Lightship L1: A Self-Propelled Travel Trailer that Maintains Your EV’s Range

Lightship e-RV trailerThe idea of building an all-electric trailer that can propel itself when being towed has been picking up steam in the last few years. However, no company had actually been able to turn this idea into reality. This has now changed.

Lightship, a Startup made up of Tesla alumni, is now the first to develop, test, and produce, the first electric camping trailer that’s self-powered. On March 8, 2023, they launched Lightship L1—a sleek, aerodynamic pull-behind camper that has a self-propulsion system.

How Does the Lightship L1 Look Like?


The L1 electric RV trailer has a futuristic design that departs from the traditional box shape of traditional campers. In fact, you wouldn’t know it’s a camper if you saw it being towed. It has a re-imagined airfoil shape, a low center of gravity, and a slippery automotive-grade composite body that’s covered in beautiful glass throughout. 

When being towed, the e-trailer folds into a compact package. And when you arrive at the campsite, its roof rises with just the touch of a finger. Inside, it has a wide-open feel and wrap-around seating with a table for lounging or sharing meals. At night, this living area easily converts into a bed. Of course, it has all the other features that are found in RVs, including a bathroom, a full indoor kitchen, plus lots of storage.

Who’s Behind the Lightship L1 All-Electric Trailer

The innovators behind this project are former employees of Tesla, Rivian, and other leading EV manufacturers. The co-founders Ben Parker and Toby Kraus decided to build an all-electric trailer from the ground up after renting the most aerodynamic trailer they could find and towing it with an electric vehicle to test how efficient it was.

Their 6000-mile research tour quickly showed how inefficient regular trailers are, and it became clear it wasn’t sustainable to tow them with an EV. After seeing the glaring lack of innovation in the trailer niche, they decided to build an all-electric travel trailer from a clean slate. 

The camper would harness solar energy and achieve near-zero range loss for the tow vehicle. The L1 trailer easily achieves this. It’s ideal for electric SUV and truck owners, plus those with gas-powered tow vehicles, as it doesn’t reduce MPG.

Features of the Lightship L1 Self-Propelled Electric Trailer

Certainly, the Lightship L1 has been developed with a different approach. Instead of taking a traditional trailer and outfitting it with an electric system, the developers have entirely rethought how it is towed and how it works as a camping accommodation. Here are the top features of this self-propelled RV trailer:

  • Hyper-Efficient Profile – The Lightship L1 is three times more aerodynamic than a traditional trailer. This gives your EV a longer range and your combustion vehicle better mileage. Indeed, it condenses down when in road mode and expands in camping mode. The compact towing mode allows you to float down the road.
  • Self-Propelling Electric Power Train – Its drive train is equipped with up to 80 kWh of onboard battery capacity. Impressively, this system reduces the burden of the EV towing it, allowing it to maintain its original range. 
  • Powerful Off-Grid Battery System  – This e-RV camper has a huge battery that can provide a week of off-grid power without charging. Pair that with up to 3 kW of roof solar power, and you no longer have to rely on electric hookups, generators, and propane.
  • All-Electric Appliances – The L1 e-trailer is well-appointed with powerful but efficient electric appliances. Most of them are smart, allowing you to control them from an app.
  • Huge Panoramic Windows Throughout – You’ll have more windows than you can find in any other trailer. Every side of the camper has glass panels you can slide to let in the fresh breeze, increase lighting, and soak in the vistas.
  • Durable – This all-electric travel trailer has been engineered to last. Remarkably, every component, from the frame and body to appliances, has been rigorously prototyped and tested for durability.
  • Eco-Friendly – Apart from helping to minimize emissions, this all-electric camper is crafted with the planet in mind. It’s made with sustainable materials and produced with renewable energy. Some exciting highlights are countertops made from ocean waste and a lounging area designed with 70% recycled polyester.

In addition to the features above, owners will appreciate the versatile outdoor kitchen, quick storage solutions throughout, and large countertops. Further, you’ll love the spa bathroom with a rain shower, high ceilings, porcelain floors, and a window to marvel at nature.

The L1 EV trailer is 27 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. It has a height of 6 feet 9 inches when towing and ten feet when camping. Additionally, it weighs 7,500 pounds when fully loaded and can accommodate 4 to 6 sleepers depending on the bed configuration.

Lightship L1: A Sleek and Eco-Friendly Way to See the Country

Indeed, the all-electric Lightship trailer offers an easier route to explore the country without relying on fossil fuels. Campers who want to tow with EVs no longer have to worry about losing their vehicle’s range. This electrified travel trailer has an advanced powertrain that enables it to self-propel. Definitely, those with combustion vehicles will also love it as it doesn’t harm your miles per gallon.