Can You Tow with an Electric Vehicle?
Can You Tow with an Electric Vehicle?
Surprise! Yes, you can! But it doesn’t look like the typical RV experience.
By: Becca & Brian Roy
We are a couple New Englander transplants who find themselves in a state that couldn’t be more different: Florida. It’s an interesting place, to say the least. But one thing is for sure, there are A LOT of opportunities to camp. You can do it pretty much all year long!
Brian. Loves. Camping. He doesn’t care where it is or where he sleeps. He just loves being out there. I, on the other hand, like the comforts of home. A mattress, a shower, and walls to keep the bugs out – it is Florida, after all! What we do have in common is the desire to get away and explore new places. An RV was the perfect solution. We can explore, spend time in nature, and come home to our traveling house in the middle of nowhere.
And the best part is, our fur-babies can come with us! Yes, we are THOSE people who want to bring our dogs everywhere we go. As long as we could drive there, Penny and Sigmund came too! With our Winnebago, it’s even easier! We don’t have to spend time looking for a hotel that accepts dogs. The Minnie Winne always welcomes pets! Even our camper cat, Stella, is loving the #WinnebagoLife!
Why We Chose to RV with an EV
We got our first electric vehicle (EV) back in 2013 and loved it. We knew back then it was only a matter of time before we went all-in.
If you follow our IG, @superchargedcamper, you may see a little gas-powered, three-wheeler in the background, but that’s just for fun. All our commuting/traveling vehicles are fully electric, so we are serious about it.
We love that it’s low maintenance. We love that we can “fuel up” at home by charging off our 12.6kW solar array. We love that it’s quiet; like sneak-up-on-your-neighbors quiet! And we love that we don’t burn fossil fuels.
Now that we’ve gone full EV, we’re not going back! In 2020, we purchased the Tesla Model X. We chose Tesla because of the technology and the charging infrastructure. We chose the X because of the size, safety, and features. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we were purchasing the most powerfully capable EV for towing currently on the market. We haven’t regretted this purchase for a minute!
Yes, we know. It’s not the typical choice for towing an RV. But we are committed to EVs and not willing to give up our convictions just for a little convenience. We aren’t afraid of charting new territory. For us, it adds to the adventure!
How the Winnebago Micro Minnie Made It Possible
The Tesla Model X has the capability of towing up to 5,000lbs with a max tongue weight of 500lbs. Our biggest limitation when it came to choosing an RV was the need for a lightweight travel trailer that had the amenities we desired: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dual axels, at least one slide, and enough room for our dogs.
After an exhaustive 16-hour search, we came across the Winnebago 2106DS Micro Minnie. At 3,780lbs dry, a low tongue weight, and all of the amenities (and then some!) that we were looking for, we purchased this camper and haven’t had a single regret since.
As far as the features that sold us, the murphy bed was an unexpected delight! The ability to put the bed up and out of the way gave us that little bit of extra space for us to move about the cabin without feeling too crowded. The bathroom was another stipulation for us. We did not want a wet bath and preferred a sink in the bathroom. A lot of small campers lack that setup, but this was a need-to-have for us. We also love all the storage, the separate freezer and fridge, and two seating areas. Plenty of room for pets and people!
The Winnebago Micro Minnie also comes solar-ready and is well insulated which speaks to our greener, fuel-efficiency values. We want to experience the great outdoors while still doing our part to have a low impact on the environment!
There were also some other features that came with our Micro Minnie we didn’t even know we needed or wanted, such as off-road tires. We do a lot of boondocking, so this has given us piece-of-mind when it comes to driving down dirt roads and through cow fields. The Minnie Winne also features a fully walkable roof. Being new to RVing, it wasn’t necessarily something we had thought of, but it’s definitely a good feature maintenance-wise. Plus, it provides a pretty great vantage point for photo ops and stargazing!
What our RV/EV Life Looks Like
It did help a little – OK a lot – being an EV owner prior to towing with one. We were already prepared for the level of planning required of this endeavor. When you have an EV, you can’t stop at any gas station on the way to and from your destination.
When you’re towing with an EV, you’re also going to need to stop more often. Towing cuts the car’s range approximately in half. On top of that, you’re often venturing further from urban or suburban areas where charging stations are more prevalent. But fear not, there’s built-in software to route you to charging stations and display energy consumption. EVs are all about using technology to help you get where you’re going.
There are also apps to tell you where the stations are and apps to help you plan your route. EVs have these software tools built in, but you can find 3rd party apps as well. We use a 3rd party App called A Better Routeplanner that helps plan your route based on estimated energy consumption. This app is a lifesaver when it comes to towing with an EV!
It’s also important to mention time. “Fueling up” in an EV is not a five-minute stop. You may even need to drop your rig in order to fit into a charging spot! Again, planning is everything. You need to consider charging time in your travel timeline and prepare yourself to wait. To most, planning activities for when you’re fueling up is a foreign concept, but not for an EVer. Some charging stations are situated near locations where you can kill time – restaurants, coffee shops, shopping areas – but not all.
But the benefit of towing an RV is that you have a tiny house attached to you for napping, cooking, relaxing, or whatever! For example, if we need to stop for a half-hour or so to charge, we plan our charging stop around mealtime, so we can cook and eat in the Winnebago while we wait.
If you are looking to get into the EV RV game, do your research! Knowing what you’re getting into BEFORE you purchase is important! The typical RV shop likely won’t be able to help you in regard to towing with an EV, so you’ll need to learn a lot on your own. From forums and Facebook groups to researching the right parts for your setup, it takes some time. But that’s what being an innovator – an adventurer – is all about! Taking the road less traveled! We can tell you, firsthand, it’s never boring!