Could the pending Tesla Cybertruck appeal to RVers?

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By James Raia
The unveiling of the electric Tesla Cybertruck last November attracted as much attention as any vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Its futuristic design resembles a vehicle in a Mad Max movie, and the flashy debut was polarizing. It drew unabashed praise and laughter.

Officially, it’s described as “an all-electric, battery-powered, light commercial vehicle.” Three models have been announced, with range estimates of 250–500 miles and an estimated 0–60 mph time of 2.9–6.5 seconds, depending on the model.

The Tesla CyberTruck wil have massing towing ability but for RVers?
The Tesla Cybertruck will have massive towing ability but will RVers go for it?

Is it possibly a precursor to more utilitarian vehicle creations or was Tesla owner Elon Musk pranking the industry? For RV enthusiasts, the prevailing question is, is it really a truck and, if so, can it tow an RV or trailer?

Tesla responded with a resounding “Yes.” Musk manufactured the Cybertruck as a first in the industry. It will be a fully electric (no gas) vehicle.

According to Tesla specs, the Cybertruck will be constructed “with cold-pressed, unpainted stainless steel.” It will have a towing capacity of as much as 14,000 pounds.

Tesla reports: “With up to 3,500 pounds of payload capacity and adjustable air suspension, the Cybertruck is the most powerful tool we have ever built, engineered with 100-cubic-feet of the exterior, lockable storage, including a magic tonneau cover that is strong enough to stand on.”

The manufacturer describes the truck’s barren and stealth appearance as “A nearly impenetrable exoskeleton. Every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass.

“If there was something better, we’d use it. The exterior construction helps eliminate dents, damage and long-term corrosion with a smooth monochrome exoskeleton that puts the shell on the outside of the car and provides you and passengers maximum protection.”

Tesla enthusiasts are true believers. According to the manufacturer, pre-orders for the truck (the release date is undetermined) are booming. But for potential buyers who wish to tow an RV with the Cybertruck, some questions loom: How many miles will the truck tow an RV? How efficiently will it brake?

Tesla hasn’t provided the information, but it recently released an image of how a camper option might work, and it claims it will soon be available. Prices haven’t been released.

James Raia is the editor of The Weekly Driver.

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Frank

Prices are definitely available
39900 for 250 mile 7500lb version
49900 for 350 mile 10000 lb;
69900 for 500 mile 14000 lb towing version

Geoff Berry

There are lots of videos online with current Tesla vehicles towing. Their range is down by 75%. You might tow a trailer but it won’t be far.

David English

You know…. the trailer can hold an extra battery… right? How much range do you want? Add batteries… just say’in.

Sure thing, one of these things is going to tow a trailer across the entire country without a recharge. Might not be much of an RV trailer, but the stunt will prove a point.

The next stunt will be when one spends a year driving back with the only recharge coming from solar panels. Nice big trailer, with panels that fold out into awnings. Camp a week, drive, camp a week, drive…

It’s coming.

Joe

I have a farm. I just want to tow 4 tons five miles on a flatbed a couple dozen times during harvest. Mostly downhill from farm to processor, so I’ll probably gain range on the round trip.

Michael

Does any vehicle manufacturer tell you how far you’d go pulling a trailer? It’s an impossible question, as differences in the weight and drag of the trailers will change the range you get.

Captn John

Talk tp me when it can pull a 16k 5er with 4200# payload over 1000 miles between fuel stops like my dually does

Kim

The answer to many people’s question of “can I tow this XX trailer with this XX truck?”
is often “yes”, but can the truck stop it?

Tommy Molnar

I don’t understand the “zero to sixty” thing. This only shows up in electric car ads. Nobody else advertise this, probably because nobody cares. Just sayin’.

John Ahrens

I’ve seen at least two EV truck manufacturers ads in RVTravel over the past few weeks that have better looking, and by the numbers better performing trucks than the Tesla truck. Of course, they don’t get the press of Tesla. One was Bollinger Motors, https://bollingermotors.com, but the more interesting was the Badger by Nikola Motors, https://nikolamotor.com/badger, since it uses a hydrogen fuel cell, rather than batteries alone

Bob p

As proven by Fast Lane Car on you tube using a Tesla model X which is rated to pull 4000lb the car pulling a trailer at the rated weight used so much battery power the range was severely limited to the point they had to call for back up in order to make it from charger to charger. So until the infrastructure is in place and recharging is improved to compare to ICE vehicles they will not be a viable alternative as a tow vehicle. They are interesting toys and commuter cars but you can’t work with them if you have to tow something.

John Gilkison

It is going to be problematic to tow when the Cd = 0.30 truck goes to Cd = 0.70.

Mike Sokol

I think the idea of the Tesla Cybertruck is a marketing gimmick playing on the American males’ need for more horsepower in a pickup truck. You’ll note that every American pickup truck manufacturer plays the horsepower game each year but upping the torque, horsepower, and towing capacity to be a bit bigger than the competition. We’re seeing the same thing with electric vehicles where the heart-pounding acceleration is the main marketing touchstone, and miles between charges being in second (or even third) place. Now I’m not arguing their marketing points because it works in the American marketplace. Heck, IIRC even the Ford pickup with the EcoBoost gas engine added exhaust sounds into the media player’s speakers so the driver would hear the sounds of a throaty exhaust and be excited by them. I do the same vroom-vroom driving a grocery cart around the store (which may be why my wife insists on pushing the cart herself).

In any event, electric vehicles do have outstanding acceleration due to the nature of electric motors which exhibit huge stall torque, but I think for an electric tow vehicle the primary issue should be miles between charges, followed closely by charging times. As far as an electric vehicle being as easy to “fill up” as a gas or diesel car or truck at a gas station, we’re not there yet. But there’s a lot of really smart people working on battery technology that will eventually make electric vehicles a reality for everyone, including semi-trucks and Class-A RVs.

Donald N Wright

I do not need this acceleration, I need longer battery life for an extended range. I would like to see this truck in production, maybe they can shake up truck manufacturers and boxy trailer manufacturers too. Imagine an RV trailer that lasts twenty years of use…