High Camp teardrop trailers wrap fine woodwork with aluminum skin

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The High Camp teardrop features birch plywood construction with an aluminum skin

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The High Camp teardrop trailer may be new to the market, but looking at it whisks you off to a world of intricate craftsmanship that all but went extinct decades ago. The shimmering aluminum shell protects a warm, inviting birch interior with a variety of smart details.

Like many a camping trailer designer, High Camp Trailers founder Dennis Caron gradually built a business out of his own personal love of camping and travel. Shortly after getting married in 1999, Caron quit his job in Manhattan and road-tripped across the US with his new bride, camping along the way. The newlyweds eventually landed on the opposite coast in Portland, Oregon, where Caron discovered the teardrop trailer and fell in love. He tells us that he would have given his right arm to have traded his two-person tent and pickup truck sleeping platform for such a cozy abode on his road trip. However, he also had some quibbles with the available designs and set out to address them.

Specifically, Caron found problems with the galley layouts of other trailers, so he designed his galley from scratch, starting with a set of automotive-style gas struts that make opening the hatch much easier. Inside, the three-burner cooktop and Coleman stainless steel cooler can be accessed with ease thanks to slide-out hardware. The cooktop is permanently plumbed to the 11-lb propane tank on the tongue and includes a hinged wooden cover that acts as extra counter space whenever the stove is not in use. The galley also includes two storage cabinets for pots, pans, food and dishes, along with two under-counter storage areas that hold the 100-Ah deep cycle battery plus a 30A power converter and added open storage.

The teardop trailer in general is a powerfully nostalgic design that immediately sends one into a daydream about roasting marshmallows and road-tripping to the beach ... even if one never actually lived those experiences as a kid. High Camp builds on that inherent nostalgia, offering a body that is both comfortably familiar and recognizably distinct. The shape shows the influence of the Tiny Camper, which Caron says inspired its profile, but the High Camp has a more cohesive, rolling form that gives it something of the presence of a shrunken Airstream.

When you pop open one of two lockable side doors, the cold, smooth exterior quickly gives way to the warmth of the 3/4-in (1.9-cm) birch plywood construction inside. The cabin is filled with a queen-sized, 4-in-thick (10-cm-thick) mattress. It offers plenty of storage space, including large storage compartments in the headboard, two small, open headboard cubbies for glasses and other small items, and upper cabinets. There's even a pair of fold-down cupholders. Ventilation is delivered by the sliding screen windows on the side doors and the adjustable Fantastic roof vent/fan with rain-sensing auto closure.

Below its stylish body sits a chassis welded from 2 x 2-in square steel tubing. The chassis houses the 7-pin wiring harness that controls the running lights, electric brakes, and battery charging from the tow vehicle's alternator. The wheels are secured to the frame by a Rockwell American 2,500-lb (1,134-kg) torsion axle. The teardrop measures 12 x 7 x 5.5 feet (L x W x H, 3.7 x 2.1 x 1.7 m), has a dry weight of 1,250 lb (567 kg) and a tongue weight of 165 lb (75 kg). The cabin measures 40 in (102 cm) from the top of the mattress to the ceiling.

Caron left his job as a business appraiser to launch High Camp about a year ago. His teardrop is available now starting at US$14,900, and High Camp also offers a variety of accessories, such as a solar charging system, battery monitor and custom iPad mount.

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