The future of RVs

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Has anyone heard skuttlebutt on all electric RV development? With all the talk by major car makers of going all electric, even with trucks, I’m wondering if this is going to trickle down to larger van and bus chassis types as well?
Already started - there are prototypes and limited production models. For example, Winnebago already builds electric motorhomes for commercial applications. Electric vans will soon spawn some Class B electric RVs as well. How fast they catch on, if ever, is hard to guess. The prices will initially be high, a major factor in near all RV sales, and recharging considerations will limit the appeal to certain categories of RVers.

There has been considerable electric RV discussion here and elsewhere, so search for those and follow if interested. Here's one:
 
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House Husband

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If we can't provide electricity in Texas during a cold spell, how are we going to get enough electricity to power an onslaught of electric vehicles? Our green power grid has a long way to go.

Richard
 

DonTom

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I think the "logical" convenience of electric is going to be a swapable battery.
An old idea that never caught on, because these days, most EVs charge fast enough for most people, other than those anti-EV'ers who always are looking for something to complain about with any electric vehicle.

IMO, even fast charging is mostly a non-issue in a country (USA) where most people drive less than 40 miles per day. EV's save time for most people by never having to charge or get gas on the road. Most people plug in when they get home and start the charging perhaps around midnight when the rates are lower.

Not many have a gas station at home!

BTW, the GPS is used even for charging. Set it once per location. The start times can all be different. Any new location will be instant charging until set.

The GPS is used for everything possible. Such as putting the mirrors in to fit in a very tight spot. The next time you get there, you touch nothing and they go in by themselves.

Same with the automatic garage door opener. These are all options that can be switched off.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

DonTom

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If we can't provide electricity in Texas during a cold spell,
It's not that they can't. They could if they designed Texas for cold weather.

Texas was not designed for such cold weather. But Nevada is. Here in Auburn, it is NOT.

Let's say it gets 19 below zero in Reno (has happened) as well as here in Auburn, CA (never has happened yet). What happens in Reno to my water pipes? Nothing at all. They are all several feet under ground.

Even Las Vegas is set for cold weather. In fact, I have had my outside RV water line freeze one time since I have owned an RV. That was in January many years ago, while in Las Vegas.

What happens here in Auburn at 19 below zero? Water pipes will break for sure.

Electricity is much the same way. Why waste money on extreme cold weather stuff & capacity in places like Texas where in never gets that cold . . . . . .

BTW, when electricity is out, you also cannot pump gasoline. I have seen that happen here in Auburn, but for fire safety.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Lou Schneider

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BTW, when electricity is out, you also cannot pump gasoline. I have seen that happen here in Auburn, but for fire safety.

-Don- Auburn, CA
Sure you can. A few years back I went up the Oregon coast after a storm knocked out power along much of it. Most towns had at least one gas station open with the pumps operating from a 7-8 Kw open frame generator connected to the electrical panel. Minimal cost. All it takes is a little foresight.
 

DonTom

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Sure you can. A few years back I went up the Oregon coast after a storm knocked out power along much of it. Most towns had at least one gas station open with the pumps operating from a 7-8 Kw open frame generator connected to the electrical panel. Minimal cost. All it takes is a little foresight.
Same type of deal. There, they must have a lot of such storms, so they have backup generators. I discovered around here they don't have any at all, so all the gas stations were closed during the power outage. Perhaps some now do, just as home generators got more common here since then. Perhaps some gas stations as well.

But my backup plan has either been my RV (when here) or my Reno homes.

In fact, it was better to have an EV here during that time, here is why:

The first place where they had electricity going east, was at Cisco Grove on I-80.

18 wheelers are jammed up there trying to get diesel. Big line down the freeway. Almost as bad with the cars trying to get gasoline. Big long lines, as it was the first gas or diesel available more many miles.

But they also have several charge stations there at Cisco Grove. Just drive right up to them, there was no line for charging. Bt I am not sure which would be the longest wait, but at least then a person could walk around instead of being stuck in a car waiting.

Likewise, generators could have saved some lives in Texas.

They just were not prepared for the unexpected. Same could happen here in Auburn.

"Minimal cost. All it takes is a little foresight."

Agreed!

-Don- Auburn, CA
 
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Ex-Calif

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An old idea that never caught on, because these days, most EVs charge fast enough for most people, other than those anti-EV'ers who always are looking for something to complain about with any electric vehicle.
That would be true if "most people" drove EVs. Most people don't drive EVs and there is a reason.

I personally don't like range limitations, waiting to charge and the issue of disposing of used batteries if I keep the vehicle too long...
 

DonTom

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Most people don't drive EVs and there is a reason.
The main reason is they never owned one and never discovered all the countless advantages.

I wait about 30 seconds at home to charge, as do most EVers. It charges when I am asleep. 30 seconds is all the time it takes to plug in. If I am going for a very long trip, it will be my RV, not my EV anyway. And I wish they made decent E-RVs these days (with the charging infrastructure) as I would then own one. But that's still a ways off.

