The Tomabago Tear Drop

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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:36 am

My trip got delayed a little while, so I put a coat of paint on the driver's side.
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Here is the front view. That is a 4KW generator on the front. Its being transported back to SD. Tongue weight is about 200 lbs with it on there :shock: , so it should track straight!
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Tom
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby KCStudly » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:44 am

Tongue looks a little short from that angle. Can you still turn w/o hitting the gennie w/ the TV?

I would also be concerned about theft protection. Maybe a bike lock to the frame or something.
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:25 pm

KCStudly wrote:Tongue looks a little short from that angle. Can you still turn w/o hitting the gennie w/ the TV?

I would also be concerned about theft protection. Maybe a bike lock to the frame or something.


The tongue is longer than it looks. I The generator is about 30 inches behind the bumper ( including the hitch setback) and it sticks out about 12 inches on each side. I will have to be jacknifed ( or close to it) before I would see any contact with the bumper. The generator is actually bolted to the frame, so it will take a little time to steal it. The bike lock is a good idea though.
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:24 pm

Quick trip report.
Start Raliegh-Durham North Carolina
Tow Vehicle, 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4x4
First stop Marion AR ( Just outside Memphis TN), Drove about 750 miles the first day. Average speed ( including stops) 53 mph. 17 to 18 mpg as reported by dash display, without the TD I usually get 19 to 21 mpg on the highway. Stayed at the Memphis KOA campground. Got there about 9:30 pm, office was closed, it cost about $28 for the night with a KOA card. It was 80 when we arrived so I ran the A/C to cool things down while we slept. At some point during the night I shut it off because I was a little chilly.
I considered taking the 40 all the way out, but the weather report indicated snowfall in Flagstaff for the day I would be going through, and plenty of rain along the way through OK, so I opted for the southern route. This ended up being a very good decision as I also dodged the tornadoes that went through OK last week. So next stop Abilene TX, roughly 600 miles.
I arrived in Abilene about 5:30 local time. 15 to 16 mpg for the day. 52 mph average speed ( including stops). I actually drove closer to 70 on this day, but I was taking 2 dogs with me, and they needed more breaks, and we tended to take longer breaks. I stayed at the KOA in Abilene, the people we nice, the wifi was down.
Day three I planned to stay at the KOA in Lordsburg AZ, but almost immediately after leaving Abilene, I hit a strong headwind , 25 to 40mph with 60 mph gusts per the weather reports I was getting. I had to turn off the overdrive on the transmission because I couldn't hold speed very well. Texas has is 80mph along this stretch of the I20,but I was running 60 to 65 due to the wind. Mileage dropped to 13 to 14 ( closer to 13). As I got to El Paso, it became a big dust storm, and It continued well into NM, eventually they close the highway at Demming 60 miles short of my goal for the day. We averaged 50 mph for the day, but that was primarily because we took fewer breaks and they were much shorter ( no one, even the dogs don't want to be out when the wind is throwing dirt in your face). I stayed at the Sunset RV park in Demming NM. It was the first one I saw so I pulled in, Cable TV and WIFI both worked. They told me they would charge $10 for the night, but in the morning his Credit card machine was broken so he didn't charge me. They were very nice.
We arrived at about 4:30 local time. After eating at the Denny's, the dogs and I hid in the TD until bedtime. The low that night was 35. It was a little chilly, but tolerable. I'm looking forward to getting the insulation in.
The final destination Ramona CA. We arrived about 5:30 local time. Made very good time and averaged about 53 mph for the day. I ran about 70 mph and got about 15 mpg without the wind. Took longer breaks today, as I was getting worn down, and I wasn't so worried about setting up camp and arriving before dark.

All in all it was a very successful trip in my book. 2514 miles, 4 days, 3 nights on the road. No breakdowns, no flat tires and I slept reasonably well given the conditions ( me, 2 dogs and a TD full of moving boxes. :D Once I get rested and settled in, I can get back to work on the TD.
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The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Thu May 24, 2012 7:58 am

Finally got the paint done . My wife wants wings, to give it a more retro look. Anyone have a source?
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:12 pm

Now that I've used it a few times, and gotten a few "toys" to put in it, I "finished" the galley.

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The Fridge pulls out, for easy access.
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The Camp Chef oven rotates.
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Battery and converter are located in the center section. I should be able to fit about a 6 gallon water tank under the fridge.
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The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:06 pm

Well I finally broke down and added water... Sort of. I installed an RV pump that was a spare from my old RV days. I carry 6 gallon water cans on the tongue when I'm going boondocking, and I did not install a sink.
Here is a pic of the set up.
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I chose a hose bib as the faucet so I could easily run a hose to a shower setup if needed in the future. Turns out hose bibs spray all over he place so I added the short hose to direct the flow better.

