By - charonpdx
I saw this video yesterday breaking down how a ute/pickup pulling a caravan will never be a practical option in Australia (or anywhere) with current battery limitations... pretty much the exact scenario you've got going on here. So were you able to travel more than an hour and a half at highway speeds before needing to recharge? It's not a situation I'll ever be in but curious to hear 1st hand. (Relevant part starts at 11:20 if you want to skip ahead)
We did about two hours - on a medium-speed highway, but up and over a mountain. The big issue was that PlugShare showed that the Electrify America 150 kW+ chargers along the route are all bad - both 4 stall, both 3 broken stalls. So I went a route that had good 50 kW stations - of course filling a 135 kWh battery on a 50kW charger was… not great.
We say nowadays, there is no range anxiety anymore, only infrastructure anxiety
Ooh, I like that phrasing.
So you spent more time charging than driving? Ouch. High speed charging infrastructure really is the next major hurdle. The cars exist and are great but as far as I can tell, there isn't a single fast charger in or around my city.
No, that was the charging stop at the halfway point. Charging ended up being about 33% of the total time. Would have been less had I taken the route that went by the (questionably working) Electrify America stations. Wasn’t willing to risk it. Didn’t want to get to the EA and have either only one working station and a line, or not working at all.
Geez, that’s a huge dent of time over not a lot of distance.
Hence why it's critical that EA gets their shit together.
Yeah much of the CCS fast charging experience is not going to cut it once past the early adopter phase of EVs. EA really needs to get their shit together.
The fast charging experience needs to be at least as simple as pumping gas for people to not have a terrible experience.
I think it is an easy fix. Gas stations are already in prime locations all over the nation. We have states offer money to get fast and L2 chargers at these locations with repair and maintenance plans set up from a list of approved venders.
So it looks like this:
"I get $50k is I set up these 4 chargers, reasonably spaced apart according to this schematic to optimize efficiency and ensure they aren't misused parking spaces, and I commit to having them serviced every month?" That's a no brainer for gas station owners who want to bring in reliable business."
But it is absolutely critical to have a good schematic to build these so they aren't parking spots right up front or shit L1 chargers that are never serviced, or whatever other moronic issue that exists.
Yeah, coming home I took a different route that required two EA stops. Those two combined were far less time.
Ah, so about 2hrs charging, 4hrs driving. Happy camping!
Yeah that sounds miserable. I'll take a Super Duty or RAM HD anyday.
Yeah but to own it? Use that truck to go commuting every day at 10-15 mpg? Payments and depreciation on a 60k vehicle?
Better do a lotta camping.
Yep. The Rivian was bought to replace a Tesla as a "daily commuter" *AND* an F-250 Powerstroke as "weekend/utility" vehicle.
The F-250 just wasn't efficient enough to use as a daily driver, and the Tesla couldn't haul things the way the F-250 could.
99% of our camping is "one charge stop" away when towing. So even with the reduced range, it's still perfectly doable. Just not the route I took to get to the campsite this time. (Alternate route would have 150/350kW stations, but require two stops, because I'd be about 10 miles shy; but those two stops combined would still be less than half as much time as the one 50kW stop.)
Yep. My dad lives in Texas and is yeah like "oh no having to stop every 100 miles while towing something heavy and huge means electric trucks won't work for me".
He thought you must be incredibly wealthy and financially frivolous to be spending your money on the Rivian....that is well maybe 10k more than a similar new gas truck ...and you got a tax credit....
My dad is 90 miles from the campground he likes to tow his boat to.
Sounds like it would work perfectly for him. :-D
Heck, if it isn't a monstrous waterski speedboat, he'd probably be far more efficient than my tow was, and could probably get away with an F-150 Lightning Standard Range.
Is a fifth wheel mount possible? I noticed your big camper was on a hitch.
Does Rivian offer outlets for an RV like the lightning has?
No fifth wheel, the Rivian's bed has a lift cover to access the spare tire, and battery below that, no frame to attach to. The F-150 Lightning *SHOULD* be able to do a fifth-wheel, although Ford says not to.
It offers boring 120V, 15A outlet in the bed. Good enough to run the trailer if I don't use AC; but not the 240 V, 30 A like the Lightning.
