An Airstream & an EV

We have tested our Model X with plenty of towing challenges: 600 miles one way for a summer adventure. Hauling a 100-year-old antique car from Kansas City to Nebraska. And our first experience towing anything with an electric car. All done in the name of finding out IF an electric vehicle can tow. 

It’s safe to say at this point we have proved that an electric vehicle CAN tow, and do a decent job at it (aside from the range issue). But, how much does what you are towing matter? Is one 4,000 pound trailer really that different from another? More specifically, can you go further towing an Airstream than a “regular” camper? Airstream claims their trailers are 20% more efficient for towing. We set out to find out if that was true. 

We searched high and low to locate an Airstream we could rent for our test. While there are Airstreams under 5,000 pounds that can sleep 5, we knew we’d be finding a diamond in the rough to find one we could rent close enough to home for us to get our hands on it. We ended up with a 2018 Bambi 22′ with no bunk we rented from Outdoorsy. No bunk was fine, we just needed the aerodynamics, not the sleeping space. Lucky for us Grandma and Grandpa have plenty of room in their camper for the kids! 

So, how did the Airstream tow? For starters, it was just easy to tow. So easy it was as if it wasn’t behind us most of the time. It’s easy to see around, easy to maneuver, and just simple. The Airstream quickly proved itself to be more efficient. Let’s take a look at the numbers from our trip.  

 

Airstream Trip Stats

Grandview, MO to Rich Hill, MO
Rich Hill, MO to Joplin, Mo
Joplin, MO to Fairland, OK
55.3 Miles Driven
1hr 2min Drive Time
671.0 Wh/mi 
50 MPGe
81º Sunny
ENE 5mph Winds
97-57% State of Charge
52.0 mph Avgerage
87.6 Miles Driven
1hr 44min Drive Time
647.0 Wh/mi 
52 MPGe
82º Sunny
N 6mph Winds
61-3% State of Charge
53.0 mph Avgerage
33.5 Miles Driven
44min Drive Time
640.0 Wh/mi
53 MPGe
89ºF Sunny
N 5mph Winds
87-58% State of Charge
43.0 mph Average

With an average of 800 Wh/mi with our Apex Nano 194 BHS, that means the Airstream is 27% more efficient, meaning Airstream under estimates just exactly how aerodynamic their trailers are when it comes to an EV.  

We have one more towing experience with this camper on our way home. Spoiler alert: we got different results on the next trip. Check back for the conclusion next week! 

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