Do you love the size of a Class B but want an environmentally-friendly version that doesn’t release fossil fuels? If so, you may be interested in converting an electric vehicle into a camper van.
Europe is full of electric vans, and America is catching up to the idea. What if you could take this concept, add a few appliances and pipes, build some custom furniture, and hang some curtains to create your ideal camper van? It’s not as far-fetched as you might think.
What Is an Electric Vehicle?
Electric vehicles, also known as EVs, either partially or fully use electric power. These cars are environmentally friendly since they use little to no fossil fuels.
However, even with the positive environmental effects, electric vehicles still have one important disadvantage. You can’t just refuel and head on down the road.
The battery only lasts for so long before it needs to recharge. This limits the total mileage, which is a hindrance for RVers.
Do They Make Campers That Are All Electric?
Airstream’s fully electric concept travel trailer is the eStream. It has electric motors that produce between 40 to 121 horsepower.
According to Airstream, “Moving the travel trailer in concert with the tow vehicle reduces the tow vehicle’s fuel and energy consumption and thus improves range.” The 22-foot travel trailer isn’t available yet.
Did you know the eStream will be able to park itself? Learn more about Airstream’s electric travel trailer.
Can You Convert an Electric Vehicle Into a Camper?
You can find many examples of people who have converted an electric van into a camper van. It doesn’t take any more time than any other van conversion.
Love Campers is a company out of the United Kingdom that converts camper vans of all kinds. Recently, they converted a Citroen E-Dispatch into a camper van.
Today it’s fully operational with a pop-up roof, a high-capacity 200ah lithium-ion battery, and two solar panels. It also features a rock’n’roll bed, hand-built wooden furniture, a solid wood removable table, a medium-sized fridge, and a removable portaloo toilet.
Is There an EV Camper Van?
Like Airstream, Winnebago Industries is working on an electric vehicle. The e-RV is still just a concept for a future electric camper van.
According to Winnebago, “The Winnebago Industries e-RV concept vehicle is an entirely new, all-electric, zero-emission RV that incorporates an advanced drivetrain and battery package that also powers all the living area systems of the coach.”
The concept e-RV has an 86 kilowatt-hour battery pack that you can recharge in 45 minutes at a fast charging station, providing up to 125 miles worth of driving.
The battery also powers the vehicle’s water heater, air conditioning system, induction cooktop, and refrigerator. Upon its release, the e-RV will have a full bathroom, sustainable cork flooring, and insulated wool wall coverings.
Strange-Looking Electric Vehicles Could Make Great Campers
From the military truck look of the B1 to the “Back to the Future” look of the Cybertruck, these electric vehicles don’t have the typical style of sedans, pick-ups, or SUVs. However, the batteries may provide a great off-grid and off-road camping experience for nomads.
Costing about $23,000, the German XBus has a range of 600 kilometers. Solar cells cover the roof, and the 10-kilowatt-hour batteries take about three hours to charge. You can modify the XBus for all purposes, from a pick-up truck to a camper van.
B1 by Bollinger Motors
The B1 has a range of 200 miles and costs about $100,000. It looks like a military truck, raised about 20 inches off the ground, and has a four-by-four powertrain.
The B1, designed as a pick-up truck and SUV, is manufactured by the New York-based start-up company Bollinger Motors.
The Tesla Cybertruck has 3,500 pounds of payload capacity and 14,000 pounds of towing capacity. It has a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton with a Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin and Tesla armor glass.
Its lower center of gravity propels the Cybertruck from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. The batteries also have up to 500 miles of range. Depending on the drive package, a Tesla Cybertruck will cost $39,000 to $69,000.
This electric pop-up truck camper, starting at only $4,500, comes equipped with a detachable tent, awning, top cooking accessories, and storage.
Powered by a 72V VRLA battery, Elektro Frosch can recharge in less than eight hours. Although super cute in style, it has a couple of downsides. This three-wheeler electric RV only has a 37-mile range and a top speed of 25 miles per hour.
So if you plan on taking a long road trip, this isn’t the electric vehicle for you. However, if you want to head out to the woods nearby, you’ll love the Elektro Frosch.
EC11 E-CARGO Van
With a range of 220 to 300 kilometers, the Australian EC11 E-CARGO Van by Skywell costs about $90,000.
Features include a Live Stream Rear Vision Camera for improved visibility and safety, pallets over the rear axle that provide optimal cargo weight distribution, and a 1,250-kilogram towing capacity.
Is an Electric Camper Worth It?
If you’re not planning on traveling far, an electric camper may be worth the investment. It may cost more upfront, but the fuel savings will save you money in the long run. Plus, you can do the environment a favor.
However, if you like taking long road trips across the country or traveling from state to state for long vacations, an electric camper may not provide the range you need.
Not yet, anyway. So keep your eyes open for the next generation of electric recreational vehicles. It certainly looks like companies are actively going in that direction.
Would you consider buying an electric camper?
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