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Old 05-05-2023, 12:03 PM   #1
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EV RV combo owners check in. Whatcha drivin and whatcha pullin. 😊

Hi folks. We are currently pulling a T@B400 with our tesla but looking a few years down the road to when the Cybertruck arrives and what we might switch to then. Both the Airstream Basecamp 20 and an Escape have popped up on our radar…and maybe a 21 foot Bigfoot.

Anyway. We have toured all over Canada and extensively in BC with our EV RV combo and are wondering about others experiences with EV RV combos. Tesla, Audi, Ford Lightning, Rivian etc. We are super happy with our current combo but if or when we start bringing electric bikes with us we’ll need a different setup.

We are packing tomorrow for our first trip of the year although it will be mostly just a post de-winterize toon shakeout at Bear Creek provincial park for 4 days

Safe travels all. Here is a shot or two of our combo.





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Old 05-05-2023, 01:21 PM   #2
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You might want to consider an older Escape 5.0 single axle. The lighter weight of the older and smaller single axle 5th wheel combined with the better aerodynamics of the 5th wheel over a pull-behind trailer would probably be a nice choice for an EV pickup. I'm not sure if the cyber truck will have enough bed space for this, but its worth looking at.



I cant see any bigfoot being on the list of acceptable EV towed trailers. Way too much frontal area and weight.
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Old 05-05-2023, 01:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Chanberman. Yah. We noticed the Bigfoots are pretty wide.

Thanks for the info on the escape. So many choices. Glad we have a few years before the truck arrives. .
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Old 05-05-2023, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamberman View Post
... combined with the better aerodynamics of the 5th wheel over a pull-behind trailer ....
IMO gross frontal area has a bigger impact on total aerodynamic drag than the 'shape' of real-world travel trailer rigs. I might be wrong but I suspect that the net total drag of even an Escape 5.0 @ ~10ft high will be greater than an Escape bumper-pull @ ~9ft high.

IOW, though it's a very difficult thing to estimate for a complex shape, I seriously doubt that the difference in rig "Cd" (aka 'coefficient of drag', the factor pertaining to 'shape') will offset the greater frontal area in the equation of total drag. And of course, total drag increases exponentially with speed.

The Drag Equation.
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Old 05-05-2023, 07:02 PM   #5
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IMO gross frontal area has a bigger impact on total aerodynamic drag than the 'shape' of real-world travel trailer rigs. I might be wrong but I suspect that the net total drag of even an Escape 5.0 @ ~10ft high will be greater than an Escape bumper-pull @ ~9ft high.
That Escape bumper pull is only ~ 8' tall except the A/C unit, which has a fairly small profile.
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Old 05-05-2023, 07:07 PM   #6
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That Escape bumper pull is only ~ 8' tall except the A/C unit, which has a fairly small profile.
Yepper, contributing to my point.
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Old 05-05-2023, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
IMO gross frontal area has a bigger impact on total aerodynamic drag than the 'shape' of real-world travel trailer rigs. I might be wrong but I suspect that the net total drag of even an Escape 5.0 @ ~10ft high will be greater than an Escape bumper-pull @ ~9ft high.

IOW, though it's a very difficult thing to estimate for a complex shape, I seriously doubt that the difference in rig "Cd" (aka 'coefficient of drag', the factor pertaining to 'shape') will offset the greater frontal area in the equation of total drag. And of course, total drag increases exponentially with speed.

The Drag Equation.
It really depends on the airflow between the tow vehicle and the trailer. If the airflow from the tow vehicle goes around the trailer it effectively reduces the frontal area of the trailer.

When I first purchased my Escape I had a much higher MPG hit than I was expecting. Significantly less MPGs when towing, and a couple MPGs less than with my previous RV trailer.
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I purchased AirTabs which helped keep the airflow from curling in behind my van and keep it going straight back over the trailer. My MPGs improved in line with my previous RV trailer. The AirTabs make no MPG difference when not towing.
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Old 05-05-2023, 07:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
It really depends on the airflow between the tow vehicle and the trailer. If the airflow from the tow vehicle goes around the trailer it effectively reduces the frontal area of the trailer.

When I first purchased my Escape I had a much higher MPG hit than I was expecting. Significantly less MPGs when towing, and a couple MPGs less than with my previous RV trailer.
Attachment 68205
I purchased AirTabs which helped keep the airflow from curling in behind my van and keep it going straight back over the trailer. My MPGs improved in line with my previous RV trailer. The AirTabs make no MPG difference when not towing.
Our current T@B400 has the air conditioner in the basement so the top is fairly smooth. But there is too much air turbulence between the car and the trailer. There is little one can do about that.

