Teardrop Trailer Camping with Children

My husband and I don't have children, but I always admire teardrop campers who bring their small children to gatherings or on regular campouts. While camping can be simple, it gets a little more complicated with children included – especially in a very small trailer. I decided to ask the parents and grandparents on the Teardrops n' Tiny Travel Trailers forum about how they camp with their own little ones and what things they keep in mind when packing up the teardrop for the whole family.

Where do the children sleep?

"I am getting ready to spring camp with my wife and our three-year-old daughter in our Five Wide Platform Little Guy. We have glamped in it recently to see how we fit. My daughter uses about half of the queen sized bed and must be re-positioned during the night for our comfort. I see napping during the day as the way to supplement our somewhat broken sleep during the night. I am concerned about rattlesnakes here in the Southwest as being a danger to talk to them about. They are excited about camping and I think this is going to be most enjoyable."

Tucson, Arizona

[Mark Janke of Overland Trailer built a 10 foot long trailer with a bunk bed for the "Assistant to the Senior Manager" who celebrated her one month birthday in a teardrop trailer.]

"The little Assistant to the Senior Manager celebrated her one month old birthday on a camping trip in the jPod. Since this family arrangement is new to us, Senior Management and I thought it would be wise to camp someplace near our home-base and someplace that had bathroom facilities. Little baby did well. She woke up once in the night and I got to change a diaper in the jPod. I am thankful for the Fan-Tastic roof vent that I installed when building the jPod. It pulls enough air to make the windows whistle. It also pulls enough air to flush the soiled diaper smell out of such a small space! Without that fan, teardrop camping with a new baby would be too much of an adventure for us."

Overland Trailer

"We put our three girls in one tent and the boy in his own right next to them so they can talk."

Merrimack River Valley

How do you keep them entertained?

"The campground we plan on going to with just our kids and the teardrop has playgrounds and a beach. My kids have never been bored at a beach."

Merrimack River Valley

"A bicycle, small car/truck toys, use of the campground playground and Saturday morning cartoons while I showered kept my 4 1/2 year old great nephew occupied."

Indianapolis, IN

"I've seen a group of kids spend five days digging a hole. I've seen a five-year-old perfectly entertained with a spoon and a bucket for a full day. You don't need to bring every toy, or buy a ton of stuff. They have imaginations. With that and attention from their parents, they will have fun. Have a backup plan in case the weather goes bad, but keep it a secret. If you tell them you brought the iPad, they will want to play with that instead of being outside."

Socal Tom

"Camping is simple! Keep it that way! Kids will find lots to do on their own in almost any circumstance."

Westbank, British Columbia

How do you avoid the "yucky food" face?

"Food needs to be familiar. To get kids ready for camping out, cook a few times in the backyard using your camp cooking gear to make sure you can turn out kid-friendly foods outside of your own kitchen. Everyone needs to start the day with some protein. Sugary cereal leads to a sugar crash and whiny-ness."

Northern New Mexico

"We make sure there are snacks but don't offer them all the time, meals are a group effort, we all chip in for food and then one person does the shopping."

Merrimack River Valley

"I made sure I had food that he would eat, and he played so much that he was hungry. And he fell asleep quickly, too."

Indianapolis, IN

Some (extra) tips…

"When you arrive at camp everyone has a specific job to do so you can settle in very quickly. Even very small children can be given a camp setup chore to do. We can bug out of a camp area fast too because everyone has a task to complete."

Teardrop Nanny
Northwestern Coast of California

"At night I tie a string with a glow stick on it around their necks. You always know where they are. Haven't lost one yet."

La Crescenta, California

"For us camping is about keeping them covered with sunscreen, making sure they are eating enough, and then following them with a camera for all the memories."

Merrimack River Valley

Photos by vwool, Overland Trailer and 48Rob


  1. I love camping with my toddler. Being just the two of us we are able to follow her sleep schedule and push ourselves to try new adventures when awake even if that means getting up at 7am for a hike. I always pack bubbles, binoculars, and a bucket for finding treasures. Baby wipes are a must for messy faces and fingers. Bring double the amount of clothing and shoes for the kid because they will find every mud puddle. Also keeping a disposable pee pad on the bed is helpful so your potty training toddler doesnt soak the both of you when there is a thunderstorm. Live and learn i suppose.