In a lot of the groups I belong to on social media, folks ask me about small travel trailers that they can tow with small SUVs and such. That’s pretty easy to find as there are smaller trailers of all sorts out there. But then they have to throw in the fact that they want a bathroom and, well, the field is far smaller. In a field of few, we have today’s review of the 2024 Encore RV ROG 14RKB trailer. This is a smaller trailer at just about 17’ in length and one that might even be garageable. But it also comes with something you might not expect in one of these overlanding trailers—a bathroom.
This trailer also has some other features that are unusual in this class but it’s still a rather low profile. So whether these features work for you might depend a lot on how you plan to go camping.
There are two main variations on this trailer which have significant differences. There is the standard Adventure Series ROG model, and then the Survival Series. It’s incredible, to me, how many references there are nowadays to end-of-times lifestyles—and I don’t like it.
But, anyway, the standard version is a simpler affair without a fancy roof rack or many of the things you’d want if you were going deep into the woods to camp with Bigfoot.
Both of the variations feature an outdoor kitchen on a long sliding drawer-style mechanism that consists of a two-burner propane stove and a round bowl sink. There’s a flip-up counter extension. This entire drawer mechanism is built of metal instead of wood.
In fact, that’s a running theme in the entire build of this trailer—not a single piece is wood. Anywhere.
Cabinet doors are powder-coated aluminum and walls are fiberglass with Azdel substrate. The roof, too, is made of this same man-made laminate.
There is a front storage compartment that the company states holds ten cubic feet of your stuff. There’s also a false panel on the floor of this compartment which, when lifted, reveals the battery compartment. Inside there is room for up to three batteries. However, these have to be the type that don’t require venting as there is no venting in this compartment. That means either AGM batteries or lithium.
Another component to the kitchen is a flip-up side panel which reveals two 12-volt bar-sized refrigerators that operate independently. Interesting. There’s also more storage in this compartment.
Surprisingly for a trailer of this size, the Encore RV ROG 14RKB has a 42-gallon fresh water tank. That’s a pretty good size for a smaller trailer and feeds the two sinks in this trailer along with the shower. Yep, there’s a shower.
Either variant on this theme is available with quite a substantial roof rack. The company should get credit for the fact that they rate this for dynamic loads. In other words, you can put stuff up there while the vehicle is in motion.
Okay, you probably shouldn’t put things up there while the vehicle is in motion. But things you put up there will stay there while it’s in motion, providing you secure them properly. Otherwise, you’ll just end up on YouTube. There are plenty of places to secure that cargo. Encore RV also has plans to sell all sorts of things you can add to that rack.
There’s a ladder standard in the Survival Series and optional on others that will get you up onto the roof. It is also rated for dynamic loads at 100 pounds per rung with four rungs. Most RV ladders are not meant to carry dynamic loads, so that poop tank you’ve hung on the back of your RV is eventually just going to break the ladder. Again, you’ll be on YouTube with hundreds of comments poking fun at you and your ancestors several generations back.
There’s also a rather capable 16,000 BTU furnace in these trailers that will do a great job of keeping you warm and toasty no matter what the outside weather is. Encore RV has also thought through the bathroom and the battery storage compartment so airflow can be directed into those areas to provide warmth.
If you choose lithium batteries, know that no lithium battery can be charged below 32°F. There are some with heaters, but having the furnace provide warmer air to the battery compartment is another good idea.
There’s also a fan that can suck heated or cooled cabin air into the bathroom, which is a smart feature. While I can tolerate hot days, I am no fan of cold and miserable ones. So having a heated bathroom is quite the luxury in a trailer of this size.
Axe and you shall receive
The Survival Series not only has the ladder (though the roof rack is optional on other Encore RV ROGs, in this case it is mandatory), but it also includes two different axes—a 28” axe and an 18” axe—plus a shovel. All of these also include locks to keep them where you want them to be.
There is also a 22” griddle that comes with this model and mounts to the side of the trailer. The mount includes a utensil holder, bottle opener, and provisions to hang tools you might use with that griddle.
Perhaps one of those axes to chop potatoes.
