1952 Kom-Pak Sportsman

With some families trying to get in a few more weekends of camping before school starts, I thought I would share some photos of a rare 1952 Kom-Pak Sportsman teardrop trailer that I ran into at my local grocery store. Bob Sullivan of Nevada was towing around his white trailer during Hot August Nights, the classic car celebration in Reno, Nev.

Bob found the Kom-Pak languishing in a junk pile and was able to get it for free. After several months of cleaning and remodeling, he was able to bring the little trailer back to life. The fishing boat portion was recreated from the original mold. Continue reading

Teardrops for MINIs

For those of us who want summer to go on for just a little bit longer, here are some tiny teardrop trailers that exemplify the ease of summer camping. MiniTears are beautifully designed and built by Kurt Bowden in Northern California for MINI Cooper enthusiasts and other small car owners. They are custom made for each MINI that tows it and feature a spacious sleeping compartment with handcrafted cabinetry and LED lighting and a full-size galley with a stainless steel sink, lighting, and a 12 volt battery pack. Each MiniTear only weighs about 876 pound and they start at about $7,995. Additional options like a 12 volt video screen, custom paint, a variety of cabinet options and 120 volt plugs are available.

Since 1985, Kurt has owned and operated Fine Line Design, a custom home design firm located north of Redding, California. The recent downturn in home construction allowed him the free time to get back to his woodshop where “MiniTears” began to take shape in 2008. Kurt’s background in home design and construction, along with the fabricating skills his father passed on to him, gave him everything he needs to build these beautiful Teardrop Trailers.

You can see a video of Kurt’s MiniTear here.

Photos courtesy of MiniTears


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Sportsmobile

At my last teardrop trailer gathering, a monster vehicle pulled into the campground. I immediately dismissed it as another massive vehicle built for trips to the mall, but I was surprised to see that it was actually a tiny house…on really big wheels. The young couple who owned it lived most of the year in the vehicle in Baja, Mexico.

The Sportsmobile is actually a Ford, Chevy/GM or Mercedes-Benz van that is converted into a traveling home. The one I toured was the 4×4 version which is rugged on the outside, but very comfortable, clean and organized on the inside. It’s the perfect touring vehicle for people who want a little more adventure.

Laura and Geoff took their Sportsmobile on their honeymoon and travel around the country in it. Continue reading

The Spaceship

3…2…1…BLAST OFF!

Get ready to head into the world of nomads with the Spaceship. Even though this vehicle is primarily used for traveling and vacations, I thought I would include it in the blog for its fun and unique use of space and nifty storage options. Think of it as a Swiss Army knife on wheels!

The Spaceship is only available in the UK, Australia and New Zealand as a vacation and camping rental, but it’s fascinating to look at as an all encompassing place to sleep, cook, eat, lounge and live for a short period of time. Continue reading

Lives in a Van

The sad news these days seems to be centered on people losing their homes and maybe having to live in their car, truck or RV. Dave Thorsrud has been living out of his van for over a year, but he is doing it in an effort to live a simpler life.

His website, Lives in a Van, chronicles his year of living richly on the road in his Pleasure Way van. He writes:


“Ironically, I left the full time job to travel in a van because I wanted to maximize possibilities. With a full-time job, a house mortgage, a car payment and various other debts, my only option when the alarm shrieked was to go to work. This was true during the week and frequently true on the weekends. So I craved choices. I needed to know that if an opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience came my way, then I could grab hold with both hands and embrace the new path.”


In order to find his more authentic life, he quit his job, sold all his belongings in five days and packed anything left into his van. During his search, he has traveled across the U.S. and parts of Mexico, met interesting people and has documented it with prose and excellent photography.

Dave lists the best aspects of living in a van as having no daily commute, the overall cost of living is low, all laundry can be done in one load, and every day is a new adventure. He also lists his rules of the road, which can be a metaphor for any simpler life:


  • Avoid drive-thru value meals at all costs.
  • Take photos of everything.
  • Sing along to whatever is on the radio–even talk radio.
  • Exercise whenever possible.
  • Take care of the vehicle.
  • Meet people–especially strange people.
  • Drive slower.
  • Never hesitate to take an exit, get sidetracked or get lost.
  • Take the backroads when possible.
  • Take notes, write daily, find the inspiration.


By Christina Nellemann

Photos by Matador Travel. Schematic by Lives in a Van

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