Posts Tagged ‘teardrop trailer’

Never Cold in Sun Valley

February 13, 2011

It was a bright sunny day as I was cooking breakfast the crew that was building our garage was noticeably absent. I checked the thermometer and it registered 32 degrees below zero. If you are a carpenter that is an ideal temperature to call your boss and take a day off. If you are a skier it is a good day to hunker down and rest your sore muscles and tune up your skis.

For the last three days the wind has been howling out of the west at about 30 mph and during lunch in the lodge someone asked me if it ever got that cold when I was living in the parking lot in our eight-foot, tear-drop trailer.

Yes. It was a similarly bright sunny winter day, except without wind and about three and a half feet of snow had accumulated in the parking lot. Ward Baker and I had just finished cooking our bowls of oatmeal when we were politely asked to move our car and trailer so they could plow out our parking place.

When we had arrived in Sun Valley we had only planned on staying for about a week and we had been burying our trash in the snow bank beside the trailer.

There was no chance that our car would start without warming it up first so we got out our empty one-pound coffee can and filled it up with gasoline, lit it and shoved it under the engine. It contained just enough burning gasoline to warm up the oil in the engine but not big enough flames to catch the engine on fire. As the flames went out Ward stepped on the starter and the engine came to life. Well, it coughed and wheezed a little bit and then struggled to barely run.

Finally we were able to tow the trailer out from its own snow bank and the rotary snowplow could then carve a clean path through our part of the parking lot. We forgot about the trash that we had been burying in the snow bank behind our kitchen for the last three weeks. The giant rotary plowed through that trash and it landed in the trees above where we had been parking. Now hanging from the trees were milk cartons, polka dot Wonder Bread wrappers, old cans of corned beef hash and the carcasses of five rabbits we had shot in Shoshone on the way to Sun Valley.

From that moment forward for the rest of the winter it was easy to tell people that we were living under the tree with the milk cartons, pink napkins and bread wrappers.

But I have diverted from my temperature discussion. That winter we had no quilted parkas; they had not yet been invented. No one knew anything about layering and our soft leather boots were just that. The important thing for me in retrospect is that I didn’t know that I was supposed to be cold. It was a question of skiing every day all winter. And that was the answer, too.

We never had frostbite and we never complained about the cold because there was no one to complain to.

We did learn to wear long underwear with a sweater over it, then a nylon windbreaker and then another sweater. The second sweater kept the nylon parka close to the first sweater and somehow it worked.

You could always go into the Round House and warm up. You had to be careful, however, if you got too close to the fireplace because you might spend the entire day by the fireplace. I thought it was kind of dumb to ride clear up to Sun Valley from Los Angeles on the train and spend the day by the fireplace.

It really was great in Sun Valley then because the chairlift only hauled 426 people an hour and you could ski in untracked powder snow from one storm to the next whether you were cold. As far as I can remember, I was never cold, chilly perhaps, but never cold.

But my wife says I lie a lot.

Original Article


Tear Jerkers bond with tiny trailers

September 21, 2010

By Bob Scott

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

Teardrop trailer to be raffled as car buffs celebrate 25 years of Safe Rides

September 16, 2010

By By Tim Parsons, Lake Tahoe Action |

A cool idea in 1985 is still cool today.
To prevent motorists from driving drunk, a group of South Shore car enthusiasts started the International Good Samaritans Safe Ride program.
“We were all kind of a mess 25 years ago because that seemed to be the thing in Tahoe, just partying and drinking and driving ourselves home,” said Tom Argo. “Our buddy got a DUI and it cost him $2,000, and 25 years ago we thought that was a small fortune. I got stopped and sent home in a cab, and that’s what got us thinking that there must be a better way to get home than to just go out there and take our chances.”
The group received a donated 1956 Buick, which it raffled at the vintage car and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll-themed Cool September Days. The IGS has given way 45 vehicles, 15 old cars, 19 old trucks, five used Harleys and 10 new Harleys, one scooter, one motorized beach bike, and one new teardrop camping trailer. It raises more than $20,000 a year from the raffle and six car shows a year around Lake Tahoe, including the Sept. 16-19 Cool September Days at the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay.


A ’52 Chevy Sedan Delivery and custom new Teardrop trailer will be raffled Oct. 10 at the final event, South Shore Cruisin.’
Volunteers in Safe Ride’s first 10 years delivered 80,000 carloads of drinkers to their homes. But altruism has its limitations and volunteers grew tired of providing the service in the 24-hour casino town. Now bartenders are provided vouchers to give to Yellow Cab. Argo said three to five rides are provided every night of the week.
Cool September Days will be an anniversary celebration.
“This show will be a fun time to reminisce and just thank everybody for making our program successful over the years,” Argo said. “We will be looking fondly back at all the guys and gals who are not here anymore, and we will remember the people who are still coming.”
There will be prizes awarded—vintage T-shirts, trophies and paraphernalia.
Argo said he might bring a memento: a piece of the dismantled stage upon which Elvis Presley performed at the Horizon Casino Resort. But that’s not why the souvenir is so special to Argo. He proposed to his wife 20 years ago on that stage at midnight during a car show sock hop.

Original article

Little Guy Lil’ Rough Rider Teardrop Camper Trailer – Rough Rider

June 8, 2010
From the August, 2010 issue of 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility
By Jim Brightly
Photography by Jim Brightly
Most of us came to four-wheeling from camping, while others discovered camping through off-roading. My first off-roading camping trip – other than high school in a ’40 Buick Roadmaster four-door – was in 1964. Six of us took an MB and my ’46 CJ-2A to 8,000-foot Monache Meadows in the Sierra Nevada, and we didn’t even take tents (we built a six-person lean-to alongside Fish Creek). My wife and I (and our extended family) have been camping with four-wheelers ever since; only the four wheelers and the RVs have changed (and no more lean-tos). 

With apologies to Coleman and Big 5, the older one gets, the harder it becomes to be comfortable in a tent. When I was in the Boy Scouts, I made do with a surplus World War II shelter half (two of us each carried half the tent in our matching rucksacks and then buttoned them together for each night’s camp). But after six decades of camping I was more than ready to move on up to a hard-sided camper. However, where can an off-roader find such a camper that can tagalong behind a four-wheeler?

Three years ago I saw a Little Guy Worldwide highway-model teardrop given away on “The Price Is Right.” Remembering a teardrop trailer my uncle owned in the ’50s, I thought a trailer that size would be ideal for off-road touring and camping – I figured all it would need would be an off-road suspension/tire package. I emailed the Little Guy Worldwide with that suggestion. Two years later I picked up a Lil’ Rough Rider test unit and gave it a 2,500-mile on- and off-road test.

The Lil’ Rough Rider is available in two sizes (widths, really), which are also the models’ names: 5 Wide (5-foot-wide cabin) and 6 Wide. I tested the 2009 Lil’ Rough Rider 5 Wide. It has a 2×3-inch welded and powder-coated frame with a full belly pan of 11-gauge steel, which protects everything underneath, including the axle with its rugged suspension (the test unit was also equipped with electric brakes). The Rough Rider (71 inches high at the vent) has 20 inches of ground clearance to the cabin and 13 inches to the axle (with standard 235/75R15 off-road tires) and, according to the factory, offers a minimum of 19 inches of water-fording capability (although I forded deeper water than that during my test without mishap). Obviously, with taller tires, the clearance goes up.

Although the large aluminum straight-line fenders are clearly marked “Not a Step”, they are perfectly shaped for jerry-can carriers and will support the weight of 5 gallons of water or fuel (I asked). If you mount taller tires, you may have to modify the fenders somewhat to accommodate them.


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