Tear Jerkers bond with tiny trailers

By Bob Scott  jconline.com

Nearly 50 members of the Indiana Tear Jerkers will camp out this weekend at Prophetstown State Park near Battle Ground.

The Tear Jerkers all have teardrop travel trailers. The compact trailers sleep two and have a basic kitchen in the rear.

The state chapter of the international Tear Jerkers group will camp from Friday through Sunday.

Bob and Vickie Henry of Linden are active participants in the Tear Jerkers. They have five of the teardrop trailers, including two that he has built.

“They become family,” said Vicki Henry, 56, of fellow Tear Jerkers. “We get together four times a year and look forward to seeing each other.

“I love to cook for the Saturday get-together. We swap recipes and show off our trailers. We are there to kick back around a campfire with friends.”

Bob Henry, 60, makes his living as a construction estimator with Midwest Construction in Frankfort. He said he’s been part of the Tear Jerkers since early 2007.

“The state chapter representing Hoosiers has 80 to 90 members,” he said. “I’m the only Lafayette area member that I know of.”

The teardrop style trailer first became popular during the 1930s. They faded away in the 1960s but made a comeback in the late 1990s. The trailers are usually 4 to 6 feet wide, 8 to 10 feet long and 4 to 5 feet high. They weigh less than 1,000 pounds.

Some of the trailers use batteries for electrical power, while others have power hookups.

Bob Henry said some of the teardrop trailers can cost up to $20,000.

“I have less than $1,000 each for my two home-built trailers,” he said.

The Henrys said they look forward to curiosity seekers stopping at the “gathering” this weekend.

“People go by and break their necks looking. They don’t want to bother you until you invite them over. Then they ask a lot of questions.”

The Henrys take trips to area campgrounds, including primitive sites.

“We won’t ever give this up,” Vickie Henry said. “We’ve worked so hard over the years.

“Now it is time for us to play.”

Original Article

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