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Old 12-14-2016, 11:01 AM   #121 (permalink)
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The fixed roof 1743 looks a better choice. Nice shape and fewer usage irritations. Tech spec looks good.

That said it's not "aero" to crosswinds. Lack of radius edges matters.

Assuming $35-40,000 US one can do better with a 20' Airstream (or shorter) from about 20-25 years ago. Update appliances, replace axles and be better off from the standpoint of overall aero. Won't be any depreciation, either.

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Old 12-14-2016, 11:10 AM   #122 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evtower View Post
So towing with an EV requires careful planning and trailer selection.
Going to be extra short trips. Constant travel interruptions.

Need for AC in tow vehicle will make depletion rate murderous.

There's a Tesla thread on AIR (Airforums) and for the life of me I fail to see the appeal of a hamstrung tow vehicle.

Given that the average RV'er travels but 25k miles in five years it isn't cost prohibitive to own a dedicated TV. I'm not in favor of such but I could see where with an EV as daily driver it could make sense. 25-mpg plus is possible with a 20-23' AS trailer. And that change in size brings a great deal of utility.

With RVs the single most important system is propane. Water a close second. Electric almost irrelevant.

Solar is not a reasonable substitute. Expensive, heavy and complicated. For a lot less energy available. And quickly obsolescent components.

Take your time in all this.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:10 PM   #123 (permalink)
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One might live on one of the three coasts or a river and move seasonally. Others might be 'running out of road from coast to coast'.

5K miles per year is twice what I put on my weekly driver Superbeetle. It has a one-person camper interior. No running water though.

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Old 12-14-2016, 02:52 PM   #124 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Going to be extra short trips. Constant travel interruptions.

Need for AC in tow vehicle will make depletion rate murderous.
A couple in a Tesla Model X towing a 22' Airstream sport were able to make approximately 125-150 miles per charge with the AC running. I don't know what murderous is to you - people have different tolerances for driving time. For me, two hours of driving and it's time for a break. This put them just over two hours total before they had to stop. Charge times at the Superchargers were longer than without the trailer because they generally charged to 100%, which took them into the tapering curve (slowest part of charging). But most times, they charged at the RV park. That takes no additional time.

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There's a Tesla thread on AIR (Airforums) and for the life of me I fail to see the appeal of a hamstrung tow vehicle.

Given that the average RV'er travels but 25k miles in five years it isn't cost prohibitive to own a dedicated TV. I'm not in favor of such but I could see where with an EV as daily driver it could make sense. 25-mpg plus is possible with a 20-23' AS trailer. And that change in size brings a great deal of utility.
Yes, I've seen you over there and I appreciate your valuable feedback.

The appeal is, as I mentioned in another thread here, usually a self-constraint. I don't drive an ICE, and don't plan to do so again. Would it be easier and more comfortable to have an ICE TV? You bet, nobody could argue otherwise. Not speaking for evtower, but for me there is some appeal in the pioneering aspect of it. I've taken tens of thousands of miles of road trips in an EV very comfortably. These days it's as easy as it was in my ICE. I am hopeful that providing towing data to Tesla or the community at large will be useful to push the needle a tiny bit.

I feel confident there will be a day that people will choose an EV to tow solely because it's the better TV. The power and torque is ideal, it's all about range right now. I'm happy to give it a try and be patient. A few people have to pave the way.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:11 PM   #125 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
There's a Tesla thread on AIR (Airforums) and for the life of me I fail to see the appeal of a hamstrung tow vehicle.

Given that the average RV'er travels but 25k miles in five years it isn't cost prohibitive to own a dedicated TV. I'm not in favor of such but I could see where with an EV as daily driver it could make sense. 25-mpg plus is possible with a 20-23' AS trailer. And that change in size brings a great deal of utility.
I can certainly understand that those who have been towing for years with gas-powered vehicles would look at towing with an EV as a questionable exercise, to put it mildly.

For those who own a long distance EV like a Tesla, with fast DC charging, the nearly unanimous verdict is "I'm never buying an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle again!". The reasons are numerous and I won't list them in this thread unless requested. I have owned my first Tesla for 3 years and driven 51,000 miles with it, visiting most of the Western states. It has been an unalloyed pleasure. Then I bought another Tesla. I have not purchased any gasoline in over two years. Now that my wife and I have decided we want to own a travel trailer, we will only tow with a Tesla.

A common response is "Teslas are just for rich people". Next year Tesla is beginning production of the Model 3, a new EV that will start at $35,000. See https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/model3 . Not cheap, but when you factor in the lower operating costs and the longer lifetime of the vehicle (8 year unlimited mile drivetrain warranty) the ownership cost is in reality comparable to a sub $30,000 car. And the Model 3 will have towing capability.

