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Click on a question below to get your answer.
FAQ PAGE 1FAQ PAGE 2
  • Where can I see one in person?
  • Why should I buy a Camp-Inn teardrop instead of a pop-up?
  • What do I do with the kids?
  • Can I pick mine up?/Does Camp-Inn ship?
  • Do I need to title and license it before pick-up?
  • Do I have to pay Wisconsin Sales Tax?
  • What type of vehicles can tow it?
  • Do I need electric brakes?
  • Can I charge the trailer battery from my car?
  • Do I need a battery isolator?
  • How do I wire the 7 pin connector?
  • Will I be able to see around 5 foot wide trailer with my car?
  • What construction methods does Camp-Inn use?
  • Why don't you use painted steel fenders?
  • Why don't you use gas struts on the hatch?
  • How much does one cost?
  • Why are your trailers more expensive than your competitors?
  • What if I'm really tall?
  • How do I cook if it rains?
  • Why not put a dinette inside?
  • What do I do with my shoes?
  • Why not put a deck for hauling stuff on the tongue?
  • How do I tell if this is really for me?
  • It looks so small and I'm claustrophobic!
  • Do the air conditioner or outlets run off the battery?
  • Do you install inverters?
  • What about a heater or air conditioner?
  • Can I get it with a shower or toilet?
  • Can I get a built-in fridge -OR- Are those coolers under the counter?
  • Can I use a DC cooler?
  • What size cooler will fit?
  • How do I determine ride height?
  • How does loading affect ride/tongue weight?
  • Where is the battery located?
  • Why would I want an 11 lb propane tank?
  • Why is the Storage Cover so expensive?
  • What if my question isn't on this list?
  • Why haven't I bought one yet?



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    Where can I see one in person?

    You are always welcome to visit our shop. We have a few demo models we can show and usually have several trailers in the process of being built.

    We do have several generous customers across the country who are willing to show their Camp-Inn. Please contact us and we will put you in touch with one of them if they are nearby.

    We currently have one Camp-Inn distributor -Poplar Hill RV in Turner, Maine. Poplar Hill stocks and sells Camp-Inn teardrops. Go to: poplarhillrv.com

    Also, we occasionally take tours with our demo models. We will try to give as much warning as possible as to route and destination.


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    Why should I buy a Camp-Inn teardrop instead of a pop-up?

    Here is a little comparison between Pop-ups and Teardrops...

    Camp-Inn TeardropsPop-Ups
    Set-up time: 1-5 min Set-up time: 30-60 min
    Take-down time: 1-5 min Take-down time: 30-60 min
    Hard sides are wind- and water-proof Canvas sides flap and leak
    Kitchen has 4-5 feet of counter top Does the table count?
    Extra gear can be hauled in cabin when traveling Very little storage space for extras
    Extra gear accessible at wayside stop You can't get anything unless you "pop-up"
    Lightweight towing - About 800 lbs Even small pop-ups can weigh
    over 1200lbs
    Great retro styling No comment...


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    What do I do with the kids?

    That depends...how many do you have and how big are they?

    The Camp-Inn 500 and 550 will fit two adults and a small child.
    The 560 Raindrop has bunk beds for two smaller children and a queen-size bed for the adults.

    If you have teenagers, they can stay in a tent and the adults can stay in the Camp-Inn. They want a little privacy, and you don't have to sleep on rocks.
    If you have a large family, the Camp-Inn gives you the extra room to haul along sleeping bags, lawn chairs, and everybody's gear. You have a kitchen for large meal preparation.
    The extra storage area leaves the car's trunk free for day-trip supplies.

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    Can I pick mine up?/Does Camp-Inn ship?

    We encourage our customers to pick up their new Camp-Inn teardrops. That way, we can make sure that the hitch, ride height, and tow vehicle wiring is correct. We can also answer any questions about the design or how things work. Plus, we always enjoy meeting our customers in person.

