Luxury RV maker Bowlus has tested its 27.1-foot (8.25-meter) long Terra Firma RV with the Tesla Model X and reached some interesting conclusions when it comes to towing range.
The company claims that the Terra Firma RV has proven itself as "the perfect complement to premium electric SUVs" after the Tesla Model X towing it achieved 71% of its estimated EPA range on a full charge.
Internal testing performed by Bowlus that mimicked EPA highway fuel economy tests in real-world conditions resulted in the travel trailer covering 235 miles hooked to the Tesla Model X. That's 71% of the electric SUV's EPA range of 330 miles and Bowlus claims the result is an industry best.
Range testing with the Bowlus Terra Firma included a similar driving cycle to EPA Highway fuel economy tests, which involved driving the legal speed limit in California (55 mph while towing), 55-60 mph speeds in Nevada, as well as keeping speed limits on secondary roads and driving slower in windy or uphill conditions.
The outside air temperature during the tests was between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius) and the air conditioning was turned off—the fan was on, though. Heated seats and heated steering wheel functions were used during colder mornings. The total distance traveled on the test was 930 miles, including a wind advisory and climb from sea level to 4,730 feet (1,441 meters).
"We chose to test the leading electric SUV towing a Bowlus because with the size, shape and weight of our travel trailer, we felt confident you could use your EV and maintain the majority of your range pulling a Bowlus. Our hunch proved correct. With Bowlus' light weight and aerodynamic design we were able to be towed for 235 miles on a full charge. Not only does this prove practical for luxury land travelers, but as younger generations continue to view technological conveniences as luxury, we feel we’re positioned to enhance land travel experiences for anyone who drives an EV."
With a starting price of $285,000, the Bowlus Terra Firma EV blends a 1930s Streamline Moderne design with features like heated floors, on-board WiFi, remote temperature control from mobile devices, and lithium-iron-phosphate batteries with a capacity of up to 600 Ah/7680Wh that enable up to two weeks off-grid electric power. Functionalities also include emergency EV charging capabilities that allow the Bowlus trailer to charge an EV low on battery power.
Following the Tesla Model X test, Bowlus says it plans to perform additional range testing with other vehicles such as the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian's R1T and R1S.