Teardrop trailers are the perfect base camp for road-trippers who want to travel with as little gear as possible in tow, according to a report by Andrea D. Steffen published by IntelligentLiving.com. However, as compact as they may be, even the smallest ones available are too heavy to tow by a compact car or small electric vehicle; and even the most deluxe models can be cramped.
For these reasons, the New Mexico-based startup Earth Traveler designed an ultralightweight, expandable, organic-inspired teardrop trailer that weighs less than 300 pounds. It’s the lightest RV available on the market. The secret behind keeping the vessel light is the material it’s made out of – chicken feathers!
Earth Traveler founder and artist Angel Irlanda said, “The genesis of the idea to design and build an ultra-light trailer was conceived during a camping trip in New Mexico in 2014 when the excitement of our first summer camping trip turned to dismay when we faced the reality that the tent was extremely hot during the day, and at night the wind was causing the tent to collapse on us.
“Our car at the time was a Fiat500, so I decided to find an RV that our small car would be able to tow, but none were available on the market. Thus, I decided to design and create our own ultra-light RV with similar sleek curves and stylish design as our Fiat 500,” she added.
The company collaborated with Los Alamos National Lab SBA to devise using the substitute material for all non-structural elements. The feathers are reinforced with fiberglass and resin, resulting in an ultra-lightweight, cost-effective, insulative, and weather-proof structure. It’s so light it can even be towed by motorcycles! The resin-reinforced feather-based material offers a strength similar to carbon fiber. The load-bearing structural elements are made of traditional composite and core cell.