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Chevy recently joined the ranks of electric powered trucks with he is unveiling of the new Silverado EV at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show. Yes, the Chevy Silverado, one of America’s top-selling trucks, is going electric.
At first glance, you might notice that the electric version of the Silverado looks a lot like a cross between a Chevy Avalanche and a Honda Ridgeline. Aside from its appearance, we have one main question: Can the Chevy Silverado EV tow an RV or travel trailer? Through our research, we found the answer to that question, and more.
Let’s jump in…
When the Silverado EV launches in late 2023, it will be available in two models: the RST First Edition and the Work Truck models. Both models are expected to have a GM estimated range of 400 miles, although those figures have yet to be certified by the EPA. In addition, the 400-mile range will be reduced when towing a travel trailer or hauling a load, however, there is no information yet as to how much it will be reduced.
The base model work truck is slated to have an MSRP of $39,900, while the fully loaded RST First Edition will have a much higher price tag. How much higher? The RST model is expected to have an MSRP of a mind-blowing $105,000.
Can The Chevy Silverado EV Tow A Camper?
The short answer is yes. The Chevy Silverado EV is more than capable of towing a camper. However, the maximum tow and payload capacities will vary by model.
The Work Truck model will feature a whopping 510 HP accompanied by 615 pound-feet of torque. In addition, the maximum towing capacity is 8,000 pounds with an additional payload capacity of 1,200 pounds.
The RST First Edition model in comparison, features at least 664 HP and 780 pound-feet of torque. When properly equipped, the RST increases the towing capacity of the Silverado EV to 10,000 pounds and increases the payload capacity to 1,300 pounds.
I would say that both models of the new electric Silverado are more than capable of getting you and your camper to the campground. That is, if it’s within the 400-mile estimated range.
Performance Of The Silverado EV
When it comes to speed, the Silverado EV doesn’t hold back. Like most electric vehicles, the Silverado will be lightning fast on the take-off. GM is touting that the Silverado will be able to travel 0-60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. That is quick, but Tesla says their quad-motor truck can hit 0-60 in under 3 seconds. In fact, Kyle and Olivia of Drivin’ and Vibin’ wrote a great article about it. If you’re interested in the capabilities of electric trucks, it’s worth a read.
Charging the Silverado can be challenging, like most electric vehicles. Unless you own a Tesla, you are heavily relying on third-party EV charging companies. Unlike Tesla, GM doesn’t own its own network.
However, both models of the Silverado EV are capable of fast charging up to 350kW. GM states that a quick 10-minute charge will add an estimated 100 miles of range. That is, of course, if you can find that kind of power.
The Silverado EV will also allow for bidirectional charging, which allows you to run a worksite, charge another battery-operated vehicle, or as GM claims, power a house during a blackout.
“When combined with the available accessory power bar, the Silverado EV’s PowerBase charging system offers up to 10 outlets, to provide a total of 10.2kW of all-electric power for countless worksite or recreational needs, including your home, with the right equipment. The Silverado EV is also capable of charging another EV using the available accessory charge cord, sharing it’s power in times of need.”General Motors
Pretty impressive, huh?
Key Features Of The Silverado EV
When it comes to additional features, GM didn’t hold back on the RST model. One of the coolest features is the ability to expand the bed of the truck to carry more gear.
On its own, the bed of the Silverado measures 5 feet, 11 inches long. However, that length can be extended to over 9 feet when opening the midgate, and extends to a whopping 10 feet, 10 inches when extending the Multi-Flex Tailgate. This is especially useful if you are carrying longer items like kayaks.
Additional cargo space can be found at the front of the truck. Instead of a motor, under the hood is what GM refers to as a “eTrunk”. The front located trunk has enough room to pack your sleeping bags, tents, or any other RV camping gear you might normally throw in the back of a truck.
- One of Chevrolet’s top competitors is Ford. They also released their version of an electric truck. We covered the Electric Ford F-150 Lightning in our article Can The Ford F-150 Lightning Tow A Camper?
The Silverado EV is capable of four-wheel steering which reduces the turning radius at slower speeds. This provides greater maneuverability in small spaces and enhances stability at higher speeds, especially when towing a travel trailer.
This isn’t the first time we have seen four-wheel steering from GM. If you remember, Quadrasteer was an available option of full-size pickups and 2500 Suburbans from 2002 to 2005.
The interior of this truck looks like something you might find in a spaceship. On the dash is a pair of large LCD screens. The biggest of the LCD screens is for the infotainment system, while the other is for your standard instruments.
Although the infotainment system features a touchscreen, engineers had the frame of mind to keep the buttons and dials drivers typically use. Things like radio volume, fan controls, and radio station presets can still be accessed with typical knobs and buttons.
“We firmly believe knobs and buttons are necessary for some functions.”Nichole Kraatz, Chief Engineer
Another impressive function of the Silverado EV is the lack of a start button or key. The truck unlocks with a fob, or from a smartphone, or even from a card that has been programmed to start the truck. In other words, all you have to do is approach the truck, climb in, and drive off. Seems simple enough.
When it comes to legroom, Chevy didn’t hold back. There is enough room in the cab of this truck to haul two tall adults in the front, plus more than enough room in the back seat for the whole camping crew, including the pets.
Perfect Camper For The Silverado EV
Now that we know everything the new electric Silverado has to offer, let’s take a look at a camper that is a perfect match for it. With towing capacities of 8,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds, depending on model, options are almost endless. However, I wanted to find a travel trailer or camper that would fit the look and technology of the Silverado EV. Here’s what I found.
Available in 2022, the E-RV is designed and engineered as a true off-grid home away from home. With 14.3kW of battery power, this camper makes a perfect pairing for the Silverado EV. In addition to the battery bank, the E-RV comes equipped with up to 2,400 watts of solar power paired with a 5,000-watt inverter.
With four floor plans available, there is one to fit the needs of every off-grid enthusiast. With no need for shore power or LP gas, boondockers can enjoy living in the wilderness for weeks at a time.
Other features include:
- Insulated Composite Flooring
- Chassis Integrated Battery
- 12V Range/Stove
- Microwave Oven/Grill
- Reverse Camera with Monitor
- 24” Smart TV
- Electric Outdoor Grill
The Future Of EVs And RV Owners
As electric vehicles become more prominent on the road, there is still the issue of range and towing capacity. RV manufacturers are already beginning to construct more aerodynamic, lightweight campers to meet the needs of the EV owner.
In fact, the German company Dethleffs has been working on a camper trailer that is all battery powered, and has the technology of independent motors on the trailer wheels. This design allows for the camper to assist with towing, or even move itself.
- With the advancements in technology and the push for more electric vehicles, Can The EV Industry Meet The Needs Of The RV Industry?
There are many hurdles to overcome before making a camper like this mainstream. The technology required to sync a camper’s drive system to a vehicle has been the biggest challenge for engineers.
The Silverado EV pickup will launch as a 2024 model, with the Work Truck model arriving first in the spring of 2023. Fans of the electric truck can also expect to see the RST First Edition hit the market in the fall of 2023. You can, however, begin placing your orders now.
The future of the Silverado EV looks promising. In a press release from Chevy, they stated that, “After initial launch, Chevrolet will introduce a fleet model with up to 20,000 pounds max trailering with the max tow package.”
What are your thoughts on the new Chevy Silverado EV? Can the electric vehicle industry meet the demands of RV owners? Would you consider purchasing one? What about “self-moving” campers? Let us know what you think about all this in the comments below.