In the heat of an Arizona summer, the last thing you want to do is park your RV in a blazing hot campsite without any shade. But if you’re headed to the Tucson Lazydays KOA during the hottest time of year, you’ll now have an opportunity to escape the unbearable heat by camping underneath the nation’s first all-solar “PowerParasols® ” camping awning in the U.S.
This week, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is commissioning this first solar camping shade, comprised of of two 28-foot high awnings that provide shade to two acres of the RV park and give much needed respite from Arizona’s scorching summer sun to 30 lucky campers.
At first glance the structures don’t seem friendly to camping activities and natural landscape, but looks are deceiving. According to the KOA blog, “the PowerParasols’® patented design creates dappled light, allowing plants and the campground’s famous fruit trees to thrive while the height and unique design preserve views of the mountains and desert landscape and creates an open, airy space.”
Not only will the plants benefit, but the solar array’s design enables enough airflow underneath the structure that campers can still enjoy barbecuing and campfires without worry.
The PowerParasols provide other benefits besides making Tucson a cooler place to park your rig: this is eco-friendly camping at its best. The green-minded architects at Strategic Solar Energy, the company behind PowerParasol, created a roof that’s made up of 3,500 individual solar panels, allowing the campground to generate a megawatt of power.
KOA says the parasols will harness 1.75 million killowatt hours of energy from the sun. This kind of power is enough to power more than 150 homes, but at the Tucson Lazydays KOA, that energy will power up campground facilities. Whatever’s left over will be sent back to the grid, giving this KOA high marks for an eco-conscious business mindset.
“We were looking at a standard solar power setup to help offset some of our energy costs on the campground,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier. “When the idea of a solar PowerParasol came up, where we could integrate it in line with our campsites, save the real estate and keep it in a camping environment, it was a real win-win situation. It adds a signature architectural piece to the campground.”
These PowerParasol awnings are new for campgrounds, but the company has built other structures at different Arizona locations, including Arizona State University. With Tucson’s average summer temperatures just shy of the triple digits, the PowerParsol structures are a welcome respite when traveling through the area.
Check out the rave reviews RVers already give to this five star campground in the heart of scenic Tucson, then make your reservation today!
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.