Scandinavian-inspired teardrop trailer blurs the lines between indoors and out
Teardrop trailers are a nice compromise for those that want to spend a lot of time outdoors but prefer a little extra nighttime comfort while there. Simple, spartan interiors keep you motivated to get outside and stay there the whole day and tailgate galleys force you to cook under the sky. But at night, you enjoy the softness of a mattress and the security of four walls - no leaking or flapping tent fabric or poking rocks and twigs to deal with. Canadian start-up Droplet further enhances this mix of indoor-outdoor living, offering a teardrop with large, wide doors and picture windows to keep you connected with the outdoors even while you're in bed.
Droplet says its teardrop was inspired by Scandinavian design, and looking at the trailer, we can definitely see enough functional simplicity to make IKEA proud (and you don't even have to put it together yourself!). Droplet doesn't reinvent the wheel, but its trailer does have a distinct personality that promises to enhance a trip into the great outdoors.
The Droplet's body is boxier than a true teardrop shape, but not all that different from the designs used by a number of other trailer manufacturers - Moby1 and Bundutec are two that pop to mind. Straight walls are always better for interior headroom, and the Droplet appears to offer a comfortable amount of space overhead for sitting up and reading, sipping a cup of coffee or just enjoying the view outside.
Speaking of views, Droplet does its best to maximize them, joining a few other teardrop builders, including Timberleaf and Vistabule, in putting an emphasis on window space. Droplet starts off with a large picture window on the rounded front wall and fills out its wide-cut doors with large side windows. It augments those door windows with thin horizontal window strips above each wheel. There's also a skylight/hatch on the roof.
If there was ever a teardrop for unimpeded views of the stars at night and plenty of golden natural light throughout the day, this is the one. And you can always swing the doors open for an even brighter, airier feel.
Beyond that, the Droplet is a simple, familiar design. Its interior includes a 6-in-thick (15-cm-thick) 80 x 60-in (2 x 1.5-m) queen-size mattress, along with cabinets and shelves on the wall opposite the picture window. There are also felt pockets on the door interiors for easy-access night storage and two touch-activated LED reading lights.
Cooking happens below the lift-gate outside, and the kitchen includes a slide-out 12V fridge, dual-burner stove and hand pump-operated sink. There's also an acrylic countertop, storage drawer and two LED lights. The stove, fridge, water tanks and battery pack are all removable so that you have the freedom to cook away from the trailer if you choose, something that could prove particularly handy if the only place to park is a crowded parking lot.
In terms of construction, the Droplet has an aluminum composite skin, structural wood fiber frame, closed cell aluminum laminated foam insulation, and finishing wood laminate interior. Droplet uses structural high-strength adhesives in place of screws wherever possible. The body is set on a powder-coated steel frame and 12-in wheels cushioned by an axle-free torsion suspension. The full trailer with tongue measures 12.5 x 6.6 x 5.5 feet (3.8 x 2 x 1.7 m, L x W x H) and weighs in at 950 lb (431 kg) dry. Tongue weight is 95 lb (43 kg).
Droplet founder and designer Pascal Pillon and his partner Diane Bissonnette stumbled into the trailer business, originally designing the Droplet as their own personal getaway. As they traveled, they found themselves constantly fielding rental inquiries. Eventually they decided to go with it, renting out their original model in their hometown of Vancouver, BC.
After compiling some feedback from renters, Droplet is now preparing a production model ahead of a crowdfunding campaign planned for Northern Hemisphere Winter. It hopes to get production rolling in March and begin deliveries in spring. Pillon estimates pricing at CA$17,950 (approx. US$14,000).
Beyond just selling trailers, Droplet hopes to build a community in which owners can rent their own trailers out to other teardrop enthusiasts, an idea that makes good sense since many an owner's trailer is likely to spend a fair amount of time sitting in the driveway or garage. The company also intends to put 10 percent of its profits into buying land and building campsites specifically for free use by Droplet owners and renters. Pillon tells us the first such campgrounds will open in 2018, just east of Osoyoos, BC.
Those interested can sign up on the company's website to receive updates and news.
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