Torn between a gas and electric golf cart for camping?
You’re not alone.
The biggest difference between a gas and electric golf cart is the power source. Gas golf carts depend on combustion fuel, while electric golf carts run on batteries.
Of course, the power source difference determines each cart’s individuality, including maintenance, power, performance, range, durability, noise level, and ease of use.
For example, gas-powered golf carts are more powerful than electric carts. The gas golf carts also have a longer range than the electric carts. Conversely, electric golf carts are noiseless and easy to maintain.
I own both types of carts, and in my opinion, the gas is easier and more pleasant to use for camping.
But that isn’t necessarily true for you.
See, the idealness of a golf cart for camping will depend on many factors, including the terrain of your campsite, local regulations, and so much more.
Also, it depends on the individual cart model. For example, I’m a big fan of gas carts, but I only prefer using the quiet tech made by Yamaha.
It’s noiseless, quiet as an electric, but with more power and range.
That’s an exception, though.
If you want to learn the differences between gas and electric golf carts, read on.
I’ll share my experiences of using both gas and electric carts, and hopefully, it’ll help you determine what option makes more sense for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Electric Golf Cart
- 2 Gas Golf Cart
- 3 Comparing Gas and Electric Golf Cart (Differences)
- 4 Gas vs. Electric Golf Cart for Camping: Which is Better?
- 5 How To Choose the Best Golf Cart for Camping (Gas Vs. Electric Carts)
- 6 The Legality of Golf Carts on Campground
- 7 Gas vs. Electric Golf Cart for Camping Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 8 Wrap Up
Electric Golf Cart
The electric golf cart is usually what comes to mind when you hear golf carts.
Usually, the golf carts run out of batteries.
The biggest benefit of the golf carts is they run on green energy, so they are environmentally friendly and hardly harm the environment.
Unlike the gas option, they don’t emit toxic emissions, so they can even be suitable for indoor use or golf course use .
But they’ve their drawbacks, too.
A concern with any electric cart is the range and power. They’re not powerful enough to take on the challenging terrain and will only go for shorter distances.
Gas Golf Cart
As their name suggests, gas golf carts have engines. They draw their running power from the engine fuel.
Since they’ve engines, they’ve quite a few more moving parts than an electric gas cart.
The gas-powered golf carts are also the traditional carts and are probably among the best-selling options.
One of the greatest benefits of the gas engine is power. The gas engines are powerful and will take on the steep slopes and challenging off-roading terrain with relative ease.
Another benefit of gas engines is range. A gas-powered golf cart would be an inspiring option if you plan to ride for quite a distance.
Of course, there’re several drawbacks to using a gas golf cart.
The biggest one is maintenance. Given that they’ve plenty of moving parts and accessories, the gas golf carts have more wear on more parts and need more maintenance.
Comparing Gas and Electric Golf Cart (Differences)
Now that we’ve the basics of each cart, let’s look at the differences and the elements separating these two models.
The first major difference between a gas and an electric cart is the source of power.
As we’ve seen above, gas options run on fuel, while electric golf carts run on batteries.
So, depending on your camping location, one may be suited more than the other.
For example, if you’re boondocking in an RV park, away from civility and the national grid, a gas golf cart is better suited because you’ve the option of carrying gas.
Secondly, you’re easier to find more gas stations than the electric spots.
Another big difference between the two is the cost.
Of course, even in the same category, the price varies considerably, depending on the speed, capacity, features, performance, and more.
But apples for apples, and comparing similar models in the same class, the gas golf carts tend to be more expensive than the electric golf carts.
The big three brands for gas-powered golf carts are Ezgo, Club Car, and Yamaha. Traditionally, these brands are pricier than their top electric brands.
Therefore, if you’re on a budget, I recommend an electric cart over a gas golf cart.
There’re a few places where the gas golf cart wins over the electric cart, one of which is the performance.
A gas golf cart is generally more powerful and an electric cart.
If you plan to ride an RV park with lots of elevation changes or pull more weight, I’d highly recommend a gas golf cart.