    If you pick up your trailer you will save the shipping charges. If you apply those savings to your trip expenses, it is like getting a vacation paid for. Also, you can enjoy your new Camp-Inn on the way home. There are hundreds of things to see and do in Wisconsin and on your way home, so make picking up your new Camp-Inn into a real vacation trip.

    If you cannot pick up your trailer, we will gladly ship it to you. We have shipped to all areas of the US and even overseas. We will try to get you the lowest total shipping cost. Please contact us to get a shipping quote.

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    Do I need to title and license it before picking up?

    If you are driving straight (or relatively straight) home, you do not need it titled or licensed for the trip home. You will be given a dated bill of sale and an MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin). If you are stopped, present these to the officer as proof that you have recently purchased your trailer. Also, if you are not in your home state, the officer can't ticket you for not having a plate, since they can't enforce other states' laws.

    If you are planning on taking the "scenic" route home, you may want to get your title and license ahead of time. Contact us for info on how to do this.

    You should always check with you insurance company to make sure your trailer is adequately covered for the ride home.

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    Do I have to pay Wisconsin Sales Tax?

    If you pick up your Camp-Inn teardrop, you will have to pay 5.5% sales tax in Wisconsin.
    When you register your Camp-Inn in your home state, any sales tax paid in Wisconsin should be deducted from the amount due in your home state. Check with your home state DMV to verify your state's rules

    EXAMPLE
    If you live in California and your local sales tax is 7.5 %:
    5.5 % sales tax paid to Wisconsin when you pick up your trailer.
    2.0 % sales tax paid to California when you register your trailer.
    7.5 % TOTAL sales tax paid.

    If you have your Camp-Inn delivered or shipped to you, you will not have to pay any sales tax to Wisconsin, but you WILL have to pay the full amount of your local sales tax (7.5 % in example above) when you register your trailer.

    If your local sales tax is lower than 5.5%, or you have no state sales tax, please contact us and we may be able to arrange a pick-up or delivery option that will minimize the sales tax paid.

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    What type of vehicles can tow it?

    Since the Camp-Inn 500 and 550 models weigh between 800-1100 lbs and have a tongue weight of about 130-160 lbs, the Camp-Inn can be easily towed with a mid-size car or larger. Most four cylinder cars are able to tow a lightly loaded Camp-Inn. The 560 model weighs about 1200-1300 lbs and has a 165-170 lbs tongue weight. For the 560 we recommend a 6 cylinder car, small SUV, minivan, or larger vehicle. Check with your auto dealer to find out the towing specifications for your vehicle.
    (the trailer's weight varies depending on model and options) Contact us if you are concerned about the trailer weight and we will discuss how to keep the weight down.

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    Do I need electric brakes?

    This answer depends on where you live and what kind of tow vehicle you have. A few states require electric brakes for trailers the size of a teardrop. If you have a smaller tow vehicle, or plan to do driving in mountainous areas, you may want electric trailer brakes even if they are not required by your state.

    STATEBRAKES Required if
    gross weight over
    California1500 lbs
    Idaho1500 lbs
    New York1000 lbs net*
    New JerseyAll
    Oregon1000 lbs
    Rhode IslandAll
    Utah**
    Wyoming**
    All Other States2000 lbs or more
    * Empty trailer weight.
    ** Must be able to stop within 40' at 20 m.p.h.

    This may spark another question...If my teardrop weighs less than 1000 lbs, do I still need brakes? The weight listed above is the gross weight (gross weight equals the weight of the trailer plus the weight of the cargo...food, gear, water, etc.). Camp-Inn trailers are designed and rated at gross weight of 2000 lbs.

    Here's the tricky part...Camp-Inn can reduce the gross weight rating of the trailer. We don't do anything different building the trailer, but when we stamp the manufacturer's tag, we stamp in 1500 lbs instead of 2000 lbs. The trailer is still CAPABLE of a gross weight of 2000 lbs but LEGALLY it can only have a gross weight of 1500 lbs. So if your Camp-Inn trailer weighed 900 lbs empty, you could LEGALLY carry up to 600 lbs of gear (1500 - 900 = 600 lbs).

