Insuring Your Teardrop Trailer

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been getting over a cold and have been catching up with work. Speaking of sick...keeping your teardrop trailer healthy also includes having it insured—just like your own body. I highly recommend getting insurance for your teardrop trailer either as a rider under your current vehicle insurance or on your homeowner's insurance.

When we purchased insurance, we were mostly concerned with a car accident, damage (or total loss) to the trailer and liability and destruction of someone's property, so we opted to insure it with our car insurance. The trailer is insured with Geico, our vehicle insurance, for its value of $5,000 and the insurance costs us an extra $150 a year.

I had to call up our insurance agent and describe the trailer in detail. This is where the humor comes in again. Just like my DMV registration visit, the agent had no idea what I was talking about and she could not imagine a camping trailer less than 8 feet long speeding down the highway or being insured by her company. Once I explained what it was, she got a better idea and did not have to send an agent out to inspect the trailer. She did say that the trailer was only covered if it is attached to the primary towing vehicle, so if we were to lend the teardrop out to someone, extra insurance by the renter or borrower would need to be purchased.

We don't have the teardrop insured with our homeowners insurance in case of theft. In fact, I was curious if there are any insurance experts out there know if the trailer is covered for theft from a parking lot or campground?

In addition, I have heard that if your teardrop trailer is homemade, you may have a more difficult time finding an insurance company who will cover the trailer. You may have to call around or check out this post in the TNTTT Forum.

Photo by Adventure Duo

Friday Teardrop Photo

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been getting over a bad cold and catching up on some backlogged work. So, for those T@B trailer fans out there, here's a really tiny teardrop.

Updated Google Maps

A few months ago, Google updated their online maps to be more interactive, easier to use and better integrated with Google photos and Google Earth. This makes deciding where to tow your teardrop much easier. You can even sign in to your Google account and star specific areas that you can pull up again on your phone or other mobile device.

Each map you pull up is now entirely interactive. Clicking anywhere on the map will focus the location and show you local sites, related places and the best way to get there. Speaking of the best way to get places, the maps now compares multiple modes of transportation (bike, drive and public transit) and the traffic areas affected. You can indicate what time of day you want to see and the map will show easy flow traffic (green lines) and more congested traffic (orange and red lines).

 The new Google Maps still shows you street views and photos, but in a more condensed and easy-to-see form. Just click on the little yellow person on the lower right hand corner and and click on the street area you want to see. Click "Back to Map" on the lower left hand corner to return. To search for specific places, e.g. "gas" or "Starbucks",  just type it into the search bar on the upper left corner.

At any time you can click on "Explore" to see photos of your specific area. When you scroll over a photo on the bottom bar, an interactive line will appear indicating where that landmark is located on the map. Clicking on the photo will bring up a larger version.

Before heading out on a road trip, I like to not only get ideas about where to go, but I like to have a comprehensive idea of what an area looks like and where specific things like airports, mountain ranges, campgrounds, lakes and towns are. Mapquest is a great way to get specific directions, but I think Google Maps does a better job at giving a "big picture" view of a new location to explore.

Our Teardrop Toiletries Box

Because of the lack of storage space in our teardrop trailer, we have to keep similar items together in one place or in one container. Our toiletry kit is one such container and it not only keeps our daily toiletries, but extra shampoo and personal items and our first aid kit. The container, a 6x9 inch three-tier box made by Snapware keeps all of our items contained in their own separate compartments. The container also has a handle so we can carry it to campground showers. On the handle, I've attached a loofah sponge—in bright yellow, of course.

The top compartment holds our daily toiletries: shampoos, conditioners, Dr. Bronner's Soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, hand and face lotion. The second compartment holds extra items like additional shampoo, lotion, Q-Tips and deodorant. We keep these extra items for longer trips and just so we don't have to shop all the time for small toiletry items. It's also nice to have extra items for friends or campground guest who may have forgotten something.

The bottom compartment contains our first aid items: Aspirin, Advil, antihistamines, wound cleaning cloths, Band-Aids, wound cream, Pepto-Bismol tablets, and throat lozenges.

