The challenges of RVing an EV

vandy1981

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I think the range extender is much more useful for overlanding (or similar). Charge overnight with transported fuel, not charging as you go. The form factor is the most important thing, making it easy to mount on the truck.

Or maybe I am completely wrong.
Agreed--it makes sense to take a genset as a backup when you're off the grid, although I'd guess *most* generators are going to emit more pollution per unit energy than your average passenger vehicle. If environmentally friendly overlanding is your use case, the powerboost drivetrain is probably a better bet.

When I hear about "range extenders" in this context, I'm thinking of a small engine that is capable of driving the vehicle's electric motor on its own when the battery is depleted, or about an engine that can add significant range to the vehicle while in motion. This would be cost and payload prohibitive on a vehicle that's likely to have terrible efficiency at highway speeds. My I-Pace does 400-450 Wh/mile at 80 mph, so I would be pleasantly surprised if the F150 does better than 600-700 Wh/mile given its weight and aerodynamic limitations.
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sotek2345

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Agreed--it makes sense to take a genset as a backup when you're off the grid, although I'd guess *most* generators are going to emit more pollution per unit energy than your average passenger vehicle. If environmentally friendly overlanding is your use case, the powerboost drivetrain is probably a better bet.

When I hear about "range extenders" in this context, I'm thinking of a small engine that is capable of driving the vehicle's electric motor on its own when the battery is depleted, or about an engine that can add significant range to the vehicle while in motion. This would be cost and payload prohibitive on a vehicle that's likely to have terrible efficiency at highway speeds. My I-Pace does 400-450 Wh/mile at 80 mph, so I would be pleasantly surprised if the F150 does better than 600-700 Wh/mile given its weight and aerodynamic limitations.
Most estimates I have seen for the F150L have been ~500 Wh/mile, though no one really knows for sure. We can get a much better idea once we get battery sizes.
 

vandy1981

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Most estimates I have seen for the F150L have been ~500 Wh/mile, though no one really knows for sure. We can get a much better idea once we get battery sizes.
I would really like to know where the real-world ranges end up. I'm hoping that TFL, Out of Spec or Alex on Autos get an opportunity to test the truck before orders open up. They tend to do the best range testing, with or without trailers. Bjorn Nyland is the YouTube gold standard, but I don't think the F150L is going to Norway anytime soon.
 

shikataganai

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How do you handle the insurance side. I have looked into Turo to see if I could make any extra $$ on the side from my Shelby, but my insurance won't cover it. I could try to get commercial coverage, but that just seems like too much of a pain for what you get.

Do you own/operate a business you do the Turo rentals out of?
I'll probably go with their 70 or 75 plan. Haven't done it yet: Land Cruiser is too old to be listed and the minivan is the one we use daily.

https://turo.com/us/en/insurance
 

Blainestang

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I would really like to know where the real-world ranges end up. I'm hoping that TFL, Out of Spec or Alex on Autos get an opportunity to test the truck before orders open up. They tend to do the best range testing, with or without trailers. Bjorn Nyland is the YouTube gold standard, but I don't think the F150L is going to Norway anytime soon.
Definitely hoping Kyle at Out of Spec gets one. He's most likely to really push it and avoid clickbait and bias, IMO.
 

EaglesPDX

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Rates here are around $0.07/kWh on the fixed price plans.
The base rate can be a bit deceptive. OR has one of the lowest base rates but my net with taxes and all kinds of adders is $0.27 kWh on the solar powered house. At the apt on Chargepoint it is $0.15kWh.

Easiest is take your total bill and divide it by your total kWh for the month.

My savings is about $1k per year vs the 32mpg Subaru at current prices, about $3.50.
 

Smokewagun

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I’m logging miles driven every day. I have yet to exceed 200 miles on any given day. That tells me I could easily adapt to the Lightning. My biggest fear is running out of battery juice. In winter, mileage goes down… substantially. Towing, well way down. We’ve already discussed camping within 100-150 miles of home for the next few years, and then if I can’t get used to the Lightning for towing, continue use of the Lightning for daily driving and find a used gasser Super Duty to use for towing or when charging just is not an option. The Lightning looks to save me over $325 a month in fuel costs alone. That’s not chicken feed.
 

wingfiry

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I think this comment is spot on. I don't need a lot of range beyond 150ish miles when towing the boat, but the problem for me is that in almost any direction I go, I have mountain passes to contend with when getting there. Sometimes its mountain passes and 10 mile long grades at 4%. Now that range really becomes critical. I looked the other day, and on one of the main mountain pass routes, there are charging stations on each side, but they're only rated at 50kW speed. That's a tougher sell. I may only be in my trip for 80 miles (after going over the pass) and I need to stop to charge, and it's the lowest end common denominator charger available. But, it's still exciting technology. I'm hoping I'll be in the sooner rather than later camp.

