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