Completed convertible TD, all comments welcome

That area of Southern Oregon and Northern California. (Ask Dean!) Includes Jefferson State Tearjerkers

Completed convertible TD, all comments welcome

Postby John S. » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:12 pm

Hello All,
I've completed my new convertible teardrop: it's an original design as far as I know. I'd appreciate and welcome comments on it.
This TD is symmetrical front and rear, so I call it a "Gumdrop Style" teardrop. I built the Teardrop as a separate module from the trailer, there are 4 removable "lifting jacks" that raise the module up and the trailer can then be pulled out from underneath creating a 3/4T stakeside utility trailer. The module is held in place with 4 hardened steel brackets with grade 8 bolts.
The galley features a removable 12 VDC cooler, a slide-out propane grill/stove, see-through sliding doors, 6 drawers, adjustable shelves, and the bottom cabinet door folds up for extra counter space. The locking hatch raises with 2 gas springs.
The interior is fairly usual with twin cabinets, 3 drawers, long shelf, and will accommodate a standard length mattress. The fusebox is inside the cabin cabinet are there are 2 LED lights inside, 1 white, 1 red.
The module is fully insulated with 1 1/2" foam top and bottom, 3/4" foam in the sides.
The exterior (as well as the trailer deck) is coated with Durabak 18, a polyurethane coating infused with recycled rubber bits. There are 2 small exterior lights on each side.
One battery box on the tongue carries a deep cycle battery; the other carries a battery charger, a battery maintainer, and extension cords.
Three locking storage boxes mounted beneath the frame carry wood blocks for the stabilizer jacks, folding wheel chocks, a trailer axle jack, tire changing tools, door mats, and a plastic table that quickly mounts on either side of the galley.
As this is my first attempt at a Teardrop style trailer, I'd really like to know what you all think of her. I hope the pictures work...
Thanks again for your comments.

User avatar
John S.
Teardrop Builder
Posts: 26
Images: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: Grants Pass, OR

Postby nevadatear » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:25 pm

:applause: :applause: Wow that is one amazing teardrop. Hard to believe it is your first. Clearly you have a great deal of fabrication experience, both in metal and wood. Beautiful and creative! Have you been camping in it yet? :P :ilovecamp:
Debbie (with Randy looking over my shoulder)
Our build thread:
2009 Homebuilt woody, Kenskill inspired 5 wide
Owner,Desert Metal Products. Custom machine shop. Inventory of thousands of bearings and seals, from the common to the archaic.
User avatar
Silver Donating Member
Posts: 2250
Images: 145
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: No. Nevada

Postby Dean in Eureka, CA » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:39 pm

"Houston... The Eagle Has Landed!!!"

Wow John,
Had wondered why you were selling your teardrop, being so new to the group... Now I know why.
That is one fabulous build!!!
I've seen a couple of transformer tears, but not as nice as yours. :applause:
User avatar
Dean in Eureka, CA
The Fogcrawler
Posts: 4997
Images: 69
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 8:44 pm

Postby madjack » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:07 pm

...really cool AND practical implementation of an oft discussed but rarely done idea...nicely done indeed :applause: :applause: really like the inside mural :thumbsup: ...a stable is the tear on the jacks...can it be moved around easily...can it be used comfortably as a tear while on the jacks(OK more than one)..........
madjack 8)
...I have come to believe that, conflict resolution, through violence, is never acceptable.....................mj
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 15131
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana

Postby jdarkoregon » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:15 pm


Very nice build, I liked how you remove and then move the module.

Good job, time to go use it

Innovation is essential
The world can be better
User avatar
Donating Member
Posts: 1236
Images: 47
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:07 pm
Location: Oregon, Sublimity

Postby High Desert » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:27 pm

Great application of the convertible/multi use idea! I've played with some plans of one, but its cool to see it done so well. Congrats on an impressive build! :applause:

"it's not the years honey, it's the mileage"
High Desert
Platinum Donating Member
Posts: 8780
Images: 27
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:46 pm
Location: SW Washington state

Postby Wolfgang92025 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:50 pm

Beautiful trailer.
Great looking wood work.


User avatar
Lifetime member
Posts: 974
Images: 584
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:16 pm
Location: Salt Lake City area, Utah

Postby S. Heisley » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:18 am

This is an awe-inspiring build. Congratulations on a job well done! :thumbsup: :applause:
User avatar
S. Heisley
Super Lifetime Member
Posts: 8396
Images: 491
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:02 am
Location: No. California

Postby doug hodder » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:51 am

Wow....what a well thought out convertible! Nice craftsmanship...I like the box joints and the glass treatment in the interior. Good job guy! Doug :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
doug hodder
*Snoop Dougie Doug
Posts: 12625
Images: 562
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:20 pm

Postby caseydog » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:45 pm

doug hodder wrote:Wow....what a well thought out convertible! Nice craftsmanship...I like the box joints and the glass treatment in the interior. Good job guy! Doug :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

My thoughts, exactly. :thumbsup: :applause:

My build journal is HERE
User avatar
Platinum Donating Member
Posts: 12412
Images: 515
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:44 pm

Thanks for your kind comments.

