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RV Electricity Expert Embarks on ‘GoGreenRV’ Experiment

Mike Sokol

In Millersburg, Ind., last week, noted RV electricity expert Mike Sokol visited the Rockwood GeoPro plant as part of a recently launched two-year GoGreenRV experiment to evaluate hybrid and electric vehicles and their suitability for towing RVs.

In case you missed it, EVs have been all the rage lately. Manufacturers like Ford, GM, Tesla, Volkswagen and new Wisconsin start-up Rivian plan to introduce plug-in, battery-powered vehicles by year-end; some, they claim, will be capable of towing an RV.

An electrical engineer with extensive experience in RVs, Sokol says he is in a unique position to apply his knowledge to help RV OEMs prepare for this evolving technology. He also intends to educate consumers about EV tow vehicles and sift through what he calls “all the marketing fluff.”

“Here’s why I think GoGreen RV is important for RV OEMs and dealers,” Sokol told RVBusiness when we caught up with him in the Rockwood parking lot. “I see myself as an interface between consumers and the engineers who design the new RVs. Consumers are feeding me questions like crazy – tens of thousands of questions. As an OEM, you may not get these questions otherwise. The knowledge you will gain through me will help you develop better training and better feature sets.”

Although he has just started this project, Sokol has already uncovered some valuable information. For example:

  • A Volkswagen ID.4 EV (you can reserve one now on VW.com) tows a Safari’s Condo Alto just fine and within the VW specs.
  • The Ford F150 with PowerBoost hybrid and ProPower Onboard makes a superb tow vehicle, due in part to the 570 lb./ft. of torque and the available 7.2-kilowatt inverter generator built into the truck. Sokol says this truck’s generator can power two 30-amp RVs.
  • When combined with trailers like the GeoPro, vehicles like the Ford will make a perfect boondocking combination. The inverter generator in the Ford is so quiet, he says, that you can barely hear it running.

If all goes as planned, Sokol’s experiment will take him on a 6,000-mile cross-country trip starting at his home in Maryland and culminating at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. “This tour will be part of an ongoing study of the practicality of EV towing,” says Sokol. He will gather information about how trailers affect miles per charge and the availability of charging stations along the way.

Sokol expects to get his hands on the new Ford all-electric Lightning pickup truck later this year, a GM electric Hummer and Silverado, as well as a Tesla Model Y SUV and Rivian R1t electric pick up truck.

To stay up to date on Sokol’s testing, follow him on the Facebook group GoGreenRV and his website.

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