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COVER STORY: The X-Cubed

- by Bob Phillips -

Since his boyhood, Zack Engle has always enjoyed nature and the outdoors. He spent most summer weekends camping out in the back yard in a tent. Years later, after discovering teardrop campers and then building three of his own design, he said camping has become a lifestyle.

His third build – the X-Cubed Camper – incorporates the best of the best of what he’s learned from the earlier builds and from other teardrop builder/campers along the way. Zack said he settled on the unusual name because it was his third build and it has an angular profile. Also, it’s built more ruggedly and sturdily for boondocking in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania.


“I've always loved to get out into the woods and cook some food over an open fire,” he said. “During high school and college I didn't need much of an excuse to toss a tent and a sleeping bag in my car and drive down to the beach for a weekend. Pitching a tent at Assateague Island National Seashore was a lot cheaper than getting a hotel, and a lot more relaxing than the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk. When I wasn't headed to the beach, I was exploring dirt roads in the state forests, often getting rained on and washed out.


“Sometime in the mid-2000s, I was on spring break from college and driving through Arizona. When I pulled into a gas station in the middle of the desert I noticed a really cool little camper being towed by a small SUV. Immediately I was thinking that I needed a little camper so I could get up off the wet ground and have a dry place to keep my gear.”

Upon returning, he determined through online research that the little red and white camper that he saw at the gas station was a $20,000 T@B. Since that was way out of his price range, he started “scheming and dreaming, wondering” if he could build something small, lightweight, and inexpensive. The ideas really started flowing when he searched for teardrops on the Internet.


“In the winter of 2009 I f