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Can Electric Vehicles Tow RVs?


electric vehicles

Can Electric Vehicles Tow RVs?

Electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent. Ford just released an all-electric E-Transit that looks promising for van builders and the Class B market. With more than 40 zero-emission vehicles on the market and electric trucks, SUVs, and other styles hitting the market in the next year or two, electric vehicles are set to become more popular to own than gas-powered ones.

It’s all fine and dandy to make an electric vehicle in the shape of a truck, but the question for RVers is, can it tow like a truck? The guys over at the Youtube channel Truck King put that to the test. They interviewed Andy Thomson, the owner of Can-Am RV center located in Ontario, Canada. He has outfitted his very own Tesla Model 3 with a tow package and uses it to tow his 26-foot Airstream.

That’s right, not only is an electric vehicle being used to tow a 6,000 lb trailer, it’s not a truck at all, but the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD car. In the video, Thomson described the work needed to install a towing package on the car and how he deals with the range hit on his travels.

electric vehicles
Andy Thomson installed a tow package on his Tesla Model 3 AWD to tow his Airstream.

With charging time included, Thomson says that in the worst-case scenario, he gets about 100 miles every three hours. One of those hours is charging the car at a charging station. Thomson explained that being able to go into the trailer and grab a bite to eat or rest for a bit makes the drive quite relaxing. Even though it takes a bit longer, he says he can still make it three hundred to four hundred miles a day more.

The Truck King team was given the chance to get behind the wheel and see how the Model 3 towed the Airstream themselves. They seemed quite impressed with the handling, torque, and lack of sway from the low center of gravity. Indeed watching the video showed super responsive lane changes and flawless merging speeds on the freeway.

Howard Elmer from Truck King at one point remarked, “Wow! Is that trailer ever connected? Like it feels like it’s part of the vehicle.” Later he summed up the torque and responsiveness by exclaiming, “Damn, it feels good!”

electric vehicles
The Truck King Team demonstrated some quick lane changes, and the Tesla Model 3 handled them quite well. Little to no sway is seen.

Part of the super responsiveness is due to the fact that electric vehicles have almost instantaneous torque from their electric motors. There is no need for the RPMs to rev up to speed for power. From the moment the pedal is pressed, the electric motor can deliver all the torque you need.

The future of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles’ ability to be a viable alternative to their gas-powered counterparts hinges on them being able to do the things gas-powered cars have been doing for us for decades. If an electric car can tow a 6,000 lb trailer like it’s nothing, the new electric trucks hitting the market in the next year or two will have no problems handling trailers, fifth wheels, and more.

You can watch the full Truck King video and see how well the Tesla Model 3 AWD handles an Airstream for yourself.

Also check out our previous article on Will This Be The Next Class B Camper Trend?

Author Levi Henley Avatar

Levi Henley

Levi Henley and his wife, Natalie, workamp around the country in their 26-foot motorhome. Along with writing for RV magazines, they recently published their first book together, Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It. They share their experiences and RV-related tips on their own blog henleyshappytrails.com as well as videos on their YouTube Channel, also called Henley's Happy Trails.

9 thoughts on “Can Electric Vehicles Tow RVs?

  1. One other thought. You can convert the energy capacity of an electric vehicle and a gas vehicle and use a common parameter – watts. 1 HP is 746 watts of energy, and since energy can not be created or destroyed, unless the electric car charge comes entirely from nuclear plants, solar or wind, the total savings in fossil fuel created energy is nil. The coil, oil, natural gas burned, the BTU’s generated to boil water, make steam and turn turbines, to make the watts you put in your car, or the gas used in another vehicle to create 746HP per watt to turn the wheels, the net savings is minimal.

  2. All you flat landers forget one major thing, folks like to camp in the mountains. Hook up an electric car to a regular trailer and see how far you get in the Rockies or the Appalachians. A forced conversion to electric will kill the current trailer RV business and all those land yachts you see folks pulling will be mother-in-law homes in somebodies back yard. The pop-up camper will make a big comeback for sure, but they have to be a hard side style, i.e., more weight, for those bear and predator camp grounds. Soem will say you don’t need trailer industry like it is, but Thor alone, was 18 Billion with a B back ordered in 2020 and still playing catch up.

    1. All very good points how much are they? I like camping in the wilderness too! Where are the charge stations?

  3. Most of the EV charging places I’ve seen at Walmart, etc. are near the front of the lot. They aren’t really ‘pull through’. How hard is it to find charging locations where you don’t have to unhook your trailer? Or do you have to unhook each time you find a parking space charger?

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