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Let's talk Teardrop Trailers

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Louisd75, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Aug 30, 2018 at 8:59 AM
    #1
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Lots of threads about trailers/towing/etc on here, but I realized that there are more than a couple of us towing a teardrop, so post up! What kind do you have. Where do you go. Show off your pictures. Let's talk teardrops.

    Here's mine, home built, based off of Camp Inn's 560 model. We just finished our third trip and our 14th night camping with it. Queen size bed for the grownups, two bunks approx 5' x 2.5' for the kiddos. Still working on the details, but it's together enough to use:

    First Night.jpg

    Dismal 1024.jpg

    20180822_152146.jpg

    20180823_173144.jpg

    20180825_175510.jpg
     
  2. Aug 30, 2018 at 10:41 AM
    #2
    tacoRenner

    tacoRenner Well-Known Member

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    Looks awesome! I wanna see the interior.
     
    JStarr, Marc70, scocar and 1 other person like this.
  3. Aug 30, 2018 at 10:47 AM
    #3
    Noelie84

    Noelie84 What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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    Noel
    Wales, Maine
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    8.5 Fisher XV2, some switches, some lights.
    Interior shot? I feel as though you guys will outgrow that fairly quickly with two growing kids tossed into the mix...
     
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  4. Aug 30, 2018 at 8:07 PM
    #4
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The kiddos are growing, but my daughter is a small 5yo (below the 25th percentile for her age). My wife is 5'4, so unless there's some sort of freakish growth spurt I figure I've got more than a few years before it becomes an issue. My son is 1.5yo, so I figure I've got some time there.

    Here's the inside. Apologies for the mess, we've just returned from a trip and are still getting the trailer turned around and ready to go again (no trip planned, we just leave it setup inside).

    The right side of this picture is forward showing the bunks, left side is where the grownup feet go. The ceiling lights are all LED and can be red or white. The ceiling light is dimmable in red or white. All windows have curtains that can be installed for sleeping and it gets DARK inside. The switch above the door goes to the porch light (there's one for each side). The fan is a Fantastic Fan rated at 900cfm max, the trailer is less than 200 cubic feet, so it can really move. We rarely use it at the highest setting, the lowest is more than enough.
    interior (1).jpg


    Bunk beds. Bottom bunk is slightly narrower but we can make it bigger by sliding our pillows down a little. Tongue box access is through the bottom bunk area, I'm still working on the trim pieces. There are lots of little things that I still have planned, but it was at the point of being usable for camping, so we're using it. I'll have winter to work on it. Also, the top bunk can be removed. The barrier that keeps the kiddo in folds down under the mattress. The bottom bunk mattress can be stood up allowing the top bunk to be lowered down onto a pair of cleats on the floor and turning it into a couch.
    interior (2).jpg

    I looked at building cabinets inside but for our style of travel we've found that we prefer duffel bags. The shelves reflect that. The top shelves hold four medium sized North Face duffels when we're sleeping. For travel we set them on the floor between the wheel wells to keep them from falling off and to lower the CG. The lower shelves are used as a catchall for whatever. I've recently added the shelves and cubbies above the wheel wells to give us more storage. They don't work too well at the moment because the 1yo thinks it's a treasure hunt. I've got some mesh material that I'm going to make storage pockets out of and affix to the inside walls, it's on the to-do list. The center of the lower shelf is the electrical center. We've got 2 Blue Sea high output USB chargers (4.8a each), two cigarette lighter plugs, a voltmeter tied into a momentary switch, a master switch that controls all power through a solenoid relay at the battery, and a Propane/CO monitor (I have plans for a Propex but haven't installed it yet). Behind the panel with all the electrical is a fuse block.
    interior (3).jpg

    A better view of the storage area. There's almost too much room under the lower shelf. My feet aren't huge (10.5) and I can lay with my legs crossed wearing work boots and not hit the bottom of the shelf. It's plenty of room for me. My wife's feet don't even extend under the lower shelf. The wheel well cutouts do take a little space away, but it's still wider there than in our 2 man backpacking tent and it hasn't been an issue. It was the compromise we went with to make the trailer wheel track match the truck wheel track.
    interior (4).jpg

    We've been having a ton of fun getting out with it, but our idea of camping has us spending most of our time outside. We've spent a rainy day inside and it's doable, especially with all of the windows to let us see. We've added awnings to expand our dry space though. We will also likely end up with a set of walls for one of the awnings, but overall I don't see us using them that often.
     
    JStarr, Glueman, Trucknorris and 16 others like this.
  5. Sep 2, 2018 at 8:05 PM
    #5
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    Ken
    N. Calif. The Twilight Zone
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    Off road lights, aux backup lights, bull bar, Lear camper shell, camo seat covers, nerf bars
    Home built? You built it? You did a fabulous job, I am beyond impressed. Very very nice.
     
