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Self-powered trailers speak to the future of EV towing

If you dare mention electric trucks on any social media forum, especially when it comes to RV-related topics, you’re going to get a few folks who are looking forward to the future and a lot of people who work very hard to show how poorly situated electric vehicles are set to tow. 

The folks who like to disprove the future and change are quite adept at citing sources for all sorts of things. But the biggest commonality among their arguments is quite legitimate—tow range. 

“Range anxiety”

In fact, the term “range anxiety” is amplified when folks start discussing electric pickups because anybody who’s ever towed a travel trailer knows that your range goes right down the toilet when pulling a trailer. So is there really a future to an electric pickup truck as it relates to pulling a trailer? 

Yes. 

But not how you might assume. 

Lippert has started to disclose information about a technology they’re working on, while Thor made an announcement about a technology they’ve licensed. Both point in the same direction. 

Lippert

Without question, Lippert is the largest RV chassis manufacturer out there and builds the vast majority of the chassis for RVs. The company is involved in all sorts of RV products including  camp chairs and awnings all the way to the integrated control systems you’re finding in an ever-growing number of RVs. 

The company recently revealed in a story in RVBusiness a project they’ve been working on called Project Edison. It incorporates a significant amount of energy stored in a travel trailer chassis along with a complete drive system. Essentially you could say the trailer is also an electric vehicle in every sense of the word. 

The chassis has an electric traction motor, but the model they showed was rather radical. More on that later. 

Thor – ZF

A few weeks ago, Thor announced that it had signed a “binding memorandum” with German auto supplier ZF. ZF has developed a similar idea to what Lippert announced with the trailer essentially being a completely electric vehicle. 

Called eTrailer System, the idea is to have a high-capacity battery and an electric drive motor in the trailer that essentially provides additional traction power to the road. That removes the burden caused by pulling a travel trailer and thus allows the electric tow vehicle, or even traditionally fueled tow vehicle, to travel further.

The Big Idea

Both Lippert and ZF have many of the same ideas in mind and the customer could be a big beneficiary with any of these systems. 

First of all, the trailer would literally become a separate electric vehicle with these systems. That means that it could provide enough propulsion to eliminate the losses you experience when pulling a trailer. 

If you take my own Dodge Ram 1500, for example, when the truck is not towing I can get 17-19 miles per gallon if I hit the cruise control and go about 63 miles an hour. That seems to be a good speed given the gear ratios in the truck. At that speed, what I’m doing is primarily overcoming losses due to aerodynamic drag on the truck itself. 

Now, if I add a trailer, that number drops down to about 11.5 miles per gallon. I’m having to overcome a significant increase in aerodynamic drag. 

With the electrically driven trailer, I would expect that the fuel mileage wouldn’t drop at all. That’s because the trailer is using its own motor system to overcome the losses it generates in driving down the road. 

Now, before you fire up your keyboards, know that I would typically not drive at 63 miles per hour when there’s no trailer back there, as there’s a Hemi under the hood calling my name.

Ford F-150 Lightning can travel 300 miles between charges

So, by extension, if you look at the new Ford F-150 Lightning with the extended-range battery, the company claims it can travel about 300 miles before needing a charge. By assumption, you could argue that hooking a travel trailer to the back of that truck would drop that by half and, being concerned about range, you might start looking for a charging station around 100-125 miles. 

To say that would be a miserable towing experience would be an understatement. This is where the principal argument against electric trucks as RV tuggers has a lot of merit. 

Essentially, the trailer would allow you to go back up to that 300 miles or so of range and that’s a reasonable amount of driving in a day. Yes, I know some of you drive much more than that, and I have pulled long days as well, but I usually don’t. 

Boondocking

There’s another benefit to having a tremendous amount of batteries aboard any RV and that’s boondocking. Combine lots of reserve power with a good amount of solar and you’ve got the makings for a boondocking champion. It’s going to get to the point, again, where the limitations on your ability to stay off the grid are more dictated by how big your liquid storage is than power. 

