Teardrop Trailer

  • Advertise with us
Project by DustyMark posted 07-03-2016 10:12 PM 11659 views 30 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mary and I made a decision to build a teardrop trailer on February 15th. My detailed blog is at the Teardrops 'n Tiny Travel Trailers forum.

Mary next to the Little Guy Silver Shadow 5’ x 10’ we checked out to confirm we would be comfortable in a teardrop.

A photo from Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Magazine that inspired our color scheme.

We hired out the trailer welding/powder coating and did the rest of the work ourselves. We began our part of the work on March 21st. Key features of our 5’ x 10’ teardrop include front storage module, underfloor storage, futon bed/sofa, dog kennel, air conditioning/roof vent, Yeti 65 cooler on full extension slides, and an LPG oven/stove on full extension slides.

This is the blueprint I drew for the welder.

Side profile.

View from the top.

Cabin bulkhead.


Trailer before powder coating.

Floor started.

Dry assembly.

Bulkhead wall taking shape.

Starting to look like a camper.

Copper likes his kennel.

Master closet doors slide!

Ceiling and roof spars.

Air conditioning compartment and roof fan.

The fan is dual purpose; normal fan and exhaust for the air conditioner.

12-volt wiring going into cabin dome light.

12-volt wiring going into reading lamp.

Electrical compartment with deep cycle battery.

Insulation custom cut for wiring.

Foam clamped down.

3 mm plywood skin applied.

Applying aluminum skin.

Side skin is painted .040 aluminum.

Roof is .060 aluminum.

Hurricane hinge for galley lid.

Shades installed.

View of air conditioning compartment. The little window allows the IR remote signal to reach the motorized lift fan!

Top trim is removable to allow fan to function without air conditioner.

Galley lid framing complete. Notice the fan in the operating position.

Gluing in the foam.

Applying the plywood skin.

Aluminum skin and trim work.

Mary working on the futon.

Hinge joint is key to a strong futon.

Comforter storage/ottoman.

Our Sailrite Kits Ultrafeed LS-1 continues to churn out projects!

Fitting out the lower galley.

Utensil drawer is just the right size.

Cooler tray. Those are 500-pound drawer slides!

The dome lights are either white or red light. Nice…

We even found a tiny wok to use on the high output center burner.

Front view.

The teardrop weighed in at 1,520 pounds. That’s with a stocked galley, empty cooler, and a full 20-pound propane tank. The only things we’ll add to that will be our screen tent, folding table, folding chairs, clothes and fill the cooler. I’m pleased with this weight since it includes a large battery, air conditioner, oven/stove, propane tank, heavy cooler, and a full-size spare.

A picture of our set-up on our first trip to Little Sand Bay Campground at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in WI.

We used the 6’ by 6’ Clam screen house to escape the bugs and provide a little shade. It works well and sets up fast.

Mary cutting up ingredients for Kung Pao chicken stir-fry. The cooler makes a very stable base for a cutting board.

Copper found a good place to rest under the table. We’ll start bringing his outdoor pad on subsequent trips.

Whipping up quesadillas at a wayside rest.

We used an EZ-Up to provide more protection from rain on our second “wet” trip. It worked quite well. I have a small leak at the hurricane hinge that wets the upper galley a bit when the lid is open in the rain. I’ll chase that down.

In our second season of teardrop camping we replaced the EZ-Up and Clam screen house with a galley tent that I designed and built.

The 9’ by 11’ galley tent connects to the galley of the teardrop camper and blocks out rain, wind, and bugs.

There’s plenty of room to cook in the now protected galley kitchen.

Seating area on the passenger’s side.

Dining area looking towards the galley.

Dining area looking out. Notice the convenient place to stow the porta potty.

Closing the windows nearest the stove blocks a lot of flame-robbing wind.

Galley sleeve on passenger’s side.

Galley sleeve on driver’s side. I haven’t installed the permanent fastening system yet, but used Gorilla tape to connect the sleeve to the galley on our first camping trip of the season as we experimented with the new setup.

The galley tent is a complete “game-changer”, making teardrop camping a lot more comfortable for us. We now have a place to cook and hang out that is protected from both weather and bugs. Most campgrounds have a 6’ leash requirement for dogs. The tent provides 99 square feet for Copper to be with us off his leash. It pitches real fast and withstands winds well.

-- Mark, Minnesota

33 comments so far

View English's profile


691 posts in 2595 days

#1 posted 07-03-2016 10:20 PM

Man you sure don’t let any grass grow under you feet. Great looking trailer in record time. Enjoy!!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3125 days

#2 posted 07-03-2016 10:33 PM

Looks comfy ! Great job

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Hawaiilad's profile


3379 posts in 4139 days

#3 posted 07-03-2016 10:52 PM

That looks like a Great family project. Hope the weekend turns out Great as well

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View ralbuck's profile


6745 posts in 3384 days

#4 posted 07-03-2016 11:24 PM

Nice and small/light enough that it can be pilled by almost any vehicle.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View DustyMark's profile


518 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 07-03-2016 11:48 PM

Thanks everybody. Our tow vehicle is a 2009 Subaru Forester with a manual transmission. It tows this weight with no problems.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8532 posts in 1830 days

#6 posted 07-04-2016 12:07 AM

very very neat looking I just love it when a plan comes together as nicely as yours did ….... and also copper looks very comfy LOL

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4247 days

#7 posted 07-04-2016 01:37 AM

Very nice! You should get many years of enjoyment out of that. Great write up as well.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View bruc101's profile


1457 posts in 4660 days

#8 posted 07-04-2016 02:07 AM

Looks to me like Copper had the Teardrop built to his specifications.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


787 posts in 4391 days

#9 posted 07-04-2016 03:18 AM

Beautifully done! Enjoy it!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Cricket's profile


2803 posts in 2710 days

#10 posted 07-04-2016 04:42 AM

This is amazing! Loved reading the process!

-- Community Manager

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9572 posts in 3527 days

#11 posted 07-04-2016 04:44 AM

Excellent, loved the details!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4143 days

#12 posted 07-04-2016 05:17 AM

Very cool!

-- Dreaming patterns

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4695 days

#13 posted 07-04-2016 01:55 PM

Amazing build ,fantastic teardrop plus super step by step photo work up.Great details fit and finish.


View splintergroup's profile


5278 posts in 2340 days

#14 posted 07-04-2016 01:58 PM

The planning details alone are mind boggling!

Wonderful “team effort”!

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 2017 days

#15 posted 07-04-2016 01:58 PM

That’s really cool Mark,
You and your wife made it look easy! I think I’ll try one….NOT :)

showing 1 through 15 of 33 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics