A Fond Farewell to the Original TOPO
The decision to sunset the Original TOPO was not an easy one to make. Our mission at Escapod is to build the best damn camper known to man. When making difficult decisions, we always ask ourselves what choice gets us closer to this goal.
There are three main factors that we considered to determine the direction we wanted to go: benefits of having a singular focus, material availability & reliability, and market differentiation.
We’ll explore each of these reasons in more detail in the rest of this post.
Having a singular focus on one product helps us to deliver excellence and gets us closer to our mission. When we designed the TOPO2 it was an evolution of the Original TOPO - similar in form and function but an upgrade. Just like iPhone replaces its previous model every two or so years, the TOPO2 was the eventual replacement of the Original TOPO - it just didn’t happen overnight.
We did this same thing four years ago when we phased out the Dreamscape in favor of the Original TOPO. This allowed us to build that trailer better and better as it turned into what is known today. Having a singular product focus allows our team to all row in the same direction. We are able to optimize delivery time, better manage costs, and allocate internal bandwidth toward product improvement.
Material Availability & Reliability:
It’s one thing to design a great product, it’s another thing to deliver a great product. To do this, we need to have materials that are not only available but are reliable. With TOPO2 we have been able to be more proactive about our material choice and aren’t as reliant on off-the-shelf parts or materials that other manufacturers are competing over.
Baltic birch, the gorgeous lightly colored plywood that we use on the interior of the Original TOPO, is just one example of this. The Original TOPO was engineered around these favorable 5’x5’ sheets of plywood, which only come from Russia. Baltic birch prices continue to rise and the availability of this product is becoming more and more uncertain.
The focus on TOPO2 allows us to develop better relationships with fewer vendors and establish redundancy across our supply chain to ensure delivery of an exceptional product.
When we entered the teardrop trailer space, there were a handful of regional builders that constructed wood & aluminum teardrop trailers. Only a few were focused on building off-road capable trailers. In the last five years, that has changed dramatically. The accessibility of our designs has led to many similar offerings on the market and left us competing over the nuances of galley designs and price-point. The TOPO2 is our opportunity to be a leader in a new category.
The durability and longevity that comes when you create a trailer out of a single-piece fiberglass body are where we want to differentiate ourselves as a company. We want to continue developing this product further, making it better and more accessible to the consumer than it is today. To do that, we need our team to be aligned and 100% invested in the direction of the product that we create.
We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for us to continue to lead the teardrop trailer market with the TOPO2.
To learn more about the TOPO2 teardrop camper and what makes it unique, read this blog about why the TOPO2 camping trailer is different. To understand our commitment to our Original TOPO customers, please read our Letter of Commitment here. If you have any additional questions about our decision to sunset the Original TOPO, please email our team at email@example.com.