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Once again, I've outdone my prior absurdity. Spontaneous camping trip. Did a ~7000 ft climb up the mountain with an awesome 1.9 miles per kWh, Everything went swimmingly, and the ride back down was a done almost entirely in regen. But yeah, seriously. When a good pickup option comes up, the eGolf can go. Packing and unpacking is turning in to a really strategic and carefully orchestrated exercise that I tire of. And with the kids getting bigger...oh boy. So yeah. Rivian? Supposed to be this fall, isn't it?
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And as luck would have it, our camp site had no seating around the fire pit, so we went on expedition.
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Rivian is postponing their release until summer of next year, and even then, if you don't have an early deposit in place, you're looking at a several year waiting list. GM and Tesla are probably going to be the first to have a widely available (and somewhat affordable -- I'm looking at you, Bollinger) BEV truck, though Ford should be close.

I figure I'll probably have these bad boys up and running with 200+ miles of range and CCS quick charging before the first of those other trucks is released...
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How did that rear platform feel as you were driving on gravel roads? (Asking because we have the same hitch.) Is it reasonably steady, or bouncing around a lot?
 

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We just went camping last weekend and took the Mazda CX-5. With only 1 two year old child, I packed everything to the ceiling and barely fit everything. The campsite had nothing but a fire pit, so everything else had to be brought in. We didn't have a table, which would have been nice.

I'm trying to soften up my wife to the idea of a Cybertruck. We could have fit a folding table if we had a truck, but that's just not realistic in any car. I'm interested in the other offerings too, such as Rivian and Bollinger, but those will probably cost too much (the base Cybertruck is already way more than I'd want to spend on a vehicle).

The RAV4 Prime is looking very interesting, but I imagine it has similar space as our CX-5.

Probably the right solution is to pull a trailer. I've got a folding Harbor Freight 4x8 trailer and it has worked out very well, but I don't currently have a hitch on any of my vehicles (except for the diesel truck).
 

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Once again, I've outdone my prior absurdity. Spontaneous camping trip. Did a ~7000 ft climb up the mountain with an awesome 1.9 miles per kWh, Everything went swimmingly, and the ride back down was a done almost entirely in regen. But yeah, seriously. When a good pickup option comes up, the eGolf can go. Packing and unpacking is turning in to a really strategic and carefully orchestrated exercise that I tire of. And with the kids getting bigger...oh boy. So yeah. Rivian? Supposed to be this fall, isn't it?
View attachment 30071
View attachment 30069
And as luck would have it, our camp site had no seating around the fire pit, so we went on expedition.
View attachment 30070
Oh my!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Rivian is postponing their release until summer of next year, and even then, if you don't have an early deposit in place, you're looking at a several year waiting list. GM and Tesla are probably going to be the first to have a widely available (and somewhat affordable -- I'm looking at you, Bollinger) BEV truck, though Ford should be close.

I figure I'll probably have these bad boys up and running with 200+ miles of range and CCS quick charging before the first of those other trucks is released...
View attachment 30072
I'll take the red one. Got a build blog for the upgrade?

How did that rear platform feel as you were driving on gravel roads? (Asking because we have the same hitch.) Is it reasonably steady, or bouncing around a lot?
The hitch felt fine. It's the gold standard for Bolt hitches as far as I'm concerned. The platform is OK too, the main beam is only 1/8" wall steel, I'd have prefered to have seen 3/16 but whatever. It's got a threaded insert and the bolt holds it in place with none of this extra tensioner nonsense. The worst part of the entire drive was coming back home. Somehow it scraped coming back, but not when we left... And no, it doesn't appear to be bent, but that would be a good guess. I'm considering ordering a length of 1 1/4" and raising it up a few inches just so I can leave it on there, plus I need to built a platform for my daughter's converted 70CC quad... Just need to build that battery box too.

Probably the right solution is to pull a trailer. I've got a folding Harbor Freight 4x8 trailer and it has worked out very well, but I don't currently have a hitch on any of my vehicles
Yeah I was really thinking hard about a 4x4 harbor freight trailer. Real light - It's not as though it rains much, although it might be a bit more inefficient than the roof rack and hitch platform, but maybe not? I'm thinking if I know of anybody with a 4' HF trailer I could borrow for a test run.

