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HYK Outdoors’ clever new teardrop camper trailer is made with eco-friendly cork

Lightweight, naturally insulating, and damn handsome, cork might be the single best camper build material

HYK Outdoors teardrop trailer camper parked in a field.
HYK Outdoors

For decades, the RV industry has been in a race to the bottom to see who could offer the cheapest possible product. Thankfully, many brands are catching on to the fact that customers actually care about the environmental impact of their personal recreational vehicles, too. HYK Outdoors, makers of hand-built teardrop campers, is stepping up efforts to incorporate more eco-friendly materials into its camper line-up. The latest next-gen material? Cork (seriously).

Side view of HYK Outdoors' teardrop camper trailer with cork paneling.
HYK Outdoors

Get the scoop on HYK Outdoors’ teardrop camper made with cork paneling

HYK Outdoors recently debuted a next-gen concept for one of its best-selling teardrop campers. On the outside, the showpiece model appears to be a slightly revamped version of the company’s Trailrunner—a 5′ x 8′ teardrop camper built for overlanders looking to tackle serious off-road terrain. It’s already a compact and capable lightweight towable. Now it looks like HYK is focusing on the parts you can’t see—on what’s “‘under the hood”—to take its campers to the next level.

For this concept, HYK used multi-layer plywood from Amorim MAC016, a premium build material that combines cork with other circular economy materials. It’s a blend that’s lightweight, durable, and provides superior structural integrity to the vehicle. It’s a subtle change that’s most evident on the teardrop’s interior. Here, the textured cork paneling adds a warm, soft touch to the live/sleep space, making it more handsome and inviting than traditional plastics and composites. Because cork is naturally insulating, it also ensures the cabin remains quieter and better thermo-regulated in any season.

Closeup of the cork interior of HYK Outdoors' latest teardrop camper concept.
HYK Outdoors

Beyond its centuries-long use as the perfect wine bottle stopper, cork has largely flown under the radar as a useful material for most consumers. But it’s actually been popular for more than a century as a near-perfect construction material. In addition to its sound-deadening and insulating qualities, cork is also 100% natural, recyclable, and sustainable. It’s far more eco-friendly than the cheap plastics, foams, and other toxic and non-recyclable materials most often used in RV construction.

Closeup of the cork interior of HYK Outdoors' latest teardrop camper concept.
HYK Outdoors

In an official press release, HYK confirmed that “this pioneering teardrop design reflects HYK Outdoors’ commitment to enhancing the
harmony between campers and nature and will be the highlight of the company’s participation at [this year’s] California Overland Adventure.” Indeed.

Rear gallery kitchen on HYK Outdoors' teardrop camper trailer.
HYK Outdoors

How to score your own cork-friendly teardrop camper from HYK Outdoors

For now, this specific teardrop camper trailer appears to be just a concept. There’s no official word on when, or if, this model will be available to consumers or if this cork paneling will be a standard or paid option for future models. But the concept marks a clear statement of HYK Outdoors’ dedication to green manufacturing. So, we expect to see more cork making its way into their (and other RV manufacturers‘) line-up. And, for our money, that’s a very, very good thing.

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Mike Richard
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