Teardrop and Fiberglass Camper Comparison: Pros and Cons


Now that we have been camping in our 1982 Burro fiberglass camper for a few months, we can do a comparison between the teardrop trailer and our small fiberglass standy


We have been camping in Sunflower, the teardrop trailer, for more than 10 years and while it has been so great for us, we were looking for a trailer we could stand up inside and cook inside out of the weather. During some of our teardrop trailer trips, we have experienced desert wind, thunderstorms, pouring rain, and even snow. While it doesn’t stop us from camping, it has either cut some trips short or has made them more difficult than usual.


The Burro (named Wonky Donkey for its not so straight lines), is a 1,100 lb. fiberglass trailer from 1982. We spent about six months fixing it up and turning into a basic, but comfortable camper for weekend or week-long trips. 


It has a deep-cycle battery that runs our lights and a two burner stove that runs off propane. We also have a 10 gallon water tank with a pump faucet and sink, but no shower or toilet. Other than that, we have kept the trailer just as simple as the teardrop by using solar devices to charge our phones and cameras and doing most of our cooking outside on a portable Coleman stove when the weather permits.


So, with a little experience in this new trailer we feel we have a good sense of what makes up the pros and cons between the teardrop and the Burro.

Teardrop trailer pros




Better insulation

Because the teardrop is made of wood with interior insulation, it is much better than the Burro at keeping in heat or keeping out cold. In addition, because the teardrop bed area is so small, it heats up much quicker on a cold night.

A better outdoor cooking space

Because we prefer to cook outside, having the teardrop galley already set up for preparation space is useful. All we do is pull out our stove on a picnic table and use the galley for chopping vegetables or setting up the ingredients.

Lighter and easier to pack up

The teardrop is only 850 lb. and we can actually pick it up and move it around or pull it onto our hitch. Also, because it is smaller and we have been using it for so many years, it is so much quicker to pack up. We have clocked our pack up time to about 10 minutes on a good day.



Teardrop trailer cons




No escaping the wind and storms

While camping in the teardrop, there have been a few times where the weather has either driven us to shelter into the tiny bed area or has forced us to eat at a restaurant since we couldn’t cook outside. When the weather is great, the teardrop is the best camper ever. When the weather is bad, it’s a real challenge.

No or limited views

Much of the time our teardrop trailer “living room” is outside and our views are amazing. When we are inside the trailer, our views are non-existent unless we have the doors wide open. While we are inside the Burro, we can pull back the curtains and enjoy views from the bed or the dinette without having to go outside or be exposed to the elements.

No standing up or interior room

Of course, one of the main reasons to get a standy trailer is so you can stand up inside of it. It’s probably the biggest complaint that most people have about teardrop trailers. There is no headroom and no space inside to put on clothes.


Fiberglass camper pros



We can stand up and move around inside

When we first stepped inside the Burro, we were amazed at how much headroom the tiny trailer had. With its raised trolley roof, the interior has at least 6’2” of headroom in the middle of the trailer. With its less than 13-foot interior space, we can actually move around each other (within reason), change clothes, cook, eat, make the bed, and other chores that can be more challenging in the teardrop.

More storage space for clothes and gear

Along with the extra space comes additional areas for storing gear and clothing. In the teardrop we have been extremely minimal for many years. It works great at keeping camping simple, but we do have to store more stuff such as camera gear inside the car. We now have a hanging closet and easier storage under the bed.

We can cook inside or outside

With just a few Burro trips under our belts, we have cooked both inside and outside the camper. Having that choice is so nice when the temperature drops, the wind picks up, or we just don’t feel like going outside in our pajamas to make coffee. The interior stove is not as powerful as our Coleman, but it does heat up the Burro quickly on a cold morning.



Fiberglass camper cons




No insulation

Because the lightweight Burro is made of two thin pieces of fiberglass, it has no insulation, so it gets darn cold inside in the early morning. We have been experimenting with various blankets and some heaters so this is still a work in progress. However, this can also be a pro since as soon as the sun hits the Burro, it warms up very quickly on a cold morning.

Takes a little longer to set up and take down camp

We are teardrop trailer professionals and can pack up for a trip or pack up camp very quickly. There is a bit of a learning curve with a larger trailer and it takes us a little longer with the Burro. For example, we need to fill up the water tank before taking off, and pack outdoor items away inside the under seat storage area in the correct order.

We are not used to an actual door

With the teardrop we have gotten used to ducking our heads while getting in and out of the doorways. Now we have to get used to stepping up and down out of the Burro. I think the Wonky Donkey has a bit of a lift on the axle, so the step down is taller than most fiberglass campers. While carrying out pots, pans, and ingredients for outdoor cooking, we have to be sure to watch our step and not get frustrated with the constant in and out, in and out.

If you are not sure of what type of tiny trailer to get, check out this video by YouTuber Playing With Sticks to see another teardrop trailer and fiberglass trailer comparison.

The Sunflower's New Big Brother

With multiple snowstorms this winter has not been conducive to teardrop trailer camping. However, we have also been spending our time fixing up our latest project. Late last summer we snagged a 13-foot Burro fiberglass trailer on Craigslist. While we love teardrop camping, for several years now we have been looking for a camper where we can cook and sit inside when the weather turns foul.


