Posts Tagged ‘rv’

American Teardrop Trailer – Roaming Times Review

May 3, 2011

American Teardrop says: “We have been able to drastically lower the price of teardrop camper trailers by using assembly line production technique and eliminating the distributer mark up. Our streamlined production facilities make it possible for us to lower our price while giving you the quality and the features you expect.”

Important dimensions:
4 models are available – see below
Overall length 7’2″ ‘/ 13’0″
For specifications of the 4 models click here

MSRP  from $3995 (5/2011), kits avalable from $2995
(American says: “$2995 – $6995 All American made classic camper!”)



 American Teardrop


LOA 13’0″
Weight 925 lbs
Tongue weight 101 lbs


American Teardrop


LOA 11’10”
Weight 840 lbs
Tongue weight 80 lbs



American Teardrop


LOA 10’6″
Weight 748 lbs
Tongue weight 72 lbs


American Teardrop


LOA 7’2″
Weight 240 lbs
Tongue weight 24 lbs



From the Auburn Journal California:

The teardrop is designed for convenience.
 “It can be towed behind any car, including electric cars,”  Bud Hausman (general manager of American River Sales in Auburn) said.  “They’re super lightweight.  They’re the RV for the next generation.”  The trailers have been increasing in popularity for the last 15 years, “with the last two years seeing the biggest growth we’ve ever seen,” he said.
The demographic is just about everyone who enjoys the outdoors.  “Because of high gas prices, people don’t want a second high-mileage vehicle,” Hausman said. “They want to have their car and go on vacation.”
Teardrops offer a no-to-low frills experience.  “People love camping, but no one wants to sleep on the ground,” he said. “When they walk away, they want to be able to lock up all the gear inside.”

Original Article


Homemade teardrops offer campers chance to personalize campsite

February 28, 2011

By Scott Richardson

PEORIA — Teardrops form when Gary Daniel and Don Wheeler talk about camping but not because of bad days in the woods.

These do-it-yourselfers built their own “teardrops,” which are compact, efficient travel trailers measuring just 4 feet by 8 feet. Larger ones stretch a bit longer and wider. But they’re still basically just bedrooms on wheels.

“We call it ‘camping with a dry bed,'” said Wheeler, 64, of Groveland, a member of the Illinois contingent of a national club called the Tearjerkers.

Teardrops often have simple, well-organized kitchenettes that are fold-down tables for a workspace. Some have sinks with running water. Most teardrops are homemade so owners have a chance to decorate in unique styles to reflect their personalities.

Daniel and Wheeler will be among teardrop owners who will display their rigs at the Central Illinois Recreational Show at the Peoria Civic Center from Friday through March 6. The event also will feature recreational vehicles of all kinds, including travel trailers, fifth-wheels and motor homes. Vendors will represent campgrounds, tow vehicle dealers, ATV and golf cart sales and more.

Daniel built his teardrop to have an inexpensive way to travel to shows catering to his first love, street rods. He is president of the River Valley Drifters, a street-rod club based in the Peoria area. He’s restored several vehicles since his dad passed his enthusiasm for cars to him as a boy. He has a 1937 Cadillac LaSalle Coupe and a black 1950 Chevy with flames, which his teardrop is painted to match. He is creating a street rod from a 1954 cab-over-engine half-ton Chevy truck that once was a farm vehicle. He is also building a second teardrop that will be painted to match the truck.

“It’s going to be awesome,” said Daniel, 71, a retired salesman.

One of his friends seems to have started a teardrop fad in the

street-rod club when he found an old teardrop trailer in the woods and decided to restore it. The metal-covered teardrop probably dated to the 1940s. Teardrops date to the Great Depression. They were simple and cheap to build from spare wood. They were also aerodynamic and light, which kept down fuel costs, Daniel said. Blueprints and directions appeared in how-to magazines of that day, including Popular Mechanics. After World War II, teardrop builders were able to use surplus aluminum.

One company started selling assemble-it-yourself teardrop kits, Wheeler said. They didn’t sell well until the company started selling fully assembled models.

“Then they went crazy,” Wheeler said.

