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Ohmman's Airstream Adventures

Discussion in 'Model X' started by ohmman, Dec 29, 2016.

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  1. idoco

    idoco Member

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  2. NHK X

    NHK X Member

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    What an amazing thread. Thank you, and a small update. They have installed L2 chargers at Kalaloch now, irony is that BMW donated to the cause so they could implement EV charging sooner.

    Ohmman and all else on here, is it a crazy idea to want to pull a 16 ft sport or the Base camp with a 75d? Most others here either have a 90 or 100d. Intent isn’t for super long roadtrips, with two very young kids likely one supercharger and then a campground, maybe two supercharges a day if pushing it. I live in Tacoma, WA, have decent reach to most locations but there are a few supercharger gaps that would be worrisome.

    I’ve considered lighter more aerodynamic trailers (teardrops) but my wife loves the functionality and authentic of the airstreams.

    Thanks!
     
  3. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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  4. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Hey, thanks for the update on Kalaloch! That's fabulous news. And my sincere thanks to BMW.

    The 16' Sport seems likely to consume at least as much energy as the 22' Sport due to it having a larger frontal area. The 16' Sport is 96" wide, and the 22' Sport is 87.25" wide. That's a significant difference. We've had more discussions on that, and on the fact that teardrops are not very aerodynamic in this thread.

    My personal opinion is that the 75D is going to be an uncomfortable battery size. I already feel quite limited with my 90D and have been eyeing the 100D for a while, waiting in blind hope that a larger pack shows up at some point.

    @mspohr, both @jackbowers and @idoco have the Bowlus and have done write-ups on this site. It's a beautiful piece of equipment and has relatively low impact on towing. Note that the current manufacturers have revived the brand, but they appear to be quite serious about doing it justice.

    @ecarfan has shown that his Alto performs admirably from a consumption perspective as well.
     
  5. NHK X

    NHK X Member

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    That Bowles road chief looks great. Look forward to hearing some feedback on energy usage from some of those you listed.


    Also I do have the 22” wheels (I know, vanity :)). Looks like total tow weight is reduced to 3500 and tongue weight as well.. how critical is it to abide by the reduced tongue weight. I don’t completely understand how a larger diameter wheel has such an impact on tow capability.
     
  6. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    It's absolutely critical. The larger diameter wheel has a smaller tire sidewall and lower carrying capacity. I'm sorry to say, but you shouldn't be towing with a 75D and 22s. You're already borderline. I would recommend against towing even with a 100D and 22s.

    Maybe get a second set of towing wheels?
     
  7. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for these references to Tesla Bowlus owners. Very interesting trailer.
    I go back and forth on buying a trailer/RV. Still do tent camping from the Model S or Land Rover (spent two weeks this summer in Eastern Sierra and Yosemite) and enjoy that but am attracted by the comfort of a trailer. Many of our friends have purchased trailers or RVs and seem to like them.
    I'll think about it through the winter.
     
  8. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I’ll be up your way next summer for sure. If you’d like to meet and see the rig, let me know and we can make that work.
     
  9. NHK X

    NHK X Member

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    Yeah that makes perfect sense. Will definitely get another set of wheels to tow.

    I’m leaning towards the AS 22” sport. Expecting range to be around 80-90 miles on full charge. Will be painful but can reach Portland, and the coast if we need to.

    If an airstream MSRPs for around 57k new, should I factor in another 3k for hitch/towing accessories? As well as local sales tax and registration? Will have to check out the other threads on hitch recommendations, read every page on this thread and did see some of the early mentions.

    Again my towing will be for small limited jaunts, nothing like the long cross country trips you have made. Thanks again for all the advise.

    My wife and I are heavily considering doing something crazy and going pretty minimal and living out of the airstream for a few years. Just feel a need to simplify and get out more into nature.
     
  10. idoco

    idoco Member

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    If you're interested in the Bowlus here's my thread on it.

    Bowlus Road Chief Cross Country Trip

    @ohmman Bowlus just added two new models. A slightly less expensive $120k version. Same dimensions as the standard Bowlus Road Chief.

    And a longer version (26 feet vs 24 feet) with what sounds as if it might have a normal bathroom (not a wet bath). Also has outside accessible storage compartment. $185k
     
    • Informative x 2
  11. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    In addition to adding the 2 new models, looks like they also eliminated the insider program (at least from their website), which had a number of issues, like requiring you to pay for the program up front and then execute an NDA (which they would not provide prior to payment) and committed you to their terms and conditions (which they also didn't provide prior to payment).

