The fully electric RV is coming with a steeper range and charging challenge than 7

Pending attacks on electric trucks and SUVs, already underway with the Rivian R1T and R1S, and the Ford F-150 Lightning, who see emissions-free camping and RV life as something effective in the near future.

As we have underscored in the past with Tesla towing reports and other reality checks of the range, it may be possible to take Davis Dam grade with 11,000, but is it really possible as part of an enjoyable vacation?

Not surprisingly, potential buyers have high expectations for this type of vehicle – which may not be fully aligned with today’s battery and charging technology at the desired price point.

A number of concept cars earlier this year showed that the traditionally quite conservative RV industry is not sitting out of it. Between the Winnebago e-RV concept and the Thor Vision electric RV concept, some big players have provided a possible sketch of what is at work – in quite different shapes.

Winnebago E-RV electric motorhome concept

Winnebago E-RV electric motorhome concept

Winnebago E-RV electric motorhome concept

Winnebago E-RV electric motorhome concept

Winnebago E-RV electric motorhome concept

Winnebago E-RV electric motorhome concept

While the Ford Transit-based Winnebago E-RV has an 86-kilowatt battery pack and will offer a 125-mile range যথেষ্ট enough to satisfy 54% of RV buyers, it claims T Thor Industries has taken a completely different direction. Also starting with the transit, it included a battery pack, a hydrogen fuel cell and a solar roof, adding a range of up to 300 miles.

Although it seemed like a lot of complexity at the time, Thor recently published research results that support his approach. The North American Motorized Electric RV study was conducted in December 2021, the month before Vision. The study was based on 675 respondents who either currently owned an EV or had some level of RV experience (ownership, rent, camping or borrowing) in the last 10 years.

Thor's North American Motorized Electric RV Research

Thor’s North American Motorized Electric RV Research

Its study বা or indeed, a survey শব্দ found from its sound that 97% expect to drive more than three hours before charging. Nearly half (45%) of respondents said they expected to drive five or six hours from home before charging – an image that sees Thor as a sweet spot and fairly consistent with the 300-mile charge.

One in five people have noticed that the point is being charged for eight hours or more – this suggests a range of more than 500 miles. While 300 miles may be a realistic goal in a few years, higher numbers are probably a physical impossibility due to price and battery-pack weight constraints.

Thor Vision electric RV concept

Thor Vision electric RV concept

Those who use such an electric RV will often do the same. Although many RVs in the United States remain unused for most of the year, 47% of respondents to this survey said they would use an electric RV at least once every two to three weeks – some at least once a week.

The most popular response for the expected charge time was in the range of 45-to-59 minutes, which suggests the need for DC fast-charging as an infrastructural requirement not only in such products but also in campsites across the country. This is a big leap forward for quick-charge adjustment from the typical 240-volt, 30-amp outlet on US campsites.

Surprisingly, 70% of respondents said that an onboard hydrogen fuel-cell system would positively influence purchasing intent to help supplement or charge the battery. While setting up more charging at the campsite would be an infrastructural hurdle, distributing hydrogen or fuel cells sounds like a bigger puzzle.

Airstream Eaststream Electric Camping Trailer

Airstream Eaststream Electric Camping Trailer

In addition to the electric RV project, Thor unveiled the eStream Travel Trailer concept earlier this year — an electric camping trailer that will basically deliver its own propulsion, carry 80 kwh of battery power and add acceleration and brake region to its own motor system. .

Alternatively, camper manufacturer Colorado Teardrops plans a version of its camper trailer that also brings extra batteries for the ride, but without the propulsion system. You charge both overnight, then at the roadside break, it charges your towing EV instead.

Colorado Teardrops Boulder EV Camping Trailer

Colorado Teardrops Boulder EV Camping Trailer

Both of these solutions help solve driving range problems but underscore the need for serious, high-power charging infrastructure in the campground. Who will go ahead to make this delivery? It’s another chicken-or-egg, all over again.

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