Teardrop camping trailer increases the range of electric vehicles – with lots of batteries on board

Colorado Teardrops announced earlier this month that it had completed the prototype version of “the world’s first RV trailer designed to extend the towing range of electric vehicles.”

What might seem like an odd product niche could answer a dilemma for some Americans with luxury budgets: While an electric vehicle might work just fine for the vast majority of the year, a woman’s annual camping trip week may be the deciding factor.

As some who have tried towing with their EVs, including Tesla, can attest, actual range while towing can be abysmal. Expect a range of 60% to 75% of the normal range, and some larger caravans will cut the range in half.

This is where the idea for the Boulder comes in, a 12-foot-long teardrop-shaped electrified camping trailer introduced just over a year ago. With around 75kwh of batteries mounted in its lower chassis area, just a few kwh of the usable capacity of a number of popular electric crossovers like the Tesla Model Y or Volkswagen ID.4 – it effectively carries an extra battery. According to the company, it has the potential to produce a total range when towing greater than the original range of the electric tow vehicle.

Colorado Teardrops Boulder EV Camper Trailer

With the announcement of its prototype, Colorado Teardrops announced that it “has partnered with a major automaker to advance technology directly relevant to The Boulder.”

The company has also confirmed that it has completed the initial phase of Boulder’s development. A development stage enabling Level 2 charging has been completed, while they are currently working on DC fast charging between trailer and tow vehicle which will be the catalyst to make the idea work.

To make it all work i.e. travelers will have to pull over and essentially plug the trailer into the electric vehicle, allowing it to quickly charge the vehicle up to 60kW, or potentially higher power for shorter periods, as the company suggested 100 miles of range returned in 10 minutes.

Colorado Teardrops - Boulder's Electrified Travel Trailer

Colorado Teardrops – Boulder’s Electrified Travel Trailer

When first revealed last year, the company suggested the Boulder’s dry weight would be just 1,950 pounds, with a tongue weight of 185 pounds. It will accommodate a family of four, including a queen-size mattress, bunk beds, a dining area with sofas, indoor air conditioning and a hot shower, and a fold-out kitchen, possibly with a table. induction cooking.

According to the company, the Boulder retains the classic teardrop camper dimensions, but in the meantime hasn’t shied away from using trailers that might feel more at home towed by a larger vehicle like a Ford F- 150 Lightning or a Rivian R1T. Two future models, the 17-foot Golden and the 27-foot Denver, don’t retain the same teardrop look, but they do have hard-shell tops that retract into a lower profile when towing. When camping, they extend to provide 78 inches of headroom. He now suggests that these models, which appear to be in the rendering/planning stage only, will offer batteries up to 200kWh, which would be enough to complement Rivian’s upcoming Max pack versions of trucks.

Colorado Teardrops - The 27ft Denver Electrified Travel Trailer

Colorado Teardrops – The 27ft Denver Electrified Travel Trailer

Like many travel trailers, you’ll have to be there for the lifestyle, as you could potentially buy a lot of fancy hotel nights and a lot more electric vehicles for the price. Colorado Teardrops asks for as little as $1,000 down payment, but a $10,000 down payment guarantees a lower price starting at $45,000. The company says it is accepting reservations for the Boulder for delivery in the first half of 2023, although that already represents a pushed back schedule.

It’s not the only company offering electrified travel trailers, nor is it the first to try the idea. Airstream showed off an eStream concept earlier this year, incorporating a system developed with ZF, which could arrive in the next few years. This system, in a different trailer, managed to get an actual range of 240 miles out of an EPA-rated Audi E-Tron Sportback at 218 miles.

Keeping a big automotive grade battery unused for the rest of the year isn’t so good for the environment or the strained supply chain either, so hopefully the company thinks big about how this product could do part of the home energy ecosystem, helping households use the battery the rest of the year.

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