Lippert’s Project Edison

While details on their Edison project are still rather limited, here’s what I could share. 

The chassis is a completely new product that is still under development but isn’t far from being potentially available to customers. The chassis incorporates a lithium battery bank nestled between the aluminum frame rails. 

The suspension is very much like what you might find on an electric car in that it’s a fully independent suspension complete with shocks and springs. There is a central drive motor and the ability to control that through a smartphone. 

In the article talking about this development, Lippert indicated that there’s enough juice stored aboard the trailer to power all the electrical systems for many days. 

One of the benefits of having an electric drive motor aboard the trailer is that it can also act as a regenerative braking system. Instead of relying on your brakes or downshifting when descending or slowing down, like any electric vehicle, this one can turn the kinetic energy of the vehicle’s motion into braking energy by using that to generate power, thereby adding to the batteries. 

This whole chassis looks very, very different than what you see presently in an RV chassis. It would be a terrific addition to a trailer designed for boondocking. 

Other benefits

In addition to braking, boondocking and overcoming the losses of towing a trailer, this type of arrangement can also have other benefits. 

One of those is that there’s an electric motor aboard so, as demonstrated by Lippert, you can move the trailer around using a smartphone app, likely through the Lippert OneControl system. So let’s say you get to a campsite that’s tricky to back into. No worries. Just disconnect the trailer and use your phone to back the trailer into the site. 

Another potential benefit is that the trailer could be configured to charge your tow vehicle. Further, as with Ford’s F-150 Lightning, it is conceivable that the trailer could even power your home during a blackout. 

While this was not discussed in any of the launches, it’s just ideas that come out of my head. But they are not unrealistic based on capabilities already announced by Ford with the Lightning. 

Okay, how much?

So, how much are trailers with these advanced capabilities? They’re not going to be cheap, that’s for sure. 

You’ve got to figure Lippert’s announcement used a lot of aluminum in the chassis, an advanced suspension, and a lot of lithium battery reserves. Likewise, the ZF system would have to be similarly advanced. 

So to think that the chassis alone could be $50,000 or more is not out of the question. 

But we’ve already seen some pretty pricey off-grid trailers, and many of the folks who buy electric vehicles are very passionate about them. To think that they might also spend more to get this kind of functionality also isn’t out of the question. 

Questions

There are lots of questions and, at this point, not a lot of specifics. But those questions include where you would charge this trailer up if you decided to do so midway through a journey. Electric vehicle charging stations aren’t really set up for tandem vehicles. So it’s conceivable that you would charge the trailer at one charging station and then the tow vehicle at another. 

Now, it’s likely that you could charge it when you get to a full hook-up campground. KOA, for one, has been seriously looking into EV charging at its locations. 

Objections

For those who argue that the power grid is already strained and that more EV demand is going to be challenging, remember that the vast majority of EVs can be programmed to charge overnight when demand is otherwise low and prices match demand. 

I would imagine that Lippert and ZF are smart enough to make these systems work with a standard 50-amp service at a campground. I’m sure there is even a provision to be able to charge with a 30- and even a 20-amp service, understanding that it would take much longer to do so. 

In summary

Lippert has held its cards pretty close to the vest on this and ZF, too, doesn’t have much more in the way of specifics. But you can bet that I’ll be looking for details. 

Meanwhile, the article on the Lippert announcement can be found here. ZF has been doing this a bit longer but you can find more details in this article. 

My thanks to RVBusiness and ZF for use of the photos with this article.

I have also added a specific thread about electric RV here where you can weigh-in on this topic yourself.

##RVT1035b

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Mark
4 months ago

You didn’t mention elimination of sway control devices and tongue weight requirements. A simple stability control program could compensate for sway in an ev trailer, which could reduce tongue weight reuirements.

