Maybe now we should call it “Boontreking.”
That's my take after a hands-on look at the brand new, high tech and eco-friendly RS E-Trek, the latest addition to the Roadtrek family of motorhomes.
I made my way across the International Bridge to Canada in Port Huron, MI and drove 100 miles northeast to the Roadtrek factory in Kitchener, ON. The RS E-Trek I saw was the first to roll off the assembly line. Several others are now in various stages of completion in anticipation of the first orders starting to roll in. I have no doubt they indeed will.
The RS E-Trek is a very innovative RV.
The E-Trek is all electric. It has no propane, needs no external generator. Instead, it provides all the juice you need through an advanced generator system that runs off the vehicle engine, aided by a solar panel and optional fuel cells.
You can see it all in my video above, shot at and around the Kitchener, Ontario Roadtrek headquarters in Canada.
The E-Trek is on the regular Mercedes Sprinter chasis (170 inch wheelbase) and it is painted in a subtle shade of green. The first thing you'll notice is that unique, yet low-keyed color. Even the ground effects and body moldings are painted the same color. The decals and logos are intentionally subtle and downplayed, giving the E-Trek a very sleek , clean look.
But it's the infrastructure that has me excited. I love wilderness camping. This vehicle can let me do that like never before.
“This changes all the previous assumptions about a Class B, that you have to have shore power,” Roadtrek President Jim Hammill told me. “It provides independence to the owner. The E-Trek uses solar power, fuel cell power and uses the existing bio diesel engine of the vehicle in order to provide more power than has ever been provided to the Class B RV before. This allows the owner to say out in the field, not connected to shore power, for much longer periods of time.”
You can even run the interior air conditioner while you're going down the road, without having to power up a generator.
The 240 watt solar panel just needs daylight to generate power, not direct sunlight. You can run the DVD, TV and all interior LED lights just off the soar power. Pretty much indefinitely.
The interior has also been redesigned. There's a new soft cushioned floor that looks like wood flooring. They've added a second water spigot that delivers instant hot water for tea or hot chocolate or filtered drinking water. They've removed the old gas burners and put in an instant-on all electric induction stovetop and added some stylish new counter and table tops made of recycled plastic. There's now a second row of seating in upgraded, very plush swivel captain-style chairs. Seriously, they are as comfortable and comfy as my home recliner.
I can't wait to get hold of an RS E-Trek for an extended period of time. I want to get far out there, in the woods and mountains and fields and be totally self contained to really test out the power-generating capabilities. Hammill told me if you run the engine 20 minutes a day, everything is charged enough to keep you out there for days at a time… until you need to go get some more diesel for the engine.
I'm already planning my trips to go… BoonTreking in an RS E-Trek.
Here are some stills I snapped while making the video: