Sub-$10K Polydrops trailer sheds lines and weight to boost EV camping
Los Angeles-based camping trailer builder Polydrops made an immediate name for itself by reimagining the teardrop trailer as a polyhedron. Now, in an effort to offer a lighter, more aerodynamic drop-sized camper tailored to electric vehicles, it's planed and sanded away some of the "poly" to create the smooth, sleek P19 Shorty. The new trailer weighs a mere 640 lb, houses two people and their dog in a simple but cozy cabin, and comes in at a fraction the price of previous Polydrops. Its hybrid poly/teardrop shape looks just as striking as the original and is helped along by some aerodynamic trickery.
The last time we looked in at Polydrops, it was busy adding serious lithium power to its P17A trailer. Before digging even deeper into the lithium mine to create a trailer that could charge an electric tow vehicle, à la the Colorado Teardrops Boulder, it ultimately decided the more logical way forward to be reducing weight and streamlining aerodynamics to make the trailer less of a drag on the vehicle's range to begin with.
As its name tips, the P19 Shorty is the shortest Polydrop yet, measuring in at 11.7 feet (3.6 m) long. It's also the simplest, dropping the tailgate galley to become the purest expression of founder Kyung-Hyun Lew's vision of a portable personal space. It's a simple bedroom/work space on wheels, a temporary insulated shelter from the elements able to go where it's needed.
Interior fixtures and amenities are limited to overhead cubbies, a narrow convertible table/desk, a trifold mattress, an LED light, and a 110-V outlet that offers interior power when the trailer is hooked up to shore power via its external 110-V inlet. The 54 x 80-in (137 x 203-cm) bed space is sized for two people and a pet.
Polydrops smooths the P19 Shorty's shape out compared to its original design, adding flat, non-faceted sidewalls and an arched roof more like a traditional teardrop. The company lets computational fluid dynamics guide the reshaping, saying the new form is the most aerodynamic of 100 different design alters. Polygonal shaping carries over at the nose and fenders, ensuring no one mistakes it for anything but a Polydrops.
The manufacturer adds in several aero components to further optimize the P19 Shorty's aerodynamics. A front air tunnel just over the frame swallows and redirects air coming off the tow vehicle, while vortex generators on the front roof help guide air along. Additional aero components include a front splitter, rear wing and fender vents.
To further squeeze improved range out of the tow vehicle, Polydrops leans on an all-aluminum construction and light, simplified build spec to keep base weight down to 640 lb (290 kg). The 2,000-lb (907-kg) Timbren Axle-Less suspension means a 1,360-lb (616-kg) payload, which will be wide open for whatever the owner decides to pack inside, since there's no water or propane tank to fill up or refrigerator to stock. The clear anodized aluminum body is set atop a tubular aluminum frame, insulated with a rigid 2-in all-season insulation package and trimmed inside in white fiberglass.
The P19 Shorty loses the wing doors from other Polydrops, but it does have separate locking doors on each side, always a convenient feature, especially at a base price of US$9,950. The trailer also has four total windows with insect screens.
The P19 Shorty launched last month and is available for order now. Polydrops ballparks lead time at two months but suggests interested parties contact it for the most up-to-date estimate. Options include a rear receiver hitch and a RoadShower.