Review: Historic Camping & Teardrop Trailers DVD

Mark Janke of Overland Trailer recently sent me a DVD he created on teardrop trailers and their role in the history of camping. The 46-minute DVD, Historic Camping & Teardrop Trailers covers everything from the history of camping, small campers, Mark's own build, manufacturers and restorers all with a little American history thrown in. The soundtrack is a nice highlight and the Glacier National Park footage was incredible.

This DVD might be one of the most comprehensive videos on teardrop trailers and their history. I really enjoyed watching it and looking at some trailers I'd never seen before. In the video, Mark crosses the country in his own trailer doing interviews with historians and teardrop owners, park rangers, teardrop restorers and adults who grew up camping in the tiny trailers. I was most impressed with the historic footage and photos that Mark was able to dig up from the U.S. Library of Congress and Ford Motor Company.

One of the DVD highlights was a great interview with Debra Kellerman and her restored teardrop trailers. Debra began to restore trailers after a long emotional career working with people and wanted something totally different. Her initial experience with standard RVs was not positive, but her love of all things vintage brought her to teardrop trailers and her current Benroy, Kampster and Kit.

"For me it's a passage in my life, it was permitting me to work with my hands and do something completely different," Debra says in the DVD. "Now I can actually go camping in comfort, but keep the creatures of comfort to a minimum."

Mark also visits the Camp-Inn factory in Wisconsin where the owners show the various configurations of the Camp-Inn as well as the manufacturing area.

"What I'm really proud of is when our customers come to pick up their trailers, and the look on their face of admiration and enthusiasm makes it all worth it," Craig Edevold, co-founder of Camp-Inn, said.

The DVD ends with a visit to the RV and Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana where Mark checks out the world's oldest RV towed with a Model T, various vintage trailers and pre-WWII homebuilt trailers. Mark finishes up the DVD with some great footage from Larry Shank and his family's homebuilt teardrop trailer, built after WWII.

As a teacher, Mark created the DVD to be used for educational purposes. When you purchase the DVD, funds are provided to send copies to high school educators. Over 170 schools around the world have copies of the DVD.

The outtakes are funny too.

DVD stills courtesy of Mark Janke and Overland Trailer

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