I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

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I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby KTM_Guy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:24 am

Well a little background first. I did a lot of camping as a kid some family and mostly scouts. My wife and I tent camped before kids and then once we had our two girls and tent camping a few times it was time for a popup camper. It was a Palomino and we loved it even though is was basically a disposable camper. I couldn't believe how cheaply that was built. But some of our best times as a family were with that camper. On one trip we were camping at a state park by Killinton VT, and a TD pulled into the site next to us. We chatted with the people a little (As I recall a nice couple) about the area, weather stuff like that. Then it started to rain a little and we headed back to out camp to make dinner under the awing, and packed stuff away for a storm. They grabbed a few things and headed into the small TD for the night. I remember making a comment to my wife about being stock in that shoe box all night.

Fast forward 15 or so years and we are empty nesters and back to tent camping. We started camping off the motorcycle.
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We have had to learn to camp light on the bike but we can easily go for a week or two. So what does this have to do with TD's, well I think I showed we can camp light. But I still didn't get it. Small camper, cramped space, small covered cooking area. It seems like the people that buy them are the same as Harley people that are buying a life style that is built around a over priced sub-par motorcycle. (That's my view, if you like Harley's great. I'm sure you have a tee shirt or two that says it). Maybe TD people are the same way?

So threeish years ago we moved from the camping/outdoor Mecca of the the Chicago NW Indiana area :roll: to Arizona. We knew shortly after getting here the Jetta was not going to be the best choice for us. Then came a Jeep JKUR, even though we can get into the mountains and desert on my KTM (motorcycle) my wife was having back problems and the bike with dirt roads and trails wasn't helping. We could throw the camp gear in the Jeep and head out. All was good. We always camped in state parks, with bathrooms, showers, RV's that cost 4 times what I paid for my first house, with TV's bigger that what I have now. On our last trip the Colorado we did dispersed camping because we knew we couldn't make it to the campground we planned before dark. We loved it, scrapped our planned trip and just camped anywhere that looked good. So I started telling my wife about these Adventure trailers for camping with Roof Top Tents. I showed her a picture and she said "There is no way I am climbing down a ladder in the middle of the night to go pee". Well I know my wife with ladders she made a point I couldn't argue with even if I wanted too. So the adv trailer is out, we'll keep with the tent.

Then one day I'm driving to Flagstaff for work and i see a Jeep pulling something, can't make it out, but as a get closer... Holy crap is that a teardrop camper???? That is awesome. Big tires, ground clearance, extra fuel, water, roof rack. As I was getting ready to pull up along the side he pulls of at the exit. :x For the next 30 minutes all I could think about is how I don't get the idea of a TD camper and how cool that one was, and how soon the next rest area is because that was probably the most important thing at the moment. :oops: It the rest area I check some emails and text messages I got while driving because at the time I was getting into the habit of not looking at messages while driving. I admit I was bad at looking, thought I had to because of the type of job I have. But I have found they all can wait and if it's an emergency they will call if I don't respond the a text message. So I'm getting back on the freeway and in my mirror I can see a Jeep behind me so I slow down (probably another thing I should do more) and I let him pass. I check out the off road TD the best I can and see the blinker come on and he gets off at the Sedona exit. As I drive I hear a few more text messages but don't look at the until I get to Flagstaff, and they say don't bother coming to Flag today case x"ed. Great I get gas and am thinking if I could find that guy in Sedona, I really wanted to know more about the off road TD. I took the back way into Sedona but didn't see the TD again, but had a nice drive on company time.

So could I see myself in the TD camper?

Well it's getting late and will need to finish this up later.
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby CamperDave » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:52 am

Hmmm, so far you've taken shots at TD campers and Harleys (and the people who use them)...
Can't wait to hear the rest of your "story" and see where this goes...
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby tony.latham » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:51 am

I don't get why you're here. :thinking:

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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby gizmotron » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:26 pm

