Need help designing a multipurpose low-speed camper platform

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.
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bigchief   100 mW

100 mW
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 20 2009 12:35pm

Need help designing a multipurpose low-speed camper platform

Post by bigchief » Jun 22 2016 1:50pm

I've been working on a project where I was going to add motorcycle-grade in-hub motors to a ~2000lbs camper-trailer, so that it can help push itself while my small EV car (Smart Electric) pulls it.

I'm realizing that the better idea might be to just skip the car and hub motors, and create a self-propelled camper! It would need to be light-weight, three-wheeled, low-speed, and with functional pedals, so that it counts legally as a low-powered tricycle instead of a trailer or car.

I want the camper to have pumps for shower/sink, all three wheels to be powered (and be able to pedal to slightly assist movement or generate electricity back to the battery), and have air conditioning. I'm thinking the best way to keep the overall weight down would be to use a single, powerful motor, and have it send torque to different systems (wheels, water pump, air conditioning compressor, etc.)

What would be the most efficient way to route the motor's work to those different systems? I'm thinking I could either use:

- a bunch of electromagnetic clutches on the motor to transmit power to different systems as needed via chain/belt drive, would be hard to route though
- some kind of hydraulic system, which would be easier to route and control with just tubing and valves, but it is probably much less efficient and much heavier
- some kind of "flex shaft" cable like the ones used for rotary tools, though I'm not sure how efficient they are or how much torque they can handle

Are there any examples of a platform that uses a single motor to drive many subsystems like this? Or should I stick to running the other systems from their own individual pumps/compressors/generators?

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