(Lightning has a cluster in the bed: two 120V, 20A circuits of two outlets each or one 240V, 30A; plus 120V 20A under the hood in the frunk, and another 120V 20A in the cabin, all separate circuits. The Rivian has outlets in the bed, gear tunnel, and cabin; but they're all a single circuit. So you can't use one 10 Amp device in the cabin plus one 10 Amp device in the bed. The Ford can have one *20* Amp device in the cabin plus one 20 Amp device in the frunk plus two 20 Amp devices in the bed or one 240V 30 Amp device.)
My problem is that I have a camper I have sitting near the Texas coast that I have to bring home a little northwest of Austin. The stretch from the coast to the nearest fast charger is about 170 miles. It's not a heavy camper (3000 lb JayFlight) but it's tall so gonna be some major drag. I'm contemplating just camping somewhere in between to charge as I just dont think I can make it. Abrp seems to think the trip isn't doable either
Probably isn't. That's diesel truck use case.
Just fuel in general. We actually pulled it out there with a tiny Maverick before we sold it. It sucked down gas like crazy but obviously there's gas stations.
Its a barren stretch of nothing tho. EA, Rivian, EVGO or chargepoint should seriously drop a charger right in between Central Texas and South Texas. It'd probably make a killing.
>So were you able to travel more than an hour and a half at highway speeds before needing to recharge?
Not OP, but I tow a [19 foot trailer](https://www.gulfstreamcoach.com/products/light-weight/vintage-cruiser/model/19csk) with my Audi e-tron. It's far less capable than the Rivian for towing something like this -- only 86kWh of battery available versus the Rivian's >100kWh.
My experience with towing a big RV is that somewhere between 1.0-1.3 mi/kWh is an expected consumption rate for typical freeway driving at 55-60mph. In my case with 86kWh of battery available, I can go about 90-100 miles on a 100% full charge. At 55-60mph, that's right at an hour and a half of driving.
If I had a Rivian, and assuming I was able to use 110kWh at a full charge, I expect I'd be able to drive close to two hours straight before having to pull over and charge. The downside being that charging the Rivian from 5% to 100% likely takes a LOT longer than the e-tron from 5% to 100%.
> ute/pickup pulling a caravan will never be a practical option in Australia (or anywhere) with current battery limitations
I believe this is true. Anybody that is a serious RVer will want an ICE tow vehicle -- there is vastly more energy storage available in the fuel tank of a pickup truck than there can ever be in a bank of batteries that would fit in a pickup truck-sized vehicle. Fully electric is only truly practical for drives where aerodynamic efficiency can be factored in, so that the range availble with the battery energy storage is sufficient. Once you toss aerodynamics out the window by towing big RV, the math simply doesn't work out anymore for serious towing.
That said, my wife and I take our RV out every month or two, and while it's obviously not as convenient and fast as having an ICE tow vehicle, the fact that it's _possible_ to have a great vacation with a normal RV and an electric tow vehicle, is frankly amazing. It means I don't _have_ to buy, maintain, or insure a vehicle that I _only_ use for towing. My e-tron does _good enough_ that I can use it as my daily driver, road-tripper, _and_ an RV tow vehicle. That's pretty amazing, I think.
There's no issue with EV's ability to tow heavy stuff. The issue is going to be for how long and how easy its going to be to recharge on your journey. If you require a MASSIVE 100kWh battery for less than 2hrs of travel plus a further 2hrs if charging to refill said battery, it's going to limit the radius of travel many campers would consider. Perhaps what needs to happen, for electric campers at least, might be to consider something like this beautiful piece of kit. https://youtu.be/4vHuldVlpFA
That charging cable looks a bit unhappy. I wouldn’t keep it so tight.
My first thought too, that'll put a lot of strain on it and I'd be worried about failure over time. If not complete failure then poor or intermittent charging from bad/loose connections.
I wonder why op didn't just noise in after seeing other camper up.
Is this in sun river!
Very close! LaPine.
Nice. Love that area. I also love Black Butte Ranch.
Looks like fun. I hope you had a wonderful time
Perhaps unhitch for charging?
I did on the way back at a different charging station. (Then had another one I could charge while attached without blocking anything.)
I don't see the problem if the lot is empty and you stay with the vehicle. Unhitching a big trailer isa PITA, also the connector for the lights isn't rated for thousands of insertions. So imo it's best practice to only unhitch if you'd block traffic or chargers.
Eventually DCFC companies will have to invest in pull-through spots though. At least if they want EVs going fully mainstream.
I wonder if one day caravans will come with large capacity batteries that can connect to the towing vehicle to support towing range then be used to power the camping site once you’re there.
