Travels with a teardrop, other tiny trailers, Part II

A nice teardrop, with an added "side tent" to expand living area, overlooking Ocean Cove Resort north of Jenner, CA.

Possibly the nicest teardrop we have seen, built by Dan Hazard out of Manteca; 5′ wide, 10′ long, with an expanded, luxury rear galley, microwave, air conditioning, generator – very elaborate!
Our new 58 Serro Scotty Junior teardrop, with builder Tom Scott, a West Virginia shop teacher. We have towed this little trailer across the US, twice up into British Columbia/Alberta, and to the Southwest, enjoying the freedom of the road!
This is our 1964 Serro Scotty Sportsman, weighing just 1,000 lbs, and offering stand-up room for someone 5’8″, double bed, dinette and small sink/stove, Note it was towed with our then Nissan 300 ZX. Still needing a major rebuild, it sits snugly wedged into our garage.
This was our Kit Kamper replica, that we happily toured throughout CA for almost six years!

I have not posted for a while on “traveling with a teardrop trailer”; but, anticipating a teardrop gathering at Ocean Cove Resort above Jenner on the California coast in a week, here is an update.

We have owned several tiny trailers over the last seven years; our first was a cute little reproduction Kit Kamper, popular after World War II and one of the more frequent teardrop trailer styles seen today. The Kit was built on a platform of 4’X8’ plywood sheets; hence, 4’ wide, 4’ tall and 8’ long (we have since upgraded to a Scotty teardrop, as noted below).

Ours was built from a kit in 2004; we purchased it from its second owner who towed it with a Mini Cooper! We toured mostly California with this trailer – the North Coast, the Sierra and a few trips to other destinations. In 2012, we decided to up-size, and bought a slightly larger 1964 Serro Scotty Sportsman trailer (still teardrop in style, but offering a dinette, an interior sink, two-burner stove and stand-up room for someone 5’8” or shorter) but needing a pretty complete rebuild.

Shortly after, I sold the Kit for what I had paid for it, to a new owner in S. California. With the larger Scotty trailer wedged in our garage (awaiting more extensive work than I originally realized), I found on-line (eBay) a beautiful reproduction 1958 Serro Scotty Sportsman Junior, built in West Virginia in 2011 by a true craftsman. Since we were headed back to Gettysburg anyway (for a week-long bicycle tour with my brother and four other pals), I bought this cute teardrop and picked it up in route to Gettysburg.

The 1958 Scotty was also built on the 4’X8’ plywood platform) making it similar in size to the Kit. We have toured extensively with it, including the trip all the way across the country, a three week trip up the CA/OR and WA coasts to Vancouver, BC, across BC to Spokane and back, and assorted other shorter CA trips to national parks like Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Pinnacles and more.

The arguments for a teardrop trailer include small and lightweight (about 700 to 800 pounds), so a small car or truck can tow it and still deliver good gas mileage (we tow ours with a 2013 Ford Focus 5-speed stick and get 26 MPG). I take special delight in pulling up beside giant diesel pickups, pulling 35′ fifth-wheels (and getting about 10 MPG), realizing we are about as comfortable as they are! 

With their small size, teardrops fit in your garage, and their relatively small interior space mean two bodies keep us quite warm, even when outside temps drop into the 30s!  Our interior sleeping space is 4′ width X 6’5” length X 4’ in height, so plenty of length and space for two.  Being a hard-sided trailer, my spouse Susan no longer worries about bear attacks, as she did when we tent-camped!

The teardrops also have a rear galley that often have built-in stove tops and/or sinks; ours offers reasonable storage space for Coleman stove and other camp gear. We also equipped both our teardrops with a rear bike carrier receiver, so we can load 2-3 bikes on back.  With your bedding already made up, camp gear loaded, it’s a simple matter to pack a cooler and your clothes, hook up and away we go!  The main negative is the trailer’s smallness (not a lot of fun on a rainy weekend, though we have been known to hibernate and watch movies on a laptop for hours on end)!

Teardrops are not the only choice in small camping rigs, which also include both soft-sided and hard-sided “tent trailers”, and smaller, fuel-efficient vans decked out as creative campers. The marketplace for any of these is both Craig’s List and eBay (search for both tear drop, and teardrop campers); I frequently see nice teardrop trailers advertised from anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on how nicely equipped.  And, now is the time to buy, as warm-weather retreats and many decide to sell that cute little camper!

You can also find, on the web, varied companies that rent teardrops for a few days or a week. Try one out, you may become hooked on the comfort afforded and hard-sided security, vs. tent-camping!

This entry was posted in Central California, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers, United States beyond! and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

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