When Rockwood introduced the Geo Pro line of trailers, it really made quite a splash. Before these, typically, the smallest trailers in a range were also the ones most poorly equipped and, frankly, built with the least expensive methods. Rockwood took this theory and turned it on its ear. The result was a branch of the Rockwood line that took off like a rocket.
Then, last week, an announcement by Rockwood further escalated the line making some models absolute boondocking champions.
The Geo Pro line is, essentially, a range of single-axle narrow-body non-folding trailers within the Rockwood family. Today we’re specifically looking at the Rockwood Geo Pro 19FBS.
These trailers are fairly well-equipped with things like torsion axle suspensions, high-performance vent fans, frameless windows, welded aluminum framing with lamination done in small batches, and featuring Azdel substrate material and more.
The thinking behind these trailers is that a lot of buyers want something smaller just because of where they camp or how they get there – not because they want something cheaper.
The company is also known for its cabinet shop. While they’ve been solid in the past, by listening to customers they’ve increased the joint strength on their solid wood cabinets for 2022. But that’s not the biggest change in the wind.
Power to the people
If you go today to a Rockwood dealer, you’ll see that the Geo Pro line comes with 190 watts of solar on the roof, a 1,000-watt inverter that operates all the plugs in the trailer, a 12-volt compressor-based refrigerator, and a 12-volt television with integrated DVD player.
Using the ShowerMiser water-saving feature that also comes standard with these trailers, along with the built-in solar, has enabled a lot of campers to stay out and off the grid for a few days. That is one of the hallmarks of these trailers. But last week Rockwood went a big step further.
More power to you
For those who truly want a solar experience, Rockwood announced the Power Package last week which features three of the 190-watt solar panels for 570 watts of solar, a 400 amp-hour Mastervolt MLI lithium-ion battery, and a 3,000-watt Mastervolt Combimaster inverter. Further, this system includes an 11,000 BTU Coleman Mach air conditioner with built-in soft-start technology.
This charging system has a lot of features – but one of the key features is the ability to be flexible.
For example, if you’re moochdocking with a relative (which is something I do a lot) and they are able to provide you with a 15-amp cord from the garage, you can still run things like the air conditioner or microwave. That’s due to the fact that the system is able to draw what it can from one source and then use another source to compliment that.
So the trailer may need more than 15 amps for a while, and the smart converter is able to draw the 15 amps from the wall but also tap the batteries for whatever remaining needs there are.
Wired for 30-amp service plus there’s lots of solar on the roof
Like so many travel trailers, this one’s wired for 30-amp service. So when the full 30 amps is available, the trailer can take advantage of that.
Of course, there’s all that solar on the roof, as well. You can also tap in portable solar panels, if you’re in a good spot to do so.
But here’s a thought. You could actually disable the charging of the trailer by your truck such that the trailer, when towed, simply charges its own batteries through all that solar. But, again, the charge controller is smart enough not to kill off your alternator.
Our own Mike Sokol has had one of these Power Package systems in a prototype trailer for several months now and reports that he can, in fact, run the AC for hours on the batteries. The microwave, fridge and all the other things work just fine miles from shore power, as well.
Air conditioner on batteries
The big thing I get asked about solar power is if the system can power the air conditioner. In this case, the answer is yes. In fact, according to Rockwood’s estimates, it can power the AC unit at a 50 percent load on battery power only for up to six hours from a full charge.
Things like air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves and heaters all essentially cycle. In other words, rarely is the unit actually running the main temperature-changing component all the time.
Your heater might run the fan for a while but only light the gas on and off as needed. That’s true of the refrigerator, AC, and almost anything else that changes temperatures.
Of course, the hotter it is in the trailer, the more the compressor in the AC has to run to compensate for the heat. But Rockwood’s assumption is no solar power coming in. If it’s a hot day, you likely have sunshine on the roof.
I will also say that when I go camping, and that usually means boondocking, I also try to go where the weather suits my clothes. But not everybody has that option. However, in summer I go to the beach or the mountains. I don’t often go where I need AC.
Rockwood Geo Pro 19FBS
Otherwise, this is a pretty normal trailer in the Geo Pro line. At 20’8” long, it’s one of the larger members of the family, which stretch from essentially small teardrop-like trailers like the 7’ 9” Geo Pro G12SRK up to the 21’ 8” G30FBS.
This configuration is truly a couple’s camper with a single slide room that only has a folding couch in it. There’s an east-west bed at the front of the camper that’s a true queen-sized bed. Then there’s a corner bathroom at the back with a smaller 5.3-cubic-foot refrigerator along the back.
Popular floor plan
People seem to like this floor plan in general, as Rockwood makes a number of variants of this layout in different lengths from this model up to the Rockwood Mini Lite 2205 which has a walk-around queen bed and theater seats in the slide.
One of the interesting things about this model in particular is that you have several options for cooking. You can get a three-burner cooktop only and a regular microwave. You can also upgrade the microwave to a convection model. And you can further upgrade the cooktop to a three-burner stove with a 21” oven.
The only hanging closet space in this model is between the kitchen and the bed and comes in the form of a smaller hanging space.
