Build Your Own Teardrop Camper in a Class
Would you like to build CLC’s Teardrop Camper, but you’re apprehensive about doing it solo? Or lack a temperate shop space?
We offer build-your-own classes here at the Chesapeake Light Craft factory in Annapolis Maryland. Classes run for two consecutive weeks, in two 5-1/2-day segments, and are generally scheduled twice a year.
The Build-Your-Own-Teardrop-Camper class is a package deal, and includes tuition for two (helper required), the base Teardrop Camper kit, and a pre-assembled Trailex trailer designed specifically for CLC’s Teardrop. (Sorry, we are unable to substitute other trailers.)
You will show up on Monday morning at 0800 on the first day. (You’ll bring a spouse, partner, or friend! Many hands make easy work.) We have a dedicated air conditioned classroom at CLC where the class will be held. Led by a team of professional instructor-builders from Chesapeake Light Craft, you’ll work eight-hour days Monday through Friday, and a half-day on Saturday. While you’ll do most of the work on your own camper, you’ll benefit from a skilled instructor hovering at all times to help. Occasionally the entire class will work as a team to make things go more smoothly. No one will fall behind.
I’m a beginner. Is this class for me? What are the requirements?
You do not need any prior experience in carpentry or epoxy-composite work to take this class. You just need good energy, a willingness to learn, and the ability to stick with the project for two weeks. You’ll also need a vehicle with a trailer hitch so you can get the Teardrop Camper home.
Will I need to bring my own tools?
We’ll provide a list of basic tools we’d like you to bring, things like a cordless drill, spring-clamps, and eye protection. CLC’s classroom is extensively equipped and you’ll be using our equipment for many steps.
What’s included in the class fee?
The package price covers tuition for two people, the base Teardrop Camper kit, and a road-ready Trailex trailer. This cost also covers consumable supplies you’ll use during the class, such as sandpaper, mixing cups, brushes, and so on. We will be doing some pre-assembly of parts before the class begins, so that you hit the ground running on Day One.
Bringing a family member or friend is encouraged! There’s lots to do and you’ll appreciate another pair of hands. Tuition for the additional person is $600 for the two weeks.
Where is the class?
Where do I stay during the class?
Here’s a list of accommodations near Chesapeake Light Craft. Room and board are not included in the class package.
How much of the construction will be done at the end of the class?
You’ll get the camper built, the doors and hatch hung, and the camper bolted to the trailer. At home you can expect to finish the last of the epoxy coating, do quite a lot of sanding, and apply the final finish (varnish or paint). At home you’ll also assemble and install accessories like a galley module, storage box, ventilation, and an interior liner. After two weeks you’ll be an expert wood-epoxy builder. So the camper will be assembled, but not ready to sleep in on the last day.
While your Teardrop will be bolted to a much nicer trailer than shown here, this is exactly where we’ll be at the end of class:
What’s a typical day like during the class?
Class starts at 8am and runs until 5 or 6pm, always with an hour off for lunch. The syllabus has been made up with great care so that epoxied assemblies cure overnight, allowing you to move on to the next step each morning. The first and second Saturdays run from 8am to noon and will be used for catch-up and miscellaneous chores. Saturday afternoons and Sundays are for rest.
Each class will be limited to five Teardrop Campers to maximize one-on-one time with the instructor.
I’ve already started a CLC Teardrop Camper. Can I bring it to the class and finish it?
Probably not. The success of the class rests on intricate choreography worked out in advance by the instructors. (Chesapeake Light Craft has been teaching these build-your-own classes for more than 20 years and has brought the art to the highest pitch of refinement.) It would be nearly impossible for an instructor to run a successful class in which the builders are all at different stages in the construction process.
What is NOT included in the class that I’ll need to purchase?
Some basic hand tools if you don’t have them already. Your room and board. Options and accessories such as the galley (kitchen) module, storage box, ventilation system, and interior liner. A trailer hitch on your car.
How do I sign up?
You’ll register online or over the phone. You’ll be charged 30% of the tuition at registration, and the balance 30 days prior to the class. To register online, please checkout with the Teardrop Class Deposit item you’ll find on the Teardrop camper page when there is a class coming up with space available. Unless a serious emergency or a lack of enrollment causes the cancellation of the class, tuition will not be refundable after the 30-day mark.