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Hi my nickname is Scrounge. Just something my older sister's friends called me as a little kid who hung around the High Schoolers working on old Model A's, 1960 GM vehicles mostly, and old farm equipment.

My wife and I purchased a Ford E 350 Coachman Freelander 24 foot RV. I retired and we just moved back to an area that produces a lot of coal and is looking at possible layoffs. Needless to say, people around here are not happy about green energy for the most part; consequently, the Ford dealer has not even been approached by anyone wanting to purchase an EV. My wife and I are older, but very receptive to anything that may help the environment.

We purchased the RV at a very good price and we drive it with gas consumption in mind. That being said, it is still a bit of a gas hog. However, the fact that we are able to stay in fairly cheap KOA's with our small dogs, cook, and so on; the RV is well worth it. We are pulling our Ford Escape or Ford Transit on a Detmers KarKady which works well currently. We would like to buy an electric pickup eventually, but have many questions about it.
I am an Industrial Electrician, also Electrician Mate First Class - Retired, and I have worked for an aircraft manufacturer as an Electronics Tech. And I have taught Industrial Electronics. So, if it is theoretical I may know it or most assuredly can find most basic controls and power systems using my current library or can purchase the info. However, when it comes to new technology and equipment that I haven't worked on or been able to study, I tend to overbuild and end up costing myself extra expense. So I have a few questions:

First, are most EV's front or rear drive? If they come in front wheel drive, is there anything preventing me from pulling it behind the RV with the front wheels on the car dolly?

Second: I am in the process of upgrading my home electrical service from 100 to 200 Amps. During the construction process I ran a 1 1/2 inch conduit from the new panel in the rear of the house to the garage in the front of the house. I installed a GFCI protected outlet (4 wire 50 Amp) in the front of the two car garage. I anticipated buying a rather high amp EV charging system which uses a range type electrical plug. Now, that of course is without having any idea which EV will suit us best, and which depends on price, looks, and other factors a person looks at when buying a pickup/car. I can also modify the feed if the EV requires some other type charger and wiring arrangement.

Third: when we settle in for the night with the RV, we usually have three alternate sources of power - the generator which provides 120 volt (A Phase, Neutral, and ground) 33 A to the RV, or a 120 volt (A Phase, Neutral, and ground) 30 A plug from the RV camp site and/or a regular 120 volt (A Phase, Neutral, and ground) 15 or 20 amp GFCI outlet from the RV camp site. So, that being said, I can come up with plugs or adaptors allowing me to charge the electric vehicle at night. I am sure vendors will be very willing to help me find the best solution. However this brings up my next question:

Fourth: I have a lot of driving time in the RV (4 or 5 days a week) - we usually travel 4 to 6 hours between sites at least. My alternator at this point charges 3 good sized heavy duty batteries - one for the engine and 2 for 12 volt appliances and lights in the RV. Not knowing the voltage of most EV battery systems or the method of EV charging control and wiring setup; is it feasible to design a charging system that can be plugged into my home 240 volt charger, a mobile charger that can be plugged into a single leg 120 volt RV power system, and a 12 volt alternator system ran by the RV engine? I have thought of a few possible solutions, some of which may be costly, others that will cost purchasing the parts but which will not cost any labor as I will wire them myself. These include 1) a convertor that will take the single leg 120 volt from either the RV generator or campsite outlets and derive a regular home type single phase 220 volt output; or 2) replace or convert the generator to a single phase 220 output. Both of these still only allow time to charge the EV batteries when set up for camping and really do not add to efficient use of lag time when driving the RV. 3) Figuring out a system that will allow using the campsite power for evening charging and the RV alternator when pulling the EV. One last note: the EV we hope to get ideally will be a Pickup with a small bed.

