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Old 12-12-2021, 02:36 PM   #1
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Using an EV as a TOAD

Maybe this has already been discussed, but I've wondered for a while if it would be feasible to use an EV as a toad. If the regenerative braking of the EV could be utilized to brake a MH, wouldn't that be a win-win? Less wear on the MH braking system plus free recharge for the EV.
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Old 12-12-2021, 03:02 PM   #2
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You would want to tow the car in neutral. If it was in drive and regenerative braking was activated you’d have a constant drag on the motorhome flat and uphill.

You would burn a ton of fuel dragging a car with magnetic braking engaged in addition to wearing out its tires.
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Old 12-12-2021, 03:04 PM   #3
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Perhaps this is too clever, but I applaud you for thinking. Any braking from the toad won't make much difference to a MH because of size and weight differences, I think. Best to make sure you have well maintained brakes on the MH. I'm not sure just how the toad would do because you want the transmission in neutral and how that affects the recharging of the toad batteries. I'm not even sure a pure EV has a transmission, though a hybrid would. Another question—can an EV charge the MH batteries? Ideas worth pursuing, but I'm not optimistic.
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Old 12-12-2021, 03:44 PM   #4
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Perhaps this is too clever, but I applaud you for thinking. Any braking from the toad won't make much difference to a MH because of size and weight differences, I think. Best to make sure you have well maintained brakes on the MH. I'm not sure just how the toad would do because you want the transmission in neutral and how that affects the recharging of the toad batteries. I'm not even sure a pure EV has a transmission, though a hybrid would. Another question—can an EV charge the MH batteries? Ideas worth pursuing, but I'm not optimistic.
I believe EVs cannot be flat towed.
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Old 12-12-2021, 04:32 PM   #5
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I believe EVs cannot be flat towed.
That is true for the Tesla. I don't know about others.
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:15 AM   #6
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On the short TV documentary "Long Way Up" Ewan MacGregor (Obi Wan to his Star Wars fans) and his team have a couple Rivian pickup trucks as support vehicles and they did support towing-to-recharge. Rivian worked closely with the show and used two prototype trucks. It was a good show to watch and the capabilities of the Rivian were pretty impressive. Not sure if that feature made it to the production models but it's probably easy to determine. I've seen a couple Rivians on the road recently so they appear to be getting out there.
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:45 AM   #7
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A Jeep Wrangler 4XE can be flat towed because it has a transfer case that can be left in neutral, however I don't believe the regenerative brakes would be operational. I guess that's a question for a Jeep engineer.
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:56 AM   #8
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In most cases, in some capacity, you can use them as a toad, but regen braking and such is not going to be possible. On front drive only cars, you'd just need to lift the front wheels off, but depending on the vehicle these can be rather low and harder to get off the ground, but not impossible.
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Old 12-13-2021, 12:27 PM   #9
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On the short TV documentary "Long Way Up" Ewan MacGregor (Obi Wan to his Star Wars fans) and his team have a couple Rivian pickup trucks as support vehicles and they did support towing-to-recharge. Rivian worked closely with the show and used two prototype trucks. It was a good show to watch and the capabilities of the Rivian were pretty impressive. Not sure if that feature made it to the production models but it's probably easy to determine. I've seen a couple Rivians on the road recently so they appear to be getting out there.
Wish I had Apple TV so I could watch that series. Heard it was pretty cool. Have you read or watched any of Motortrend's reporting on their crossing the entire USA off road in some R1T's? Plus, the truck just won their 2022 Truck of the Year by the way!
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Old 12-13-2021, 12:31 PM   #10
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Intriguing concept: camping at a full hookup site, you could plug your moho in to a 50 amp and recharge the EV using the 30 amp receptacle.
But, as noted, EV's are not designed to be towed flat. My BMW i3 says "no," and so do others that I looked at. You could use a Leaf as a toad with a brake-equipped dolly though, that's how I pulled my Honda Insight (hybrid): the dolly brakes met the requirement for brakes with over 1000# in tow, and with the lightweight first generation Insight (~1900#) it was a non-issue to tow.
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Old 12-13-2021, 12:43 PM   #11
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Interesting concept to be sure. I don’t know if it is practical. My electric vehicle’s regeneration function is strong enough that I rarely touch the brake pedal. It easily brings the vehicle to a complete stop from highway speeds. It would put a significant drag on the tow vehicle if used as a TOAD.
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Old 12-14-2021, 08:13 AM   #12
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Wish I had Apple TV so I could watch that series. Heard it was pretty cool. Have you read or watched any of Motortrend's reporting on their crossing the entire USA off road in some R1T's? Plus, the truck just won their 2022 Truck of the Year by the way!
I didn't see the MT tests yet, thanks for mentioning them. I have seen a review of the Rivian kitchen module, very cool and would add to any campsite nicely.
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:07 AM   #13
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Towing the Rivian has been well discussed on the Rivian forum. The answer from Rivian customer service is that it cannot be flat towed.

Several folks cancelled their order when they found out.

https://www.rivianforums.com/forum/a...ture-jpg.3661/
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TerraYacht View Post
Intriguing concept: camping at a full hookup site, you could plug your moho in to a 50 amp and recharge the EV using the 30 amp receptacle.
But, as noted, EV's are not designed to be towed flat. My BMW i3 says "no," and so do others that I looked at. You could use a Leaf as a toad with a brake-equipped dolly though, that's how I pulled my Honda Insight (hybrid): the dolly brakes met the requirement for brakes with over 1000# in tow, and with the lightweight first generation Insight (~1900#) it was a non-issue to tow.
The EV would need to be plugged into the 50 amp 220 V

the 30 amp is only 115v and would only supply Level 1 charging.
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