The Camping Vespa from Arizona by Tom Burick

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Wer ist Tom Burick und wie kam er auf die Idee die Vespa umzubauen?

Burick lives in Mesa, a city in Arizona. He is 52 years old and works full-time as a teacher, where he teaches autistic children. Previously, he worked for ten years in his self-founded robotics company. Tom’s passions are mechanical engineering and metalworking. Rebuilding and upgrading motorcycles gives Burick the balance he needs from his main job.

How did he discover his love for the Vespa?

Tom already had a great interest in motorized vehicles as a child. So he already had a moped and a go-kart as a child. When Tom took a trip to the beach, he found a rental shop. There, 50 cc scooters were rented out and Tom grabbed one of those scooters. Burick quickly realized that riding the scooter gave him a sense of freedom he hadn’t had before. He could remember his carefree days when he was a kid. When he got back home, he immediately bought a brand new Genuine Stella.

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Tom Burick

This is how the idea with the camping scooter came about

For his students, Tom planned a quick weekend project. He taught a camping club at the school where he was hired as a teacher. The kids were going to cook, play and have a good time in the trailer. Tom wanted to give the kids a surprise, so he came up with the idea of hooking the trailer up to his 1962 Vespa. He could then use it to roll the trailer into the schoolyard.

How the Cabin Car was created

Burick has many friends who are handy and also enjoy participating in making Tom’s plan a reality. For example, one of his friends helped him finish the frame for the trailer. This took the friends a whole three days. Then they moved on to the original CNC cut file for the sides of the trailer. An old “Cabin Car Teardrop” that Tom found on the Internet served as a template. Other work, such as cutting the foam, was done by local companies. Tom also installed four windows. Burick found a woman named Lucy on the Internet who helped him cover the trailer with PMF. Tom had no experience with this.

Together, the two put the trailer together and Tom decided to share the experience he had with the trailer with the world. Because everyone involved felt special about the project. Almost, his friends and he felt some sort of connection to the trailer. Originally, the whole project was not supposed to exceed $300, even financially. In a YouTube video, however, Tom tells that the project cost rather 1500 dollars.

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Cabin Car


For longer trips Burick uses the Yamaha, because it has a power of 250 cc. Both scooters are in very good condition and Tom has built his own small trailer for the Yamaha. Scooters are and were the passion of Tom. He started building trailers for scooters back in 2006. His first was a red trailer with white accents for a Vespa. Tom used mid-century science fiction rockets as a template for this. He used the trailer for shopping, flea markets, and everyday errands. These early experiences were the building blocks for the idea of the Cabin Car.
Tom is certain that he will never stop designing and building camping trailers, as he still has hundreds of ideas that he would like to bring to fruition.

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Burick’s first trailer
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Comments (1)

  1. Read your marvelous story in “I 😚 RVing” magazine. Exciting! Fascinating!
    Thank you, Tom, for your inspiration!

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