I have written a lot, and may have been able to answer these questions if I had ready access to manufacture information of the various EV's and EV charging systems, which I have not been able to find and study up to this point. I am sure there are RV owners who have experience with EV's and EV charging systems who have easy solutions to my questions. If I have not been clear, I would be glad to try to explain my situation better. In other words, I found this Forum and asked the question before doing possibly needless research because the means of easily dealing with my needs is readily available. I will attach a small PDF print of my request to this introduction to my problem. Thank you so much.
 

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EV's come in all flavors. FWD, RWD, AWD

Your EVSE ("wall charger") is a GFCI. "High power" is a 40 amp circuit for most people, which is 32A at 240VAC charging. Code is a charger needs to be on a dedicated circuit. Non-GFCI...duelling GFCI's may not be a good idea.

There is a way to flat tow, or "dinghy tow", some EV's. I believe the Chevy Bolt has a sequence of button pushes to enable flat towing. Some EV's prohibit it as the motor becomes a generator cooking electronics. Again, to the Bolt (I have one)... it's FWD, so towing it on a dolly, front wheels up, is the same as operating the car...the rear wheels are like mobile home or boat trailer axles, lol.

In theory, you can charge the car while towing it....it doesn't know if it's going down a hill or being towed. You're on your own here 馃槀

Most EV's come with a GFCI box that you plug into 120VAC, and 240VAC on some. The Bolt, for example has a NEMA 15 amp 120VAC plug, but adapt it, and it'll charge at 12amps on 240VAC instead of 12 amps at 120VAC. You can adapt any which way from sunday with cords and plugs and if you look at Amazon, you'll see Chinesium cord adapters for EV's to use RV park power. Or, you can make your own, fusing appropriately. Just realize, the GFCI function is sensed beyond the box, not before it...

The car will sense 120VAC single phase and 220VAC single phase. The car determines the current it pulls, the EVSE tells it the max it can pull from a circuit. In the Bolt, that's 12 amps, though you can set the car up to ask for a max of 8 amps. I used to charge on 120VAC at 12 amps, then I did a load shedding pilot engineering study where they bought me a "wall charger" (the charger is still in the car, the EVSE is a protectuon box)...with that I now am on a 40amp dedicated 240VAC circuit charging at a max of 32A. My "wall" EVSE is hardwired, though you can buy some with plugs on them. The portable one the car came with is the size of a size 12 running shoe.

I think that covers most of your stuff. Do your own due diligence on this stuff. I've been known to be wrong, though it is pretty rare 馃槀
 

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First, are most EV's front or rear drive? If they come in front wheel drive, is there anything preventing me from pulling it behind the RV with the front wheels on the car dolly?
Most two wheel drive EVs are front wheel drive, because they are based on existing platforms which are front-drive. There are exceptions - Tesla (Model S and Model 3) and a couple of others. A dolly should work, but never assume that a dolly is acceptable for any vehicle without checking the owner's manual... and fortunately those are generally available online.

Mechanically, some EVs should be okay to flat tow, or to tow on a dolly even if RWD or AWD, because no engine needs to be running to lubricate the transmission (the usual issue with towing); however, I wouldn't be surprised if any manufacturer prohibited towing with any driven axle on the ground, even when there is no apparent technical issue.
 

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One last note: the EV we hope to get ideally will be a Pickup with a small bed.
The only EV pickups likely to be available for at least a few years (as new production vehicles) are full-size trucks (with crew cabs and the usual size of box for a full-size crew-cab), and they're very heavy to tow behind the RV. Examples are the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV. Is that what you're hoping for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
EV's come in all flavors. FWD, RWD, AWD

Your EVSE ("wall charger") is a GFCI. "High power" is a 40 amp circuit for most people, which is 32A at 240VAC charging. Code is a charger needs to be on a dedicated circuit. Non-GFCI...duelling GFCI's may not be a good idea.

There is a way to flat tow, or "dinghy tow", some EV's. I believe the Chevy Bolt has a sequence of button pushes to enable flat towing. Some EV's prohibit it as the motor becomes a generator cooking electronics. Again, to the Bolt (I have one)... it's FWD, so towing it on a dolly, front wheels up, is the same as operating the car...the rear wheels are like mobile home or boat trailer axles, lol.

