Vintage Overland Teardrop Trailer
Photo by Will Dabbs

In a world fraught with disposable everything, we often find ourselves yearning for an earlier, better, more durable era. We look back with longing to the days when human fingers crafted shapes and stuff was built to be handed down from one generation to another rather than contribute to overburdened landfills. Teardrop trailer maker, Vintage Overland, stands in glorious testament to this Old World ethos.

Life Imitates Art

The classic Vintage Overland caravan began as a scribble on a piece of plywood. Now armed with a characteristic aerodynamic teardrop shape, the three Purser brothers who build these trailers craft every single one by hand from the finest materials available. The result is a piece of art that will keep you warm and dry when it rains. It will insulate you from the bustle of a modern world at times gone mad and transport you as far as your dreams and a tank of gas might take you.

There is a certain baseline DNA built into all Vintage Overland caravans. They seem almost whimsically small. This means most any automobile can safely tote them. And the diminutive footprint lets you get into tight, remote spaces that might otherwise be off limits to a larger rig. There is an artistic synergy built into the device that maximizes the space for both personal comfort and emotional health.

Interior Materials

The interior is made from the finest Baltic birch multi-layer plywood that is given a water-resistant clear coat. The interior birch panels incorporate cutouts that create a sense of extra space and take their inspiration from classic Danish design. The wooden interior transforms a modest amount of towable space into a portable piece of home.

The exterior is anodized aluminum. Aluminum is the third most common element in the earth’s crust behind oxygen and silicon. It enjoys certain metallurgical properties that make it an ideal weatherproof material. Elemental aluminum oxidizes instantly upon exposure to air. The resulting aluminum oxide is remarkably robust. Tiny dents, scratches and defects immediately oxidize back into their environmentally stable state via a process called passivation. In essence, it heals itself microscopically when exposed to minor trauma. It is this metallurgical propensity that keeps World-War-II-era fighter planes bright and shiny despite generations of hard use. Encasing a Vintage Overland caravan in such stuff makes it environmentally robust and just about impervious to rot and decay.

Teardrop Trailer Baseline Features

There are three caravan models that Vintage Overland produces. They all enjoy certain commonalities. Each sports a hand-built oversized door, an exterior utility light and a built-in solar panel on the roof. All Vintage Overland caravans come with a Goal Zero power generator, a torsion axle, and powder-coated frames and fenders. They have retro-style taillights, baby moon hubcaps and LED lighting both inside and out. There is a fan-driven vent, a screen-equipped tinted window, diamond plate reinforcement where needed and a memory foam mattress. There are USB ports as well as accessory outlets.


The base model is called the Tuco, It is named for Eli Wallach’s character in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Like its cowboy namesake, the Tuco is compact, aggressive and tough. There is space to add external gear racks. The basic caravan’s utilitarian sensibility maximizes its versatility. The 4-by-8-foot cabin mounts atop a frame with a total length of 12 feet. The caravan stands 6 feet tall on its all-purpose tires. All together, the Tuco weighs 600 pounds and includes all the basic features previously mentioned.

Great Escape

The next step up from the Tuco is the Great Escape. This caravan adds a back hatch for storage space, a bug screen and a large multipurpose storage boot that is ideal for packing a camp kitchen, food stores, survival supplies or field gear. The back hatch space measures 20 inches high, 58 inches wide and 28 inches deep, and all these extras bring the dry weight up to 750 pounds.

T.E. Lawrence

The top-end model is the T.E. Lawrence. Known more commonly as Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence’s adventuresome spirit pervades this design. The cabin on the T.E. Lawrence is 5 by 8 feet on the same 12-foot chassis and includes the same storage boot as the Great Escape. The Lawrence adds a queen-sized memory foam mattress, additional storage, extra LED lighting and a pull-out writing desk.

Accessories available for all three models include a military-inspired spare tire and mount, a front welded tubular steel basket and a rack mount system. For a modest fee, the Purser boys can include a second door on the opposite side of the caravan. All things considered, the Vintage Overland caravans are adaptable to both the missions and personalities of their owners.

More Than A Vehicle

A Vintage Overland caravan is more than a piece of equipment that hooks to the back of your SUV or commuter sedan. It is portable freedom. Large enough to support a couple during a protracted trek in comfort yet small enough to remain inconspicuous while parked, Vintage Overland caravans are readily managed by a single person.

Arrange the caravan in the driveway and do your packing on Thursday evening. Add your cooler and spouse after a brutal Friday at work and then head out either with a particular destination in mind or without. Whether you follow your map or your heart, such stuff is a form of mental hygiene, scrubbing clean the stresses of modern life.

Time To Get Away

Life in modern-day industrialized America is hectic, impersonal and unforgiving. Twenty-four-hour news outlets pipe a steady diet of tragedy and destruction into our living rooms while the rigors of American life gray our hair, clog our arteries and steal our joie de vivre. Amidst the pervasive chaos and bone-numbing stress, we find ourselves yearning for something simpler. The Vintage Overland caravan is that something.

Handcrafted in the manner of better times and individually imbued with art, human sweat and love in comparable measure, the Vintage Overland caravan will transport you both to unfamiliar places and calmer head spaces. Most modern vehicles would pull the rig as though it wasn’t there, and preparation for launch requires little more than some clean clothes and a spot of food. Once at your destination, setup is as simple as parking your car and climbing in for some peaceful cozy rack time. You’ll need to score bathroom facilities, but for two humans who enjoy each other’s company, this is about as good as it gets.


The Vintage Overland caravan is distinctive, utilitarian and adorable. Whether your mission is to burn a weekend with the person for whom you care the most, escape the coming zombie apocalypse and look cool doing it, or simply enjoy a spot of periodic mental hygiene, Vintage Overland is the environmentally sensitive cure to depression, anxiety and urban sprawl, all in a rolling package that hooks to the back of your family car.


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