Electric Travel Trailer eSTREAM Announced by Airstream’s Parent Company Thor

The Airstream eStream concept RV.
The Airstream eStream concept RV. Photo credit: THOR INDUSTRIES / YouTube screenshot

Thor Industries, the parent company of Airstream, has introduced a new adventure vehicle for eco-minded explorers. The eSTREAM is an electrified travel trailer concept that takes electricity, aerodynamics, and the latest technology into account for its futuristic design. The company unveiled its electric trailer concept at the 2022 Florida RV SuperShow.

While the design is still conceptual, it includes smart home technology, digital navigation tools, and an electrical mobility system. The trailers will include instant online diagnostics to help speed up repairs, too.

“eSTREAM removes the stress of hitching up and backing up by offering maneuverability by remote control,” Thor Industries said. “The smart, all-electric chassis with independent motors and high capacity lithium ion batteries improve EV towing range and gas mileage.”

As noted by Green Car Reports:

The eStream, an electrified version of the classic Airstream travel trailer, promises to reduce the range loss of EV tow vehicles — or improve the mpg of gas or diesel models — while capable of remotely maneuvering itself in and out of parking spaces. It’s just a concept for now, but it follows Airstream’s intent to go electric, announced about a year ago. 

The Florida RV show where the eStream took its bow was also the debut venue for two electric motorhome concepts: Winnebago e-RV concept — based on the Ford Transit, with a conversion from Lightning eMotors — and a Vision Vehicle concept from Thor that incorporates a fuel cell and solar roof to allow 300 miles of range or seven days of onboard energy. 

Motor Authority noted that currently, many public charging stations won’t work for trailers like the eSTREAM, but the fact that this design could minimize range loss for electric vehicles towing the trailer is a helpful innovation. EVs pulling traditional trailers often see their range cut almost in half because of the weight and drag of the trailer.

Airstream trailers, those shiny, eye-catching vehicles you might see as you tour through a National Park or head out on a family road trip, have been around for decades. The company was first founded by Wally Byam in 1931, but Byam built his first trailer in 1929. In 1980, Wade Thompson, an entrepreneur, and Peter Orthwein, an investment banker, founded Thor Industries and acquired Airstream.

Just last Wednesday, Business Insider reported on a new electric camper from Mercedes.

As reported by Clean Technica, a major industry transition appears to be underway:

“The future is electric, also in the motorhome industry,” Klaus Rehkugler, head of sales and marketing at Mercedes‑Benz Vans, said in a recent press release. He has that right. One electric camper is an anomaly. Two electric camper vans is a trend. Three electric camper vans is a paradigm shift. Ready or not, electric campers are coming, and sooner than many ever thought possible.

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