Ren
4 months ago

Dumb idea. Here’s why. Rv’s sit unused most of the time. Having batteries in there is a waste of money. Perhaps as a whole house battery but most people dont use that. Not to mention the weight increase….

Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Ren

There are many full timers, snowbirds and retirees who could benefit from this technology, and the prices would come down because of mass production. The technology is already sufficiently mature that people ace clamoring for electric vehicles.

Admin
Kim Christiansen(@imkimc)
4 months ago
Reply to  Ren

Ren, this trailer sitting next to your house could act as a backup battery for your home when the power goes out. Also, weight is irrelevant on the highway because it’s self powered… not so in a campground that may have unimproved pathways or campsites so that would be something to watch out for.

Garry
4 months ago

These people are dreamers

Evan Jones
4 months ago

Electric vehicles (RV or otherwise) are for the rich. For the 4 or 5 camping trips that we take a year, I’ll stick with my old (paid for) pickup and camper. When a good long range car gets down to $25,000, then we’ll talk about a commuter.

Admin
Kim Christiansen(@imkimc)
4 months ago
Reply to  Evan Jones

I would love a $25,000 electric car, only thing close is the Bolt or the Leaf, and neither of those do much for me. I also would like to see a non-SUV, non-Truck, non-Tesla EV that isn’t an econobox…
You also have to factor in the lower cost of “fuel” as well as the lower overall maintenance cost year over year which will be offset by having to replace your battery pack at some point.
So it’s a little give and take. Hopefully some of the new battery conditioning techniques for Lithium batteries will bear fruit, that would be great and possibly double the life span of the battery packs.

Last edited 1 month ago by RV Staff
Anthony C.
1 month ago

I work for one of the major automakers and can say – literally every new product we are working on is EV.
Government regulations regarding environmental impact are driving all automakers into the future. Many of the companies 5 year plans are reducing their carbon foot print. Laws are being pushed to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2030 (which isn’t that far off). Working with our colleagues in Europe, they have an even more strict government regulation target to meet.
As you mentioned also, battery technology is constantly changing. By the time the cars we are designing today come off the assembly line, new battery tech will be available. Its a race to come up with the best design that is cost friendly and delivers the most range. There are many varieties of batteries being developed.
You also mentioned non truck, non SUV, non econo…… All types are being developed to fit the needs of all consumers. Even charging technology is always changing, so to figure out what a consumer needs, how often they will need to charge, what the infrastructure looks like for us to find a place to charge all are being created. There are even sections of road being tested for wifi charging capabilities…..

The future is coming, people need to accept change. It wasn’t long ago we commuted by horse, and trains were for the rich. Introduce the Car (for the rich), then the assembly line to make cars affordable by all. Remember when power windows and locks were the future? How about heated seats and steering wheels? We are at the cusp of the next generation of changes in the way we commute.

….stay tuned, right behind EV, is autonomous vehicles!

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Anthony C.

Excellent! I’m in the market for a grocery-getter EV as we speak. I can’t wait to quit buying gas.

Rick K
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

And clearly you don’t read responses. I’m not a “naysayer who poo poos” the concept. I love new tech just as much as the next person. I’ll say it again, it’s possible this could become a viable option, we’re just not there yet. It has to become political because our current “leader” has forced other things on us prematurely. I believe shortly we won’t have an option. If we want to camp we won’t have any other option than to buy one of these, whether it’s better than what we have now or not. And yes, I do know you and some of your audience. It’s as clear as me being a naysayer.

Jack h
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Because we are not being given an option, I can choose which pice of glass to run my business or no glass, I don’t like an internet connected thermostat so I don’t have one, electric cars and trucks are cool and I like the idea of not having to go to a gas station but I hate being forced to adopt a product I think is not ready.

Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack h

This all comes down to wishful thinking. You wish things don’t change, but they are going to because it benefits humans as a whole. When I was in the USMC during Vietnam, the saying about wishing was “Wish in one hand, s**t in the other and see which one fills up first”.

chris
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Excellent. Every week it’s the same old thing on here.. and it always turns political and ugly.

Last edited 4 months ago by chris
Silas Longshot
4 months ago

Interesting concept for the EV towing situation. The Rivian EV truck has the power and capacity to tow like 10K pound camper & probably the Ford EV as well. But with all EV comes the issue of charging up while on the road. For now, 99% of charging stations are along major interstates, and urban areas. Until they get charging stations as thick as mom & pop gas stations saturating the USA and out in the boonies, I don’t think EV trucks and EV self powered RV’s will be a hot thing. Maybe by the time my grand kids are driving it will be a more practical concept but for now a $75,000 pickup pulling a $60,000 small camper that has to hang around mostly urban areas for charging up just ain’t gonna sell. Maybe that 100 square foot fold out solar panel option will be available for boondocking.

Donald N Wright
4 months ago

I am more interested in backing the trailer in, and later, bringing it out of the corkscrew campsite.

Admin
Kim Christiansen(@imkimc)
4 months ago

I was just saying earlier that the weight of the trailer with the motor and battery pack could be an issue in some campgrounds. That said, this is also an issue of well maintained campgrounds and not so much an issue of a heavy trailer.

Robert
4 months ago

The amount of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) in these comments is astronomical. Every single problem raised will be solved. History has proven that time and time again. The technological advances are relentless. All I hear are echoes of the same types of people who said a heavier than air machine could never fly.

The future of mobility is electric and autonomous. It is inevitable. Say goodbye to the horse and buggy, the rotary phone, the telephone operator, the tube TV, the video cassette tape, the DVD, etc.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Hows your Tesla doing in winter driving. Lets see, current problems with your 75K electric junk box. Just searched the earliest possible service center appointment, February 22nd, not bad only 5 weeks to get the useless vehicle looked at for assessment.

Enough of the madness, younare years and years away from any usable non fossil fuel transportation.

Tim
4 months ago

No different than my Ram recall that the lugs were going to break off at any given moment. Or, the fuel pump is going to explode at given moment with no fix available. So I guess I have an $80,000 diesel junk box.

Mark Clodfelter
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Or the Ford 6 liter diesels that are always breaking down.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Timmy, id say you had a valid arguement, BUT, to date ONE HALF of all Teslas mfg. Have been recalled. Some workable business model eh! Just the facts ma’am Sgt. Joe Friday

Admin
Kim Christiansen(@imkimc)
4 months ago

Your attitude hinders your point Billy Bob.

You are correct in that the energy density of a gallon of gasoline is impossible for current battery technology to attain. Diesel is the only thing that comes close and for that matter is technically more efficient due to the combustion profile of diesel engines. For efficiency, it’s hard to beat the turbo diesel ICE configuration.

The EV solution: Do not attempt to put that much density into a battery pack since you will fail. Use as many batteries as needed and design the car thusly. Do batteries weigh a lot? Sure, and electric motors easily handle that weight off the line because they have 100% torque at 0mph. So a heavy battery pack isn’t a problem for an electric car.

Batteries in the cold: Yes, battery packs do produce less power in the freezing temps than they do in warmer weather – just plain old physics and chemistry. That said, an electric car at 0mph uses almost 0 volts. In fact, it’s a really capable heating and/or cooling system as those functions in modern electric cars are pretty efficient. You can run the heater in a Tesla for a really long time if you’re not moving. That’s the same reason electric cars are so efficient in stop and go traffic.

As to the ‘madness’ behind electric cars, unless you’re an engineer or a physicist with experience in the automotive industry and electric cars, your opinion as to ‘what is possible’ is just that, your opinion. Thanks for sharing, the majority of the automotive companies around the world disagree with you and are steadily moving toward a fully electric car lineup.

