There are lots of tear drops out there and lots of different designs. I have 3 goals:
- Keep it simple
- Keep it affordable
- Make it a piece of art
Here is a list of commonly asked questions. And also a few tidbits of information thrown in. I am always available to you, so if you have any other questions, be sure to contact me.
How long does it take to make a camper?
It can take from 3 to 6 weeks depending on when you order, and my backlog.
Where can I see one in person?
We occasionally take tours or go to shows with our demo models. If you contact me, I’ll let you know where it will be best to get together and see one.
How much does the camper weigh?
680 lbs. with a heavy duty 1720 lb. capacity.
What type of vehicles will tow it?
The camper is so lightweight at 680 lbs. Most cars are able to tow a lightly loaded Hickory Nut Camper. Check with your auto dealer to find out the towing specifications for your vehicle.
What kinds of choices for wood do I have?
I use hickory wood, alder, mahogany, and almost any other kind of wood that you want. See the pictures for ideas of what the different types of wood look like.
What is the camper made out of?
The unit is built with ¾” rustic plywood for the special appearance. The material is also a natural insulator. Structural components are glued and screwed into an alder frame work. No nails to shake loose down the road! No plywood attached only to another piece of plywood.
What kind of finish do you use on the camper?
The exterior side of the floor (underneath) is coated with 2 coats of oil based exterior deck paint. All other wood is painted with multiple coats of spar varnish, which is a heavy-duty varnish originally used for marine varnish. It breathes and is flexible.
How do I get my Hickory Nut Camper when it’s done?
I encourage our customers to pick up their new teardrop Hickory Nut Campers. That way, we can make sure that the hitch, ride height, and tow vehicle wiring is correct. We can also answer any questions about the design or how things work. Plus, we always enjoy meeting our customers in person.
If you pick up your camper you will save the shipping charges. If you apply those savings to your trip expenses, it is like getting a vacation paid for. Also, you can enjoy your new teardrop camper on the way home. There are hundreds of things to see and do on your way home, so make picking up your new Hickory Nut Camper into a real vacation trip.
If you cannot pick up your camper, we will gladly ship it to you. We will try to get you the lowest total shipping cost. Please contact us to get a shipping quote.
What size is the mattress?
Mattresses are custom made by a local mattress company, so they fit to your preferences. Mine is 47″ wide x 80″ long, since I am tall. That is slightly narrower than a standard double bed. The camper is 46.5″ wide. A single bed mattress (also called twin) is normally 39” wide by 75” long. A full or double mattress is 54” wide. I have a local mattress company who makes a custom foam mattress to whatever size and density I request. The mattress is 3” foam for comfort within a zipper bag, for ease of cleaning.
What is the camper base size?
Ours is a standard 4′ x 8′.
Does this come with a VIN number?
Yes, at this point I only start with national manufactured bases that come with VIN. I register them here in Nevada as campers, after building them.
Do I need title and license when I pick the camper up?
If you are driving right home, you do not need it titled or licensed for the trip home. You will be given a dated bill of sale and an COO (Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin). If you are stopped, present these to the officer as proof that you have recently purchased your camper. Also, if you are not in your home state, the officer can’t ticket you for not having a plate, since they can’t enforce other states’ laws.
If you are planning on taking the “scenic” route home, you may want to get your title and license ahead of time. Contact us for info on how to do this. Be sure to check with your insurance company to make sure your camper is adequately covered for the ride home.
Does the camper roof come in any other color?
Yes, it’s available in black, too.
What is the roof made out of?
I use fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). I have tried other products but this has proven to be the most durable.
I sometimes travel to more primitive sites – would the suspension be enough or can it be beefed up?
My wife and I have gone on a unpaved rutted road for 3 miles before a fallen tree blocked us. The camper and suspension are plenty strong for this type of travel and one of the reasons I do not lower the campers closer to the ground.
Is there an option for a roof vent?
No, my experiences camping in my teardrops has proven I’ve never needed one. There are also maintenance issues and a fan requires a 12 volt battery.
What are the interior measurements?
The interior is 95” in length – plenty of room for tall people like me and for storage of your clothes. The floor is the total length of the camper, the whole 95”. The galley starts 18” above the floor. And the roof is taller at the rear of the camper. No refrigerator, no lower galley cabinets. The benefit is more room inside for tall people like me, but also for storage. In this interior space you can keep your personal items like clothes, books, cameras etc in bags. Finally, the inside feels invitingly roomy for such a small space. The pictures help, but actually staying in one for a weekend sells the design.
