An all-electric Retreat caravan has completed a 20,000km shakedown run around the country with plans underway to make the technology available to other RV makers.
Australia’s first fully-electric caravan has completed an epic 20,000km test program that saw it travel around the country taking in plenty of off-grid camping in the outback. The concept caravan and its clever electrics are the brainchild of OzXcorp, the Aussie technology startup in and partnered with Retreat Caravans for this testing.
Unlike regular caravans relying on a mixture of electricity and fossil fuels, the OzXcorp Retreat is all-electric. The OzXcorp Retreat caravan runs a 16kW/h battery bank complemented by a 1540W solar array. The hot water, heating and cooling, lights are run from an energy-management platform, called DCX. While the onboard 5kW, 240V inverter manages all the domestic appliances, including the kettle, toaster, convection oven and hairdryer.
In the end, John and Fran Huett spent 178 days on the road testing the OzXcorp Retreat concept and, according to OzXcorp, “All power and communication systems were free of mechanical stress, weakness and vibration dust with no degradation to battery capacity for the 178 days of daily use, thus re-enforcing our design intent via significant and practical validation.
Earlier in the year when the couple headed off on their shakedown run, OzXcorp co-founder Andrew Huett told RV Daily, “We are accustomed to the look and feel of apartment-style living in our caravans today, however, the actual functional operation, the other 50 per cent to the liveability equation, has not been adequately addressed. This is what we are doing now.”
“Make no mistakes, we are likely to encounter problems, but that is the exact reason we undertake this testing so that future customers do not,” added Retreat Caravans.
“We unplugged from the grid in Melbourne and are monitoring all power attributes live via the internet. If our calculations are correct, the concept caravan will never need to plug-in for the duration of this journey and require no supplemental energy sources such as diesel, petrol or gas.
“With the use of data, we can debunk any myths of possible load-shedding or rationing of power usage to make it look better than what it is,” says Andrew.
“The experience should be fluid, convenient and self-sustaining, even in the event of four days of solid cloud cover. If that cloud cover persists, we can re-charge at a caravan park in just six hours.”
The around-the-country trip concluded at the Retreat Rally in Geelong where Retreat owners got to see the all-electric caravan up close and personal. As an aside, in typical Retreat Rally fashion, the hat was passed around for the Cancer Council of Victoria with $16,000 raised.
So, what’s next for the all-electric caravan? According to OzXcorp it’s working on streamlining its product and building a packaged product that other RV makers can incorporate simply into their products.