What I think would be really cool is if the Lightening finds it's way on to some car rental lots. I could totally see renting one for a 3-day weekend and taking the boat to one of our fishing spots and just see what it would be like. A learning experience, I'm sure. I think I'd have to "try before I buy" on this first generation. I can't see myself investing in the first generation without knowing how it will perform in the areas that I need for family fun travel. I already know it will rock for commuting and all the other areas, but the recreation aspect is going to be a question mark until we see real world experiences and not paper estimations.
From what I understand, using the 1 pedal driving, regenerative breaking on the downhill will help immensly with recovering some of the lost range from the uphill part.
 

vandy1981

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From what I understand, using the 1 pedal driving, regenerative breaking on the downhill will help immensly with recovering some of the lost range from the uphill part.
You will probably only get 25-30% improvement in efficiency going downhlll per this guy's argument: . I've been able to find a few uphill towing tests with Teslas, but none showing downhill efficency so this all remains theoretical. I think we're going to be underwhelmed with the amount of regen you get when towing downhill due to rolling resistance, aero drag, and loss of energy on the trailer brakes (depending how the controller is tuned).

We haven't seen any dedicated towing vehicles in the USA yet, so it will be interesting to see what real-world numbers look like on a truck/SUV.

We'll get our first data from the R1T this summer and the Hummer this fall.
 
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shikataganai

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This would make an amazing RV once fully depreciated and sold by the transit fleets buying them now.

45' tag axle coach with a low center section for accessibility. 389 kWh for 170 miles range or 544 kWh (!!) for 230 miles range. 150 kW DC fast charging.

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Maggioa

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You're right that there's huge variation among use cases. Some will just be going 50 miles round trip all the time. Some want to drive across the country. Everyone has to look at their specific use case, like you said.

The problem is that it's not going to go 300 miles when towing. Maybe 100 miles. Maybe 150 miles. We don't know, so it's hard to accurately "pre-think" how it's going to work for a specific use case.

There are some use cases that we know will be fine (<100 miles round trip towing).

There are some use cases that we know will be difficult (cross country, driving >100 miles into charging "wilderness").

There's a LOT of gray area in between that's hard to model at this point.

Also, for what it's worth, it's not going to cost $15 per charge on the road... at least not at fast chargers. You're going to pay ~$0.30/kWh and more like ~$40/charge if it's at a fast charger.
I currently have a Platinum on order since January and considered cancelling and purchasing the lightening, but hate to start at the bottom of the list again. I do a lot of boondock camping with my trailer, and that worries me being out in the middle of nowhere with a low charge. Is there an option for a solar panel?
 

Blainestang

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I currently have a Platinum on order since January and considered cancelling and purchasing the lightening, but hate to start at the bottom of the list again. I do a lot of boondock camping with my trailer, and that worries me being out in the middle of nowhere with a low charge. Is there an option for a solar panel?
I would like to do boondocking with it, as well.

There's no Ford solar panel option as of now, but I'm sure there will be companies offering them. I recently saw someone post on the Reddit group (r/F150Lightning) about Terravis from Worksport.

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That being said, I think for serious boondocking and recharging purposes, you're going to want substantially more panels than that. I'm thinking like triple that many and they're stacked on top of the bed cover when traveling and then you set them up once you're at your destination.

The Lightning bed is going to be about the size of a normal solar panel 5.5ft x 3.25ft... and maybe 360W. So, lets stack 3 of those for travel and set them up when you get there and you've got ~1 kW of panels and about 4 square meters of area.

In Florida, on my best days, I get about 6 kWh of energy for each 1 kW of panels. So, I would expect to get 4-6 kWh of energy per sunny day from 3 panels on the truck... which is going to be about 4-6 miles of range added back per sunny day because a *towing* F-150 is probably going to travel about 1 mile/kWh. Double that if it's not towing.

So, not that great. And I imagine the solution above will get less... like 1-2 miles/day. So, it's going to be a niche solution. Only people who really need the extra range will bother with it. For most cases, people will just plan to charge elsewhere.
 

George Bartlett

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For what it’s worth:
I contacted Pilot/Flying J via their website “contact us” email. I said that there were many RVers who have placed deposits for the F150-Lightning.
I asked if they would have FCDC sites that would accommodate a truck and trailer.

