Ever since Tigard, Oregon based Aero Teardrops went into business just 5 years ago, their sole product has been, as their name would imply, teardrop trailers. But it was in 2018 when co-owners Brian Seeley and Janice Levenhagen-Seeley decided to go bigger and work on producing a traditional “canned ham” style trailer. As Janice told me recently, “We decided to try making a canned ham probably a year and a half ago, but it took us a while to finally get around to making the prototype. The Sellwood is a 13′ model, and we plan to create the Fremont, a 16′ model with a bathroom, in the nearish future. All of our models are named after Portland bridges, in case you were wondering. 🙂 We do a few RV shows every year, and at each we hear from a good number of people who love our teardrops but want to do more camping year-round than the teardrop style comfortably allows. We also looked at the options for that size and style of trailers at these shows and were unimpressed by the quality–they were all mass-produced. We knew we could make something that would provide both the quality we had in our teardrops and the more weatherproof camping that a fully contained trailer allowed for. And, last but not least, they were adorable and I had to have one. We love the tiny house movement, and the idea of creating a beautiful, functional, fully contained tiny house on wheels is a lot of fun.”
When I first saw the pictures of the Sellwood prototype, the first thing that really stuck out to me…or fooled me for a better word…is that I really thought it was a 1960’s era trailer. There’s a reason it was that original looking. As Janice tells us, “We loosely based this trailer on a 1965 Aljo that we had purchased and pulled apart to see 1. how it was built, 2. how it had failed (water damage, mainly), and 3. how we wanted to improve ours. Those windows are the ones we pulled from that trailer. Those and the bumper are actually the only things that we ended up reusing. We had originally planned to restore the Aljo but the water damage was just too extensive.” Another thing that caught my eye were the jalousie windows in the prototype. For me, that screams retro! But not so fast. While the Aljo did have jalousie style windows, which are used in the prototype, the production models will differ, and really for the better. Despite the cool factor of that style of window, they were prone to be a headache with so many moving parts and potential leak points. As Brian told me in an email, “The windows that we are planning to use in production models are the Dometic S5 dual pane windows with integrated honeycomb blinds.” This makes good sense, as it’s going to be a lot better window. And speaking of windows, the size of the window openings in the Sellwood create an incredible amount of natural light. Whether it’s around the front dinette or the rear couch, you likely won’t need to use any of the lights within the trailer until nightfall. The front dinette converts into a 35″ x 79″ twin bed, while the rear couch converts into a 50″ x 80″ double bed. You can also order as an option, a hammock bunk over the rear couch. But that’s not the only option, as Janice explains. “For the options, we’re starting out with just a few. I’m sure we’ll keep adding as people start requesting things! In addition to the hammock bunk and AC, they can also order a larger fridge, customizable upholstery, customizable curtains, an external propane hookup for barbecuing outside, solar panels, rear receiver for a bike rack, a drawer for a small porta-potty, and an exterior shower. For the external colors, there will be the standard 10 that we offer our teardrops in for no additional fee, but there’s also the option to do any color under the sun through either powder-coating or vinyl wrap. For the interior colors, they will be able to choose their countertop and flooring from a large variety. And of course, customers will name their trailers and get a custom name plate for each just like the teardrops (this one is named Alameda).” While the base Sellwood does not come with a wet bath, as Janice relayed, it will have a drawer for a small potty, to save from those night time runs to the comfort station at the campground. But what it does offer in lieu of a wet bath is an ample wardrobe just to the left of the entry door. However, there will be an option for a wet bath, which will alter the interior on the sides somewhat. The wet bath will be opposite of the entry door, and the kitchen will be broken up on both sides. But with the base Sellwood model, the kitchen is quite useful, complete with oven, stove, sink with on demand hot water, a mini fridge, and ample counter space for this size of a trailer. With the wet bath option, you lose the oven, but gain a microwave. One suggestion I’d have on the base model is to ditch the oven and go with a microwave or perhaps a convection oven, which we see more and more of in the small trailer segment. As for construction and dimensions, the Sellwood features:
Fully welded frame
Black powder coat on frame
2000 lb Timbren axle-less system w/ brake flanges
Fully insulated Aluminum siding, choice of silver or of 9 standard accent colors with silver
Dry Weight – 2500lbs
Tongue Weight – 400lbs
Trailer Body Length – 13 feet
Trailer Body Height – 6 feet, 9 inches
Trailer Body Width – 7.5 feet (90 inches)
Internal Height – 6’7″
Overall Length – 17 feet
Overall Height – 8 feet, 5 inches (including fan)
Overall Width – 7.5 feet (90 inches)
MSRP will start at $24,999.
At the time I’m writing this, Aero Teardrops will have a display at the Portland International Auto Show, February 20-23, 2020 at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, Oregon. They will have a couple of teardrops as well as the prototype of the Sellwood on hand if you’re in the northwest region of the US. Show info can be found here: https://portlandautoshow.com For more info on the Sellwood or any of the teardrops Aero Teardrops offers, visit their website at http://aeroteardrops.com.
6 Responses to Aero Teardrops introduces canned ham prototype – the Sellwood
I own a T@G Boondock XL and after 100s of trips I have a suggestion to trailer designers: build a compact, standup queen bed trailer with a shower/toilet and a small lounge space but forget the indoor kitchen which takes up all the space and is useless for anything but making coffee.Put a slide out outdoor kitchen with sink/12 volt fridge/ 2 burner stove/ storage. 90% of small trailer owners use a plow disc or small barbeque to cook. Put a wind proof, rugged fold out awning on the kitchen side. You will sell a ton of them.
Love Rob Hone’s idea! We’re on the lookout for a 6’5″ min. interior, double or queen bed, seating for two with table, outdoor kitchen, indoor storage, & portapotty. We use campground showers and toilets, so a portapotty would be for emergencies. Kitchenette would be for a continental type breakfast, but it sure would be nice to have a freezer for ice packs and my bad back.
Agreed! I have no need for a microwave in a camper. I REALLY do not need a TV. I want a queen size bed and a small twin bed for a third person, our teen. A dinette could work fine for the twin. No need for an inside cooking area, but I’d like a fridge Maybe with a small freezer area. Also a wet bath, mostly for the nighttime bathroom visits. And a lot of storage areas.
We own a 2013 nucamp 320 and are going to trade up in the next year or 2, your Sellwood caught our eye. Agree with Joan except for the cooking area, that’s a must! The only thing that might be an advantage over other trailers is not having to climb over the other person sleeping in the night. Looks great!
I like the inside kitchen. Mostly because I don’t like fighting off mosquitoes while cooking or slathering on chemicals to eat a meal outside. A screened in area would be acceptable but I find most of those are hard to use and finicky to constantly set up and break down to change locations. Just my 2 cents. I put campfire chairs in the kitchen space all the time for after meal bug free lounging.
I like the inside kitchen. Mostly because I don’t like fighting off mosquitoes while cooking or slathering on chemicals to eat a meal outside. A screened in area would be acceptable but I find most of those are hard to use and finicky to constantly set up and break down to change locations. Just my 2 cents. I put campfire chairs in the kitchen space all the time for after meal bug free lounging. Good with no TV. Like Microwave