Greetings from North Carolina

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Greetings from North Carolina

Postby settinsails » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:09 am

Hello from Steve in North Carolina. After a decade of armchair teardrop design, with no time and room to build one, my wife and I ordered a Rustic Trail Teardrops Grizzly Bear. They are a family based small business, located in Pilot Mountain, NC Their trailers are built on top of a 5x8 utility trailer frame. They stretch the teardrop 8 inches in the front, and 16 inches in the rear, yielding a 5x10 overall size. They have 3 models, with the only main variation being ceiling height. Papa Bear (4ft interior height), Grizzly Bear (5ft interior height), and Polar Bear (6ft interior height). They have a queen size memory foam mattress that folds and converts to a dinette. There are under bed storage cubes for the dinette, and a large storage area at the rear of the trailer. I’m 6’1, and have a few inches of headroom sitting at the dinette. Their trailers do not offer a galley at the rear. This allows you the ability to enter the front of the trailer, change clothes while standing on the floor, then slide into the bed, with your head at the rear of the trailer. Reduces the complexity of the build, as well as maintenance of the galley area.
Standard features of their trailers:
CNC cut walls made from a sandwich of gelcoated aluminum outer skin, ¾ inch marine plywood (not pressure treated), and an interior skin of HPDE plastic.
Floor made from asphalt coated ¾ inch marine ply, with a vinyl flooring on the interior.
14 inch aluminum wheels with 205/70 radial trailer tires.
36x20 sliding windows with screens
RV door with window, privacy shade, and screen door
Roof structure is true 2x4 glued and screwed to side frames, birch ply interior skin, insulation, and .040 alum outer skin.
2 speed in, 3 speed out vent fan
2 inch receiver on the rear of the trailer for bike rack or cargo tray
LED lighting on interior, exterior, and trailer running/brake lights.
120 volt shore power connection

Options I had placed in my order:
Electric brakes
Upper and lower birch plywood cabinets
Air conditioning. I was one of the first customers to get a new design for ac, replacing the external climate rite unit with a haier 5000 btu wall mount unit. The builder changed the design because of a large amount of failures reported with the climate rite units. It is recessed in the front of the trailer, and is protected by a removable ATP cover.
Two 12x24 inch locking baggage doors at the rear of the trailer. I ordered these off ebay, and had the builder install them. Response has been so popular, they are offering a single door standard on future builds.
When I brought the camper home, I began my outfitting. I’ve got a renogy eclipse 100 watt solar suitcase kit. It connects to a waterproof connector on the outside of my battery box. My battery box is actually a UWS ATV locking Toolbox on the tongue. I installed it after welding in some reinforcement underneath it, and mounted a pair of group 29 deep cycle batteries inside. They are connected to a blue sea 1, 2, 1+2, off battery selector switch, and a similar smaller switch for my solar power system. I can run the trailer on either battery, or both batteries. I can also charge one battery at a time, or both off the solar panel. In the box, I also have a NOCO Genius 20 two bank smart charger installed to the shower power connection. When connected to shore power (or generator), it will charge each battery independently, down to float charge once topped off. Electrical feeds to the cabin via a 200 amp breaker and 2 gauge power and ground wire. Inside the 2 gauge connects to blue sea power points, and breaks off to two circuit breakers. One 150 amp bussman breaker for the 1500 watt power inverter (fed via 2 gauge), and a 100 amp bussman breaker feeding a blue sea 12 circuit fuse block. Cabin wiring is 12 or 14 gauge marine wire, wrapped in loom where needed. Ive got circuits feeding the rear of the trailer, feeding a combination of USB sockets, and 12 volt CLA sockets. I’ve also got a circuit feeding a Samsung 24 inch OLED monitor with HDTV tuner. Ive got an external antenna mount that I can add a sectional post to get the antenna up to about 15 ft. The monitor is mounted to a drop down locking/swivel mount attached to the upper cabinet. I converted the monitor to 12 volt, eliminating the 120 volt ac power supply. I have 2 26 quart Activault Envirocoolers, that were originally used to transport chemotherapy drugs at 37 degrees F. They pull a maximum of 5 amps at 12 volts, or 40 watts on 120 volts. I plan on keeping one in the trailer, and one in the tow vehicle.
During testing, I could run the air conditioning for about 60 minutes straight on battery power, taking the batteries down to about 40-50% capacity.
On the outside, I made brackets to mount an ARB Touring 2500 Awning system. Its roughly 8ft x 8ft, and I have the mosquito net room, and the privacy room that mount in place underneath the awning. With a few bolts, I can remove from the teardrop, and install on either of my SUV’s for non-teardrop camping.
I added a CURT 2 inch receiver spare tire mount to the rear of the trailer.
My daughter and I took it on its maiden voyage last month. It was a 2400 mile round trip to Oshkosh, WI, for Airventure. The trailer performed flawlessly, stayed perfectly dry during the ¾ inch deluge we had (rain fell for about 30 mins, flooding the grounds in spots). I lost about 3mpg towing, but that was running at 70-75 mph the entire time. Every fuel stop, every food stop, and every time we were at the trailer, we had people come up and ask about it. I highly recommend this company for those who don’t have the time, space, or inclination to build a teardrop. They will build to any level inside (bare bones to let you finish how you would like, up through their full interior), and offer a bunch of vinyl wrap options for the exterior. Even fully loaded, they are a fraction of the cost of other large scale builders.

Steve
Last edited by settinsails on Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
settinsails
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Re: Greetings from North Carolina

Postby settinsails » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:17 am

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settinsails
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Re: Greetings from North Carolina

Postby settinsails » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:58 pm

Trying to post the google photo album

https://goo.gl/photos/cWifPvC18EuFMzGY8

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settinsails
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Re: Greetings from North Carolina

Postby lilmo11 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:41 pm

Interesting... I just bought a Papa Bear today, too. I saw it on a Facebook ad... I bought the green one posted today. Did you get one of the other two, or did you buy another day? I'm super excited about mine! Nice to meet you!

Mo
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Re: Greetings from North Carolina

Postby settinsails » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:55 pm

Congratulations on your purchase! I ordered mine back in late April and picked it up in June. Was looking at Little guys and other product lines to meet a travel deadline, and stumbled upon RTT. We went up there and looked at the shop and the trailers they had ready to deliver, and was sold on it. They are the most bang for the buck in the region, thats for sure.

We are planning a RTT gathering near the shop next September. There are a couple of facebook groups for RTT owners and the RTT Family Reunion. The Owners group is very active.
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