasn't one of those in our books. We actually left a day earlier than planned an booked.
Thanks for the info, @hgpayne. Yeah, we'll be on the east side as well. We love the national parks and heard this one had some good hikes. I'm not expecting anything on the level of Yosemite or Yellowstone. ;)

After doing some more charing options research with very similar findings to yours, I decided not to rely on the two 120 v charging options at the store. Very slow, expensive, not necessarily available, and just a plain hassle for lots of charging I expect to want/need.

Even though we're camping with some friends, I decided to also reserve a nice shaded RV spot (shortest available with power). It's still only 120 v with 30 amps, but at least I'll get hassle-free charging the entire time. It'll probably end up costing me more, but this way I know my energy needs will be covered, and I can focus on the nature fix.
 
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hgpayne

Member
Nov 6, 2017
87
116
San Diego, CA
Thanks for the info, @hgpayne. Yeah, we'll be on the east side as well. We love the national parks and heard this one had some good hikes. I'm not expecting anything on the level of Yosemite or Yellowstone. ;)

After doing some more charing options research with very similar findings to yours, I decided not to rely on the two 120 v charging options at the store. Very slow, expensive, not necessarily available, and just a plain hassle for lots of charging I expect to want/need.

Even though we're camping with some friends, I decided to also reserve a nice shaded RV spot (shortest available with power). It's still only 120 v with 30 amps, but at least I'll get hassle-free charging the entire time. It'll probably end up costing me more, but this way I know my energy needs will be covered, and I can focus on the nature fix.
I hiked the Balconies Cliffs Trail planning on coming back on the Balconies Cave Trail -- but the trail back was closed so I had to retrace the Cliffs trail back. Make sure you know what's open and what's not.
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TwistedGray

Ludicrous > Ludacris
Mar 12, 2021
390
335
Monterey Bay, CA
It's certainly not my favorite local spot to visit (hot, flies, and kinda one note (condors)), but I'll visit to do some work (we track the condors that are tagged). If I were to choose the Soledad side vs the "Hollister" side, I would always choose the Soledad side (in fact, we always choose the Soledad side, lol). Doesn't help ... but thought I'd throw out my 2c since you've already decided on a solution for the initial question/issue.
 

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