Friday Teardrop Photo

We are heading down to Yosemite for a long teardrop camping weekend. This photo just goes to show that both this beautiful park and teardrops go together pretty well.

Photo by peakbagging

Teardrop Trailer Facebook Groups

Show your love for teardrop trailers by joining or liking one of the many Facebook teardrop trailer groups. Here are just a few:

Teardrop Trailer Lovers

Kay's Teardrop Friends

Teardroppin' Group

Cumbrian Teardrop Caravan Group

Teardrop Travel Trailers

Photo: This pink heart-shaped teardrop trailer belonged to Zsu Zsu, the Crybaby Drama Queen. Her former lover dragged her to Burning Man. In an attempt to make her happy, he built her a custom trailer complete with tanks of French air. She refuses to come out but demands your attention and gifts. At this 2008 art installation, Zsu Zsu blames you for her discomfort and inconvenience. She also hates heat, dust, loud music, art and "heepies".

How to Teardrop Camp in the Rain

This weekend I went to a teardrop gathering right near my home, albeit just for an afternoon. The reason was that during the event, a large unseasonably cold storm hit our area which made for some wet and cold camping. So, what if you find yourself camping in a teardrop trailer in less-than-dry conditions? Several of my fellow (tough as nails) teardroppers cover up. Here are a few ways that you can protect yourself and your teardrop during inclement weather.

My trailer was not protected by any shelter this time, but having the galley roof raised over the cooking table does provide a little protection from rain, but not wind.

This teardrop has a large shade shelter up as well as a few added walls made from tarps. Having an outdoor rug also helps to keep the wet and mud from creeping into your trailer.

This trailer also has walls with some added windows for keeping and eye out for the sunshine.

An awning is helpful is keeping rain out of the bed area and giving you a dry place to put on warmer clothes or shoes.

This teardrop/standy is completely covered by a shelter. This might be necessary if your trailer leaks in any way.

It sometimes helps to rely on your neighbors for protection. Grouping trailers together, and forming a wall, can help protect from wind and rain.

Friday Teardrop Photo

 This is on Highway 447 just outside of Black Rock City at Burning Man. When we leave the event (usually around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning after the Burn) we drive straight home through the dark desert. Not this time. We were so tired, we decided to pull over on the side of the road with a few other dusty Burners to sleep for a few hours until daylight.

We leave the city early every year to avoid what is called Exodus — the mass migration of nearly 60,000 people leaving the event. It can take up to six hours to get out of the city. It takes us about half an hour.

You CAN crash on the side of the road in a teardrop trailer — just keep the bed area free and clean of other items.

Why Go to a Teardrop Trailer Gathering?

I purchased my first teardrop trailer, a Little Guy Rascal, about a year before going to any teardrop rally or gathering. During my first gathering (the Dam Gathering in Northern California) I met the nicest people you will find anywhere and came to the conclusion that teardroppers are nice because they sleep and eat very well at their various gatherings.

So, if you have a teardrop trailer, or are thinking of buying or building a teardrop trailer, should you go to a gathering? Here are the five reasons why I think it's one of the best things you can go for your teardropping life:

1. Teardrop gatherings are one of the best places to get ideas for your own trailer. It's great to be able to peruse the Web and pull up ideas, but seeing everything in action is the best way to decide what you might want to build or buy. Gatherings are also a great place to see what types of camping gear people bring in their teardrops.

2. FOOD! Nearly every teardrop gathering has one or two potlucks and many of those potlucks are Dutch oven potlucks. I gain at least three pounds at every gathering.

3. You feel like a star. Teardrop gatherings attract a lot of other non-teardroppers. Fellow campground dwellers walk around, peruse the trailers and gush over the cuteness. Soak it up.

4. You find out about new places to go camping. My husband and I were thrilled to learn that Unionville, Nevada is one of the prettiest places in the state. We found this out because of the Twain n' Tears Gathering, organized by TNTTT member nevadatear.

5. The people. Even though you go to gatherings to look at teardrops, you can't help but pick up a couple of friends along the way.

Photo of the IRG by Roy Crisman/Flickr

Featured Teardrop: Hobbit Hole Trailer

For any The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans out there, this beautifully crafted teardrop trailer will have you wishing you could enjoy Elevenses out of the back of its galley. Samm1t documented his build on imgur as he worked on it in the evenings and the weekends over the course of two months.

