Alrighty then. File this one under interesting but strange. A father and son (a former faculty member and researcher and UA associate professor, respectively) teamed together to develop a hybrid dinghy pusher for their RVs.
It seems the cost of gasoline has been pushing them to reduce the amount of time they spend on family trips, so they set out to hybridize their RV. But hybrid engines for vehicles the size of RVs are expensive (just ask your local bus companies how expensive). So, they decided to use a hybrid SUV to push the RV uphill instead, thus the hybrid dinghy pusher (HDP) was born.
The modified hybrid SUV is attached to the back of the RV. When the vehicles travel downhill, the hybrid motor charges the battery pack in the SUV. When the tandem RV and hybrid SUV travel uphill, the SUV will help push the RV using the electric motor. It will not engage the gas engine at all. The stored energy can also be used to accelerate quickly or just in driving down the street.
And once you get to your destination, you have the hybrid SUV to drive around in. Other advantages of implementing such a system are improved gas mileage, reduced rate of wear on brake components, and improved mobility for users of RVs and the dinghy.
Source: New Hybrid Vehicle Concept For RV Travelers Developed
Working with UA’s Office for Technology Transfer, the Shepards are currently in the process of securing a development partner to bring this cutting-edge technology to the market. The team has filed a U.S. provisional patent.