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The Lightship L1 All-Electric Camper Trailer Nearly Tows Itself

Rolling up into any campground with the aerodynamic and futuristic Lightship L1 in tow would likely result in some serious curiosity amongst fellow RV enthusiasts. As a “clean-sheet approach to building an all-electric recreational vehicle,” the battery-powered, purpose-built L1’s minimalist design is merely half the story, with some crafty engineering within allowing for the L1’s self-propulsion to be towed with nary a mile of range or fuel efficiency lost.

Rear view of parked Lightspeed L1 trailer in grassy field near Ford truck that towed it.

The Lightspeed L1 is 27 feet long, 8 feet and 6 inches wide, with 6 feet 9 inches head space while in road mode (10 feet when set up in camp mode), and weighs 7,500-lbs when fully decked out.

Aimed at the Tesla, Rivian, Ford Lightning, and other electrified utility vehicles with towing capacity (but also traditional gas powered vehicles), the Lightship L1 presents itself as an entirely reimagined approach to roughing it, with a streamlined shape offering a huge improvement from yesterday’s boxy recreational vehicle designs aesthetically, in efficiency, and in regards to all of the modern accoutrements that would make for a happy camper.

Lightspeed L1 trailer being towed by Ford truck across gravel-dirt road with hill in the background.

Unsurprisingly, Lightship’s wedge-like trailer is three times more aerodynamic than a traditional equivalent. In use, this aerodynamic shape aided by a 80 kWh battery powered electric powertrain means a 300-mile range EV or internal combustion engine vehicle towing the L1 would not lose a single mile of range.

Four people sharing a meal in front of a parker L1 trailer with sunset glowing over a body of water in the background

Lightship Co-Founder and CEO Ben Parker cites a dearth of innovation within the RV industry as the impetus for setting out to accomplish what Tesla has done with EVs. “Inefficient, unreliable product designs and a power experience that relies on smelly, noisy, gas or propane generators fundamentally hinder the amazing experience of traveling in the outdoors.”

Overhead shot of solar panel top of L1 trailer with awnings spread out.

The L1’s battery system capacity is good for a week of off-grid power use without charging. Connected to a 3 kW solar power roof and awnings and you’re doing even better in the clean energy department.

Interior render of Lightspeed L1 trailer showing seating and surfaces.

The well appointed modern interior is the result of a team of designers with experience in creating spaces within the aeronautics industry, an analogous industry where designers are challenged to create the feeling of spaciousness with limited space and the necessity to consider durability.

Interior render of Lightspeed L1 trailer showing seating and surfaces, including cooking burner and sink.

The Lightship L1 is outfitted with all-electric appliances, connectivity features, and can sleep four to six inhabitants. Details like a pull-out cook worktop and moving the cooling/heating system to the front of the trailer reflect the company’s efforts to appeal to customers already used to contemporary solutions in comforts and efficiency.

Glass windows and skylights of L1 trailer with sunset sunlight visible in the background.

Interior render of Lightspeed L1 trailer showing seating, surfaces, and wraparound windows.

Interior render of Lightspeed L1 trailer showing seating, surfaces, and wraparound windows.

Production is expected to begin in late 2024 with deliveries aiming for the start of 2025, with the Lightship L1 starting at $125,000 (or $118,400 minus an available tax credit), with reservations being accepted online over at lightshiprv.com/reserve.

Gregory Han is the Managing Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.