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vandy1981

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We live in Nashville, TN, and use our travel trailer on some hunting land in Kentucky. My dog and I did a test run on Saturday to scope out the charging infrastructure and efficiency data to make sure there are no surprises for hunting season. Overall, I was pleased with the towing capability but look forward to the day when there are more trailer-friendly charging stations.

The dimensions of the trailer (Micro Minnie 2100 BH) are 7' W x 22' L x 11' H and the weight is 4100 pounds.

Key observations:
-Overall efficiency was 1.1 mi/kwh over 330 miles. I purposely planted myself behind slower-moving semis in the right lane to maximize efficiency
-I spend $44 on charging and would have spent around $140 with our old gas truck. I spent 2.5 hours charging at fast chargers. My time is more valuable than that, but it's all about the journey and not the destination.
-The truck towed so confidently that I occasionally forgot I was even pulling the trailer. I realize it's a smallish trailer, but I never had this sensation with the Ram 1500 Hemi eTorque that we previously used to tow this trailer
-The trailer backup assist was brilliant when it was working, but it kept throwing errors and disengaging. I'm using the sticker on the trailer tongue and will try relocating the sticker to see if that helps. Otherwise I'll need to look into installing the yaw sensor
-It's unforgiveable that there is no built-in display of kW in the truck or on the app. Other manufacturers do this much better and it's helpful to know if there are any throttling issues with the charger
-Only 1 of 8 EA chargers were broken between the two locations I visited. There were always at least 2 unoccupied but functional chargers at all 3 charging stops.
-Plug and charge was flawless. It's so good that I don't mind paying extra to use the service vs an EA plus subscription through the app.
-Both Electrify America stations I used had the potential to accommodate a vehicle pulling a trailer without blocking chargers. At one location it was only possible if there weren't cars parked in adjacent ICE spots. At the other location, they placed a cart corral directly adjacent to the charger which made it very difficult to maneuver a trailer. I was lucky because I only had to drop the trailer once out of the 3 times I used Electrify America on the trip.
-Pet mode needs to happen ASAP. There is currently no way to see if the vehicle is running unless you start the vehicle through the app
-When you enter a location into the Ford navigation system you get an estimated distance that changes when you actually start navigating. I think the initial value is "as the crow flies" because it's always significantly lower than the actual distance. I was fooled on one of the legs and unplugged too early because the I was going by the initial distance.
-ABRP (using live OBD data) seems to be more accurate than the Ford Navigation in regards to consumption estimates. The Ford system was much more pessimistic than ABRP even though it should have logged hundreds of miles with the trailer profile by now.
-ABRP is supposed to use live weather data in its calculations, but it's really important to be aware of windspeed and direction while towing a trailer. It makes a huge difference with efficiency and may drastically affect your routing/charging strategy.

Trip Data:
Nashville, TN to Clarksville, TN
1.06mi/kwh, mostly between 65-70 mph

Clarksville Electrify America Charger-53% to 91% (50 kWh) over 42 minutes. 3 of 4 chargers were working. I was able to keep the trailer connected while charging. I did not block charging spots, but did block several ICE spots.
20220813_095503.jpg
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Clarksville, TN to Rural KY Town
1.06 mi/kwh, mostly between 55 and 65 mph

Level 2 charging in Rural KY town- 33% to 40% (10kWh). I would have been able to skip this charging session and the Paducah charging station if I had access to a nearby Tesla Supercharger station.
20220813_130938.jpg

Rural KY Town to Paducah, KY
1.2 mi/kwh, mostly 50-55 mph

Paducah Electrify America Charger-6% to 70% (85 kW) over 49 minutes. All chargers were working. I was able to charge with the trailer connected but had to block one charger because of a poorly placed cart corral. There was an empty, functional CCS/CHAdeMO station during my entire session, otherwise I would have moved.
20220813_151523.jpg
20220813_151550.jpg
20220813_151539.jpg

Paducah, KY to Clarksville, TN
1.08 mi/kwh, mostly 60-65 mph

Clarksville Electrify America Charger-2% to 66% (85 kWh) over 43 minutes. I had to drop the trailer to charge because several cars were parked in ICE spots.

Clarksville, TN to Nashville, TN
.96 mi/kwh, mostly 65-70 mph

 
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beatle

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I didn't see where he complained about efficiency. Did you read the post?

Taking other roads may not be an option and may actually be a worse idea if you're pulling a trailer. Just let ABRP work its magic.

@vandy1981 what is your ABRP low/medium/high speed confidence level while pulling the trailer and what has it set your 65mph consumption rate to?
 