    The 26 foot version addresses several of our concerns from the 24 foot model - separate toilet/shower areas and increased storage, while also providing the 4KWh battery power, though the price remains high - about $100K more than a customized Airstream with comparable features added after delivery.
     
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  12. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Airstreams are negotiable. On their main line, markups are in the 30% range. On the Sport line, I've heard it's more like 20%. Keep that in mind when purchasing. I negotiated 17% off of my coach MSRP and less off of my options. There are other threads on hitch discussions, like this one and this one about how I had to replace my stock receiver.

    Paging @mengwong who did just this for the last year plus. Also, I believe he's selling his Airstream.
     
  13. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I agree with @ohmman: towing with an X75D and 22” wheels is really going to limit you. You could do short trips with a compact lightweight trailer, but after investing in the trailer, if you discover you really like the camping lifestyle you may want to make longer trips and be frustrated by the battery limitation. With my X100D and 20” wheels I find myself wishing for a larger battery at times. But I try not to complain too much. :cool:

    It is critical. If you are going to tow with your X75D, get a set of 20” wheels.
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I got an email from Bowlus a few days ago promoting their new model. For that price I was surprised that the battery storage capacity wasn’t higher; it has less than my trailer. I’m sure it is a fabulous rig, beautifully made. But that price level does limit the market...
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #335 ecarfan, Oct 29, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    I recommend that you not consider the “teardrops” if you want aerodynamic efficiency. There is no real evidence that what people commonly call a teardrop trailer is aerodynamically advantageous compared to a trailer with the same frontal area and radiused corners.

    What appears to be most important is frontal area and radiused corners. The Bowlus Road Chief excels in that regard. While Airstreams have nicely radiused corners they do not have as small a frontal area as some other trailers in their class. Trailer weight is much less important in regards to towing energy usage, though certainly a low trailer weight offers other advantages.

    I suggest that you take a look at the Safari Condo Alto trailer line, which comes in 21 ft or 17 ft sizes. See Travel Trailers (Alto) | Safari Condo . Although they do not have radiused corners on both axes, they pack a lot of functionality into a relatively compact size, are extremely light for their size, and are very nicely made. My energy usage ranges from about 480Wh/mi to 550Wh/mi when towing on a level road at 55mph. That is almost as low as when towing a Bowlus with an X. Towing any Airstream will require more energy.

    Here are my thoughts on my Alto F1743 trailer: A “Safari Condo” is not an apartment in the Serengeti…

    And on towing with an X: Towing with a Tesla
     
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  16. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Wonder how much impact the 26 would have on EV range...

    With the amount they are charging, one area they should seriously reconsider is customization - providing more options for their editions.

    We liked the convection/microwave combination in the Airstream Sport 22 - and we would want to have some way to watch movies/programs on a reasonable size display (not a tablet or laptop display).
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #337 ecarfan, Oct 29, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    If you are referring a difference in energy usage between the 24 ft and 26 ft Bowlus, given their identical frontal area and shape I’m willing to bet that energy usage will be essentially identical for the two models. If one could make accurate enough measurements it is even possible that the 26 ft model would use fractionally less energy. A long time ago @ohmman posted some information in the towing energy efficiency thread about the influence of trailer length on aerodynamics.

    With the amount Bowlus charges their trailers should include their own drive motor and a 200kWh battery! ;)
     
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  18. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    The 26 foot appears to be 500 pounds heavier than the 24 foot - which will should increase energy consumption due to the additional mass.

    Unclear what the hitch weight is since the web page is showing the hitch weight at 2500 pounds - which can't be close to being right... Assuming the hitch weight is comparable and the frontal area and shape are the same - then the increased weight should impact energy consumption, though it's also possible the extra 2 feet of length might counterbalance that some.
     
  19. NHK X

    NHK X Member

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    Thanks so much to you and all the others who have given recommendations on this thread. I’ve read through so many threads and realize there is so much to learn. Will definitely get a set of towing wheels and now that I have a better understanding of what contributes to increased energy usage, keep doing research. Towing with a 75 will be extra challenging, and I do expect to have limitations in range.

    Again can’t thank all of you who have consistently and methodically analyzed the different aspects of towing.
     
  20. mengwong

    mengwong Member

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    I lived with my +1 in the AS22 for about a year. It was quite the crucible but we (and our relationship) survived. The dinette cushions really are a recipe for back pain, but otherwise it was a good experience. Details are here: Airstream Towing Equipment Recommendations - Sport or Nest

    My Airstream is on the market and if you'd like to view it, it's currently parked with a friend in Healdsburg, CA. You could take it for a trial of a few weeks if you'd like, after Thanksgiving. Message me to make arrangements. And don't miss the BBQ brisket at kinsmoke.com.
     

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