Airstream gives taste of solar-powered camping luxury, without range anxiety

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Categories: Hike & Camp

Airstream, makers of retro-cool caravans, have unveiled a battery-powered eStream Concept Travel Trailer with integrated solar panels om the roof that could be the future of off grid caravanning luxury, and help reduce range anxiety of the electric vehicles that will tow them.

Airstream says the 80kWh battery means you can go anywhere and stay as long as you like with ultra-efficient solar panels and high-voltage batteries powering your sustainable technology. The eStream comes with innovations like being able to use your mobile device to remote control your Airstream into the campsite after you unhitch.

The eStream is a one-off concept travel trailer built in partnership between Airstream and parent company THOR Industries. The eStream’s battery bank enables it to run the modern all electric appliances with which it comes equipped. They also run electric motors allowing the travel trailer to move under its own power.

No range anxiety as your aerodynamically designed eStream “follows” your EV down the highway to your favourite camping spot. And the eStreamer will have greater freedom to roam.

“What you see in the eStream is an electrified travel trailer concept that really lays out the blueprint for what’s to come,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO. “This was our chance to explore what’s possible – to push a little and begin to understand where we can build on 90 years of innovation.”

“It’s not just about how we can help you stay out there longer, but how we can make it more comfortable, easier, more efficient, and less stressful,” said Wheeler.

“It’s about protecting the environment with more sustainable products while helping you save money at the pump – or the charging station – and going farther before needing to refuel. These are all real-world issues Airstreamers deal with while traveling. We know big changes are coming, and the eStream has shown us a variety of ways to get there.”

The eStream has three modes: Living, Driving, Moving.

In Living mode travelers use the High-Capacity Batteries (80 kWh) for a versatile suite of features and amenities. No need for gas bottles, noisy generators or extension cords. The eStream has a 7 metre floor plan containing an onboard wet bath, flat screen TV, a cooktop, convection microwave, and refrigerator. Enough room for four people to sleep and stay.

Airstream is developing the van as an internet of things with 5 G connectivity between the owner and the appliances. Voice commands and intuitive touch screens will allow for the monitoring of power, water, and waste tanks.

In Driving mode, the eStream actively follows the towing vehicle, reducing range anxiety, as the company notes.

“More than just helping to move the rig forward, the drive assist motors work in tandem with advanced sensor and control systems to actively stabilize the eStream,” it wrote in its press release.

“Combined with a reduced hitch weight, this technology simplifies the towing experience and means future owners will be able to safely tow without the need for bulky weight distribution hitches. And the same technology that powers the wheels in motion can also be used to lock the wheels in a stationary position, aiding in theft deterrence and peace of mind.

“With the largest battery size, the platform is capable of extending towing range by about 50-75 percent when compared with a non-powered trailer.”

Moving mode means you’ll never have to back into a campsite again! Remote control and 360 degree maneuverability with one finger on your phone heaven for those who get a headache from backing a trailer.

eStreams can be charged up in the same way that you charge up your EV.