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Electric caravan


Marty_d
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Ok, now here's a thought I have to run past you all.  It may be somewhat influenced by a nice Shiraz, but as I was camping in Dover on Thursday night I had an idea.

 

Now a caravan is a fairly large trailer with a flat bottom and two (or 4, or 6) wheels.  Usually to tow a big caravan you have to have a big tow vehicle.

 

But what if the caravan had the same battery pack as a Tesla, and the wheels had an electric motor on them?  It could be controlled from the tow vehicle so that when you accelerate, it accelerates, when you brake, it brakes, and if it had a wheel at each corner you could even have steering.  In fact you'd hardly need a physical connection apart from an electrical/data cable!

 

Plus of course the whole roof could be solar to recharge the battery on those sunny days.

 

Gone would be the day when you need a Landcruiser to pull your 30-foot caravan, you could have a Nissan Leaf out the front guiding the behemoth.

 

What do you think?

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Er.. I would steer clear of that Shiraz.... Watch John Catogan on yootoob and he will provide the answers (search his caravan towing clips).

 

Basically, you would have to engineer stability into the system, which is the purpose of the towbar..

 

Then, you would have to build in an drive/power train, beef up the suspension, braking system, and steering system.. and suddenly you have a slf-driving carvan, which equals a self driving car...

 

What if the batteries go flat, there is a disconnect of the control cable (you would probably want to go wireless anyway), etc..

 

The days will be gone when you need a separate landcruiser to pull a van because self-driving tech will prob do it for you... but you may need two "drivers" and they will be called electric campervans...

 

Having said that, not a bad thought, though...

 

 

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Marty, with all due respect, if you were that bored down at Dover, you should have turned your mind to more productive (and practical) conumdrums.

 

And you should have come up the hill to us, where I'd ply you with enough shiraz/pinot/merlot, to wash such silly thoughts from your tormented mind.

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3 hours ago, Marty_d said:

Ok, now here's a thought I have to run past you all.  It may be somewhat influenced by a nice Shiraz, but as I was camping in Dover on Thursday night I had an idea.

 

Now a caravan is a fairly large trailer with a flat bottom and two (or 4, or 6) wheels.  Usually to tow a big caravan you have to have a big tow vehicle.


But what if the caravan had the same battery pack as a Tesla, and the wheels had an electric motor on them? 

Marty ignore these critics; they haven’t been fortunate enough to benefit from the creativity spike generated by your special Shiraz…

 

Seriously, your idea has merit. Whynot have an electric drive assist on your caravan? The engineering wouldn’t be too hard, and would reduce the load on the tow vehicle and could improve road stability.

 

I’m currently building a camper on a large trailer and will soon be fitting electric brakes. While designing it I investigated a system similar to yours- an ekectric drive to the traiker wheels to assist in boggy or steep locations. It would also have a remote control to assist with manoevering the heavy trailer into campsites.

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A long time ago, there were pto shaft driven trailers. Lots simpler than these new ideas.

It is presently cheaper to buy a slightly bigger tow vehicle than to invent a electric power assisted trailer.

And Marty, for the distances you presently go, your tow vehicle is quite capable to tow a relatively light pop top van.

Maybe it would help if the extra stuff (camping bloat) got weight limited, everything would be ok without you having to resort to all this shiraz powered design work

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The problem is the number of bums, and bicycles to go under them, that come camping.  

There's 5 of us and the kids' bikes are now almost adult sized, in fact the boys bikes are as big as ours.

We bought a flash ISI bike carrier which goes on the draw bar of our Jayco Eagle Outback.  Trouble with that is, even without bikes on it it's engineered fairly heavily so the weight on the towball was hitting 150kg.  Add say 60kg of bikes to that and it was too much.

So I moved the tube with the metal poles down to below the rear bumper, lost the 20L water jerrycan next to the gas bottle, and bought a cheap 2-bike carrier that goes on the spare wheel at the back.  Now we have the kids 3 bikes on the front carrier and my wife and mine on the back.  Haven't done the weights again but it seemed to tow well and the fuel economy was a bit better than last time.   
Also packed heavy items like the BBQ, boxed water etc down the back as far as possible.

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A little Suprise.

The UK caravan And trailer,s

ARE NOT taxed like the tow vehicle. 

Australia taxes everything it can get, even taxing ' Federal tax ', with GST.

Except push cycles And their trailers, even through car trailers cannot carry people. Cycle trailers can !.

spacesailor

 

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17 hours ago, spacesailor said:

A little Suprise.

The UK caravan And trailer,s

ARE NOT taxed like the tow vehicle. 

Australia taxes everything it can get, even taxing ' Federal tax ', with GST.

Except push cycles And their trailers, even through car trailers cannot carry people. Cycle trailers can !.

spacesailor

 

Quite true, Spacey...

 

No stamp duty on used cars and I think no VAT either if the VAT was paid when new.

 

 

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On that show called american pickers, they came across one of those gulf stream caravans which had a motor to drive it around in. There's lots of vans and motorhomes cruising round that are fully self sufficient in power, using lifepo4 batteries.

 

My old 78 Bedford motorhome with an Isuzu engine can stay away from civilisation for a couple of weeks, it has 3kw solar, 480ah lifepo4 and runs a/c, induction cooking/gas oven, big tv, 2 little tvs, laptops, phones, big Fridge and freezer. A/c, fridge and freezer are all inverter tehcnology, which uses about half the energy standard appliances use to run and the isuzu runs on veggie oil, so costs about $2 a day to run no matter the klms we do and also carries 1000lt of veggie.

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