Monday, December 29, 2014

How do you convince your "better half"?

I'll admit that my husband was not fully on board when I got my first teardrop trailer. I wanted one, and I bought it with my own money and without his input...so there! Just kidding. I really wanted him to like it and actually bought the Sunflower to accommodate both of our needs, wants and size. Now he enjoys our camping trips with the comfortable bed.


So, what do you do when you love teardrop trailers, but your partner is not so hot on the idea? I asked some fellow teardroppers on the Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers forum how they were able to, or how they plan on enticing their partner over to the tear side.

Idea #1: Compare the costs

"We were temporarily on the east coast, and planning our move west. The estimated cost to build the teardrop and the gas for the trip was less than the cost to ship me, the car, and the dogs back to CA. On top of that, traveling with dogs could have been tricky trying to find someplace to stay if I didn't have a teardrop to sleep in. Now that we have it, she still wants nothing to do with it. She doesn't like to camp, and she is mildly claustrophobic, so I can't even get her inside. But it works great for my son and I to go camping. If the "other half" isn't a camper, then she won't become one. If she is a camper, then look at how much better the teardrop is versus a tent."

—SoCal Tom

"I explained that I could build one for a fraction of what it would cost to buy."

 —jss06

"If it's a money argument, pick some places to go and figure out how much it would cost to fly and stay in a hotel versus camping. List the places you can visit and friends you could see while showing how many vacations you could take in a year just based on cost."

 —Mary C


Idea #2: Expose them to teardrop life 

"I took her to the Dam Gathering. Upon meeting all the nice people, seeing how much fun they were having, and seeing all the decorating ideas, she was on board."

—robfisher

"Fourteen years ago, my sweet wife said, 'You don't expect me to sleep in that thing, do you?' She had trepidations about what "those trailer people" were like. I said they were having a gathering in a nearby campground, and suggested we go over and check them out. There were a bunch of tears, all parked side by side. We were offered coffee at the second trailer and when we got to the end of the line, my wife asked if there was really room enough in there to sleep. She was told to take off her shoes and climb in. 'Wow, this is really roomy and comfortable' she said. The teardrop owner asked what we were going to do for dinner, and we said we were fairly close to home, so would go home and eat. 'We've got four steaks all cooked up with all of the fixins, so why don't you join us for supper right here?' they said.

—Roly Nelson


Idea #3: Give them some visualization

"I built a full size cardboard mock-up of the cabin (with a few wood spars/slats to hold it together) including a full size side profile with door opening and walked through my plans with my wife. We sat in through the door, laid down inside, and she helped decide on a few things like headboard height, shelve height, light switch locations, etc."

—kayakdlk

"Like you, I was the one who wanted the tear. What convinced Randy was buying him Steve's Fredrick's manual to help him visualize how to build it."

—nevadatear


Idea #4: Do all the work

"Tell your other half that you will do all the cooking and all the cleanup. Then they can relax without a care"

—KennethW

"I bring easy to prepare food, do the cleanup, bring electric blankets, nice camp chairs, coffee...anything to keep it fun and simple. We had fun, then we went to a gathering and met some wonderful people."

—coyote


Idea #5: Go without them

"I always say, 'you can't teach someone to have fun'. I built a very nice teardrop, with the hopes that my wife would start to camp again. She said that is a very nice trailer but she was not camping any more. So now we are both happy. I go camping with friends and the dog and she stays home......win-win!"

—Woodbutcher

"My other half does not enjoy camping and has no interest. I love it. I showed him a picture of the one I wanted and went and looked at it. He said I was crazy but I should go ahead and get it"

—PKCSPT




Photo courtesy of ArtbyChrysti

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo



This photo is actually of me in my first teardrop trailer, a Little Guy Rascal I purchased on craigslist in 2006. Our first trip was a December journey into Death Valley. Even when the daytime temperatures got into the 70s, at night it hovered around 30 degrees...hence the hat and the double feather comforters. The orange giraffe lived in the Rascal for a while and loves national parks.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Teardrop Holiday Giveway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my post for the chance to receive the Teardrops & Tiny Trailers book and Historic Camping & Teardrop Trailers DVD. The winner of the random drawing was Greg Vinci. Congratulations!


