Recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries revealed last week an electric tow assisted “eStream” trailer concept under its Airstream brand and also a battery-powered RV with a range of up to 300 miles (via Electrek).
The Airstream eStream trailer could be like any other camper that you tow — but this one can be detached and remotely moved around a campsite. That could make maneuvering easier and improve safety. While it may seem similar to such gimmicks as a Tesla’s remote parking feature, the eStream’s electric propulsion enables other advances, such as the ability to synchronize with a towing vehicle to help increase range between recharging.
Nowadays, electric vehicles have expanded range capabilities, but if you’ve ever tried towing a trailer behind a Tesla, you might find it to lose a significant amount of range. The eStream could be a stark improvement for those seeking an all-electric lifestyle out on the open road.
Many campsites offer 240-volt service, where the eStream and an additional EV could be recharged. When not plugged in, the eStream also has solar panels that can regain power to the camper’s 80 kWh battery system (no more diesel generators powering campers).
Thor industries also introduced the Thor Vision Vehicle concept — a Ford Transit van converted to an EV with a futuristic tech-filled interior plus a large tablet-style infotainment system with trip planning and other internet-connected features seen in many modern electric cars.
The Thor Vision also has solar panels, but its surprise power source is a fuel cell that can charge the batteries for extended dry camping periods. Other features include voice control using Alexa, which can do anything from giving a charge status to adjusting lighting and temperature.
Winnebago is another company working on a fully outfitted electric RV van (built on a Ford Transit as well). And although this concept seems realistically ready for production, its 125 miles of range seems ever so anemic for the use-case compared to the Thor Vision’s 300 miles target.
Winnebago's new Transit-based EV camper has a range of 125 miles. Research suggests 54% of new RV buyers prefer to stay within 200 miles. Still, is that enough? https://t.co/QAnvKAmFdK pic.twitter.com/eNhQhDVnCq— Autoblog (@therealautoblog) January 19, 2022
As with all concepts, it remains to be seen when and if the eStream camper and the Thor Vision vehicle reach production — so don’t get too hyped about having that all-electric off-grid lifestyle just yet.