We looked at everything from the original Dutchman T@B to the inTech Luna, but nothing really spoke to us. We didn't want a bathroom or shower and we didn't need all the amenities, such as a microwave, offered in some newer small campers. I'd been keeping my eye on small fiberglass campers such as the Casita and Scamp for years, but as most of you know, these get snapped up very quickly.


I happened upon the Burro the day it was posted on Craigslist and we took it home that evening. It was built in 1982 and nothing had really been done with it since that year. It was actually in really good shape, but needed some TLC. We appreciate the over 6-feet headroom and the tiny kitchen. We named him el Burrito Wonky Donkey and he has his own Instagram page.

Stay tuned for an upcoming full tour of Wonky Donkey soon.


Teardrop Trailer Trip to Benton Hot Springs and Boundary Peak

For the Labor Day Weekend, we took off for the very edge of the California/Nevada border and had a semi-relaxing few days at Benton Hot Springs. Highway 120 on the way to Benton (from beautiful Mono Lake) is an excellent highway for towing. It's free of any traffic, has some great boondocking spots, and a few roller coaster ride hills.


One day was spent attempting to hike to the top of the tallest mountain in Nevada—Boundary Peak. At 13,147 feet, it is actually more difficult to get to than many tall peaks in the area. You first have to drive an old dirt mining road up several thousand feet just to reach the trailhead. The steep trail then goes up to about 10,500 feet before it reaches a tallus field. This tallus field is where I had to bail out. With one step forward, I would slip about three feet back. My friends continued on, but also had to quit the hike when the trail got too sketchy and dangerous. Maybe that's why the mountain only has a few hundred visitors a year, and a small fraction of them ever reach the top.






The rest of our time was spent relaxing in the private hot pool of our Benton campsite. Benton Hot Springs sites each have their own pool constantly filled with natural, hot water.




His and Hers Minimalist Teardrop Trailer Dopp Kits

Our teardrop trailer dopp kit used to be a single box where we kept shared toiletry items. My husband and I finally realized that we would always be yelling back and forth between campground showers as to who had the soap, toothpaste, bath scrubby, etc. So, I decided to get us each our own his and hers dopp kits.


The blue and pink color coding has nothing to with our gender, but I just happen to like hot pink (matches my camping jacket) and he likes blue. I picked up two soft-sided toiletry bags from Amazon that fit perfectly on top of each other inside our clothes cabinet. The brand is Yeiotsy, but I don't think this particular type is available anymore. You can pick up something similar.


In addition to getting new kits, we got rid of our traditional towels and went with lightweight sports towels which dry a lot quicker. They are also color coded to match the kits...of course. :-) The kits fit a variety of toiletries, a bath scrubby, and first aid supplies. The towels are so small that they also fit inside each kit.



Escaping the Heat: Teardrop Trip to the Mountains

With the soaring summer heat, we decided to take off for the weekend to one of our favorite places in the Sierra Nevada. Forest camping, kayaking, swimming, and sitting around the campfire were the only plans—until the smoke from the northern California fires started to encroach the area. Strength and blessings to the firefighters and residents affected by the fires.















Grand Canyon and Desert Southwest Teardrop Trip

A few weeks ago we were finally able to shake the snow off the Sunflower and head into the Southwest for some desert camping, whitewater rafting, and a stunning hike out of the Grand Canyon.



Our primary goal on this particular trip was a motorized river rafting trip down the Colorado River through the upper portion of the Grand Canyon. For certain this is an item on many bucket lists, so were were so excited to finally do it. We booked a four-day trip with Hatch River Expeditions out of Marble Canyon, Arizona with a hike out of the canyon on the infamous Bright Angel trail up to the South Rim of the canyon.





Our trip began with a drive down the Extraterrestrial Highway and a few nights in Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas. The oldest and largest state park in Nevada is a gem. Full of red sandstone, petroglyphs, great hiking and storm skies, this place is now one of my favorite places to camp. The teardrop attracted a lot of attention from the primarily European RVers traveling through the American Southwest.





When we arrived in northern Arizona (through a snowstorm near the North Rim), we were able to park the teardrop and our vehicle near the river raft headquarters and then we started on our adventure. The trip consisted of two large rafts, three guides, about 20 passengers, camping on riverside beaches, delicious food, and freezing cold rapids. It was a blast and recommended for anyone who loves the the outdoors and doesn't mind roughing it a bit.







The hike out of the Grand Canyon is not for beginners. We were happy we had already backpacked Mount Whitney because the Bright Angel Trail is hot and a lot tougher than we thought it would be. While the hike was just over eight miles and very beautiful, the steep terrain and log steps made the relatively short hike take a long time. We started at 5:30 in the morning and got to the top at around 1:00 pm. I drank over six liters of water—incredible since the temperature never got over 70 degrees.





On our trip back home we stopped at another bucket list location: Cathedral Gorge State Park. This odd and haunting place in Nevada near the Utah border has eerie formations created from erosion eating away at bentonite clay pillars. Several of these formations create narrow caves that you can explore. The farther you go in, the cooler it gets since the desert sun can't penetrate the interior.