Thursday, May 18, 2017

101 Questions About T@B, T@DA and T@G Camping Trailers

The Dutchman, Little Guy and now nüCamp series of tiny campers are certainly popular, but sometimes difficult to learn much about. Richard Lewis, a former T@B owner and forum moderator has written a book that cover all portions of the campers. 101 Questions About T@B, T@DA and T@G Camping Trailers is selling for less than $5 on Google Play.

The book not only covers the latest T@B and T@G designs, but also the older campers that are no longer being made. Lewis also answers over 100 questions about the trailers including issues with electrical, plumbing, towing, weight and modifications.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cool Tears Magazine, May 2017

The May 2017 version of Cool Tears and Tiny Campers is now available as a digital or print version. This issue has a great article on the top 10 smartphone apps for teardroppers and campers.

In addition, the magazine has an article about an epic 5,000 mile T@G teardrop trip with Elizabeth Vezina and her husband, how a teardrop build saved the life of a veteran, and a unique teardrop with a little extra room.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teardrop Trailer for Sale: Incubate by Moksha Woodwork Designs

I recently did an interview with San Francisco based woodworker, Moksha Osgood. He builds unique campers, backyard retreats and tiny houses on wheels as well as prototypes of buildings for displaced Bay Area residents.

One of his designs, Incubate, is for sale and the sale of this teardrop-like camper will help fund additional prototypes of Moksha's dwellings for the unhoused. Incubate is 78 square feet, 2,680 lb. and is tall enough to stand up in. The structure is built on a 12 foot long Carson utility trailer and has an interesting, redwood canopy frame that can be disassembled during travel.

Moksha says he was inspired by both teardrop trailers and Japanese design and aesthetics while building Incubate.

The exterior is cover with a mix of salvaged and new redwood and cedar siding as well as 26 gauge galvanized metal sheets. The interior is accessed with Douglas Fir French doors and redwood steps.

The interior has an Atwood two-burner stove, a sink with a gravity fed faucet, four LED lights and a maple wood kitchen counter with maple cabinets. The sofa folds out into a full size bed and there are two storage cabinets behind the sofa. The interior is paneled with Douglas fir.

This one of a kind standy camper is for sale for $19,000.

Photos by Moksha Woodwork Designs

Sunday, April 9, 2017

How do we pack our ice chest?

Teardrop trailers have very little space and this goes double for our ice chests. Some teardrop galleys are lucky to have a little refrigerator and maybe an ice chest for extra food and drinks, but face it, we will never have as much room for food as the bigger trailers.

Our only way to keep food cold while traveling is with our Igloo bear-proof cooler (similar to this guy here) that we lash onto our tongue cargo rack. Over the years, we have gone through numerous ways to pack as much food as possible without having our fresh eggs swimming in melted ice water with random bags of lunch meat.

The best solution we have come up with is to use several storage containers from Walmart to hold the food in separate compartments, while the ice surrounds the containers. This keeps the melting ice from soaking the fresh food. The top container holds fruits, veggies and other items that don't need to be very cold, while the bottom container holds meat, dairy and frozen items that tend to keep the cold items colder. The surrounding ice can hold more breakable items like beer or soda bottles.

Since plastic container products and sizes are always changing, the best way to accomplish a similar setup is to bring your ice chest to the store and try to fit several containers into it. We were able to find a set of containers with handles that nested into each other. When we want to do some cooking, we will just pull out the container and carry it to the stove and our picnic table.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Magazine

The latest issue of Cool Tears and Tiny Campers is now available online and in print. This issue discusses the split of Little Guy Worldwide and Pleasant Valley Teardrops (the original maker of the Sunflower), Matt Gideon's modified T@G camper, and a teardrop trip down Route 66.

Cool Tears now has a blog and a shop with fun t-shirts and bumper stickers. In addition, if you are interested in keeping up with the teardrop world on your phone, check out the Teardrop Nation app for both Apple and Android devices

Friday, March 24, 2017

Excellent Hitching Tips from Sean and Kristy

My Airstream friends from the Long Long Honeymoon have a great video up about their six best hitching tips. These tips focus on their 25 foot Airstream Classic travel trailer, but their tips can benefit anyone who tows a camper. While most teardrop trailers under 1,500 lb. will not have brakes and won't need anti-sway bars, any way that you can be safer on the road will be appreciated.

The best thing about the video is hot and sexy intro.

Here are a few of my own tips for hitching up your teardrop trailer.

1. Stay focused

When hitching up your camper, pay close attention to what you are doing. Don't get distracted by partners, children, pets, neighbors, your phone or another task. Focus on getting the hitch coupler fully around the hitch ball and locked down. Make sure your chains are crossed and completely hooked and locked onto the hitch receiver. Double check your wiring connections, lights and signals.

2. Watch your weight

Because most teardrop trailers are on a single axle, any weight that is put too far towards the back can make the trailer fall backwards or tilt dangerously toward the rear. In addition, too much weight towards the front can make it more difficult to hitch up correctly. In fact, we will load our heaviest item (our ice chest) onto the front cargo rack after we are safely hitched up.

3. Double, triple and continuously check your connections

When you are towing, being a little OCD is a benefit. Every time we stop at a gas station, restaurant or campground, we check our electrical connections, the hitch ball and the chains. Sometimes we will each do our own check in case someone misses something. If you are a first time teardropper, having a written checklist with you is also very helpful.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Featured Teardrop: Tiny Camper Company

There are not many teardrop trailer builders who go from hobbyist to philanthropist in just a few years. Joe Tyquiengco of Tiny Camper Company went from building teardrop trailers for himself and a few clients to providing several campers a year to homeless U.S. veterans. The company has also raffled off their trailers to raise money for sick children.

The Tiny Camper Company, based in Florida, is a family-run business that builds several different types and sizes of teardrop trailer. The trailers veer toward the styles of the 1930s to 1960's with retro details and classic lines.

Currently the company has six teardrop designs, including the Canned Spam standy trailer which is tall enough for someone just under six feet. Each trailer can include options and upgrades like AC and heat, front cargo or roof racks, TVs, hanging cabinets, and painted frames. The campers range from $2,750 to $5,300 without the upgrades.

For a straightforward teardrop trailer with galley, the Simple Sleeper and the Simple Sleeper Basic are built on 4x8 trailer frames and both weigh under 700 lb. They each have a NOCO Marine Electric 110 volt outlet and a back shelf. The Koa Teardrop is a simple design with a galley and two doors on a 4x8 trailer frame. Each of these campers can be upgraded to a 5x8 trailer frame for $750.

If you like nostalgia in your camper, the Retro Vintage Teardrop has a 1930s vibe with vintage Ford fenders and tail lights. The Retro comes standard on a 5x8 trailer frame. The Serro Scotty Replica has white aluminum, a squared off rear galley and only weighs 750 lb.

For issue #51 of the Tiny House Magazine, I interviewed Joe about his new 5x8 Canned Spam standy trailer as well as his Trailers for Troops program. Every year, he and his Trailers for Troops representative and manager, Micah Jones, choose several homeless veterans to receive a pro bono teardrop trailer. Many of these veterans are either living in their cars or on the street and suffer from PTSD-induced illnesses. The teardrops give them a more secure and comfortable way of life.

Photos by Tiny Camper Company