The teardrop is built on a 4x8 foot Harbor Freight trailer kit and has a 2x2 inch wood frame. The bottom is sealed with roof tar and the walls are built with 1/2 inch plywood. The interior walls for the sleeping cabin and the galley are 1x2 and 2x2 inch framing. The plywood walls are stuccoed with vinyl putty and the floors are hardwood to look like an authentic Hobbit house. The roof is three layers: plywood, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) and a last layer of fake grass to give the illusion of being under a hill.

The trailer is wired and has a shore power inlet for 120v which is connected to a surge protector and a charger/converter. The battery is an Optima D31. The trailer has lights and a Fantastic Fan. The interior has small wooden shelves and the quintessential round doors of a classic Hobbit house. Unfortunately, the center door handle idea (as seen in the movies) was not a feasible solution for this teardrop trailer.

The trailer is dedicated to the owner's great grandfather, an electrical engineer who loved to build things.

Photos by Samm1t 

Friday Teardrop Photo

The Sunflower being surrounded.

Sometimes it is nice to be able to hook up to power at one of these types of RV parks. This park also had a pool, nice hot showers and a laundry room. We utilized all three.

The sunflower has a 110 hookup on her side and we keep a 25 foot cord and a campground adapter in the storage area under the bed.

Taken at the Twin Falls KOA RV park in Idaho.

Teardrop Camping in Grand Teton and Yellowstone

Several readers have requested a breakdown of our teardrop camping trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone, so this post will include where we stayed and the various things we did on our latest camping trip.

We drove up to Grand Teton from our home in western Nevada through Elko and Wells and up into Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls, Idaho. Our first night was a slight disaster as we found ourselves driving into the small town of Elko in the dark. We decided to spend the night with a few other RVs in the Wal-Mart parking lot, but my husband ended up waking up at about midnight complaining that it was too hot to sleep on the store's black asphalt. Because the nearest parks were in the mountains about 40 miles away, we decided to bite the bullet and get a hotel room for the night. It really irks me to get a room when we have a perfectly good teardrop trailer bed, but when you don't have air's a necessary evil.

The next day was filled with driving through the wheat, corn and potato fields of Idaho. We spent the next night at the Snake River RV Resort in Idaho Falls — just a few miles shy of Grand Teton. We don't normally like to camp in these types of RV resorts, but it was actually really nice to have a clean place for the night with showers, laundry and a pancake breakfast in the morning.

The next day, we drove through the beautiful mountains just south of Grand Teton (nearly running into a large female moose on the road) and down into the the cute and bustling town of Jackson, Wyoming. We had been planning on staying at the Gros Ventre Campground since they don't require reservations and we were able to snag a spot about an hour before the weekend campers started coming in. The entire weekend we were at Gros Ventre (pronounced Grow Vont) the larger spots were all taken, but the place never filled up — even in mid-August.

When our friends arrived at the nearby Jackson Hole Airport, we had dinner at the Snake River Brewery and planned out what we were going to do. That evening we caught a ride on the free Jackson Hole tram to the top of the mountain and watched the sunset.

The next day, we found out that Grand Teton is a strange park for driving around in. We ended up driving around a large part of the park without even paying for the entrance fee ($25 per car for both Grand Teton and Yellowstone). For the next few days we explored the area around Gros Ventre, saw moose, pronghorn, bison and some fantastic cloud formations. We went for a great hike to Hidden Falls and woke up VERY early in the morning to watch the Perseid meteor shower over the south shore of Jenny Lake. As far as a national park goes, Grand Teton is nearly empty. Most people drive right through on their way to Yellowstone, but this area has turned out to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.

After a few nights in Grand Teton, we went on one last shopping trip in Jackson and headed up to Yellowstone. The traffic and the construction on the Roosevelt Scenic byway was very busy and it took us at least three hours to make it to our campsite at Madison on the west side of the park. After our beautiful and green campsite in Grand Teton, I was disappointed with our spot at Madison. Madison is really just a glorified parking lot. There is a nice creek and mountain behind the campground, but the place is jammed full of RVs, trailers and tents. The food and bear rules in the park and the campground are strict. We even received a warning about our Dutch oven and had to pack it away in the car. However, the teardrop did get a fair bit of traffic during our time there. I gave a few tours and even one of the camp hosts came over to look at it.