It's simple. It sounds like he's ready for his T-shirt. He wants to drink the Koolaid and jump right into the Bob Bitchin life of off-road-tears.
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby working on it » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:45 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:...I did a lot of camping as a kid some family and mostly scouts. My wife and I tent camped before kids and then once we had our two girls and tent camping a few times it was time for a popup camper. It was a Palomino and we loved it even though is was basically a disposable camper. I couldn't believe how cheaply that was built. But some of our best times as a family were with that camper. On one trip... a TD pulled into the site next to us...Then it started to rain a little and we headed back to our camp to make dinner under the awning, and packed stuff away for a storm. They grabbed a few things and headed into the small TD for the night. I remember making a comment to my wife about being stuck in that shoe box all night...Fast forward 15 or so years and we are empty nesters and back to tent camping. We started camping off the motorcycle....We have had to learn to camp light on the bike but we can easily go for a week or two. So what does this have to do with TD's, well I think I showed we can camp light. But I still didn't get it. Small camper, cramped space, small covered cooking area. It seems like the people that buy them are the same as Harley people that are buying a life style that is built around a... Maybe TD people are the same way?...We always camped in state parks, with bathrooms, showers...So I started telling my wife about these Adventure trailers for camping with Roof Top Tents. I showed her a picture and she said "There is no way I am climbing down a ladder in the middle of the night to go pee"...So the adv trailer is out...Then one day I'm driving to Flagstaff for work and i see a Jeep pulling something, can't make it out, but as a get closer... Holy crap is that a teardrop camper???? That is awesome. Big tires, ground clearance, extra fuel, water, roof rack...For the next 30 minutes all I could think about is how I don't get the idea of a TD camper and how cool that one was...So could I see myself in the TD camper?...
  • Summarizing pertinent points: in red, positive points about camping in tents, always going back to tenting, rooftop tents with an insurmountable problem (ladder). In blue: positive comments about using a cheap pop-up (a tent on wheels, but with a solid floor and amenities), negative comments about a TD couple who were unprepared for the weather(no "awning", perhaps?), and lastly, how cool a TD could be (off-road, obviously prepared to go were you would like?).
  • It looks like you are open to alternative camping styles, but fall back on what you know. In the case of the TD, being stuck in the trailer might be by choice, but needn't be- most TD'ers use supplemental side tents, canopies, or awnings when they want more openness, or have a larger TD (standy, canned ham) that is a larger retreat.
  • If one prepares ahead, most TD camping can be comfortable, and as open as tent camping, but with a safer more comfortable place to sleep at night. Most have heater(s), lots of 'em have an A/C unit, some have an on-board generator or battery for power, and even a shower and various sanitary set-ups (not needed when "camped in state parks with bathrooms, showers"). Most can be towed with Jeeps or Jettas, and even a KTM can go along for the ride (if a space is provided to carry it, either inside or outside- there are examples of both here-). And, you can purchase a TD (or toyhauler TD, offroad TD, or derivatives) from commercial builders, have one custom-built to fit your needs, or build it yourself.
  • Read a lot of the threads here, and surely you can find something that suits your needs. I built my squareback trailer (a TD derivative) as a "hardtop tent", to shelter my wife in more comfort than she had when tent camping; she never has used it, so I am using it and converting it to my specific needs. I never liked tenting, or pop-ups, due to bad experiences in harsh weather, but feel secure and dry and warm/cool (choose one) in my trailer. Try it, you might like it.
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby KTM_Guy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:03 pm

I probably picked a bad spot the have to end but I had to get to bed.

My wife and I made a list for what we would like for camping, this is most of the key things.

1. Me, I want to come home for work on a Friday and say lets go camping, we would need to grab some clothes, throw some food into the cooler and be on the road in 20-30 minutes.

2. Her, she wants a toilet. That could be as simple as a portable one in one of those small shower/toilet tents.

3. Both, quick to setup and take down.

4. Both, cost. Don't want to spend a lot

5. Me, shower of some type.

5. Her, table and chairs. We alway take chair but the ones we use now are a backpacking type which are nice when you don;t have any place to sit, not the greatest to really get comfortable. On our last trip half the places we camped didn't have a table. My knees like cooking at a table.

6. Me, plenty of water storage. We live in the desert, we alway take extra water with us. Three times now we came across people needing water. Not life and death but we had plenty to share.

7. Her, a place to get ready at night and in the morning. Must be a girl thing.

8. Both, Covered place to get out of the sun, wind, and sometimes rain. Tarp, canopy

There are a few other things but I can't find the list now. but this cover most of the important things. If this was a smart list and could talk it would have said "Hey dummy you need a teardrop camper". Once I saw the off road TD and started to look into TD's it covered most all the points on my list. And even few that weren't on the list. Last year in Colorado we went to three campgrounds we have been wanting to stay at but they had hard-side restrictions due to a bear attack a few weeks before. And I have heard this is happening more in bear country.

I can find few reason not to go with a TD. How can this be because they don't make sense? It just goes to show that as life goes on what was the wrong answer 15 years ago could be the right answer now. And in 10 years maybe a fifth wheel RV. I don't see that happening.

So I have been looking for as much info I can on TD's. This site is love/hate. It can be madding with all the old threads with broken links, but some of the build threads a great. It is cool to see people that probably haven't used a hammer for something other than hanging a picture build a TD, to other with mad skills, tools and workshops. Having looked at the Moby's and a few other off road TD's and the $15k and mostly up price range I have decided to build. My wife knew I would build from the start even if those were in the $8k range. She know me to well.

