We Used to Dream of a New Teardrop
Going through the blog trying to freshen things up for the new style of teardrop camping we are embarking on (without dismissing the awesome 10 years of camping with the tiny Silver Shadow) led to finding a draft post about dreaming of a new teardrop that I started to write about 3 years ago. I thought it might be good to share this since it is indicative of the goldilocks process that led us to the T@B 320S.
(Back in the Spring of 2017) The other thing that the winter months are good for relative to camping, is keeping an eye on all the new styles of trailers coming out and thinking about a future where we might have a different teardrop.
The last couple of years have been big for advanced development of teardrops. NüCamp and Little Guy (which is owned by Liberty Outdoors now) have both been developing new larger model teardrops with the T@B 400 and the Little Guy Max. These larger models give you space inside for not only sleeping, bathing and cooking, but also a place to sit and a second bed. This makes teardrop camping more of a small family thing. That is great for those who avoided the idea of teardrop camping because there just wasn’t a reasonable way to take along kids who weren’t tiny or didn’t want to sleep in tents since there wasn’t enough space in the trailer for everyone.
We love the looks of these larger campers, but personally weren’t ready for the size adjustment and don’t really need that much space. Much of what we love about teardrop camping is that you still want to spend most of your time outside and that the indoor space is incredibly compact and efficient. And we’ve always loved that we can pull it easily behind our regular day-to-day car.
Then Little Guy developed the Mini Max, which was closer in size to the original T@Bs and seemed a pretty direct competitor. We liked the idea of the big window in the back, but also though it would be pretty weird to be sleeping where people could so obviously look in. We went to a fair during the summer of 2019 where we visited with one of the Girl Campers who was showing one as she traveled to deliver it. Her style of camping was a little too “glam” for us, but the trailer was lovely. We looked at every detail and thought “maybe someday.”
In 2019 as we fell in love with the Shadow again and were thinking that the next camper might be 2-3 weeks away, we noticed the Barefoot Caravan from the UK and that NuCamp had brokered a deal to manufacture it here in the US. It’s supermod design and unusual shape was fascinating. It made us start to notice other small fiberglass campers, but none had quite the rounded egg-ish shape of the Barefoot. We carefully watched every video and each announcement and thought perhaps the timing of it being released in Spring 2020 in the US would give them the 2+ years to work out the kinks that we’d want to see resolved before we’d be ready to find our next rig. With covid, that timing has moved out to be late 2020 for the initial release and didn’t work for us. But it does look like it is going to be a nice little camper!
When we were suddenly getting serious about a next camper in the Spring of 2020, we first turned to thinking about tiny fiberglass trailers and researched so dang many kinds. After finding a bit of water damage with our Silver Shadow, we were thinking that outside construction that was more seamless sounded like a great idea. We looked at Scamps and Casitas, Armadillos and Happier Campers, Trilliums and Burros–soooo many different kinds of trailers. There were lots of pros and cons for every one, but we found something in each that made none of them just right for us–too big, too small, too expensive, too hard to get, weird to configure, no bathroom, not enough light, weird interiors, not easily available.
Some people get into camping or buy a camper on a whim. Some people decide to swap out rigs on the regular or live with features they don’t need or want. We really wanted to find something that was perfect for us. We did a ton of research to know all the options out there and what kinds of issues people were running into with every type of trailer. Not too big or small, really efficient and easy to manage at home, at camp and on the road.That is what led us back to the T@B and to choose the 2021 320 S. It just feels right for us.