Airstream is teasing a travel trailer that could making towing so much easier. The RV manufacturer revealed a concept that propels itself, saving fuel or electric range that would be lost in towing. Perhaps even cooler is the fact that you can park the thing by remote control.
If this concept sounds familiar to you, it’s because this isn’t really the first time you’re hearing of it. Back in August of last year, I wrote about the Dethleffs E.Home, a German travel trailer with its own batteries and electric motors. It presented itself as a solution to the problem of how towing a trailer eats into the fuel economy of an internal combustion vehicle and the charge of an electric vehicle. Back then, Airstream was reportedly working on its own interpretation. That concept has now been released, and it’s even cooler than the Dethleffs camper.
If you’ve ever towed a trailer before, you know how much of a hit your range takes. Regardless of if your ride is powered by dead dinosaurs or electrons, a heavy trailer can reduce your range by half. That means lifting more cash out of your wallet at gas stations or more time at a charger.
EV technology can make an impact here.
The Airstream eStream is an electric vehicle all on its own. An 80 kWh battery pack feeds a pair of electric motors that put out a combined 242 horsepower and 60 kg-ft torque. The goal is a trailer that can pull its own weight just enough to reduce the load on the tow vehicle, thus saving either fuel or charge.
Of course, when you get to your campsite, the same battery and 900-Watts of solar can be used as house power.
That could give you up to a couple of weeks of off-grid power.
But the real hat trick here is a system that Airstream calls Move. Using an app on a phone, you can remote control the trailer into a tight parking spot, back it around obstacles, or have an easier time lining up the tongue to the tow vehicle.
No more silly incidents of backing into fences or other campers. Think of it like Tesla’s Autopark, but for a travel trailer.
Sadly, the Airstream eStream is noted to be just a concept for now. Airstream isn’t saying what something like this would cost, but don’t expect it to be cheap. Still, I would love to see this in production, because it solves so many annoyances of towing a travel trailer all in one unit.