Towing a teardrop trailer in the snow

There will probably come a point in your teardropping life when you have to tow in snowy conditions. We have towed the Sunflower in several blizzards and on icy and snow covered roads (she has a good set of tires) without any issues by following these few tips — tips you will be familiar with if you live in colder climates.

1. Slow down. This is a no-brainer. You and your vehicle (and the trailer) will be more responsive to traffic, accidents, ice and slick roads when you are driving 10-15 miles below the speed limit. Another tip is to avoid changing lanes. Stick to the slow lane.

2. Don't brake; downshift. Braking hard on slick roads can cause your car to skid. Instead, when you are coming to a stop, slow down and downshift to a lower gear and then brake lightly.

3. Take the backroads. While some secondary or backroads might not be plowed, they are also less congested. You will have the freedom to drive the speed you need to and less vehicles to deal with. In fact, some secondary roads are owned by counties rather than cities and actually get plowed first or more often.

4. If you begin to slide. Try to correct as soon as possible. The trailer will follow you, but because you are longer than a normal vehicle, the trailer could hit a median, a curb or another vehicle. On very slick roads, the trailer could jack knife. The good thing is that if you do jack knife the trailer, teardrops are so small they won't block as much traffic as a larger trailer. However, it is best to get off the road as soon as possible.

5. Park it until conditions improve. If the conditions are just too dangerous, pull over and get a hotel room (or camp) for the night. You might even need to unhitch the trailer and leave it somewhere until you can come back and retrieve it during calmer weather.

Friday Teardrop Photo

This darling retro camper gingerbread "house" was made by Monica Eskridge of Paper Flour Ink in Houston, Texas for Sugar and Cloth. You can see the entire recipe on the Sugar and Cloth website.

Happy Holidays!

November/December Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Magazine

The November/December issue of Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Magazine is now available online. This issue features Tara and Marcus's year of living in a teardrop trailer, tips for teardropping in Alaska and a eulogy to Christopher Walker of Hemet, California. The teardrop designer and builder passed away this year.

Friday Teardrop Photo

Some wonderful camping details can be seen on this teardrop from the Vintage Camper Trailers Facebook page. Pink flamingos AND an Italian espresso maker.

5 Gifts for Teardrop Trailer Owners Around $30

Even if you are a little late shopping for your holiday gifts, these five gifts for the teardrop trailer owner in your life can be ordered or picked up quickly and inexpensively. Some of them might event fit into a camper themed stocking.

Sisters Get Their Kicks on Route 66

Sisters on the Fly, the national women’s camping and fishing group, have another book out about their adventures on Route 66. This year, 300 of the Sisters toured the 2,448 mile historic route with various vintage trailers in tow. The book has over 500 color photos of their stops at rodeos, dances, museums, markets, national parks, tourist sites, dirt roads and wrong turns.

$29.95 on Amazon

Roll of Reflectix

This simple material (reflective bubble wrap) has become our go-to material for lining ice chests, using as a bottom tent liner, as a small seat to throw on the ground while hiking and as a way to keep food hot on the picnic table. Reflectix comes in various sized rolls and can be cut to any size and shape you want.

Home Depot $21.65 (24 inch by 25 foot length)

Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine Subscription

Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine is a glossy, bi-monthly magazine highlighting vintage camper rallys, restorations, designs and decor and all things vintage. The magazine is shipped to both the U.S. and Canada

$32 per year

Travel Trailer Fabric from vitamini

The Etsy shop, vitamini, has some charming retro teardrop and standy trailer illustrations that she sells on various items like calendars, stamps, framed photos and cards. For anyone who sews their own teardrop trailer curtains or tablecloths, her fabric is darling.

$30 per yard

Handmade Teardrop Trailer Mug

Mary Van Dusen of Cattle Track Pottery in Scottsdale, Ariz. makes and sells various pottery items. She has found a niche in the teardrop trailer crowd and makes fun and creative items for trailer owners including mugs, magnets, trivets and luminaries.

$25 per handmade mug

Friday Teardrop Photo

We are in the process of planning our 2016 teardrop camping trips and Glacier National Park is on the list. We will be staying at the Saint Mary/East Glacier KOA on the east side of the park and their main Google image is, of course, a teardrop trailer.

Sylvain's Little Guy Shoe Storage Hack

I really love it when owners of manufactured teardrop trailers do their own hacks. Sylvain Rioux (desktoprover on the Little Guy Forums) of Canada sent me a great storage solution for shoes (and other dirty items) that are usually stored on the ground under a teardrop trailer.

JhnR of the Little Guy Forums used a cement mixing tub for his "Sylvain Shoe Hack"

Sylvain screwed two 58 inch aluminum U bars (channels) underneath his trailer that hold two 30 liter Sterlite bins for shoes, tools, cleaning cloths, etc. There is a bin inserted under each side of the trailer while at camp and removed during transit. He used self drilling screws to screw the 1x1 1/8 inch and 1/8 inch thick channels into the underside of his Little Guy Silver Shadow. The channels can be found at various hardware stores or ordered from Online Metals.