Many readers mentioned wanting to see more posts on teardrop storage ideas and options. Also, some people commented on wanting to see where or how to store more food for longer trips. I plan on having a post and a video covering these soon.

Other people commented on how they like to see other teardrop owners and builders and many more of those are in the works. I also love to see what other teardroppers do with  their small space, and I bow down to builders and their multiple talents. Bravo!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


While this is not a teardrop trailer, I really love this photo by my friend Bruce. He lives part time out of his Airstream Overlander (a teardrop's big brother) and decorated his trailer one year for Christmas.

Bruce was recently diagnosed with an illness that is affecting his ability to walk, and is crowdfunding to raise money for surgery. You can see more of Bruce's Airstream on his website or on this video made by Kirsten Dirksen of faircompanies.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Featured Teardrop: Casual Turtle Hatchling & Terrapin

Peter Pavlowich's small trailer designs are spreading through the Web like wildfire—for good reason. His beautiful wooden designs (and cute names) are a symbol of what you can do when you know how to work with wood. Peter received his degree in Wood Construction and Design from the University of Idaho and has since created a small business named Casual Turtle Campers. One of his designs is a teardrop-like trailer called the Hatchling. A larger design (complete with dining/sleeping area) is called the Terrapin. Both are currently available for sale. Peter is happy to hear from anyone who is interested in the current designs or any similar designs. You an contact him on his website or by email at casualturtlecampers@gmail.com.


Why did you decided to build wooden campers and trailers? How did you become interested in them in particular?

I grew up camping with my family in a pop-up tent camper—and I always enjoyed the small, cozy atmosphere it created.  I never owned a truck camper before starting this venture, but I always loved the idea of having a little cabin on the back of the truck. Once I learned how to build and engineer with wood, I figured it was time to try building my own. The prototype came together well, and once it gained enough interest, I though it'd make nice little business.

Designing and building small trailers was really a reaction to the amount of interest I received from folks around the country.  I've really been enjoying the trailers though, as its a little more flexible when you're not dealing with the bed of a truck. 


Can you tell me a little about the building process of the Hatchling and the Terrapin? What do you think is important to include?

I start by designing a trailer frame that's appropriate to the cabin I'll be building for it—crossmember spacing, axle, suspension, etc. I tend to err on the side of overbuilding, while always keeping overall weight in mind. I typically build the cabin to about 80% completion before mounting it to the trailer frame. The framing and cedar siding goes up pretty quickly, then comes the roof deck...

Without a doubt, the domed roof is the most difficult element of my designs.  The two-way arch makes building the roof deck tricky and time consuming, but it makes for a very strong, unique roof.  I adhere a single-ply TPO roofing membrane to the deck, thermally weld the seams, and trim it about the edge with a custom aluminum termination bar.

When designing my campers, I like to include as many windows as is practical.  Not only does it help keep fresh air moving around the cabin, but it goes a very long way to making such a small space seem more open and comfortable.  I also like to leave enough roof overhang to send dripping rain past open windows.

In some ways, I think what you leave out of a camper is as important as what you include. I've had a lot of people who've owned small camper for years tell me that they never use their sink, stove, furnace. Obviously, there are plenty of folks who do, but if its not something you're going to use, I think it makes a lot of sense to leave it out in the first place.

  
What do you think is the appeal of smaller trailers?

I think there are a lot of folks out there to whom being in their camper isn't necessarily the most important part of their trips. Having a comfortable bed to sleep on is huge—but having a full kitchen, living room, closets, etc., we're all not interested in hauling that around. It's nice having such a nimble little trailer that is easy to hook up, pull around town, navigate campgrounds and backroads. Not needing to have a Ford F350 is nice too!

  
Do you have experience camping in a teardrop trailer? If so, what do you think are the pros and cons of them?

