In late-November 2020, Tesla and its founder, Elon Musk, revealed its contribution to the truck world with its Tesla Cybertruck. This unique, all-electric vehicle may look like it came from the future or outer space, but it has an impressive towing and payload capacity that rivals many traditional, gas-powered trucks on the market today.
The Tri Motor AWD version of the Tesla Cybertruck has a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds, making it capable of towing the largest Airstream, the Classic Airstream travel trailer. It has a powerful lithium-ion battery that can power your Airstream for weeks.
With this massive towing and payload capacity, the Tesla Cybertruck should have no problem towing many of the RVs and travel trailers on the market today, including the hefty Classic Airstream travel trailer. There are just a few technical concerns that you should be aware of before forking over the $39,000 to $69,000 for a Cybertruck.
The Cybertruck Can Power Your Airstream
What sets the Tesla Cybertruck apart when working with an Airstream is that this electric vehicle has a 6.5 foot vault length bed that comes with a power output port. This is huge in the world of towing large vehicles like an Airstream. Now you can power everything in the Airstream by using the Cybertruck’s charging port built right in the bed.
Tesla has long been known in the solar world, and its creator Elon Musk thought about this in the design of the Cybertruck. Solar panels are popular with the RV community, and this feature, along with 110-volt and 220 volt plugs, and an onboard air compressor are all in talks when it comes to pairing the Cybertruck with vehicles like the Airstream.
- A solar roof option could add solar-powered range to the electric truck
- The deployable solar system could allow campers to go off-grid camping
- The power outlets on the back could give an Airstream power potentially for weeks
- Plugs and an onboard air compressor add to the comfort of an Airstream
For the avid RVer, boondocker, or camper, the Airstream and Cybertruck work together pretty flawlessly. There is no need to find a charging station for weeks on end with the large battery life the Cybertruck provides when out in the wilderness. This means you can travel deep in the woods or mountains without fear of losing power day or night.
Solar panels and lithium-ion batteries allow Airstream users to convert their trailer into a fully-electric system. The Cybertruck’s battery is more than 80 times the battery capacity of a standard lithium battery used in a high-end camper. That means you can plug in your Airstream and run an air conditioner full blast, day and night, for nearly a week.
Cybertruck and Airstream are a Solid Combination
Are you planning on having more guests on your trip than can fit in your Airstream? Maybe you have one of the smaller Airstream versions that only fit four individuals comfortably. You can combine your Airstream’s lodging capabilities with Tesla’s camper configuration, which attaches to the back of the truck with a bed platform and mattress.
Underneath the bed platform, this camper configuration even has a kitchen area and equipment that can slide out from the bed for outdoor cooking. When combined with the Airstream, the Cybertruck turns into a literal party in the woods or mountains. This addition can also give weekend travelers an option if they do not want to lug a trailer.
If you are an Airstream owner and plan to purchase a Tesla Cybertruck, you will need to do your homework to see if the single motor, dual motor, or tri motor version will be capable of towing your Airstream. The price of the Cybertruck obviously goes up when the capabilities do, and you may only need the single motor if your Airstream is small.
- Single Motor RWD Cybertruck – could tow all versions of the Airstream except the Classic for possibly 250 miles or less
- Dual Motor AWD Cybertruck – could tow all versions of the Airstream except the Classic for possibly 300 miles or less
- Tri Motor AWD Cybertruck – could tow all versions of the Airstream for possibly 500 miles or less
Are the Airstream owners impressed? Many of them on the Internet have made fun of the futuristic look, but they cannot bash the towing capacity when it comes to moving an Airstream from one place to another. If the quarter million pre-orders taken three days after the Cybertruck was announced says anything, it will be a hit with the Airstream.
The Towing Capacity of the Cybertruck
When you think of a Tesla, you may not think of a truck, and neither did they in the design of the Cybertruck. The company is generating social media buzz from its Cybertruck, due to its unique, futuristic style combined with an impressive towing capacity. It is an electric truck that looks more like something out of the “Bladerunner.”