    For example: If you are from California, and don't want electric brakes, Camp-Inn is required by law to limit your gross trailer weight to 1500 lbs (even though the same trailer in Wisconsin would have a gross rating of 2000 lbs).

    The electric brake option is equipped with a breakaway switch system. Most states that require brakes also require breakaway switch systems. The breakaway switch applies the brakes if the trailer accidently becomes unhitched from the tow vehicle (It is not a parking brake). The brake option requires an on-board battery that operates the brakes, since the electrical connector will disconnect shortly after the trailer becomes unhitched. The battery must be charged by the tow vehicle.

    If you need or want brakes, please read the next question about charging the battery.


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    Can I charge the trailer battery from my car?

    In order to charge the trailer battery from your car two things must happen:

  • The trailer must be wired for it.
  • Your tow vehicle must be properly wired for it.
    TRAILER: All Camp-Inn trailers come wired with a 7-prong trailer connector (6 around 1). This is an industry standard for trailers. One of the prongs is connected to +battery and one is connected to -battery. This allows for charging of the trailer's battery any time it is connected to the tow vehicle and the tow vehicle is running.
    TOW VEHICLE: Your car or truck must be wired with the 7-prong connector and should have a battery isolator installed (see the following question for more information on battery isolators).

    If your vehicle came equipped with a 7-prong connector, it may or may not be wired for charging. Check with your mechanic to determine if it is properly wired.

    Aftermarket battery isolators and 7-prong connectors can be installed on almost any vehicle. Check with your mechanic or RV service center to have this done. If you feel you can do the work yourself, contact Camp-Inn if you need help finding battery isolators or connectors.


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    Do I need a battery isolator?

    To avoid another question, I will first explain what a battery isolator is:
    A battery isolator is basically an electrical switch that connects the trailer's battery to the tow vehicle's alternator when the alternator is charging (engine running) and disconnects it when the alternator isn't charging (engine off). A battery isolator prevents you from draining the tow vehicle's battery when you are using the trailer DC (So you can start your engine in the morning).

    You can achieve the same result by unplugging the trailer connector every time you shut off your engine and connecting it after you start the engine. But, if you forget to disconnect it, you may have a dead battery; and if you forget to reconnect it, you won't have tail lights or trailer brakes.

    The battery isolator can be installed in the trailer or in the tow vehicle. Camp-Inn offers a trailer-mounted battery isolator. Consider the following pluses and minuses when deciding whether to have the battery isolator mounted in the tow vehicle or teardrop trailer.

    TOW VEHICLE:

  • Plus: Tow vehicle may already be equipped (comes with some towing packages) Check with your auto dealer.
  • Plus: Less expensive
  • Minus: May need to be installed by a mechanic
  • Minus: If you have multiple tow vehicles, they all need their own battery isolator
  • Minus: If you buy a new tow vehicle, it will need to have a battery isolator installed
  • Minus: If you loan your trailer to someone, they are not protected

    TRAILER:

  • Plus: Installed and tested by Camp-Inn
  • Plus: Protects everyone who uses your trailer
  • Plus: Works even if tow vehicle has a battery isolator installed
  • Minus: May be more expensive than a tow vehicle mounted model


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    How do I wire the 7 pin connector?

    RECOMMENDED WIRE GAUGE

    #  COLORGAGECIRCUIT
    1WHITE10GROUND
    2BLUE12ELECTRIC BRAKE
    3GREEN14RUNNING LIGHTS
    4BLACK10BATTERY CHARGE
    5RED14LEFT TURN
    6BROWN14RIGHT TURN
    7YELLOW14BACKUP LIGHTS


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    Will I be able to see around the 5 foot wide trailers with my car?

    All states require you to have two mirrors capable of seeing behind you. If you have two side mirrors, here is an easy test: Roll down the windows and measure between the inside edges of the mirrors. If it is greater than 5 feet, you will be able to see past a 5 foot trailer without extension mirrors.

    If it is less than 5 feet or if you don't have two side mirrors, you will need trailering mirrors or mirror extensions. These are available at most auto parts stores.