I never have spent any real time in a teardrop, but I definitely like them. As you can tell from my designs, I'm a big fan of simplicity and I think teardrops are great examples of how smallness, simplicity, and comfort can very easily go hand-in-hand. Plus, they're so damn cute, you can't help but smile when you see one rolling down the road.

I know there are some great manufacturers out there, but it seems like there are some awfully under-built models, too. Especially when it comes to the actual trailer, axle, and wheels. I just don't think it pays to skimp on these. The only other issue I have with most teardrops, is they often seem to be lacking in windows. With such a tiny space, I think windows are crucial to making a comfortable, little cabin.


  
Where do you like to go camping?

The vast majority of my camping has taken place in northern Minnesota. Obviously, here in Colorado the camping opportunities are endless. One place my wife and I have had some good trips is in North Park, Colorado. It's not a super well-known area for recreation, but there are miles of lonely Forest Service roads, lots of backcountry campsites, and more moose than anywhere I've ever been. The little area around Gould, CO holds some special memories for me.


 What are some of your favorite camping items?

There's nothing better than a seriously comfortable camp chair, if you ask me. It makes everything better, from sitting around a fire, eating a good meal, drinking good beer(s). We also like to bring some prepared foods when we go. Grabbing something we can eat around the fire on our way out of town makes that first dinner real easy. We're also not opposed to having a DVD queued up on the laptop in cases of bad weather.


Photos by Casual Turtle Campers

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


Oh...the stories it could tell.

I shot this photo of a teardrop trailer, who has seen better days, near my home in Northern Nevada. It is no longer for sale, but I would be curious to see what could be done with this rusted frame.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Giveaway: Teardrop Holiday Cleanup [CLOSED]

I've been cleaning up my office and I have a copy of the book Teardrops & Tiny Trailers by Douglas Keister and a DVD from Mark Janke named Historic Camping & Teardrop Trailers. I reviewed the DVD earlier this year and would like to pass the information on to one lucky reader.
 

To win this set of teardrop trailer goodies, please leave a comment below on what information or posts you would like to see on this blog. The giveaway is open until December 19 at 9:00 a.m. PST. I'll randomly pick a winner from the list of comments using Random Result and will send the package out (hopefully) in time for the holiday.

Thank you for all your comments and ideas this year and have a great holiday (and camping) season!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


The Sunflower in front of Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra of California. This ancient lake was nearly drained by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who used the lake's water for southern California agriculture and homes. The lake is now back to its 1919 level thanks to the Mono Lake Committee, and is home to a great visitor center, flocks of water birds and ghostly towers of tufa rock.

It's one of our favorite places to stop with the teardrop trailer.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Featured Teardrop: Viper Caravans

Being able to go off-roading seems to be getting more and more popular with teardrop trailer owners. Face it...campgrounds are getting more popular and getting off-road is very appealing for those interested in peace and quiet.


I recently found the Viper Teardrop camper from a builder in Jacksonville, Florida. The brightly colored designs won't be very stealthy in the forest and desert, but the high clearance, storage options and organized galley will make living off-road a little more comfortable.


The 8x4 Viper off-road model has Landcruiser wheels and tires, LED lights, a one piece fiberglass body, and a sleeping compartment with vented windows and two doors. Extras include a 15 gallon water tank, interior personal reading lights, a slide out stainless steel three burner stove and sink combo, a storage toolbox, electric or hydraulic brakes, alloy wheels, a TV/DVD/CD combo or an outdoor tented room.



The basic model weighs less than 500 lbs. and because of those Landcruiser wheels, costs around $13,500 brand new. The loaded version is $16,500. However, if you don't want to go off-road, you can still have the same design for a base price of $9,500.





Photos courtesy of Viper Teardrop




Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo



The "Barndrop" is a fun, barn shaped teardrop built by andreuther of the TNTTT forum. As an owner of my own red barn (non-teardrop shaped), I appreciate the beauty and humor of this unique trailer.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rent a Teardrop Trailer on Airbnb

I just got back from the inaugural Airbnb Open in San Francisco and had an amazing time visiting with hosts from all over the world. However, I seemed to be the only host who knew about teardrop trailers and the potential for them to be used as tiny, little guesthouses.


