Teardrop trailers are compact, streamlined and lightweight travel trailers that get their name from their distinctive profile.
Most teardrops are sized to sleep two, with storage for clothing and other items as well as a basic exterior kitchen at the back, under a lift-up hatch.2
1936 Teardrop with cooking facilities in rear3
Teardrop campers date from at least as early as the 1930s, when magazines such as Mechanics and Handicraft, which provided instructions and plans in December 1936 and said,
For the summer vacationist or motoring enthusiast who enjoys frequent outings, but who cannot afford frequent hotel bills or expensive camping equipment, a “teardrop” trailer, which comfortably accommodates two persons, will prove just the thing for many pleasant weekend trips. This can be built for approximately $50 by anyone who has ordinary carpenters’ tools.
Teardrop trailers usually range from 4 to 6 feet wide, 8 to 10 feet long, and 4 to 5 feet tall, though larger teardrop shaped campers are on the market. Usually weighing less than 1000 pounds, teardrops can be towed by most small cars and trucks. Wheels and tires are usually outside the body, under fenders.
Electrical power for lighting and other uses is generally provided by a battery, though some models can be connected to shore power.
From a September, 1947, Mechanix Illustrated article “Trailer for Two:”
“Getting away from it all” doesn’t mean giving up the comforts of home, for with this compact trailer you bring them right along with you. As it’s only a fraction of the size and weight of a full-grown trailer, you can take this 10-ft. tourer wherever a car will go. And when you reach some iseal spot between a lake or stream, up goes the kithenette and in a matter of minutes there’s an appetizing meal cooking away on the pull-out stove. Under the same hood, there’s an icebox (for the big ones that didn’t get away), a water tank, folding table and cupboard space for a raft of food. After you’ve finished tucking away your share of it for dinner, you can open one of the doors and there’s a full-length mattress waiting for you when you turn in. And if you like fresh air when you sleep, just open the screened-in panels on the doors.
Teardrop Trailer Manufacturers and Kits
(with listings of current models, as applicable)
Adventure Teardrop Trailers – models: Full Size, Half Size, Motorcycle Cargo Teardrop
American Teardrop Campers – models: Eagle, Falcon, Hawk, Merlin, Osprey
Big Woody – models: Deluxe, Ultimate, U-Finish
Camp-Inn Teardrop Travel Trailers – models: 500, 550, 560
Cozy Cruiser – model: Classic, Classic Bunk, Classic Deluxe
Creative Teardrops – “We build our teardrop campers one at a time…”
Gasoline Alley Trailer Works (Bubba’s Trailer Park) – model: Alley Teardrops (based on templates of an original 1947 “Kit” Teardrop trailer)
Hillcrest Teardrop Campers – “We build Teardrop Trailers by hand, one at a time.”
Lil’ Bear Tag-Alongs – “custom crafted teardrop trailers”
Little Guy Teardrop Camper/Trailer – models: Lite, Little Guy, Off Road, Silver Shadow, T@G, T@B (small teardrop shaped travel trailer)
Locke Nest Teardrops – custom reproductions and restorations
MiniTears “custom teardrop trailers for little cars” – models: MiniTear, MMT (“Minimized MiniTear”); TinyTears (small tear shaped cargo trailer)
Micro-Lite Trailer (specializes in trailers for small, lightweight vehicles…)
Moby1 Expedition Trailers LLC. – models: C2, RT, XC, XTR
Oregon Trail’R – “Custom built high-end camp trailers and accessories.”
Safari Condo – A teardrop that pops up; models: Alto F-Series, Alto R-Series
SignaTour Campers – models: Biscayne, Rockledge, Tote Camping Utility Trailer
Silver Tears Campers – models: Silver Cub,Silver Tear, Woodie Camper, Woodie Tailgater
So-Cal Teardrops – models: Buzz, Cal-Deluxe, Rover, Sierra; offroad models: Buzz-Off, Krawler
T@B (from Little Guy)
TCTeardrops – “…designed to hold roof racks for your toys and still be able to open up your galley hatch for a quick roadside lunch.”
Teardrop Fix-It-Shop – Precut, ready to assemble teardrop kits; Parts
Tears O’ Joy (limited production custom teardrop trailers) – models: Anniebella, Jessica; Jessica2, Melinda, Virginia
Three Feathers MFG – models: Pinecone, Tumbleweed
Tiny Trailer – building a limited number of teardrop camping trailers each year.
Trekker Trailers – models: Adam’s Cabin, Simple Sleeper, Square One
Vacations in a Can – models: Can ‘em Danno, Chili Pepper, Orange Pop
Whetzel Trace Travelers – Custom built teardrop campers.
Teardrop Trailer Plans and/or kits
Desertteardrops.com – step-by-step plans, full sized template, and supplier list
The Teardroppers – Plans, kits and parts.