things u love or hate

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things u love or hate

Postby Shep505 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:12 pm

Ok, my name is Shep and I am about a green at this as you can be. I’ve never seen a teardrop in person. I am however completely set on building a drop of my own as soon as the weather breaks this spring. In the meantime I am researching as I fabricate a plan and start putting build materials together. First purchase will be the 5x8 northern trailer as my base.

Because I have no experience to draw on for features I want to include I ask all of you experienced folks to tell me what you consider to be something you cannot live without either in the interior or the galley. Also something you would lose if building again.

Another question would be does form follow function or function dictates form. As a rule do most people decide what their most important needs are and design a profile around that or do most go with a classic shape or other and adapt to that.
Honestly I can’t stop thinking about this all the time. Thanks in advance for your help.
Shep
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby tony.latham » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:19 pm

Five-wide, a ceiling fan, screened side windows (in the doors), And two doors. Headboard with USB charging ports. 12V outlet for the electric blanket at the foot. A the damn-good mattress that we have.

:thumbsup:

I vote for function over form. I built a little 4x8' 'drop for my sister and bro-in-law. (They're skinny.) He insisted it have a rolled in front and back. I tried my damnest to talk him out of it. They lost 9" with that must-have. 9" is a lotta space in a teardrop.

:beer:

Tony
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby Woodbutcher » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:49 pm

tony.latham wrote:Five-wide, a ceiling fan, screened side windows (in the doors), And two doors. Headboard with USB charging ports. 12V outlet for the electric blanket at the foot. A the damn-good mattress that we have.

:thumbsup:

I vote for function over form. I built a little 4x8' 'drop for my sister and bro-in-law. (They're skinny.) He insisted it have a rolled in front and back. I tried my damnest to talk him out of it. They lost 9" with that must-have. 9" is a lotta space in a teardrop.

:beer:

Tony



Tony hit the nail on the head. :applause:
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby Shep505 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:59 pm

thanks guys. while im sure most have either shelves or a combo of shelve and cabinets inside do you find that the added weight of doors and the space they take swinging open on a cabinet could be scrapped and just have shelves and open cubbies. something tells me i might be getting overboard with details but i want to build it right the first time out. i so agree with you on the really good bed. nothing worse then waking up crooked.
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby working on it » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:36 pm

Shep505 wrote:... does form follow function or function dictates form. As a rule do most people decide what their most important needs are and design a profile around that or do most go with a classic shape or other and adapt to that....Shep
  • I can't remember my exact thoughts at the time, but my trailer was formulated around 10 main points:
  • 1) old-time classic trailers were built using the standard 4x8 sheet of plywood (so that set my floor size, and everything cut to fit that)
  • 2) I'm not a woodworker, but a mechanic and tinkerer, so the structure would have simple straight cuts, and be primarily bolted (& glued) together
  • 3) it must be strong, and easily repairable, so I built from 3/4" plywood, used no dentable aluminum skin (which I had seen dimpled by hail), and painted with materials I had used before
  • 4) airconditioned, to combat the Texas heat, present most of the year
  • 5) secure, so that if my wife camped alone in it (we never have the same times to vacation, and one must remain home with the animals), the doors would stay closed, and she would be safe inside
  • 6) built from easily sourced, common materials, for cost and replacement purposes
  • 7) lightweight, under 1000lbs, to tow with a small car
  • 8) multiple power sources for any campsite; battery, inverter, parkpower acceptance (multiple adapters for any plug), and an on-board generator for off-grid use
  • 9) de rigueur Coleman gear on-board, because without a Coleman stove and lantern, it wouldn't be camping (memories from my youth), and
  • 10) must be a one of a kind, hardware exposed, mechanic's function over form, kind of trailer.
  • Did I adhere to my 10 preconceived ideas/directions? Yes, to #1-6, #8-10, but missed the mark on #7; my trailer currently weighs in at 2020 lbs (loaded up). I must use my truck to tow it, and am looking for a SUV 4wd that has a high-ish tow rating.
  • I found out that by going my own way, and building as I saw fit at the time, ignoring some sage advice along the way, I didn't foresee future problems cropping up, years later. I crammed too much gear into too small a space (did I really need the generator inside the galley?), didn't insulate because I thought it unnecessary (wrong, even in mild weather, condensation is always present), built from 3/4" plywood (when 1/2" would've been sufficient), over-complicated the A/C exhaust system (just to do it different than I'd seen before), and built it for entry in a different manner (I thought that a door at the front of each side would be easy to use; it was, until I became old and lame).
  • So, by building a one-off camper, ignoring some experience others had shared, going it on my own way, doing it differently...all have made my trailer a mixed blessing to me. Proud that I made it work (and always modifying it to be usable), and sorry that I didn't partially build it, and actually use it, before I added features that I didn't need. It was 30+ years since I had previously last camped, and 50+ years since my Boy Scout days, so I was just guessing what I wanted, in preference to knowing what I needed, in my rush to build the trailer.
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
  • 147697148333
  • 148599125895148106
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby Shadow Catcher » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:57 am

Lots of 120 AC and 12V DC outlets
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby kokomoto » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:37 pm

Form? Function?