 I'm an avid traveler and have loved every Airbnb place I've stayed in in various locations around the world including Spain, Morocco, Chile, New Orleans, Asheville, San Francisco, Portland and Paris. You get a very unique view of a location when you stay in someone's house, apartment, Airstream or treehouse.


I was curious if any Airbnb hosts had put their teardrop trailers on the home sharing website and there are a few including John and Kellia in North Carolina who tow their 4x8 teardrop to your chosen location or their favorite campsite, Paul in Portland who rents out his rare teardrop with boat, and Romaine who rents out a charming wooden teardrop at his home in Anglet, France.


If you are thinking of building or purchasing a teardrop trailer, take a look at Airbnb to see if there are rentals in your area where you can get a feel for the tiny trailers.

Photos courtesy of Airbnb

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


 For some reason, the photos of us stopped for a teardrop trailer lunch on the road are very popular. Personally, I do love stopping in a parking lot or a public rest stop for lunch out of the teardrop. The looks we get are priceless.

At this stop we are having turkey and cheese spread sandwiches on pita bread with grapes and water. Ahhh...the luxurious life of a teardropper.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Woodcraft Camp Kitchen

Various teardrop trailers have a very basic galley. Some of the Little Guy trailers, including the Platforms and Sports, have a simple flat galley with no kitchen storage or cooking implements. This can be remedied by building your own camp kitchen.


Woodcraft Supply has a set of plans for a wooden camp kitchen that is only 30 inches long by 19 inches deep by 17 inches tall. This kitchen is also mobile and can be moved from the galley to a picnic table. It can hold a stove, pots and pans, cups and plates, and it even has a dowel rod for a dish towel. The kitchen can be build with basic stock wood and plywood and painted or stained.

Woodcraft Supply, LLC is one of the nation's oldest and largest suppliers of quality woodworking tools and supplies. You'll find Woodcraft stores in more than 70 major metropolitan areas across the U.S.; and Woodcraft annually distributes 1.5 million catalogs featuring more than 8,000 items to all 50 states and 117 foreign countries. The Woodcraft catalog is a standard among woodworkers as the most complete offering of first rate products for woodworking available anywhere. Woodcraft also publishes six issues of Woodcraft Magazine annually.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


My husband taking a little nap in the Sunflower.
After all the work I've been doing, I'm dying to take a nap with him.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Little Guy T@B Goes Off Road

Starting in 2015, the popular T@B trailer by Little Guy Worldwide will be going off-road. The new concept trailer is not available yet, but the upgrade package will be available if you order and purchase a new T@B from Little Guy.


The new T@B Outback will have a five piece ABS off-road assembly package as well as a pitched axle, off-road tires and rims. Other features will include:
  • Roof rack with cargo basket and off-road spare tire
  • Custom diamond plate tongue storage box
  • Aluminum front utility platform
  • Cargo netting above windows
  • Tough Marmoleum flooring
  • Radiused diamond plate LP/battery box
  • Solid gray couch/bed cushions
The Outback will be available in any of the T@B floorplans except the Clamshell rear kitchen design. Production of the trailer will start over the next couple of months and units should be available come the start of the 2015 camping season.

Photo and information by The Small Trailer Enthusiast

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


 The Sunflower in the parking lot of the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine, CA. You can see Mount Whitney in the distance.

What's interesting about this location is that the visitor center and ranger station is on the corner of U.S. 395 and State Route 136. Highway 395 leads to Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous U.S., and you can take 136 (then 190) into Death Valley—the lowest point in the U.S.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cool Tears Magazine: September/October


 The September/October issue of the Cool Tears and Tiny Campers magazine is available for viewing online. This issue features an interview with the owner of Big Woody Campers, a teardrop trailer holiday gift guide and exactly how many trailers does it take to make a gathering.

