Thor and Airstream have announced a new electric concept that fundamentally challenges our collective preconceptions about what a travel trailer should look like. Instead of being just heavy on the highway, the Eastream Caravan is self-propelled, taking more loads from your towing vehicle.
This vehicle has its own autonomous electric motor and is part of a set of two electric caravans now offered by the famous brand.
Thor Industries is a leading American company dedicated to the development and production of recreational vehicles (RVs) known as motor homes, caravans and mobile homes. In its 40 years of existence, the company has been able to show an evolution in its technology for making these trailers. In recent years, emphasis has been placed on the ability of these vehicles to be fitted with electrical measurements. Thus, the eTrailer System concept was born.
Recently, the brand unveiled a new Silver Bullet caravan equipped prototype that adds remote control to handle the “walking house” in tight spaces.
Following the joint venture agreement between Deathleaf’s European parent company Thor and ZF, the two companies announced that they will be showcasing a new prototype implementation of eTrailer system technology at the Florida RV SuperShow, which will certainly be an important VR presentation. .
While the E.Home Coco Electric Caravan has a sleek design by today’s standards, it adds a vintage touch by borrowing the look of the new, classic Silver Bullet caravans. But that doesn’t mean technology has lagged behind – on the contrary.
The eTrailer system is the “iPhone moment” in caravan production
The AirStream eStream includes an electrical system capable of operating the trailer, keeping devices inside or acting as a household power source. He can also maneuver in tight spaces using the remote control provided by Thor’s mobile processor.
Although Thor bought Deathleaf, this did not stop the collaboration between the company and ZF. Thus, the Memorandum of Understanding rewritten by the two companies provided further impetus for the development of the technology of electric traction trailers known as the eTrailer System.
The idea is to use two integrated electric motors to allow the trailer to move its own mass, which reduces the effective weight applied to the barrier to zero. An electronic sensor and control system keeps the trailer at the same speed as the towing vehicle (which pulls the trailer).
This allows the power to be turned on and off without compromising safety and causing strange reactions to the trailer or driving conditions.
A test conducted by Alps Challenge, Audi e-Tron and e-Home Coco shows that the trailer system can be of great help, especially to electric vehicles. In this case, the trailer was fitted with a 40 kWh battery, which was not replaced in the new prototype.
What distinguishes the torso is that it is divided into two parts, both of which have a large capacity and are located in the chassis.
The propulsion system consists of two separate electric motors, each of which operates independently of the wheels and is managed by an advanced control system so that their speed is always integrated with the towing vehicle.
The system is designed so that the trailer is constantly driven and the weight carried on the tow vehicle is reduced to zero. It also includes a torque vector system developed by two motors to improve performance and stability.
Importantly, we are converting the trailer into another electric vehicle. But technology offers other benefits. One of them is to facilitate the opportunity to camp where there is no electrical connection. In these cases, the roof with solar panels adds extra charge to the battery.
Joseph Hellmaker, Thor’s chief inventor, explained.
When shut down when not in use, eStream can be connected to the home network and used as a backup generator during power outages.
It can also reduce household electricity bills because it can supply electricity when electricity is more expensive and recharge your battery when it is cheaper.
Thor also adds a remote control system that allows the Airstream to be operated from the outside by a mobile phone and, once disconnected, allows the Airstream to be easily positioned to the desired location, in limited areas.
The company showed the development of a joystick simulation application that allows for shorter and more controlled movements of the trailer.
The interior of the caravan is fitted in bright colors and there is even a transparent panel on the floor to reveal the battery.
The Thor eStream is equipped with an extensive power management system that allows owners to monitor the health and charging status of the battery, all of which are reflected on the integrated touchscreen and streamed in real time to connected mobile devices.