In August of 2011, during the 2nd year of a motorcycle road trip, I felt a better than the ‘tent and sleeping bag’ approach was needed. Maybe a small trailer that I could sleep in was the answer. I began looking at the campers available on the market as finished goods, kits or plans. What I found was simply that everything was too heavy, too big, too expensive, too complicated and just plain wrong.
What I needed was a light (under 350 lbs.), small (less than 4 ft wide) but large enough to sleep comfortably (6 ft x 3ft twin bed) weather tight, inexpensive, low maintenance, and cute.
I decided that if I was going to do a camper it would be a wooden teardrop. I had grown up in the 60’s on the So Cal coast. I always wanted to own a surfers ‘Woody'. You know 1934 Chevy or the Classic 1949 Ford, so the style was a major factor. After years of working as a Manufacturing Engineer in the aircraft industry with aluminum, fiberglass, composites and 1 wooden airplane, I felt I could do it well enough.
Schedule was dictated because of an annual party - if you can't bring your bragging rights, people just laugh at you. Design & Build took 5 weeks 5 days because that's when the party was.
Our design was developed from these experiences. I found the strength of wood, the lightness, the cost factors, the ‘curb appeal’ if you will -- those aspects worked so much better than I hoped. I found the comfort of working with wood, these things all combined to make me build a wooden teardrop.
The prototype has 120,000 miles and 4 years of on the road experience. After 4 years living in and with “Rocio” I am convinced it's the only way to go.