A gas golf cart can handle steep hills and challenging golf courses better. An electric cart will take quite a while to get up on the hilly RV park.
In the noise department, the electric golf carts win hands-down.
An electric cart has pretty much a silent running, making them ideal for the short jaunts while hunting.
The gas golf carts won’t scare away the wildlife or make tons of noise while running around.
Conversely, the gas golf carts have mild vibration and noisy exhausts and may even suffer choking.
Size-wise, the electric carts are much smaller and lighter. It means it’s easy to handle one and even take it for a long camping trip.
On the other hand, the gas-powered carts are bigger and bulkier, so they may gobble up pretty much of your space. They’re also an inconvenience to carry and handle.
The bulkiness also means they’re inconvenient to navigate through the tight spaces.
Gas-powered carts generally have an impressive weight-carrying capacity, which comes from their big size.
The electric golf carts are lighter and won’t hold much weight. However, their lightweight design means less wear and tear, especially on the soft course terrain.
Gas golf carts have a better range and can drive further than electric batteries. I’ve driven on my gas golf cart for miles and miles without running out of power.
On the other hand, an electric cart will probably require recharging to cover the same distance.
Generally, a gas golf cart will give you 120 miles on a gas tank, while an electric cart provides 30 to 40 miles per charge.
Some of the premium gas golf carts have an incredibly long range of 261 miles, which is enough to explore an RV park resort, campgrounds, or island all day long.
It’s a huge difference there, but it doesn’t make the gas golf cart superior to the electric cart. It all depends on your driving needs.
For example, most campers will travel for 10 to 30 miles, which is more than enough for an electric cart.
But if you plan to extend your driving range, I’d recommend a gas-powered cart.
Whatever option you choose, ensure it has a meter to show you how much fuel or battery charge is left.
Safety-wise, the electric golf carts are much safer to drive than the gas-powered options.
For starters, the electric golf carts don’t emit any harmful or toxic emissions, making them safer.
The electric golf carts also don’t emit waves of hot exhaust, which can be risky, especially in the heat. You may risk setting the grass on fire, especially if it’s dry.
Finally, the electric golf carts come with plenty of safety features to help protect the passengers in an accident.
The gas golf carts need more maintenance than the electric ones.
Usually, the maintenance of the gas golf carts builds up mainly from the excess of moving parts. The most common parts needing maintenance on a gas cart are the filters, drive belts, and spark plugs.
Some of the regular maintenance procedures of gas golf carts include oil changes, tune-ups, and replacing the filtration system. It also has to be done regularly. Annoying.
Conversely, electric golf carts have far less maintenance. You probably need to worry about changing the batteries, which doesn’t happen so often.
The electric cart motor has fewer moving parts, so the regularity of replacing or changing anything doesn’t almost happen.
The gas golf carts also have a higher operational cost along with higher maintenance.
The main one is the need for paying gas. It’s usually higher than a similar consumption of electricity.
Electric golf carts also have fewer moving components, so you don’t have to worry much about the component breakdown on a gas cart.
Overall, if you compare the lifetime costs and money invested in owning the two carts, the electric golf cart is the absolute winner.
It’s particularly true in regions with higher gas prices and comparatively lower electricity prices.
And in case you’ve a Chine electric cart, the operational cost difference is huge, considering the Chinese products are cheaper than the big brands such as Yamaha.
Speed shouldn’t be confused with performance.
Gas-powered golf carts are super-charged monsters but can’t match the speed of the electric golf carts.
It’s the typical case of Lamborghini vs. Ram or Ford.
The best electric golf carts have top speeds of 25 mph. For example, Villager 2=2 LSV, an offering from Club Car, has a top speed of 23 mph.
On the other hand, the gas-powered carts are sluggish and don’t pick up speed so well.
The top speed for the best gas golf cart is 19 mph.
Of course, depending on the model, there’re varying discrepancies, with some premium gas options beating their gas counterparts.
For example, some Yamaha gas-powered golf carts are fast.
Comfort-wise, most electric golf carts offer a smoother and pleasant ride.
