The Future is Now
Introducing my new rig - Caravanning with an EV
Meet Ms Evelyn, my Kia EV6 (Evie to her friends), and Connie the Compass Rallye 530.
In case you didn’t catch the news on my YouTube Channel, I have put the Airstream up for sale, and I have a new Touring Rig.
Why I transitioned to an Electric Vehicle (EV)
For fourteen years I’ve been The Guy with the Airstream.
In my 30s and 40s I loved being the man who challenged people’s perceptions of caravanning. Non-caravanners who considered caravanning dull might change their minds they saw the iconic Silver Bullet. Committed caravanners might see what I was doing and hopefully be inspired to widen their perspective about what they could do with their own caravans, enjoying more fulfilling adventures.
For many years I lived on the road, and the Airstream was the perfect home on wheels, one of the few leisure vehicles that was robust enough to cope with everyday use.
However, after tiring of a life constantly on the move, I settled where my heart led me, the Outer Hebrides. My days of long distance, long duration tours are currently behind me.
The time had come to move on.
Looking Beyond the Eco Credentials
Just as non-caravanners might make incorrect assumptions about caravanners, non-EV owners can sometimes make similar assumptions about EV owners.
Folk often think that the primary reason for buying an EV is because you’re an eco warrior. Critics will search hard for a chink in the EV owner’s armour so they can dive in with defensive criticism, such as citing the carbon footprint of that flight you took, or how the carbon cost of building an EV is greater than that of restoring and running a 1960s Cadillac.
My desire was to challenge perceptions back when I bought the Airstream, and that same desire remains today.
You see, I was lucky enough to tow caravans behind electric vehicles as a Driving Judge at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards 2022, held during July 2021 at Millbrook Proving Ground.
While the environmental aspect of transitioning to an EV definitely aligns with my values, there is actually an equally compelling reason to switch to electric, and that is:
Electric Vehicles make phenomenal towcars.
Just think about it for a minute. Electric vehicles carry their weight low down in the form of the battery, leading to rock-solid stability and road handling when towing. Electric vehicles offer incredible torque, so towing a caravan is effortless. There is no engine noise and no vibration in the cab, making for a calm and serene environment. Manoeuvring a caravan with an EV is a silent and stress-free experience. Not to mention a far lower cost per mile to run compared with fossil fuels, as well as massively reduced servicing costs. What’s not to like?
Oh yes, the purchase price, and the range.
Well, I paid £45k for my Kia EV6 GT Line with a towbar. That’s about 10% higher than the Kia Sorento 2.2 diesel.
The range? Well, it’s early days yet. While Kia claim a range of over 300 miles solo, users of the EV6 agree that a range of 260 miles is about right in real life. I estimate about 130 miles on a full charge towing a caravan, and 100 miles on an 80% charge, which equates to 230 miles per day towing, with one stop for lunch and charging.
For a long time I’ve been complaining that I’m fed up with tearing about. I want to slow down.
Just as not having biscuits in the cupboard helps me keep my weight and sugar consumption down, towing with an EV is going to force me to slow down a bit and plan for longer journey times on any trip in excess of 130 miles.
In other words, I intend to embrace and enjoy the perceived limitations that towing with an EV might enforce, rather than whinge and moan that I can’t tow 400 miles in a day then spend three days laid up with a stress-induced migraine.
The requirement to charge the car with a caravan in tow is going to be a challenge. I anticipate needing to detach, secure, then re-attach the caravan in about 90% of cases. How this is going to work in the real world is something I’m both excited and nervous about.
Beyond the Comfort Zone
Saying goodbye to the Nissan and the Airstream is saying goodbye to what I know. I know it works and it would continue to do so for the next few years.
Embracing life with an EV and a regular caravan is a huge step outside my comfort zone.
But if we don’t venture out of our comfort zone every now and again, we will never experience the joy (and the pain) of growth, which ultimately results in a more rewarding and enriching life.
Please, hop aboard and join us for this exciting journey.
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