Polydrops tugs its electric polyhedral teardrop trailer off road
Back in March 2019, Polydrops was busily getting the word out about its angular, little teardrop trailer. Just one year later, the game changed. Everyone under the sun was looking for a mobile living pod to fully escape the clutches of a society in the throes of pandemic and lockdown. Polydrops responded earlier this year with an off-grid trailer meant to push off from the organized campground and camp independently with mere batteries and sunlight. Now it's venturing even farther into the wild with the new P17X Explorer, a ruggedized off-road trailer meant to keep up with a lifted 4x4 as it hunts down a mid-desert or above-tree line base camp.
Polydrops' sharp-edged geometric trailer design has always been easily mistakable for an off-roader. But lightweight construction and road-based tires have made it better-suited to smooth pavement, perhaps light, level dirt road. With the P17X Explorer, Polydrops bolts a pair of 29-in all-terrain tires at the ends of the Timbren 2000-lb suspension, boosting ground clearance to 15 inches (38 cm) to sail cleanly over the rocks, roots and ruts inevitable in the hinterlands. An articulating hitch improves the trailer's ability to react independently to the ever-changing ground below the tires.
One thing that doesn't change on the P17X is the aluminum-on-aluminum construction. Polydrops skips the heavy-duty powder-coated or galvanized steel frame upon which other off-road trailer builders rely, instead carrying over its standard aluminum frame with EV-style integrated battery. It also uses clear-anodized aluminum body construction, adding some diamond plate on the front panel and nose box to protect the most vulnerable parts of the bare-metal skin.
The 17X does away with the weird half-kitchen that Polydrops previewed earlier this year on the P17A, carrying a full galley under its tailgate. The set-up includes a slide-out dual-hob induction cooktop wired to the standard 2.4-kWh LiFePO4 battery, a tall stainless steel faucet and large sink, a 45-L fridge/freezer, a 110-V outlet for plugging in standalone appliances, and a slide-out worktop to complement the fixed countertops. The main water tank carries 27 liters of water, and the RoadShower puts another 18 liters up high on the crossbars.
The P17X comes thoroughly equipped with a 5,000-BTU air conditioner, electric heater, pure sine wave inverter, Bluetooth speakers, wireless smartphone charger and 260-W solar panel as standard equipment. The awning that visually evens out the RoadShower also comes standard.
The X interior doesn't show any significant changes, sleeping two adults and their favorite hound atop an 8-in (20-cm)-thick hybrid mattress. The thick insulation package offers an average R-14 value, according to Polydrops, and helps to fully isolate the interior climate from whatever's going on outside the gullwing doors. Upper storage cubbies keep things organized and easy to find, and a hidden 110-V outlet provides a plug-in for laptops and other hardware.
Polydrops has the $34,990 P17X up for preorder now. Buyers who crave more off-grid power can add extra solar and boost battery capacity up to 4.8 or 12 kWh. Polydrops plans to begin deliveries in mid 2022.
Tap "play" to watch Polydrops take the P17X Explorer for an R&D spin.