As for Tesla as a company, well, they are not the greatest company and don’t have a great track record of customer service. Maybe reflecting their CEOs personality too much? I don’t know but I do know that I won’t buy a Tesla. Maybe A Ford or a Chevy.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago

Um, point taken, but you missed the mark on why the auto companies “around the world” are partaking in such follie.

You see, its pure econonmics 101. For every EV, or hybrid mfg. By said vehicle companies, that cafe number gets plugged into the total fleets MPG. This fleet number MUST be met, or said car companies get FINED. So, in this excercise, the highly inefficient EV’s, and hybrids, and yes, over all operating costs of these vehicles, are astronomical compared to fossil vehicles when comparing TOTAL OPERATIONAL COST. Its pure follie to listen too the idiot sons in media and gov’t, who couldnt do their own brake job, talk about such things.

As an example, I point to the gentleman who recently blew up his car on youtube, a Tesla, because the battery replacement would cost him $22,000. I’m not even going to do the math on how many gallons of gas that equates too, but most should get the point.

In summary, we, the collective, do not currently have anywhere near the answer to a non fossil fuel existance. But whats more important, is the current regime will be taken to the woodshed so to speak in Nov ’22, and then this current follie will be “put on hold”, until physics can catch up with the problem at hand.

This world, under the current bent, is, and will collapse very soon (economically speaking), i wish i was wrong, but I’m not unfortunately, because you just cant keep acting irresponsible, and expect a fair outcome.

I was impressed on how the collective just did what inompetent politicians told them to do. But, as we all can see, it’s turning. Whats really funny is, when this whole mess explodes, the whole EV, goes to the back of the line, because mere survival instinct takes over.

Thanks for your input, a vigorous discussion, is the only way out, for a constitutional republic.

chris
4 months ago

Nobody is trying to achieve a non-fossil fuel existence. We’re trying to lessen our output of Co2.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  chris

Co2, is the life blood of all plants on the face of the earth. More CO2, better plant growth, and more OXY gets produced. Ice core samples have shown much higher CO2 locked in said ice, thousands of years before the “industrial revolution”.

The last ice age was about 10,000 years ago. We were living in caves, and burning firewood so we didnt freeze to death. We still dont know what caused the dinosaurs to die, but man had nothing to do with it.

Electrical generation relies on; fossil fuels to a large degree. When i read about “just build charging stations”, it pains me on how ignorant the collective is on that task. Our POWER GRID cannot handle what the politicians are leading you to believe. Its amazing how people just think you can just build charge stations, when the very infrastructure would cost billions and take decades to build.

Everybody should have a say, but nobody is telling you the facts. If they did, they wouldnt be re-elected.

chris
4 months ago

Your knowledge of Co2 is simplistic, but I doubt anything I say would change that. Everything with you is just politics.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  chris

Come on, you didn’t doubt what facts i just stated. Your concern for CO2 emissions is a noble one. But you must be informed, or the discussion cannot progress.

Another Fact; China is putting into operation, one coal fired plant every two weeks. But, you never hear a bad word about that. Know why? Politics dude.

Until there is a real discussion on that subject, all the improvements we (US) have accomplished in this country, will MEAN NOTHING on a planetary scale.

Will Foryu
4 months ago

Now this is what I’m talking about https://youtu.be/yiAfyKx9Z-w

Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Will Foryu

Love it, thanks for sharing!

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Will Foryu

It’s good for a laugh as you can see from all the laughter!

Paul
4 months ago

I’m not sure why people object to the idea of a battery powered trailer behind an EV truck. If the development moves forward at the natural rate of development in the current era it MAY well be viable as a product for those who want it in the near future. As someone else said above, at 79 I may not be around to see it. I am also very unlikely to buy it since we are Class A owners. I would entertain an EV Class A, so much less to maintain and go wrong. But it had better have a bath and a half or we are not interested 🙂 WHEN it can provide adequate range and WHEN the infrastructure provides recharging capability along major routes it will be viable for many more people. We need to give the industry the time and support to get there.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

They cant even build a reliable travel trailer that faals apart after a year or two. And you want these clowns to be putting electrical drive systems in them. Ill buy the popcorn and watch the clown show.