I also had some fantasy about building an ultralight teardrop trailer on an aluminum 4x8 but the boat is taking up all the room in the garage, and I get more use out of the boat, and a second tent for the kids is way easier.



FURTHERMORE,

What ever happened to this thing?
German RV maker builds electric camping trailer
 

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Yeah I was really thinking hard about a 4x4 harbor freight trailer. Real light - It's not as though it rains much, although it might be a bit more inefficient than the roof rack and hitch platform, but maybe not? I'm thinking if I know of anybody with a 4' HF trailer I could borrow for a test run.
My Prius was the platform I used the trailer on, but I sold it to a friend. I found that with the walls off (flat deck only), I didn't notice a trailer was attached. With the 2ft tall sidewalls on, it seemed like I was dragging an anchor. If I had a load that was the full height of the 2ft sidewalls, it was barely noticeable. Pulling a huge empty cavity is a huge negative impact on fuel economy, which is probably why trucks get such terrible economy with an empty bed.

I'd guess that a trailer would be way more efficient than that cargo box on the roof. A trailer mostly tucks behind the shadow created by the car. There's little penalty if you keep everything within that shadow.
 

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I'll take the red one. Got a build blog for the upgrade?
Unfortunately, I've been doing more working than updating. It's been a hard balance lately.

I think I'm keeping the red one, at least for now. It's not that I'm attached, but it's the one that will require the most work (it is in the worst shape). The white one I am going to try to keep as close to stock as I can while making what I consider sensible upgrades. Unfortunately, because these are integrated systems, it's going to be nearly impossible to upgrade only one component and call it a day. Even just upgrading the battery to a modern chemistry requires a lot of internal adjustments.
 

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Pulling a huge empty cavity is a huge negative impact on fuel economy, which is probably why trucks get such terrible economy with an empty bed.
Trucks get worse mileage than cars because they are taller, wider, heavier, and are geared lower for towing and hauling. Numerous studies over the years have proven that an empty bed is no less efficient than one with a bedcover or small camper type cover over it.

This study indicates that it even hurt fuel economy to put a cover over the bed Pickup Truck Tailgates | Fuel Economy - Consumer Reports News
 

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Trucks get worse mileage than cars because they are taller, wider, heavier, and are geared lower for towing and hauling. Numerous studies over the years have proven that an empty bed is no less efficient than one with a bedcover or small camper type cover over it.

This study indicates that it even hurt fuel economy to put a cover over the bed Pickup Truck Tailgates | Fuel Economy - Consumer Reports News
In an interesting bit of trivia, the Ford Ranger Electrics (pictured above) came stock with Tonneau covers because Ford believed they reduced energy consumption. In all my years of driving trucks, I, too, haven't noticed a significant difference in fuel efficiency with bed covers, campers, tailgate down, tailgate up, etc.; however, fuel economy in trucks is really difficult to measure even in the best of times. Even in that CR test, I have my doubts. I can wrap my head around the physics of why tailgate down is actually worse than tailgate up, but a Tonneau cover should produce similar results as the tailgate up. Something as simple as a breeze kicking up at their test track could have a more significant impact on their fuel economy than any of their configurations. Without seeing their exact testing procedures, I can't tell whether they repeated the test to validate their initial results.

This also brings up an interesting question of how much Tesla's Cybertruck configuration will impact aerodynamic efficiency. Reducing aerodynamic drag is a point they have emphasized above even aesthetics, so I would expect that they have actual data that a sloped bed cover starting at cab height actually does significantly improve fuel economy.
 

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This also brings up an interesting question of how much Tesla's Cybertruck configuration will impact aerodynamic efficiency. Reducing aerodynamic drag is a point they have emphasized above even aesthetics, so I would expect that they have actual data that a sloped bed cover starting at cab height actually does significantly improve fuel economy.
Elon doesn't always do everything for logical reasons... when jay Leno asked him "why you need bulletproof glass on your truck?" Elon answered "because it's badass and super cool!".
 

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We just went camping last weekend and took the Mazda CX-5. With only 1 two year old child, I packed everything to the ceiling and barely fit everything. The campsite had nothing but a fire pit, so everything else had to be brought in. We didn't have a table, which would have been nice.

I'm trying to soften up my wife to the idea of a Cybertruck. We could have fit a folding table if we had a truck, but that's just not realistic in any car. I'm interested in the other offerings too, such as Rivian and Bollinger, but those will probably cost too much (the base Cybertruck is already way more than I'd want to spend on a vehicle).

