By Tony Barthel
It had to happen. Love it or not, Elon Musk’s Tesla Truck made a huge splash when he introduced it and I bet you’re going to see a lot of people riding on the Cybertruck’s coattails. I’ve seen a few of these already – and now the RV world has joined the parade with the Polydrop P17A teardrop.
At the very least, the Polydrop P17A trailer, which is being built in Los Angeles, California, carries a lot of the same styling cues as the Tesla truck. In fact, it even shares the gull wing door idea with the Tesla Model X, an all-electric SUV.
However the design of the Polydrop P17A actually predates the announcement of the Tesla Cyber Truck by a full eight months. Perhaps you could more equate the styling to the Stealth fighter than the Tesla Cyber Truck. Whatever the inspiration, it’s definitely stand-out.
How Tesla, really?
A week ago I was hard-pressed to find any travel trailers that ran on predominantly electric power, and now I’m writing about the third one in production. Several manufacturers have contacted me with their own prototypes they want me to share with you. I will when they reach production, believe me.
But, truthfully, the Polydrop P17A is a small bedroom trailer, more like the Earth Traveler T300 only without that model’s advanced materials. Though, it’s not like the trailer is typical either…
Essentially, this is a mobile bedroom much like any other teardrop trailer. The company is using an aluminum frame and has paid particular attention to the underbody of the trailer with regard to aerodynamics. As such, they use a Timbren axle-less independent suspension.
More features of the Polydrop P17A
Weighing in at just about 1,200 pounds, the trailer is not required to have braking. So a standard four-pin connector and small 2-inch ball are all that’s needed of the tow vehicle.
Since we are looking to the Tesla crowd, this does have a full climate control system and it’s all run by battery. There are 2.4kWh LiFePO4 (lithium batteries) on board – which is pretty substantial for such a small rig. According to company founder Kyung-Hyun Lew, those are sufficient to run the AC as well as the heater. I would have zero arguments with that. There’s also a power inverter so you can flip this on to run the 120vac plugs. This would enable you to charge a laptop battery or even run a CPAP machine overnight.
The company also offers double the battery size if you need it. You can even triple it if you’ve got $8,000 burning a hole in your pocket.
The base solar system is 260 watts – but you can double this for $600. With 520 watts of solar, you should be in great shape to keep anything charged. The angular roof of the trailer makes a great place to mount those panels as well. Not having to deal with curves definitely has its advantages with solar mounting.
While the base model of the Polydrop P17A has no provision for food prep, you can upgrade the trailer with a kitchen package that includes a Dometic 20L refrigerated “drawer” as well as an induction cooktop and some storage. There’s also a hand-pumped faucet and 1.6 gallons of fresh water in “bricks” along with a 10-inch sink.
There is some storage inside the trailer. This includes a small hanging cubby, and the large rear hatch lifts to really open up the trailer.
The company has also made bold statements about insulation. It claims that there are sections of the P17A that have up to 8.7-inch-thick insulation.
Kyung-Hyun Lew is smart
Let’s face it, there are plenty of other small trailers that can be towed by electric vehicles. But Kyung-Hyun Lew styled the Polydrop P17A trailer and markets it as specifically designed for being towed by electric vehicles. That’s smart.
How smart? He’s been in Forbes, Men’s Health, and Esquire, as well as on CNN and elsewhere. So that, alone, shows that he’s figured out the marketing.
He’s also provided test records of towing the trailer with a Tesla Model 3 (their smaller sedan), and has hundreds of miles of records to share.
So, I have to give him credit – he definitely has created an interesting product and it offers very, very standout styling. He’s also aligned with one of the smartest marketers in the business, Elon Musk, by branding his products right alongside Musk’s.
Time is a funny thing, though. If I had seen this a few weeks ago I would have been more impressed with the attention to detail. But, if I wanted to tow something with an EV and really get the most bang for my buck, I might be more inclined to buy the Earth Traveler.
If I wanted something larger I would sway toward the TrailManor as it, too, is a lower profile – although not as much so as this trailer or the Earth Traveler.
Whatever the case, you’re going to see more and more unusual and groundbreaking RV formats coming out. This, as our vehicle preferences start to change and our recognition of the fact that we want to preserve the environment that we’re visiting becomes more clear.
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!