The Mechanical Engineer
Hello. I’m James Albritton. I build tiny campers, and I love what I do.
I started my career as a Mechanical Engineer, thirty-something years ago, doing research and development in the aerospace industry. I did that for about three years, and then I moved to the highway safety industry where I designed things people crash into. The crash cushion business was my first taste of the entrepreneurial world, and as I enjoyed success there, I always wondered where else it might take me. Eventually, I got my answer in a very surprising way.
In the spring of 2015, I accompanied my daughter and two of her college roommates on a camping trip to Big Bend National Park in far, southwest Texas. On that trip, we spent four nights in four different places. I pitched a four-man tent for myself while the three girls shared a two-person tent. It rained on us, and it was mostly fun and a little miserable.
I was reminded of two important things on that trip:
A) Dads get invited to pay for stuff and carry things.
B) I really love camping.
I hadn’t camped since I was a kid, and so after that trip, I started making plans. My first thought was to look for a camper - a tent just wouldn’t do. But I didn’t want some giant thing that would take control of my life; I wanted something simple.
That’s when I discovered the world of teardrop campers. Compact, simple and affordable: This was exactly what I wanted, but before I could buy one, my wife made me agree to rent one and try it out. She was a bit skeptical. We rented one and took it to Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, Texas. By the end of the weekend, I had decided I could build my own tiny camper, and within a few days, I was thinking about building them and selling them.
It just so happened that my oldest brother had recently retired, and so when I approached him with idea of getting in the camper business - well, let’s just say the rest is history. We are in our fifth year now and have learned a lot about building campers. We’ve experimented with a variety of designs, and we believe that we have developed a product that appeals to a lot of people just like us - people who want to enjoy outdoor activities, sleep comfortably, and do it all in the simplest way possible.
I’m James. I build tiny campers. And, I love it.