I wanted to create a system that would be easy for my son to use or set up. He is 8. I also wanted it to be simple (KISS engineering) and I didn't want it to be another thing I had to worry about packing. I have a 4ft RV hose that is used to get the water out of the water jugs. The jugs can stay on the tongue. The water line runs through the cabin to the galley ( I would have preferred underneath but my frame design would have made an ugly mess of it. ) it's only a 1/2 inch reinforced vinyl hose, it's out of the way near the wall and there are no connections to leak in there. It will normally be under the matress.
The pump and a surge tank are under the refrigerator drawer, the the hose comes up through the cabinets. Now that I've started storing plates and utensils in the oven the space under the refer as left deity trashbag storage.
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The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:37 pm

Decided to use this thread to keep track of my trips. So this is just a little catch up post
In November 2012, my son and I went on a weekend camping trip with my parents and their RV to the Anza Borrego Desert. We got a call on the way out from someone that informed us they were stuck at the primitive camp area. I was instructed to "Bring the Big Rope". The big rope, is a 50 ft lot 2 1/2 inch nylon mooring line I picked up about 25 years ago at a scrap metal yard. We've used it to pull out RVs ever since, it stretches to about 75 ft long and uses the rubber band effect to allow smaller vehicles to unstick big ones. We brought the rope, but since it was dark when we got there, and we weren't in anyone's way we waited till morning to deal with it.
In the morning we used some wood scraps, and aired down their tires and got them out in about 30 minutes. We moved to a more solid area and set up camp there. We put about 200 mile on the TD, so total mileage on the TD is up to 3400.

In March 2013, we attended the Tierra del Sol desert safari. This is a very large off road event that raises money to help retain public access to public lands. We had the support of my parents and their RV.
about 250 miles round trip, so up to 3650 miles on the TD
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In April 2013, we met my parents out at Blair Valley in the Anza Borrego desert. My son and i hiked up to the Marshall Southern Family home, and our camp was invaded by bees in search of water. Nice weather otherwise. About 250 miles round trip, 3900 miles on the TD now. While I enjoy camping with my parents, I realized I was required to have them along to camp unless I made a few changes to the TD, in order to be more self sufficient.
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We moved and and so didn't get to camp much the rest of 2013, but in December we took his best friend and his Dad camping for their first time. We went to an RV park in Borrego Springs, since I didn't think they would be up to the boon docking adventure. They slept in a 1960s canned ham that the park has available for rent. We had a good time, and explored the desert in the Jeep since the weather was a bit windy. TD mileage about 200, total now 4100.
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Since that went well, we went for our first real boon docking adventure. My son and I drove out near Blythe CA, and visited the Hauser Geode beds. We stayed at the Wiley well campground, which is a primitive camp with pit toilets, but we used the "doody bag" toilet I purchased with a privacy shelter, and it all worked out fine. This was also the first trip with my waeco CF35 fridge/freezer, and it worked out great. It got chilly at night, and we were alone, so we fired up the generator to play wii and charge the TD battery. We found some geodes, so it was a succesful trip.
Mileage was over 500, so now we are up to 4600 miles on the TD.Image

And that brings me up to date.
Tom
Last edited by Socal Tom on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby KCStudly » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:11 pm

So you must have left the camera at home, huh?

Sounds like good times with your boy. :thumbsup:
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby TBuilder » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:07 am

Awesome, this is how a Teardrop should be used!
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:45 am

KCStudly wrote:So you must have left the camera at home, huh?

Sounds like good times with your boy. :thumbsup:

I added a few pics for you,
And remembered a couple of other trips that I almost forgot about, in the summer of 2012, we went with my parents to an RV park KQ ranch. Near Julian CA. We hung out at the pool and played mini golf. Only about 60 miles round trip for where the TD was stored.
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In the spring of 2012, we took the unfinished TD to a nearby camp area in North Carolina. ( I was required by the boy to take him camping in it once before I drove back. ) he stayed in NC with his Mom another until school ended then they joined me put here. Total mileage was about 30. at one point I realized I hD forgotten some utensil to cook with and I asked the camp host where I could go buy a one, and see recommended driving back to Apex. ( where we lived)
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In October 2013, we made a trip to Lake Morena in San Diego County, got to try out my camp chef oven for the first time. about 120 miles round trip
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:25 am

TBuilder wrote:Awesome, this is how a Teardrop should be used!


