The first thing to do when you get to camp is figure out how to situate the camper to best take advantage of your site. What we’ve learned is that this can best be accommodated by driving up to your site and getting out of the car and taking three minutes or so to look around and think about how you will arrange camp. You want to arrange your camp in such a way that you can sit by the fire, prepare and enjoy meals and have easy access to your camper and car. You also want to consider how your camp is arranged compared to your neighbors, to ensure yourself the most privacy.

Some things to consider:

  • It’s important to position the camper so that the doors (or windows) are faced in such a way that you don’t have them faced towards any lights that might keep you up at night shining through in a way that is going to keep you up at night.
  • On the Shadow, it was always nice to situate the camper so that the doors have one faced into the center of your camp and one faced away from other campers. This makes it easier to be able to have a teensy bit of privacy for being able to get dressed, which inevitably you sometimes do a bit of with your legs hanging out the side of the door.
  • With the T@B, we suspect that we’re going to want to rotate and angle it a bit to put the door facing into the camp space since we may have our seating on the rug a bit closer to the trailer.
  • If you are going to need to put up a shelter or two for rain, be sure to consider how they will be positioned and how you will anchor them from the wind.
  • Be sure to think about how close the fire is to the camper and or the car and give yourself enough space so that there are no issues or smoke.
  • Consider moving the picnic table to make it convenient to the galley area of the camper so that you don’t have to go back and forth so much.

If you can take a moment and think this through before backing the camper onto the site, it will make for a more enjoyable camping experience. One of the things we love about state parks is that you often are given the time to do this. This is one of the reasons we avoid camping at KOAs- they always send someone in a golf cart to help you get situated on your site and they have standard ideas about where the camper gets positioned that may or may not be appropriate for how you use a teardrop trailer.

There are a lot of good camp arrangements and all are site dependent. Here are some variations:

Over time, we have gotten the camp setup thing down. If you do things in a particular order that becomes a habit for how the camper is packed, it makes it easy and can get camp setup in 20 minutes or so. This quick setup and the reverse to put it all away to go home makes teardrop camping a beautiful thing.

Here is what we do:

  • Determine best location for the camper and then back it into place
  • Open the back of the camper to get the blocks and block it
  • Open the front box and take out the little wheel and start to jack up the camper to remove from the hitch
  • Level the camper
  • Remove the hitch and move the car into position
  • Move the picnic table
  • Take the rugs out of the camper, put them in place and lower the back stabilizing jacks Take the chairs out and setup by the fire
  • Take the little tables out and setup
  • Sweep down the picnic table and put on the cover
  • Setup the shelter if we need it
  • Set out the camp lights
  • Set out the bug things
  • Set out the camp sign
  • Set out the solar panel
  • Put out the trash container
  • Put out the fire tools
  • Hang a clothesline