...I suddenly wonder how many miles the average RV is driven per day, when being moved.

I'm seeing people talking about limiting themselves to 6 hours or 300 miles per day, and advice to never do more than 500 miles per day.

Also, how much boondocking is done? (I don't actually care about water and sewer hookups for this, I just care about electricity.)

The reason I'm thinking about it is... how much battery does an electric RV really need?

If people are only doing 300 miles a day, and driving to a campsite with at least electric hookups... shit, 200 miles of EV range is enough!

Start out with a full battery in the morning (having charged at the campsite at 9.6 kW (minus any house power usage) off of a NEMA 14-50 hookup), drive 200 miles, charge to 60-80% at a DC fast charger, drive another 100 miles, done.

Now, boondocking makes this a *lot* harder - you have to carry the energy for all house power usage (minus whatever piss-ant levels of energy you get from rooftop solar) *AND* the energy to get to the next charging station. That means that you may have to take a fast charge shortly before arrival, and go out for charging.

(You could also carry a generator, but the idea here is to get off of fossil fuels! So, electricity demand would be higher than most campers, with electric heat and cooking.)

Of course, cost will be a huge issue here.

Camper vans are not known for amazing aerodynamics, so to get that 200 miles of range, you need a lot of battery. Looks like the Chanje V8100 is claiming 150 miles on the HD-UDDS with 100 kWh of battery (so, probably a lot less range in the real world on the highway).

So, I'm thinking about 200 kWh is about right - 1 kWh/mi. (For comparison, a Tesla Model X 100D is at 390 Wh/mi EPA, and Tesla claims the Semi can do under 2 kWh/mi fully loaded.)

Also optimizing aerodynamics would be critical.

Rooftop AC units are right out - ideal would be a basement heat pump setup. Any retractable awnings would need to be integrated into the body, rather than just hanging off the side. If the design is actually made as a camper rather than as a cargo van adapted to a camper, tapering the roofline above the bedroom will improve aerodynamics massively with little impact to livability.

There is also going to a pop-up roof to minimize frontal area...

@bhtooefr The cars with better range are getting 300 per charge, anyway.

@Ricardus Yeah, I'm thinking more in terms of what range is specifically needed for an RV - how little battery can you get away with?

It looks like general attitudes are that you want to drive shorter distances per day in an RV both due to the stress of driving a larger vehicle, as well as giving the ability to sight-see at the destination, although most of the driving is long distance (so clearly a small battery wouldn't be suited to the application).

@bhtooefr Well.... bigger battery, so...

So far I havent seen anyone talking about an electric RV. Musk is planning to do tractor trailers, but I suppose Winnebago or someone must be doing R&D on this concept.

@Ricardus Winnebago has a concept commercial vehicle based on the Ford F-53 chassis - the basis of a lot of the front-engine Class As - with Motiv Power Systems' (Ford-approved) electric conversion, but it's fairly short range, meant for things like bloodmobiles, and not marketed as an actual RV.

There's also a couple different camper conversions of the Nissan e-NV200 in Europe, but I suspect the distances driven by owners of those are far shorter than any US owner would want.

@Ricardus I do think, if you're OK with having an engine, in the US market, a Pacifica Hybrid would be a very interesting candidate for a Volkswagen Transporter-style camper conversion. The EV range isn't much, but it offsets some gasoline usage, the gasoline hybrid powertrain is decently efficient once the battery runs out, and you end up having an attached genset that's far more efficient than any of the Cummins Onan units found under many campers.

@Ricardus A lot of these thoughts are brought about by the whole thing where people get into van/RV life to live a nomadic, minimalist life... but right now, that's a pretty polluting life (between getting 6-20 MPG depending on how big your RV is, and the rampant use of propane for heating and cooking), and if we're going to stop AGW from getting worse, we need to figure out how to electrify it.

@bhtooefr Absolutely. Can't wait to see the first prototype.

@bhtooefr Oh, you're talking RVs? That's a different matter.

@bhtooefr I roll into the McDonalds exactly 150 miles down the road and pull out a 100ft 120vac extension cord and traipse it from the only table in the store with an outlet to my {RV|car} and blatantly ignore the written suggestions not to stay more than 45 minutes.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Follow friends and discover new ones. Publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. This server is run by the main developers of the Mastodon project. Everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!