My Teardrop Trailer Design

Teardrop Trailer DesignIf you look at the profile of my teardrop trailer design you will see that it looks a bit different than most. The most obvious difference is that the door is not where it should be. Almost every other teardrop trailer design has it's door forward of the axle. And also my teardrop is not very teardrop shaped. It is almost backward, with more slope in the nose, and almost none in the rear. So why is mine different?

My Teardrop Trailer
Design Criterion

The idea of a teardrop is a step above tent camping. You get a bed and a kitchen, and lots of other nice features.

But for me there were a few things about the common teardrop trailer design that I did not like:

  1. You get into the teardrop right on your bed.
  2. There is no sitting area inside.
  3. There is no porta-pottie.
  4. The kitchen is often sloping away from you so you must lean over to use it.

I am not knocking what other people use or make. I love them all. But since I am custom building my own teardrop, I decided to make it just like I want.

Here are the things that I wanted to include in my design.

  1. A small entrance area not on the bed.
  2. An interior sitting area that is always usable.
  3. A place to take a leak at night. This is a must. Getting up in the middle of the night to pee when tent camping is one of my least favorite things about tent camping.
  4. A very functional kitchen.
  5. Needing to get things out and put them away as little as possible.

Let me explain number five a little. I really wanted a functional interior and kitchen that require the least amount of getting things out and putting them away as possible. For example, lots of folks have a drop floor in the teardrop trailer design, that allows the bed to be pushed aside and a sitting area created. But I have lived in small boats and in camper vans where I have to turn my bed into a living space often, and over a long trip all of this moving of things over and over again is a real pain. Another example is having to setup a table and wash basins outside the trailer to do the dishes or cook. I want camp setup and breakdown to all be quick and easy.

Here is how I decided to fix those issues and how my teardrop trailer design evolved.

The Door Behind The Axle
The idea of having a small space to enter the trailer (not on the bed) led to the idea of moving the door toward the rear of the trailer, behind the bed. I could not see having the door forward of the bed because of the height it would be. I tried it and it did not create a very attractive profile design. So as I have it now the bed is forward in the trailer, with the head of the bed being toward the rear. There will be shelving for clothes and for DVD watching over our feet.

And within the entrance space it was easy to imagine a sitting area with a table that folds down out of the way. The seating area will be L-shaped, with a small seat against the wall, and the bed head serving as part of the seat. The small seat against the wall opposite the door will have the porta-pottie under it.

In order to have a decent sitting height in this area I quickly realized I would need a drop floor, so that the trailer would not be too high.

Having the door behind the axle and sitting area like this made it so that my kitchen had a flat wall to build against, just like a home. So the design of the rear of the trailer became pretty flat. I like this because you don't have to bend forward to get at your cabinets, etc.

The Problems
Having the door to the rear of the axle has some real problems that I had to be careful about. Experience shows that having your axle pretty far back on a teardrop trailer is better. It gives you more tongue weight and it trails better behind the tow vehicle.

To help solve this problem I went with smaller 13" wheels so that I could push the axle back closer to the door. I also went with a torsion axle because I can have the axle in front of the drop floor, but the wheel centers will be further back (than they would be with a spring axle). I am also going to balance this issue by having all of my electric battery system and propane in the front hitch box. This will add more tongue weight.

There are tons more details to my teardrop trailer design that you can see as the build progresses.

The Weight Issue
The other problem with my build is that it is bigger than most teardrops. It is both longer and taller, and so potentially heavier. And the only problem with this is that I intend to tow it with our Subaru Outback four cylinder car. To compensate for this increased size I plan on building it very lightweight.

There are lots of different teardrop trailer designs available. Just take a look at all the different profiles of teardrops here.

Now see the carport I built