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vandy1981

vandy1981

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I am gonna keep hammering you guys that are towing. You cannot drive like ICE and expect any sort of efficiency. Sure being behind a semi may help, but you need to get off the interstate and take the older highways where you slow down and speed up. This will reduce the overall time you have to sit there charging. Just something to think about. What was your trailer brake setting at?
I think the gain is set to 4. I've used a trailer brake tester to see what happens with 1 pedal driving and light braking and the trailer brakes don't engage with 1 pedal driving regen or light use of the brakes, even with the gain set to its maximum.

Your recommendations on using back roads only makes sense if the distance traveled is close enough, the terrain is equally flat and you're able to maintain a constant speed. It also depends on having chargers where you need them.
 
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vandy1981

vandy1981

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I didn't see where he complained about efficiency. Did you read the post?

Taking other roads may not be an option and may actually be a worse idea if you're pulling a trailer. Just let ABRP work its magic.

@vandy1981 what is your ABRP low/medium/high speed confidence level while pulling the trailer and what has it set your 65mph consumption rate to?
In general I'm getting around 1.1 mi/kwh at 55-60 mph, 1.0 mi/kwh at 60-65 mph and 0.9 mi/kwh at 65-70 mph. I don't trust ABRP with the trailer yet. I have a profile set up for the trailer, but I don't think it has scraped enough data from the OBD port so far to give me an accurate efficiency curve.
 

Firestop

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He is getting the same efficiency with a 4000lb trailer that others are getting in similiar areas with double the weight and longer trailer. There was a comment about time being valuable and another about efficiency. Whether or not you are towing a trailer doesnt change that the underlying powertrain(electric motors) will never be efficient maintaining a constant velocity. You are also missing out on the brake regen miles by remaining at a constant velocity.

OP, constant speed is what makes it inefficient, but I agree with you on charger location. Driving different and more efficiently reduces your time at the charging station. Great feedback though, excited about hunting season myself.
IMHO, weight of the trailer is not going to have a significant impact on the Lightnin’s efficiency at any given speed…its the dimensions of the “wind sail” (I.e. trailer profile) at any given speed that you’re dragging down the road that has the biggest impact, followed by terrain and head (or tail) wind speed.

The speed you drive is the cheapest and easiest factor effecting efficiency most of us can control given (my guess is) we love our trailers, weather is beyond our control, and we have to go where we need/want to go.

As for speed, everyone has different tolerances in what there willing to pay for any commodity, including electricty and time to use an EV….and that’s ok…….
 


cvalue13

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I spend $44 on charging and would have spent around $140 with our old gas truck. I spent 2.5 hours charging at fast chargers. My time is more valuable than that, but it's all about the journey and not the destination.
Aside from the pure fuel differential, ill be interested to watch over time owners’ experience with longer term maintenance costs theoretically attributable to towing stressors on the vehicles. I don’t tow myself but know a number of folks who do, and their attitudes towards vehicle maintenance are variable, but several have rather strong views on breaks, cooling, and fluids maintenance that - in theory - may be absent or reduced in EV trucks?

In any event, as EV infrastructure improves, that refuel time delta will hopefully narrow.

thanks for the great info and time taken to relay it. I’m beginning to want to tow, and these posts help me scope that want
 

blpublic

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IMHO, weight of the trailer is not going to have a significant impact on the Lightnin’s efficiency at any given speed…its the dimensions of the “wind sail” (I.e. trailer profile) at any given speed that you’re dragging down the road that has the biggest impact, followed by terrain and head (or tail) wind speed.

The speed you drive is the cheapest and easiest factor effecting efficiency most of us can control given (my guess is) we love our trailers, weather is beyond our control, and we have to go where we need/want to go.

As for speed, everyone has different tolerances in what there willing to pay for any commodity, including electricty and time to use an EV….and that’s ok…….
This has been our experience with towing open trailers. It's all about aerodynamics. Simply having chairs standing up or a trailer ramp up vs. down make a huge difference (.8 vs. 1.2 for ramp).
 

Griddlez

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Amazing write up - thank you for sharing. Very glad to hear the Paducah stations are up and going, will be using those in a few weeks for sure.
 
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vandy1981

vandy1981

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Amazing write up - thank you for sharing. Very glad to hear the Paducah stations are up and going, will be using those in a few weeks for sure.
Drag that cart corral in Paducah out of the way if no one is looking ;). I almost did it when I was there but there were too many witnesses and a car in the way.
 

Griswold22

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Thanks for sharing.
Can’t wait to get mine before the end of the camping season, your experience was very insightful for me since I will tow a very similar trailer (20´ long, 7’4’’ wide and 10’ high).
I can assume that you had the A/C running all the way?

XLT SR Silver, in production since 09/01

 

 
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