Photos by Sylvain Rioux and JhnR

Friday Teardrop Photo

I loved camping in the snow so much that I went looking for other hardy snow campers and found this photo from Teton Gravity Research. What a great way to get an early start on the slopes.

Teardrop Trailer Snow Camping

For Thankgiving this year, we decided to skip a family dinner and head up with two friends to Sierra Hot Springs with for their amazing Thanksgiving buffet. All hotels in the area were booked so we thought this would be a great time of year to do some teardrop camping in just a few inches of newly fallen snow.

We were not the only ones in the simple, meadow campground at the hot springs. Several other trailers, and a daring couple in an MSR backpacking tent, also braved the 10 degree overnight temperatures. We were lucky that several of the beautiful springs were just a short walk away and we did not have to do any cooking in the galley.

We realized a few things while camping in the snow with a teardrop trailer:

1. It was wonderfully warm at night with just a some fleece sheets, a feather comforter and our 12 volt electric blanket from Roadpro. It also helps to have a warm partner. :-)

2. Beware of any door locks, galley locks or hitch locks that could freeze when the temperature drops. We had an issue getting our key into the hitch lock the next morning. Use an ice prevention spray or lubricate the locks with Vaseline or grease.

3. Dress in layers and don't worry about sleeping in your clothes. It was actually warmer not to change from day clothes into pajamas, so we just slept in our daytime thermals.

4. Keep your shoes where you can jump right into them. I kept my winter boots under the trailer so I could grab them and put them on right away without having to keep the door to the trailer open and let out any residual heat.

5. Keeping water in a tank or bottles from freezing is challenging. Don't fill up your water tank before heading out and keep drinking water in the bed with you to keep it from icing up.

We were not allowed to have a campfire at this particular campground, but I see teardrop camping trips in the snow in our future with a campfire and some simple cooking in our future. It was so beautiful waking up in the morning to near silence with just the hooting of a few owls in the trees.

Friday Teardrop Photo

Shoes just seem to be too large for the teardrop trailer. I usually store my shoes either under the trailer or on the fenders. I've actually seen some teardroppers build fender boxes that hold shoes and other small items that can be outside, but should stay protected.

I do envy teardrop trailers with separate compartments for shoes. Where do you keep yours?

Featured Teardrop: High Camp Teardrop Trailers

If you are looking for an extremely well designed and well built teardrop trailer, the High Camp Teardrop Trailers of Portland, Oregon are built like the Mercedes of the teardrop world: in limited quantities and with care and attention to every detail.

The High Camp is also a nice, big trailer: 7 feet wide by 12 feet long. The streamlined design is a classic shape built on a 2x2 inch square steel tube chassis. The tongue storage container holds the battery and a retro styled propane tank. All the interior wood components are CNC milled from domestic birch plywood with a formaldehyde-free core and finished in a durable, zero-VOC clear coat varnish.

The galley includes a pullout stove with a top that acts as extra work space, a pullout shelf with a Coleman cooler, plenty of storage and beautiful hinges and wood details. The interior bed is a standard queen size and while there is a good amount of storage, the designers did not want to overload the space with too much overhead cabinets—making the bed area really just for sleeping.

The High Camp can come with optional accessories like a Victron battery monitor ($230), a two room shower tent ($125), or an all weather storage cover ($280). The cost of the base trailer is $15,895 and comes with the Coleman stove, Coleman cooler, IKEA mattress, deep cycle battery and Fantastic fan.

Photos by High Camp Teardrop Trailers

Friday Teardrop Photo

Perfect for wintery weather (just kidding). This 1932 Kozy Kamp Tent Trailer is owned by James T. Gandley. He posted it and its summery accoutrements on the Vintage Camper Trailers Facebook page. Even though this little camper is not a teardrop trailer it was a prototype for future hard top tent trailers like the Coleman, Apache and Ranger brands.

Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Jeep Issue

Cool Tears and Tiny Campers magazine just came out with their special Jeep issue. The online zine features an article on Front Range Gear, Jeep camping through the decades with some great photos, and the rugged Hiker Trailer. You can view the special issue on their website.

Friday Teardrop Photo

The Sunflower enjoying the first snow of the season.
The little solar panel is keeping her battery nice and warm.

What's on our teardrop trailer interior shelf?

I thought I would do a little video on what we carry on the interior shelf of the bed area in the Sunflower. This area tends to be the most widely used (besides the galley) and holds those little items that we seem to need every time we go camping.

It's also the most difficult area of the trailer to keep organized. Usually after every trip, I have to take everything off the shelf, clean it and re-organize it. It also tends to be a catchall area for everything from dirty tissues to wallets and keys. I think this is the cleanest it's ever been!

