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Old 01-30-2021, 10:51 AM   #1
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Mfgs are missing out, they should support EV tow 4 down

To me, it seems like an electric vehicle, flat towed, would be an ideal option. Chargeable at a campground pedestal, regenerative braking that could be used and truly benefit on long hills, and the reality that most RVers donít go on long trips away from the camp site unless staying somewhere for an extended period. With the UK declaring no petro new vehicles (passenger cars, etc) by 2030, the handwriting is on the wall on petro only at some point for cars. Fewer new cars models can be flat towed these days than in the past, so it really seems we need this option. The question is: how big is the flat towed vehicle market and does it justify a Mfg making the plunge.
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Old 01-30-2021, 12:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
To me, it seems like an electric vehicle, flat towed, would be an ideal option. Chargeable at a campground pedestal, regenerative braking that could be used and truly benefit on long hills, and the reality that most RVers don’t go on long trips away from the camp site unless staying somewhere for an extended period. With the UK declaring no petro new vehicles (passenger cars, etc) by 2030, the handwriting is on the wall on petro only at some point for cars. Fewer new cars models can be flat towed these days than in the past, so it really seems we need this option. The question is: how big is the flat towed vehicle market and does it justify a Mfg making the plunge.

Great topic and right on point.

The challenge is enabling the wheels to freewheel .

The technology has been around since the mid- eighties that would allow an EV to be towed 4 down.

True 4 wheel drives use electric locking hubs that allow the wheels to disengage and turn freely . A simple , proven , inexpensive and durable solution.

It should still be possible to maintain regenerative braking to charge while towing.

I suspect the reason we haven't seen towable EV's is lack of demand .

Maybe some aftermarket company will step up and provide a conversion kit .
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Old 01-30-2021, 12:22 PM   #3
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Sorry, but don't hold your breath till it happens, the toad market all inclusive is less than a micro fraction of 1% of total new vehicle sales. If a vehicle is able to be a toad is just happenstance and not actually taken into account when the vehicle is being designed. A perfect example is the Honda CRV. It was one of the leading toad vehicles up til 2014 when Honda redesigned it with a CVT transmission to improve the overall vehicle fuel mileage. Absolutely no consideration was given to making it towable. What was the outcome of losing this toad business, sales doubled in three years due to the better fuel mileage in a large part.
What's the moral of this story, maunfacturers don't care if a vehicle is towable because it's too small a portion of sales to matter. If it can be a toad,fine, if it can't be a toad,fine, it just doesn't matter.


By the way, I spent 28+ years in product engineering for the worlds largest automotive manufacturer.
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Old 01-30-2021, 01:07 PM   #4
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When the 2020 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid becomes available in a few weeks it will be flat tow-able. The 2020 Ford Escape non plug-in Hybrid already is.
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Old 01-30-2021, 02:35 PM   #5
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Sorry, but don't hold your breath till it happens, the toad market all inclusive is less than a micro fraction of 1% of total new vehicle sales. If a vehicle is able to be a toad is just happenstance and not actually taken into account when the vehicle is being designed. A perfect example is the Honda CRV. It was one of the leading toad vehicles up til 2014 when Honda redesigned it with a CVT transmission to improve the overall vehicle fuel mileage. Absolutely no consideration was given to making it towable. What was the outcome of losing this toad business, sales doubled in three years due to the better fuel mileage in a large part.
What's the moral of this story, maunfacturers don't care if a vehicle is towable because it's too small a portion of sales to matter. If it can be a toad,fine, if it can't be a toad,fine, it just doesn't matter.


By the way, I spent 28+ years in product engineering for the worlds largest automotive manufacturer.