In theory, you can charge the car while towing it....it doesn't know if it's going down a hill or being towed. You're on your own here 馃槀

Most EV's come with a GFCI box that you plug into 120VAC, and 240VAC on some. The Bolt, for example has a NEMA 15 amp 120VAC plug, but adapt it, and it'll charge at 12amps on 240VAC instead of 12 amps at 120VAC. You can adapt any which way from sunday with cords and plugs and if you look at Amazon, you'll see Chinesium cord adapters for EV's to use RV park power. Or, you can make your own, fusing appropriately. Just realize, the GFCI function is sensed beyond the box, not before it...

The car will sense 120VAC single phase and 220VAC single phase. The car determines the current it pulls, the EVSE tells it the max it can pull from a circuit. In the Bolt, that's 12 amps, though you can set the car up to ask for a max of 8 amps. I used to charge on 120VAC at 12 amps, then I did a load shedding pilot engineering study where they bought me a "wall charger" (the charger is still in the car, the EVSE is a protectuon box)...with that I now am on a 40amp dedicated 240VAC circuit charging at a max of 32A. My "wall" EVSE is hardwired, though you can buy some with plugs on them. The portable one the car came with is the size of a size 12 running shoe.

I think that covers most of your stuff. Do your own due diligence on this stuff. I've been known to be wrong, though it is pretty rare 馃槀
Thank you, Remy. I am a retired industrial electrician. Residential wiring, which it is easy to understand and wire, is also subject to a variety of local restrictions created by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Your words of caution are necessary. And discussing your plans with the AHJ can prevent extra expense and extra work if it does not pass the AHJ inspection. And I do hope everyone has their work inspected, most insurance companies require AHJ approval, and it could be costly if something happens because of miswiring. My basement is unfinished - the old 100-amp panel had only one unused breaker, so I added a second 100 Amp panel to take care of some lighting and outlet circuits I needed in the basement. I am waiting for warm weather to replace the 100 Amp meter panel with a 200 Amp Panel. I ran conduit from the panel near the back of the basement to the garage. I ran #4 wires to the garage. I have been working with the city - they require a GFCI circuit and flame proofing between the garage and living area. In addition, a 50 Amp GFCI breaker for the new panel is very costly, so I opted for a small breaker panel in the garage with a GFCI Breaker (from a different manufacturer) located right at the future EV charger outlet. It is waiting on the 200 Amp panel, the charger, and the EV. The conduit I ran is 1 1/2 PVC, so I ran another 50 Amp circuit and a couple 30 Amp circuits for future use. I do all my electrical wiring with the pre-approval of the city and city utility department, using Visio prints and NEC/local code references. (Sorry, I not only wired, but I also taught electricians for many years, so I get long-winded).

Back to the RV and EV. Thank you so much for the info on your electric vehicle. I have a KarKady, so I was hoping to find a front wheel drive EV, like my front wheel gas autos 鈥 I do not want to tow it with the drive system on the pavement. So, I guess my EV plans will not work until I find a front wheel drive vehicle. As I said above, I have had almost zero contact with any Electric Vehicle salespersons 鈥 I live in a very heavy coal producing region, and the Ford dealer has not sold a single EV yet! I am also leaning towards a hybrid, which limits the possible vehicles even more. Thanks so much for all your information - I will use it all when I actually make the EV purchase - until then, I guess the outlet in the garage can be used for a large heater or a welder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Most two wheel drive EVs are front wheel drive, because they are based on existing platforms which are front-drive. There are exceptions - Tesla (Model S and Model 3) and a couple of others. A dolly should work, but never assume that a dolly is acceptable for any vehicle without checking the owner's manual... and fortunately those are generally available online.

