Tell me about your teardrop gear.

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Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby skeetersmobilelodge » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:10 pm

Tell me/show me all your favorite bits of gear. Unique items, nesting stuff, space savers, all those little things that make your life that much better in the teardrop. I'm new to the game of teardrops and I'm interested to see how you guys make your tiny house a home. I'm particularly interested in all things boondocking related. Although I have a generator that is more than capable of powering everything in my teardrop, I'm always looking for better/more functional equipment.

So, from top to bottom, little to small, up and down, school me on how you teardroppers roll! So far my favorite functional item I've got has to be my energizer lantern (close 2nd is my brand new $50 optima yellow top, just because it was a helluva deal!). It runs off either 4 or 8 AA batteries, folds down very flat for easy storage and opens up for a surprising amount of light. Although I had this lantern well before my teardrop, I found myself buying another one for space saving purposes in my tear. Here's a link...

http://m.target.com/p/energizer-fusion- ... aQodi9AAnw
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby S. Heisley » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:17 pm

:thinking: Let's see....

-Get cooking pans/pots that nest inside each other.
-If the lights in your trailer are incandescent, get LED bulbs to replace the existing bulbs. It'll save a lot on your battery.
-Always carry a spare blanket. You never know how cold it's going to feel at night.
-Keep a vent or at least one window open a crack, even if it's cold. It'll help keep the condensation from forming on the walls.
- It's a good idea to get a Tupperware-style box to put your shoes in at night. If you leave your shoes outside, put the lid on and make sure it's tight fitting, to keep creepy-crawlers out. If you bring your shoes inside your trailer at night, putting them in a box will keep shoe dirt from getting all over your trailer.
-Always carry a little more water than you think you need because you never know what might happen, especially if you're boon-docking!
(I try to carry an extra set of clothes and and extra day's food, too; but, that's just me.)

-If you haven't already browsed through the galley gallery, you might enjoy that and get some ideas there:
http://s134.photobucket.com/user/ams-te ... 20Gallery/
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby skeetersmobilelodge » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:38 pm

Thanks! Lots of good info there! The tote for shoes is a great idea that I would've never thought of but extremely useful. Not a very talkative bunch of folks around here huh? :shhh:
War is not just a game played by young boys. As we grow there are those of us who continued to play, wishing every day it was still just a game. Remember the fallen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for your right to hate them.
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby rowerwet » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:28 am

Nothing really special for us, the tear allows us to bring kitchen gear for cooking, our gas grill and camping stove, and the bed is made just like home. Unlike hiking campers where everything must be weighed and portable.
Tear camping is glamping.
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby rowerwet » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:34 am

Nothing really special for us, the tear allows us to bring kitchen gear for cooking, our gas grill and camping stove, and the bed is made just like home. Unlike hiking campers where everything must be weighed and portable.
Tear camping is glamping.
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby daveesl77 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:00 am

Regardless of how we camp or where, the constant has always been that most of the stuff we carry relates to sleeping comfortably and eating well. Oh, and our old beagle Max. I'm an old, long-distance sailor and when doing that if you didn't bring it, you cannot get it. We normally stay in National Forests, Corps of Engineers, State parks or BLM locations. Many of those have electricity and/or water, but in a lot of cases we end up somewhere that not only has no services of any type, and the nearest store might be a 50 mile round trip on a dirt road.

All of our lighting is LED. We have 120v and 12v systems. We can run off of shore power, solar or the battery. We also carry one of the small 800 watt HF generators, but seldom use it. We have a dorm fridge that lives inside the cabin and runs off of shore power (if available) or from a 2,000 watt, cheap Centech inverter while driving or if no 120 is available. Our pickup has the factory tow system, so we have the ignition controlled charging circuit plus isolator. Presently we have a 50 watt solar panel, but I'll be doubling that before we go out west again, next year. We also carry a large ice chest. This one may sound weird, but we also carry a small, countertop ice maker. In a lot of places, bag ice is crazy expensive, so we make our own if necessary and achievable. It can run off of the inverter, but not with the fridge running too.