If you are interested in the print version (and back issues) of the magazine, you can purchase it here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


 Gary Hardy, from Australia, sent in another photo of his teardrop parked in an interesting evolution of camping trailers. Gary was traveling on the Calder highway near Bendigo in Victoria.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Little Sun Light

I don't normally tout the benefits of certain products on the Tiny Yellow Teardrop, but we just purchased the Little Sun light for the Sunflower and I'm really impressed how it works—and what it does for others.


If you camp, you know how dark it can get at night. I can't count how many times I've banged my shins on picnic tables or tumbled over camp chairs while walking around in the pitch black. We have lights in the teardrop, but wanted a really good light for the picnic table, for emergencies and for taking to the pit toilets. I saw this little lamp shaped like a sun and thought it would be perfect for the my sunflower themed teardrop trailer.


It turns out that Little Sun is not only solar powered and super bright, but proceeds of the sales of the lights go to countries that are primarily "off grid". Nearly 1.2 billion people live in areas of the world without electricity, and Little Sun lights are being distributed to families in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Access to renewable light allows children to study, people to start business and families to eat around their tables—after the sun goes down.


We actually just used the Little Sun as a great flashlight while attempting to fix our broken washing machine. Even after just an hour in the sun, the light was so bright. Little Sun features two light levels, and five hours of charging in the sun produces 10 hours of soft light or four hours of bright light. It also has a little strap on the back so you can hang it from a camp shelter or the roof of your trailer.

Photos courtesy of Little Sun

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Teardop Photo


 Look what came in the mail the other day. A service reminder from Toyota featured not a Toyota vehicle, but a bright red teardrop trailer at a campground. The teardrop tentacles run deep.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Towing a Teardrop Trailer with a Prius

The appeal of the Prius is irrefutable. The hybrid car from Toyota can get over 50 miles to the gallon and does it with style and roominess. However, Toyota does not rate any of its Prius vehicles capable of towing any weight. That doesn't stop some intrepid Prius owners from giving it a shot.


Pat and his wife Judy tow their 500 lb. homemade wood teardrop trailer with their Prius.

"I think it is workable so long as the trailer is small (4x8) and light (400 to 600 lbs.)," Pat said. "You can't drive very fast—60 to 65 mph on the freeways, but we got 36 mpg on a 2,700 mile trip from Redding, CA to Tucson, AZ, and 38 mpg on a trip to the coast over hilly Highway 36. This is down from 47 mpg without the teardrop."


 Pat and Judy's teardrop was built to go with the Prius and Pat used a technique called "stitch and glue" which is used to build strong, but lightweight, plywood boats.

"It is 48" x 96" x 42" high above the Harbor Freight trailer," Pat said. "The amenities are basic—just storage for all the stuff we used to take car camping. I added roll-out shelves for the ice chest and pantry box under the kitchen counter."

The couple do have to care a little more for their tow vehicle when using it for camping.

"Our Prius has 100,000 miles on it," Pat said. "I changed the transmission fluid, and will do so again in a couple years if I continue to pull a trailer on long trips now and then. The manual recommends against towing anything with the Prius, but there are pre-drilled and threaded holes in the frame to attach an aftermarket hitch to. You have to add trailer wiring off of a tail light in the trunk."

Pat warned that there could be warranty issues if a Prius owner has transmission problems after towing anything with their vehicle since the manual recommends against towing.

"Our Prius has over 100,000 miles on it and is no longer under warranty as far as I know," Pat said. "We haven't had any problems."


The couple save a lot of money on gas, lodging and food while traveling in their Prius/teardrop combo and Pat now has the itch to build another trailer.

"This one will be for solo travel—smaller, lighter, and simpler," he said. "I hope it comes in around 350 lbs."


A thread on the PriusChat forum discusses the options for towing a teardrop trailer with the fuel saving vehicle. One argument is that if a larger motorcycle can tow a teardrop—so can a Prius.


