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Old 01-23-2022, 02:40 PM   #1
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New eStream prototype at the Tampa RV show

We saw the prototype eStream at the Tampa show today. Pretty cool. I can only imagine what it would cost if it were for sale. The Thor reps really talked it up. Said it cannot be driven on US roads yet, they had to trailer it here. Could not walk into it though.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:54 PM   #2
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You liked it too!!

(This is the 3rd thread on this great concept trailer)
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:56 PM   #3
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You liked it too!!

(This is the 3rd thread on this great concept trailer)
Well, maybe in 10 years. Iíll go with dinosaur power for now. Itís smaller than weíd like and I donít have an EV to tow it with. But itís fun to see the innovation.
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:27 PM   #4
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I watched the video on YouTube about this. Actually pretty interesting:
1) You don't need a WDH. It is evenly balanced. Thus no sway control needed
2) You can pull it with just about any vehicle because the trailer basically propels itself. So even if you don't have an EV you can still pull it. And no big pickup needed.
3) They pulled across the mountains and the regenerative braking was so good they didn't need to plug in the batteries! It created enough electricity on its own. That's pretty amazing.

I'm not a big EV fan at this point. Although they are coming. At this point I'm more convinced that a hybrid is the way to go because of where I live. But this is something that could change RVing in a considerable way only because large tow vehicles would no longer be needed. That alone would make it incredibly efficient.
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:53 PM   #5
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Since they'll be so unique in the RV world, Airstream will have to set up a mandatory comprehensive training academy for dealer technicians. Anyone who buys one will need to understand that these trailers are bleeding edge technology and need to be very patient with technical help and service.
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Old 01-23-2022, 06:02 PM   #6
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Since they'll be so unique in the RV world, Airstream will have to set up a mandatory comprehensive training academy for dealer technicians. Anyone who buys one will need to understand that these trailers are bleeding edge technology and need to be very patient with technical help and service.
Absolutely! This is the biggest achilles heal. Already service largely stinks. One has to wait months to get things done. If one of those motors on the wheels goes bad for whatever reason there better be quick service. I doubt that in my lifetime I will buy one of these. I figure my Airstream (2017) will be the one I have until I leave this earthly body.

But itís still pretty interesting and a really great way to go for the future. The main thing will be cost. Thatís a lot of extra stuff to add to a travel trailer. Thatís expensive.
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:46 PM   #7
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I have had 5 plugins, but am done. I sold my Rivian 1/19 reservation and doubt I’ll consider another for another half a dozen years. I bought my wife a new 2021 Audi Q5E plug in hybrid. Within the first week I had it stall in the middle of an intersection. The car would not move until I turned it off and back on. Drove straight to the dealer and left it. Got a call a few days later to come get it as they could not duplicate the problem. Audi dealer said it was covered by a service bulletin and a software fix was coming by year end. I put a dash cam on the steering wheel to document the total shut down that forced me off the road.

https://youtu.be/Mfaz_o1Zn00

Took it back to the dealer and the dealer stated in plain English on the service report that there was no fix available. I went through the horrible task of filing a complaint with Audi to buy the car back. The only response was an generic offer of a 15% discount on a trade in. I traded in for a Q5 standard ICE. Figure I lost 5k in the process. Low trade in from the dealer and a $2,500 market markup. There were no other options than to get an attorney involved which would have satisfied my personal anger but in the end would probably have not netted me anything better. If Audi says they simply can’t fix it what happens when an eStream breaks down. Service and infrastructure have a very long ways to go for eAnything. To top it off there are no service options other than the manufacture.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:06 AM   #8
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Interesting, it says any vehicle can tow, but what is the tongue weight. Most TV's are limited by payload, not gross towing weight. My old Jeep Grand cherokee coulc easily tow a 7000lb trailer.... but the payload was only 1080 pounds. After a 700lb tongue weight, 200 pounds for the driver, left only 200 pounds more for others and gear....

If tongue weight is super super light, maybe it will work...
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:11 AM   #9
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Interesting, it says any vehicle can tow, but what is the tongue weight. Most TV's are limited by payload, not gross towing weight. My old Jeep Grand cherokee coulc easily tow a 7000lb trailer.... but the payload was only 1080 pounds. After a 700lb tongue weight, 200 pounds for the driver, left only 200 pounds more for others and gear....

If tongue weight is super super light, maybe it will work...
To make this concept work for a smaller vehicle or BEV, which is their goal, it will need a low tongue weight. Dethleff, who developed the concept and have demonstrated it on the road, publish 4% as a minimum for other trailers they sell. Those don’t have the active trailer stability features this concept has.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
Interesting, it says any vehicle can tow, but what is the tongue weight. Most TV's are limited by payload, not gross towing weight. My old Jeep Grand cherokee coulc easily tow a 7000lb trailer.... but the payload was only 1080 pounds. After a 700lb tongue weight, 200 pounds for the driver, left only 200 pounds more for others and gear....

