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New book chronicles teardrop construction in careful detail

by: Bob Phillips

If you have a hankering to build your own teardrop camper, a good place to start would be Matt Berger’s book, “The Handmade Teardrop Trailer,” scheduled for release on November 15. He’s taken all the guesswork out of a build. His teardrop project, named The Weekndr, is a classic teardrop design with a retro “woody” exterior made from thin panels of reclaimed redwood on top and aluminum below. Custom doors blend right in with continuous wood grain and matching curve.

Two-thirds of the 224-page book is devoted to construction details of Matt’s build, complete with many drawings and photographs, but he’s made available other useful information to the reader. For example, he includes a list of all construction materials and tools that will be needed, and even an Owners Manual.

He opens with the history of small campers, dating back to March 1919 when a Pennsylvania inventor obtained a patent for a tiny trailer. In 1935, Popular Homecraft magazine carried a story about a man in Pasadena, Calif., who built a teardrop. World War II paused the camper craze, but in 1945 Kit Kamper became the first to mass produce teardrops.

Writing the book was the easy part for Matt, who holds a journalism degree. It’s also his second how-to book, the first being “The Handmade Skateboard” (2014), both published by Nashville-based Spring House Press. Matt, 42, lives in Campbell, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, with wife Mary and daughters Nina and Madeline. He is an enterprise product designer at Apple, but spent 15 years previously in the media and publishing industry.

What will readers find in this book?