Monday, April 27, 2015

Tommy Doran's "Mobile Fit Club" Teardrop

On Friday I posted a photo of Tommy Doran's homebuilt teardrop trailer. Tommy lives in Louisiana and recently finished his teardrop which does accomplishes three jobs: it's camper, a mobile fitness club and a mini billboard.

Why did you decide to build a teardrop trailer?

I was exposed to teardrop trailers by accident. I was an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scout Troop that my two sons were attending. One day my boss, who is a Scoutmaster in another troop, asked me if we had written plans for the patrol box kitchens that our troop had built. I told him I didn't know offhand, but that I'm sure we could search online for ideas. He and I did a quick search on Google, and it was in searching images for the patrol boxes that we found some pictures of teardrop trailers.  Both of us immediately decided that was something we needed to look further into. The more I dug, the more I was hooked on them. I eventually found my way to the forums and from there I got even more ideas.

Where did you get the idea for your teardrop trailer?

At the time, I could not fit such a project into my budget, but was still hooked. So I spent about five years drawing and redrawing plans, gathering resources for supplies, purchasing tools, and developing contacts with people who could give me great advice on how to build my teardrop when the time came. Eventually I was able to afford the build so I started making lists and ordering supplies. 

The teardrop trailer is such a head turner on the highway. So it was the perfect billboard to help promote my business (it also allowed me to write off some of the expenses on my taxes for advertising costs). My hope is to bring it to outdoor health fairs and to other fitness events to showcase the fitness solutions available to others to help them on their journey.

What were some of the struggles you had during your build?

At the time the biggest struggle was finding sources to purchase some of the more specialized equipment to build the camper. Once I started the build, developing my carpentry skills to that level of detail became the challenge. I have an at-home business as a Fitness and Wellness Coach with Team Beachbody, helping others reclaim their health through nutrition and exercise, as well as establishing themselves as coaches.

Can you tell us about some of the teardrop features?

I call my teardrop the "Mobile Fit Club." I can prepare smoothies from the galley and I will soon be adding a projector screen to hang from the galley hatch where I can pop in a workout DVD like P90X or Insanity and let others come by to try the workout routines for free. The Mobile Fit Club is wired for both 110V AC shore power as well as 12V DC from a deep cycle battery. It has a Bluetooth ready car stereo in the galley, and coaxial cable hook ups in the sleeping area and the galley. 

In the sleeping area there are two floor storage basements, one of which stores the externally mounted leaf tables for the galley area. The galley is a simple design. It has no water tank, and uses an ice chest cooler on a sliding tray and has a storage for a Coleman stove under the cabinets.

Where are your favorite places to camp?

My wife Pam is not a tent camper, but loves the teardrop. I've only taken the teardrop out once so far, but I hope to introduce Pam to many of the areas that I camped out in while my boys were in Scouts. I really enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee as well as many areas in my home state of Louisiana. My goal though is to eventually make a run down to the Florida Keys

What has been the reaction to your teardrop trailer?

The reactions to the Mobile Fit Club have been nothing but positive from the design phase through the build, and now that she is finished and camping. I have family and friends who own larger RVs that really get into the little teardrop because of the efficiency of space and the ease of just packing up and hitting the road. I always have people waving to us on the highway, and have had to show it off more than once while stopping. It really is a great conversation piece that allows me to talk more about my business. I'm also able to help more people who I normally would not have been able to talk to.

Photos courtesy of Tommy Doran/Fitness by Tommy

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