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    What construction methods does Camp-Inn use?

    Unlike standard RV's and pop-Ups, Camp-Inn uses all-plywood construction.
    All wood parts are thoroughly coated with marine grade varnish before final assembly. Even if you can't see it.
    Corners are gusseted, glued and screwed together for strong joints.
    Camp-Inn Teardrops are built with long life, low-maintenance and durability in mind.

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    Why don't you use painted steel fenders?

    The fenders on any trailer receive a lot of punishment. Stones and road debris are thrown up from the tow vehicles tires and hit the fenders, even if you only drive on paved roads. It doesn't matter how good your paint is or how slow you drive: painted fenders will chip and rust.
    Our original prototype used painted steel fenders, similar to most of our competitors. After driving down about 20 miles of gravel road, the front of the fenders were sand-blasted. The fronts of the fenders were chipped and pitted from stones thrown up by the car's rear tires. The fenders looked bad and after one rainstorm, rust started forming in the pits. We realized that in order to keep it looking good, the fenders would have to be repainted. Instead, we went with two low-maintainance options: lower-cost, high-impact plastic fenders and more expensive stainless steel fenders.
    The plastic fenders are a virtually indestructible fender that will take bumps, scrapes, stones and debris without breaking or chipping.
    For the coustomer that is more concerned with styling, we have our custom-designed stainless steel fender. This fender is not painted so it won't chip or peel and it will not rust. It is easily cleaned and looks great for years to come.


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    Why don't you use gas struts on the hatch?

    Short Answer: Because they don't work well for this application.
    Long Answer: The way that gas struts work is they use a compressed gas pushing on a piston to open and hold open the hatch. The problem with gas struts is that they need to be cycled (opened and closed) on a regular basis (at least a couple times a month). Every time you cycle a gas strut, the seals are automatically lubricated with a small amount of oil. This oil helps the seals work properly, keeping the compressed gas inside the strut.
    If the gas strut is not cycled regularly, the seal dries out and the compressed gas slowly leaks out. When the compressed gas leaks out, the strength of the gas strut is reduced. In the case of a rear hatch on a teardrop, the hatch may remain closed for several months at a time, during winter storage, giving the seals plenty of time to dry out and allow the compressed gas to leak out. After a storage season or two, enough compressed gas leaks out that the gas strut does not have enough strength to hold the hatch open (especially in cooler weather).

    At Camp-Inn, we invented an automatic mechanism to hold the hatch open. The hatch prop mechanism automatically engages when you open the hatch. Just open the hatch and the prop rod slides into place. Release the hatch to lock the prop rod into place. To LOWER the hatch, simply lift the hatch to unlock the prop rod and, using your other hand, gently slide the prop rod inward as the hatch is lowered. Click Here for an animated picture of our automatic hatch prop mechanism.

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    How much does one cost?

    That depends on what features and options you would like on yours. Check out our Models, Features, and Options pages to determine what you would like.

    Then go to our Pricing page to estimate the price of a Camp-Inn with the features you want.

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    Why are your trailers more expensive than your competitors?

    We get asked this quite often. Most of our competitors' "top of the line" units are similar in features and options to our more basic packages. We offer packages and options that go far beyond what our competitors offer. Comparing our "top of the line" to their "top of the line" is not an even comparison, so we created a few quick comparison charts to match feature-to-feature. Click Here to view the comparison charts.

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    What if I'm really tall?

    Answer: It may be hard to believe, but the Camp-Inn 500's and 550's have a queen-size bed. That's 6 1/2 feet long and 5 feet wide! If that isn't enough, the 560 model has a couch at the front that can be dropped down so the cushion is flush with the mattress. If you put your pillow on the couch, it effectively makes the bed about 8 feet long.

  • Click Here for FAQ PAGE 2


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    Camp-Inn TM Trailers are built by:
    Petenwell Industries LLC
    555 Kucirek Street, Necedah, Wisconsin 54646
    (608) 565-7443

    Email: camp.inn@tds.net

    © 2001-2012 Petenwell Industries LLC #