Mechanically, some EVs should be okay to flat tow, or to tow on a dolly even if RWD or AWD, because no engine needs to be running to lubricate the transmission (the usual issue with towing); however, I wouldn't be surprised if any manufacturer prohibited towing with any driven axle on the ground, even when there is no apparent technical issue.
Thanks Brian. You give me hope that I will eventually find just what I want. I actually purchased the dolly from a neighbor who bought it and then found out that his car would not fit on it. Poor guy, had really bad luck; his very expensive RV somehow had all the airbags accidently go off and really messed up the interior. This retired gentleman cannot afford to fix it and so far no one has made an offer to buy it (it has been several years). So, I told him I would buy the KarKady if he wanted to sell it separately - he was very happy to do so. We have used it for a year now pulling both our Ford Transit Connect and Ford Escape. I won't flat tow or buy anything not front wheel drive. I believe we will take a trip to the closest big city and visit a variety of EV dealerships.
Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only EV pickups likely to be available for at least a few years (as new production vehicles) are full-size trucks (with crew cabs and the usual size of box for a full-size crew-cab), and they're very heavy to tow behind the RV. Examples are the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV. Is that what you're hoping for?
No, I just want a smaller double cab pickup with a short bed if possible. But that is not for traveling with the RV anyway, it was just an attempt to buy a vehicle with a dual purpose - traveling and hauling stuff to the dump, from the store, and etc. Rather, I will probably buy an EV auto and a small trailer to pull behind my Escape. That works just as well.
Thanks again Brian.
 

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.. I have a KarKady, so I was hoping to find a front wheel drive EV, like my front wheel gas autos 鈥 I do not want to tow it with the drive system on the pavement. So, I guess my EV plans will not work until I find a front wheel drive vehicle.
That's easy. :) The largest-selling modern EV model before the Tesla Model 3 was the Nissan Leaf, and the Leaf is front wheel drive. So are the Chevrolet Bolt and Fiat 500e, and so are any 2WD Kia and Hyundai EV models, as well as the early half-hearted EV efforts from Ford (Focus EV) and Volkswagen (eGolf). Almost anything actually on the road (not coming models) which is two wheel drive and not Tesla is front wheel drive.
 

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Mustang Mach-E is rear wheel or all wheel drive. Sold out for two years of production now.

Cadillac Lyriq, now in production, is also RWD or AWD....the upcoming crate motor from GM is from this car and will run a driveshaft according to May 2022 Hot Rod magazine.
 

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Cadillac Lyriq, now in production, is also RWD or AWD....the upcoming crate motor from GM is from this car and will run a driveshaft according to May 2022 Hot Rod magazine.
I was reading this in the dentist office two weeks ago, great magazine issue. Checked store again today, still have April on the shelf. Maybe next week.
 

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Reread it just now.

They had a spool put in (they also mention a possible [it would be ground drive] PTO out the front of the DU) and the gear ratio got modded to 4.5:1.

Meh - stuff guys do here with the EV-Zero gearset and LDU.
 

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No, I just want a smaller double cab pickup with a short bed if possible. But that is not for traveling with the RV anyway, it was just an attempt to buy a vehicle with a dual purpose - traveling and hauling stuff to the dump, from the store, and etc.
That makes sense, but the manufacturers are in no rush to build that as an EV, because there is little demand. If they still haven't in a few years and you want to try again, you could convert a Ford Maverick to electric, and end up with a front wheel drive compact 4-door short-bed pickup.

Rather, I will probably buy an EV auto and a small trailer to pull behind my Escape. That works just as well.
I agree - a trailer is often a better solution than a pickup truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's easy. :) The largest-selling modern EV model before the Tesla Model 3 was the Nissan Leaf, and the Leaf is front wheel drive. So are the Chevrolet Bolt and Fiat 500e, and so are any 2WD Kia and Hyundai EV models, as well as the early half-hearted EV efforts from Ford (Focus EV) and Volkswagen (eGolf). Almost anything actually on the road (not coming models) which is two wheel drive and not Tesla is front wheel drive.
Thanks again Brian.
 
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