Towing Airstream Classic

azbill

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I have three trailers, (boat, horse, flatbed) all in the range of 5000-7000 lbs. I only use those within about 50 miles of my home, so even a hit of 50% range is no big deal. But if I were taking longer trips with a travel trailer, I would worry about the hassle of having to unhitch and re-hitch the trailer each time I needed a fast charge. The vast majority of chargers are in parking lots without any room for a trailer. If you look at the Tesla Superchargers, everyone backs in to the stations, so the trailer has to be unhitched.

Also related to this, does anyone know if they will have charging ports on both sides of the truck? All of the higher KW new DC fast chargers also have very short cables, which makes it more of a hassle to park the right direction, depending on which charger is available (or in some cases ICE vehicles in the way).
 

electruck

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Can't recall where but I've also seen mention of pull-through charging stations for those that are towing. With Model X and others such as Rivian on the horizon capable of towing, we'll definitely need to have those around. I can see where they wouldn't have been included in early phases of charger network build out but it's something that needs to be addressed in the next 12-18 months.
 

ElectricTrucking

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Fast Lane Truck on YouTube did an extensive study on towing with A model X but they used tesla Chargers to see about difficulty with charging while towing. At times they had to disconect. I don't think any charging was Electrify America.
 
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steilkurve

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I’ve had to unhitch to charge my X while towing our current 22’ AS a few times. I’ve also been lucky and visited empty SuperChargers where I pulled up sideways and did not have to unhitch (stayed by the rig to move it if needed of course). Mostly though, we charge at the camp site. Even those with only 15 amps give me what I need for the next leg if staying for a few days. In rare cases, once set up at our camp site, we travel with the X to a nearby charging station and try to marry that with sightseeing, eating out or grocery shopping. Mostly happens when we need the AC in the Airstream which does not run off the trailer‘s batteries. Takes some planning but totally doable.

What will make or brake Rivian as a towing vehicle IMO is their charging infrastructure. You need easy and prevalent charging options for this to work. Even though I charge at campgrounds a lot, you do need to charge up on the road from time to time and you can’t be hunting for charging stalls that few and far between.
 

azbill

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I’ve had to unhitch to charge my X while towing our current 22’ AS a few times. I’ve also been lucky and visited empty SuperChargers where I pulled up sideways and did not have to unhitch (stayed by the rig to move it if needed of course). Mostly though, we charge at the camp site. Even those with only 15 amps give me what I need for the next leg if staying for a few days. In rare cases, once set up at our camp site, we travel with the X to a nearby charging station and try to marry that with sightseeing, eating out or grocery shopping. Mostly happens when we need the AC in the Airstream which does not run off the trailer‘s batteries. Takes some planning but totally doable.

What will make or brake Rivian as a towing vehicle IMO is their charging infrastructure. You need easy and prevalent charging options for this to work. Even though I charge at campgrounds a lot, you do need to charge up on the road from time to time and you can’t be hunting for charging stalls that few and far between.
Unfortunately a vast majority of EA chargers are not set up like the Tesla Super Chargers, they have most of them with two stations with angle parking on each side. There are a few where they are all in a row, but not very many, and even those tend to be in crowded parking lots. Then if you block them and a car comes in to charge, you need to be kind and get out of the way, as you stated.

I have seen pictures of proposed stations where they are more like gas stations, but I doubt these will be widely available for at least ten years or more. Look how long it has taken EA to build out the current infrastructure, it is still far from complete.

I did see a picture of some new proposed Tesla Super Chargers that were set up as drive through ones for Quartzsite Arizona. I think they plan on replacing the existing ones there.
 

CappyJax

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I really hope Rivian includes a 30 amp plug for powering RV's. Although I am building a system on my RV that won't require that much amperage since I am installing four Tesla modules and an inverter. I should be able to run the AC for 10 hours straight with no sun available. With sun, I should get about 15 hours. But, I plan to charge it on the go with a 24V alternator. The Rivian won't provide that option, so it will have to be solar to charge it, or at a park. Or lower amperage from the Rivian 120 outlets. But the whole idea is to avoid the parks to save money.

I must say that the technology for travel trailers is lagging a great deal. We should have all electric, regenerative braking, large solar panel systems, etc. etc.
 
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steilkurve

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Unfortunately a vast majority of EA chargers are not set up like the Tesla Super Chargers, they have most of them with two stations with angle parking on each side. There are a few where they are all in a row, but not very many, and even those tend to be in crowded parking lots. Then if you block them and a car comes in to charge, you need to be kind and get out of the way, as you stated.

I have seen pictures of proposed stations where they are more like gas stations, but I doubt these will be widely available for at least ten years or more. Look how long it has taken EA to build out the current infrastructure, it is still far from complete.

I did see a picture of some new proposed Tesla Super Chargers that were set up as drive through ones for Quartzsite Arizona. I think they plan on replacing the existing ones there.
There are a few Tesla SuperChargers that are pull through. Nearly not enough but they exist.
 
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steilkurve

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I really hope Rivian includes a 30 amp plug for powering RV's. Although I am building a system on my RV that won't require that much amperage since I am installing four Tesla modules and an inverter. I should be able to run the AC for 10 hours straight with no sun available. With sun, I should get about 15 hours. But, I plan to charge it on the go with a 24V alternator. The Rivian won't provide that option, so it will have to be solar to charge it, or at a park. Or lower amperage from the Rivian 120 outlets. But the whole idea is to avoid the parks to save money.

I must say that the technology for travel trailers is lagging a great deal. We should have all electric, regenerative braking, large solar panel systems, etc. etc.
I agree. Solar is optional on most and included batteries are anemic. Could be much better.
 

CappyJax

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I agree. Solar is optional on most and included batteries are anemic. Could be much better.
Yeah, I am going to have 800W of solar, and I think I can squeeze in another 2 100W panels. But if they laid out the roof with some consideration for solar, I could probably have 1800W easily.

And yeah, installed batteries are 1.2kWh of useable energy. That might last one cold night of running the furnace if I am lucky. 16kWh with 800W of solar should insure I can stay out as long as I have propane. Probably 3 weeks.
 
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