Jun 10 • 5M

Inside Our Aliner Scout: The Grand Tour

This Won't Take Long

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Follow our journey as we buy a Rivian R1T electric truck to pull a travel trailer equipped to run exclusively on solar power!
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This week, we’ll give you a tour inside our Aliner Scout popup trailer RV. While we admit this is rather spartan—which is essential for us as we tow the little unit with our Chevy Bolt EV—we hope you’ll see why we think it is ample for now.

The 2013 Aliner Scout features two beds. The larger of the two beds approaches queen size, and the other is nearly the size of a standard double bed. If you, your partner and the kids are small, you could sleep four in this little guy.

You can convert each bed into a little booth that would seat four people around a small table. It would work for chit-chat, drinks or cereal, but it wouldn’t work great for dinner involving more than a hot dog wrapped in a napkin. Still, with two such tables, you can definitely seat and feed everyone who can sleep in it.

The trailer comes standard with a little sink and a fridge. (The newer Aliner Scout Lite units don’t include the refrigerator.)

It doesn’t come with anything to cook food. We were thrilled that it didn’t come with any propane tanks or appliances. We’d have removed them anyway.

We are trying to decide what the most weight and energy-efficient device for cooking would be. At the moment, we’re thinking a skillet like this one might do the trick. It weighs under five pounds, much less than the smallest microwave, and we can cook burgers, brats or pancakes in it. What else do you need?

The Aliner Scout has three standard outlets, each with two plugs. When relying on solar and batteries, we’ll want to be stingy with the power, but iPads, phones and laptops—our primary needs—won’t draw much. One meal cooked on the skillet would likely use more energy than all our digital devices combined.

Finally, there is a lot of storage. We have to travel light, so the available storage far exceeds our needs. If we had a more capable tow vehicle, we’d love to put some outdoor seating under the seats inside, along with an awning or umbrella for shade.

We’ll have to wait to haul more gear for the days when we’re towing a larger trailer with our Rivian R1T, our Tesla Cybertruck or our Chevy Silverado EV.

This week, we touched a Rivian, and Gail even got to sit in it! We met the owner at a charging station in Louisiana. We think ours is at least 18 months out. (We hear that new buyers of Rivian trucks willing to take precisely the configuration presently being produced can take delivery in as little as six weeks!) We think we need the max pack battery for maximum range while towing, so we’re willing to wait—impatiently.

The Tesla is likely two or three years away—it isn’t even clear when production will begin. The Silverado should be available first, but we know it won’t tow as much as the others, so we may pass on it if we’re confident the Rivian will come soon enough.

In any case, we hope you enjoyed the grand tour.

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