Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Teardrop Photo


This beautifully riveted Modernaire teardrop trailer was tucked behind a house in Virginia City, Nevada. We hiked nine miles from down in the valley up to the mining town where you can find a slew of antiques and vintage items—like this teardrop from the 1940s.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Teardrop: The Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper

Quite a lot of interesting, tiny campers are coming from Down Under. This includes the unique Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper that features a front slideout—essentially doubling the space inside the sleeping area. The bed inside this surf-inspired trailer also converts into a lounge and a dining area.


The Gidget comes in two models: the Bondi and the Noosa Longline which has even more space for a compact shower and toilet. Inside each trailer is an entertainment center with a TV and DVD, craftsman cabinets, LED lights and a skylight. The galley includes a roll out cooler, a sink with a glass cover, water storage tanks, a two burner stove, USB and 12V outlets and even safety features like a fire extinguisher and smoke detector. The Gidget is powered by a deep cycle battery charged by Slimline solar panels.


The Noosa Longline currently sells for  $23,250 AUS which is about $18,400 US and the Bondi sells for $18,450 or about $14,600 US.







Photos by The Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper








Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Teardrop Photo


Believe it or not, now is the time we have to start purchasing our tickets for Burning Man. We go to the wild event in the desert every year and the Sunflower comes along. This photo is from 2012 when we went with our Stargazers friends. Our camp looks crazy but it was cool and comfortable, and we even had a quesadilla and margarita party for the neighborhood.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chick Built How-To Teardrop Videos

My teardrop friend Kay (Kayperkay on the TNTTT) now has her own YouTube channel, called CHICK BUILT,  featuring videos on the various aspects of building teardrop trailers. Kay has experience building, restoring and camping with various teardrops and tiny trailers and she provides some great information about considerations you should keep in mind when building a teardrop trailer. She's also a really funny gal.




1. Why did you decide to start a YouTube channel on building teardrop trailers?

I have seen many YouTube videos for teardrop build but the majority of them are picture galleries with very little explanation, particularly as to the "Why's" (I'm a big "Why?" asker...LOL). I am lucky that I'm engaged to the "Godfather" of teardrops, Mr. Grant Whipp, and he has not only taught me his secrets to building (and I guess you'd have a few secrets after 40+ builds), but he guides me every step of the way without "taking over" or telling me something is impossible.

As the administrator for a Tearjerkers Teardrop Group and a popular Facebook page with well over 4,000 members, I see more and more ladies building or planning a build and thought maybe I could help. I am a visual learner and everything I know about restoring vintage tiny trailers, I learned from Mobitec, The Canned Ham Man and his videos he uploaded to YouTube.  I thought I would do the same to help ladies out with their teardrop build.  

2. Tell us a little about your building/restoration experience?

I have been restoring teardrops and tiny vintage trailers for a few years now and I needed a new challenge. I decided I wanted to build a teardrop trailer and the plan is to build it for one of my BFF's who lives in southern California.

3. What are your future plans for the channel and your builds?

My only hope for the channel is to empower women to tackle things most believe aren't possible.  Women are so creative, we don't need all those special tools to complete a task, we'll just figure out another way to "get 'er done."  These little units are so small that with very little physical help (for the big stuff) we ladies are more than capable of building a safe, cozy and stylish teardrop of our dreams.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Teardrop Photo


This is my closet in the Sunflower—after a few days of camping. I'm not always as diligent as I should be about keeping my clothes organized in a closet this size. After just a day or two, I have to pull everything out, fold and re-organize. It's a challenge working with a small space and you've just seen my dirty laundry—literally.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Teardrop USA

Austin and Nicole recently sold everything they owned in their expensive, Southern California apartment. Bought a teardrop trailer to hook to their Mini Cooper R53 and hit the road with their two Pomeranian Chihuahuas, Yoshi and Bowser. After a few months of living full time out of their teardrop, they are thrilled with their new lives and are not looking back.


They each work from the road, Austin owns a web and design company and Nicole works for a vacation software company, and they run a website and a Tumblr blog about their adventures—Teardrop USA. They cover how they minimized their belongings, their teardrop kitchen remodel and how to connect on the road. The couple were kind to give us a little more information about their trailer and their travels.


