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Bowlus Trailer: is towing the larger model feasible?

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by Marcia L, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Marcia L

    Marcia L Member

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    We went last week to see in person the Bowlus travel trailers. Very impressive! I ended up liking the larger Endless Highways model so much more but wondered if it would be feasible to tow with the current supercharging infrastructure. Is anybody towing this model? Comparison of Endless Highways with On the Road models: EH is 8'6" high, OTR is 8'3"; length 25'9" for EH, 23'9" for OTR; dry weight 3200 lb EH vs 2500 for OTR. I have an X P100D with 22" wheels. I realize I'd have to swap the wheels out for 20". Thoughts? @ohmman @jackbowers
     
  2. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    My feeling is that the difference between the 24' and 26' will be pretty limited and will still probably be better than my rig. @idoco is worth tagging since he's more active these days than @jackbowers. I have been tempted with that model as well - it's really pretty. I haven't seen that one in person but did get to see Jack's when he was in town.
     
  3. Marcia L

    Marcia L Member

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    @ohmman tell me again what you are towing? I haven't had range anxiety with my MX but I'm afraid it would set in big time with towing. I've read everything I can find on posts or blogs from MX towing but sure I've missed some. Things that I really like on the Endless Highways model over the other is ability to run the A/C a bit if not plugged in; shower and toilet are separate and both have more room; roomy outdoor storage for stuff that might get wet or dirty; solid wood doors close off the bedroom from the rest of the unit for better sound-proofing. This is good since I like to go to bed early and am a light sleeper whereas my partner is a night owl and likes to stay up and read. I haven't towed anything in my life so having some anxiety over that as well. We have a 4-wheel pop-up camper on a Toyota Tundra and while it has served well, I am loathe to drive an ICE anymore.
     
  4. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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  5. idoco

    idoco Member

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    Not @ohmman. But I do have a Bowlus Road Chief 24'. [baddadjoke]And I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night [/baddadjoke]

    tldr
    You'll be fine with either one

    Long version
    I'll start with we love our Road Chief. We've probably put 10-15k miles on it over the last two years. We'll put another 8k miles on in next year. We've met other owners who have put two to three times that mileage on it over the last five years.

    In terms of 24' vs 26' I think you hit the main differences. Bigger bathroom is nice. OTOH we both shower in the 24' footer and find it functional.

    The outdoor storage also is a nice addition. OTOH there is a ton of room in the MX. We use the frunk and under the back compartment for transporting outside/dirty stuff. I also have an X-Rack | A new cargo solution specially designed for the Tesla Model X in the back compartment. Mostly serves as a shelf. But gives the option of carrying stuff when the trailer is not hitched.

    Bells and whistles stuff (Lithium, bluetooth, etc) are nice touches. If you plan on boondocking a lot then lithium makes more sense. If mainly going to campgrounds with hookups then not as big a deal. We've gone 5 days/4 nights off grid with the standard lead acid battery. Probably could go a little longer if we didn't have to run the electronics for the propane heating (it was in the 30's at night).

    Same with A/C on lithium. Nice touch. But if it's so hot you need A/C you might need it for more than four hours. Better to just travel where you don't need A/C or have access to plugging in to run A/C full time.

    Finally consumption. As I mentioned in the other thread you might want to see about a demo run loaner. Short of that here are my best guesses on consumption. Numbers are based on flat terrain, good weather, 20" wheels, and 55mph.

    We get about 170 miles range with our 90D. That translates to ~470wH/mile. For a 100D that same 470wH/mile would give a range of 205 miles. I believe the Airstream owners are reporting consumption of 575wH/mile and ranges of 140 miles and 170 miles (90D and 100D respectively).

    Even though longer than the Airstream, the 26' Bowlus is still lighter, shorter and narrower. I would think that using an estimate that splits the difference would be pretty safe. So say 525wH/mile. With a 100D that's 185 miles range.

