Welcome to Teardrop Traveling!
This blog is meant to be both a travelogue and an introduction to what it means to be a “Teardrop Camper”. The site is also a place where we will be testing out content for the book we are (very, very slowly) writing about our camper, our favorite equipment and our experiences on the road (and at home).
“Teardrop Camper”? Huh? What is that?
A Teardrop Camper is someone who has embraced the camping lifestyle that comes along with owning or using a Teardrop Trailer. It’s a more refined (and comfortable) method of camping than tent camping, and more outdoorsy and ready to go than traveling with a large trailer or motorhome. Many people are finding that this is a “just right” method for camping and it is becoming increasingly popular.
What is a “Teardrop Trailer”?
Teardrop Trailers are small travel trailers with a shape that is like a teardrop. They were originally developed in the 1930s and many plans exist for how to construct them yourself. These days you can also find many commercially available versions of them that are newly constructed. Smaller ones are often lightweight (800-1500 lbs.) and can be pulled behind smaller cars or motorcycles. Many are designed very minimally with a bed inside the main cabin with a few cabinets and a kitchen that pops open in the back hatch. There are different sizes and styles available to be more or less elaborate with varying levels of modcons. Small teardrops are typically comfortable for 2 people and maybe a dog or a child. They are among the smallest travel trailers available and are easier to setup and use than popup trailers. One of the limitations is that the inside space is not of a height to stand up and is essentially just the bed.
If you want to be able to stand up and have a little more room than the bed, there are slightly larger teardrops that run in the 1800-2400 lb. range. Many of these can still be pulled behind a decently powered SUV or wagon. These give folks the ability to maybe have a tiny kitchen and bath inside, but are still really small overall. I liken it to being a studio apartment on wheels rather than a house on wheels. It’s just big enough without being too much.
Our Old Teardrop
In the spring of 2010, in the midst of a small mid-life crisis, my husband and I decided to buy a Teardrop Trailer and take it on a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine and then around Nova Scotia for a sabbatical I was taking from my job. We had camped for many years, but as tent campers we had never been able to stomach the thought of a trip that was more than a week or one where we moved from place to place often. The Teardrop was an opportunity to make it easier for us to camp, easier to stay dry and a way to be more mobile. Our nearly 3 week trip that summer was an amazing adventure with 11 different stops and campgrounds along the way. And it wasn’t just the trip or the break from work that was life changing- it was the Teardrop. Owning this little trailer has changed the way we camp and vacation and think about travel.
Our New Teardrop
After 10 years of camping with the Silver Shadow, and in the midst of Covid-19, we decided to finally get a slightly bigger teardrop camper so that we could be more self-sufficient going forward. Our T@B 320S has all the cool factor that we loved about the Shadow, but it also has enough space to stand up and change clothes as well as a little kitchen and bath so that we can do everything inside the camper. Right now we are enjoying camping in the driveway and dreaming of where we might go once things are safe again.
We’re really happy that this camper is just the right size for the two of us and the dog and are thrilled at all the future possibilities we’ll have to connect to nature and be active in the way the teardrop lifestyle enables. We look forward to many more years as teardrop campers!
Love your blog! As longtime campers/brand new teardroppers, we find your tips very helpful. We are packing our newly-acquired Little Guy Rough Rider for our first trip. We are traveling from Indiana to the Utah desert in April. Our first daunting task is setting up our galley (which lacks the nice storage features you have.) How do we pack our camp cooking gear in our teardrop galley?