One look at the Tesla Cybertruck and you may think you went to another planet. It has a sharp, exoskeleton exterior that Tesla claims is nearly impenetrable, and the tri-motor all-wheel-drive version can go from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds and tow up to 14,000 pounds and a drive range of more than 500 miles on a single charge. Here’s more:
Single Motor RWD:
- 0-60 MPH – under 6.5 seconds
- Range – 250+ miles
- Towing capacity – 7,500+ pounds
Dual Motor AWD:
- 0-60 MPH – under 4.5 seconds
- Range – 300+ miles
- Towing capacity – 10,000+ pounds
Tri Motor AWD:
- 0-60 MPH – under 2.9 seconds
- Range – 500+ miles
- Towing capacity – 14,000+ pounds
They all have a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds and come with standard autopilot and adaptive air suspension. They also have a ground clearance of up to 16 inches, and an approach and departure angle of 35 and 28 degrees, respectively. The storage of all three is 100 cubic feet and the vault length is 6.5 feet with a power output port.
The Tesla Cybertruck has a distinctive trapezoidal shape not seen in any other vehicle, which is made of a 30x cold rolled steel to eliminate any damage, dents, or corrosion. It is a contribution to the truck market that is unlike any other, possibly changing the trucking, RV towing and boondockers, camping, and off-road adventuring worlds.
Airstream Weights Compatible with Cybertruck
Airstream travel trailers have been seen on the road since the 1930s, and today the company offers both travel trailers and travel coaches. The travel trailers range from the Classic 30 to 33 feet version that has a unit base weight of 7,788 pounds, to the smallest version, the Basecamp which is 16 to 20 feet and weighs only 2,650 pounds.
- Classic – 30 to 33 feet, sleeps five, unit base weight of 7,788 pounds
- Globetrotter – 23 to 30 feet, sleeps 6, unit base weight of 5,297 pounds
- International – 23 to 30 feet, sleeps 6, unit base weight of 4,761 pounds
- Flying Cloud – 23 to 30 feet, sleeps 8, unit base weight of 4,761 pounds
- Caravel – 16 to 22 feet, sleeps 4, unit base weight of 3,500 pounds
- Bambi – 16 to 22 feet, sleeps 4, unit base weight of 3,000 pounds
- Basecamp – 16 to 20 feet, sleeps 4, unit base weight of 2,650 pounds
Similar to the Cybertruck, the Airstream’s aesthetics is also what makes it so distinctive compared to other travel trailers. They are famous for their durable, all-metal, aluminum construction that resembles a World War II aircraft more than a typical travel trailer. It has a signature bullet finish that is not painted and easy to maintain in all weather.
Unlike standard travel trailers, the only plywood even used to construct the Airstream is in the subfloor to act as an anchor point for flooring and appliances. Since it is mostly aluminum, the Airstream is easier to tow than its competitors because it is lighter in weight. This material makes the Airstream more expensive, but it is worth the money.
Both the Airstream and Tesla brands are marketed to middle and upper-class customers, so the combination of a Cybertruck towing an Airstream is not out of the ordinary. The two brands and the unique designs of each vehicle scream luxury, which may be why Airstream enthusiasts question the towing capacity of the Cybertruck.
The Range May Lessen for the Cybertruck
With its polygonal shape that differentiates itself from the vast world of trucks, the Tesla Cybertruck is being perceived as a cubist’s version of an Airstream. It has proven itself worthy of towing capacity, pulling a Ford F-150 uphill with ease. But how do the specs of the Cybertruck compare to working with the 7,500-plus pound Classic Airstream?
On paper, the Tesla Cybertruck is quite impressive, especially the tri motor version’s towing and payload capacity. The single motor Cybertruck would not have the towing capacity for the Classic Airstream, but the dual motor and tri motor versions could tow this larger Airstream due to the 10,000 and 14,000 towing capacities, respectively.
All of the Cybertruck versions have a 3,500 pound payload capacity, and the dual motor Cybertruck has a range of more than 300 miles while the tri motor version touts an impressive 500-plus mile range. These ranges would probably be less when towing the Classic Airstream in that the 7,500-plus weight would reduce the range on the battery.
For example, the higher efficiency tri motor Cybertruck would probably be closer to the dual motor range of 300 miles on a single charge. This means the mid efficiency dual motor Cybertruck would probably have a range less than the single motor version of 250-plus miles when towing the Classic Airstream with a 10,000 towing capacity.
Helping the Environment and the Airstream
How does the Tesla Cybertruck differ from towing vehicles like the F-250 Super Duty, a Toyota Tundra, or even a Toyota Sequoia? All of the vehicles also have comparable towing capacities, with the gas or diesel trucks and probably get around 200 miles before needing to fill up, comparable to the lower-end Single and Dual Cybertrucks.