All very good points. What is interesting though is that none of the manufacturers appear have a desire to talk to RVers with this need. The market may be small, but it still is an influential group with discretionary income that often owns more than one vehicle and would have goodwill towards the manufacturer for other purchases. Federal MPG / MPGe requirements have a factor as well. Yet, we wonít have any new vehicle options within 20 years if it all goes electric to meet these requirements. Seems like a marketing opportunity to help ďgreenĒ the RV world a bit. First starts will be hybrid and electric pickups if pulling a travel trailer.
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Old 01-30-2021, 02:48 PM   #6
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Mfgs are missing out, they should support EV tow 4 down

I believe the new rivian truck thatís out soon is flat towable. At least the pre production was . I saw a show with test units they pulled behind a truck to recharge it, they where In the middle of nowhere Central America with no charging stations. At least itís possible to do it.
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Old 01-30-2021, 02:55 PM   #7
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When the 2020 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid becomes available in a few weeks it will be flat tow-able. The 2020 Ford Escape non plug-in Hybrid already is.
We tow a 2020 Escape Hybrid. Like pulling a 3800 lb wagon behind our Motorhome. We hardly know it is there.
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Old 01-30-2021, 05:07 PM   #8
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When GM & Ford jointly designed a new 6-speed automatic for the 2006 model year, a design requirement was that it be 4-down towable and the the first models were. By about 2012 the 4-down capability had been "cost-reduced" out of it and newer vehicles using the cost-reduced design were no longer towable. Only a few models with the original design remain. The 4-down design requirement was dropped for later 8 & 10 speed models in favor of better mpg and lower cost.
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Old 01-30-2021, 05:23 PM   #9
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It would seem that Ford is the only manufacturer interested. The MKZ hybrid is flat towable as is the Lincoln Nautilus. I hear that the 150 pickups are also flat towable.

When we went looking for a toad in 2015 our first instinct was the Subaru line. But only the manual transmission was towable and those were all striped down models with no features. We went with the MKZ hybrid because of the hybrid mileage and the features of a Lincoln.
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Old 01-30-2021, 11:52 PM   #10
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The Fisker Ocean EV due out next year will be flat towable.
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Old 02-01-2021, 06:44 PM   #11
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Probably less than 1 in 100 vehicles sold that is flat towable actually is flat towed. I dont see manufacturers rushing into it.
Premiums of decent range all electric vehicles (300miles+ of real world range) over comparable gas is way to much.

Where do they charge up when staying where there is no electric? Real pia to me.
Now, a plug in hybrid with 50 mile electric range? Perfect for most people. Honda Clarity has 45 mile all electric range. Something like that will be my next vehicle probably in 2-4 years. But not flat towable now.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:22 PM   #12
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Teslas are not that light. The model S and 3 are under 5000lbs but the model X is around 5600 lbs.
By the way, has anyone noticed the Tesla model designations?
The Models are S3XY...
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Old 02-02-2021, 07:54 AM   #13
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When Tesla announced their pickup truck, I wrote them to see if it was going to be 4 down capable-- they responded --- NO ... I told them too bad as I would have bought one and that they are missing a market segment that would probably grab them up.
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Old 02-02-2021, 07:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
Sorry, but don't hold your breath till it happens, the toad market all inclusive is less than a micro fraction of 1% of total new vehicle sales. If a vehicle is able to be a toad is just happenstance and not actually taken into account when the vehicle is being designed. A perfect example is the Honda CRV. It was one of the leading toad vehicles up til 2014 when Honda redesigned it with a CVT transmission to improve the overall vehicle fuel mileage. Absolutely no consideration was given to making it towable. What was the outcome of losing this toad business, sales doubled in three years due to the better fuel mileage in a large part.
What's the moral of this story, maunfacturers don't care if a vehicle is towable because it's too small a portion of sales to matter. If it can be a toad,fine, if it can't be a toad,fine, it just doesn't matter.


By the way, I spent 28+ years in product engineering for the worlds largest automotive manufacturer.
Completely correct. If you think car manufacturers give a damn about whether you buy their car for towing, you are mistaken. The percentage of cars towed is so small as to be insignificant, and the warranty claims tend to be higher on toads so it is debatable whether they make any money on them at all. We are very fortunate that there are ANY vehicles that can be flat towed.
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