Finding this type of toiletry kit has taken some practice and experiementation. We've tried several different storage devices from baskets to Ziploc bags and this solution seems to be the easiest and most sanitary way to contain our toiletries. Plus,  it fits perfectly into the cabinets above our teardrop bed.

Friday Teardrop Photo

My friend Nelly took a photo of this glorious, yellow T@B trailer and her matching tow vehicle parked at the Jonathan Dickinson State Park campground near Jupiter, Florida.

Review: Historic Camping & Teardrop Trailers DVD

Mark Janke of Overland Trailer recently sent me a DVD he created on teardrop trailers and their role in the history of camping. The 46-minute DVD, Historic Camping & Teardrop Trailers covers everything from the history of camping, small campers, Mark's own build, manufacturers and restorers all with a little American history thrown in. The soundtrack is a nice highlight and the Glacier National Park footage was incredible.

This DVD might be one of the most comprehensive videos on teardrop trailers and their history. I really enjoyed watching it and looking at some trailers I'd never seen before. In the video, Mark crosses the country in his own trailer doing interviews with historians and teardrop owners, park rangers, teardrop restorers and adults who grew up camping in the tiny trailers. I was most impressed with the historic footage and photos that Mark was able to dig up from the U.S. Library of Congress and Ford Motor Company.

One of the DVD highlights was a great interview with Debra Kellerman and her restored teardrop trailers. Debra began to restore trailers after a long emotional career working with people and wanted something totally different. Her initial experience with standard RVs was not positive, but her love of all things vintage brought her to teardrop trailers and her current Benroy, Kampster and Kit.

"For me it's a passage in my life, it was permitting me to work with my hands and do something completely different," Debra says in the DVD. "Now I can actually go camping in comfort, but keep the creatures of comfort to a minimum."

Mark also visits the Camp-Inn factory in Wisconsin where the owners show the various configurations of the Camp-Inn as well as the manufacturing area.

"What I'm really proud of is when our customers come to pick up their trailers, and the look on their face of admiration and enthusiasm makes it all worth it," Craig Edevold, co-founder of Camp-Inn, said.

The DVD ends with a visit to the RV and Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana where Mark checks out the world's oldest RV towed with a Model T, various vintage trailers and pre-WWII homebuilt trailers. Mark finishes up the DVD with some great footage from Larry Shank and his family's homebuilt teardrop trailer, built after WWII.

As a teacher, Mark created the DVD to be used for educational purposes. When you purchase the DVD, funds are provided to send copies to high school educators. Over 170 schools around the world have copies of the DVD.

The outtakes are funny too.

DVD stills courtesy of Mark Janke and Overland Trailer

How do you sleep in a teardrop trailer?

The main purpose of a teardrop trailer is to have a soft, warm, comfortable place to sleep while in the outdoors. This is the question we are asked the most: How well do you sleep in a teardrop trailer? When it comes to our own experience, the answer is: "Very well, but it takes some time."

What I mean is that sleeping in a teardrop trailer takes some practice. I don't sleep very well the first night out on a trip, but after a few nights, I'm sleeping like a baby. My husband is the same way. The first night we are getting used to being in a more cramped space, figuring out the number of blankets we need for the night temperatures, getting used to campground and nature noises and jockeying for our own space in the trailer.

We each have our own side of the bed. Since my husband is taller, he sleeps on the left hand side of the bed where his feet won't hit the 120V/12V plug that sits on wall down near my side of the bed. He also needs less blankets than I do and I need to have the window on my side cracked open. Once we have these little, picky issues figured out...we're fine for the rest of the trip.

If you want a good night's sleep in a teardrop trailer, practice for a few nights in your driveway or a nearby campground. It will take some time to get used to and you may need to make some adjustments to your typical way of sleeping. Also make sure you have what you need for comfort close by. For us, this means facial tissues, drinking water, eye drops and chapstick.

If you don't get a great night's sleep...teardrops are ideal for after lunch naps.

Photo courtesy of Oregon Trail'R

Friday Teardrop Photo

 A photo of me pouring some Jose Cuervo pre-mixed margarita mix made it onto the Little Guy Teardrop Trailers Facebook page. We were camping on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with some friends and Happy Hour comes early in the mountains.

Can you think of a great caption?