All of the power from the Tesla Cybertruck comes with zero emissions emitted from the tailpipe. That means you are not only saving money on gas or diesel, but also bettering your own carbon footprint and the environment. Automobiles produce an enormous amount of waste in the environment, especially gas-powered trucks, but not Tesla.
In addition to the lack of emissions spewing from your Cybertruck’s tailpipe, the Cybertruck rivals its competitors because it has superior utility than the trucks on the market today in addition to the performance of a sports car. This would make pulling an Airstream that much more impressive with a solid performance and other pros:
- The exoskeleton is made of impenetrable Ultra-Hard 30x Cold-Rolled stainless steel, some say “bullet proof”
- The armor glass is ultra-strong and polymer-layered composite
- Suspension can be raised and lowered four inches in either direction for comfortable access to the truck or vault
- On-board power and compressed air can work with the Airstream for any situation
- 100 cubic feet storage in the back
- Seats six comfortably while offering extra storage under the second row of seats for trips and 17-inch touchscreen
- Has the torque of an electric engine
There are also images and information about a deployable solar system, which also makes the Cybertruck-Airstream combination that much more attractive. Unlike other gas- and diesel-powered trucks, the Cybertruck will take the benefits of Tesla’s knowledge of solar power (solar panels and solar roofs) to a whole new level.
Has the Unique Exterior Brought About Criticism?
Aesthetics may not matter when it comes to towing a massive trailer, but aerodynamics is important and has been a point of contention with the Cybertruck. Some reviewers have had a love-hate relationship with the boxy shape and blunt lines that definitely make it eye-catching on the road. However, this uniqueness can pose issues as a truck.
On one hand, the unique, aerodynamic shape of the Cybertruck definitely helps the tri motor AWD version reach its 500-plus mile range on one charge. The aerodynamic shape of the back end of the Cybertruck is also beneficial, not only for towing but the way the design allows wind to come off the back compared to traditional trucks.
Due to its distinctive shape, the Cybertruck has more blind spots than a standard pickup truck, but Tesla has addressed that issue by incorporating a pioneering eight-camera system into the vehicle. This innovation will definitely come in handy when towing a camper and having to change lanes or back up into a tight spot at the campground.
Finally, the aerodynamics may also work better for trailers with extremely low profiles, like pop-up trailers or teardrop campers, than campers or travel trailers with wider front profiles. The lower profile options will be an advantage to the high-tech, lithium-ion batteries that power the Cybertruck so that it can get more travel range while towing.
How Cybertruck Compares in Tesla Brand
Tesla had already made news when its Model 3 Long Range AWD vehicle towed an enormous 26-foot, 2.7-ton Airstream caravan. Although not built for towing, the Model 3’s substantial horsepower and low, heavy center of gravity did give it the ability to tow the massive load of an Airstream. Yet, the Cybertruck is the vehicle made for towing.
The Model 3’s reputation has encouraged numerous aftermarket companies to begin concentrating more on this vehicle, and the buzz around Tesla’s Cybertruck has the likelihood to do the same. The Model 3 has been said to tow massive vehicles like an Airstream better than a gas-powered truck, so how does the Cybertruck compare?
The Cybertruck should also be able to work even more effectively as a towing vehicle for your Airstream because the Cybertruck is built for this – it is a truck masked in the body of a futuristic vehicle. If a sporty Tesla car has the power to complete this feat, you can use the Tri Motor version of the Cybertruck to tow the largest Classic Airstream.
The Model 3’s specs are comparable to two of the three versions of Cybertrucks currently available. The Model 3’s range is 263 miles, which is comparable to the Single Motor RWD and Dual Motor AWD Cybertrucks but half of the highest efficiency, Tri Motor AWD version. The Tri Motor AWD Cybertruck is the best fit for an Airstream.
The Cybertruck and Airstream can work wonders together as long as you have the extra income to purchase the most efficient tri motor AWD version. The single motor RWD Cybertruck does not have the towing capacity to tow the larger Airstreams, and the dual motor AWD may not have the range needed to travel to your destination in one charge.
Combining the Cybertruck and the Airstream can turn a weekend camping trip in the woods into weeks of fun in a remote area. The tri motor AWD Cybertruck will easily tow the largest Airstream, maybe not the promised 500 miles, but an impressive 300 miles to your destination. Then it will give enough power to enjoy your Airstream for weeks.