Postby John S. » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:17 pm

Questions, let's see;

Only camped once so far, up the coast to fabulous Shore Acres State Park. (Sunset Bay) IMO the nicest place to camp on the Oregon coast. I tried to get to the Applegate Lake gathering, my wife and I even drove down there the week before, where we met Guy, but the crazy awful heat the week before was a setback. It's hard to paint when it's 110 degrees...I'd love to see a teardrop gathering there (Shore Acres State Park) sometime, the place is pretty incredible.

Pretty stable, you can push it around on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt. The main reason for the wheel jacks was to be able to "jiggle" the teardrop around on top of the trailer when putting it back together. Don't know about using it on the jacks, that wasn't really my intention.
Not too sure I'll try it...

If you look at the last picture of the module on the jacks, you'll see 3 holes in the side of the front jack and 2 holes in the smaller rear jack. (there's actually one more at the very bottom of the jack that's hard to see). These holes line up with holes in the side of the module. Inside the holes, in the wall, are captive T-nuts. I'm using 3/8" hexbolts (14 total) to connect the jacks to the module, they are fastened through the holes in the side with a socket and extension. I glued a disc magnet into a short 9/16" socket to hold the hexbolts for insertion and removal. Right now I'm using 3/8" fiberglass bolts as hole plugs when the jacks are not in place.
I can convert the trailer this way in about 20 minutes, 15 if I'm trying to show off.
BTW, even though it's a 4x8 trailer, I built the stakesides outside the bed of the trailer so it will flat-carry full sheets of plywood with the sides on.
Thanks again for your comments and questions all are welcomed and appreciated!
User avatar
John S.
Teardrop Builder
Posts: 26
Images: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: Grants Pass, OR

Postby traveler » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:10 pm

John S, I have the exact refrig that you do and am wondering how I can keep the battery charged while the frig is in use. Was thinking of a solar panel, but the one that all the RV dealers recommend is a 100 watt and it is too big for my tear. Going to try a 1000 watt generator for the Glyphs gathering and see how that works. How do you keep your refrig running???? :thinking:
Bruce :)
Why do anything unless it is fun with your teardrop
The 300 Club
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:41 am
Location: La Pine Oregon

Postby dmb90260 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:55 pm

As the kids today or maybe a month ago say. Way Cool!!
The vista you painted on the inside is a very special touch.
Well done.
Join the Kenskill Karavan at:
Real Men cook with Black Iron
The Buzz In the Dale: The Buzz In The Dale
User avatar
Titanium Donating Member
Posts: 1746
Images: 132
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 1:44 pm
Location: Lawndale, California

Electricity for cooler

Postby John S. » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:16 pm

It's a Coleman 12VDC cooler. Personally I like to camp where there's electric, and it has a 110VAC power brick. I'm at the point, age wise, where I just don't like to rough it that much anymore.
This cooler slides right out, so when on the road, I just stick it in back of my truck, where I have a 12v outlet. I even put 2 small clamshell vents on either side of the galley in case someone wants to use it in the tear while driving.
Another reason I didn't attach it was so I (or anyone) could replace it with one or two ice coolers, stacked up, in the case of no electric. 1 for food, 1 for dry ice.
It'll run down the battery in about 8 hours. I put a battery powered LED light in the cabin and another in the galley for times when you'd want to conserve as much electric as possible for the cooler, say an overnight stop.
Another possibility, though a little costly, is the new flexible, roll-up solar panels. Here's an exmple: ... ePowerFilm
These don't put out a lot of power, but you can unroll it and drape one or two over your car or teardrop. Unfortunately solar panels only work during the day, if it's not cloudy, and you're actually camping in the sun.
I think the only way to keep it constantly running is with a generator.
As much as I like having electric, I just couldn't bring myself to using a generator, no matter how quiet.

:twisted: Here's another idea: One trick I use with this cooler (I've been using these for years) is to put one of those large frozen blue blocks on the little shelf and use the electric every 30 minutes or so out of an hour.
Maybe hour on, hour off. You could put a bunch of those frozen blue blocks in another cooler with some dry ice to keep them frozen then replace each one as it warms up. I find I get roughly twice the battery time with the frozen blue block in the cooler.
I haven't tried the multiple blue block approach, but I've thought about it a lot. I'd be inclined to use the this idea myself.

This my last crazy idea: ... _200320201

Also, I tend to do a lot prep before camping and I almost always pre-cook (or at least partially cook) anything that is subject to spoilage. For example, raw bacon can spoil pretty easily but lasts far longer when pre cooked.

whaddaya think?
John in Grants Pass
User avatar
John S.
Teardrop Builder
Posts: 26
Images: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: Grants Pass, OR

Postby starleen2 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:04 pm


WAY 2 COOL :thumbsup:
User avatar
5th Teardrop Club
Posts: 16266
Images: 224
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: Pea Ridge ,AR


Return to Jefferson State

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest