Thor Industries, the largest RV maker in the world unveiled its future products at the 2022 Florida RV SuperShow, a motor home, and a travel trailer. Both are battery-electric vehicles that are the first fruits of Thor Industries’ electrification strategy.
“We’ve been focused on an electrification ‘eMobility’ strategy for a number of years and have made substantial progress on our journey,” said Bob Martin, CEO of Thor Industries. “Early on, we determined that success for us would not be to simply put our name on the side of an electric chassis built by a third-party electric chassis manufacturer. Instead, as the industry leader, we harnessed emerging technology and co-developed flexible, scalable, and customizable platforms on which our family of companies will build distinct products, providing a best-in-class RV user experience.”
The travel trailer concept called eStream is built on a dedicated electric chassis developed in-house by Thor Industries. Its dedicated powertrain, a proprietary unit, reduces the loss of driving range if you’re towing with an EV and improves the fuel economy of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. The new chassis’ high-voltage electrical system allows for shorter charging times. It was developed in partnership with ZF and Erwin Hymer Group specifically to extend the towing range of EVs.
Josef Hjelmaker, Chief Innovation Officer at Thor Industries, noted that the eStream directly addresses the biggest concern of EV drivers, range limitations. He notes that the new electric chassis is meant to synchronize the relationship with the trailer and the tow vehicle, enabling the former to move smoothly with the latter and reduce the pulling effect needed. The eStream was also developed to improve your experience off the grid. It can power everything from electronics to your home and can be parked remotely once it has been unhitched. You can also operate the eStream via a mobile device.
Debuting alongside the eStream is Thor Industries’ electric RV concept called the Thor Vision Vehicle (TVV). The RV was developed on a dedicated electric chassis in collaboration with Roush featuring unique elements to increase its overall range. This includes a fuel cell that helps the TVV travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. Todd Woelfer, COO of Thor Industries, notes that the company did extensive research aimed at understanding the impact of design elements on extending the RV’s range. The company also noted that its strategy is to create an electrified experience tailored specially for RV users. It will implement several product enhancements that it has found during its study on the RVs before they go into full production.
Like the eStream, a mobile app helps you plan your trips on the TVV and it will even sync your itinerary to the vehicle. Inside you’ll find a fully digital cockpit with two large displays. The TVV also appears to have rear and side view cameras replacing traditional mirrors. In the living room area, you’ll find a massive pop-up television that can also show your route, fully digital controls of everything from the climate control to the frosted glass, and a virtual assistant.
Both the eStream and Thor Vision Vehicle have batteries mounted under the floor to lower the center of gravity. The packs are housed within the ladder frame, likely to add extra torsional rigidity. Operators will be able to manage their charge easily because energy consumption can be easily monitored via the displays inside the vehicle.
Thor Industries’ eStream and the Thor Vision Vehicle are among the electrified RV concepts being introduced at the 2022 Florida RV SuperShow. Winnebago Industries also used the event to show its e-RV Concept, an all-electric RV based on the Ford Transit with a driving range of around 125 miles.