RV Review: ProLite E-Volt All-Electric Travel Trailer

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By Tony Barthel
I recently wrote about the groundbreaking, all-electric Palomino Revolve EV-2. As usual, the readers of RVTravel came through and led me to Roulotte ProLite in Quebec, Canada. Roulotte actually has two different all-electric travel trailers, one of which has been in production for a while now. But the ProLite E-Volt is brand-new.

New for 2021 is ProLite’s E-Volt Travel Trailer, which is quite a bit larger than their first foray into all-electric RVs, the 12V. This newer model carries some of the same credentials as the Palomino that I wrote about in that it’s all-electric – there is literally no propane aboard. 

The tour of the ProLite E-Volt

The front of the trailer sports a two-person dinette that folds down to become a sleeping place for one. I like that they’ve put windows on the side of the dinette as well as a window in the front of the trailer. There’s lots of ambient light coming in while you’re enjoying your meals. 

Next to the dinette is the electric heater and, beyond that, a wet bath. Since this trailer is all-electric that means the water heater is as well. If you have trouble with the typical RV six-gallon water heater, you’re going to be miserable with the 2.5-gallon model in this trailer. 

A Navy shower might work here

But it really would be possible to take a full shower with this much hot water as RV water heaters heat the water to 140°F and an RV shower head typically delivers about two gallons per minute. If you pull the Navy shower trick to only have the water running while you’re soaking down to lather up or rinsing, you may be fine as you’re not going to run all hot water, and there will be a good bit of cold water mixed in.

My wife may as well have been in the Navy with how well she does RV showering. But when I told her about the size of this water heater I was met with comments that I just won’t share with you. Let’s just say they weren’t kind. The bathroom has a crazy small vent fan. This is forgivable only because they put a three-speed high-performance fan in the main body of the trailer. Still, I would swap that fan out on the first day I owned the trailer. 

Towards the back of the ProLite E-Volt are the bed and bath

Beyond that is a couch at the back of the ProLite E-Volt. Again, there are windows on either side and there is the high-performance fan overhead. For nighttime, you can slide the couch bottom out and it becomes a large 72” X 74” bed. Since this is a convertible bed you might consider an RVSuperbag as the bedding. Making and unmaking that bed would make camping less relaxing… to me. 

The kitchen is also all-electric, of course, with a single induction cooktop mounted to the counter of the trailer. There’s a bit of counter space between it and the sink. Below that are some drawers and a 3.2-cubic-foot 120vac bar fridge. 

It’s electric

Since the electrical capability of this trailer is where the company hangs its hat, let’s look at that. 

There are a total of 400 watts of flexible solar panels on the roof along with a 3,000-watt power inverter. Charging and batteries come from GoPower, and the company has chosen to install 250 amp hours of lithium (LiFePO4) batteries. 

Honestly, I would like to see double the amount of battery power in this trailer since you’re heating the cabin and the water with purely electric power. 

In summary

I think you’re going to see this from more manufacturers. As Roger Spalding wrote in the comments on the Palomino, “The first ones over the wall get the most bullets.” Yes, indeed. 

I make no bones about the fact that I secretly would love to design RVs. If I did, I might think about doing something like this. But there are things I would absolutely do differently. For example, I would keep a propane heater just because liquid propane has so much energy and you can heat a trailer very efficiently with it. 

Have you ever had one of “those meetings” at work where the boss closes the door and says, “We need to talk?” Yeah, I want to do that with ProLite for installing a 120vac fridge when there are plenty of 12-volt models available. 

Having a 120vac fridge means you have to run the inverter in the trailer to operate the fridge. Inverters, especially a large 3,000-watt inverter that’s included in this trailer, consume a fair amount of energy themselves when you consider that you’re running on a limited supply. 

What I would do for a fridge

What I would do is get one of those 12-volt coolers and put it on a sliding drawer-style mechanism. They’re efficient and they’re affordable. In addition, you can take it outside or even into the house to pack it up. 

