Tough teardrop caravan offers cozy off-road comfort
Colorado-based outdoor enthusiast Britton Purser has teamed up with his twoyounger brothers to create a series of lightweight teardrop caravans tough enough to take off road. The Vintage Overlandteardrops weigh about 700 lb (317.5 kg) and provide the makings for aquick and easy getaway, offering shelter for two adults or, with afew additions, even a family of four.
"Ibuilt the first Vintage Overland caravan for myself, my wife Ami andtwo boys: Alek (7) and Luka (5) to use," Britton Purser tellsGizmag. "Iwanted something small, lightweight, unique and vintage looking topull behind my old Range Rover. One afternoon I drew a teardrop shapewith a magic marker on a piece of plywood and literally ended up witha teardrop caravan."
Cominga long way since his first drawing on a piece of plywood, Purser andhis two brothers have now accomplished three different teardropmodels: the Tuco, Great Escape and T.E. Lawrence. Each caravan is made individually by handand features an anodized-aluminum outer skin toprevent corrosion, while theinterior is built using Baltic Birch, multi-layer plywood and water-resistant clear coat.
"Weapproach every caravan as if it is a sculpture," says Purser. "Each one slightly different from the previous built by me andmy two younger brothers Cody and Cullen. Before we started buildingcaravans I used to design, re-model and reconstruct upper-level loftapartments. Cody had his own company building copper bathtubs by handand Cullen built guitars, mandolins, and harps. All of our skills nowgo into each caravan. We cut out, shape and assemble every piece byhand in my studio in Colorado."
EachVintage Overland teardrop comes equipped with efficient LED lighting,a three-speed fan and ventilation, Goal Zero solar generator andsolar panel, memory-foam mattress and a generous sized storage boot.In addition, the Great Escape and T.E. Lawrence models feature abuilt-in writing desk.
Theteardrops can comfortably accommodate two adults, but in Purser'scase he added a pop-up roof-top tent to the top of his caravan,which provides a second level that allows room for his two young boys.
Theentry-level Tuco is designed as a rough and ready, get out and go anywhereutility-caravan. It features a 4 x 8 foot (1.2 by 2.4 m) cabin, adouble-sized mattress and all of the amenities of the other twomodels, with the exception of a rear hatch. The Great Escape also has a 4 x 8foot cabin and all of the amenities, but includes a rear hatch. On the upper end, the T.E. Lawrence model features a larger 5 x 8 foot (1.5 by 2.4 m)cabin, a queen-sized mattress and comes with everything included in theother models.
"Ispent a lot of time making the tear drop shape look like itcontinuously flows forward," says Purser. "I also designedthe interior to look like a piece of Danish furniture. The cut-outsin the side panels make the inside more comfortable and appear to bemore open. Iget comments all of the time about how much bigger it feels insidethan expected."
Thebasic entry-level Tuco is priced at US$10,500 and comes with thefollowing specs (which are also found in all of the caravan models):
- welded steel frame
- hand-built oversized door
- hardwood interior
- UV aluminum exterior
- exterior utility light
- torsion axle
- powder coated frames and fenders
- rear receiver hitch
- vintage style tail lights
- Baby MoonHubcaps
- LED lights (interior and exterior)
- AccessoryJack (iPhone ready)
- vent and fan
- roof rack
- tinted window with blind
- memory foam mattress
- insulation made from re-purposed denim
- diamond platereinforcement
So what does the future hold? "Weare currently designing a more 'traditional' shaped,slightly larger and more exclusively priced caravan," says Purser. "We are also developing Vintage Overland as a brand andnot just a caravan builder. Soon we will be offering everything fromwaxed-cotton canvas tents, awnings and camp chairs, to woollenblankets, clothing, boots and kitbags, adding to the ultimate VintageOverland camping experience."
Source: Vintage Overland