Friday Teardrop Photo

This photo of a handmade bamboo teardrop is actually a "Missing" post. The trailer, owned by Bryan and Jen of TheDangerz blog, was stolen in August in Portland, Oregon. Keep an eye out for the trailer and contact Bryan and Jen on their Facebook page if you see it.

Rent (or Rent Out) a Teardrop Trailer on RV Share

The sharing community is going way beyond companies like Airbnb, Uber and Lyft. Now anyone with an RV can offer their rig for use by someone looking to take a short or long camping trip. RVShare is a website where you can conduct a search for campers and trailers to rent. You can even put your own camper or trailer on the site as a rental. This includes Class A motorcoaches, travel trailers and even teardrop trailers.

Matthew of RVShare told me that teardrop trailer owners are more than welcome to post their trailers for rent. They would be classified as a travel trailer.
"What I would suggest when listing a teardrop trailer on RVshare is to provide a very detailed description on the listing," he said. "You can classify it as a travel trailer, but I would go in depth with the description and make sure that you upload high quality photos of the RV."

If you are looking for an RV to rent, you can do a search for the area you will be traveling from and your pickup and dropoff dates. Your request will go directly to the owner. Rates range from around $25 a night for a two-person van or VW bus to about $200 a night for an RV that sleeps six to eight people. Several teardrops on the site were renting for about $150 a night. Both owners and RV dealers can list an RV on RVShare.

If you do decide to rent out your teardrop on RV Share, Matthew suggests that you make sure whoever is renting your trailer has the correct insurance.

"Insurance is an area that we are constantly working to make easier for owners," he said. "Presently, owners ask renters to secure what are called binder policies from their own auto insurance companies. We are also working on a more simple, turnkey solution."

Friday Teardrop Photo

This standy teardrop trailer looks just like a T@B, right? It's actually made of 215,158 individual LEGO pieces. The trailer was constructed by a team of 12 professional LEGO builders for an RV show in Birmingham, UK. The artists spent 12 weeks and more than 1,000 man hours completing the trailer. It's not only life size, but it has a working sink, electric lights, a bed, seating, chess set, cups, and event some LEGO toothbrushes.

Thank you to AnetaCuse for the link!

Featured Teardrop Trailer: Vintage Overland

The Vintage Overland company in Scottsdale, Ariz. was recently featured in Outside magazine and from their rugged designs you can see why. Each of these stylish teardrop trailers are built by hand by Britton Purser and feature off-road tires, hardwood interiors, solar panels and vintage styling.

Each teardrop weighs about 500 to 600 pounds and three models are available. The Tuco is 4x8 and costs $10,500, The Great Escape is 4x8 with a rear hatch and storage area for $12,500, and the T.E. Lawrence (named after the British adventurer) has extra lighting and a pull out writing desk for $14,500.

Other basic features of the trailers include an oversized door, exterior lights, torsion asle, a rear receiver hitch for bikes or gear, vents and fans, tinted windows and insulation made from re-purposed denim.

You might be wondering about that large logo on the side. Vintage Overland will create a custom graphic for the side of your trailer.

Photos by Vintage Overland

Friday Teardrop Photo

I'm currently spending some time in our nation's capital and thought I would put up this wonderful setup by American Teardrop Trailers. They offer their various trailers (one is called the Eagle) starting at $3,995. They also have kits for $2,995.

Camp for Free with Hipcamp

The Tiny Yellow Teardrop has covered Hipcamp before and if you spent the summer exploring off the beaten path, the online camping and travel guide wants you to benefit. Hipcamp is offering a summer of free camping (and other prizes) for the winner of their Endless Summer photo contest.

All you need to do is choose one of your definitive summer camping photos (teardrops included), a thoughtful caption, upload it to your Hipcamp profile and link it to a national park or campground on Hipcamp. The contest is open until 10/26/15 and the winner will receive four weekends of free camping on Hipcamp Land Share listings, a two or four person tent from The North Face and a Goal Zero Lighthouse 250. Second place will win $200 Hipcamp credit, a two person tent from The North Face and a Goal Zero Lighthouse 250.

Those tents might help in case you need a guest house for your teardrop trailer. :-)

Photo by Hipcamp/Evan Kubena

Friday Teardrop Photo

Cool Tears Magazine, in conjunction with Tuck Designs, is offering these (and other) cool t-shirts featuring our favorite little trailers. This baseball style shirt costs $20 and comes in a unisex shape.

Fall Teardrop Camping

We took a quick trip down to the Eastern Sierras last weekend to go hiking and see the fall colors. When we camp in this area, we love to find free Forest Service campgrounds which makes our teardrop trip a lot less expensive. While the amenities are basic (pit toilets, picnic tables and fire pits), we never forget how lucky we are to have beautiful, free places to pitch camp.