Things I know already.
Timbern axel. 10" breaks, wheels will be same as the Jeep with 31" tires with room to go up to 35's when and if I do the Jeep.
width will be to fit a twin XL mattress which will be around 60" wide
Height inside around 52-54" I want to be able to sit up and it will work with 60" Baltic Birch
length will be just under 10' to work with the BB.
Water tank, pump, galley sink, shower, hot water.
Galley with stove, storage for cookware and food. Cooler will live in the back of the Jeep.
Roof fan, probably no AC if you need AC it's probably to hot to camp, or go where is's cooler like the mountains.
12v for most everything with LEDs, two batteries, maybe a few 120v outlets, shore power, more for charging batteries when at home.
Alu skinned.

Not sure yet
Benroy or Grummen, I could use some help here. Wife wants more of the traditional teardrop. And I agree. :wine:
Canopy or some type of tarp that could also include a place for toilet and shower. I'm sure there are some cool ideas out there just haven't seen it yet.
Wood or carpet interior.
Buy or build doors.
How big of water storage.
I am thinking 1.5" stick framed walls with spray foam insulation. I haven't seen anyone do this. I still need to think this through. I would like more than the 3/4" foam like most people do.

There is a lot more but I'm running out of time again

I have a few projects to finish up before the summer heat gets here, although today was 97 degrees I think summer is here now. I hope to have stuff all ready to go once the temps start to not be so hot in the fall. I'm looking at a knee replacement in June so I will have time to work on details then.

Todd
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby KTM_Guy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:37 pm

working on it wrote:
KTM_Guy wrote:...I did a lot of camping as a kid some family and mostly scouts. My wife and I tent camped before kids and then once we had our two girls and tent camping a few times it was time for a popup camper. It was a Palomino and we loved it even though is was basically a disposable camper. I couldn't believe how cheaply that was built. But some of our best times as a family were with that camper. On one trip... a TD pulled into the site next to us...Then it started to rain a little and we headed back to our camp to make dinner under the awning, and packed stuff away for a storm. They grabbed a few things and headed into the small TD for the night. I remember making a comment to my wife about being stuck in that shoe box all night...Fast forward 15 or so years and we are empty nesters and back to tent camping. We started camping off the motorcycle....We have had to learn to camp light on the bike but we can easily go for a week or two. So what does this have to do with TD's, well I think I showed we can camp light. But I still didn't get it. Small camper, cramped space, small covered cooking area. It seems like the people that buy them are the same as Harley people that are buying a life style that is built around a... Maybe TD people are the same way?...We always camped in state parks, with bathrooms, showers...So I started telling my wife about these Adventure trailers for camping with Roof Top Tents. I showed her a picture and she said "There is no way I am climbing down a ladder in the middle of the night to go pee"...So the adv trailer is out...Then one day I'm driving to Flagstaff for work and i see a Jeep pulling something, can't make it out, but as a get closer... Holy crap is that a teardrop camper???? That is awesome. Big tires, ground clearance, extra fuel, water, roof rack...For the next 30 minutes all I could think about is how I don't get the idea of a TD camper and how cool that one was...So could I see myself in the TD camper?...
  • Summarizing pertinent points: in red, positive points about camping in tents, always going back to tenting, rooftop tents with an insurmountable problem (ladder). In blue: positive comments about using a cheap pop-up (a tent on wheels, but with a solid floor and amenities), negative comments about a TD couple who were unprepared for the weather(no "awning", perhaps?), and lastly, how cool a TD could be (off-road, obviously prepared to go were you would like?).
  • It looks like you are open to alternative camping styles, but fall back on what you know. In the case of the TD, being stuck in the trailer might be by choice, but needn't be- most TD'ers use supplemental side tents, canopies, or awnings when they want more openness, or have a larger TD (standy, canned ham) that is a larger retreat.
  • If one prepares ahead, most TD camping can be comfortable, and as open as tent camping, but with a safer more comfortable place to sleep at night. Most have heater(s), lots of 'em have an A/C unit, some have an on-board generator or battery for power, and even a shower and various sanitary set-ups (not needed when "camped in state parks with bathrooms, showers"). Most can be towed with Jeeps or Jettas, and even a KTM can go along for the ride (if a space is provided to carry it, either inside or outside- there are examples of both here-). And, you can purchase a TD (or toyhauler TD, offroad TD, or derivatives) from commercial builders, have one custom-built to fit your needs, or build it yourself.
  • Read a lot of the threads here, and surely you can find something that suits your needs. I built my squareback trailer (a TD derivative) as a "hardtop tent", to shelter my wife in more comfort than she had when tent camping; she never has used it, so I am using it and converting it to my specific needs. I never liked tenting, or pop-ups, due to bad experiences in harsh weather, but feel secure and dry and warm/cool (choose one) in my trailer. Try it, you might like it.