A properly designed EV like a Tesla is a fundamentally better car in almost every way than anything else on the market. The only drawback is an EV cannot go as far on a charge as a conventional car can go on a tank of gas. Tesla has solved that problem with the Supercharger network, see https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/supercharger

But when towing, the range of a Tesla is reduced by about half. Nevertheless, Tesla owners are towing trailers across the country and having a wonderful time doing it. See https://teslaxcanada.com/ and they are not the only ones.

Burning fossil fuels for any purpose does enormous harm to the biosphere that we depend on. That statement is supported by massive amounts of data. It is no longer in dispute in any meaningful way. EVs can be powered by sustainable energy producing zero emissions. They are of course also powered by electricity produced by fossil fuels. But as the electrical grid becomes "cleaner" (an inexorable trend that cannot be stopped because it is driven by economics, sustainable energy costs are dropping rapidly) EVs become cleaner. Burning coal for electrical production is declining. Wind and solar power production is growing, and decreasing battery storage costs are making sustainable energy more and more economically attractive.

In contrast, conventional cars never become "cleaner", they can only use fossil fuels and will pollute the biosphere over their entire lifetime of use.

And that is why I will be towing a trailer with an EV.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:47 PM   #126 (permalink)
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I have a custom trailer design that has been maturing in my head for several years, an aerodynamic hi-lo type. It would be ideal for towing with an EV. I see no purpose in towing around an empty box of air that you are not occupying, with all the increased frontal area. Get to where you are going and raise it up.
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:32 AM   #127 (permalink)
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R. B. 'Bucky" Fuller demonstrated how to 'jitterbug' an octahedron (sitting on one face) into an icosahedron with 2 1/2 times the volume. If I could figure out how to prolate that, I'd have something.

Tesla seems like a good state-of-the-art tow vehicle option, or should I say Ludicrous option?

OTOH maybe a custom tow vehicle could be specced out. Maybe a Tesla-camino with a doubled up battery pack. Maybe the 2-speed planetary gearbox that will pass 500hp that EVTV showed in a Dodge truck. Or their Tesla drivetrain with Quaife limited slip differential so it can be mounted in non-Tesla suspension parts.

For the price of a Tesla, you could have an EV Metro and a Bambi.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:05 AM   #128 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Tesla seems like a good state-of-the-art tow vehicle option, or should I say Ludicrous option?
For the price of a Tesla, you could have an EV Metro and a Bambi.
Hmm...and that Metro would be able to tow a Bambi about 10 miles before needing to recharge for half a day.

The Tesla Model X is currently the only EV capable of towing a useful distance. At 50-55mph towing ranges of 120 to 150 miles have been achieved with 1,800 to 2,400 lb trailers depending on conditions. Teslas can recharge to 90% in less than an hour, making for a nice midday meal break. So one could comfortably go up to 300 miles in about 7 hours time in total. That's about as long as I care to sit in a car in a day, and I like to take a break every few hours to stretch and walk around a bit. So it works out well for me. Those who like to drive 500+ miles in a day with just a brief pit stop will obviously not find that acceptable.

Battery energy densities have improved dramatically over the past decade, and they are continuing to improve as well as becoming much less expensive. In another 5 years it is very likely that long range EVs capable of going 400+ miles on a charge will be offered by multiple manufacturers, not just Tesla (which currently offers non-towing ranges of up to 300 miles) and they will be priced almost the same as the same size ICE vehicles while costing much less to operate. At that point ICE passenger vehicle sales will nose dive.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:49 AM   #129 (permalink)
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evtower, I do appreciate the perspective. A new world for me.

To add perspective from my end -- not in rebuttal, I caution -- is the practicality of travel trailer use. Consider this long post as distillation from a lot of beer-drinking around the campfire. This really isn't going offtopic as far as it may first seem:

The number one attribute of an indefinite lifespan travel trailer [TT] is to be able to change the tow vehicle [TV] over that ownership lifespan. With my size of travel trailer (35' at 9000-lbs gross; more likely at 8,000-lbs plus) one can travel with a family of six in, say, a full sized van until the kids are grown and then transition to something which makes more sense for a couple. Who are eventually on a retirement fixed income with capital expenses in the past. It's an interchangeable part, on the one hand, but expecting 15-years of service at low overal cpm isn't unreasonable. (This ends TV discussion).

The best known group for those full-timing in RVs is Escapees, out of Livingston, TX. Have sold the stick & brick house and roam the continent pretty much at will (though it's a given that RV use is about chasing shirt sleeve weather). Domicile in a low tax state. Possibly a members-only property in an SKP or other (Airstream-only) park. Usually retirees. Then the category of those still in the workforce. All over the country, some on years-long capital improvement projects (refineries, power plants, etc), the rest of us as career would have it.

In both cases the practicality of the TT is paramount. Eclipses all other considerations. Sick and laid up? This is where one will be. Long spell of bad weather? Again, this will be the square footage to trod.