Thanks, you gave me a solid foundation to work with. With these last trips, I'm over 4800 miles with not mechanical issues. I did replace the springs last weekend, I think the originals were rated for 3500Lbs combined. I've swapped them out for 1000lbs capacity springs ( combined). I've estimated the trailer to weigh about 900 lbs, and less than 700 is carried by the springs. So far the "bounce test" in the garage seems like it should be more compliant with the road.
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop- Build and Trip LOg

Postby Socal Tom » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:41 pm

Another trip under the belt. Left San Diego friday the 28th about 3:15, and almost stayed ahead of the most epic rainstorm we've had in a while. Drove out to the Anza Borrego Desert for the TDS desert safari ( TDS4x4.com). This was a solo trip, but I met my parents in their RV, my Sister and my Nephew and his daughter out there. This was pretty much the first time the TD saw any real rain in the 2 years I've owned it. The doors leaked a little, so something else I can improve, hopefully I have a few more years to work it out. The weather wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It got windy, but was tolerable except for some bad gusts, so we hid in the RV when we weren't out Jeeping.
The desert safari is in it's 52nd year. Its used to collect money for trying to keep public lands open for public enjoyment. I think its a good cause, and we drive a 4x4 trail that's a lot of fun. I'm getting old though, we were on the trail for 5 hours ( only moving for 2 according to my GPS) and I was worn out when we were done.
As usual I didn't take any pictures.
Round Trip Mileage, about 250
This was the first trip since I moved the springs above the axle, and put on the 100-# capacity springs. I could finally see the TD springs working, and it didn't get air borne once!
Tom
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The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:31 am

Another trip to report. My son and I went to the Aqua Caliente campground in the Anza Borrego desert last weekend. The campground evolved around some desert hot springs. It's now got 2 pools and an indoor "spa". Many of the sites have electricity, but they have full hook ups and primitive sites as well. It's about 110 miles from home. We got there Friday and my 9 year old made us chili. Saturday we went for a hike on the moonlight canyon trail . We lost the trail at some point so we headed back after about 1/2 hour. We still got some great views.
I must have had a propane leak because we ran out on Sunday morning when I was making breakfast, and my spare bottle wasn't loaded( shame on me). So we came back early. On the way back we stopped at several historical monuments and picked up a Julian Apple pie( yum).
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Re: The Tomabago Tear Drop

Postby Socal Tom » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:01 pm

Back from a 4 day trip on Mojave road. Left San Diego on the 31st and met a group from Expedition Portal at the Avi Casino in Laughlin on the 1st. 100 miles of dirt road, freezing temperatures, a flat tire and square rim later and my TD is now an "off-road " tear drop.
edit -I thought I would add a few more details
The casino is about 300 miles from home, so I stopped in Barstow and stayed in the Walmart parking lot. I never sleep well in Walmart parking lots, and it was really cold ( 28 outside and 42 inside). I finally got up about 3:30 and headed out. I stopped in Needles for breakfast and got to the casino around 8am. Since the rest of the crew wasn't due until 1pm, I decided to see what I could do to warm things up for the cold weather ahead. Some duct tape, and a trip to the local walmart to pickup long underwear and a couple of "throw blankets", just big enough to hang over the walls to keep the chill down. At $8 a piece I thought they were a bargin. I temporarily attached them with some screws.
We finally left the casino around 3pm, and went about 15 miles to the Balancing rock camp area. Dinner was ribeye, with beans and a cold one. That night all our water froze, so I was breaking up ice to make coffee. I provided warm cinnamon rolls to the others courtesy of the camp chef oven. I also shared the griddle for the guys making pancakes. I think they were starting to get jealous of the short setup and take down time for the TD vs their tents. I was ready to go a good 45 minutes before them, and that's after doing the dishes and taking my time. We visited Bert Smith's house near rock spring. The road down is severly rutted, and our run leader was concerned about the TD making it down the hill. I scouted a clean line down, and we made it down without any drama. When we arrived at the Rockhouse, our run leader Scott, let me know he would be shopping for a Tear Drop when he got home! The trip down the hill was the last evidence he needed to be sure he wanted one. A little later I hit a rock and got a flat tire ( ruining the rim in the process).
That day we drove about 50 off road miles, we went over the high point that is about 5000ft elev, and camped at about 4000ft. Things froze again, my thermometer said 19F in the morning. I had biscuits and gravy, and passed out warm biscuits with jelly the others ( I know how to make friends :D ). We were in a shady spot so it seemed like it took forever to warm up. We traveled another 40 miles and saw several sites along the way, including the mailbox, Soda lake and we camped near the Kelso dunes not far from the Razor Rd exit to the I15.
We got there early, and so we had a fun evening. I provided cinnamon rolls again in the am, and headed out before the others. I was on the 15 by 9am. It was a really great trip.

Total miles on the TD are now about 5800, including over 100 off pavement miles.
I get between 15 and 16 mpg towing, depending on the terrain and the speed.
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