Ultralight 300-Pound Semi-Modular Trailer Made From Chicken Feathers

Earth Traveler's feather-made trailer, Teardrop, is as light as a feather.
Chris Young

New Mexico-based startup Earth Traveler revealed its new T250LX Teardrop trailer this month: a handbuilt, customizable RV made from an ultralight composite derived from chicken feathers.

Weighing only 298 lbs (135 kg), the T250LX features a skeletal archway and is easily towed by most electric cars, Design Boom reports.


Earth Traveler's Teardrop inspiration

The idea for Earth Traveler's ultralight trailer came "during a camping trip in New Mexico in 2014," Earth Traveler founder and artist Angel Irlanda explained to Design Boom.

The trip was "to turn to dismay" when Irlanda and his group "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," he continued.

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Earth Traveler's Teardrop trailer was designed for compatibility with smaller vehicles. Source: Earth Traveler

Fiat 500-inspired ultralight trailer

When Irlanda returned home from his unsatisfying outdoor retreat, he decided to look for an RV that was compatible with his small Fiat 500. To his dismay, none were available on the market. This is when he decided to design and build his own ultralight RV inspired by the sleek curves of the Fiat 500.

In order to build such a trailer, Irlanda turned to chicken feather-based material — which provides weather protection and insulation without creating an overwhelming load in weight.

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The Teardrop's gull-wing panels expand the trailer's interior space. Source: Earth Traveler

Meanwhile, load-bearing structural elements of the RV are made out of traditional composite materials.

A semi-modular, customizable trailer

Fast forward to last week, when Irlanda's four-person fiber Teardrop trailer was announced to the world. The trailer is semi-modular — enabling customers to "customize their own teardrop trailers according to the capacity of their vehicles," Irlanda said.

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The Teardrop's interior is customizable depending on the capacity of the owner's vehicle. Source: Earth Traveler

The T250LX features full-length gull-wing panels that open at the front and rear of the RV to expand interior space. Kitchen amenities, UV awnings, and off-road components can also be added, depending on the vehicle's capacity.

Earth Traveler's vision for democratized outdoor living

With the Teardrop trailer, Earth Traveler sets out its vision for allowing anyone to sustainably explore the outdoors, no matter the size or capacity of their vehicle.

In an era marked by social isolation restrictions and the climate crisis, sustainable, affordable, and easy off-the-grid living has never looked more attractive.

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