Converting My Motor Home to Electric

by Rob
(Vancouver Island)

De Dutchess!

De Dutchess!

I'd like to know what electric motor I would need to replace the 300+ HP Cummins Diesel in my motor home.

I'm thinking that I would use the existing 7.5 KW Genset to supply AC Power for charging as well as a few hundred watts of solar panels for more battery charging while driving on the highway.

Obviously I have adequate space for batteries , could install a larger genset, etc.

Cost would be a consideration.

Hi, Rob!

I don't know why more people don't do this. (Might be a challenge to get enough range to get down the highway, though.)

I guess if it was my project, I'd install a large 3 phase AC motor (or two). The only home built electric car conversion of this size that I've heard of is Mr. Brinsmead's bus at University of Nevada. It's got a large AC motor, he says 3-400 lbs, which by comparison to an AC motor you'd put in a car is HUGE. (AC motors are a little lighter than their equivalent DC motors, so an AC motor that is large enough to power a regular sized light conversion is about 100 pounds, maybe slightly more.) You could also twin two motors together.

I guess I'd want to build battery boxes to go under the floor of the motor home, too, I'm not sure where they're at in the UNR bus.

The regenerative braking should do a great job for you with a big, heavy vehicle like that.

The generator? That's being done in homebuilt electric vehicles a little bit, and you can check the article "Build your own plug in hybrid" up there in the box for more information on that to get you started.

I don't think I'd bother with solar panels at this point, as they add more drag and weight than their little bit of range extension is worth.

The bad news? My guess is that this conversion is going to be EXPENSIVE. Sorry about that; )

Best of luck with your project!


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Convert my motorhome to electric?

by curt
(virginia beach, va)

Big AC Electric Bus

Big AC Electric Bus

I am in the process of restoring a 1968 Travco Motor Home. It weighs approximately 6,500 pounds. It is twenty feet in length and currently has driver and passenger seats inside.

I have been thinking about an electric motor with Honda generators, converted to propane, for keeping the batteries charged.

Is there anything out there that would work?

Hi, Curt!
I love these motorhomes!
Here's an electric BUS, entirely electric. Fantastic range. Big old AC electric motor, great regen braking.

I suppose you could do something like this, and add a generator to keep the batteries charged between stops.


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