Monday, August 29, 2016

What I learned from living out of my teardrop trailer for three weeks

We recently returned from a teardrop trailer trip to Glacier National Park. On the way back, my husband flew home to Nevada and I took a road trip down to Colorado Springs through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and across the Silver State.


After nearly 20 days of full-time traveling in a 5x8 teardrop trailer (my longest trip yet) I learned a few things about life on the road. Here are the top five.


1. I could be a full time nomad

When I returned home from my trip, I went into a slight depression. I couldn't figure out why at first, but then realized that I really loved being on the road. I loved stopping in a different location every night and waking up to a different landscape every morning. Traveling full-time is tough on your system, but it's a lot of fun and is something I wouldn't mind doing as a lifestyle.


2. You need a lot less than you think

When on the road, I only used about 60 percent of the clothing I brought with me and never used any of the "emergency" items that we bring along. When I returned home, I did a mass purge of items in my house and thought more about we really need while traveling and camping.


3. Get some downtime

Even though I was traveling by myself much of the time, I still needed some downtime. I camped in a few KOA and private campgrounds on the way to and from Colorado, and with my yellow teardrop I was the center of attention. It's sometimes difficult to get away people when you are traveling in a teardrop, so plan to camp in more secluded locations and take breaks away from urban and more popular areas.


4. Take the back roads

Through most of the trip, I stuck to secondary roads. The only time I was on a main freeway was on Interstate 70 near Denver and Interstate 80 through part of Wyoming. Both times I didn't like the traffic and went out of my way to find alternate routes. Along those routes I found some amazing places that I plan on going back to.


5. Rest stops are one of your best friends

In the western states, rest stops are few and far between, so take advantage of them as much as you can. The rest stops in Idaho were some of the best with beautiful bathrooms, maps, road guides and water fountains. We used the stops to take a nap, fill up our water, eat snacks and use the bathroom.

In addition to these five things, I realized how much I appreciate having a teardrop trailer and a comfortable and quiet place to sleep. While the teardrop did well in good weather, it was a challenge during some heavy rainstorms in Montana and Colorado, but I still wouldn't trade it for anything.

15 comments:

  1. All those other trips were practice for this. They gave you confidence in your system that I enjoyed reading about in the past. I have copied some of those techniques.
    Thanks once again for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Greg! Yes, when teardrop camping you have to try out a variety of different locations and camping techniques to find out what works for you. Even then, weather and terrain can still challenge all the skills you've learned. :-)

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  2. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. My very first camping/teardrop/trailering/doing any of this alone trip was a trip from Nebraska to South Carolina and back over the course of three weeks. I'd had my camper for five whole days. It was fabulous, freeing, ethereal, instructional, and made me feel so alive. I'm remembering all of these things while reading your list. As a traveler on my own pulling a cute red conversation magnet, I was careful at first not to be too friendly to curious on-lookers. As I moved about from campground to campground, I was able to read people better, I think, and not to be so paranoid--somehow I thought that paranoia and savvy went hand-in-hand. I learned that people have an enormous capacity to just want to be friendly, encouraging, and make a human connection. That's what I learned from my travels. Grateful for it!

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    1. Freeing! Yes! Thank you Mary Lou. Of course, people in campgrounds are the nicest you will ever meet and I'm more than happy to give a tour of the Sunflower. But sometimes I just need to eat and rest and it's more difficult to hide out in 40 square feet than a larger camper. :-)

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  3. Oh, and I detest I-70 west of Denver. Most aggressive drivers I've encountered.

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    1. LOL..I was shocked it was 80 MPH there! I'm used to my country-bumpkin roads and driving. Denver people are not as aggressive as California drivers, though. I refuse to drive in the Bay Area anymore!

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  4. 40 square feet? I have 32...
    Also, Lost the alcove. Couldn't take a down pour out in Cape Cod 4 of July. Even with extra rafters. Can't tell you how many people thought it was custom made for a teardrop. Just not practical here in the east.

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    1. LOL...brave man. Yes! We lost our EZ-Up at Glacier in a windstorm. We knew it would be breezy that day, but didn't bother to take it down. Big mistake. We came back from a hike and the shelter was gone. Weather...

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  5. Good for you! You probably passed within a few miles of me in Cheyenne.

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    1. Almost! The weather in southern Wyoming was so crazy and looked like Tornado Alley, so I cut down to Craig, Colorado instead.

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  6. Reading your observations, smiling, and saying, yes, yes, and yes again.
    We have had our 2015 T@G for just over 2 years now.. We have spent 140 + days in it, with our longest trip lasting 67 days. We have been followed into gas stations, rest stops,and campgrounds so people can look at it, and tell us how cute it is. Every single day we have had someone stop by. In the beginning it as one a day, now that teardrops are becoming better known we are giving 3 - 4 tours a day.
    We hear husbands saying I wish I could have one like this but the wife wants.....
    And then on the other side of the coin we have wives looking, loving it, and talking only to have their husband come over and take her by the arm and guide her away.
    Our little teardrop has more than paid for itself, and yes we do love it too.
    Oh, and Thanks for your wonderful blog.

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    1. LOL! You describe the husband/wife opinions perfectly. Some people are enamored with the simplicity of the tear and some are horrified with the limitations.

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    2. I was once asked if it "cranked up."

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  7. Thanks for sharing your experience! It's always fun to hear from other teardrop owners. We are just coming back from a 20 day trip on Prince Edward Island, Canada with our 5x10 Silver Shadow. You are right, it can be challenging in a teardrop when the weather is bad, especially when the Alcove is not set up over the galley! We almost never eat in restaurants so we really need a shelter over the galley to keep us dry. I was wondering if you always sleep in campgrounds or maybe you are boondocking some times? if boondocking, do you have a way to shower yourself at your trailer? Just curious about that since we would like to start boondocking next year. Thanks again for sharing? Sylvain (the under trailer drawer inventor!!)

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  8. Would love to kno where u goy that one looking to build or buy on that same size

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