  6. Sep 2, 2018 at 10:27 PM
    #6
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sure did and thank you :thumbsup:
     
  7. Sep 8, 2018 at 6:23 AM
    #7
    dziner

    dziner Well-Known Member

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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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    2014 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road
    Bilstein 5100 (front) | OME 885 springs | Bilstein 5160 (rear) | OME Dakar medium leafpack | JBA UCA | Cooper S/T Maxx 265/75 R16 | ARE Z-Series topper | Renogy 100W solar panel | SnoMaster TR42 fridge | sleeping platform | Mobtown sliders | Custom Car Grills grill insert
    I'm starting to look at campers. There are so many to choose from. I have a hardshell roof top tent on my ARE shell at the moment. Many people are recommending an adventure trailer like the HEO T3/T5, but that is kind of defeating one purpose, and that is setup. Plus those seem way over priced for what is essentially a trailer with a RTT on top.

    So I'm looking and comparing the following:

    Hiker Trailers
    TC Teardrops
    InTech Pursue Flyer

    I'm kinda leaning towards the InTech Pursue Flyer for a few reasons. 1) the rear doors open to allow full access/pass-through for hauling large items (basically turns it into a toy hauler) - the others don't do that because that's where there galley is located 2)slide out fridge/stove is nice 3) optional AC/heater is nice for creature comforts.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2018 at 10:30 PM
    #8
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The setup time of the teardrop is one of the reasons we went this route. Park the truck and you're camping. Five minutes to put the awnings up and level the trailer, another five minutes and the stove is on and food is cooking.

    I like the InTech, the only thing I see being an issue is that there's only one door on the side. It's not a big deal, but it means that nighttime bathroom breaks might entail climbing over someone. I do like the extra windows, more windows makes a huge difference in making the trailer feel bigger than it is. The versatility of a back door is handy as well.
     
    tacomavoyager and dziner like this.
  9. Sep 9, 2018 at 12:36 AM
    #9
    locster

    locster Well-Known Member

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    Checking in with my Escapod trailer. Just picked it up over a month ago. Been out to a few camping spots up and down the coast of California.

    Still working out all the little details with each camping trip. Our goal is to take it to Alaska within a couple years.

    20180901_190339.jpg
    20180901_190305.jpg
    20180901_055537.jpg
    Resized_20180903_101735.jpg
     
  10. Sep 9, 2018 at 3:24 AM
    #10
    Salty_Dog

    Salty_Dog Tactical Panda

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    AJT Designs Shifter AJT Designs Battery Hold-Down Amazon Special 40-inch light bar ARB Awning 2500x2500 ARB Twin Compressor w/ Slee Offroad Mounting Bracket Avid Brush Bar Avid Step Bars BFGoodrich All-Terain T/A Tires Black Rock Wheels Series 997 Type 8 Circuit Breaker/Relay Panel Custom TRD Decals Bulletproof Fabricating Raptor Grill Bulletproof Fabricating Cooling Panel Bulletproof Fabricating Tow Hook Exhaust Breather Mod eBay Special 3-Gallon Air Tank EZ Down tailgate damper Flagpole Mounts, Dual Foglight Mod Hella Supertone Horns Iggy Switch Panel Icon Dynamics Stage 3 Suspension Katskin Leather Interior LED Bed Lights LED Interior Lights OEM Audio Plus Reference 500 audio upgrade Plano Cases. 42" roof mounted, X2 Pop-N-Lock Tailgate Handle Prinsu CabRack Prinsu-like Shell Rack Redline Tuning Hood Struts Rigid Industries Ditch Lights Rigid Industries Spotlights Toyota Bed Step Treat-A-Pet Dog Hammock Vixen Air Horns, Four-Trumpet Whole bunch of decals worth about 5HP each.
    Do you have any pics of the build so we can see exactly what you did?
     
  11. Sep 9, 2018 at 7:27 AM
    #11
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have a build thread linked in my sig line but it doesn't show up when you're viewing on some devices. :notsure:

    Here's a link: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=68563
     
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  12. Sep 9, 2018 at 10:42 AM
    #12
    Salty_Dog

    Salty_Dog Tactical Panda

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    AJT Designs Shifter AJT Designs Battery Hold-Down Amazon Special 40-inch light bar ARB Awning 2500x2500 ARB Twin Compressor w/ Slee Offroad Mounting Bracket Avid Brush Bar Avid Step Bars BFGoodrich All-Terain T/A Tires Black Rock Wheels Series 997 Type 8 Circuit Breaker/Relay Panel Custom TRD Decals Bulletproof Fabricating Raptor Grill Bulletproof Fabricating Cooling Panel Bulletproof Fabricating Tow Hook Exhaust Breather Mod eBay Special 3-Gallon Air Tank EZ Down tailgate damper Flagpole Mounts, Dual Foglight Mod Hella Supertone Horns Iggy Switch Panel Icon Dynamics Stage 3 Suspension Katskin Leather Interior LED Bed Lights LED Interior Lights OEM Audio Plus Reference 500 audio upgrade Plano Cases. 42" roof mounted, X2 Pop-N-Lock Tailgate Handle Prinsu CabRack Prinsu-like Shell Rack Redline Tuning Hood Struts Rigid Industries Ditch Lights Rigid Industries Spotlights Toyota Bed Step Treat-A-Pet Dog Hammock Vixen Air Horns, Four-Trumpet Whole bunch of decals worth about 5HP each.
    My hat's off to you. :hattip: Your skills seem to be much better than mine. :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

