E-caravan Roadtripping

Stephen Wheeler, October 15, 2021

I first started thinking about electric vehicles about three years ago, as I noticed my customers enquiring about using electric vehicles with caravans. Working in the motor caravan industry, I discovered this gap in the market and realised that there were no options for caravans designed to be towed by an electric vehicle I decided to create my own, the Wheelhome Dashaway Optima E-caravan, was specifically designed and created to be towed by electric vehicles.

Before purchasing a Tesla, I had a hybrid for about 8 months. After owning it for several weeks, I had already made the decision that I wanted to move to a fully electric vehicle. Tesla was the obvious choice as it excels in all areas. After reading Auto Express on a weekly basis, I realised that a Tesla is remarkably efficient, meaning it would be more efficient to tow a caravan with a Tesla than any other electric vehicle on the market. I even discovered that Model 3 is more efficient pulling a caravan than some electric cars are without having to tow anything. I made the sensible decision and purchased the Tesla Model 3 Long Range.

I took my Model 3 on a road trip along with my E-caravan and my Shetland Sheepdog named Isla. We documented what it's like towing a caravan behind a Model 3 for long distances. I drove from Brentwood in Essex to Orkney Islands, including Glencoe, Isle of Skye, Lake District, Malvern Hills and then back to Brentwood. This trip overall covered 2,668 miles, with approximately 1,725 miles towing and 943 miles solo. After taking this trip, I can never imagine going back to an ICE vehicle again. The Model 3 drove incredibly well, even when going through hilly areas and mountainous terrain. The regenerative braking was working its magic in these areas. As Model 3 knows when you are towing, the navigation system would revise my range accordingly. This was incredibly useful with planning my stops, which were typically every two and a half hours.

The cost of charging from Tesla Superchargers and public charge points averaged at about £0.30 per kWh, and some in Scotland were just £0.20 per kWh. After working out costs on energy I figured out that throughout my trip the total energy used was 814 kWh. If I was charged for all of this, it would have cost me around £244, however, many campsites permitted charging electric cars via the caravan, included in the campsite fees. This made charging pretty effortless and the Model 3’s incredible range meant that I often only needed to charge at the campsite overnight, which I was able to do with the electricity provided by campsite or the solar-powered battery from the Dashaway! After my trip, I decided to directly compare costs with the Tesla Model 3 and a Suzuki Swift 1.0 litre and found that I had saved a considerable amount on petrol. Thanks to free charging at some campsites, and the low cost of charging at Tesla Superchargers, I only spent 32% of what I had spent after driving my Suzuki Swift on the exact same trip, which was a lovely surprise.

Dog mode was also a brilliant tool to use, as I could leave the car to charge with Isla inside while grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat. This gave me peace of mind that Isla was kept cool and that the public knew she was being looked after. It also removed a genuine fear that she would be stolen or harmed tied up outside a service area. I am thrilled with my Model 3 and continue to be impressed by it!

I have covered over 37,000 miles in 18 months in my Tesla, and even 565 miles in one day - half of which I was towing. There really are no barriers to electric vehicle ownership, only excuses.

Tags: Model 3