When seeing a Droplet trailer for the first time, few would imagine the inside to be very voluminous. Fewer would even think that it hides a perfectly sheltered kitchen space too. Yet, don’t be fooled by the first outside impression. The indoor space comfortably fits a plushy queen-sized mattress, and it is spacious enough for two, even if you are a taller person than average like its designer, Pascal Pillon (6ft4″).
Droplet – Initial Criteria
Pascal initially designed Droplet in collaboration with his partner Diane to accommodate their personal desires to have a reliable camping pod to spend as much time on the road as possible, with their essentials available in less than a minute. Although they both loved experiencing the traditional Vanlife during their travels abroad to new Zealand, acquiring another vehicle was out of the question. The overall rig had to be able to be taken off-the-grid for extended trips, and easily towable with their everyday vehicle, a humble 2006 fwd Toyota Matrix. Towing a lightweight teardrop camper with an everyday vehicle fit all the bills, but it had to be built right.
Dealing with moisture and pests
Weather isn’t always great here in the PNW, especially in Vancouver. The ambient air moisture can add to the discomfort when camping, and to the molding of a camper in the longer term. Droplet is engineered to be well insulated for bad weather and 4 seasons of camping while keeping great ventilation through a large pop-up on the roof and some clever window openings. The large roof opening has a semi-rigid mosquito netting that can be placed underneath, to prevent bugs from coming inside when ventilating. Should bugs get inside, they are very easy to remove, unlike in a tent where you might need to head to a site like https://www.pestcontrolexperts.com/local/georgia/macon/ to get a pest control service to properly fumigate every nook and cranny. Droplet is easy to clean and wipe down, so no bugs are getting anywhere close to you whilst you sleep at night!
Last but not least, the overall rig had to be able to be taken off-the-grid for extended trips, and easily towable with their everyday vehicle, a humble 2006 fwd Toyota Matrix.
A different type of construction
Long before Pascal started building the first Droplet prototype, he put diverse materials like steel, plastic, and aluminum along with construction methods such as using fiberglass reinforcement and carbon steel under scrutiny. Pascal set his mechanical engineering background to use and ultimately opted for a high-tech composite laminate structure with an indoor Balsa finish. The major task was to create a vehicle that could be lightweight, strong, yet comfortable for people to go camping in.
This meant certain parts of the camper, like the door panels, needed precise CNC machining (similar to those explained in www.mmspektrum.com), proper finishing, and lamination before the parts could be assembled into the finished product. It resulted in a compact shell with increased indoor space due to thinner walls compared to a standard plywood construction, and a pod providing a higher level of insulation and vibration dampening compared to a traditional molded fiberglass shell or a tent trailer.
This solution came naturally after entering into a few other existing teardrop campers, Pascal found that all of them felt a little claustrophobic due to a denser shell and tiny windows. The balsa finish blends well with the indoor cabinetry. On top of being a highly sustainable wood fiber, is incredibly lightweight and leaves a nice organic wood smell inside Droplet.
Excited to hit the road this summer? Think Droplet is the right teardrop trailer for you?