I was told my request would be passed on because they want to “enhance” their guests’ experiences. I was given the following email contact if I wanted to provide other suggestions: [email protected].
It might help if she heard from other future F150-Lightning owners/RVers.
 

PWRGEN

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With the towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs., it's easy to imagine hooking up a big travel trailer and taking off cross country in a F150 Lightning. The biggest problem with RVing an EV today is that the world is not designed to cater to RV EVs. Even ICE RVs have trouble finding long enough fueling stations and the fast charging stations that we have now just are not designed for long RVs.

Fueling stations that cater to longer vehicles, such as Flying J and Loves, have been developing fueling station designs for decades. To these companies gas and diesel are still king. It might be another decade before these big fueling stations start designing stations around large EV charging.

If we want to hook a big travel trailer up to our F150 Lightning how do we charge it on a long cross country trip? One option I see is to disconnect the trailer in a big parking lot such as a Walmart that has an Electrify America station. This might actually be a preferred option since the family can enjoy the travel trailer while the truck charges.

Another option is to park and charge over night at RV parks. We would probably be staying overnight in an RV park anyway so we might as well charge up while sleeping. Unfortunately with the F150 Lightning you will only be able to get about a half a charge overnight using the standard NEMA 14-50 RV outlet but maybe that would be enough to get to the closest fast charger.

Just like with any EV travel it will pay to plan ahead and to be patient. There is lots of good advice on fueling an RV on the internet and I think a lot of this information will be useful in charging up a long RV EV. Some of us will want to wait until the world catches up to RV EVs but by then the early adopters will have EV RVing all figured out.

So what are your thoughts? Are you ready to hook up a travel trailer to your F150 Lightning and head off into the sunset? Have you thought about how you would keep an F150 Lightning pulling a big travel trailer charged on long trips?
I too would love to have a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) but have the same worry of finding enough level 3 charging stations along my routes to keep the trip time reasonable. Tesla is the only manufacture with enough available fast charging stations to keep long distance interstate travel times within reason. Unfortunately Tesla stations are dedicated to Tesla only vehicles at the moment and Ford and others are relying on a patchwork of various charging station suppliers. The networks are not built out enough to make me feel comfortable going to places we normally travel to like Florida, The Carolina's and Arkansas. Many of these trips take 6- 12 hours normal gas driving and times would double if had to rely on current charging networks available to Ford.

If your just driving around town and to places with less than 300 miles which is the typical full charge max currently available with Ford or General motors products than your Garage Level Two charger will do the job to charge you to full overnight.

We recently were thinking of getting the Mustang Mach-E and were given one for 6 days to drive. Using the software on the car to map a route from Cincinnati to Jonesboro, Arkansas, due to a lack of level 3 chargers and only some level 2 chargers along route it would double our normal 8 hour time to 17 hours. So as much as we would love to have a new F150 lightening or a mache -E it still is not practical for us that like to travel beyond our city. So I opted for the 21 F-150 XLT Power boost Hybrid with the 7.2kw Gen. for our camping and towing trips. It can tow 12,400 max with the 4x4 off road package and larger frame of the Max towing package.

It could be at least three to four more years before the networks are sufficiently built out and not too crowded as EV sales grow. This is why we chose the Hybrid and why we decided to wait on the Mach-E and instead get a 2021 Toyota RAV AWD Prime, which is a PHEV (Plug In Hybrid Electric) It goes 42 miles on electric before gas engine kicks in and qualifies for the $7,500 Federal Credit, same as the Mache-E.

Hope this helps with your decision making
 

vandy1981

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We recently were thinking of getting the Mustang Mach-E and were given one for 6 days to drive. Using the software on the car to map a route from Cincinnati to Jonesboro, Arkansas, due to a lack of level 3 chargers and only some level 2 chargers along route it would double our normal 8 hour time to 17 hours.
This is reflective of Ford's routing software, not of the state of the charging infrastructure in that part of the country.

There's no way that a properly planned route between those two cities would add 9 hours of charging in a MME or F-150L. My I-Pace would make that trip with 2.5 hours of charging per "A Better Route Planner" and it's less efficient and slower charging than the MME.

Manufacturers are shooting themselves in the foot when they release terrible routing software because of issues like this.

An F-150L towing a trailer is a whole other story and it sounds like the Powerboost is a better solution for you and most other RVers. I'm still hoping it will be an option for us because we tend to take <200 mile trips with our 22-foot MicroMinnie and there are chargers spaced no farther than 90-100 miles where we live.
 
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