Tear Drop Trailer - Anybody Own One or Build One?

Shootr

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#1






So these things have absorbed my interest lately, there is a whole society of homebuilders that have built hundreds of unique designs.

http://www.tnttt.com/index.php

This site is the holy grail of the movement, some are incredible, some you wouldn't believe what they packed into a little tiny space.

Most start with a 4' x 8' Harbor Freight trailer and build up from there. Keeping the sidewalls based within a 4'x8' sized plywood sheet, the costs and weight are as minimal as possible. If everything is laid out well, you have 6'6" or so of sleeping length.

It's all me and the ol' lady need - bear-resistant sleeping, a galley, and easy to pull and park. If I pull off the design I'm thinking of, I'll be into it for less than $1000.00 including a new trailer frame.

Just wondering if anybody has ever messed with one before.
 

weeniewawa

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#2
I am willing to bet that isn't "bear resistant"

unless it is Steve C and even then, he is quite tough
 

weeniewawa

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#3
I see a lot of them on the road, I think they are pro built tho as they have a name on them like 't@b' not sure what it means must be a company

I see a lot of Casitas too, a guy I work with has one of those and he loves it. small, cheap and easy to tow
 

Turfmower

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#4
the Guy that rent the building behind me is building them
 

gleet

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I was gonna build one a couple of years ago and I got a 4X8 Harbor Freight trailer. That thing seems way too lightweight to last long on the road. I used it to haul a riding mower 60 miles but it mainly is used behind the golf cart hauling stuff around here. Now my plan is a 5X8 trailer from Lowes. A friend has one and it is built much better. And the 5X8 takes a regular queen size mattress.

I think I will build a simple one and sell it and use the monies generated to build a fancier one to sell. Keep doing that until nobody buys it, and I'll keep that one.
 

Shootr

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#6
I was gonna build one a couple of years ago and I got a 4X8 Harbor Freight trailer. That thing seems way too lightweight to last long on the road.
They re-designed their trailers this year, the feedback is really good. V-shaped tongue instead of straight, 12" wheels, 1700# capacity. With 1" plywood floor, they say they are pretty adequate for the job.

I'm a tinkerer, not a fabricator, so I'll be one and done. I figure if I start this fall, it'll be ready for Yosemite next summer.

By bear-resistant, that doesn't mean keeping the food in there and hoping a bear doesn't claw the wall out. Just some campgrounds require a solid side trailer vs. tents, and the food would be in bear-proof containers away from us like normal sane camping procedures recommend.
 

Shootr

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the Guy that rent the building behind me is building them
Is he like a small manufacturer, or just a hobbyist? If you get a name or something I'd be interested.
 

gleet

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They re-designed their trailers this year, the feedback is really good. V-shaped tongue instead of straight, 12" wheels, 1700# capacity. With 1" plywood floor, they say they are pretty adequate for the job.
Sir, I honestly did not know that when I was running down their product. Please forgive me.

A bear idly sliding his claw down a teardrop wall is much better than sliding it down a nylon tent.
 

Shootr

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I see a lot of them on the road, I think they are pro built tho as they have a name on them like 't@b' not sure what it means must be a company
Them things are too "IKEA" for me! http://tab-rv.com/ They are well engineered, but they are also like 1500lbs. When built, mine will be about 700lbs all up. Plus I don't want to cry the first time I get a scratch in it, it's for camping and it will get a nick here and there. I'm using spray on bedliner to weather seal it, so it will be durable and forgiving.
 

Shootr

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Sir, I honestly did not know that when I was running down their product. Please forgive me.

A bear idly sliding his claw down a teardrop wall is much better than sliding it down a nylon tent.
No, it's cool, really - they were really a lot worse a few years ago - they talked a lot about having to weld and reinforce and beef them up to the point of "why start there in the first place". I'm hoping the bedliner keeps the critters at bay long enough to get the pepper spray!
 

gleet

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No, it's cool, really - they were really a lot worse a few years ago - they talked a lot about having to weld and reinforce and beef them up to the point of "why start there in the first place". I'm hoping the bedliner keeps the critters at bay long enough to get the pepper spray!
I did the whole deal, moved the axle back, reinforced the frame, and it still is light and flimsy. I'll look into the new models.

Make the roof vent screen removable so you can pop your head out like a tank turret when it comes time to pepper the bear.
 

Shootr

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Make the roof vent screen removable so you can pop your head out like a tank turret when it comes time to pepper the bear.
More like a ripe apple getting swiped off a shelf with one of them big bear paw mitts...Fuck that, maybe armored car gunslots...
 

weeniewawa

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#13
for a small trailer like that, it would be better to just build the frame yourself

not too much steel and an axle would be cheap

it would be so much more stable than any Harbour Freight trailer and you could make it the exact size you want

and getting it tagged by the DMV is easy
 

Shootr

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#14
for a small trailer like that, it would be better to just build the frame yourself

not too much steel and an axle would be cheap

it would be so much more stable than any Harbour Freight trailer and you could make it the exact size you want

and getting it tagged by the DMV is easy
My dream is talking the old lady into letting me get a welder - I've welded before and am comfortable with my skill, but that is starting to be a little more than I think I am up for. If it came down to it I'd pick up a boat trailer cheap off Craigs list and modify that. Seems to be a few of those floating around here.
 

