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RV Review: The Encore RV ROG square drop is built with zero wood

Today’s review is of the Encore RV ROG, which can be considered a “square drop” camper—one that has the aspects of a teardrop in a more boxy shape. I found out about this company on April Fools’ Day. You can never trust what you read or hear on that date as companies with a sense of humor can often provide media information that is purposely misleading. 

In fact, that was the case with an article that appeared in RVBusiness about Encore’s new two-story version of the ROG. The story showed off the Encore RV ROG 15PH, a “penthouse” version of the ROG trailer. In speaking with Rich Schnippel, founder of Encore RV, it was confirmed that this was a bit of the pulling of our legs. I love that. 

The real ROG

But what’s real is the ROG, a small, square drop trailer that’s built differently than many of these units and one that is absolutely worth a look if this is your style of adventure. 

The materials and construction techniques used to put this little trailer together are another example of something I really like—no wood whatsoever. Nope, not even there. Quit looking—there’s zero wood. You know, like in whatever you’re towing this with. The auto industry stopped using wood some 70 years ago. Maybe the RV industry is starting to catch on. 

These trailers start with an aluminum frame. That means zero rust issues and also weight savings. The walls are built differently as well, using welded aluminum structure where the sidewalls are built with an Azdel substrate and then fiberglass exterior. This part isn’t different. But the fact that the whole thing is then stuck together with industrial adhesives and then further clamped together with mechanical fasteners is different. 

And better

Further, the roof is a single piece of fiberglass from the base of the nose to the tip of the tail. So that’s yet another way to minimize water intrusion. 

What’s inside the ROG

There are technically two insides to any square drop or teardrop, right? The backside, which is where the kitchen lives, and the inside, which is where you go if the weather stinks. Or you want to sleep. Which happens conveniently when it gets all dark outside. 

Kitchen stuff

Out back there are double doors to get to the kitchen. There you’ll find a microwave, stove with two burners in line, and a 12-volt bar-sized refrigerator. 

Hint to every other RV company that makes an outdoor kitchen. Lookie here, they do make bar-sized fridges that run on 12 volts. 

The cabinetry of this trailer is part of the actual structure and it, too, is made of aluminum. There’s space under the stainless steel sink as well as space above the refrigerator. A spot above and behind the counter top houses both some shelving as well as the speakers for the audio. I could easily rock out to some Jimmy Buffett or Grateful Dead while making a Cheeseburger in Paradise. 

Living space

As you would expect in a square drop, the inside is essentially a bedroom. But the cushions employed by Encore RV are eight inches thick. As the company founder says in the video I’ve shared, many RV owners simply dispose of whatever mattress comes with their RVs and get something that wasn’t used in a Russian prison as a torture device. 

Well, the Russian prison part was my wording. 

That cushion is also futon-like in that it can fold up to become a couch. When it’s folded out to be a bed, it’s actually a true queen at 60” x 80”. 

The interior features small stands at each side of the headboard. Each side also gets their own power outlet with high-speed USB charging ports as well as a reading light. 

This space is heated and there is also some storage up in the front. But the fact that it’s heated in here is also beneficial in that the water tank is actually above the frame and in the body of the trailer. So if you’re not freezing, neither is your water. 

Speaking of water, I was surprised to see they were able to provide storage for 38 gallons of fresh water. Holy smokes, that’s more than in many larger trailers. 

Options

There are a number of options for this trailer including three AGM batteries in a compartment that keeps them off the tongue and less stealable.

You can also get a roof rack that will hold some 300 pounds. But the niftiest thing about this is that Encore RV has placed a power port on each of the four corners of the exterior of this trailer with a switch to control each one individually. You could put things like lights or other accessories powered by those optional AGM batteries. It’s a nice touch.

There are also two awnings available as a single option—one at the very rear of the trailer over the kitchen space and one on the camp side.

The last option is an 11,500 BTU air conditioner.

Summary

I like this design quite a bit. In fact, this might be the square drop trailer I favor just because I like that there’s absolutely no wood in the build whatsoever. As is typical of this type of rig, there is no gray tank, with the contents of the sink instead running directly to an outside port. 

This was also done in the Four Wheel Campers Hawk Pop Up Camper I borrowed and wrote about. I ended up really liking the simplicity of this design. You can dump into a portable tank or, if you use really green cleaning products, you can just dump on the ground depending on where you camp. 

Outside shower on the ROG

There’s also an outside shower with hot and cold water. Given that 38-gallon tank, you can spend a good amount of time off the grid. 

The only thing I see that I wish they had done differently is that the wheel arches could have been made a bit stronger to act as a step. There are a few companies doing this and it makes sense if you’re going to offer a roof rack, as is done here. 

A company that has this build quality and a sense of humor certainly gets a nod from me. If you’re looking at a square drop, this one is a good one to consider. 

Video from Mount Comfort RV:

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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Steve
5 months ago

It hasn’t quite been 70 years since the “auto industry” quit using wood if you include the Brits. My ’56 MGA has real marine plywood floor BOARDS. And all other MGAs through the ’62 model year also had them. And, of course, Morgan has used wooden frames for their +4 – +8 roadsters. But then the Brits were generally behind the US auto industry except in adopting overhead cams to produce more HP from smaller engines. One MG model had an OHC engine in the 1930s! The first US production car model with an OHC engine that I can remember was the ’67 Pontiac Firebird Sprint, with an OHC 6-cylinder and a 4-barrel carb. More useless car history clogging up my brain capacity!

Scott Mohnkern
5 months ago

We saw this trailer by chance the other day, and its amazing! IT checked all of our boxes.

I even got a call from Rich, the guy who designed the trailer, and we talked for an hour about their plans. This company is really committed to their customers, and is committed to a real quality product.

Laura Polaski
5 months ago

Just a heads up that the Rog does NOT have a water heater as you have stated in your review.

Donald N Wright
5 months ago

very nice. thank you.

Bob p
5 months ago

Sorry my knees won’t allow me to live on them anymore, I may be only 79 but my knees feel much older. Lol

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