Photos by PriusChat, Outdoor Adventure USA and Christina Nellemann

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


I received this photo from Gary Hardy, a teardrop trailer owner in Australia. During an outing to the Little Desert National Park in Victoria, Gary's wife nearly had to share the camp shower with a local emu. Gary was inspired by my teardrop trailer shower post and the couple now have their own nifty shower setup—complete with a prep table.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Featured Teardrop: O-rama! Teardrop Trailers

While I was at the International Redwood Gathering in northern California, I noticed a custom made teardrop owned by a woman named Tracy. She was a tall person and I noticed that her trailer fit her height perfectly—especially the beautiful galley and hatch. The name of the custom trailer also caught my eye—O-rama! What the heck?


It turns out that the O-rama! Teardrop Trailer company is owned by Mike LaCroix of Washington, who has worked in RV design and construction in the past. The name of his company is defined as "an act, event, situation, or place that is remarkable, extraordinary, or extreme."



"I have always been a goof and tacked “Orama” to peoples names, for as long as I can remember," Mike said.  "But I love the obscure definition of it. With teardrops being a “retro” kind of thing, Orama fits in perfectly with its meaning and the fact that back in the 50’s-60’s, a lot of businesses used it in their name. Essentially, it means more than enough of a good thing."

Mike was kind to give me some more information on his custom designs and beautiful details.



How and why did you get into building teardrop trailers?  

I have always been a mechanical guy. This especially translated into RV’s, a vehicle (or cabin on wheels) you take to wonderful outdoor places. I love the fact that an RV is a rolling mechanical piece of wonderland! I love all the aspects that go into an RV build: electrical, plumbing, woodworking, heating, cooling etc. For this reason I thought it would be fun to randomly build or restore my own.

The biggest problem I had with this idea was a lack of space and a tall covered structure in which to do it, especially with the weather here in Washington. With my idea stymied, and while doing research, I came across a teardrop trailer. I have heard of them, but don’t ever remember seeing one in all of my many camping adventures. Instantly I fell in love with them and liked the idea that I could just build one from the ground up in my garage. I wasn’t even going to build it for myself. I just wanted to build one for the fun then sell it. Well, building my first teardrop was the best project I have ever worked on, and I have done a lot of fun projects. When it was time to sell it I couldn’t believe the response! It sold the first day.

After that, out of curiosity, I built another one. It also sold within days. At that point I thought why not keep building them? It was a perfect scenario. I love building teardrops and people loved buying them! A match made in heaven! So here I am today.


 What do you think makes your teardrops unique?

I believe what makes my teardrops unique is my wood work and cabinetry. I would never say I am an expert cabinet maker, but my mixture of light colored wood (pine and maple), hidden hinges, nickel hardware, and recessed doors really looks nice together. The light colored woods also make the interior feel more spacious. Everyone who sees my trailers for the first time loves them and comments on my woodworking. I like to think of my cabinetry as a big notch above the ordinary.


 Can you tell us a little about the custom building process? 

I like to keep it simple. I have decided against building custom ground up “however you want it” teardrops for many reasons. So the custom building process is very simple for customers. First you start with the entry level trailer that includes all of the nice woodwork. From there, a customer can choose a galley package with stove and sink (or they can have just one or the other), electrical package that includes a very complete 12 volt and 120v system, radio, DVD/TV, etc. Other exterior aluminum colors are also available. What makes customizing my trailers so easy is the fact that I include so many things in the entry level trailer that there isn’t all that nickel and dime stuff to add. Building a fully loaded trailer, customized with every option takes me about 4-6 weeks to build.


How did you get into teardrop camping and what do you like the most and least about teardrop camping? 

Early in my fledgling business, I obviously needed one for advertisement purposes and as a “model” trailer. But mostly, It was the best excuse in the world to build my own to camp in! After downsizing from a travel trailer, I loved the fact that I could pull my teardrop with any car I wanted. The small size of a teardrop just makes it fun to tow and easy to maneuver.  Then, on top of that, throw in the fact that even in such a small package, you have all the modern conveniences you need, including a kitchen and a place to sleep! Amazing! The least favorite thing about teardrop camping is that I don’t get to do it enough! I love every aspect of camping in my teardrop! Seriously!




 What are some of your favorite teardrop or camping products or gear? 