There’re no jerky rides or sputtering when hitting the gas as with the gas options.
Both cart models are reliable, but the durability of a cart will also depend on how well you take care of it.
Nevertheless, the newer electric models have better durability than the gas models.
Remember, they’ve fewer moving parts and fewer parts that would go wrong.
On the other hand, the gas golf carts have clutches, valves, belts, starters, etc.
Gas vs. Electric Golf Cart for Camping: Which is Better?
For most campers, electric golf carts provide the most value. They’re affordable, easier to run, and quiet.
These benefits are handy, especially when you need to go out for a camping trip and don’t want to scare the wildlife or even damage the environment.
While e-carts are suitable for most users, don’t rule out the gas-powered options entirely.
I’m a big fan of the gas golf carts because of their reliability and dependability.
A gas cart will let you rack miles on end without worrying about running out of gas or anything.
The other plus with the gas golf carts is taking you to terrains or spots where an electric cart can’t.
So, if you’re planning on navigating your way through the gnarly and hilly campgrounds, a gas-powered cart would be a better pick.
If you have yet to figure out what cart would suit your needs, proceed with the guide.
In the section below, I’ll share some of the important features to look for when selecting a golf cart for camping.
How To Choose the Best Golf Cart for Camping (Gas Vs. Electric Carts)
Speed and Speed Limits
Generally, I’d recommend the faster carts. After all, it’s better to travel faster than not reach on time.
It’s even more important on camping grounds. After all, you don’t want to be stuck in the wilderness or darkness to catch up on you because you can drive fast.
But more importantly, some camping grounds have a speed limit, usually 10 mph. So, you don’t want an option with anything than the minimum speed limit. Otherwise, you might get into trouble for being too slow.
You should ensure that the cart has enough capacity to hold your weight, plus your camping accessories.
You shouldn’t overburden or push your cart beyond its limits. Otherwise, you risk breaking it.
If you commit to an electric cart, consider the battery life because it determines the performance and longevity of your cart.
The bigger the battery, the better. You could even consider carts that use multiple batteries for long battery life.
The final feature is the seating capacity.
Your cart should have enough space for everyone. So, consider carts that can accommodate your entire family.
It wouldn’t hurt to acquire one with an extra seat or two to accommodate an uninvited friend. Generally, a bigger battery is better, but it shouldn’t be too big either.
The Legality of Golf Carts on Campground
The local camping ground regulations determine whether your golf cart will be allowed or not.
For example, most campgrounds and state parks don’t allow bigger carts. You’ll have to park yours by the entrance, instead of your tent.
Others have specific regulations, so the best way is to call your campground ahead to understand their policy on using carts.
Of course, this doesn’t matter if you’re on a public campground.
Gas vs. Electric Golf Cart for Camping Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is cheap between a gas and electric golf cart?
A: Electric golf carts are affordable to buy and maintain.
Q: Are gas golf carts quiet?
A: No, gas golf carts don’t provide a silent operation. They’re noisy and with plenty of vibration.
However, some unique models, such as the Drive2 QuieTech EFI, are abnormally quiet and silent as the electric versions.
Q: How long does a gas golf cart last?
A: It depends on the build and materials. But generally, it has a lifetime of 20-30 years.
Q: How many miles do gas carts go?
A: The range of a cart depends on the size of the gas storage tank. But generally, gas golf carts offer 120 miles per gallon, while electric versions provide 40 miles, ideal for golf courses and shorter distances.
Q: When should I buy a gasoline cart or an electric cart?
A: If range and performance are your biggest priorities, I’d recommend a gasoline cart.
But if speed, and low maintenance matter, choose an electric cart.
Both electric and gas golf carts have their purposes and are suited for different circumstances.
The idealness of the exact model will depend on your camping needs.
For example, a gasoline golf cart is suitable when you need to drive for long distances and on challenging terrains & steel hills.
Conversely, the electric golf carts are a great welcome for those looking for a lower price tag, silent battery operation, faster ride, and less maintenance.