I like tents just fine. But when a stream of water found a hole in my rain fly during a summer thunderstorm, I began fantasizing about the cozy confines of a classic teardrop.
If one company stands above the others for combining style and sheer capability, it’s Vintage Overland. Owned by Britton Purser and his wife, Ami, it builds caravans by hand in Grand Junction, Colorado. The trailers come in two sizes, each weighing between 600 and 700 pounds. In the world of towable camping shelters, that’s featherlight. Not only can the Vintage Overland be pulled by virtually any Subaru, but its off-road-capable torsion axles and burly tires can make it as far into the wild as your vehicle can deliver you.
The Pursers source all materials—welded steel frame, anodized aluminum exterior, Baltic birch interior trim—from Colorado companies. Each trailer comes with a rear coupling for hitch-mounted bike hauling and can be ordered for use with Thule or Yakima racks. There are three models, but the largest is the five-by-eight-foot T.E. Lawrence, which has enough room for a queen bed, a writing desk, and a napping dog.
That’s not to say it’s a traveling spa: there are no stoves or refrigerators inside, though next year’s models will integrate solar panels from Goal Zero to power LED lights. Instead, they offer just enough comfort to make the wilderness seem permanently habitable. It takes six weeks to build one, so if you order it now, it’ll arrive in plenty of time for next summer’s showers.
From $8,500, vintageoverland.com