My two favorite pieces of equipment for teardrop camping are my portable 80 watt solar system and my ARB fridge/freezer. The solar is wonderful for keeping the battery charged when you are somewhere without hookups. You don’t even need direct sun all day for it to really do a good job keeping the battery topped off.

The ARB fridge/freezer may not be for everyone because of its high cost, but there is so much about it that makes it worth it. It uses a real compressor just like your fridge at home. Therefore it can keep things as cold as you want them, or even frozen. The current it uses to do this is so little that I can leave it plugged in for an entire trip as long as I have some solar charging capabilities. It will also run off both 12v DC and 120v AC. In addition, it has an adjustable voltage setting so that it will stop running before it drains your battery completely.  I also love the fact that I can plug it in while it's in the tow vehicle for the travel time to and from the campground. I just love it. No more ice for me!


Where are your favorite places to go camping? 

My favorite campground hands down is Kalaloch in the Olympic National Park. It sits on a small bluff right at the ocean. The beach is beautiful to hike on, especially during low tide.  This part of Washington’s coast is beautiful and preserved because it is within a national park. A close second is anywhere in Washington and Oregon along the Columbia River Gorge. I love the diversity the gorge offers.


Photos courtesy of Mike LaCroix/O-rama! Teardrop Trailers

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Teardrop Photo


 This summer went way too fast. It's already starting to get cold where we live, but we're hoping to do one last teardrop camp before the snow starts. In the meantime, I will dream of camping near a beach.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hipcamp

While the website, Hipcamp, is currently only available for the state of California, they plan on expanding to 20 new states by next summer—just in time for teardrop camping. Hipcamp is a new website and team focusing on not only campgrounds and campsites, but the amenities that surround them. The site covers everything from campgrounds near the best wineries and stargazing to the best rock climbing and surfing.


I spoke to Eric Bach and Alyssa Ravasio, the owners of the site and avid campers. Alyssa's frustration with finding campsites online was the catalyst for the creation of Hipcamp. Eric is a world traveler, backpacker and a member of the purple-clad trio, the "Modern Gypsies", who won ABC's "Expedition Impossible". They both wanted a better search system online. They are also big fans of teardrop trailers and plan on having their own Hipcamp wrapped and branded teardrop soon.


Tell us a little about how HipCamp came about. What do you want users to get from it?

Hipcamp was born out of the frustration to discover and book campsites. The process seemed extremely fragmented. We'd have to go one place for official government information, another for photos, another for reviews, and then another place to book. We thought it could be done better and thus enable more people to get outside.

The goal is to give users a single source in which they can do everything they need to in order to make a camping trip happen. We want the users to have a simple, engaging, and fun experience while doing so. 

What has been the response to the site?

We've had a great response to the site! People are excited to move to new states and so are we. Our goal is to get to 20 more states in the U.S. by next summer. We'll also be adding in features such as user reviews, user uploaded photos, and new opportunities for our community (or tribe as we like to call it) to engage.

Which campgrounds seem to get the most traffic? What amenities are people interested in?

Some of the campgrounds that get the most traffic are Bullfrog Pond (in Austin Creek), Wildcat Campground (in Point Reyes), Bothe-Napa Valley Campground (in Bothe-Napa), Steep Ravine Cabins & Campground (in Mt. Tam), Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground (in Pfeiffer Big Sur), and of course Upper Pines Campground (in Yosemite). 

I think people are really interested in our activities, amenities, and features filters. That's one of the coolest things about Hipcamp, is that you can use the filters to get the exact type of campground you want. It's very personal.

Can you think of any California campgrounds for people who lean toward teardrops and tiny trailers?

Hmm...well some of my favorites are Huckleberry Campground at Big Basin Redwoods, Andrew Molera Campground, Steep Ravine Cabins, and Borrego Palm Canyon Campground.

Have either of you had any experience with teardrop trailers?

I've had experience with trailers in general, but not teardrops yet. However, it is our dream to own a Hipcamp teardrop trailer. It would be so cool to have one that is Hipcamp branded, but still feels natural and vintage.

We'll all keep an eye out for you on the road, Hipcamp!