    If you don't mind my asking, How much $$$ do you have invested in the whole project? :spending:
     
  13. Sep 9, 2018 at 12:52 PM
    #13
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My skills were pretty negligible when I started, especially with the woodworking part. I have experience with metalwork, but no sheet metal experience. I made lots of mistakes and then got to figure out how to fix or hide them, especially with the woodworking part. It's not perfect by any means but it works fine for us. I think that building was good for me because I'm not worried about using it... if I break something then I'll fix it and if I don't like something I'll change it. I did wind up buying more tools than I truly needed. Really all you need is a router, jigsaw and drill if you're buying a frame. A circular and table saw are nice-to-haves but not really a requirement. Here's a link that goes step by step on building a basic teardrop with lots of good info on how to do things: http://www.mikenchell.com/images/GenericBenroyPlans.pdf

    There are a few e-books that have either plans or construction tips for sale as well. Kuffel Creek has pretty good plans for a first time builder that are a little more in depth than the free plans: http://www.kuffelcreek.com/teardrops.htm

    The other reference I used was Steve Fredrick's ebook. It's not a set of plans, but rather a discussion of methods and recommendations. I was a little leery of buying it (it runs about $60) but it's also over 200 pages of explanations and good drawings. http://www.campingclassics.com/shopman05.html

    As for how much is into it... it's hard to say exactly. I would estimate between 4-6k including my mistakes and parts that I wound up not using. For example, I had ordered brake/turn lights and then backup lights early on to make the template for cutting out the oval holes. Then I ran across the lights that I wound up using that have everything included and only require a small hole for the wiring. I still have the original lights though. Similar story with the axle. I hadn't realized that I was going to need wheel spacers to adapt lugcentric hubs to hubcentric wheels, and the Spidertrax are wide enough that I needed to get a narrower axle to keep the track width the same. I honestly think that I've got enough parts to build a pretty decent little utility trailer, or really beef up a Harbor Freight trailer. I still have a lot of small things that I want to add such as the furnace. I didn't install it earlier because I wanted to go camping but it would have also required a different inspection from the state. There's nothing saying I can't retrofit it though, so I built the spaces for it and just didn't install it. I'm hoping to make progress on the details this winter.
     
  14. Sep 9, 2018 at 3:23 PM
    #14
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Having been up and down the coast quite a few times, I gotta ask what part of California is that? Looks like south of the border to me :) Are you planning on driving up and back to AK or ferrying one way?
     
  15. Sep 9, 2018 at 4:19 PM
    #15
    locster

    locster Well-Known Member

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    Those pics were actually taken at a couple spots near Mammoth, Eastern Sierra.. Lake Crowley and Alabama hills.

    As for AK, I'll probably ferry one way. I don't have a lot of time for the trip.
     
    Louisd75 [OP] likes this.
  16. Sep 9, 2018 at 4:23 PM
    #16
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I live at the south end of the ferry. It's probably a little far off for planning but shoot me a PM when you're passing through and looking for camping, either developed or boondocking
     
    locster likes this.
  17. Oct 3, 2018 at 11:01 AM
    #17
    Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    Here's mine, a Little Guy Silver Shadow on a Rough Rider frame.

    I had them build it very basic, and I have added quite a bit to it myself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here we are going up Last Chance Canyon

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Oct 3, 2018 at 11:08 AM
    #18
    Tocamo

    Tocamo Not to be confused with Camel Toe

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    Rick
    Ottawa, Ontario. Capital of Canada
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    C load 265/75/16 Duratracs.
    I absolutely love these. Only thing I would be concerned about is the outdoor kitchen when it rains. I suppose a tarp could take of that! :thumbsup:
     
  19. Oct 3, 2018 at 11:42 AM
    #19
    Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    We sewed a tarp about 7' x 10' to extend over the kitchen for just such occasions. We used it once - worked fine.

    But, cooking when it is not raining is so much more fun. ;)
     
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  20. Oct 3, 2018 at 11:48 AM
    #20
    Louisd75

    Louisd75 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My maiden trip with the trailer included a torrential downpour for several days. It wasn't that big of a deal since my galley still isn't finished and I don't plan on installing a permanent stove. I just moved the cooking area under my friend's awning. Now I have two awnings on the sides of the trailer and one of these for the galley:

    https://www.amazon.com/Leader-Accessories-Tailgate-Waterproof-Adjustable/dp/B072KM8P2P

    I'm still in the process of fitting things out, but my galley will be two removable chuck boxes instead of built in cabinets. I'm keeping the chuck boxes small so that they're easy to move around.

    20181003_115651.jpg

    Everything except the pots fit in these two boxes. Still need to sand, paint and make doors, handles and feet. I just found another sheet of the plywood I used to make these two, might make one more. I'm planning on a shelf and a couple of dead bolts to hold them in place.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    Tocamo and dziner like this.

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