If there's one mobile habitat that seems to be on everyone's list, it's the teardrop. With an ability to give you just about everything you need to live off-grid, it's really no wonder that these travel trailers are held in such high regard. Did I mention they're usually cheap as hell!?
Photo: Sia Kulba
Folks, today we'll be taking a closer look at a camper simply dubbed the Woody. It's a teardrop trailer from a little-known team named Kulba. Ever heard of them? Very few people have, the reasons being they build custom units and don't mass produce any of them. Oh, and they're from Latvia; even though most folks associate teardrops with the American way of living, it seems that they're just as favored over in Europe.
The best way to help you understand just what you can achieve with a handcrafted teardrop camper selling for a starting price of around €8,000 ($8,686 at current exchange rates) is to invite you on an off-grid journey through our imagination.
It's Good Friday, and you wake up early in the morning to get a head start on that short trip out of town before having dinner with the parents on Easter Sunday. However, you don't own some massive truck able to pull along tons of cargo; you own an average mid-size SUV. Honestly, nothing more is needed as the Woody only weighs up to 450 kg (992 lbs) to 650 kg (1,433 lbs), depending on the configuration of features and model. I think that might even be doable with a Camry. Once all hitched up, you're ready to hit the road.
Photo: Sia Kulba
After driving nearly all day, you finally reach your destination, stretch out your legs, and begin to set up the habitat you'll call home for the next few nights. With stabilizer legs in place, you unhitch the trailer and start getting ready for dinner. Depending on the sort of meals you usually cook, you can select what kind of galley layout you'll have access to. Future owners can choose a fully stocked kitchen with a slide-out cooktop, fridge, and running water, all the way to no galley or nothing more than just a full pass-through, perfect if you want to use Woody for carrying gear on a day trip.
Once your belly is full, whip up a quick hot cup of tea, and enjoy the sunset before turning in for the night. Inside the cabin, Baltic birch ply is the primary material you see and feel; between you and the exterior, an anodized aluminum roof and insulation up to 68 mm (2.67 in) thick ensure you stay safe and warm. Oh, guess what? The exterior cladding is also completed using Baltic birch but treated with marine-grade epoxy coating to be waterproof and UV-resistant.
Photo: Sia Kulba
While comfort is nice and all, Kulba also knows that a camper isn't meant just for sleeping. So, inside, you can store clothing and gear in an overhead cabinet, but my favorite piece is the modular 3-piece mattress, perfect for using up as a couch or bed. This feature should be essential in a camper, especially if the weather forces you to stay indoors. Once rested from a night's sleep, you'll head outside, make a pot of coffee, and if you happen to have thrown on a roof rack or bike rack on this trinket, you can really get the most out of your adventures. For this sort of starting price, you should have enough left over to fill up at the most expensive gas station in town.
At the end of the day, I don't even need to know about the Torsion axle or galvanized frame upon which the cabin sits; I feel I need to head over to Latvia and pick up a Woody myself. I won't even care about the money I'll be spending on flights or shipping this thing back to the U.S.
A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides). Full profile
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