James
4 months ago

It’s likely the EV system will be made 100% by ZF and bolt into the trailer chassis, so it will be the most reliable part.

Mark
4 months ago

How’s your Ford 6 liter diesel doing?

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Dont own a Ford. Went with the inventors of the diesel engine instead. In the words of the repair technician who did some warranty emmisions work on it, he said this engine is “built proof”. I just did my research and thought, heck, these guys have been building diesels for over a hundred years, im going with them.

Care to guess again Markie Mark?

Admin
Kim Christiansen(@imkimc)
4 months ago

Good point!
Someone pointed out that ZF will build the electrics but what about the build quality of everything around it?
What about the increased suspension system needed to deal with the battery and motor weight? W
What about the additional torque on the subframe of the trailer.
The RV industry has a lot to prove quality-wise and let’s just say that recent trends are not encouraging. The motor and batteries may last a long time, but the trailer may not. Either way, this will be a premium product in terms of $$$$, at least at the start. So maybe they’ll spend the extra time to make sure it’s well built and the brand they choose to market it under will justify the extra expenditure.

Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Just apply this technology.
https://freightliner.com/trucks/ecascadia/

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Maybe if RV manufacturers used the standards Freightliner uses for building the RVS wouldn’t fall apart in 6-12 months. One thing that would help in quality control is start drug testing their employees again.

Dennis G
4 months ago

As the article mentions, I was wondering about recharging the vehicle and trailer at the same time during travel days. For example: I’m towing with a Tesla model X with the 5000 towing package. After 300 miles both the Tesla and Lippert trailer need charging. I stop at Tesla super-charging station, and refill the Tesla. Will Tesla allow you to charge the Lippert trailer?
If not, you can proceed to another charging station and charge the trailer separately, or just drive skip charging it and proceeding (albeit at a lower distance) on the Telsa vehicles capacity, to the next charge station.
These are questions, and things that will need to be addressed by Lippert, Tesla, and the Electric Vehicle Charging infrastructure. Should be interesting.

Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis G

There are adapters on the market so that you can charge your vehicle at a multitude of charging stations. If the government was really concerned they would make sure all charging stations and plugs are standardized.

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis G

In the first place your Tesla is not going to go 300 miles before recharging. Those are imaginary numbers based on just the car moving. Using the A/C, heater, windshield wipers, etc. decreases your mileage.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis G

Excellent point! I love simple observation.

Bob M
4 months ago

With the poor quality of products these two companies put out. I don’t think we need anymore headaches. As for being able to disconnect the trailer and being able to use a remote to back into a campsite. There is a travel trailer that has that capability. Don’t remember the name. The technology is there. We test drove. 2022 Hyundai Tucson limited. You were able to get out and back it up with your smart phone. Hyundai dealers in North East Pa are price gouging people $6000. above the sticker price for their vehicles. We would have bought a Tucson Hybrid, but walked out of the dealership because of $6000. price gouge.

bull
4 months ago

There goes gitting your electricity included in the price of your evening campsite at a commercial campground.

Separate electric meters and daily electrical use charges for EVERYONE in the campground!

Al H.
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

We stayed at a campground a few years ago that had metered power. I thought about the big diesel pushers down the line from us, with two 50-amp lines plugged-in and smiled as I forked-over the $.27 for our two-night stay with our popup TC. Seems fair to me!

Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  bull

That’s capitalism. Love it or leave it.

garrett fricke
4 months ago

What do you suppose the lines at filling station will be like. Better pack a big lunch.

