Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

RV Preview: SylvanSport, Zeus announce forthcoming all-electric motorhome

There is a lot of talk about electric RVs and a few manufacturers have mumbled about projected models. But SylvanSport, the Brevard, NC-based RV company, actually showed off what could be a realistic model that might be available and practical within our lifetimes. 

SylvanSport is a company that makes some innovative products including the SylvanSport WayLight which I still enjoy quite a bit today. But they also make a number of unique trailers as it stands, including the SylvanSport GO. Also, there’s the forthcoming SylvanSport VAST, a trailer I have been drooling over for some time which is ever closer to entering production. 

Sketchy details about the new all-electric motorhome were shared at their Leading The Charge page on their website. 

A VAST, mateys

That SylvanSport VAST appears to be one of the two major pieces of the new SylvanSport electric motorhome that the company has now pulled the veil of secrecy from. The other piece of that puzzle is a company called Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc., of White Bear Lake, Minnesota. 

The Zeus chassis is an all-electric chassis that has been targeted to commercial customers thus far. But the partnership with SylvanSport not only is for an electric RV but one that is different in other ways as well. 

For example, some of the technologies mentioned in a press release include water recycling solutions. They would allow you to utilize water already on board, say in your gray tank, and clean that water so thoroughly that it becomes drinking water again. This isn’t the first I’ve heard of this kind of technology and it would certainly extend the time one could spend off the grid. 

Zeus chassis

The Zeus electric chassis can be configured to a broad range of applications with limited customization. Zeus has prioritized the vocational work truck market, but significant opportunities exist for vehicle electrification across other niche markets, including motorized recreational vehicles. The collaboration with SylvanSport marks the next potential strategic market niche within the broader markets that Zeus is targeting. RV owners and customers, with their love of the outdoors and concerns regarding climate change, present a fresh market with long-term growth potential for the Zeus chassis.

“From the inception of SylvanSport in 2004, we knew that our innovations in product design would one day lead to the creation of a class-leading, all-electric motorhome,” says Tom Dempsey, Founder & CEO of SylvanSport. “Zeus’s technology advances, from chassis design to energy storage and management, are helping us to achieve this in the most forward-thinking, environmentally clean way. This is a phenomenal partnership!”

“As we look to the future of transportation and clean energy, our vision is to bring vehicle electrification to the outdoor recreation and RV industry,” says Wayne Kugel, Zeus Electric Chassis CEO.  “With SylvanSport’s experience and leadership in these industries combined with our expertise in electric vehicles, this collaboration is the best of both worlds.”

Some pieces of this electric RV come from the VAST trailer

When contacted, officials at SylvanSport acknowledged that some of the pieces of this design come from the incredibly innovative VAST trailer. For example, the kitchen in the VAST trailer is mounted on a downward-sloping track. When you pop a latch, the kitchen goes from being inside the trailer to becoming an outdoor kitchen. 

Included in that kitchen design is a 12-volt cooler which can be removed and used outside the trailer or brought into one’s house to facilitate packing the rig. It’s literally the smartest RV kitchen I have seen, and I’ve reviewed a lot of RVs, because one kitchen serves multiple uses. 

Furthermore, when the kitchen is extended, that enlarges the bathroom. That gives campers a large bath and toilet room despite the relatively diminutive size of the trailer. 

The bed mechanism is a bit like a toy hauler in the VAST such that it can be folded down to be a bed, locked in place to be a couch, or lifted against the ceiling to enable the trailer to become a toy hauler. 

The entire back of the SylvanSport VAST trailer is a big hatchback – giving owners access to their things, much like a toy hauler. But there are also racks along the road side of the VAST to which you can attach things like kayaks. 

As mentioned, I am very excited to actually see a VAST in person and, by extension, see more details on this all-electric motorhome. 

Electric power

The company is claiming that the motorhome will have a range of about 400 miles and sports charging via DC fast and Level 2 charging stations. The electric motors combine to provide 290 horsepower but, more importantly, 3,000 Ft-Lbs of torque. This power is delivered through all-wheel drive utilizing military-grade axles. 

Suspension will be all-independent and incorporate coil springs. The rig is expected to be 25 feet in length, 10 feet in height, and have a gross weight rating of 14,000 pounds. 

“While we are at the beginning stages, as we look into the RV and outdoor adventure markets through our collaboration with SylvanSport, we are excited about the unique features and benefits that will be brought to life in 2022,” says Bob Grinstead, Chief Technology Officer at Zeus Electric Chassis. “Unmatched off-road travel, extended vehicle range, and unexpectedly high vehicle weight capacity are just a few never-before-seen features in an electric RV.”

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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david
15 days ago

Great job Tony, I love seeing the advancing technology. 400 miles is quite a bit of range and then just charge at the next campsite. Love it. This is a great concept. Some people will hate it as they will say your still using energy, from the grid. Some don’t understand that engines are actually a heater with a small by-product of a rotating shaft out the back. Energy for your vehicle from the grid Vs your fuel tank is probably about 5 times more efficient and who knows how many times cleaner. Thanks for sharing, ignore the haters!!!!

Bob M
17 days ago

I prefer reading about RV’s in production that you can buy now. I particularly have no interest in a electric motorhome. Biden’s dream isn’t practical.

Dave
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob M

perhaps it is the dream of many to not pollute the earth. Can’t wait for this industry to turn electric (when the right technology enables it). I hope government encourages electric production methods through incentives so we can all have a better place to live

Tommy Molnar
17 days ago

“might be available and practical within our lifetimes.” I wonder whose lifetime they’re referring to . . .

Bob p
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Just like the lifetime warranties, whose lifetime?

David Binkley
17 days ago

Nice looking Coal Powered Vehicle.

Bob p
17 days ago
Reply to  David Binkley

Yep, they forget to tell you where that electricity comes from when they brag about EVs.

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