Recently a friend told me about some trailers she saw last summer while camping out in Colorado, and after having seen them online I must say that they seem like the coolest thing since sliced bread.
A teardrop trailer is a compact, lightweight, convenient travel trailer, which gets its name from its teardrop profile. Teardrop trailers first became popular in the 1930s and remained so until the mid 1970s, when they were supplanted by larger recreational trailers. As baby boomers begin to approach retirement, teardrop trailers have made a resurgence and are growing in popularity today.
There is room inside a teardrop trailer for two people to sleep comfortably, as well as storage for clothes and other items. Outside, in the rear under a hatch, there is usually an area for cooking (galley). Teardrop trailers tend to have lighting and other electrical power supplied by battery, although some have power hookups like regular travel trailers.
Most teardrop trailers are from 4 to 6 feet in width and from 8 to 10 feet in length. They are usually from 4 to 5 feet in height. Wheels and tires are usually outside the body and are covered by fenders. Larger teardrop trailers can have the wheels inside the body. . .
Reading about these trailers, I’m seriously thinking that this might be the way to go. I love tent camping, but I must say that I don’t do much camping in the winter time at all. I think a tiny trailer like a teardrop that was well insulated would be far more comfortable.
I also kinda dig the idea of being able to move temporarily to a new locale on the cheap. If I had a trailer like this I could go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, spend a couple of weeks in the Texas Hill country during bluebonnet season, spend a week living in a small town in Nebraska, whatever I wanted really. Home could be whereever I parked at, and I found a place to stay for a week or so I could just park the car and get around locally by bicycle. And thanks to the internet and cell phones, I can do most of my GI rights legal work remotely anyway.
Anyway it sounds kinda nuts but I’m really getting stoked about the idea. Right now there are some really good teardrop trailers for sale on Ebay in the $5-10,000 range. I’ve also read about how many folks can build their own for around $1000-2000, using plans you can buy online. However all of that said, I’m pretty tight for cash and unless I want to wait several years to get my trailer I may have to go cheaper than that. One thought I’ve had is that I may try to hunt down a used flat utility trailer (4×8 would be a perfect size). I could then build floors, walls and a roof out of plywood (maybe a double-layer with insulation in between). The teardrop shape would be way cool to do, but I could go simpler and maybe do it more boxy. As for the outside, I’m thinking I would just use the best quality paint I can find and seal the corners with alunimum tape. If I went this route, I bet I could build a trailer for less than $500.
And of course down the road I could use the chassis of the trailer to build a true teardrop trailer as finances permit.
Anyway here’s some more links about teardrop trailers…
Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers Discussion forum — a great website with lots of pictures of teardrops that folks have built themselves
Mikenchell.com: The weekender — this might be along the lines of what I might be doing, as this is a simplified design made for easy construction.
Teardrops.net Classified ads — here’s a good source for used tear drops. I really like to look at the wide diersity of styles
Teardrops and other trailer designs — great resource showing the basic styles of teardrops (and teardrop-like) trailers
Tinytears.cc: “Tiny Tears” Teardrop Camping Trailers — Scans of the Old How-to-Build Teardrop Plans and Magazine Articles — a really, really neat resource of scans from old magazine articles on how to build these trailers