Thanks for taking the time to decipher my rambling. I don't mind the cramped size (maybe not a 4X8 with galley) one of my past hobbies was cave diving. I don't have a problem with tight spaces. I didn't mean for it to come across that the couple that we seen was unprepared. For all I know they grab a bottle of wife and some cheese and crackers and had great night watching the storm from their tear. Sounds like a perfect way to spend a rainy night if you ask me now. And I'm sure they has less wet stuff to deal with than we did. It stormed bad for a few hours that night.

I'm sold on the off road teardrop. It is what we need for our camping needs for now.

I also didn't mean to make it sound like I was putting down TD owners. For me right now it's not my thing but that is my issue to deal with. I am not a social person. Maybe I need to break out of that shell too.

Todd
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby working on it » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:07 am

KTM_Guy wrote:
...I'm sold on the off road teardrop. It is what we need for our camping needs for now.

I also didn't mean to make it sound like I was putting down TD owners. For me right now it's not my thing but that is my issue to deal with. I am not a social person. Maybe I need to break out of that shell too.

Todd
I'm not a social person either, yet I find TD owners the easiest group to get along with, that I've met. It took me years to fit in with the drag racing community, which was super-competitive by nature, but TD campers just want to camp, and don't care what you camp in (the South Central Group is whom I'm referring to; they haven't kicked me out, yet, so they're OK in my book). As to the off-road teardrop... I was lurking on the Exploration Portal website, long before I drifted to TnTTT; I always was drawn to the off-road trailer, and built mine towards that end (slowly modifying missteps I had made). I just hope to actually get off-road a few times before too long, but just getting to a friendly camp is enough for now. Join the madness!
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby desertmoose » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:57 am

You might consider storage for shade, chairs, table, etc. take a look at our off road build. It has a full basement for storage.
we also take it to the desert for boondocking. works great for us.

Sam
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby tony.latham » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:51 pm

Todd:

Welcome aboard.

Take a gander at the threads on Steve Fredrick's Teardrop Shop Manual. Iv'e used it to build three teardrops and even though I'm a long-time wood guy, I can't recommend it toooo much. search.php?keywords=fredrick%27s

My wife loves our teardrop. I've heard her say that numerous times. And so do I. :thumbsup: We're planning on a trip down to Lee's Ferry and Monument Valley and other parts unknown soon so if you see our shiny Flash go by, wave.

Tony
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby Tomterrific » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:06 pm

I didn't understand a wood box either, so I built one to camp with. Very nice for an old guy like me. Building the camper was half the fun for me. Having a comfortable secure camp is the other half. I've read many people say their tear is more comfortable than their bed at home.

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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby KennethW » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:47 pm

Tomterrific wrote:I didn't understand a wood box either, so I built one to camp with. Very nice for an old guy like me. Building the camper was half the fun for me. Having a comfortable secure camp is the other half. I've read many people say their tear is more comfortable than their bed at home. Tom


Comfortable secure and EASY. With a teardrop it open up camping trips.
If you intend to go camping more then a days drive. Just find a place to park,lockup the car, and sit and spin into the teardrop for some ZZ at no cost.
No tents to dry. No critters biting you, Not having to scout a camp site for rocks and water flow(rain).
It is a trade The sound of a wet tent flapping in the wind vs a flat,dry,quite,warm(or cool) nights sleep.
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby TallyTear » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:05 pm

Tomterrific wrote:I didn't understand a wood box either, so I built one to camp with. Very nice for an old guy like me. Building the camper was half the fun for me. Having a comfortable secure camp is the other half. I've read many people say their tear is more comfortable than their bed at home.

Tom

Totally agree! We have not had the chance to take are just finished TD camping yet but have had couple good naps in it parked in the garage.


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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby gudmund » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:33 pm

teardrop ...."it's a bedroom inside, with a kitchen in the rear and the rest of the world as the living room......." enough said
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Re: I don't get the whole Teardrop trailer thing...

Postby Vedette » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:13 pm

All Teardrops are "Off Road" trailers due to the length.
We have towed Miss Piggy down power lines, thru the bush, and down town LA.
215 nights, and we have only had two where we went inside early! :thinking: Once south of Monterey Ca. (cold and windy) and once in Central Wa. (ran into a Mosquito hatch) :roll:
But, not only is Teardrop camping the easies and most fun camping I have done since I started out in cub scouts over 55 years ago, it is also the most social!
Teardrop people are the BEST :thumbsup: :thumbsup: and in a whole class of their own! :wine:
You might think you want a TD for specific personal reasons, but you will soon find out what new Family you have fallen into once you get out there?
Good Roads
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PS
Hi Ted, Tony, and everyone else out there! :beer:
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