Arkansas' Electric Vehicle Oasis, Tesla Camp Mode
If you've never been to Heber Springs, Arkansas, you're missing out.
Located about 1.5 hours north of Little Rock, Heber Springs has a lot of outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and trout fishing. Downtown Heber Springs has quite a few good restaurants, coffee shops, and Spring Park hosts playgrounds for the kiddos.
Our family stayed at the Dam Site next to Greers Ferry Lake above the dam (reserve spots at www.recreation.gov). Our plans to go swimming at Sandy Beach were foiled due to high water at the lake, but the Old Highway 25 Recreation Area had plenty of parking, shade, places to swim and it was free. The water visibility was maybe 10 feet, crystal clear and a perfect temperature for some light snorkeling.
Below the dam, the Greers Ferry fish hatchery is raising tens of thousands of rainbow, brook and brown trout and visitors can stop by to check out the fish. It's free to get into the fish hatchery, but if you'd like to visit the John F. Kennedy park, you'll need to either have a campsite reserved, pay a $5 day use fee, or buy a $40 annual pass. The annual pass gets you into any national park run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and you can get the day pass or annual pass at the unmanned kiosk. At JFK park, there's plenty of hiking trails and RV camp sites, but the real draw is the Little Red River which is teeming with trout and it draws fly fishing anglers from all over. The water is very cold and not hospitable for swimming, but a toe dip or two is exhilarating.
At the Dam Site campsites, we had a 50 amp electric service making it an easy decision to take our Tesla (Model 3, Standard Range Plus). We left Little Rock and after some driving to and around Heber Springs, got to the campsite with a little over 50% of our battery remaining. Our Tesla says Heber Springs is accessible from the Van Buren, Ozark, Little Rock, Brinkley and Memphis Superchargers on a single charge.
We set up our site with our Napier SUV tent, plugged the car in and left Camp Mode on all night. The Napier tent allows you to pop your trunk, lay flat the back seats, and create an additional sleeping space. Our two boys sleep well on a Novaform roll out memory foam lounger from Costco that fits perfectly in the trunk/backseat loft.
While you wouldn't want to have the Napier tent connected to your car in a rain, it's easy to connect and disconnect and has a zip up to convert it to a "regular" tent - so you can use it in the rain, just...not connected to your car. In Camp Mode, your vehicle's AC/heater will stay on as long as it has enough battery; or if you're plugged in, it'll stay on all night. Be sure to turn on the vehicle's fan speed so it'll blast air through the back of your trunk into the tent (turn off the "auto" climate control setting).
While both JFK and Dam Site had some pretty awesome RV campsites, we're pretty sure we'll be staying at Lindsey's Resort the next time we visit Heber Springs. Lindsey's has tent and electric RV hookup sites (30 amp/50 amp), "motel style" cabins, tiny houses and log cabins and the prices are quite reasonable. There's a restaurant, swimming pool, sportsmen's tackle shop, a dock where you can fish on the Little Red, boat rentals, trout guide services, a conference hall, wifi, and more Level 2 EV chargers than you can shake a stick at. Several of Lindsey's cabins have dedicated Tesla chargers right next to the parking spot, plus maybe a half dozen Clipper Creek J1772's for any EV driver. The chargers are free, and anyone can use them. So whether you're a "rough-it" kind of person, or a Tesla glamper (glamorous camper), you should really check out Lindsey's Resort.