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 professora
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 1
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Tear drop camperPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Who has knowledge about tear drop campers?

They are not yet built by a company (as I have looked) but individuals who then turn around and sell for $3, 5oo used.
My handyman/carpenter want to give it a try.

Has anyone built one? how much was the cost? Any advice?


PS- I was blocked from Tent camping at one site in Tennessee. Does anyone know if this was because of the cold? or are there camp grounds that are strictly for RV's?
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 2
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/9/2016 11:15:16 PM
OP ... just google it.

I got "about 384,000 results (0.46 seconds)" when I goggled it.
 crook_catcher
Joined: 1/27/2016
Msg: 3
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/10/2016 4:06:10 AM
This retailer sells them.

http://www.golittleguy.com/

As far as the campground they may of had only rv sites left available.
 Double Cabin
Joined: 11/29/2004
Msg: 4
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/10/2016 7:27:40 AM
Crook catcher is probably right but if you were in bear country and there was a problem bear in the area it's possible they could have enacted a hard-sided vehicle/camper order.
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 5
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/11/2016 12:19:39 AM
they are pretty small and rather cramped.............ok for 1 person....maybe 2..............but honestly.......if its just for you....i'd look into a conversion van........or buy a van and fix it up to suit you........a bed [with storage underneth] is a fairly simple build...and as far as cooking......a counter top and a propane camp stove works great........yes.there is no sink..........but teardrop campers have tiny fresh water tanks and waste storage tanks................i've camped in both and vastly prefer the van...plus.driving and parking is a lot easier
 LGL1975
Joined: 6/7/2015
Msg: 6
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/11/2016 9:23:37 PM
Tiny campers suck. What kind of tow vehicle do you have?
 yougotmeakitten
Joined: 8/30/2014
Msg: 7
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/11/2016 9:44:31 PM
Hi Professora, try a site called camperfinds.c--
Lots of sizes and prices and lots of locations in most states. Some new, some not.

I have always had a fascination with the tear drops and would love to have one with the kitchen (including the kitchen sink) built into the back so it opens like a hatch back with the trailer opening up to act as a roof when you cook.

I look at a lot of sites for "tiny houses" and find a number of links. I know there is a pictorial of one on the "shareibly" (sp) site. I used to do a lot of back packing and think sleeping under the open sky is fun... until it rains or a spider bites your upper lip, which was major trauma to a 14 yr old girl. lol It swelled up so bad it touched my nose!

You could also search for "my pod" which is small enough to pull behind a motor cycle.

Let us know what you find!

Le Pew
 professora
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 8
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/14/2016 8:03:27 AM
my 96 Toyota Tacoma gets only $25 to a gallon so I use the Prius more. It should tow a light camper--if I have the right info.

A van means more insurance, more car maintenance etc.

appreciate the info on the sites. I will look harder.

My budget is $1000.00 with no frills. I found a site where a man said he put his no frills together for $500.00-- so it seems possible for$1000.00

I camp next to the jons, the electric, the showers. NO wilderness camping for me. An electric outlet works for my hotplate.

I like waking up (in A/C or heat) and hearing the birds chirp etc.
 Hair2day_gone2morrow
Joined: 4/7/2016
Msg: 9
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/14/2016 8:07:33 AM
I'd look them up on youtube where you get great visual input!
 yougotmeakitten
Joined: 8/30/2014
Msg: 10
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/14/2016 9:02:10 PM
Professora, I found this link today and thought of you! Not exactly what you can pull behind a car (or could you?) However, this man pulls it behind his bike. The bare basic interior is what made me think of you.

http://shareably.net/diy-micro-bike-camper/?utm_source=page&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=home

Hope the link works.

Le Pew
 professora
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 11
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/17/2016 12:35:37 PM
yougotmeakitten-- THANKS Wow--this looks great.

definitely me. I have a 2007 Prius and the manual info says No towing but this should be be light enough.

I am perfectly happy with a tent for my short trips but several camp grounds say NO tents-- though a small tear drop RV is ok. They are pricey unless self built but too heavy for my Prius.