Conch Fritter has an 8 gallon water system and once again we can use shore water or internal. We have a Triton 5L on-demand, portable water heater that works great. Hot water in 8 seconds. I also scored a 35 gallon fresh water tank from an RV junk yard, so if going somewhere that I suspect will have limited fresh water access, I can carry this in my truck bed and fill to act as a reservoir for the camper. On the water heater side, I'm building a secondary tie in to allow us to use the water heater as part of a forced-air cabin heater. There is a big thread on how to do this with different systems.

I made an external toilet/shower/dressing room from the remains of a partially destroyed ez-up canopy. Bringing along a small porta-potty is much appreciated by the wife when "late night nature" calls or it is pouring down rain. And in some places we camp, there are no toilet facilities of any type other than it. Nice part about these is you can dump them in any bathroom, if necessary, just pour the contents out slowly, then flush the toilet.

Our galley pulls out of the camper and sets up in an "L" shape. When traveling it rides under the bed support, we don't have a traditional "hatch" type galley. It literally takes about 2 minutes to completely set it up or close it up. It pulls out, rotates and a section flips over. This gives us 11 feet of countertop and 13 cu ft of storage. Think of those boy scout camp kitchen boxes.

I carry two ez-up canopies, which I use as the "skeleton" of our full cover. Over that I place a very large tarp and the entire structure is very securely tied down. For stakes I use these really neat landscaping stakes that I've only found at Home Depot. They are steel, flat (about 2" wide) and 14+" long and about 3/16" thick and cost $1.50 each. They hold in essentially every kind of soil I've found and can be driven through rock if necessary. You install them with the flat side facing the tarp. To remove them, you just whack them sideways a few times and pull them out. Using this system, I've had my tarp up in 60-70 mph storms (no exaggeration either) and literally never got a drop on us. Last fall we were tent camping down in the Keys with this system over us. A big, big storm hit the first night. Every tent at Long Key was damaged, many destroyed, plus one pop-up camper's sides were destroyed. We not only got no damage, we didn't get wet.

For making coffee, we use our old Bialetti Moka and a tea kettle. Small, lightweight, works fast and makes the best coffee and/or cappuccino you can imagine. For me, after it does its boiling thing, I'll pour about 1/2" of the brew in a mug and fill the rest with hot water. Makes the perfect cup of coffee and takes maybe 4-5 minutes.

Having a pickup makes it much easier to carry all of this extra stuff.

dave
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby S. Heisley » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:31 am

skeetersmobilelodge wrote:Thanks! Lots of good info there! The tote for shoes is a great idea that I would've never thought of but extremely useful. Not a very talkative bunch of folks around here huh? :shhh:


The forum has slowed to a nice, comfortable pace, this past year. Most people, now, only log on once a day. Thus, probably, the 24 hour lapse in response. Camping in a teardrop or tiny trailer isn't much different from camping in a tent, except that it is much more comfortable and convenient. You still use much of the same gear as tent camping; but, minus the tent & ground cloth and maybe a few less portable items such as extra lights, etc.

Take a small note pad and pen or pencil with you on your first camping trip and write down anything that you find yourself needing or wanting so that you can add it when you get back. It's a good idea to make your first camp trip either near to home or even at home. That way, anything you've forgotten is easier to add and any problems are quickly remedied.

After every camping season, usually in the late fall or winter-time, go through what you've put in your trailer and take out things that you have found are unnecessary or redundant.

If you're new to camping, search for camping checklists. They can be most helpful.

Your trailer has the added benefit of being a good emergency or bug-out shelter. This is a good time to suggest that you keep at least a three day supply of canned food and water (and/or a good water filter) in your trailer, for emergencies. Be careful not to store plastic or cardboard packaged food unless it is contained in an air-tight, solid container. Critters seem to be attracted to most any food except canned and, if they can smell it or see it, will chew through to get to it. Also, some packaged foods have a short shelf life before they start to taste stale...less likely with cans. A tip for keeping plastic or cardboard packaged food critter-free is to put that sort of thing in a grocery bag and store it in your air-tight ice chest until you need it. (After all, when you aren't camping, you aren't usually using your ice chest much; and, when you need it, it isn't a big deal to lift the grocery bag out and set it on the counter until you're ready to re-store ice chest. )

You may find that you like keeping your camper ready to go, with an extra set of clothes stored there and the bed already made up with sheets or a sleeping bag. Many people have dedicated set of basic, all-season clothes and bedding just for their trailers and, when they get back from a trip, they simply wash everything and ready their trailer for the next trip then. :)
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby tony.latham » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:21 pm

Tell me/show me all your favorite bits of gear.