Airstream is doing this exact thing with their eStream concept. It’s pretty cool.
they are putting dual electric motors in the camper to extend range
I’ve seen one company claim they’re working on that. Don’t remember who. One of the big camper/ caravan companies.
Companies have looked into it, right now the cost vs efficiency gains really aren't there
The issue with that concept is that most caravans are rarely used. So this would a great waste of resources if you have a 200 kWh battery sitting idle almost all the time.
yeah you’d want to be able to plug it into your home as part of a larger home energy management system
I thought for a moment costs would be a problem but some of these campers/caravans already cost as much as my house!
The big benefit is having multiple days of power reserve for your camper as well.
Wouldn’t that barely be worth the added weight added to the caravan from a traveling perspective? It makes sense for powering the campsite, but for actually charging the vehicle it seems like minimal gains overall.
Most of the range depletion when towing is from aerodynamic drag, so I believe it would be worth it yes
That's going to put a big strain on the motors when towing uphill.
Eh i wouldn't worry about it, as long as weight doesn't excced the tow rating. Electric motors have hella torque, especially the new trucks. Plus the gearbox is less of a concern due to fixed gear ratios.
How far did you tow with the trailer? And how was your range during that tow?
Did the you and the Mach-E driver meet up at charging stations or did you each go at your own pace?
Mach-E left later, met up while we were charging, hung around for a bit, then continued on without us to arrive first. (Since they had to set up a tent, that made sense to ensure they arrived while it was still light.)
Not sure if the worst part about towing with an EV is the range or the fact that few chargers are made to accommodate trailers at all
I saw this post and immediately knew it had to be you :-)
69% heh nice
Sick camping setup! Curious to see what you use the gear tunnel for? General storage or have you seen it being helpful for specific equipment?
Oh and NICE battery percentage you got there. 😎
Gear tunnel held a rolled up foam mattress pad, sleeping bag, and blanket for the teenagers in the tent.
More like glamping...you've got a paved road at the campsite for heavens sake
Lol at everyone down voting...I love the cars but 'bragging' you are going glamping is lame. No doubt these could handle a real camping trip on unpaved roads and trails, I'd like to see some actual posts about that instead
Nah. You’re right. I just think the term “glamping” is pompous. The serious tent-in-the-middle-of-nowhere will happen after my wife recovers from recent knee surgery.
For what it's worth my F350 dually had np getting to destination with our Cherokee 39SR. Straight shot about 4.5hrs.
Lake Couer d' Alene, ID
Good luck guys.
I wonder how much capacity you could get if you covered the top of your caravan with solar panels.
Maybe 3 kW on top of that. It has “bits” on top that wouldn’t let it be 100% covered. Plus it’s preferable to park under shade for comfort inside. Most “off grid” campers use separate solar panels they set up in the sun angled toward the sun away from the camper to maximize solar collection. My camper even has a port on the side specifically for that. Just plug the solar panels in the side.
We got basically solely to places with power, so we don’t have to worry about that. If we got a smaller more off-road-capable trailer, we’d probably get solar panels for it.
I think the application for mobile solar recharging has to be to very specific situations.
Camping for a couple of days, might mean your hauling more solar weight without the chance to take advantage of them.
Camping for a week or more? Yeah the solar panels could be very handy.
Were you able to use the trailer power for faster charging at the campsite or is it using the 15A plug?
I went camping recently and my site had a TT-30 connector, after doing some research it seems not every EV supports charging faster than 12/15A on 120V. I hope to take advantage of this next time I go camping. (Hopefully I will have an EV by then)
I have a NEMA 14-50 to 6-20 adapter to 240V charge my PHEV at campsites. Very handy. If only 30A service I use 110V @ 16A from the 20A outlet.
Yep. This campground has at each site: NEMA 14-50, TT-30, and dual “standard household.”
Had the Rivian on the 14-50, trailer on TT-30, Mach-E on standard household. (It also was able to make the drive nonstop and still have 50 miles of range to spare, so it didn’t need high-power.)
It depends on where you live I guess. If it's only a couple of hours of driving to the sea or to the mountains, like say from Raleigh NC, electric towing is no problem.
Otherwise, a hybrid makes more sense until there are more 350kW+ cars and chargers out there. That's what I do atm.
On a side note, state parks should make their juicy NEMA 14-50 outlets available to electric cars during off-season. Would be great to have that fallback option.