THIS is just a project for my handyman who is basically retired and gives me fair prices. Uhmm--maybe this will go to Tennessee with me next time.
 yougotmeakitten
Joined: 8/30/2014
Msg: 12
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/17/2016 7:21:36 PM
Hey, glad it helped! If your handyman builds it I want to see pictures. I think it would be a great adventure to travel lite in this manner. Several years ago I went to see my son in N.Carolina and to go hiking with an online friend. I planned to stay in the State Park by myself in a tent and my online friend said no way. I insisted. Just around 11 pm I hear this motor running outside my tent and I look out and it was my friend who said "Carry on, I am just here sipping my coffee. " He sat outside my tent in his warm truck (I froze and woke up to snow on the tent in May). When I got up in the morning both him and his wife took me out to breakfast. They did that the next 2 days er nights I was there. Talk about great people!

LePew
 purplerider1200
Joined: 9/10/2011
Msg: 13
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/17/2016 7:40:51 PM
There's a pop-up camper made to be towed with any big touring bike called a Mini-mate. Look for one of those.
 cassie2425
Joined: 3/4/2016
Msg: 14
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/17/2016 8:03:19 PM
^^^ Thought of buying one of those to tow behind the bike, queen sized bed, could attach a cooler and cook stove and it had storage.

Why would you not find a tent trailer to tow instead of a tear drop camper thingie?
 Hozo
Joined: 8/1/2006
Msg: 15
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/18/2016 4:36:22 AM
Hi

Yes, you may want to look into motorcycle campers/trailers as an alternative. There are many varieties....pop-up, hard side, even tiny teardrop models.

This is probably similar to what you want, & it is for sale here locally. I have been looking at it, but I really have nowhere to store the thing. It's probably a couple-hundred mile drive for you, though.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/481924368636152/permalink/543314169163838/

The owner stated that it is light enough to pull behind a motorcycle.

I have a tiny import hatchback & this will work. My owners manual also states no towing, as it will void the warranty. But companies make tow bars for these cars anyway, and people tow with them, as these cars are capable of towing at least 500-600 lbs. If your car is out of warranty, then no worry.
 Forereels
Joined: 5/22/2011
Msg: 16
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/18/2016 10:46:00 AM


I have a tiny import hatchback & this will work. My owners manual also states no towing, as it will void the warranty. But companies make tow bars for these cars anyway, and people tow with them, as these cars are capable of towing at least 500-600 lbs. If your car is out of warranty, then no worry.



Lol, no worries, except for the extra wear and tear on the transmission, motor, and brakes because of the weight… 500 pounds of rolling mass is a lot of pushing on that tiny hatchback with tiny brakes, especially when going downhill…

The owner’s manual states no towing because the car is not SAFE for towing…
 Hozo
Joined: 8/1/2006
Msg: 17
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/18/2016 7:51:30 PM
But these tiny cars are built to haul a driver & 3 passengers, plus weight of personal gear in the storage hatch, which these combined weights far exceeds 600 lbs. If you pull a 500 lb trailer with no passengers, you carry the same, or less rolling mass.
 Forereels
Joined: 5/22/2011
Msg: 18
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/19/2016 12:05:46 PM
The weight of people in the car is centered and stationary, they slow down with the car… Trailer weight is different, as soon as you let off the gas it is pushing on the car… My double axle car trailer has electric brakes, but most of those little trailers don’t… I am not saying it can’t be done; just that it isn’t a good idea… Best to use a proper tow vehicle…
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 19
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/19/2016 2:59:45 PM
If I'm going out of town, where I'm staying over night, my camper is a key to a motel room. My camping gear is a suitcase with clothes and toiletries. I use to do tent camping all of the time, but now I'm appreciating the luxuries of life in the 21st century.
 professora
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 20
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/19/2016 7:43:33 PM
purplerider1200 & others: the price of the mini mate is way to high!

Also interesting about pulling with my Prius. will keep this in mind.

