Dave Builds a lightweight TearDrop Trailer

Well you guys at the TearDropTimes message board finally egged me on enough that I started building a TearDrop yesterday (Sunday June 8th, 2003). I’d like to thank you all for the encouragement, ideas, suggestions, and constructive criticism that you’ve all been so free with.

I told you guys that I was really trying to buy a TD, but since it just doesn’t seem to be an option, I got started making one myself. Don’t get your expectations up too high, ok?

I based it on Mike Schneider’s designs – but I have to say I wasn’t feeling very good at reading plans. It’s hard for me to visualize this stuff from a 2D computer, or diagram. So after staring at the various designs for a few months, I just went for it, and fixed whatever I ruined as I went. So if it doesn’t look perfect, you’ll understand that this is not my best skill set.

Based on the discussions here (and the size of common plywood), I went with the 4x8x4 size. I also decided to shift my focus from sturdy & durable to lightweight. The materials cost less, and I have a better opportunity to re-do things without the pain of using expensive materials. Since I’m learning by doing, I hope to learn enough to make a better one next time.

Some time I ago, I discovered that I need to be really really careful about drinking coffee. Although 15 years ago I used to drink 3 cups a day, my metabolism has changed, and now a half cup will blast me into outer space for a day & a half. The flip side of this is that those Starbucks iced coffees in the grocery store are SO TASTY it’s hard to avoid gulping the whole thing down all at once. … Oops.

I awoke feeling all snoozy & tired yesterday morning, and in my stupor, I saw one of Louise’s yummy little coffees in the fridge. Hmmm. A cure! A few hours later, I was in buzzing around in the Jeep, motoring up the alley in search of trailer building materials to scrounge. In a frenzy that lasted less than 10 minutes, I found enough materials to frame & cover a teardrop trailer!

The trailer frame has been a heavy topic of discussion, and I knew I couldn’t do that properly this weekend, but I have a friends 5×10 flatbed sitting in my yard, so I just built on top of that for now, I can move the body to a more suitable chassis later if I want to. I hope he doesn’t come over to visit right away.

Anyway, heavily fueled, I worked fast & got a lot done quickly, not letting anything slow me down, or get in my way.

Making 4 foot wood & removing the nails. All this wood came from an old box springs. (cost =0) Paul looks on.
Except for the Makita screwgun, no power tools were used
The 4x4x8 frame is going up
The mattress wasn’t 8′. so I had to make longer boards.
Skinning it!
I’m not really going to use this 5×10 trailer frame. But it’s already here.
Stapling. I scored all the cardboard in one 10 minute hunting trip down the commercial alleys nearby.
Roof & walls on
Keeping the weight low by using lightweight materials
Front view. I may want a window towards the top middle. But it would probably need a cover.
Taping the walls
I faced the light color to the inside to increase light, and make it feel bigger inside
This is when I decided that 6’2″ wasn’t a large enough sleeping area, and moved the galley wall to 6’5″. Ahhh
The left door is cut out, leaving a hinge on the front edge. This is so the door won’t blow open on the freeway
View of the inside, before the shelf went in
Louise shows that the ice chest does fit, if it’s sideways
Galley countertop is 19″ deep. The ice chest will slide out on a roller board/drawer
Cut a pass-thru to the inside. We used it minutes later!!!
Dave staples the inside wall to the “X” wood
View of the inside, with shelf. I lay in there with my knees bent, as tall as they would go. Then I added a few inches for the air mattress & blankets. Made the shelf high enough so I will never hit my knees on it. 22″. It’s 27″ deep. Had to use a flash for this photo, and it’s time for a margarita!

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