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

Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati - LP: D. Corcino 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 3
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Sale 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 0
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 0 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 2
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: C. Wilson 5
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Doolittle 1
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 5 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 2
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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