Who built your teardrop trailer and how did you find it?

Our Teardrop was built by Nashwood Teardrops out of Orange County, California which has since gone out of business. It's about 15 years old, and we found it on Craigslist. 


Can you tell us a little about towing a teardrop with a Mini Cooper? Did you need a specific tow package?

Apparently it's pretty common to tow with a Mini. Ours is an S and can handle 1,400 lbs stock, but we upgraded the clutch and brakes before leaving. Our Teardrop was only about 700 lbs dry. The only issue we ran into was our Mini has a center exhaust which is where the hitch generally sits, and we had to order a more custom solution from MiniDoMore. It's a hidden receiver that replaces a piece of the rebar under the rear bumper, and when not in use can be completely hidden away. Once Austin installed it, it's been pretty great! 


What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of a teardrop trailer?

Advantages are definitely that it's small and inconspicuous as far as size. When we urban boondock, most places are fine with it since we fit in a single parking space. The disadvantages are that the looks of our setup are a little flashy and attention grabbing. One day we were really hungry and wanted to stop at a restaurant to eat, but we got stopped three times in the parking lot trying to get to food. Each conversation lasted about 15 minutes and by the time we got inside we were about to pass out! Other than that, the basics. Not having a bathroom is somewhat annoying at times but we never ran into a huge issue. 


What other trailers appeal to you?

When we upgrade it'll be to a Sprinter Van setup. We've been eyeing a few of them and are in love!


What are some of your favorite meals to cook on the road?

Ever since we bought our cast iron pan, it's been heaven. I'd say the standard hot dogs and beans are our favorite with some chips. You really can't beat that. Even though we've been doing it for so long full time, it still feels like an adventure, like camping. So camp food is definitely enjoyed. Outside of that, fruit is great. We don't have a fridge or cooler so we've been learning a lot of creative ways to incorporate our food groups and healthy energy sources that keep us away from fast food.

 
Where are you dying to visit?
Everywhere. I know that sounds cliché but we can't get enough of adventuring. Our top 3 destinations are hard to narrow down but I'd have to say the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Disney World. The coolest part about traveling has been reaching a new place, and asking locals what's the best thing to do. That's how you find the best places to see.



Photos by Teardrop USA

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Teardrop Photo



Our friends, the Stargazers, took a teardrop trip to Benton Hot Springs in California last year and shot this amazing photo of their campsite complete with private tub.

Monday, January 5, 2015

TeardropTV

The teardrop trailer world has its own magazine, so why not its own TV show? Steve Hoddinott of The Teardrop Trailer in Newmarket, Ontario is rolling along with several episodes of TeardropTV and the Teardrop Garage—both featuring interviews and building tips. Steve recently interviewed me on his show and also gave me some insight into TeardropTV and his teardrop trailer building and rental business, which he runs with his wife.

 

Why did you decide to start your own TV show about teardrops?

I have seen so many unique teardrop trailers and have often wanted to ask the builders specific questions. At the same time, I also saw an opportunity to create more awareness for teardrop trailers, teardrop DIYs and teardrop events in Canada, not to mention redirect the viewer to my website if they were curious and wanted to know more about The Teardrop Trailer.

Since my involvement in teardrop trailers I have noticed a very strong sense of community and family within the teardrop trailer world. I love that about these people. They all seem to be really down to earth, and willing to share their own experiences.

TeardropTV is a platform to use as a virtual gathering of like-minded people that share the same enthusiasm. I started TeardropTv in December 2014. It's cold in Newmarket and in December nobody is interested in camping, which means no sales of trailers.

By the time I am finished with my episodes, my videos can speak on my behalf and on the behalf of others I interviewed. In the spring, when I'm outside building I’ll also be online talking to the pros about topics like resolving hurricane hinge leak issues. I also learn so much from seasoned professionals who have been building trailers for decades. We can all learn from each other.

