Airstream has a very interesting exhibit at the 2022 Florida RV SuperShow called eStream Travel Trailer Concept.
The "e" in the name is a clear reference to electrification as this camper trailer is as modern as it gets underneath its shiny, retro-style polished aluminum body. Thor Industries, the parent company of Airstream, says the eStream is "the future of electrified travel adventure," which may be a hint that a production version is being considered.
Described as a first-of-its-kind concept, the eStream is built on Thor’s exclusive towable platform that integrates a high-voltage, pure electric drivetrain co-developed with ZF which powers the trailer’s wheels. Because of that, it takes some of the burden of the tow vehicle, improving its efficiency—whether it’s paired to a gasoline-powered or (especially) an electric vehicle.
The concept trailer features dual independent motors (one for each wheel) producing a total of 242 horsepower and 132 lb-ft (179 Nm) of torque. The motors are powered by up to two lithium-ion battery packs with a combined capacity of 80 kWh. It must weigh significantly more than a traditional trailer given the self-contained electric powertrain, so we can’t help but wonder how much of the electric boost is offset by the added weight.
"Our proprietary technology addresses the top concern of electric vehicle users—range limitation. Studies have established that electric vehicles experience a significant loss of range even when towing a small trailer. The technology we co-developed creates a synchronized relationship between the trailer and the tow vehicle, enabling the trailer to move in harmony with the tow vehicle, reducing the pulling effect required from the tow vehicle. This, in turn, dramatically improves the possible range of the combination. In essence, we've turned the trailer into an electric vehicle. The technology is game-changing for our industry and others."
Josef Hjelmaker, Thor’s Chief Innovation Officer
Gallery: Airstream eStream Travel Trailer Concept
We’ll probably learn more about that when (we hope there is no "if") the eStream evolves into a production model, but until then you should know that the electric drivetrain also has "the ability to charge much faster than low-voltage alternatives, providing the faster recharging experience electric vehicle consumers demand." No charging specs are provided, though.
Airstream does note that the RV can be remotely parked in Move mode without the tow vehicle, eliminating the stress of hitching up and backing into a campsite.
Needless to say, the battery pack also makes the eStream an “excellent off-grid vehicle,” according to Airstream. It's fitted with 900 watts’ worth of solar panels that feed energy to the batteries and other onboard amenities, allowing users to live off the grid for up to two weeks.
Speaking of amenities, the eStream is said to enable “smart home technology and robust digital connectivity.” Airstream says the connectivity allows for remote monitoring of the RV’s systems and instant online diagnostics when an issue arises.
Users can also plan their trip using digital tools powered by Roadpass Digital, which optimize the vehicle’s range and help the user navigate their journey. For example, the digital tools let users see how many miles before the next charge and find charging stations from their phone.
All we need now from Airstream is a production start date for the eStream electric camper trailer because no one goes through that much trouble for a concept without having a production plan in place.
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