I have often wondered how many people would complain if modern EVs were the first they had and then ICE vehicles came on to the market later. Checking & changing oil, going to gas stations, countless other maintenance issues, smog checks, etc.

With the possible exception of an RV, I will never consider buying another ICE vehicle for the rest of my life.

But all the ICE vehicles I now own (several), I will keep until they crap out.

About the EV batteries, they normally never just "die". What normally happens is the range becomes less and the charging becomes FASTER. IOW, a 75 KHW battery slowly degrades to much like a new 60 KWH battery after many years of use. Then 50, 40, 30 KWH, etc. but with the faster charge times to full.

It's much like a gas tank getting smaller as it ages. Less, range, but fills up faster. So when do we consider the EV batteries to be bad?

Tesla uses 70% of range for their eight year (or 120,000 miles) battery warranty. Zero motorcycles use 80% for five years, unlimited miles. But even when the batteries are down to 20%, in perhaps 30 years, vehicle can still be used for 66 miles (my Model 3 LR) which is more than most people drive in a day. And replacement batteries will be a lot cheaper by then (most likely).

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Larry N.

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The main reason is they never owned one and never discovered all the countless advantages.

Duplicate my Jeep's capabilities and I'll likely get that EV replacement next time I buy. That includes what happens if I run out of fuel 15 miles back in an off-road situation. Duplicate the lack of car payment and low insurance and (in Colorado) low license plate costs for my wife's 2002 Mercury Marquis, along with its passenger capacity and comfort with the occasional grandkid excursion, and we'll consider replacing it, but it's likely her last car, with only 60,000 miles on it (hoses and belts and tires recently replaced).

A couple of years ago I test drove a Kia hybrid (the dealer provided 24 hours with it), and there were many nice things about it, but the vehicle is small, and it had 14,000 fancy things on the dash/instrument panel I'll never use (perhaps a slight exaggeration), and that my wife would have trouble getting to know, including the lane following and other driver "assist" functions, which often got in the way.

In other words, there ARE, INDEED, other reasons, including not perceiving some of the things you see as advantages in the same way that you do, not having the recharging facilities that you do, and having completely different driving needs.
 

DonTom

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and it had 14,000 fancy things on the dash/instrument panel I'll never use
That is certainly true with my Tesla. It is much like a SmartPhone on wheels. I doubt if I know 20% of the goodies available. But not necessary to simply drive the car.

And some of the functions I do know are rather ridiculous as it is.

Duplicate my Jeep's capabilities and I'll likely get that EV replacement next time I buy.

But yes, I agree. There is no perfect vehicle for everybody, even among the ICE vehicles. I own two old Jeeps myself. Two Grand Cherokees. A 1997 (5.2L) and a 1999(4.7L) Laredo Limited. The 4.7L out preforms the 5.2L in every possible way that I can tell.

That includes what happens if I run out of fuel 15 miles back in an off-road situation.

You can carry portable charging for some EVs just as you can carry spare gasoline.

-Don- Auburn, CA

 

IBTripping

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I have a friend who has a flip phone. He doesn't see a need for all this new fangled technology including email, texting, the Internet, and FaceBook. He sees a phone only as an appliance that you make and receive phone calls. I do tease him occasionally. Did I say that he doesn't like change from what he already knows.

The fact is that the number of EV charging stations is rapidly expanding even in rural areas. I'm a bit of a car nut so I try to keep up on developments. Here's an article I recently read about a coalition of EV charging companies expanding the EV charging infrastructure in 16 states in the East, South, and Midwest including Texas: https://jalopnik.com/a-huge-chunk-of-america-is-getting-a-new-electric-car-c-1846398150
 

Larry N.

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Here's an article I recently read about a coalition of EV charging companies expanding the EV charging infrastructure in 16 states in the East, South, and Midwest including Texas:

Which, of course, helps not at all in the wide open west, where in many areas it's more than 100 miles between towns, and so many of even those don't have much now, some not even gasoline. So range is quite important, in addition to being able to FIND a charging station as easily as a gas station, if they exist.

To my consternation, I was in the northeast a few years back (no RV with me) and I couldn't find a gas station or even the motel where I had reservations without a GPS (they don't seem to allow signs). And a few years before that I was in New Jersey and couldn't find a restaurant after renting a car, and just barely found my motel (I went hungry that evening -- GPS didn't exist then).

The east and west are a LOT different.

I have a friend who has a flip phone. He doesn't see a need for all this new fangled technology including email, texting, the Internet, and FaceBook.