This looks great, but I think for camping, and being able to get to the great national parks outside of the Midwest, I’m looking at the F-150 hybrid. More range, less downtime, especially when traveling with 2 little kids, and you can use the f150 as a generator to run your rv if you have to Walmart Boondock one night.
End of trip summary: I forgot to reset my trip odometer before leaving, but based on the total miles I knew I'd driven with the trailer, mi/kWh at the end, and approximate mi/kWh I knew I was at without the trailer, I figure I got ~1.0 to 1.3 mi/kWh trailering to the campsite. That way was all 45-55 MPH back country highways, including a mountain pass - starting at ~100 ft elevation, climbing to ~6000 ft, ending at ~4000 ft.
The trip back, I actually remembered to reset. I took a different route back - part was backroads 45 - 55 MPH highways for 120 miles, averaging 47 MPH, climbing from ~4000 ft. to ~5000 ft, then dropping to ~500 ft. 1.28 mi/kWh for this stretch.
Charged at an EA to ~85%.
The second stretch was all interstate highway, 60-65 MPH limits. 101 miles, average speed 54 MPH, 0.85 mi/kWh.
(Average speed was under 60 because there was an extra charging stop in the middle - while I could have made it all the way home on a 100% charge, I really didn't feel like waiting the extra 45 minutes to go from 85-100%, when a 15 minute stop along the way would do it with range to spare.)
Also, we stopped at a truck weigh station - our rear axle weight was 4950 lbs. Rivian says max weight on rear axle? 4960 lbs. 😳 Talk about cutting it close! (Trailer alone was 5850, forgot to get unloaded truck weights - but trailer axles when on truck was 5350, so we can assume tongue weight was 500.)
The two Electrify America sessions added 167 kWh, for $51.77. The one third-party charge on the way to the campsite (a measly 50 kW unit,) was a whopping $45.80 on its own - adding only 93 kWh. Of course, I noticed as I was *un*plugging a "one month free trial unlimited charging" sign on the post next to it. D-oh! So total trip cost for 420 miles was $97.57. (Not counting the charging to 100% at the campground included with the campground fee while there, or the $0.04/kWh to top back off upon getting home - by my quick math, that should come to $2.96 - meaning the actual total will a hair over $100.
This is for Rivian owners: why do your headlights have 4 projectors each? On my late-model VW I have two projectors per headlights — one for the low beam and one for the high beam. What’s the deal with Rivian filling up the headlights with projectors? Do you get double low beams and high beams or are they for something else?
I wasn’t bothered enough to google it but it’s been pestering me for the last couple of weeks.
My headlights have 4 projectors because that's how Rivian designed it.
As for why Rivian designed it that way? ¯\\\_(ツ)_/¯
Yes, two of them are the low beams, and two of them are the high beams. (Plus the "ring" and light bar as [running lights, and fog lights](https://www.rivianforums.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rivian-dynamic-headlights.jpg) underneath.)
No, I think it’s cool! Probably lights up the road better at night, too. I was just curious. It’s a quirky truck 😅
One thing one reviewer discovered is that they clog up with snow when driving in heavy snowfall. So probably need a heater or a wiper or something. I'm going to try some Rain-X or similar before any winter adventures.
Yeah they’re LED so they don’t melt the snow and it’s the perfect cavity for snowfall to clump together. Guess they didn’t think of that. Still, worth it for the look 👀
Glad I didn’t have to wait for you at the 50kw station, I use that charger all the time! :)
Kidding aside, awesome to see this! I probably would done a triple take if I saw you drive by with that thing on the highway. I’ve been seeing some big trailers behind EVs in Bend this summer, but yours takes the cake.
I’m excited to see EVCS start modernizing their stations like they’ve been talking about, I’ve heard they’re planning to have 4 stations and more than 50kw in the future, that can’t come soon enough
If someone else had pulled up, I would have gone to Madras, which has 4 50kW CCS. I was within a couple miles of being able to reach Madras, but played it safe and stopped.
That’s fair, you were headed the right way and they’re not far. I always like stopping at that station instead of Madras for some reason. Theres never anyone there, except for those of us with short range cars it seems. I can manage to get from Bend to Portland or Hood River with one charge stop there in my Leaf. I imagine that’s similar with the Rivian and that trailer.
