Classic teardrop campers pack enough lithium to power a house
In developing its Boulder camping trailer, Colorado Teardrops (CT) became the industry's first manufacturer to stuff a Tesla's worth of battery power into a teardrop trailer.
Not every camper actually needs that much battery power, though, so the company is now trickling down some of its battery know-how to its more traditional teardrops, combining a powerful electrified chassis with timeless tiny trailer style. Buyers can choose between two- and four-person models and multiple battery options, building up a lithium-packed teardrop that can power the average American home for up to 24 hours.
Colorado Teardrops developed the Boulder quite specifically for electric vehicles, packing in a 75-kWh LFP battery pack comparable in size to a Tesla Model 3 battery and slightly larger than the range-topping battery running the all-new 2024 Living Vehicle, an off-grid tiny home several times larger than the 12-feet (3.7-m) Boulder and loaded with considerably more battery-hungry amenities and options. Last we heard, CT was still working to give the Boulder full Level 3 DC-to-DC charging capabilities so it could fast-charge an EV while out on a road trip.
With the new Electric Classic (EC) lineup, CT brings its electrified chassis to its traditional teardrop family. Specifically, it's offering the two-person EC-2, inspired by its Canyonland teardrop, and the four-person EC-4, a battery-powered version of its Mt. Massive trailer. The EC trailers are designed to be as attractive to ICE and hybrid vehicle owners as they are EV drivers.
Without the need to charge an EV, the EC trailers are able to do without quite so much heavy LFP battery. Colorado Teardrops cuts the top battery option in half, limiting the series to a maximum of 38 kWh, the battery size it estimates will run a home for up to 24 hours in the event of a blackout. That prediction matches up with data from the US Energy Information Administration, which puts 2021 average US home energy usage at about 29 kWh per day.
EC buyers can also size down with 29- and 19-kWh battery options. Each battery is mated to a 3,500-kW inverter and powers onboard electrical equipment like an available heater, fridge/freezer and induction cooktop.
The EC teardrops lack the Level 2 or 3 charging capabilities of the Boulder, but they do offer a 110-V 20-A outlet for Level 1 trailer-to-EV charging, a good emergency backup plan for EV adventurers. More importantly, the trailers are designed to keep on working when owners aren't camping, hooking up at home to provide backup power.
CT estimates that the 38-kWh trailer battery will take 16 hours to charge via the integrated 120-V hookup. There's also a solar hookup for adding solar panels. A battery management screen inside provides all the relevant electrical system info for easy monitoring.
The EC trailers lose the next-generation shape of the sloped-wall, gull-winged Boulder trailer in favor of traditional teardrop derived from the Canyonland and Mt. Massive. Initial renderings show the new EC models varying from the stablemates that inspired them with broad, storage-integrated fenders out at the sides, but the body between those fenders shares the same shape and cabin dimensions as the older, non-electrified models. The EC-2 has a base dry weight of 2,400 lb (1,090 kg), while the EC-4 starts at 2,800 lb (1,270 kg).
Each EC trailer features a welded aircraft-grade aluminum frame filled with an R13 triple-insulation package, skinned in anodized aluminum, and trimmed inside with laminated maple or optional hickory. The 12.3-ft (3.7-m) EC-2's cabin is specced around a 58 x 78-in (147 x 198-cm) memory foam mattress, while the 14.4-ft (4.4-m) EC-4 has a larger interior with two bunk beds complementing the 58 x 78-in main mattress. In the morning, each trailer's bed converts into a respective two- or four-person dining lounge.
Both the EC-2 and 4 models have two side entry doors and a strut-assisted lift-up tailgate. A pair of lower galley doors provides access to the under-counter storage area. Colorado Teardrops offers several different galley layout options, and each kitchen area comes with three LED lights and two 110-V outlets.
The EC-2 starts at US$44,000 when equipped with the base-level 19-kWh battery, while the EC-4 starts at $50,400 with that same battery. The 29-kWh battery tacks on an extra $5,500, and the 38-kWh option involves an $11,000 premium over the base model pricing.
That's certainly a lot of money – though not unheard of – for a teardrop, but Colorado says those who hook the trailers up as a backup home power source will be eligible for a 2023 "Residential Clean Energy" tax credit under the US Inflation Reduction Act signed last year. It estimates that credit between $1,500 and $7,000, depending upon EC model and battery size.
Colorado Teardrops plans to begin delivering the new EC models in July.
Source: Colorado Teardrops