Rockwood floor plans are almost completely usable with slide room in
One of the things I like about all the variants of this floor plan in the Rockwood family is that they’re almost completely usable with the slide room in. That’s true here, too, where the slide room essentially only makes for more floor space rather than revealing functions or storage.
In fact, the single drawer under the bed is still accessible with the slide room in.
Now, some aren’t thrilled about the fact that the only dining option in this configuration is the couch in the slide – which comes with a portable table. This table could also double as food prep space. In fact, it likely has to, as the kitchen counterspace is marginal at best.
Lastly, there are three cabinets above the couch with drop-down cabinet doors. I wish these were hinged at the side instead.
I know more than a few people who have built power systems like this in their own RVs – from motorhomes to travel trailers. It’s certainly possible to pick and choose components and then coax them into working with one another.
The total package price of this power option is $8,625. This isn’t out of line with what you could do on your own if you bought components of similar quality and then coaxed all that tech to work together. Plus, it’s covered by a five-year warranty.
These winds of change have also blown through Winnebago, where we looked at the Micro Minnie 2018DS FLX.
Buying power package at dealership makes sense
But these are also big-league numbers of power shuffling around. There’s a lot to be said for just going to the dealership and checking an option box and getting everything packaged together properly and correctly matched. And covered under one warranty.
I have been blathering on about how Keystone has really established a strong position with their SolarFlex™ package. I really do like the way they’ve implemented it to be rather flexible.
But Rockwood having announced a package that just is a high-end series of components and specifications in a smaller trailer is also a strong counter shot from the folks in Millersburg.
I’ve mentioned before that when I bought my own trailer I started a small group for fans of the Rockwood Mini Lite. It has since grown to about 9,000 people. While some might call me a fan of the company’s products, I’m really someone who tries to understand the things I see in the RV space. I like the way this company makes decisions.
I typically don’t blindly “like” one company’s products over another’s for any brand loyalty. Instead, these companies have to demonstrate a continued pushing of the envelope while also maintaining a level of quality and customer service. With that in mind, I think Rockwood’s latest option on their already-popular Geo Pro line is going to make a compelling reason for someone to get one of these.
Rockwood’s sister products under Flagstaff name are identical
One more thing. The Rockwood brand’s sister products under the Flagstaff name are identical except for which dealers stock what product and the stickers that designate one from the other. So if there’s a Flagstaff dealer near you instead of Rockwood, it’s the same product. I’ve caught more than one dealer being less than truthful about this, and I’ve watched the trailers roll down the assembly line.
My thanks to Rockwood for photos of the Power Package components, and to Josh Winters of Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan, for images of the trailer.
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Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long 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.
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I am intrigued by your statement below. How does the system know how many amps are available via shore power? Is there a selector switch or something like that?
“For example, if you’re moochdocking with a relative (which is something I do a lot) and they are able to provide you with a 15-amp cord from the garage, you can still run things like the air conditioner or microwave. That’s due to the fact that the system is able to draw what it can from one source and then use another source to compliment that.
So the trailer may need more than 15 amps for a while, and the smart converter is able to draw the 15 amps from the wall but also tap the batteries for whatever remaining needs there are.”
Ah, yes. There is a monitor remote panel in the trailer that allows you to make adjustments to the system based on the circumstances.
The good thing about this is that you have these controls. The bad is that you have to have some basic knowledge of electricity (for example, what a 15 amp circuit is).
Not to start a revolution here, but I think that sly insertion of song lyrics was Harry Nilsson.
It’s great for the entire RV industry to see these advances by Rockwood which (along with Keystone) deserves an award. I require a larger rig than this one, but I’m optimistic that Rockwood will build a like equipped 5thW soon. The 3,000 watt hybrid inverter is the heart of the system. Rockwood acknowledges that anything less than 3,000 is a joke. Hooray! Now, if we could only get Jayco to follow suit and get serious about Solar. I’m going to reassess my opinion about Rockwood simply on the basis of this piece.
PS – Tony, are you a Dead Head? I hope your sly insertion of that Grateful Dead verse was intentional and not just serendipitous. Personally, I want to go where the water tastes like wine.
“I want to go where the water tastes like wine” is from Canned Heat.
I will say my wife is a real Dead Head but I do appreciate them as well. Our wedding cake had a dancing bear and a parrot on it because I’m more of a Jimmy Buffett aficionado.
As for solar and Rockwood, stay tuned is all I’m willing to write.
This trailer is a boondocker’s dream! It has taken me years (and bunches of money) to get our TT to these kinds of upgrades. And I still don’t have the shower Miser. All plugs hooked to the inverter – good thinking. This trailer has been well thought out. My only complaints are the east-west bed (which could not go any other way) and the 12v fridge. And my wife could tow this behind her Expedition.
The interesting thing is they make a similar floor plan in a Mini Lite in the form of the 2109 and then the 2205 which has theater seats and an electric fireplace, so you can almost get whatever length and amenities you want depending on which model you choose. The 2205 has a full walk-around proper queen bed, the 2109 has an RV queen.
As of this writing the Power Package is limited to the specific GeoPro models but I’d be surprised if that stays the case depending on how popular these might be.