Blazing a Trailer

By Chantal Gordon
Photos by Brevin Blach

(Published in the September 2010 issue)

There’s no shortage of visual stimulation at Glashaus. The Barrio Logan design and art warehouse is the creative home of some of San Diego’s most prolific artists and designers. Of these, a metal-worker and a carpenter might not seem to have much in common (after all, their preferred materials couldn’t be more opposite), but one such duo has found a shared passion.

Bonding over a common vision of a trailer, woodsmith Jamie Huffman, of Surface furniture, and metal-master Terry Dixon, of Make Fabrication, have teamed up to create a camper for the designobsessed.

A swooping pod made of aluminum, glossy acrylic and birch plywood, their creation is fashioned after the original Kit Teardrop Trailer that were must-have accessories for Post-WWII honeymooners. Huffman says the idea came to him after a camping trip with Dixon and his wife.

“They got the van, and I was the only one left in the dirt,” Huffman says. “I started looking at tent trailers and the older tow-behinds-the ones I saw were rusted out and beat up. It turns out it costs just as much to build one from scratch as it does to rebuild.”

Combining their individual strengths, Huffman and Dixon fabricated a modern teardrop model that is eight-feet long by four-feet wide by five-feet tall. Its wheels are ‘50s-flavored, black-fendered Mooneyes (like the ones you see on the era’s vintage automobiles), and it sports old-school window knobs and a rear galley made with durable birch wood and a two-burner stove. While both Dixon and Huffman have a no-tech rule while camping, the trailer has enough room for a bed, and its interior’s cubbies and shelves allow for docking an iPod or even setting up a Bose mini-system and small flat-screen TV.

Since it’s completion more than a year ago, the trailer has received so much attention and comments from prospective buyers that Huffman and Dixon have decided to build more of them.

They plan to produce the vehicles on a specialorder basis, with prices starting at $8,000, and the whole process is customizable per the customer’s preferences. Dixon believes the trailers will continue to rise in popularity, since they are an easy fit with the San Diego and So-Cal lifestyles.

“All the good hot-rod clubs are here on the West Coast, and a lot of people like to pull these trailers behind them,” Dixon says. “Teardrop [owners] all get together and follow each other across the country.”