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Winnebago eRV2 Is the First Ford E-Transit Electric Camper Van

Whereas the original eRV concept had a chassis from Lightning eMotors that integrated the vehicle and house battery into one, the eRV2 has the underpinnings of a 2022 Ford E-Transit van (not to be confused with the gas-powered Transit Trail) and a separate, dedicated proprietary IonBlade lithium house battery that Winnebago partnered with Lithionics Battery to develop. The thin batteries lay flat beneath the floor. Winnebago says this lithium house battery is “the most powerful, compact and safest lithium battery system available today.” It’s a 48V system with more than 15,000 usable watt-hours (that’s about 270Ah).

The chassis battery (for the E-Transit) takes about 45 minutes on a DC fast charger to get to an 80 percent charge, and the house batteries takes two hours (240V/50A charger) or five hours (120V/30A). The prototype eRV2 has two separate charging cords for the chassis and house batteries, and when not charging, the chassis battery can feed the house batteries as needed. For the launch edition, however, both chassis and house systems will accept charges simultaneously through the chassis charging port, with Winnebago Connect optimizing the charging process. The eRV2 has a range of 108 miles; Winnebago is looking to extend that range, as research shows that three hours of driving before charging is what customers want.

In addition to the changes in the battery setup, the ERV2 sports a host of other advancements over the eRV: an energy management system called Winnebago Connect, a 48V air condition that is 30 percent more efficient than traditional AC units, more sustainable interior materials, new flexible interior features (including L-tracks along the walls), a new broad spectrum lighting system, and a 5-gallon bump in fresh water (now 30 gallons) and gray water (now 22 gallons).

Winnebago says the eRV2 can boondock off-grid for up to seven days. We appreciate that Winnebago provided some fine print of how it came up with seven days, because that’s a long, long time without shore power or a generator. Here are the assumptions: two people cooking three meals and each showering once per day; the eRV2 starts with a full charge; four hours of full sunlight per day (there’s 900 watts of solar); refrigerator on and normal lighting usage; roof fan on during the night; and no heater or air conditioning. The real kicker is the last assumption; it could be challenging finding climates that don’t need heating or cooling.

Winnebago has a proprietary vehicle system for the electrical and energy management systems (and other systems) of the eRV2 and other Winnebago models in 2023. Called Winnebago Connect, owners can monitor and control systems through a touchscreen display inside the RV or through an app. The app shows fresh water and gray water levels, thermostat settings, vehicle and house battery statuses, and the status of systems like the inverter, water pump, water heater, and interior lights.

The interior of the eRV2 is sourced with recycled materials wherever possible. Lounge spaces are covered with a fabric called Repreve, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. The flooring and removable floor mats, branded Chilewich, are made from more than 19 percent recycled materials, with a bio-felt backing made of 100 percent recycled materials. The window frames, branded Paperstone, also fulfill Winnebago’s commitment to sustainability, as do the WinnSleep mattress system, cab seat coverings made with renewable plant-based materials, and acrylic countertops constructed with biodegradable materials. There’s also broad color-spectrum lighting system that includes a red-light option, reportedly having a lower impact (less light pollution) on dark skies, animals, and plants—all with a fun look.

The eRV2 has a galley with a marine-grade refrigerator, portable induction cooktop, and residential sink fixtures. There’s a bathroom with a removable cassette toilet. An L-track storage system allows for flexible storage of items. A five-in-one sleep/lounge area in the back and two adaptable workspaces round out the interior.

As for the camouflage wrap design on the Winnebago eRV2 prototypes? It’s not trying to hide or obscure any feature of the electric camper van. Look closely. It depicts places adventurers want to explore and things they want to do. Stay tuned as the prototype comes closer to hitting the market. We expect premium pricing once it does become available to consumers. Is this the dawn of #eVanLife?

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