Yellowstone is so huge and there is no way you can see the entire thing. Every morning we packed up our friends' rental car with everything we would need for the day and took off. We visited the geothermal pools of the Norris Basin and Biscuit Basin, saw Old Faithful erupt at 7:00 in the morning, had a breakfast buffet at the beautiful Old Faithful Inn, hiked to Mystic Falls and the hot pools around it, visited the Grand Canyon on a rainy day, hiked down Uncle Tom's Trail, and visited the Canyon Village area and the strange Mammoth Hot Springs.

Our best day had to be our trip to Lamar Valley. We woke up at about 4 a.m. to get onto the road before other travelers and ran straight into a pack of female elk. The day just got better from there. We saw a female moose and her calf in a small pond, many herds of bison in the fields and on the road, a wolf who decided to stand on a hill and howl woefully at us and a large grizzly bear named Scarface. We never even made it to Yellowstone Lake or the far east side of the park. This guarantees that we will have to go back.

On our way back home, we stayed at a KOA in Twin Falls Idaho (again for hot showers) and visited Shoshone Falls, the Niagara Falls of the West.

Photos by Andres Leon Photography, Nelly Leon and Christina Nellemann

Friday Teardrop Photo

Our good friend Nelly and our teardrop galley very full of food for two weeks of camping in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. The galley usually becomes the bar while we are set up in camp. Nelly, the tica, likes margaritas sans lime.

Shot in the beautiful Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park.

Four Tips for Bringing Your Teardrop to Burning Man

The Sunflower recently returned from another trip to Burning Man. This was a great year full of incredible art, amazing camps and some fun neighbors who all fell in love with my teardrop trailer. Camping in Black Rock City is not like regular camping. If you have been considering going to Burning Man, there are a few things to keep in mind when bringing your trailer to one of the most inhospitable climates on Earth.

1. In Dust We Trust

The Playa of the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada is a former lake bed that is flat and dusty. There's no sand like in most deserts, but the surface is a fine talcum powder consistency that normally stays fairly packed down. However during an event of this magnitude (60,000+ people this year), the dust gets kicked up and gets everywhere.

It's impossible to keep your trailer dust-free. However, you can minimize the dust getting in by parking your teardrop under a shade shelter with walls and keeping all the doors closed. The galley will get dust in it, but when you leave camp, be sure to close it up. Random dust storms and dust devils will blow through the city.

2. Safety and Neighborhood Watch

I received a question a few weeks ago from a reader who was concerned with potential vandalism of his teardrop during the event. I've been taking all my teardrops to Burning Man since 2007 and have never had anyone vandalize my trailer or steal anything from my camp. Burners are the best people in the world who understand the work and commitment it takes to make it to this event. We never lock our car or the teardrop and leave our keys just sitting on our bed shelf. We leave our stove, food, drinks, chairs and clothes out in our shade shelter as well.

A good thing to do when you arrive at your camp (unless you are in a theme camp, the spots are unassigned) is to make friends with your neighbors. This is a polite and very Burner-like thing to do. Ask if a space is being saved or is taken and as you are setting up camp, there will most likely be people coming around to ask if you need help or to offer you juice, fresh fruit or tips on special events. Neighbors will then watch after each other and their camps. 

3. Sun and Wind

Burning Man is hot and windy. Not all the time, but every event I've been to has been in the 90s during the day and the wind always picks up in the afternoon. Some of the winds are strong enough to bring in some large dust storms that block out the sun. These don't last for too long, but it's a good idea to be prepared for them with good goggles and a dust mask.

Keep your teardrop and yourself protected from the heat by creating a shade structure with walls that block the sun and the wind which mainly comes from the South/Southwest. Some shade along the East part of your camp is nice too in case you want to sleep in.

4. Cleaning Up

The dust from the Black Rock Desert is very alkaline and tends to stain anything with black plastic or rubber. The best way to get your teardrop clean after Burning Man is to let it sit outside for a while so the dust falls off or flies away in the breeze. Then take a hose to the outside of the trailer to get off the worst of it. To get your trailer even more clean, use a mixture of dish soap and vinegar to cut the alkalinity of the dust. Use the vinegar to clean the inside of your trailer as well. Most likely you will have to remove everything from your trailer to give it a thorough cleaning.