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Old 09-18-2014, 01:39 AM   #15
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I was thinking about this the other day an electric toad would just about be the perfect EV "problem" that EVs are looking to solve, ranges less of an issue, "home" would always have either reasonably high ampage EHU, battery bank and/or a genny, if it could charge from the towing vehicles alternator and/or regeneratively brake, and over here in the UK at least for limited companies (used by contractors and small businesses) 100% claim able against tax.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by washbob View Post
I would have to say No on four wheel down towing. I have a 2014 Cadillac ELR and this is from the manual:
And I had the ELR's poor cousin (the Chevy Volt) and it says the same thing. (which makes sense since it's the same drivetrain just detuned).

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Old 09-18-2014, 11:15 AM   #17
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Thanks for the idea about the VW. I had one back in the day and had the engine out several times. Piece o' cake. Now if I can only set it up for regenerative braking, I could make you really happy -- I'd have Toad brakes and I could charge the batteries at the same time.
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EV's never use just regenerative braking -- it's always blended with traditional hydraulic friction brakes. Tapping into them safely? Now THAT's the challenge....
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Originally Posted by ElvistheKing View Post
I was thinking about this the other day an electric toad would just about be the perfect EV "problem" that EVs are looking to solve, ranges less of an issue, "home" would always have either reasonably high ampage EHU, battery bank and/or a genny, if it could charge from the towing vehicles alternator and/or regeneratively brake, and over here in the UK at least for limited companies (used by contractors and small businesses) 100% claim able against tax.
Regenerative brakes have been used since at least 1900. Most makers of hybrid or electric vehicles incorporate them into their autos to extend range. They require a sophisticated computer metered braking system that uses RBS and then supplements that with friction brakes. I've not seen a VW conversion kit that adds RBS to the kit package. The key fact is, they are a braking system. To expect to use regenerative braking to charge the batteries while towing an EV behind a motorhome is not going to happen.

I've built generators powered by bicycles for classroom demonstration. Typically it is hooked to a display board of 4 incandescent and 4 compact fluorescent light bulbs. A student climbs aboard and starts pedaling while various loads are added to the generator. Very few can sustain the power needed to keep all 8 bulbs lit for more than a minute. Even the most powerful football player can be brought to a halt, standing on the pedals when a simple 12 v hair dryer is added to the system. It's a very real experience in the energy needed to generate electricity.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:06 AM   #18
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I *think* everyone you highlight above is thinking, if it is possible, that it would be nice to charge the batteries whilst the whole outfit is braking NOT charge them all the time by having the (regenerative) brakes on all the time...........

At least that is what I meant, that said my reading suggest that the regenerative brake system act more like engine braking i.e. they are "on" when your foot is off the accelerator and the brake pedal just controls the hydraulic brakes, although I guess it's not beyond the bounds of possibility to setup the over run brake lever to first "turn on" the regenerative brakes and then use the hydraulic brakes if further brake force is needed.;
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:09 PM   #19
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The Volt is a definite 'no'. Dolly only. I've seen a few people towing them on dollies, and have been tempted myself, as I could recharge the car easily in any campground. But I didn't want to screw around with the dolly.

Electrics and serial hybrids like the Volt don't have conventional transmissions, so they don't act correctly if you attempt to go 4 down.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:19 PM   #20
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We toad (electric brake Stehl) a Leaf when we are visiting family, etc. and know the day trips will be within its 80 mile range. No problems charging at 3.3 with the EVSE upgrade and their adapter at the 50amp on the pedestal. We take the gas car other times.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:36 PM   #21
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Here is another way to tow an electric vehicle. Works for us but we will also look into a tow dolly for our other electric vehicle, a nissan leaf. Too big for a trailer.




And this is our portable EVSE setup for charging either one. This is a 10KW WIFI EVSE but the reality is our Smart only charges at 3.3 KWH and the Leaf at 6.6 KWH. It plugs into a standard 50 amp RV plug.



This is a typical screen shot you will see on your PC or iphone. It is scalable in the sense that you can limit the amount of current it delivers via the App. Here you can see it is connected to 120 so it's output is a lot less.

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Old 01-13-2017, 02:49 PM   #22
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We were at one CG that noted an additional $5/day (iirc) charge for an electric car.
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:01 PM   #23
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We were at one CG that noted an additional $5/day (iirc) charge for an electric car.
Yah that makes total sense. We also let the office know if we will be charging in the campground. Some are not sure what to charge so we break it down for them and suggest minimum 5 dollars for the short and medium range EV's and maybe a little more for the long range EV's. Our little car is about 2.50 to "fill" using average power rates and our Leaf about 3.50. Most are really good about it. Some campgrounds are adding themselves to the charge station apps and making a little revenue stream on the side. Some campgrounds have older infrastructure and it is best not to strain their systems at which point there are a gazillion charge stations out there now so it is never an issue. Not as many as Europe though. Literally twice the amount we have on this side of the pond and in about the same area. We have some catching up to do. I think it will take off when business figure out that charge stations are set to become very big loss leader attractions to restaurants, shopping malls and box stores. It works on us.
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:09 PM   #24
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We toad (electric brake Stehl) a Leaf when we are visiting family, etc. and know the day trips will be within its 80 mile range. No problems charging at 3.3 with the EVSE upgrade and their adapter at the 50amp on the pedestal. We take the gas car other times.
So you tow the Nissan Leaf 4 down or on a dolly?
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:49 AM   #25
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Nice charging setup Radar. We have a 50amp plug in Clipper Creek we could bring to get 6.6, but the 3.3 works just fine.
Bfinn, we use an electric brake dolly made by Stehl. Initial concerns about dollying were settled when the Nissan provided tow service just lifted the front with a conventional wrecker on a friend's 2015 Leaf when he ran out of battery one day, same as a dolly.
If you lift the rear wheels with a jack you will see they spin freely. Make sure the ebrake is off and lace the drivers seat belt around the steering wheel and pull tight if your dolly requires a locked steering.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:01 AM   #26
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Pics!
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:49 AM   #27
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Pics!
Thanks for the pics.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:04 AM   #28
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John, here are a few loaded. The plywood ramps lift the nose so the front skirt clears. 2x8's split, so plywood= better. We use them on anything we load. No worries about the fixed ramps hitting under the car on dips, because the tongue scrapes first. (Notice the tongue rest needs fixed. Happened before I raised it 2")
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