Minneapolis RV-maker offers room with a view

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2014 - 9:38 AM

Bert Taylor, 62, of Minneapolis, has taken the teardrop trailer to a whole new level.

When it comes to camping, one size doesn’t fit all.

Options range from a sparse tent to a spacious 42-foot luxury motorhome with kitchen and big-screen TV — and everything in between.

On that scale, Bert Taylor’s tiny teardrop-shaped Vistabule camper trailers are at the minuscule end. Exactly where he wants to be.

His rig, in fact, might be the smallest recreational vehicle at the Minneapolis-St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show, which opens Thursday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

At only 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, several would fit inside some large RVs. But beauty — like practicality and affordability — is in the eye of the beholder.

“Some RVers want to take the comforts of home with them, but a teardropper wants to leave the clutter of home behind,’’ said Taylor, 62, of Minneapolis, who launched Minnesota Teardrop Trailer LLC three years ago.

“It’s little on the outside, but big on the inside.’’

Small has its advantages. The Vistabule weighs about 1,200 pounds, meaning it can be towed with just about any vehicle. It’s easy to trailer, and doesn’t take up much space. And the cost — about $14,000 to $18,000, depending on amenities — is a fraction of a big RV.

Taylor, a longtime woodworker and furniture designer, decided he could improve on the basic teardrop trailer, created in the 1930s and ’40s as a build-it-yourself camper and still manufactured by several companies (including Camp-Inn in Wisconsin and Little Guy in Ohio).

“A typical teardrop is a step up from a tent. It tends to be cozy but claustrophobic,’’ said Taylor, taking a break from assembling trailers in his northeast Minneapolis shop. “I wanted mine to be open to the outside.’’

So he added large windows and doors, a sofa that folds down into a queen-sized bed and a kitchenette in the rear, complete with stove and running water. The interior is maple and birch, the outside shiny aluminum.

Room with a view

The name, Vistabule, is a play off the word vestibule.

“A vestibule is a little room on the front of your house. This is a room on the front of the world,’’ Taylor said. “It’s a room with a view that you can take anywhere.’’

The windows have shades for privacy, but they are a key part of his design.

“It’s a stage for observing nature instead of a hideout,’’ he said.

After building and testing a prototype, Taylor brought his Vistabule to last year’s Minneapolis RV show to begin marketing it. Nestled in a show with much larger RVs, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

“We sold eight at the show, and another four or five after our website [www.vistabule.com] kicked in,’’ he said.

  • related content

  • Minneapolis RV Show details

    Tuesday February 4, 2014

    Minneapolis RV show opensWhat: 47th annual RV, Vacation and Camping Show.Where: Minneapolis Convention CenterWhen: Thursday-SundayHours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m....

  • Former DNR employee enters plea in driver's license snooping case

    Tuesday February 4, 2014

    Former state employee John Hunt entered an Alford plea Tuesday to charges of breaching thousands of driver’s license files while...

  • Early teal hunting season would be controversial

    Tuesday February 4, 2014

    The fear is hunters wouldn’t identify targets correctly.

  • Bert Taylor started building teardrop trailers last year. Now he can’t keep up with demand. The trailers have a kitchenette and a queen-sized bed.

  • One of the advantages of the Taylor design is that he is able to put a lot into a tiny space, such as big windows, storage space and tables.

  • Taylor has a list of options to enable each buyer to customize the trailer.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
UCF 57 FINAL
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
SMU 60 FINAL
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close