Teardrop 1 009 10-foot

The answer, of course, is to make it bigger!  According to many, such as the author(s) of How To Build A Teardrop Trailer available on Wikibooks, it is easy to convert an 8-foot trailer into a 10-foot trailer.  Since this is not going to be a folding trailer as envisioned by the manufacturers of the trailer frame, the two side-by-side cross members for hinging together the trailer can instead be turned 90° and used to elongate and brace the outer frame members.  Still confused?  Have a look at the picture.

So now I have a 10′ trailer in the plans, giving me two 2′ sections to put stuff – one for the galley (fridge, stove, sink, microwave, etc.) and one for storage (water tanks, propane water heater [which now does not have to be any particular height], the portable toilet that everyone loves to put next to their food, and a bit of storage accessed inside the berth).

Teardrop 1 008 streamlined

Version 8 is geared to be a little more streamline.  It sits at 4′-7½” total height from the ground and includes a 12-inch radius curved cut front, roof, & rear.  No, the innards aren’t going to stick up like this.  But I want to get the shape right first.  That’s one of the few artistic expressions of teardrops – the shape.

This compromises available space in the galley.  Where will the water tanks go?  And the microwave?  They can fit down below.

The microwave will be at a less convenient level, but,

  • It won’t force the user to reach across 18 inches of counter top plus the depth of the microwave to get at food.
  • You won’t burn your arms reaching over top propane burners.
  • Kids can microwave popcorn.
  • I can microwave my coffee without raising my butt out of my chair.  How convenient.
  • Plus, there is a space for a drawer for pots & pans (well, perhaps only pans) under the microwave.  It also lowers the overall center of gravity by a smidge.

Benefits abound.

But it’s so dang wide!  The microwave is 19″ wide, and the fridge is 24″.  That doesn’t leave much.  What to do, what to do.

teardrop 1 007 wall studs, insulated floors

Nothing really new to report here.  I tried a few things, moving various parts around.

Where do I put the water tanks?  In this version, there is a fresh water tank on the right (passenger) side and grey water under the sink on the left.  To have the water tanks fit, the counter top needs to be raised to more than 3′-2″ from ground level.  How high is your stove & sink at home?  I bet it’s not that high.  People usually bring their kids camping.  Do they have to stand on something?  Unsafe.  I did the scientific tape-on-the-door method to get a proper feel for the heights of various components.

<sorry, pic missing>

Does the grey tank have to be the same size as the fresh?  I should think not.  The 20ℓ Aqua Pak tank from Canadian Tire is good for fresh, but I doubt very much the grey water needs to be more than 10ℓ.

Again, I didn’t get carried away with wall studs yet because I’m not entirely satisfied with the overall shape yet.  No wall studs done.

Teardrop 1 006 change 4 to 5 feet wide

This is changed to a 5-foot wide trailer.  As one online comment states, what is the point of building a trailer if you’re not comfortable in it?  Go for the extra width.

The sink & stove are placed wider the way you’d expect them to be.

I began to place 1×2, 1×4, & 1×6 boards to see what the framing would look like.  But something just doesn’t feel right.  It’s 5 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 5 feet tall.  Rather boxy.  Not a fan.

Teardrop 1 002 fit components

This shows the water heater actually fitting. How? The insulation is put between the trailer frame members, reducing the height of the floor by an inch, allowing for a whopping extra inch leg clearance. Nothing else is arranged yet. It works, but this doesn’t offer a lot of space for one’s feet in the berth while sleeping.

Teardrop 1 001 basic idea

Here we go!  This is the original concept.  After downloading a trailer frame from RevitCity, I began building the concept in Revit.  Version 1 is on a 4×8 Harbor Freight folding trailer, what many people typically base their teardrops on.

The profile is bulbous at the front end and streamlined at the rear, although not by very much.  It uses a 4×8 sheet of plywood as its side wall.  The 1-7/8″ inset at the front and rear gave an extra 3-3/4″ curved overhang at the front.

The floor is a sandwich of 3/8″ ply, 3/4″ polystyrene insulation, & 3/8″ ply.  The bottom is coated with a roofing tar (don’t know what type yet) and top with polyurethane.  It covers the entire frame.

The side walls, 1/8″ interior skin, 3/4″ insulation on 1×2, 2×2, & 2×4 framework, & aluminum skin, are bolted to the side of the floor.  Hanging walls?  Commonplace in teardrop construction, I know, but this is not idea in my view as there is no solid platform for the walls to sit on.  Still, it offers a full 4′ x 6′ berth area.

Here is a transparent view to show the water heater, speakers, CB radio, stereo, microwave, sink, fridge, and door.

The main issue with this is that it’s so dang tall.  The reason I’m dismantling the 1965 Sprite trailer is that it offers way too much wind resistance for my little Kia Soul.  This is better but not great.  Other issue:

  • water heater – not enough clearance, but no where else to put it
  • microwave oven – opens onto the counter top (must counter clear at all times)

Back to the drawing board.