What’s Best: Gas/Electric/Hybrid RV?

I see a fair number of RVs on the road and none of them are electric. I’ve seen one Tesla Model X towing an Airstream trailer and a few converted Tesla’s but that’s it. From what I could find on the internet, there’s only two companies currently making RVs with an electric drivetrain.

Since gas prices are at all time highs, I though it would be helpful to do some research on Electric RV’s and report my findings. About the only thing I don’t like about Gas/Diesel RV’s is the fuel economy and maintenance cost. So I’m considering buying an electric RV when they become available in the US. But before I do that, I wanted to get some feedback from someone who owns one or has some knowledge about them.

Pros and Cons?

What would be some pros and cons of owning an electric RV?

Do you like going camping? Is your family always bugging you to go on a road trip? If so, you might be interested in an electric RV. You can buy one for about $90,000, or if you have a lot of spare time and don’t mind a little tinkering, you can build your own from an old gas-guzzling RV that people are practically giving away.

The Con — Where will you charge it? At home, at work, and at RV parks that have charging stations. You can also get a portable charger called a Juice box. I personally do not know of RV Parks that have charging stations…

What about range? The range is reduced by cold weather, so don’t take it camping in the winter unless you have a plan for heating the batteries. Plus, if they are anything like an electric car you get what 400, 500 miles? I am not sure that is even practical for anybody…

There is no doubt that the energy efficiency of a gasoline powered RV is vastly better than an electric powered RV. But the fuel efficiency of the gasoline powered RV is not actually the reason it’s better. It’s because you don’t have to keep on top of the batteries. And when you drive around in an electric powered RV, you have to keep your eyes open for places to plug it in, and you can run out of juice easily. So if you want to be away from civilization, which is normally where most RV travelers prefer to be, then an electric powered RV is much less convenient and more inconvenient than a gasoline powered RV.

But there are other things about gasoline and electricity that are hard to quantify. There are things about them that cannot be quite put into words. For example, I would say that it feels like having control over something that has half of its power cut off when you look down at it from a treetop or a high building.

I’d also say that there’s just something more pleasant about knowing your engine is going to start on the first turn of the key and not after three or four tries which is common with electric vehicles.

After talking to a husband and wife friend of mine (who are both engineers, and we have a number of RV’s) . They shed some insight on the subject as they have had several RV’s… an electric powered one, a gas powered one, and a hybrid gas/electric powered one.

The gas powered one is the only one they use regularly; it is much quieter inside, has a lot more power, and gets twice as good mileage (not gas mileage, but mileage). The other two were bought to be used when traveling to see friends or family in large cities where charging stations are available, although the hybrid is nice, it does not have the same power as the gas powered RV. So hauling their boat is much easier with the gas powered RV.

It is best to figure out how you will be utilizing your RV, but for many people, gas powered is still the best solution.

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