Another thing, the company touts that the ProLite E-Volt is a great trailer for finding a remote place and not needing any services. But with just 15 gallons of water aboard, you’re not going to be spending more than a day or, at the most, two off the grid. 

I don’t think the ProLite E-Volt is quite ready for prime time

I remember driving an early prototype electric Ford Focus. It was a great first effort but trying to use it in the real world left a lot to be desired. I think that would be the case here. All that battery tech would be great off-grid until you run out of water after just a day’s use. So then you go to the campground and why pay for all that battery and solar if you’re going to be hooked to services? Then there’s the 120vac refrigerator adding insult to injury. 

I applaud ProLite for this attempt. But I think someone from the company needs to spend real-world time using their products off-grid before this is quite ready for prime time. 

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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Roger Spalding
1 month ago

Tony, Thanks so much for quoting me in your review. A writer couldn’t be nicer to a simple reader like myself.
Steve and other readers probably haven’t read about the recent LPG crisis. For multiple reasons, there is something of a propane scarcity going on now. The cost of propane and long waiting lines have risen dramatically, not just in Texas. Readers can decide for themselves what caused the dramatic failure of essential services in Texas. But, the propane crisis is another of the problems faced there.

Steve
1 month ago

Interesting that in the review, “No propane” is viewed as a positive. Especially with LP being both plentiful and efficient not to mention environmentally friendly. So you either need a generator (bad for the environment)) or you need to be on shore power. Not sure how this will be received when for less money you can get a fully contained unit for less. Guess we will see. For now, we will stick with our 5th wheel

Doug W
1 month ago

I too have wished I could sit down with the MFG of my trailer and give them a what worked and what didn’t kind of feedback. The things I would recommend are modest and I think others would take well to. As one person commented on this trailer the price is crazy for what you are getting. I too think the LP bottle being removed serve little purpose as heating and fridge are constrained using electric only what happened when the only camping spots left at the campground are non electric, the summer of 2020 you were lucky if you could get any camping spot.
Looks more like the MFG are selling a gimmick than adding any real value.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug W

“Political correctness” run amok here. Some may argue that point, but I say deep down this is propelling the idea behind this trailer. Your batteries (even though they are the fabulous Lithium-Ion type) are not going to successfully run this thing. It cries out RV Park only. 400 watts of solar is a ‘good start’ but if you plan to boondock, you may not always be able to park in a no-shade spot, and that’s when added solar panels come in handy. More is definitely better when it comes to this.

There is so much wrong with this trailer in my view. And showing it hooked to a Tesla is the crowning touch. No way in **** would I try that!

Just sayin’ . . .

Bobby
1 month ago

You have got to be kidding on the price of the E Volt trailer.

Rob
1 month ago

It seems RV manufactures are making lots of money selling solar and EV features. I recently was quoted a Lance trailer with 2 100 Watt panels (they wanted $1100 each) combined with a Go Power 1000 watt inverter ($2100) connected to 2 AGM batteries. The sales guy told me AGM can be run down to 0 and are better than lithium batteries. The manufactures are putting one sided Asdel (on the outside only)on the trailers, adding more heavy duty tires and torsion axles and implying you can go off road for extending periods in your off-road ready camper while charging double the price plus of a old school aluminum sided camper. And people on the facebook groups buying all this crap and financing these $60000 trailer on the 20-25 year pay forever plan. What’s the expression this won’t end well.

Ray
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Hi Rob. Ray here, just got done reading Tony’s review on the Pro!ite E-Volt and I don’t think your present day RV ers are ready for a all electric travel trailer. Like you said not only manufacturers make money on these green options but dealers make boko .money installing these options. And as far as finance is concerned dealers don’t tell you that your RV depreciates and you get the financing through them your already upside down on your loan. I can go on and on about this. It would great if RVTRAVEL did an article about the ins and out of dealer financing. Have a great night yours in RVING Ray.