Though on the roads consistently since then, teardrops faded in popularity as the horsepower of cars grew in the 1950s to allow travelers to haul bigger trailers with more amenities, like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz did in the movie “Long, Long Trailer.” Teardrops have enjoyed a revival in the past decade, Wheeler said.

Daniel and his wife, Stephanie, love the teardrop Daniel built from cast-off bed frames, plywood, a makeshift axle and wheels. They added a pressurized six-gallon tank for running water and a Coleman stove. The interior is paneled with wood and features shelves for a television and DVD player for movies.

At least two other friends are building teardrops, so they are fashioning an air-conditioning unit that will sit outside and keep up to four teardrops cool. He also has a shower that uses sun-heated water for hot showers.

But the teardrop is still mainly for sleeping. Even Stephanie Daniel, who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, has plenty of room to stretch out inside. Still, the teardrop is usually the smallest trailer in the campground, a fact that doesn’t bother Daniel at all.

“One of the neat things about teardrops is you spend more time outside. In the big units, they sit watching TV. We with the teardrops are sitting outside around a campfire lying to each other and having fun,” he said.

Wheeler, who is retired from Caterpillar Inc., and his wife, Chris, come from scouting backgrounds. They’ve always liked staying in campgrounds. Their travels have taught them that less is more. They had motor homes and full-sized trailers over the years. But they weren’t enjoyable for someone who still had to clean a kitchen or a bathroom while on vacation.

“My wife would say, ‘This isn’t fun. I’d rather barbeque and have someone else clean the bathroom,'” Wheeler said.

Wheeler, who has restored two Model T Fords, purchased teardrop plans online and went to work. About $1,000 in materials and a winter’s worth of work off later and he created a trailer light enough to tow with a matching Volkswagen Beetle that still gets 25 highway miles a gallon, rig and all.

The teardrop is equipped with a microwave. They carry a camp stove to use on picnic tables to keep the mess away from the trailer. They also have a TV/DVD player mounted inside. A fan is enough for cooling. A heated mattress pad keeps them warm on cool nights. Full screens keep bugs out. The couple buys a week’s worth of groceries, carries a week’s worth of clothes in the teardrop’s closet and stops every seven days to do laundry and re-supply.

The best part:

“You have a dry bed. It starts raining or storming, you can get inside and shut the door. You don’t have to worry about floating around on an air mattress,” he said.

In addition to the convenience and the economy, Daniel and Wheeler like the people drawn to teardrop trailers.

“It’s a unique bunch,” Daniel said. “They are handy and they build their own stuff. That’s why it’s so interesting to street rodders. They like to say, ‘I built it.’ …You get bragging rights.”

Central Illinois Recreational Show

What: Displays of travel trailers, motor homes, fifth-wheels, tent campers, ATVs, golf carts, tow vehicles and more; special display of teardrop trailers

Where: Peoria Civic Center

When: Friday through March 6

Times: Friday 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; March 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tickets: Adults, $8 (coupon for $2 off at website); children 7-12, $2; kids 6 and under free; Friday only, seniors (65 plus are $5;


Orinal Link

Drew’s funky little trailer the real star

August 20, 2010

Jennifer Chambers and Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News

Royal Oak — Where there is road, there is a classic car. Where there is grass, there is a Dream Cruise fan. Where there is an open space, there is a vendor ready for business: Woodward Avenue has been transformed into Dream Cruise paradise.

Visitors will find cars, fans and gathering spots on nearly every edge and corner of Woodward from Ferndale to Pontiac, all in preparation for the world’s biggest one-day car show Saturday.

But as everybody in Metro Detroit knows, the party starts early for the 16th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, with plenty of events Friday leading up Saturday’s cruise from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Today was a busy day of preparation for the people, businesses and communities along Woodward, where parties are hosted and events are held for more than 1.5 million people who come to the Cruise every year.

Tents popped up at Memorial park at Woodward and 13 Mile in Royal Oak, where Dream cruise events are held Friday and Saturday. Police in Ferndale worked to close East Nine Mile in preparation for Friday’s 10th annual Ferndale Emergency Vehicle Show, which starts at 1 p.m., and an official Cruise ribbon-cutting at 5:30 p.m.

