• May 6, 2012
After Lawrence Drake gave up his pickup truck for a Chevrolet HHR, he wanted a camping shelter more hardy than a tent. The trick? Finding a solution that was in line with the HHR's 1,000-pound tow capacity. He found it when he designed the Teal Camper, a modular enclosure that fits on a four-by-eight trailer and weighs just 630 pounds empty, including the trailer.

Basically, the camper is a set of weather-sealed panels that are bound with Phillips-head bolts and a strap. They come in a few configurations, such as corner pieces and those with windows and door openings, and you can assemble them in rectangular shapes as small or large as you like. The standard kit comes with a bed that sleeps two and a table, but Drake has designed lightweight optional fixtures like canvas cabinets. There's also a pop-top that can extend headroom to six feet, and the entire assembly can be bolted to a plywood floor with straps or angle brackets.

Drake's gone as far as he can on his own resources and is looking for investors for manufacturing. As such, there's no price tag yet but he projects around $3,000 for an empty shell. It's a neat concept that we think deserves a shot. Check it out in the gallery of photos.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      SumYunGie
      • 2 Years Ago
      This guy should head to Kickstarter.com and be done with it.
      ufgrat
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a camping trailer, it's interesting, since you can essentially build-your-own with whatever features / accomodations you want. As modular pre-fab housing for disaster relief, it looks like something that could be easily mass-produced and delivered to a remote location and turned into shelters of varying shapes and sizes.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        For it to be genius, it would do a really good job of satisfying an existing need. What does this do that an Airstream, teardrop trailer, camper shell, or something similar does not do? Unless you're trying to assemble a little plastic town, I don't get why this is necessary.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          [blocked]
      EJD1984
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like it!! Could be the modular Tupperware of Campers. :-) Also looks to be inspired from the sets of the 1970s television show Space 1999. :-)
      JamesJ
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like you could have a portable banquet hall, or a disaster shelter.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Brilliant!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
      AJ Harnak
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like somebody's been watching Top Gear...
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Instantly reminded me of the one Hammond built on Top Gear.
        Making11s
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        As soon as I saw that episode, I thought "why isn't that a thing?" Sure, Hammond's version sucked, but a version made my someone who is more mechanically inclined could be amazing. This thing looks great.
      Lockster
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would love to see this towed around parts of Australia, the side straps around it's centreline would want to be strong if this thing would fall apart on some of our roads. I do see some value in the concept, put it on 6 x 44gallon drums and you have yourself a neat house boat......just strap an outboard motor to it.
      waetherman
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm a sucker for this kind of thing, so I love it - I can see it being really handy for folks who have multiple uses such as taking occasional camper trips during the summer, throwing a few more panels in to expand it to a hunting lodge during the fall, and then downsizing it to a quick and easy ice fishing hut during the winter. The price isn't bad either. Working backward from an estimate of $3000, I'm guessing it's probably only about $150 for the straight panels and $300 for the corners. At that price you could start with a small ice shack for about $2000 and work your way up to a full "eco-shelter" for about $4500.
      stclair5211
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nothing like roughing it! I'm disappointed. No second floor? No garage? Who would want to live this primitively when camping???
      gtv4rudy
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a great idea. Like a Swiss Army Knife. It's light, compact, secure and hopefully inexpensive. Brilliant!
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