The ROG 14RKB Adventure Trailer is one of many, many choices that are on the market now or have been announced. It seems that this category of RVing is really popular nowadays—whether that’s with actual customers or just with RV designers.
In some ways, you have an adaptation of the traditional teardrop trailer here where the interior is an open area with a futon-style mattress that has a trifold function. It can be a couch, a lounge, or a bed. When it’s a bed, it’s a proper queen-sized affair.
There is a larger storage cabinet in the front of the main compartment. While some versions of this used to come with a TV, none do now. But one is optional, and it sits at the front of the main compartment if you choose that option.
Switches control outlets on all four corners of the exterior, so you can plug lights into the receptacles at the corners and illuminate the heck out of the campground. For example, if you think Bigfoot has finally brought his mom’s homemade Elderberry pie.
Oh, drat! That wasn’t Bigfoot—it was a bear.
What is Encore RV
Encore RV is a relative newcomer in the space and is one of the independent RV manufacturers. Encore RV was founded in 2020 by Rich Schnippel, who has been involved in the RV and motorsports trailer industry since 2000, and since 2010 with inTech RV.
Those roots at inTech show how this is built. (See my review of the inTech RV Sol Dusk.) This trailer is completely constructed of metal with absolutely no wood in the build whatsoever.
While I’ve seen claims of wood-free builds in the past, oftentimes you’ll go inside and see wooden cabinetry. Not here.
The cabinets, the frame for all the counters and other structures, and pretty much everything you’ll see and touch are aluminum. Much of the surfaces are either powder coated or anodized—but this is not a trailer that’s likely to rot.
There are very few surfaces that are covered with carpeting—but know that beneath that fuzzy delight … yep—more aluminum.
This is a trailer that might do well with an athletic audience, but not as well with an arthritic one. For example, the bed is, indeed, a proper queen-sized bed. But the only way I could see making this work is with something like the RVSuperbag. Trying to make this as a proper bed in a more traditional way would simply result in some sort of call to emergency services.
There legitimately is a bathroom in here, and it even has a shower. But let’s talk about that shower.
Hot water on this trailer comes from a portable propane-fired water heater. When it’s time for some hot water, you remove the heater from its hanging position inside the bathroom and hang it outside the trailer. Then you connect cold and hot water taps to the water heater and turn it on.
Many people who have this style of trailer might already be familiar with portable water heaters, so this could be a nice thing. I do appreciate that, should there be a problem with the water heater, it’s portable. You can fix it without having to disassemble half the trailer.
You can also use it to take showers outside and know that Bigfoot will be watching you. After all, nekkid, hairless, two-legged creatures are as weird to Bigfoot as he is to you.
Low ceiling height in entire trailer
But unless you’re a little person, there will be no standing in this bathroom. The ceiling height in the entire trailer is 54”. Period. There is a skylight in the bathroom, but you’re still going to have to be on your knees to take a shower IN the bathroom. Or be sitting on the toilet.
And for those who wish to stand to use the toilet, there’s going to be another challenge. Seated performances are not an issue, but standing ovations aren’t going to happen here.
There’s also no gray tank in this trailer, so you’re going to have to figure that out, as well. I camped in a camper without a gray tank and used portable water storage bags like these to hold gray water. Honestly, it wasn’t really all that inconvenient. That camper, like this one, also had a cartridge toilet. That proved to me that the idea was worse than the reality. Frankly, just dumping the toilet in a pit toilet or in a public toilet every couple of days or so was not that big of a deal.
The build quality and the ability to custom tailor this unit to your liking are big pluses. I think there are a good number of people for whom this might be a great choice.
But if I got a smaller overlanding trailer, I think I’d almost rather have the toilet not as part of the equation and have something like the Camco Travel Toilet and then wrap it in a SylvanSport Privy Bivy. In fact, that’s a project I’m working on—a pickup camper with this kind of gear that I’ve been reviewing for some time.
But I would weigh that bathroom heavily. It may be great for your camping style, and it may not. The fact that a trailer of this size even has a bathroom is rather impressive, but make sure the way it works works for you.
More about these RV reviews
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.
You can also check out his RV podcast with his wife, Peggy.
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