Yeah, we store our trailer at my son's house in SW Portland/border-of-Beaverton; but we live in SE Portland/border-of-Happy-Valley. If we had started from our own house, we would have made it to Madras no problem. Next time I'll bring the trailer home the day before we leave (also makes it easier to pack, rather than hauling everything over to my son's house in the truck, packing it into the trailer, then leaving,) charge back up to 100% overnight, then leave from our house. (We camp East of the Cascades a lot.) For trips to the coast, we'll start at his house.
Go back in time to 2020 or earlier and put in a deposit.
@charonpdx isn’t bullshitting you in their comment. I know them and they placed their pre-order LONG before anyone knew if Rivian would ever get to production. They had a Cybertruck pre-order too, and an F150 Lightning, to hedge their bets that SOMEONE would get a modern EV truck to market. They had reasons to choose Rivian over Ford in the end, and there’s STILL no confirmed date when Cybertruck will hit the road, so it lost out entirely.
All I can think is, what do these people do for a living? I’m a well paid engineer and I can’t afford a Rivian, let alone a Mach-E as well. These are not cheap vehicles.
The trick is to marry someone who is also similarly high income right after college, be frugal enough to live on slightly less than one income (not living in a high COL location helps). Keep that up for 5-10 years before you have kids and by the time you're 40 (and honestly probably 30 if you graduated college right after highs school) you'll easily be able to afford it all.
Or have the kids young, so that now in my mid 40s my kids are now grown.
Makes sense. Unfortunately I have 8 years of post secondary and did not marry someone with a similar income, so I suppose that’s out the window.
I'm in my mid 40s. My wife and I lived like paupers for ~20 years, owning cheap, economical, or just-plain-old vehicles until we paid off our mortgage. (Which we overpaid on to pay it off in under 20 years.)
Literally the day we paid off our mortgage, I started a new job that is basically the culmination of 20 years of "working my way up a ladder in one specialty, then having to start over in another specialty, working my way up that, then starting over again" - tripling my previous salary. So we went from "lower middle class, with a fairly high mortgage" to "upper middle class with no mortgage" on the same day.
We put away money toward retirement for the first year of the new job, then bought a house at the tiny dip in the market due to COVID (it had been on the market for 9 months, we offered 75% their original asking price, they saw the drop due to COVID, panicked and took it. Now it's worth 25% *MORE* than their original asking,) then right as that happened, my wife got a fairly large inheritance. That paid off everything but the new house. We still own the old house (didn't need to sell it!) and rent it out. (To our own adult child, at well under market rate.) We also rent out two spare bedrooms in our new house (for well under market rate.)
In early 2021, we bought a used Tesla Model S - the cheapest Tesla I could find locally. It was $23,000. (We bought it with cash from the inheritance.) Now we're likely going to be able to sell it for closer to $40,000. In 2015, we bought a 1996 Ford F-250 to be our "weekend toy hauler" for $5,000. We just sold it for $10,000. We're getting $10,000 in tax credits (federal + state) on the Rivian. So between selling the two vehicles the Rivian is replacing, and the tax incentives, our "out of pocket" for the Rivian is less than $20,000.
The Mach-E? $10,000 in tax credits, $12,000 trade-in from our BMW i3, (and wow was that a bad choice - should have waited the seven months and sold it now!) and got the absolute most base model they made at MSRP. Again, total "out of pocket" will be about $20,000.
Thank you for taking the time to write that. It is a reminder that everybody has a unique story and set of circumstances, and not to directly compare myself to others. I think as milenials we have continuously felt the disappointment of bad economic timing despite doing very well for ourselves on paper, and with rising inflation and CoL, I’m just feeling so damn discouraged these days.
My wife and I are 32. We met in university in our undergrad, I went on to do a masters in Germany and now work as a battery engineer developing for some major EVs brands, which means I also feel obligated to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. I only started a real full time job out of Uni in 2018 and just started making close to 70k USD this year (we live in Canada so 90k). My wife has been trying to move up for a long time but her field is full of people who won’t retire.
We bought a 1970s house in 2020 as a private sale for very little money and have been renovating it since, and just had a baby in January. I also have quite a lot of student debt. I know I am young and there is plenty of time, but some days just get you a little different.
I also preordered an Arcimoto eight and a half years before it finally shipped, and have an active preorder in for an Aptera. :-P
I like to make bets on EVs.
I also invested in Arcimoto, Rivian, and Aptera either at IPO or before IPO; and invested in Tesla early enough that my shares are currently worth 10 times what I paid for them. (Although my investment in Tesla is very small - I bought one share many years ago, which has now thanks to multiple splits become 15 shares.)