...Pushing the van with a trailer to keep the van moving is not much different from pushing the van with a trailer for through-the-road battery charging (which is not regenerative braking). Pushing the van with a trailer hard enough to accelerate the van is downright scary.
I'm with Ken on this one!
Sorry for the major edit. I'm cleaning it up but not really changing the meaning.
Pushing the van with a trailer is worse than if you are pulling a trailer and the trailer gets away from you while stopping. Youtube has plenty of examples of that.
- You have two wheels forming a triangle with the ball. The ball not only allows turning left to right but also up and down or twisting motions.
- You have two wheels driving the trailer, which when everything works and the van is going straight, would push the van down the road.
- If you're taking a highway-style turn, the trailer pushes straight forward for it, which means toward the outside of the curve for the van. It's not pushing the front of the van that direction, it's pushing the rear of it.
- The sharper the turn the more the trailer tries to push the rear of the fan off-course.
- If you're in a sharp turn with the trailer at 90 degrees to the van, the trailer uses all its force to push the rear of the van toward the outside of the turn. If you're on ice, you have vehicle damage right there no matter what.
- If you have one trailer wheel with good traction and the other on slippery or lose material, then the ball experiences a force to the left or right, torquing the van's rear again to one side or the other, but you don't know which side until it happens and in 2 feet it might be pushing in the opposite direction. If the van does NOT have good traction on all wheels you're likely to have vehicle damage again.
- Even using trailer brakes strongly on questionable traction is sometimes difficult to control. Most trailer stopping accidents happen because the trailer pushes the rear of the vehicle off course and to one side or the other. Which means trailers are prone to this type of physics already, just because they have mass.
Most of this occurred to me shortly after I posted my original post here. That's why I backpedaled on it in my second post.
I don't think a generator on a trailer is an inherently bad idea, but any sort trailer with power to the wheels is absolutely positively not going to happen if I'm involved.
Just having a high voltage high current line running between the trailer and the car is going to require some amazing safety gear.