Using a Bolt EV to tow a light pop-up camper to Boltergeist Canyon
Here’s a very exciting and detailed trip report of towing a camper using Chevy bolt from Heber City, UT area to a remote campsite in Southern Utah 🙂 It’s a 568 miles round trip towing a trailer that’s about 1650lb loaded. The report explains the provisions under US and UK towings laws
Trip highlights from reddit
- 568 miles round trip towing a trailer that’s about 1650lb loaded
- Averaged just over 2 mi/kWh going 60-65mph
- The trip was on 80mph interstate
- Camped at a remote campsite in Southern Utah (with no charging at the campsite 🙂 )
- With a full charge, it took 20% to get there, parked around 55% when the camp was set up.
- On the way back it is a long ascent from the camping area near Leeds- about 2500 feet of climb over 25 miles!
- Headwinds of 15-20 mph. I got a Propulsion Power Reduced message part-way up the ascent around 25% SOC, and I’m unsure if that was from powertrain heat or the battery draining so quickly.
- Power was 40-60kW continually at 60mph and we were getting barely over 1 mi/kWh for 25 miles, discharging the battery far faster than any continuous load ordinarily would.
- The light loading on the tow vehicle helps with concerns about suspension, axle and tire loading, etc. Having only <150lb on the ball and only light cargo in the car means the weight over the car’s axles is less than having five adult passengers and a hatch full of luggage.
- The US has roads with 85mph speed limits and no special speed laws for towing with a class D license, so the 10-15% guidance makes sense when Billy Powerstroke is pushing 90mph with his 10,000lb travel trailer in West Texas just because he’s got the power and desire to do it
Here are some cool pics from the trip
There you have it- a nearly 600 mile trip with a popup camper, and the only fossil fuels I burned were the couple pounds of LPG for the stove and buddy heater. I was able to pull it off with what’s an affordable EV now, and I’m looking forward to this being within reach for folks who aren’t making Model X money or pushing the limits of sanity with a Bolt. Hopefully the ID.4 will be part of that- I was thinking of its factory 2700lb tow rating, extra battery capacity, and 125kW charging this whole trip. Someday, towing will be within grasp of many more EV owners.
Disclaimer: Chevrolet does not recommend towing with the Bolt EV. It may not be legal or insurable where you are.