Under the category of “be careful what you wish for,” both of my loaner EV and Hybrid vehicles from Volkswagen and Ford are arriving in the next two weeks, so my GoGreenRV towing and generating experiments will begin soon. Here’s a brief outline of what I have planned for the next two weeks.
The Volkswagen ID.4 experiment
My loaner Volkswagen ID.4 all electric SUV is supposed to arrive July 6, and I’ll have it for 2 months of testing. I’ll not only get mileage range numbers driving it solo, I’ll also test it while towing an 1,800 lb. Safari Condo Alto teardrop trailer for drivability, as well as what happens to the 250-mile range while towing. But more on this in the next few weeks.
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost experiment
Time’s a-wasting for the F-150 PowerBoost experiments since I only have it for two weeks. Ford is sending me a loaner F-150 PowerBoost (in Antimatter blue, no less) with the built-in 7,200-watt generator. Since I only have it for two weeks, I have to make hay while the sun shines. I’ll not only be testing it for basic mileage and range while towing a GeoPro G-19FBTH toy hauler, I’ll also load down the PowerBoost generator with a 10kW load bank and see how it performs. So, expect a review of towing the GeoPro in a few weeks.
The Airstream Rally demonstration
On July 19th I’ll be in Lebanon, TN, at the Airstream Rally, where I’ll be teaching my first RVelectricity Seminar in 18 months. In addition to the seminar, I’ll be showing off the F-150 PowerBoost’s ability to power things. For example, it can provide 30 amps of 120-volts AC to your RV while towing it, which would easily recharge a 500 amp-hr battery bank in a little over 2 hours of driving. Read more about the Airstream Rally HERE.
Powering two RVs at once!
I’m also going to show how, with the proper L14-50 splitter cable, the F-150 PowerBoost could easily power a pair of RVs with 30-amp shore power connectors for up to 85 hours of idle time on a tank of gasoline.
If this works as advertised, you could have your own party in the woods for a long boondocking weekend with two separate RVs running from the one PowerBoost generator.
Now, this could be you and your fishing buddy with your own travel trailers. Or you can take your families and put all the kids in their own trailer while the adults get their own trailer (something I won’t judge you for if that brings a smile to your face). Hey, it’s your camping trip!
SoftStartRV for the air conditioners
I’m also promised an Airstream trailer at the rally which has SoftStartRV controllers installed on two air conditioners. I’ll try to power them up from the F-150 PowerBoost generator. I’m pretty sure this will work. If I had a second Airstream with two air conditioners and SoftStartRV controllers, I’m betting the PowerBoost generator would easily power all four air conditioners at the same time with the SoftStartRV units installed. We’ll also try running the dual air conditioners with the microwave running, just for grins. But no matter what happens, I’ll write about it.
Using the F-150 as a backup house generator
Yes, this same truck can directly power your home electrical system, as long as you add the proper generator transfer switch. Yes, the PowerBoost 7.2kW generator makes 120/240-volt split phase power, just like your house uses. This suggests that this not-so-humble F-150 could be used in your contracting business during the week to run all the power tools for your work crew, then go for a weekend boondocking trip in the woods with a second trailer, then provide backup power to your house if the electric grid goes down. That’s a trifecta if I ever heard one!
But you really don’t want to run extension cords through the window of your house if the power goes out. You’ll want to install a proper twist-lock inlet that can supply 120/240-volt, and properly isolate the truck generator from utility power. So Reliance Controls is sending me a few residential transfer switches to demonstrate at the Airstream show as well as future videos. Watch for more about this later.
More Airstream show fun
Finally, I’ll be doing a podcast with Scott Linden the morning of the Airstream Rally, but don’t expect to hear it until the following week. But I’ll be able to give my impressions of the F-150 Hybrid truck at that time.
Wow! That’s a lot to do…
Yes, it certainly is. So watch and listen for more of my GoGreenRV EV and Hybrid adventures this summer and fall.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
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Mike this has nothing really to do with Airstreams but its about electricity. We have a 2015 Winnebago Tour and it came equipped with a surge proctector and we added the Huges Autoformer for 50 amp. My question is should we add a surge protector at the pedestal for added protection? Plan on traveling soon and since there are an influx of people at campgrounds should we be concerned? Your help is appreciated, thanks in advance.
Looking forward to your testing. I know you must be excited too. Enjoy!
With his experience he probably all knows the answers. Lol
No, I don’t know everything yet. And while I do have some pretty good SWAGs, there’s not a lot of towing data for these EV vehicles.