Thus,

Can I operate the TT on propane only (the local area has lost electricity for an unspecified period)? The TT appliances in no order are AC, refrigerator/freezer, range/oven + microwave/convection + portable induction unit; water heater, and furnace.

AC: electric only. 30A power per single unit, 50A service for two. Requires generator of preferably 4000W or greater. Problem now is genset and liquid fuel storage if not propane powered (which has its own safe-handling problems).

Reefer: 3-way; propane, 12V or 120V.

To cook (as above); propane or 120V, with a only a couple of 12V cookers available. Coleman Stove needed. Problem of liquid fuel storage

Water heater: propane or 120V. Otherwise, water heated on Coleman Stove.

TT heat (not just comfort, but heat to water-storage tanks; this is crucial): Propane, 120V (freebeard, see rvcomfortsystems.com; CheapHeat). Without 120V or propane aboard, this is trip-ending. (Yes, a Webasto or Espar diesel-fired heater could be installed, but without an integral weight-problematic fuel tank retrofit, it's a near dead-end).

With a turbodiesel truck one can fit the sort of generator that runs off the engine, thus eliminating a separate piece of equipment. Or, a big propane generator can be fitted to the TT to charge house batteries, run AC a couple of hours per day (thus the limitation on being parked in a hot weather location), and run other appliances as needed for a specified period of use (all to limit liquid fuels safety).

(Generator discussion can go beyond this, I'm looking to make integral what is necessary to not have to abandon ship at a locale). I've also left out two-way radio requirements (HAM transceivers).

The other appliances I'm considering are not usually thought of as being energy conscious, especially for an RV, but -- taken to mean no use of the TV -- they are: a dishwasher and an clothes washer/dryer (where one converts clothing, bedding, towels, etc, to artificial fabrics). With optional 65-gl fresh water, even an electric-only campsite is not limiting. And these are or can be built-in. I'd like an ice maker also. If I have to leave a campsite to replenish before I run out if water, I've lost "utility".

Haven't discussed water, but the ability to filter water for health is fundamental. The day may come it is crucial.

How long can one stay in a specified location, as fresh water storage is the central limitation? is, to my way of seeing things, the single most important question about an RV. Otherwise one owns a toy. Nothing wrong with a toy, per se, but let's include all needed inputs of energy. Shelter, water, food. Not having to fire up the TV and go to town.

From my end one can see the utility of a pickup. I carry about 1,300-lbs of gear in the truck constantly. In the above one can see the need for extra gear for any TT owner looking to "boondock" (camp without services) for extended periods.

Thus, prior to saying one is "free to travel", the statement implied in "free" has to be amended to include weather and time limitations. Especially on a forum where energy consciousness is high. This is not a criticism. It's hardly a staple topic among RVers in general. If anything, the general assumption is that all is rosy and will remain so. (One doesn't have to search hard to find stories of equipment abandoned in face of hardship).

EV + TT = how long independent of outside inputs?

It's easy for me to say that I can make a 600+ round trip at average MPG (with planned fuel tank upgrade) given gentle terrain and with two-weeks plus at a single-location without refueling. I'd consider less than a 500-mile range to be a problem. As much as a month in place can be done. No genuine hardship for lack
of utilities. (This is the advantage of a TT 28'-34'; water and propane capacity and fewer weight penalties).

A given choice of TV can be limiting for several important reasons (and a host of minor ones). In the above I think one can see the utility of a hybrid drivetrain ( ability to charge TV and TT batteries with potential to do more as a genset) Etc. In the meantime turbodiesel is king. This, I think, is the direction from which to consider EV & RV. A "rigorous" standard. I haven't covered all, but

The choices of TT specification define all other limits.

Is the offering, here.

.

Last edited by slowmover; 12-16-2016 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:10 AM   #130 (permalink)
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So, as follow up, what can a given TT do?

There are those who remove the propane system in favor of all electric operation. Okay, what can it do?

There are now those who remove the ICE drivetrain. Okay, what can it (combined vehicle) do?

If two weeks for a married couple is a reasonable expectation for a TT while boondocking, then, in a specification-by-specification comparison . . . ?

In terms of "importance" from this angle the TV has one-third of the weight of the TT if not less.

From an annual perspective where all miles matter, not so much as above. It's the usual direction of things.

But I say that to shortchange the boondocking analysis is to potentially miss a huge chunk of utility. Energy-consciousness in a nutshell.

I'm none too impressed by the stunt of very high MPG with a solo driver. Load that vehicle to maximum and make all the adjustments and you have my attention. Might be some dark horse candidates hidden by high & happy MPG as is normally considered.

Same approach to RV s then

Don't forget to state this limitation set.

Again, from this utility mindset it's not at all impressive to have to move every second or third day because one cannot any longer go without some form of replenishment. (What an individual says he plans to do is not the point).

I look forward to what the OP and others have to say about the EV+TT equation
As time goes on.


Last edited by slowmover; 12-16-2016 at 09:16 AM..
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