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Airstream’s eStream camper makes me want to pack-up for life on the road


Since I moved to the US in 2010, it’s been an ambition to own an Airstream camper (or RV as they call them over here). Those shiny, space-age-looking silver trailers always make me envious when I peer at them from my damp and uncomfortable tent in sweaty south Florida.

The company’s latest concept unveiling only serves to further that desire. Parent company Thor Industries has announced an electric Airstream called the eStream (via Autoblog) with self-propelling technology and a self-contained powertrain.

This means that, instead of having to tow the travel trailer as a dead weight, the Airstream eSteam will help to pull its own. That’ll result in improved fuel efficiency or range, if you’re driving an EV.

The company says in its materials: “The technology we co-developed (with ZF) creates a synchronised relationship between the trailer and the tow vehicle, enabling the trailer to move in harmony with the tow vehicle, reducing the pulling effect required from the tow vehicle. This, in turn, dramatically improves the possible range of the combination. In essence, we’ve turned the trailer into an electric vehicle.”

Beyond that, there’s also a self-driving portion to the new concept eStream, enabling people to use a remote control to manoeuvre their camper into a camp site or parking space, after it has been detected from the towing vehicle.

The new campers could also make it easier for those without weighted hitches to handle the RV’s weight distribution. The eStream can manage that itself.

As yet, it’s unclear whether Thor will look to bring this RV to market. If it does, it’ll probably be even farther out of my price range than a standard Airstream, which starts at the same cost of a decent house (depending on where you’re buying) at $179,000. Dream on, Chris.


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