By Starrla Cray
DASSEL, MN Taking a little getaway is easy with a little camper.
Last September, Jeff Gordon and Leanne Harper began The Little Camper in Dassel, creating and selling hand-built campers with room for two to four people.
“We built the first one for ourselves,” Gordon said, noting that his family’s favorite destination is the North Shore.
The miniature campers can be towed by almost any car or truck, making them simple to use. They’re also convenient to store, and can fit in a single garage stall.
Gordon, who graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School in 2005, has a background in carpentry and landscaping. His father suggested the idea of building small campers, knowing Gordon’s aptitude for construction.
The campers have a welded steel frame, with various options for windows, storage racks, galleys, flooring, and accessories. The wood exteriors are sealed with multiple coats of exterior primer and paint.
“It’s very similar to how a modern-day [full-size] camper would be built,” Gordon said.
The three main sizes offered are all 8 feet long, in widths of 4, 5, or 6 feet. Customers can choose from either a square or teardrop body style. The smallest campers fit a full-size mattress, while the larger ones have room for a king-sized mattress.
“We can have them painted to whatever color you want,” Gordon said, adding that reds and greys are the most popular.
“We mostly sell to people in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but we had someone from as far as Arkansas pick one up,” Harper said.
The Little Camper Facebook page has nearly 5,000 fans, and Harper and Gordon are continuously getting request for new orders.
“It really took off the end of this winter, and it’s been basically steady ever since,” Gordon said. “We’ve been building as orders come in.”
Currently, the wait time for an order is about three weeks. In the future, Gordon hopes to have several campers in stock, so customers can buy them ready to go.
“We started out in the garage, and we outgrew that right away,” Gordon said.
Now, they are renting a shop in Dassel, and are in the process of moving to a larger location in Litchfield.
To learn more about The Little Camper, call (763) 439-5757 or go to www.thelittlecamper.com.