Officials in Berkley are gearing up for the Berkley Dream Parade, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Woodward and 12 Mile and goes west through downtown.

Cruiser Paul Imerman spent today at the corner of Woodward and 13 Mile, where he parked his 1971 Buick Centurion, a shiny red convertible.

“I love the cruise. I’m out here every night and have been since May, as long as it isn’t raining,” Imerman of Huntington Woods said. “This is the only reason we come back here from Arizona, where we summer.”

On Tuesday, Fred Drew drove in all the way from St. Thomas, Ontario, to both cruise and snooze on Woodward prior to Saturday’s main event.

Drew crossed the border in his “mostly” 1929 Ford coupe, towing his wood, retro-inspired, hand crafted, teardrop design one-person trailer.

“I call it a mostly 1929 Ford because it had parts from a lot of different years,” said Drew, a retired security supervisor.

Heck, it also has parts from trucks, plus the drivetrain from a 1964 Buick.”

While the Ford is an eye-catcher, the real crowd pleaser is Drew’s funky little trailer.

At 11 feet long, four feet wide and four feet high, this crusin’ cabin meets all of Drew’s needs.

“I built it myself in 1997-1998 and good or bad, the entire idea came out of my head,” said Drew with a laugh.

“I based my work on photos of classic 1937 teardrop trailers and then fitted it to my own needs, which included adding an extra foot to its length in order to put in a kitchen.”

The tiny trailer is equipped with nearly all the comforts of home, including a propane powered heater, refrigerator/freezer and two-burner stove. It also has a sink and running water.

Drew opens a small door on the side of the wooden mini RV to reveal surprisingly spacious sleeping quarters. While the trail definitely isn’t a “double wide,” it is just big enough for one person or two good-sized Labrador retrievers.

“There’s no problem sleeping in it, because it’s very comfortable,” Drew said.

“I don’t have central air, but I do have a portable fan in there for warm evenings. The only minor drawback is finding a safe, legal place to park it for the night.”

From The Detroit News:


Dream Cruise: 1929 Ford hauls homemade trailer and everything else including a kitchen sink

Christie Macdonald WXYZ


BERKLEY, Mich (WXYZ) – When Fred Drew left Ontario in his rebuilt 1929 Ford for the Dream Cruise, he had everything he needed in his trailer plus the kitchen sink.

Really, a kitchen sink.

Fred’s life on wheels includes his Ford, which pulls his bedroom and kitchen wrapped into one tiny trailer he built himself. He got the idea after a bad stay at a bad hotel.

“My non-smoking room had cigarette butts on the floor and I thought I don’t want that again,” said Drew.

So he built his own trailer. It’s four feet tall, four feet wide and eleven feet long. His bed is a three-quarter sized matress, and he climbs in through a side door.

After a cozy night’s sleep, he walks around back and lifts the door to his kitchen.

“Underneath the canned goods is a seven gallon tank so I have water to make my coffee or tea with,” said Drew.

The tiny kitchen is complete with a two burner stove and a fully stocked dorm fridge.

Fred has traveled around the United States to car shows and he loves the freedom the tiny trailer home gives him.

“It’s a great life, you should live it,” he said.

Original Article with video

Along the road to greener travel

June 21, 2010
Quebec Company Safari Condo makes a camper trailer that downsizes your carbon footprint
By LYNN MOORE, The Gazette

In this carbon-sensitive era when counting greenhouse gas emissions is commonplace, it’s not always easy to declare yourself a fan of recreational vehicles.

Small vehicles are in and the pendulum is swinging to recreational pursuits that are easy on the planet. In the collective mind set, the RV is often seen as a gas-guzzling throwback to the age of bigger-is-better.

And, unfortunately, the RV industry is still introducing models that fuel that perception.

At the recent RV Salon in Montreal, there was no escaping the “sport-utility RV,” because it is so huge and it draws crowds of tire-kickers. Up to 11.9 meters (39 feet) in length, these SURVs feature a swing-down rear wall that can be lowered to the ground and used as a ramp to run an all-terrain-vehicle up into the vehicle’s interior so the RV and ATV can travel together.

