What I Discovered On My First “Boots on the Floor” CleanTech Glamping Journey

In case you’re an everyday reader round right here, you most likely bear in mind my fundraiser for getting extra “boots on the bottom” protection and product evaluations. I didn’t increase what I had hoped to lift, however nonetheless had a fairly profitable Indiegogo marketing campaign. On this article, I’m going to present readers an replace on how this mission goes and the way the primary take a look at journey went.

Constructing My Personal Trailer

Whereas I’d like to have a Rivian, F-150 Lightning, or a Silverado EV to tug gear round with, none of these choices are within the playing cards. They’re both too expensive, and within the case of the Silverado, not accessible to mere mortals (however accessible to company fleets in restricted numbers). So, I’m utilizing my Chevy Bolt EUV, geared up with a Torklift EcoHitch, to tug a small trailer loaded with “glamping” gear as a substitute of a bigger car to haul a camper.

As a substitute of shopping for a trailer from a trailer producer, I did what many individuals on a small finances do: I began with a Harbor Freight trailer. They’re low-cost, they’ve a light-weight aluminum body, and so they’re sturdy sufficient for lighter hundreds. I couldn’t discover one in inventory at any of the closest shops, however noticed on the web site {that a} location an hour’s drive away had one in inventory. However, it turned out that they didn’t, and I spent weeks failing to discover a new one.

So, I needed to go used. The used one I may discover was next-to-new, however the proprietor didn’t have all the paperwork. Then, I came upon the state didn’t like what little paperwork I had, and the trailer must undergo a six-month course of to get a title and a license plate. So, I needed to half the trailer out, purchase some elements from a distinct trailer, add in some new elements from Harbor Freight and Dwelling Depot, and present up on the MVD with a trailer that was legally a distinct one. After weeks of problem, I lastly had a trailer with a license plate.

I then started working constructing a wooden field on the trailer. Whereas I’d wish to say that I used composites or in any other case did one thing cool to avoid wasting weight, I used to be already not on time on this by like two months, so I needed to assume sooner. I constructed an old-school balloon body wooden field, however caught with smaller studs and thinner plywood. This required heaps and many pilot holes to keep away from splitting the thinner wooden, however I nonetheless ended up with a robust field (I added some additional reinforcement after this photograph was taken:

I couldn’t construct probably the most aerodynamically environment friendly field, however I did construct it so it principally tucked in behind the Bolt EUV’s form. In contrast to a Tesla Mannequin X or Y, the Bolt EUV has a a lot greater roofline within the again, which is usually unhealthy for aero, however on this case, it left extra room for the trailer field within the vacuum zone behind the automotive.

The tip result’s a trailer I can nonetheless transfer round by hand, even with all the tenting gear loaded inside. In my street testing, the car’s dashboard reported a mean of two.2 miles/kWh at 70 MPH. A Higher Routeplanner (ABRP) confirmed a “reference quantity” (that’s alleged to signify completely flat floor, superb situations, 65 MPH) of two.57 miles/kWh primarily based on OBD-II power utilization information it collects. This made for a reference determine about 15% much less environment friendly than the car is unloaded, which is fairly spectacular for pulling a trailer.

As you may most likely see within the above photograph, there’s a giant black tube on prime of the wooden field. That’s a ten gallon Yakima Roadshower. In case you’re not accustomed to the Roadshower, it’s principally an aluminum tube with a black coating which you can put water in, and in good solar it serves as a photo voltaic water heater. It additionally has a Schrader valve you should utilize to pressurize the tank and get water stress.

One different cool factor I used to be capable of do is design a janky mechanism to maintain the aspect door open and function a small awning. The rear door swings all the way down to function a ramp for loading and unloading e-bikes, too! I’m ultimately going to improve these doorways to one thing higher, however they work effectively for now. The field can also be going to get a coat of low-cost paint.

What I Loaded Inside

In case you’re an everyday reader, you most likely noticed that a number of my latest articles had been evaluations, and a few from the highest of a ten,000-foot mountain with views for dozens of miles. As a substitute of telling readers all about every bit of drugs, I’ll share some hyperlinks to the gear I’ve already reviewed, after which get into the gear I haven’t reviewed but.

One piece of drugs that actually got here in helpful was the EcoFlow Wave 2. Whereas we had been on prime of a mountain, the situations turned out to be fairly terrible. Not solely does extra UV gentle fall on the tops of excessive mountains (thinner air), however the entire area was experiencing document warmth. On the best way up, I truly observed temperatures climbing a we climbed the street to the highest, which implies there was a thermal inversion impact happening at evening. Having air-con was nice, even when we couldn’t energy all of it day and all evening (extra on that in a couple of).

One other very important piece of drugs was the Trelino Evo L composting bathroom. The world we camped in had a vault bathroom, however who desires to place sneakers on and stroll 100 yards in the dead of night (and, on journeys apart from this one, the chilly)? Plus, this was only a take a look at journey and we plan on doing future journeys in locations with out loos.

One other cool piece of package we examined (however gained’t be taking over all future journeys) was the EuyBike S4 scrambler bike. The explanation I share that is to level out that we’ve efficiently taken a motorcycle alongside to evaluate in a scenic and difficult location. In case you signify an e-bike producer and need your bike, scooter, or different outdoor-oriented cleantech product examined someplace good, remember to attain out to our staff.

In Half 2, I’m going to debate how issues went with our Shiftpod insulated shelter, Jackery 3000 Professional energy station, and a number of the issues I’m altering for the subsequent journey.

Featured picture by Jennifer Sensiba.


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