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#15
They re-designed their trailers this year, the feedback is really good. V-shaped tongue instead of straight, 12" wheels, 1700# capacity. With 1" plywood floor, they say they are pretty adequate for the job.

I'm a tinkerer, not a fabricator, so I'll be one and done. I figure if I start this fall, it'll be ready for Yosemite next summer.

By bear-resistant, that doesn't mean keeping the food in there and hoping a bear doesn't claw the wall out. Just some campgrounds require a solid side trailer vs. tents, and the food would be in bear-proof containers away from us like normal sane camping procedures recommend.
Definitely store the food in designated containers. I've seen pictures of cars at Yosemite that have had doors ripped off them by bears.

Of course when I spent a week there last year, I didn't see a single one.
 

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#16
We have a 26' Coachman, but have been seeing more of the T@b's each year, half the time its chicks and a few times its old ladys, I could NEVER do it without installing an A/C, but that would be cheap on a small little camper, a $99 5000btu could do it.


Here's a small time operation down the road from us.
www.lilsnoozy.com/
 

weeniewawa

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#17
Definitely store the food in designated containers. I've seen pictures of cars at Yosemite that have had doors ripped off them by bears.

Of course when I spent a week there last year, I didn't see a single one.
see, you're bear repellant
 

Shootr

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We have a 26' Coachman, but have been seeing more of the T@b's each year, half the time its chicks and a few times its old ladys, I could NEVER do it without installing an A/C, but that would be cheap on a small little camper, a $99 5000btu could do it.


Here's a small time operation down the road from us.
www.lilsnoozy.com/
I'm hoping screened windows and a powered roof vent will be breezy enough to keep things cool at night. It will be insulated and painted white to minimize heat buildup, and with it's size, finding a tree for shade should be easier than with something larger.

That website is new to me, pretty cool design but larger than I care for. Gotta share that on the Tiny Trailer forum, I haven't seen those mentioned at all.
 

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#19
the drummer of a band i used to be in got one of these at a junk yard. the only night we used it, a wheel fell off coming home from a show.
 

TomC

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I'm hoping screened windows and a powered roof vent will be breezy enough to keep things cool at night. It will be insulated and painted white to minimize heat buildup, and with it's size, finding a tree for shade should be easier than with something larger.

That website is new to me, pretty cool design but larger than I care for. Gotta share that on the Tiny Trailer forum, I haven't seen those mentioned at all.
fans and screens don't do shit for the humidity we have here. I just could never sleep sweating, but I don't know any thing about your "dry" heat.
 

THE FEZ MAN

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#21
fuck that thing, buy a full size SUV and be done with it, when my ex wife was busting my balls to buy a durango the first thing i did was fold the seats down in the back and lay in it, im every bit of 6'2" and fit fine, i bought a 20$ tarp and all was well, i spent many a night in the back of that thing, as a matter of fact i was pissed when she sold it because i loved to sleep in it.
 

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#22
the drummer of a band i used to be in got one of these at a junk yard. the only night we used it, a wheel fell off coming home from a show.
I bought the 4x8 trailer from Harbor Freight last week. Some things to consider:

#1 - it takes fo-rev-er to assemble. I'm good at assembling things quickly, and it took me the better part of two days.
#2 - Most of the trailers I've seen are welded. I figured this wasn't a big deal, since a well placed nut and bolt is stronger than a weld...

BUT

The trailer broke in two the day I built it. ON THE FREEWAY

Scared the sh t outta me. I was tooling down the freeway, heard a horrible noise, pulled over immediately and the trailer was doing it's best imitation of a taco.

To me, it looks like the road vibration is so harsh, the trailer wants to shake itself to pieces. Basically two bolts came loose, and it nearly split in half. (Luckily there were four bolts, so the two remaining bolts prevented a complete catastrophe.)


Having said all that, I don't really regret buying the trailer at the moment. Here's some reasons why:

#1 - I drive a coupe, and it's too small to carry much, but too light to haul a 'real' trailer. I can only haul about 1000lbs.
#2 - I looked on Craigslist for trailers, and nearly everything under $1500 weighed half a ton. So basically I'd exceed my towing limits without even loading up the trailer.
#3 - The Harbor Freight trailer weighs 162lbs
#4 - There are lightweight aluminum trailers that would work well, but they cost about $2000


Soooo...

The Harbor Freight trailer isn't the worst thing in the world, but you might consider reinforcing it somehow. I think that if you made the cab part of your trailer 'structural' it would make it a lot safer. Basically construct it so that the cab reinforces the frame.



Also, one thing that made a HUGE difference was weight. This trailer feels WAY more dangerous unloaded than loaded. The additional weight prevents it from rattling apart.
 

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#23
I didn't see an air conditioner on it, where's the fucking AC for the thing. You can't go camping without AC!!!!

The camper gets AC!!! The camper gets AC!!!! Don't make a fucking maniac outta me!!! I cut like a hammer!
 

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#24
Have someone spot-weld your bolts to the nuts, if you don't know how to do it yourself. That will help prevent them from coming loose.
 

weeniewawa

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#25
#2 - Most of the trailers I've seen are welded. I figured this wasn't a big deal, since a well placed nut and bolt is stronger than a weld...
not really, as you found out

maybe those left over washers that look like they were broken that you left out really needed to be installed under the nuts
 
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