Really range hasnít been an issue for us as we tour a lot which generally means short travel days and usually a couple or three days In each place. But on our northern ontario section on our cross country trip we were charging every couple hours for 20 to 30 minutes. Not a big deal for those few days but Iím sure a more aerodynamic combo would have resulted in less charging. Meh. Most of the time we tour so not a big deal for us. And in the BC mountains speed is often reduced so aerodynamics plays less of a role.

Cheers.
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Old 05-05-2023, 08:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Centex View Post

IOW, though it's a very difficult thing to estimate for a complex shape,

If these trailers were powering themselves down the road with nothing in front of them it would be an easy thing to figure out. Its the complex shape and aerodynamic coupling of the two vehicles combined that makes this more difficult to figure out. Yes the 5.0 is taller, but its also much better drafted aerodynamically by the tow vehicle.



A truck with an open bed and no camper cover pulling a trailer several feet further rearward from the TV may feel the full 8+ feet of height from the trailer. Where the 5.0 SA with no lift kit may sit close enough to the truck that drafting allows it to only feel a portion of the full trailer frontal area.


I don't know, just theorizing, I'd love to see a test of this though....
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Old 05-06-2023, 02:21 AM   #10
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I suspect the 21 Bigfoot tongue weight would exceed the teslas capacity. That said, higher capacity ev trucks are coming rapidly
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Old 05-06-2023, 03:16 AM   #11
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I suspect the 21 Bigfoot tongue weight would exceed the teslas capacity. That said, higher capacity ev trucks are coming rapidly
hah, a larger Bigfoot is definitely well into F250/F350 territory. or Chevy/Dodge 2500/3500.
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Old 05-06-2023, 09:50 AM   #12
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I suspect the 21 Bigfoot tongue weight would exceed the teslas capacity. That said, higher capacity ev trucks are coming rapidly
I might not have explained well. The Bigfoot and others are considerations if we get the Cybertruck someday. We wouldn’t tow anything other than our T@B with our Tesla.

I’m sure a Bigfoot 21 would go easy on a Cybertruck.
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Old 05-06-2023, 10:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Downsized View Post
I might not have explained well. The Bigfoot and others are considerations if we get the Cybertruck someday. We wouldnít tow anything other than our T@B with our Tesla.

Iím sure a Bigfoot 21 would go easy on a Cybertruck.
We dropped a full 2 mpg moving from our 5.0 to our Bigfoot 25RQ. I've talked to a couple of owners of 17' Bigfoots and their gas mileage is the same. It still comes down to frontal area and a smooth airflow. Being a full 1 foot wider and a little taller it's not the most aerodynamic. With EV it still comes down to range anxiety.

Which will be released sooner, the Cybertruck or the 23 foot Escape?

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 05-06-2023, 10:11 AM   #14
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We dropped a full 2 mpg moving from our 5.0 to our Bigfoot 25RQ. I've talked to a couple of owners of 17' Bigfoots and their gas mileage is the same. It still comes down to frontal area and a smooth airflow. Being a full 1 foot wider and a little taller it's not the most aerodynamic. With EV it still comes down to range anxiety.

Which will be released sooner, the Cybertruck or the 23 foot Escape?

Enjoy,

Perry
Yah. Trailer profile and speed have a huge impact on range with any fuel.

We have toured all over the country and canít ever remember having any kind of range anxiety. One needs to use the instrumentation though.

I suspect the first cybertrucks will be sold and in the road in the fall of 2023 but tesla has already said the production ramp up will not take place till 2024. We are pretty far down the list so Iím sure it will be a few years.
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Old 05-06-2023, 10:17 AM   #15
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I might not have explained well. The Bigfoot and others are considerations if we get the Cybertruck someday. We wouldnít tow anything other than our T@B with our Tesla.

Iím sure a Bigfoot 21 would go easy on a Cybertruck.
Yes I expect so
The Oliver may have better aerodynamics looking at it, but I doubt if any of these manufacturers really take it into account much. No budget for serious wind tunnel analysis etc. Being in BC however the Bigfoots superior insulation is desirable, of course it comes with a weight penalty.

My age will probably preclude the move into serious electric trailer towing, I still think itís 10 to 15 years out.
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Old 05-06-2023, 10:35 AM   #16
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Yes I expect so
The Oliver may have better aerodynamics looking at it, but I doubt if any of these manufacturers really take it into account much. No budget for serious wind tunnel analysis etc. Being in BC however the Bigfoots superior insulation is desirable, of course it comes with a weight penalty.

My age will probably preclude the move into serious electric trailer towing, I still think it’s 10 to 15 years out.
Yah. There is little to no consideration of aerodynamics from manufacturers now. But I think going forward that will change. Our T@B 400 is 7’6” wide and 8’4” high and although it’s reasonable popular with the Tesla crowd the smaller T@B320 which is 6 inches narrower and 7 inches shorter is considerably more efficient behind the tesla owners that are pulling it. For us the extra 10 or 15 percent of range is not worth losing the comforts of the bigger trailer but I’m sure it is for some. Everybody travels differently of course.

