by Peter Pavlowich
I came up with the idea for Casual Turtle Campers in the summer of 2010. On a road trip to Colorado, I noticed an abundance of truck campers, but a profound lack of variety or style. As a Wood Construction and Design graduate from the University of Idaho, I knew I could design and build a simple and attractive alternative to the big, heavy, white boxes I seemed to see everywhere. Over the next few years, I brought together ideas and drew up plans for what would eventually become the design for Casual Turtle Campers. This was, to date, my best chance of achieving a lifelong goal of being self-employed.
I knew that I wanted them to be decidedly small and simple. As a fan of Deek Diedricksen, Lloyd Kahn, Michelle Wilson, as well as the small living movement in general, I knew there were people out there that felt the same way. I also wanted them to be unique; simple wooden campers had certainly been done, even arched roofs aren’t that rare, but I had never seen a camper with a domed roof – that is to say arched in both axes. The dome makes for a strong, very practical roof that also enhances the aesthetics of the camper. It is simultaneously perhaps the most compelling and difficult element of my campers. And being lightweight (910 lbs as pictured), Casual Turtle Campers can be built for use with almost any pickup truck.
At 6’2″, I can’t stand up straight inside my campers. I can, however, sit and enjoy a Fort Collins craft beer with great ease. And that’s really the idea: a comfortable place to get out of the rain, grab a bite to eat, read a book, write, sleep at night, etc. And in the morning, grab a cup, decide where-to and what-for, and take off without having to tear down, collapse a pop-up roof, or hitch up a trailer. The idea of simplicity is meant not only to describe the product, but also the use of it. Casual Turtle Campers are also quite customizable – and I love to think about alternate uses; mobile office, writing shack, small studio space, etc.
My wife, Lindsey and I are originally from Duluth, Minnesota. We now enjoy living in Fort Collins, Colorado with our dog, Moxie. We feel like we’re in a great spot for Casual Turtle Campers to be a success – that is, to create a lasting product for customers who become friends, and to enjoy doing it. We’d be grateful to anyone who wants to check out casualturtlecampers.com for more photos and information. And please feel free to get in touch, whether its praise or criticism, or just to say hi. Thanks a lot. Visit our website here: http://casualturtlecampers.com/