I'd agree with him about FB and texting. And if the so-called cell phones were just cell phones I'd agree there, too. But they are pocket computers (that we used to dream about waaaaay back) that just happen to also have telephone capabilities and built-in cameras, neither of which I normally care about, but since they are there (and handy on a long trip, and no more pay phones and I sometimes don't have a camera handy) I use them once in a while. On a trip the pocket computer (various apps) comes in handy once in a while, but mostly my so-called phone sits on a table in the house somewhere, and I'll check every couple of days to see if it needs charging or if I missed an important call (once in ten years, so far).
 

Ex-Calif

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If you live urban and sleep in your own bed at night an EV makes sense, today.

But if you have one vehicle and that vehicle has to do everything then the EV is a hard choice to make today. I've ridden in Hybrids and I've ridden in Teslas.

In fact my buddy clicked a few buttons on the Tesla nav system and it plotted a trip from Ohio to California, including all the spots "optimized" for where one would stop and recharge - It was very cool. But I've done Ohio to California in 30 hours elapsed. This thing took like 3 days with some charge stops lasting 4 hours.

And currently there is a huge market for EVs existing because most people live in and around the urban infrastructure.
 

scottydl

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The fact is that the number of EV charging stations is rapidly expanding even in rural areas. I'm a bit of a car nut so I try to keep up on developments. Here's an article I recently read about a coalition of EV charging companies expanding the EV charging infrastructure in 16 states in the East, South, and Midwest including Texas: https://jalopnik.com/a-huge-chunk-of-america-is-getting-a-new-electric-car-c-1846398150

The article doesn't specify, but I'm taking an educated guess that the power companies participating in this effort aren't doing so out of the goodness of their hearts--since electricity isn't free. Most (if not all) of these initiatives so far are government funded, or at least highly subsidized. It would seem that the infrastructure will eventually need to take some sort of profit-generating form if it is to succeed in the U.S.

Current gas stations pay a significant portion of their fuel revenues TO the government, through local/state/federal taxes. EV charging stations are the complete opposite, currently... a model that doesn't seem sustainable long-term. Although I do agree with Don that a differing factor is the ability for many owners to charge at home, and not be dependent on external suppliers.
 

Ex-Calif

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I have no problem paying for the EV infrastructure.

But @scottydl - I will take exception that the "gas stations" pay revenue to the government. They don't. We do. The tax is on you and me, not the gas station.

We (taxpayers) paid for the interstate road system, we subsidize(d) the auto industry, we subsidize(d) the petroleum industry etc.

The "government" doesn't pay for anything. We pay for it all. They just collect our money in a lot of different ways to keep us confused. Well, really they do it to influence our behavior.

EV infrastructure investment is the right thing to do and it's long overdue.
 

Wolfram

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Yes, to be sure there are several logical and reasonable arguments against the adoption of electric vehicles on a large-scale here in the US. The most reasonable is around urban regions, but I agree with ex-calif that a removable battery “rental” system could work. The challenge of ease to removal and standardization to battery designs makes this a question. When GM and Ford start committing to complete electrification this may make IC engines truly drop out. Things are happening awfully quick out there.
 

Rob&Deryl

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An old idea that never caught on, because these days, most EVs charge fast enough for most people, other than those anti-EV'ers who always are looking for something to complain about with any electric vehicle.

IMO, even fast charging is mostly a non-issue in a country (USA) where most people drive less than 40 miles per day. EV's save time for most people by never having to charge or get gas on the road. Most people plug in when they get home and start the charging perhaps around midnight when the rates are lower.

Not many have a gas station at home!

BTW, the GPS is used even for charging. Set it once per location. The start times can all be different. Any new location will be instant charging until set.

The GPS is used for everything possible. Such as putting the mirrors in to fit in a very tight spot. The next time you get there, you touch nothing and they go in by themselves.

Same with the automatic garage door opener. These are all options that can be switched off.

-Don- Auburn, CA
2 notes
1) I have never lived anywhere with different electric rates at different times of day.
2) Actual GPS would not work in my garage (if I had a garage). My Garmin doesn’t work in my living room. I suspect the Tesla uses cell service location services?
 

DonTom

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I have never lived anywhere with different electric rates at different times of day.
2) Actual GPS would not work in my garage (if I had a garage). My Garmin doesn’t work in my living room. I suspect the Tesla uses cell service location services?
You first have to own an EV. See here for how it works in this area of CA. Reno has the same type of deal but there I want to be able to charge at any time and the electricity is cheap in Reno (here in Auburn, CA everything is expensive).

But another problem is your car registration must match the state you get a discount. I can do such in Reno also because I have one electric motorcycle registered in NV (the same one I take on my RV trips and my RV has a NV plate as well). But I too often need to charge during the day in Reno for various reasons.

I have never found a place where my Tesla GPS did work, including my garages. I have no idea how it works, but I can tell you this much. Tesla controls it. I have to pay ten bucks a month for the "conductivity" . This is used for many functions, including the radio where you can tell it want you want to listen to. IOW, turn on the mic and say "play Beatles-Let it Be" and it starts playing. Some info. can be found here.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 
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