Simplicity and style
NEW LONDON — Mike and Deb Geister have been catching more than a few envious eyes at parks and rest stops with their custom-made teardrop camper trailer.
With its shiny, aluminum exterior and sleek hump-back design, the half-pint camper looks like it popped out of the 1950s.
That’s just fine for the Geisters, who on one camping trip spread out a red-checked table cloth and listened to a little Frank Sinatra while drinking wine and cooking spaghetti on the camper’s gourmet-style kitchen, with maple cupboards and a stainless-steel counter that’s housed under the back-hatch hood.
“My wife and I fell in love with that style of camping,” said Mike Geister, who hand-made his first teardrop camper trailer in the summer of 2012 using recyclable materials and low-energy LED lights.
Calling it a blend of camping with a tent and a pop-up camper that includes a “bed on wheels with a little kitchen,” Geister said traveling with the compact teardrop makes it possible to get away from it all without taking it all with you by providing a place to sleep and make meals.
“It’s really geared toward efficiency,” Geister said. “It’s a simple camping experience.”
Simple — but with luxury.
Geister’s designs include high-end touches like a memory-foam mattress, air conditioning, a TV and hand-made cabinetry that’s backlit with colored lights to “set the mood in your little honeymoon camper,” Geister said.
After fielding numerous requests from people who also wanted a teardrop camper, Geister turned his craftsmanship hobby into a new business — Geistwerks LLC.
Working out of his home on New London’s Mill Pond and marketing primarily through Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter and his website, geistwerks.us, Geister has made and sold about a dozen campers.
The basic 5-by-8-foot model that sleeps two people costs about $5,400. But the cost can easily double as customers request specific enhancements.
He recently built one that sleeps four for a family with two young kids.