Like the automotive world, the camping world will transition to battery power in the near or intermediate future. The big brands plan to be ahead of this curve. Winnebago recently showed off an electric RV concept, and now Airstream has a new eStream concept – which, with its battery-electric powertrain, looks like the thrilling electric camping trailer of the future.
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In Drive mode, the eStream can help propel itself. This capability reduces the trailer load for the tow vehicle, which improves the range of electric cars like the Rivian R1T – which doesn’t have a great range when towing – or the gas mileage of a truck conventional combustion. Electric motors can also help distribute the weight across the hitch, eliminating the need for a special weight-distributing hitch.
The eStream can also drive itself in low speed situations. This feature allows you to steer the trailer remotely via smartphone in complex low-speed maneuvers like coupling and uncoupling, reversing into a parking spot or maneuvering around a campsite. This feature takes a lot of the stress out of owning and operating a camping trailer.
The eStream really seems like a concept at this point. Airstream offers few details on production specs, pricing — conventional Airstream trailers can get expensive — and availability timing.
A key factor not mentioned is the weight of the eStream. Lithium-ion batteries are heavy. So it’s debatable how efficient an eStream trailer would be on the highway compared to just towing a lighter trailer without the batteries. Although Airstream uses a Tesla Model X for towing, which would suggest the eStream would weigh less than 5,000 pounds.
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