Chris Chares
4 months ago

I’m skeptical about the trailer pushing the tow vehicle. There’s probably mechanisms in place to prevent it but with anything there’s still a chance of failure.
With the trailer just being a place to store energy to power the tow vehicle in order to extend travel range, I would feel more comfortable. Let the trailer wheels generate power to replace what the tow vehicle uses and power the appliances in the trailer.

Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Chares

I often thought about having my toad help power me over the mountain passes. If you compare your toad to multiple train engines pulling a long set of heavy rail cars and being controlled via a wire harness between the engines, I wonder why could I not do this with the toad. If a train can easily do this why can’t a trailer or car also do this?

Tony Melton
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I thought that was why people tow cars behind the RV’s. Aren’t the cars helping push that big brick up the mountains? I saw a sign on the back of one that read “Please be patient, I’m pushing this big sucker as fast as I can”, lol.

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Locomotives are radio controlled, ever seen a pusher in the middle of a train? It would be a nightmare trying to string a control cable half the length of a train.

Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Chares

Trailers with brakes have existed for years. The same mechanism could control Regen braking as well as reducing drag.

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Now you’re designing the “Perfect” machine that runs without power or fuel when you suggest regen charging while pulling a trailer. I’m not an engineer or a physicist but I would guesstimate you’ll use more electricity pulling that regen system than you’ll get out of it, that much I do understand.

WrkrBee
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Chares

Let the trailer wheels generate power to replace what the tow vehicle uses and power the appliances in the trailer?

Generating power requires energy input. Wind, solar, hydro, etc. The energy in this scenario would be the tow vehicle, further reducing its range.

Steve
4 months ago

Lots of different questions. This will be the future at some point. The technology will improve. EV’s are here to stay. We have talked that having one as a toad would not be a bad idea. Having one as a tow vehicle will be another issue, but that will improve too. I would have one concern in that people will think that with the camper providing power, they can get by with a smaller tow vehicle which we all know is an accident waiting to happen. I think we will see this option progress over several years and I will be interested to watch. Good camping.

Brian
4 months ago

I tow with an EV, so this is interesting to me. But there are things to sort out, like where do you charge the trailer battery? If you are doing a long drive, you will need to charge both vehicle and trailer. In full hookup RV parks, you have both NEMA 14-50 and TT-30 connections, but the extra current draw will over-stress many RV park power systems, which will need to be upgraded to support this.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian

You do! Give us real life expierence as to; range, tow weight, how long to pull over and charge. These are all important things to consider, before the leap.

Geo A
4 months ago

I like the idea of adding charging potential when pulling a trailer to a destination but the idea of having that trailer actually providing thrust to my tow-vehicle scares me. To me, this creates more problems than it answers.

Pulling a “generator” would be my perferred technology.

Tony Melton
4 months ago

Possibly a great idea, especially the regenerative recharging and the extended boondocking capability. As a person that spent their career working with electronics I see a period of OOPS!ies and incompatibilities until the link systems between the driver’s feet and the trailers drive system are debugged and standardized.

And still there is that big elephant in the room- Will campgrounds install charging stations at each campsite and what price will they charge for use? And now we are looking at having two charging stations per site so the trailer can also recharge.

Safe Travels!

Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Melton

If the technology is there for trailering, the campgrounds will adapt. They will have to in order to attract campers.

Larry
4 months ago

I can’t believe how the comments are so negative. And can’t wait for a form of this idea becomes a standard option. It will happen.

chris
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry

It appears many posters are old and cranky.

Mike M.
4 months ago
Reply to  chris

Not “old and cranky”, but older and wiser.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike M.

Old and cranky is in the WH. But he doesnt know it. Electric vehicles are a joke for reliability alone. You CANNOT travel far. You CANNOT locate charging stations along your route. The reliablity is horrendous, see Tesla recall record. And now, some crackpot author writes about self propelled trailers. Every once in a while you need a good laugh. Whats next?

Tim
4 months ago

How many gas stations were there between NY and CA in 1920? Wait, how many roads were there between NY and CA in 1920?