We carry two aluminum dutch ovens, a twelve and a ten incher. Neither have legs. that way we can cook on the stove with them or over the coals using a folding D.O. lid stand. They nest in the wooden box (the ten incher is sitting on). I stopped packing cast iron Dutches twenty years ago.

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Here's our Kelty Tailgater. It's great when we need shade or protection from the rain. Unfortunately, Kelty quit making them. They are quick and easy to put up. I found this one on eBAy. The sides roll down for additional protection.

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I carry a folding 60 watt panel inside the tongue box, but this 20 watter is always out and maintaining the battery. Even after 20+ nights this year the 60 watter hasn't seen the light of day.

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I can't imagine leaving our roll table behind. It's quick to set up and slides into a 10" by 40" or so bag. I think Texsport imported these but I don't think they carry these wooden topped ones anymore. But holy buckets, I just snapped a spare up on eBay for $30. It was titled "Mac Sports Portable Foldable Camping Table Natural Wood"

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If wer're going to BBQ, we use a camp toaster. Here's a flank steak cooking over buffalo chips.

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And a 12V electric blanket with a 30/45 minute time to preheat our bed on frosty October nights. The largest I've found is 58" x 42". A bit small for a queen-sized bed but they are about $28 on Amazon and work well.

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Happy Trails! :thumbsup: :pictures: :beer:

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Tony
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby daveesl77 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:37 pm

Sharon, that is exactly what we do. Other than clothes, we have all the normal stuff stored in the trailer either in their normal locations or in plastic bins. All the rest of the stuff is also stored in labled plastic bins and we store them in one place in the garage. When we get ready to go I just back the truck up to the garage, load in the stuff stored there in the truck bed. I'll turn on the fridge the day before, using shore power from the house, to get it down to temp and load in the refrigerated stuff. Normally we load in our clothes the day before leaving.

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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:46 pm

All LED lights.
185W high voltage panel feeding through a Morningstar MPPT controller 150AH Lifeline AGM 83771

100406100410

Computer case fans 5468179656

We have cabinets for most everything and do not rely on bins. Big tongue box.
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby skeetersmobilelodge » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:23 pm

Seems most of yall must be from up north. Here in texas you can't survive a trip in the middle of summer without AC. You guys do have some really great set ups that would work wonderfully for winter time when all I need is a little bit of heat now and then. As of right now I have a 1.5A maintainer plugged straight into my 120. I've recently found out that an 1156 zevo LED is very much brighter and so much more functional than the cheaper LEDs. I've changed all lights while finishing out the tear to LED including trailer lamps, in prep for boondocking. My inside and outside LED lights together should, in theory, only draw about 0.04 amps with both being on at the same time. Solar power is cool, but can be confusing to me. Is it worth buying the cheapo coleman panels from harbor freight? Or should one just bite the bullet and invest? I'm digging the info, keep it coming! :applause:
War is not just a game played by young boys. As we grow there are those of us who continued to play, wishing every day it was still just a game. Remember the fallen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for your right to hate them.
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby Graniterich » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:56 pm

. 04 are you sure, maybe . 4 (400) milliamps
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby felixx » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:23 am

I am just starting so I hope to sort my list of good and useful things soon,
following this thread with interest
:D
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby skeetersmobilelodge » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:46 am

Graniterich wrote:. 04 are you sure, maybe . 4 (400) milliamps


I've been wrong before, you can ask my wife.
War is not just a game played by young boys. As we grow there are those of us who continued to play, wishing every day it was still just a game. Remember the fallen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for your right to hate them.
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Re: Tell me about your teardrop gear.

Postby felixx » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:05 am

OK I thought about this while I was away and realised what was a really useful bit of gear!

Nappy (daiper) wipes
they are a disposable cloth wipe pre moistened with antiseptic cleanser
We used them for wiping the kids bums after nappy changes..
Bloody handy for cleaning your hands without water

http://www.walmart.com/browse/baby/baby-wipes/5427_486190_1096134?grid=false&
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