When I met e-Beach Wagon founder and West Chester resident Mike Mogan, he told me the inspiration for his company came to him after years of struggling to get his beach gear to the shore. First, it was with everything needed for a day out with the dog. Then he and his wife, Tara, had kids, and it was almost impossible carting all that gear.
“We have a place at the Jersey Shore, and we go down every weekend in the summer. We love Higbee Beach in Cape May. It’s a beautiful location, dog friendly on the bayside, but to get there you have to take a walking trail through 200 yards of thick sand,” Mike said.
It was during one of these trips that frustration got to him. “There’s got to be an easier way to do this. Why can’t we have a motorized beach wagon?” he recalled saying to his wife.
I could relate. When I was in my 20s, I could hit the beach with just a towel, a book, and some sunscreen. Maybe, I’d stash a bottle of water in my bag. Now that I am married with three wonderful children multiply that by five. Add beach chairs, sand toys, sports paraphernalia, a cooler packed with lunches and drinks, a separate bag of snacks, and a mammoth umbrella. To haul all this stuff to the water, we would pile what we could atop our double stroller, strap everything else to our backs and proceed to the beach at a toddler’s pace. We wouldn’t even attempt to take the stroller on the sand. Instead, we would leave it on the boardwalk and begin the exhausting process of moving individual items from the stroller to the beach.
From wish to reality
It’s such a universal problem that I was shocked when Mike told me his competition was a sole electric wagon company out of California.
“Only one other competitor makes an electric motorized wagon called the Sandhopper. When I tried to order one two years ago, he was out of stock of the model. That’s when I decided to develop my own prototype,” Mike said.
Well, rejoice, families. The all-new electric-powered rechargeable multi-terrain wagon is coming your way this summer. With a 2’ x 4’ cart and a payload of over 300 lbs. it can carry all your gear and the kids (although that’s not sanctioned yet. Mike says they are still working on seat inserts for this specific purpose). e-Beach Wagon looks and travels like a traditional wagon, except at the end of the handle is a throttle with a forward/reverse/neutral switch that you use to propel the cart forward. It even has built-in pole holders to house umbrellas, flags, or fishing rods and dual USB ports for easy device charging. Sign me up, right?
So now, back to why this beach day no-brainer was a lot of work.
Keys to success
It all started in the fall of 2020 with that light bulb moment; 2021 was product development, manufacturer selection, and sampling, and final delivery and shipping are slated for this June.
One of the lessons learned during the product development process is that quality is paramount to a successful electric beach cart. First and foremost are those big balloon wheels. Other lower-priced options may look good online, and they may work on grass or pavement, but they won’t cut it when it comes to the beach or other sandy areas.
“They just don’t work with a lot of weight, especially in the sand,” said Mike.
“Wheeleez polyurethane balloon tires are the industry-leading balloon tires, but there are alternate brands as well,” Mike explained. “They’re pricey but well worth it. e-Beach Wagon is equipped with one of the alternate brand balloon wheels due to supply chain issues with Wheeleez, but they work just as well.”
Also, key the battery. It had to be powerful enough to effortlessly pull the largest beach load through the dunes of the Jersey Shore. For the e-Beach Wagon, Mike and the team settled on two 12-volt, 22-amp hour sealed lead-acid batteries, enough power to go about 4.5 miles on one charge. But just in case, it has a voltmeter to show you how much power you have left and a neutral gear (for manual pulling), so there is no risk of getting stuck in the sand. Next, the wagon is outfitted with a durable aluminum frame, a plastic wagon bed, and boxed in with weather-treated wood slats and aluminum tubing. All removable for easy cleaning. The wagon is an investment, so it must deliver – literally.
“e-Beach Wagon is built for the beach,” Mike said. “The aluminum frame and railings will never rust, and all the steel components are powder coated for maximum protection. It’s super simple to use, safe, and hassle-free, and it comes with a one-year warranty.”
See you at the beach
With development complete and the final product almost in hand, it’s time to spread the word. There are some great videos online, and you can get the latest updates on e-Beach Wagon on social. They’re also developing a referral program that will launch soon, but this product is all about show and tell. So, Mike and the family plan to sell by doing.
“I will be spending a lot of time on the beach this summer with my wagon,” says Mike.
If you’re a regular at the Jersey Shore, keep an eye out for Mike and e-Beach Wagon. You can find him at all the local beach craft fairs and festivals and lounging with his family at Higbee Beach. Maybe he’ll give you a hand with all your gear?