Did you know Earth Day was started in the United States in 1970? That’s even before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established. From its humble beginnings in Wisconsin, it spread to become a world-wide observation in 1990 and now today, across the world, every April 22 we are encouraged to dim our lights and think about the welfare of our planet. This year, more than 50 years later, its message is as important as ever. Preserve our planets clean air and water and don’t squander its natural resources.
I was thinking of Earth Day because it occurred to me that RVers probably spend more time considering the health of the planet than others, because their passion is getting out into the natural world as often as possible. I think we all care about environment and our impact on it. Still, we camp in vehicles that consume fuel and electricity and are built from base earth elements. A lot of resources go into the construction of trailers and motorhomes, so are we really considering the state of the planet? Thinking again about Earth Day, these two pursuits almost seem at cross-purposes, but they don’t have to be. That is the message from the RV builders who are developing progressively more earth and energy friendly trailers each year.
One of the places the manufacturers come to show off these innovations is the RV SuperShow in Tampa, Florida. For instance, Winnebago showed off an all-electric Class B motorhome concept there in January. Build components are also unveiled like a system called Re(Li)able Lite from Thor. This power package is to be found standard on the Sequence and Tellaro this year. It consists of a bundle that includes 200-Ah lithium batteries, an under-hood alternator, and a hefty 3000-watt inverter that replaces a traditional gas generator. The system allows campers to get off-grid while running the entire motorhome, including the rooftop air conditioner. These are just a few of the green innovations that are coming, but even smaller steps help the overall picture, such as a Class B that consumes much less energy.
This new introduction is the Thor Gemini Class B motorhome. Based on a Ford chassis it incorporates Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost engine with a 10-speed transmission. Looking at many other models, this unit has a significantly smaller engine that offers good fuel economy while still creating good power. Still, that doesn’t stop it from getting off-road as the Thor Gemini also offers All-Wheel-Drive. This system, from the Ford Transit, is also equipped with AdvanceTrac and RSC (Roll Stability Control).
On the road, the Thor Gemini includes an 8-inch touchscreen SYNC 3 infotainment centre with satellite radio and navigation. It comes with heated remote mirrors and a backup monitor to keep an eye on the trailer (if you choose to tow one) attached to the 5,000-pound hitch. Audio controls are integrated into the steering wheel for listening to your favourite music on the road. Driver assistance features include lane-departure warning, hill start and pre-collision assistance, auto headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Staying connected in the Thor Gemini is no problem with the standard Winegard ConnecT 2.0 that serves as a wi-fi router, 4G hotspot, and TV antenna all-in-one.
Other key features in the Thor Gemini are listed below. Note the extensive use of aluminum that keeps weight down and insulation and window shading to save on heating and cooling energy.
Key Features on the 2022 Thor Gemini
- 100-watt Solar Panel with Controller
- 360 Siphon RV Holding Tank Vent Cap
- All-Wheel Drive (AWD) System
- Aluminum Wheels
- AM/FM Dash Radio with SYNC 3, Navigation, 8 in. Color Multi-function Display
- Bedroom 12V Outlet for CPAP Machine
- Bedroom USB Power Charging Center for Electronics
- Black Frameless Windows
- Comfort Flex Euro Style Bed Support – Flip-Up Queen Size Bed with Reversible Mattress and Cushioned Seating Underneath
- Electric Stabilizing System
- Exterior LP Connection
- Ford Transit Chassis 3.5L V6 Eco Boost Turbo Gas Engine, 310-HP, 400-lb.ft. Torque
- FordPass Connect
- Partial-Paint on HD-MAX Exterior with Graphics Package
- Rapid Camp+ Multiplex Lighting and Systems Control
- Rear View Mirror with Back-up Monitor
- Single Door Refrigerator
- Tankless Water Heater
- Two Burner Gas Cooktop, Glass Cover with Electric Start
- Winegard ConnecT 2.0 WiFi/4G/TV Antenna
Specifications for the 2022 Thor Gemini
- Floor Plan – 23TW
- Fuel Type – Gasoline
- Chassis – Ford Transit
- Engine – 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Turbo
- GVWR – 11000 lbs
- GCWR – 15000 lbs
- Wheel Base – 156″
- Exterior Length (w/o ladder) – 23′-7″
- Exterior Height (w/ AC) – 10′-11″
- Exterior Width (w/o mirrors) – 90″
- Interior Height – 80″
- Awning Size – 14′
- Fuel Capacity – 25 gal
- LPG – 68 lbs
- Fresh Water – 31 gal
- Waste Water – 19 gal
- Grey Water – 37 gal
- Water Heater – Tankless
- Furnace – 19K BTU
- Exterior Storage – 16.2 cu.ft.
- Hitch Weight Rating – 5000 lbs
- Sleep Capacity – 3
- Seat Belts – 4