What about electricity?
The unit can be wired for 12 volt which is the same as a car uses or 110 volt which is house type electric. Electricity is common in the for-profit camp grounds, but harder to come by in Federal and State parks. The less dependent on it, the easier it is to find a camp site during busy times.
The 110 volt is easy to explain. You plug into the camp site plug if available with an extension cord and the proper plug. Some camp sites for big RVs have 220 volt plugs which require a special plug for using only 110 volts. Any camp store sells these. The other end of the standard exterior cord plugs into the side of the camper to feed 2 receptacles – 1 inside and 1 in the galley. So if you want to watch TV or have a microwave, this is the system.
12 volt is supplied by a battery which can be a special RV battery or a standard car battery. The hickory nut has an accessory plug like in a car inside for use only for the portable heater or portable fan or other 12 volt plug device such as a phone charger. The drawback of this system is the size, the weight of the battery (at least 30 pounds) and how to charge it. It is wired to be installed in the front box. You can wire the car to charge the camper battery while driving, but it is expensive. You can buy a solar panel mounted to the camper to charge it. Or you can get a 110 volt charger and plug it in at camp sites to recharge the battery. We have never used the 12 volt system, so we do not even install the battery. Again it is personal choice. I would suggest wire for 12 volt but hold off on the battery until experience tells you that you really want one.
What are the provisions for lighting?
The new self contained battery LED lights are simple but effective. I install them in the camper and they provide sufficient light to read by. The double AA batteries last a long time and are simple to replace. Outside we put out a couple of solar lights made for along walkways.
What’s included in the Galley?
Again keep it simple, but functional. Refrigerators are noisy, poorly insulated, require electricity or propane, and add weight. A good ice chest holds more. They save money. They reduce weight. And do not require electricity. Our galley system is simple but very functional. An ice cooler for food that we want to be kept cold.
Stoves – Portable propane or butane stoves are the perfect system. Lightweight, inexpensive, easy to use. Building a stove in a wooden camper increases the risk of fire. The leading cause of boat fires is from gas stoves. To build in a stove also requires a heavy propane tank. Put a portable stove on a table where it has plenty of room and is not a threat to the camper.
We camp in bear country so food is not something we do not keep inside of the camper. We use bear boxes when provided at the camp sites.
A pair of canvas bags with all other food. A folding table we carry inside the camper and set up next to the galley. Food and ice box stay in the bear box except when we are preparing a meal.
We do have a built-in sink in the galley which drains to a 5 gallon bucket placed under the camper. Water for the sink is from a 2.5 gallon container with a spout. It is a typical water or ice tea dispenser from WalMart that we fill up when we arrive at the camp site. We use the water from the bucket to put out the camp fire or dump it into a dump station if gray water is a local issue.
Water – We carry a 5 gallon folding plastic water bucket which we fill at the camp site water faucets. We have never camped where there was not water, but we would fill it beforehand if we were going to a place with no water. Why no built-in water tanks? Weight! Why carry something heavy when it is almost always ready available at camp sites for free. We fill the plastic bag at the faucet and use it to fill the sink supply and the solar water heater bags, which we use personal cleaning. Again keep the weight down, the equipment simple, and maintenance to a minimum.
Does the camper stay warm enough?
The wood is a wonderful natural insulator. The first time outdoors with the camper for us was in the mountains with 90 degree days and 40 degree nights. During the day our dogs (miniature dachshunds) insisted on staying in the camper with the door open. It never got too hot. At night we closed the window and door until about 3 a.m. when my wife woke me saying it was too hot. We learned our body heat was too much for closing all ventilation off and started to crack the window. Two windows across from each other provide plenty of circulation when you want it. I have bought 2 heaters – one a portable propane infra-red heater that could be used to raise the temperature, but must be carefully used because it could use all of the oxygen in this well sealed unit. The other is a 12-volt portable heater which could be plugged into the 12-volt system. However, we simply have never needed them. I also have a portable 12-volt fan, which again we have never used because we did not need it. If we were camping in Florida with hot nights or in Alaska with very cold nights, it might be worth having them.