If tongue weight is super super light, maybe it will work...
Unclear. Supposedly the tongue weight is very low, which I would expect means you have to be very careful about how you would load the trailer. The drive wheels most likely provide anti sway capability and also act as regenerative brakes, so you're not over loading your TV braking system.

Lots of question marks, and since even the prototype is not approved to be operated on US roads, I assume this thing is years away from hitting the showroom, if ever.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:18 AM   #11
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You know I could be wrong, but that last picture with the rear bumper. That looks eerily like it was wind tunnel designed. Those ribs look just like some of the rear bottom of electric cars.....
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:35 AM   #12
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You know I could be wrong, but that last picture with the rear bumper. That looks eerily like it was wind tunnel designed. Those ribs look just like some of the rear bottom of electric cars.....
I asked the rep about there being no awning. He said the purposely designed it to be aerodynamic with nothing on the roof except flexible solar panels. And that ridge at the top with the lights that runs the length of the side of the trailer is there for air flow control. I assume they actually did some sort of wind tunnel testing.
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Old 01-24-2022, 11:25 AM   #13
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I know they did this study:

https://by-t04.na1.hubspotlinks.com/...dz5818c4H3hPc1


At some point though, even in the video they acknowledge that the trailer is already very aerodynamic......and it very well may be, but towing it does not yield any large MPG increases as far as I've been able to tell and compare to similar sized SOBs. Gassers get between 10 and 11 on average with diesel being a bit more with the current production design. For sure I notice a difference in cross winds compared to my SOB friends, still no real MPG gain to speak of.

Now if taking everything off and nixing the awning gets 5-10+ mpg increase, then it's worth talking about, but I for one really like and use my awning and I like that, at least for the most part, many are still manually retractable. So keeping the awning and put a wind shaping device in front to deflect wind resistance and take 1 less MPG as a hit. My guess is, in wind tunnel all this looks great, but in reality how much of a gain (minus e-drive) does all this shaving get us in term of range? 1 maybe 2 mpg? My guess is maybe not even that much given it's already not too shabby in the wind tunnel as is (with a few noted exceptions).
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:45 PM   #14
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I asked the rep about there being no awning. He said the purposely designed it to be aerodynamic with nothing on the roof except flexible solar panels. And that ridge at the top with the lights that runs the length of the side of the trailer is there for air flow control. I assume they actually did some sort of wind tunnel testing.


I like the thought that you may never need an awning because you can just rotate the entire trailer if your spot isnít perfect. No need for a TV to try and maneuver it when your iPad will do it.

Obviously still a concept, so itís all a theoretical conversation and may not be practical for real life in an RV park.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:12 PM   #15
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I like the thought that you may never need an awning because you can just rotate the entire trailer if your spot isnít perfect. No need for a TV to try and maneuver it when your iPad will do it.

Obviously still a concept, so itís all a theoretical conversation and may not be practical for real life in an RV park.
Anyone in R&D who thinks rotating a trailer to avoid the sun is a good idea has never camped in a campground. Don't think I've ever had a site in any commercial campground where this would have been possible.

More likely, the production model will look much more like current trailers that the concept trailer.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:46 PM   #16
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If anything it's a marketing statement, resting on 90 years of history and projecting the iconic brand in the future. It's not targeted to baby boomer neanderthals like myself who think of all the things that might fail when in the middle of nowhere, which for many of us, is where we like to camp.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:59 PM   #17
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The killer feature here is not that it drives itself at the campground, but that you can use it with many more tow vehicles. If they could just publish a PDF of 20 or 30 vehicles “certified to tow this Airstream” that would be helpful. Save new owners from 20+ hours of research, potentially buying a new vehicle, anxiety that they have the wrong vehicle, correct hitch, etc. No yellow payload stickers, no payload calculators or forum discussions about tow vehicles. I don’t need it to dim the lights for me.
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Old 01-24-2022, 05:59 PM   #18
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Regarding the awning and the MPG discussion. They will do what every manufacturer does. They will design and test the most basic unit, make it super aerodynamic and light, and the thing will be bare, nothing on it. But they will be able to claim it gets XX MPG etc.. then when you order and you want an AC unit, an awning, a sink, a bed, etc etc (being sarcastic a bit), they will have a disclaimer stating that adding additional options will impact MPG... its all for the marketing etc. My F150 eco boost should get 21 MPG according to the dealer, but when I get 19 mpg (which is still great) they tell me its because of the options i added.....

Its all good though, very innovative and cool, and there will be some great things that come out as a result of this project for all of us, even if we never buy one.
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Old 01-24-2022, 06:32 PM   #19
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It's a concept RV model and probably many years out. I think the self parking may be possible today. Integrate an electric car/rv dolly with decent lithium batteries and I think it just might be doable.
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Old 01-24-2022, 06:37 PM   #20
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My F150 eco boost should get 21 MPG according to the dealer, but when I get 19 mpg (which is still great) they tell me its because of the options i added.....
Unless those options are weightless your dealer is correct because…

physics.
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