But, fortunately, the industry also offers alternatives to the SURV and bus-size motor homes that clog up the roads every summer. These are smaller, lightweight units often outfitted with solar panels or powered by diesel engines.

The show-stopper among this year’s greener offerings at the RV show in Montreal was a made-in-Quebec camper called Alto.

It’s a teardrop-shaped trailer whose skin is made from a single sheet of aluminum. One distinctive feature is the retractable roof that opens up the trailer’s interior to a comfortable height. Made by Safari Condo, a family-controlled company in the Beauce region, the aerodynamic Alto can be hauled by compact cars or small SUVs.

“We wanted to create an ultra light travel trailer with the lowest possible drag ratio,” explained company spokeswoman Dominique Nadeau.

“The weight of a trailer is important but when you are driving 100 km/hr on the highway, weight is not what is holding you back … the wind is really trying to stop your car.”

Safari Condo, which also produces camper vans, tested three shapes before settling on the teardrop-shape. The patented electric retractable roof offers an interior heightof 2.08mor82incheswhile introducing light to the interior via a crescent of tinted tempered glass windows.

The first model, the Alto 1713, was unveiled in 2007, followed the next year by a model with a shower integrated in the toilet stall. These models are 5.26 meters in length and 2.11 meters wide and can be pulled by cars such as the Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion.

Introduced as a prototype in 2009 was the Alto 1733. With a slightly narrower interior -by 41 centimetres -and slightly lighter -by 38 kilograms over the 1713 -it was designed so it could be pulled by a compact car such as a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla.

The price for an Alto starts around $24,000 and can reach $30,000 for a unit that is fully equipped with solar panels and air conditioning.

The base price includes a built-in sink with a glass lid that can be used as a work surface, a king-or queen-size bed in the back and a guest bed in the front of the unit. The units also come with a fridge, stove and pedestal table.

Flexible solar panels that lie flat on the trailer’s roof are optional on all models. One panel provides 68 watts; two panels provide 138 watts.

“With two solar panels, you are fully autonomous. You don’t need to plug in anywhere with that,” Nadeau said.

As much as possible, the company uses local products. The “eco-intelligent” fabric used for the Alto’s seats and cushions are from a local company and are chemical-free and recyclable, she noted.

The genesis for the 12-year-old company was the family’s love of campervans which, “are great in the city and great in the wild,” she explained.

The first Safari Condos used 16-foot General Motors chassis and in 2000 the company expanded the line to include 18-foot and 20-foot chassis. This year, the company has launched production of a new series that uses a Mercedes chassis and diesel engine.

The company, which employs about 50 people at two plants, “can’t keep up with the demand” for Alto trailers, Nadeau said. About 90 per cent of their Alto sales are for custom orders. Last year, about 75 units were produced and this year’s goal is 125 units. i

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RV ing a green way to go

The coalition representing much of Canada’s RV industry, is also trying to focus on the greener side ofRV s. GoRV ingCanadacites its 2008 study in which a third party compared the total carbon dioxide emissions of RV vacations with those that involve flying, renting a car and hotel stays. It found that for a family of four, RV vacations had a smaller carbon footprint.

Read more:

Raccoon Holler 2010

June 1, 2010

By Ross Wade

We, Ross and Carla Wade, started the 4th Tearjerkers Chapter, known as the Southern Appalachian Tearjerkers and have been the Chapter Directors since 2004. The Southern Appalachian Chapter was the largest chapter to ever be formed, which included the Mid Atlantic States: WV, VA, NC, SC, TN, GA, FL, AL as well as, KY, MS and LA. Since then we have found great people to take over several of these states and form their own chapters. As of now, the Southern Appalachian Chapter has members from WV, NC and SC. All of the other states have Directors. By becoming Chapter Directors, we did help change the Tearjerkers to an open camping group, meaning that you don’t have to have a teardrop camper to be a part of us.

We welcome everyone who enjoys the great outdoors and fellowship with others, whether you have a tent, pop-up, van, RV, or fifth wheel….it doesn’t matter. Our campsite is always open, so come and sit a spell ’round tha campfire.