    If you worried about range I think you'll be fine with the 185 miles. As an aside we were in Newfoundland for 2 months. No superchargers. Basically campground to campground charging. We made it without any issues. So if you're planning on travelling the Continental US and Canada you should have no issues.

    The biggest difference with pulling a trailer is pace of travel. Keep it under 62mph. Plan on more frequent charging stops (we usually stop every 2-3 hours). Plan on slightly longer charging stops. Plan on shorter days on the road (we've gone up to 500 miles in a day with the trailer, but usually prefer less than 200 miles). And plan on staying at locations longer. Unless we are just using a campground as an overnight charging location we prefer a minimum of 3-4 nights at any location.

    If you have any more question please see the blog link in my signature. Or feel free to reach out.
     
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  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    At what speed?

    You mention later in your post to “Keep it under 62mph” but I’m curious to know if you are going that fast and getting 470Wh/mi.

    And, as I noted in the other thread where @Marcia L bposted her question about towing the Bowlus EH, I would not expect much difference in energy usage between the two Bowlus models. An X100D will tow either one just fine. They look like awesome trailers, and their shape is more “slippery” compared to any other trailer I know of. They are going to be the equal of, or better to, the much smaller trailer I tow with my X.
     
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  7. Marcia L

    Marcia L Member

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    @idoco thank you for your reply. I have read all your blog! Helena mentioned you when showing us the trailers. We love boondocking and have done a lot of it. Seems like campgrounds would be more of a necessity though in order to charge the car. I was thinking I'd wait until Tesla comes out with a PU, which will hopefully have more range. But I could be waiting a while and in the meantime, missing out on camping in style with my Tesla and we are not getting any younger :)

    My financial advisor already thought I was crazy when I mentioned about the 24' Road Chief. Wait till he hears I want the 26' one and what it costs! BTW, I'm from near your neck of the woods: Kennett Square, PA. Been in Arizona for 40 years now. All that time back there, never visited New England. Hoping to change that.
     
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  8. idoco

    idoco Member

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    Numbers are based on flat terrain, good weather, 20" wheels, and 55mph. I mention the 62mph because the maximum speed rating for the trailer tires is listed as 65mph.

    What speed to travel when towing could be a thread of its own. I generally travel the fastest speed I can, that will get me to the next charging opportunity, with a reasonable SOC buffer. I use a combination of the range estimate on the energy graph and average consumption since the last charge for determining a safe speed.

    On highways where the speed limit is 65mph I've traveled as slow as 45mph and as fast as 62mph. For the former it was 140 miles to the next charge with elevation changes, rain, cold, and headwinds. The latter would be basically any situation where the next supercharger is less than 120 miles away and I started with > 90% charge.
     
  9. idoco

    idoco Member

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    @Marcia L We're on the other side of Philly in Bucks County.

    Campgrounds are necessary for charging only when the charging infrastructure is sparse. But if the charging infrastructure is built out then you can boondock within a 50-75 mile radius of a supercharger.

    For example...in the picture below (Southern Utah) you could charge at a SC, boondock, and return to the charger. The circles are 50 mile radius.

    50mile.JPG

    A few weeks ago we camped without hookups along the Skyline Drive. We were less than 70 miles from the nearest supercharger so we knew we could get back to it. We also had the benefit of a few scattered level 2 chargers in the area. So we would park the MX at them, to get some added range over a few hours,while we hiked or ate a meal.
     
  10. jackbowers

    jackbowers Jack Bowers

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    Hoping to do some Model Y tow testing next year. If I can come up with 700 lbs of dead weight I could probably get a pretty good idea of the range impact of the heavier Endless Highways version. A rough guess would be 10-15% less range on mountainous routes and 5-10% less on flat routes.
     
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  11. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    The new pickup may be the preferred towing vehicle with a larger battery pack intended for towing...
     
  12. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I’ll definitely be watching things closely on November 21st.
     
  13. Marcia L

    Marcia L Member

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    I've been thinking that but who knows how long it will be. **tapping foot impatiently**
     

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