Oct 28 • 5M

They Said It Couldn't Be Done!

We Towed Our Solar-Powered Aliner Scout on a 1,000-Mile Camping Trip With Our Chevy Bolt EV

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Devin Thorpe
Gail Thorpe
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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Chevrolet doesn’t give the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV a tow rating and recommends not towing with newer Bolts. Wisely or otherwise, that didn’t stop us from towing our solar-power equipped Aliner Scout camper on a 1000-mile camping trip.

Over an eight-day trip, we traveled through four states, leaving Florida, passing through Georgia and South Carolina, and finally visiting North Carolina. We traveled on five of the eight days, averaging about 200 miles per day. On the three other days, we enjoyed sightseeing.

Of the five travel days, two were short enough not to require us to charge the Bolt, making for relaxing days. On two other days, we traveled between 200 and 250 miles, requiring us to charge once or twice quickly. Those were long days that allowed us to get to our destination before dark without leaving early.

On the fifth travel day, we tackled a 300-mile trip, requiring two long charges. The route also had us on back roads averaging about 40 miles per hour. Sadly, both charges required unhitching, making for a long day. We didn’t get to our campground that evening until about 8:00 PM. We’ll have more to say about this next week.

First, on our travels, we visited Savannah, Georgia. What a beautiful town. Here’s a video report:

Next, we spent a night in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Sadly, we didn’t really get a chance to see or do anything.

The following day, we drove up to the mainland near North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We thoroughly enjoyed a drive through spectacular beauty on the National Outer Banks Scenic Byway. Then we visited the rather more-impressive-than-expected Fort Macon State Park.

On the return trip, we spent two nights and a busy sightseeing day in Charleston, South Carolina. In case you missed our video report last week, you can view it below.

After a delightful stay, we headed home. On our last travel day, we connected with a YouTube follower at the Electrify America chargers; it was great to put a face to the audience. We were a bit jealous of his new Kia EV6—it was charging six times faster than our Bolt!

On the trip, we spent seven nights. We were able to rely on our solar power five out of seven nights. We had a couple of nights when clouds, rain and other glitches combined to leave us powerless in the evening, requiring us to use shore power for two nights.

Next week, we’ll share some lessons we learned on the trip about towing with our EV and camping with solar power.