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“Long Way Up” Don’t watch this if you have any fantasies about towing Ollie with an electric vehicle


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We have been slogging through this third road trip (Apple TV) and the going is hard. Long Way Round was amazing and exhilarating, with a bum ending. The sequal, Long Way Down through Africa was mildly interesting. This one is just lots of stunning scenery and lame dialog. They decided to leave the tip of Patagonia in early September (tail end of their winter) to end up in LA at Christmas (?) after13,000 miles, and were hit with the coldest month in twenty years. Blizzards and bitter cold..... They ride two hand built prototype Harley adventure bikes (free) and the camera crew drive two hand built Rivian trucks (free) and they also have several diesel powered support vehicles (rarely shown), and sat phones to call for help whenever they get stranded. Which is daily, sometimes several times daily.

Episode 1 is background and jetting around the world to talk to sponsors, and look at maps and try on free clothes, and get the stuff shipped to the far end of the world..... Rivian agrees to install hundreds of charging stations along their route, “No worries, go for it!”. Harley claims a nearly 90 mile theoretical range for their bikes, but has “no comment” about real world numbers. “What, me worry? Cold weather testing..... huh?”

Episodes 2 and 3 are solely can we make it to the next town, will we be trapped in the wild in sub-freezing temperatures, will the power adapter work, will that farmhouse let us borrow some power, why did the house fuse blow, why don’t we have the proper voltage adapter, can we bring our bikes inside they won’t charge it is too cold, why isn’t it charging now, oh the backup 12 volt battery is dead it won’t boot up, we have to ride at 35 mph or the batteries will be flat, the grade is too steep, we need a diesel generator brought in on a semi truck to charge us, my feet and hands are freezing we can’t use electric clothes, Oh God the mountain grade is too steep my range has dropped to 1 mile, can we draft 6 inches behind the support truck to get us there, we are late for the ferry will it wait for us, Charlie made it but Ewan’s bike has to be towed. On and on..... and that is just the bikes.

The same thing happens to the Rivians, just different crises.... but all involve will it charge and will it get to the that next town that might have a super charger... because regular outlets won’t work.

Once the temperature warms up enough for them to ditch the layers of thermal underwear, the problems are greatly reduced and the bike range goes from 50 miles to 130 miles, on a good leg . At one point Ewan shouts to Charlie, “55? are you good for 55?” Charlie happily agrees and they speed up. 

LOL, this is a great real world test for the prototypes but it is hardly an endorsement for long distance electric travel. If you have any interest in these vehicles, watch and learn, but it sure makes me want to stay internally combusted.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Sounds like typical reality TV. Keep the crisis suspense going. What else can go wrong???

Thanks for the info, though. I'll have to watch it, for the scenery. Paul's dreamed about renting a 4 wheel drive van and camping in Patagonia for years. 

It's on his bucket list. Camp on the ice in Antarctica,  camp around Patagonia, visit Easter Island, and on to home.

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Well, we're not fantasizing and probably a bit crazy, but we're actually going to try towing our Ollie with a Rivian R1T. It'll be a steep learning curve, but guess we can always bail down the road if it doesn't work out. Depending on conditions, we're expecting only about 150 miles between charges, so that's obviously a negative. But, maybe it's time for us to slow down and . . .

Rivian is designing an "adventure" charging network with 600 fast charging sites and 10,000+ level 2 charging stations around National/State Parks and more remote locations. But that system won't be up and running for a couple of years, so we'll be relying on the existing network, mostly along interstates/major roads and urban areas.

It will definitely be a challenge.

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