It also makes me a better builder. There is no teardrop college to go to, but a wealth of knowledge through forums and websites. I want to harness this knowledge for newbies like me, and feed off of highly skilled, artistic, creative craftsman that don't just build a trailer, but produce a work of art for the world to see. I want to create that stage for them to show off their abilities and talents, and share with me and the rest of the world what they have learned through trial and error. I'm not the best builder out there, but I know who is, and I want to talk to every single one of them. The “Barbara Walters” of teardrop interviewers, if you will.


What do you hope to accomplish with the show and what episodes do you have planned?

I hope to learn and educate at the same time with people that share a common interest as mine. It's not just an experience but a passionate alternative way of thinking. "Go big or go home" does not apply to the teardrop traveler. "Stay small, go further" is more like it.

It's not just camping; it's a movement. I was taught at a very young age to simplify. I never fully grasped that phrase until I made my first teardrop trailer.  I want people to realize you don’t need a lot to enjoy this beautiful globe. My wife and I are not wealthy by any means, but I guarantee you we've traveled more than most of our friends and family have, and plan on more travel in the future. The teardrop trailer is our bedroom and the world is our living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, rec room and entertainment center. “Big” is all around us and “small” is where we sleep.

What episodes do I have planned? You'll have to subscribe to find out, but I’ll give you a hint. If you’re a teardrop trailer enthusiast you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a builder and have questions, we’ll get them answered, if you’re a traveler, we’ll show you amazing unknown, unadvertised and “tourist trap” free locations to explore and enjoy. It’s all about the land, not the franchise.


 Tell us a little about your own teardrop trailer rental business

It’s not a business yet, For now it’s just a hobby. I have a makeshift garage in my backyard. More like a tent, but it keeps me dry. Teardrop trailers are not as popular here in Canada, but I hope to change that soon. If I’m not using it, it’s for rent. If you’re looking for parts I’ve got them or I can get them. I have hurricane hinges 4 ft, 5 ft and 6 ft doors, etc.


Where are some of your favorite places to camp? 

Growing up we always went to French River. That’s all I knew for camping. We rented a boat, drove down the river and camped. My parents had no idea what was in Ontario, we didn’t have Internet. Same place every year. Now, my wife and I go everywhere. Anywhere along the Niagara escarpment is just amazing. You would not believe how many unknown and unmarked waterfalls you can not only go to, but swim right underneath. It’s like paradise. We also love Indian falls, Decews Falls, Morningstar Mill, Inglis Falls, Lavender Falls and Rockwood. Our first year we had the teardrop I told my wife. I have to look back at our pictures, because I can’t remember all the places we’ve been too. That’s why I now use Instagram.


Where are you dying to go camping? 

Banff and surrounding area! This spring, we’re planning a trip with my newest build and will be tweeting about it the whole way there and back. It’s Banff or bust this spring.

At one point we had considered moving to Calgary for a change of pace, but when I realized Banff was two hours away from Calgary and I would most likely have to find work in the city, I decided to stay put and explore the two hours surrounding where I lived instead. Well that distance parameter just keeps expanding when you own a teardrop trailer.


 How and when did you discover teardrop trailers? 

I was sick and tired of living in town, and wanted a change in life two years ago. We were also thinking of moving to Orillia, just north of Barrie Ontario. I thought I would buy a hot dog cart and sell hot dogs along the beach in Orillia. So before making any major plans I decided to see if there were any used hot dog trailers for sale. That’s when I saw my first teardrop trailer. It was love at first sight. I went online and discovered a world that I never knew existed. I went on eBay, purchased a full size 4 x 8 paper template of a teardrop trailer curved wall, and haven’t stopped obsessing since. At the same time my wife was watching videos and in particular really enjoyed your faircompanies video.

Since we have been teardrop camping I finally found my change of pace and never moved. We have lived at the same place for 18 years. If you want a change in life, get a teardrop trailer. Your life will never be the same.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Teardrop Photo


Happy New Year! Let's kick off 2015 with some relaxation. We carry two lightweight hammocks in the storage area under our teardrop bed and when we find a great view where we can do some reading, we string the hammocks up between two trees. It's a great way to extend your teardrop living space.

Here we are enjoying the view at Crater Lake in Oregon.