The RAV4 Prime is looking very interesting, but I imagine it has similar space as our CX-5.

Probably the right solution is to pull a trailer. I've got a folding Harbor Freight 4x8 trailer and it has worked out very well, but I don't currently have a hitch on any of my vehicles (except for the diesel truck).
I read recently that the reservations are up to 1,000,000 for the Cybertruck. For a fully refundable $100, only a fraction of those will probably convert but still, could be quite a wait so if you haven't already, get in line just in case she sees the light.
I saw a review of the RAV4 and it was impressive. Too bad they are limiting the output to I think 5k/year in the US. Definitely a smart choice for testing the waters though if you can get one.
 

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Elon doesn't always do everything for logical reasons... when jay Leno asked him "why you need bulletproof glass on your truck?" Elon answered "because it's badass and super cool!".
They omitted the part where Elon said, "Oh, and it will only be a really expensive upgrade option anyway."

Oh, I agree, though, Tesla does a lot of things just because they think they are cool; however, only if those things don't cost them anything in terms of aerodynamics. There's literally no reason to give up the modularity that is so crucial to trucks just to form an exoskeleton design that precludes the use of fifth wheels and gooseneck trailers.
 

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When we were considering buying the Bolt EV, my wife said "but what will we do when we want to drive the 400 miles to the beach?" My response, after consultation with Enterprise car rental, was "For that one trip per year, and out of the $2000 we will save switching from gasoline to electricity, I will take $215 and rent a suitable gasoline vehicle with room for three people, boogie boards, and all our beach-going needs." We (EV enthusiasts) still keep trying to make one EV meet ALL our travel needs instead of choosing one which meets 98% of them and renting that truck, van, full-size sedan, or large SUV for the other 2%. Is this an example of "capability greed"? If drivers NEED a pickup truck for six days out of a year and are willing to haul it around pretending it is a car for the other 359 days, should they not just buy one of the many ICE trucks available now?
 

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Trucks get worse mileage than cars because they are taller, wider, heavier, and are geared lower for towing and hauling. Numerous studies over the years have proven that an empty bed is no less efficient than one with a bedcover or small camper type cover over it.

This study indicates that it even hurt fuel economy to put a cover over the bed Pickup Truck Tailgates | Fuel Economy - Consumer Reports News
The bed is a source of drag, and there are plenty of things one can do to improve it. An aerocap is among the best ways to improve efficiency.

Aero treatments can be tested by using the throttle block method. You place a block under the accelerator to prevent it from going past a certain point. A baseline speed is recorded while pressing the accelerator to the block. The same test is then performed after the aero treatment to determine the new speed at the same throttle position (and road, and environmental conditions, etc). The improvement can be extrapolated out from those differences in speed.



Aerocaps for pick-up trucks
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Elon doesn't always do everything for logical reasons... when jay Leno asked him "why you need bulletproof glass on your truck?" Elon answered "because it's badass and super cool!".
Yeah there's also that whole coming of age somewhere around when this "murders per 100,000 people" chart peaked. South Africa was, and still is, as far as I know, an incredibly violent place. It was worse than El Salvador is today, and is still in the top 10. There are plenty of other places on the internet to discuss why. Please not here.
30088

Friends who grew up there had some really gnarly stories. It was no joke. That environment definitely affected them.
 

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The bed is a source of drag, and there are plenty of things one can do to improve it. An aerocap is among the best ways to improve efficiency.

Aero treatments can be tested by using the throttle block method. You place a block under the accelerator to prevent it from going past a certain point. A baseline speed is recorded while pressing the accelerator to the block. The same test is then performed after the aero treatment to determine the new speed at the same throttle position (and road, and environmental conditions, etc). The improvement can be extrapolated out from those differences in speed.



Aerocaps for pick-up trucks
Thanks. So this illustrates that there really are valid reasons for both a Tonneau cover, aeroshell, etc.
 

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The closer a vehicle matches a teardrop shape, the more aerodynamically efficient they become. Even if the design requires the rear to end abruptly, following this shape until it reaches that cutoff point maximizes efficiency. In other words, an aerocap on the bed that extends from the roof down to the tailgate still massively improves efficiency. It's all about maintaining attached (laminar) airflow over the surfaces.

 
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