Safari is making an effort to improve aerodynamics but we were lukewarm on their interiors.
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Old 05-06-2023, 02:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
It really depends on the airflow between the tow vehicle and the trailer. If the airflow from the tow vehicle goes around the trailer it effectively reduces the frontal area of the trailer.

When I first purchased my Escape I had a much higher MPG hit than I was expecting. Significantly less MPGs when towing, and a couple MPGs less than with my previous RV trailer.
Attachment 68205
I purchased AirTabs which helped keep the airflow from curling in behind my van and keep it going straight back over the trailer. My MPGs improved in line with my previous RV trailer. The AirTabs make no MPG difference when not towing.
I had a PM asking about my AirTabs and since other people might be interested and I couldn't figure out how to add photos to a PM I figured I'd answer here too.

Where did you place the air tabs on your rig?

I ended up placing them above the taillights and over the top partially on the curve of the back of my Sprinter. The leading flat part is where the majority of the adhesion is. I tried bending some to match the curve and ended up trashing them. I contacted the manufacturer and he said that on the curve was fine. But, that ice might pull them up. Only issue I've had was having to replace a couple I pulled off backing my van so they caught on an evergreen tree.

I had originally planned on running them all the way down, but, cosmetically it would have looked goofy. And where I placed them the top of the van starts to curve in. So, I decided to try them just there and see if it worked and it did.
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How many did you use?


I ended up using 32 but had purchased more since originally I planned on running them all the way down the side so I had extras when I messed some up and to replace the ones that got pulled off.

You need one AirTab every 4" and the kit includes a nice spacer tool to install them.

Any on your Escape?

No, since they didn't make any difference with fuel mileage when not towing, I figured they weren't worth putting on the Escape. If anyone decides to put them on their Escape. If they did make a difference I'd buy more, but, doubt they would.

Tom
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Old 05-06-2023, 03:25 PM   #18
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I've had a large wheelbase F250 truck for a few years now. its a 'supercab' (thats Ford's cab-n-half) with a 8 foot long bed. Its about 21 feet bumper to hitch. My trailer is 21 feet too. hah!

Pros and cons, pros and cons.
Pro, it tows really really well, like i can barely tell teh trailer is there. my gas mileage is nearly the same if I'm not towing. its very dependent on speed. if I go 55-60, I get 15MPH. if I go 65-70, I get sub 13 MPG.
Pro, Its pretty comfortable riding, especially when heavily loaded
Cons the truck has a huge turning circle on its own. and when you have a trailer, that makes it even harder.
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Old 11-28-2023, 01:32 PM   #19
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We just picked up our Rivian R1S Electric SUV (Dual motor, Max pack) a couple of weeks ago. One of my main concerns was towing since you hear so much negative about it. So, I did a trial run today with my Escape-19 trailer for 100 miles. Conditions were challenging: temperature 32F, high winds, combination of divided highways (speed 60 mph) and hilly back roads. It turned out much better than expected. Range was 200-225 for a full charge, which I consider to be very workable. It was totally stable when trucks drove by (in contrast to my previous tow vehicle). Handling on hills/curves was outstanding. Regenerative braking and integrated brake controller worked flawlessly. With this low weight, I didn't need a weight distribution hitch and was very happy to leave it off. That will be a big help if I have to disconnect for charging. The fact that it'll be perfectly silent in campgrounds is another plus. I can't wait to take it from Pennsylvania to Florida in February.
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Old 11-28-2023, 02:05 PM   #20
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We just picked up our Rivian R1S Electric SUV (Dual motor, Max pack) a couple of weeks ago. One of my main concerns was towing since you hear so much negative about it. So, I did a trial run today with my Escape-19 trailer for 100 miles. Conditions were challenging: temperature 32F, high winds, combination of divided highways (speed 60 mph) and hilly back roads. It turned out much better than expected. Range was 200-225 for a full charge, which I consider to be very workable. It was totally stable when trucks drove by (in contrast to my previous tow vehicle). Handling on hills/curves was outstanding. Regenerative braking and integrated brake controller worked flawlessly. With this low weight, I didn't need a weight distribution hitch and was very happy to leave it off. That will be a big help if I have to disconnect for charging. The fact that it'll be perfectly silent in campgrounds is another plus. I can't wait to take it from Pennsylvania to Florida in February.
Great report on the Rivian. Thanks.

Wife is all cranked up about the Cybertruck event on Thursday. She is like 250,000 down the list to get oneÖbut sheís already planning. Until then weíll just keep towing with our tesla model Y.
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