Whether it's a teardrop, car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or airplane, my advice is to be brutally honest with yourself about what your mission will be most of the time, and find a design that will do that mission well. What exactly will you do with your teardrop? is the question you need to ask yourself.

I sacrificed some interior space for the shape I wanted. The function? To make me happy with the form. However, I'm glad that I followed some sound advice from the folks on this forum and changed my plans from 9' to 10' tear. I had to cut another pattern, but it gave me the valuable storage space in the galley that we need.

I love my fan, 2 doors, pass thru window, and tilt out windows. :D
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby earl84 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:04 am

Get a comfortable mattress. A lot of the reason I built was to get off the ground and be more comfortable, so why cheap out and get an uncomfortable mattress? I agree with everyone else’s comments. You have to figure out what’s important for how you camp. Some don’t like a built in sink or stove, I can’t picture going without these.

On the cupboard doors, I didn’t finish ours the first few times we went camping and figured out the way we use the cupboards at our feet, I’m really glad I didn’t install them, they would have just been a nuisance. Highly recommend some type of shelf at your head to throw a headlamp, phone, keys, etc. Sort of like your bedside table at home. Also, plan on having some coat hooks to hang rain jacket, towels, etc for quick and easy access. Oh, and a convenient place to put your clothes for putting on in the morning or the middle of the night bathroom runs. Also, we added a table on the side to make our galley kind of L-shaped. Used some adjustable legs, and the rail that attaches to the side. SOOOO handy, can’t imagine not having it.
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby tony.latham » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:57 am

On the cupboard doors, I didn’t finish ours the first few times we went camping and figured out the way we use the cupboards at our feet, I’m really glad I didn’t install them, they would have just been a nuisance.


I concur. I build two staggered shelves inside the rear of the cabin that have 3" lips on the front. The lower shelf extends into the galley and becomes the counter. I stole that from my old Hunter Silver Shadow.

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Open, organized, and accessible. We hang our clothes on those hooks. :thumbsup:

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Re: things u love or hate

Postby Shep505 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:55 pm

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate the replies. I have been fairy set on the idea that I'm going to spend some serious dollars on bed because it's likely to be the equivalent of a memory foam bedroom mattress that you would find in your house. I am leaning very heavily to shelving and cubby spaces with no doors I know I want option for both 12v and 110. Completely set on two side doors and working on a design for a full inside door screen to get Max air flow on those warm nights. Fantastic fan is on the list. Love the hanging clothes hooks idea. I agree that the smart path is function dictates form and as such will build around my needs first and wants second. I am still hoping to keep it as light as possible because I want to tow with either my 6 cylinder pilot or 4 cylinder Accord. I like the thought that as a tear dropper we are basically elevating tent camping and not downsizing rv camping. That thinking will ground my wants to a sane level and make my needs easier to install. Has anyone had any success hanging a mushroom style air very on the side down low for added airflow. I've seen this done in a video for the Chesapeake light tear drop. Seems like it could catch water when sideways. Z
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby slowcowboy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:40 pm

I like the hole teardrop camper idea. only draw back is fall or winter since you cant stand up. but after 07 it beats a class c motor home hands down and has a willd very fun mind blowing ride in a "coffin on wheels."" slowcowoy
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby slowcowboy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:44 pm

I love to aurgue the 4 wide 5 wide war. its only 12 measly inches deffrence in width. I own a home built 4 wide and its 9 feet long and 3 feet 6 inches tall. no problems no woman ether. so that's probably a blessing in dugise. but I am aslo a die hard 4 wide man. on the other hand for the future I am currently constructing a 6 wide kampmaster. so yea. I amit I am a hypercrite but my new teardrop build 2 is on the 7 year build plan. slow
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby Shep505 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:25 am

Honestly, if I was riding solo I would consider the 4 footer but my wife is my best friend in life and she will be with me on every trip so those extra inches in bed width are golden real estate. I figure a queen at 60 inches would be so tight on the sides it would be hard to make the bed taking into account wall thickness if insulated. I think the full size will fit perfectly but that's as small as I want to go.
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Re: things u love or hate

Postby tony.latham » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:53 am

I figure a queen at 60 inches would be so tight on the sides it would be hard to make the bed taking into account wall thickness if insulated. I think the full size will fit perfectly but that's as small as I want to go.


Our teardrop is 5' wide. The sandwiched walls are 1.25" thick. That's 57.5" inside. We've got a foam queen-sized mattress that, of course, is 60" wide. It's easy for the two of us to install a fitted sheet over it. We negate the top sheet and use a smooth as silk fleece blanket for our first layer.

Making the bed is a fairly easy job on a two-door 'drop.

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Re: things u love or hate

Postby Shep505 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:39 am

That's good news. I really wanted to have the queen in there.
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