Tesla and SpaceX engineers is already promising a product most legacy RV makers have yet to deliver to the US’ market: a fully electric modular camper van.
Most electric RVs like Winnebago’s eRV2 camper van and Airstream’s eStream trailer are currently in their concept phase.
Compared to these legacy companies, Grounded is an infant. It was founded in August 2022 by Sam Shapiro, a former SpaceX employee who spent four months remote working and traveling around the US in his own camper van.
Despite the startup’s young age, it’s already on the cusp of delivering its first few electric RVs, which are based on Ford’s E-Transit with a range of 108 miles.
It’s the same platform Winnebago is using for its concept eRV2.
In November, Grounded began manufacturing in Detroit. And in a few weeks, the first three customer vehicles will be shipped to Simple Campers, a camper van rental company in California.
The tiny home on wheels, called the Grounded G1, can also be yours for $125,000.
lease on a car.
“Our company mission is to give people the freedom to live and work anywhere sustainably integrated within nature,” Shapiro said. “We think offering a subscription and opening up accessibility is a strong way to drive that mission forward.”
Paying over $2,000 a month for a tiny mobile home could be a lot for people who are used to paying that same amount for a one-bedroom apartment.
But the G1 has a queen bed. So if you’re comfortable with sharing this bed, you could split this monthly “subscription” with another traveler.
Like any fully converted camper van, the G1 also has seating by a pull-out table, a kitchenette, and a dry-flush toilet.
Storage can be found overhead or in the “garage” shown below. However, showers will have to be taken outdoors.
battery, lights, and temperature — can be controlled and monitored remotely using Grounded app.
640 watts of solar power and a separate battery system. The solar panels can also charge the vehicle and home’s batteries.
But if you aren’t in love with the current arrangement, the interior can be adjusted to fit your needs.
By using a modular system, components like the bed and dining area can be easily doubled, moved, or removed depending on your needs.
So if you need an extra bed, seating, room for a TV, or more storage, Grounded can “refit” the van accordingly.
According to Shapiro, this modular approach, the app, and the purchase and rental options set Grounded’s camper van apart from the other electric RVs we could soon see flooding the market.
For now, the startup is focusing on this camper van, raising money, and increasing manufacturing speeds. The goal is for four customers to receive their vans in four to eight weeks after ordering.
“We are being very intentional about shipping quickly and continuing to evolve the product rather than being a company that raises millions of dollars and spends years in research and development before ever shipping a product,” Shapiro said
But in the future, you could see Grounded take what Shapiro calls a “platform agnostic” approach to manufacturing by implementing its modular interior into other electric vans.
generation of its camper van with a 250-mile range.
And in early 2025, Grounded’s next model — a trailer RV — will be ready to ship.