We host 2 gatherings per year. Our first gathering is held the 3rd weekend in May and our second gathering is held the 3rd weekend in September of every year. Makes for easy planning so everyone can join in.

We just had our “SPRING FLING AT THA HOLLER 2010” at Raccoon Holler Campground in Glendale Springs, NC and have for several years. Camping in the heart of Christmas Tree country. We had 14 trailers and not a bad turn-out considering that the weather started out rainy and was to be a possible wash-out weekend. True Tearjerkers will brave out the weather and hope for a few breaks between rain showers. The rain was gone by mid afternoon on Saturday and was beautiful for the rest of the weekend.

We started, what seems to be a tradition now at our Saturday Night Pot Luck Dinners, a Communal Grill. We have a large 2′ x 5′ grill for everyone to grill up their favorite eats and then they bring a side dish to share with others. This gives everyone a chance to be together and mix & mingle before breaking bread together

After dinner we are always fortunate to have live music from some very talented Bluegrass musicians.

Here are a few more pictures:

Our next 2 gatherings will be Tearjerkers East Coast Nationals August 4-8, 2010 at Fort Chiswell RV Park in Max Meadows, VA and End Of Summer Fun At Tha Lake September 17-19, 2010 at High Rock Lake Marina and Campground in Lexington, NC.

Hope to see ya ’round a campfire real soon,

RVs big,small draw thousands to show

February 14, 2010

RVs big, small draw thousands to show
Sunday, February 14, 2010
WEST SPRINGFIELD – In a direct response to the sagging economy, Brian T. Beaver, co-owner of Beaver Camper in Agawam, brought several Little Guy teardrop camper trailers to the annual Springfield RV Camping and Outdoor Show.

The little teardrops are significantly smaller than the luxury homes on wheels-style recreational vehicles also sold at the show. They range from 96 inches long to 212 inches long. The interior houses a bed; an optional gas grill is outside.

Beaver said the teardrops can be towed by 4- and 6-cylinder cars, and are an eco-friendly alternative. He said they found that many people bought small, fuel-efficient vehicles that cannot tow larger campers.

“We’re changing with the times … People are still going camping, but not as far and not as often,” Beaver said.

He said he sold three of the teardrops, which cost $4,000 to $9,000. They have a certain nostalgia factor as well – this type of trailer was popular after World War II, Beaver said.

Longview RV salesman James W. Worden, who works in the company’s Windsor Locks store, said there has been “a lot of positive interest” regarding recreational vehicles, something he attributes to the economy turning around.

The show, at the Eastern States Exposition, featured all sizes and types of recreational vehicles, information from more than 100 campgrounds, and dozens of outdoor equipment and camping specialty suppliers.

Part of the charm of attending the show is going inside the various models and checking out the amenities. Four women comfortably sat inside a $52,782 Montana recreational vehicle, sipping drinks and talking RVs.

“This is very comfortable,” said Heidi L. Kallinich, of East Hampton, Conn.

“Like a home away from home,” said Diane L. Hall, of Rocky Hill, Conn., who said she wants to buy one just like it.

Stepping out of a spacious Silverback with a price tag of $44,790 was Timothy D. Valk, of Saugerties, N.Y., who announced, “You can have a dance in this one.” He said he and his wife had two RVs.

Alicia M. Duquette, a show co-chairman, said it has been produced for 48 years by volunteer members of the Pioneer Valley Chapter 8 of the North American Family Campers Association.

“People plan their vacations here,” Duquette said.

Trends she noticed included dealers bringing smaller trailers to the show, and more trailer rental companies, for people who are thinking about buying a recreational vehicle but who want to try it out first.

Duquette said they are trying to promote the “staycation,” where people stay close to home for vacation. With a recreational vehicle, that can be easily accomplished, she said.

She said Friday’s attendance was up compared to the previous year – 2,613 to 2,425.

The show kicked off Friday and will continue its run at the “Big E” through Monday. Show hours today are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $9 for adults; active military, $5, and free for children 12 and under.