Didn’t stop people back then either.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Tim, oh boy. Where do i start. Number of cars on the road in 1920, causes the oil industry to respond by increase manufacture of gasoline and thus build filling stations to fill that need. This was done for the simple reason for profits to their share holders. Its called American enterprize. As the desire for freedom on the roads increased, the taxpayers agreed to float bonds, to build road systems for better and safer travel. They had an active lart in funding the development, for their DIRECT benefit.

The difference in this analogy is; The EV mfgs. Want the taxpayers to spend tens of billions to retrofit our electrical grid, to charge said vehicles, when we already have an amazing fossil fuel system built, at virtually no cost to the taxpayers.

So , the question begs, why would the taxpayer be forced to pay for something they by innlarge dont want, and cant afford.

garrett fricke
4 months ago
Reply to  chris

Many are young and stupid.

Kenn_S
4 months ago
Reply to  garrett fricke

You’re gracious in your depiction.

Dave Mckenna
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry

I find the cranky comments about any change to the current paradigm to be one of the most predictable, yet entertaining, features of rvtravel.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dave Mckenna
Warren G
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Agree, Tony! It’s a wonder that some got past covered wagons.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren G

This keeps up, you will be beggin for that luxury!

Gordy B
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

The technology sounds great, but no one seems to explain where the power for the stations is going to come from. When I lived in California in the 70’s they started rolling blackouts because power consumption was too much at certain times of day. Now with increased energy available (wind farms and such) they still cannot keep up with demand. If we go all electric on cars as well where is the power going to come from? They should be concentrating on a way for the vehicle to produce or regenerate it’s own power while in motion on its own. If they can do that, then the electric car will flourish. Think about the cost of electricity now and add to that the amount needed to power the cars and it will become ridiculous in the future. A battery that will get the car in motion, then fire up two high powered generators that will not only power the car in motion, but recharge the main battery system as well is, imho, the only way it will work. Can you imagine traveling from coast to coast and not having to refuel/recharge!

Dave Mckenna
4 months ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Gordy, check out this electric car that is able to self charge enough to go as much as 40 miles daily without plugging in. The future is almost here! http://aptera.us

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Gordy, why talk common sense. You see these genius minded individuals think solar, and wind is the answer. Ask Texas how that worked out for them, last winter during a hard freeze (you know global warming), put them in the stone age for a couple weeks. This will only end when the clowns driving this bus get out at the next stop (’22).

Tim
4 months ago

You mean the same TX that thought they were so self sufficient they didn’t need to be part of the national grid? The same TX that thought they should secede. Talk about going backwards. Their “independent” nation would have collapsed because of a snow storm. lol

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

No Tim. More like i had mentioned in a previous post. There grid failed, because the greenie influence caused the Texas regulatory agency to buy into dumb windmills, and eliminate some coal plants. The dumb windmills froze. Gee, didnt see that coming.

In addition, the idiot sons, didnt require heating systems in the nat gas generation plants to have heaters to the supply lines feeding the plants, in case of… wait for it global warming nut jobs… a big FREEZE.

So, again its failure of the Texas regulatory agency here, and had nothing to do with what you assumed. Those are just the facts.

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Gordy B

GM had that with the Volt, all the small gas engine did was generate the electricity that powered the car, now that’s been discontinued in favor of the plug in. Diesel locomotives have used that technology since the 1930s. A Diesel engine drives a huge AC generator that powers a traction motor between each pair of wheels. That’s how locomotives can get a huge train moving as has been said an electric motor has 100% torque at start up. You couldn’t possibly get as train moving using a transmission.

Randall Johnstun
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry

I agree, people seem to jump on the band wagon and scream, it won’t work, It’s going to cost too much, etc.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago

But, that becomes a valid arguement when WE’RE BROKE ALREADY! Last time i looked, 26 TRILLION upside down.