I have a wonderful 1996 Red Toyota Tacoma--one owner. Many miles. is like a tank. #4 motor. Is not smooth like my 07 Prius nor as good as 45 miles a gallon (Prius) but it might work better for camping with a tear drop.

Am considering all that I am learning here

THE BIKE tear drop which is VERY light is the one I am most considering. My handy man is also interested.

SINCE I am so slow with all that I have taken on, it will be a future type of thing.
 427cammer
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 21
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/20/2016 12:19:20 AM
Hi Professora.

One thing to check into would be your state laws... at one time homebuilt trailers were not uncommon in my area but the government has made it a lot harder to get a license plate for a homebuilt now.

I watched the video of the trailer you're interested in and it's pretty nifty, but I'm not sure I'd trust bicycle wheels to travel long distances at highway speeds... it would be a contest as to whether the tires or bearings failed first.

Also, (and sorry for being such a killjoy), an extremely light trailer like the one in the video could very easily fly along like a kite behind your car at highway speeds... I'd want something 150-200 lbs minimum.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 22
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/20/2016 8:46:12 AM
^^^I'll never forget a time when I was driving on a major highway, where everybody is going 70-80 mph, and being behind a car pulling a trailer. Suddenly, the trailer became unhitched and was free-traveling from lane to lane. I was swerving from lane to lane, trying to avoid a collision with it. I did not have time to look and see if there any cars in the lanes beside me, since my first instinct was to avoid a collision with the trailer ahead of me. But luckily for me, there were no cars beside me, which is unusual, since it's such a busy stretch of highway. The trailer ended up in the median dividing the highway. From that time on, whenever I get behind a vehicle that's pulling a trailer, I either speed up to get ahead of it, or stay well behind.
 professora
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 23
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Posted: 4/29/2016 7:10:29 PM
427cammer & maleman:

lots of good pointers. The bike wheels are out. I have been researching this. NOT good. dangerous and wont work with a car. Pulled by a bike is different.

Thanks for info about state laws. I am talking with a man who builds tear drop campers for a living. I will also call the DOT.

This campers are expensive and can be tricky to make if the builder is not skilled.

I have been checking and looking into it. Not as simple as I had thought----but I am leaning toward a skilled builder with a lot of history. AND I WANT to be SURE it will be allowed on the road.

great ideas to ponder.
 2ufo
Joined: 2/28/2015
Msg: 24
Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/29/2016 9:10:29 PM
Have you considered a camper top for your Tacoma?
I had one years ago; threw in a futon mattress, containers on the sides of the wheel-wells and had a wonderful time camping everywhere with it.

EDIT: Though I don't know if it would be acceptable at RV parks. I doubt it.
 LGL1975
Joined: 6/7/2015
Msg: 25
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Tear drop camper
Posted: 4/30/2016 4:31:15 AM
The fuel economy of your Prius will decline considerably if you put a heavy load on the engine. Trucks are geared for towing heavy loads and can do the job much more efficiently.

If you insist on using the Prius you will have to install a transmission cooler to keep it from overheating and this will eat into your budget. Most pickups are already optioned for towing and come with a hitch and a wiring harness for hooking up your trailer.

Driving down the interstate with a homemade trailer and a vehicle not built for towing could get you pulled over. Or cause a serious accident. Don't do it.

Start by checking what engine and running gear you have in the pickup. Trucks are optioned differently depending on what the owners intend to use them for. How much you can pull with it depends entirely on the engine, the transmission and the gearing. Next you need the GVWR which will tell you how much weight the rear axle can support. Most bumper pull trailers the pin weight is about 15% of the trailer. A 4000 pound trailer will have a pin weight of about 600 pounds. So you need to subtract the weight of your truck from the GVWR to ensure the rear axle can support that extra weight.

Since you want a really small trailer none of this matters. But for safety reasons I prefer not to tow anything but a dual axle. I've seen single axle trailers blow out a tire on a hot interstate and it is pretty scary. Dual axle is much safer because you still have 3/4 tires.

My best advice for frugal is get yourself a nice cargo trailer throw a mattress and some camping gear in there and off you go.
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