Anatomy of a Teardrop Trailer

Updated on September 25, 2017
Ann Hinds profile image

When Ann's family has time, they travel in vintage trailers.

Is This a Teardrop Trailer?

There are two rules regarding teardrop trailers.

1. The galley (kitchen) has to be in the back.

2. You can't stand up in it.

At the 1st Annual International Teardrop Gathering held in Minden, Nebraska, my teardrop was the subject of this conversation. My teardrop is quite different so I will show you and then you decide if it meets the criteria.

The SnoozeBox - Built by Gene Gallipeau in 1989

This unique little trailer has a long history and although we think of it as a new trailer, it is older than I think. When we take it camping we always are stopped by people who want to know what it is. We give visitors what we call the $.10 tour and our child has now taken over. He does the whole talk himself.

We believe that Mr. Gallipeau is a genius and has created a treasure that is unmatched. Many people have taken pictures vowing to recreate some or all of the features but we have not seen them yet. Now, for the first time, I am sharing this on-line. This is the coolest teardrop trailer around.

Ready to start the tour?

Plan to spend some time looking at the pictures. At any trailer rally, teardrop and vintage trailer owners will corral you to look at their pictures.

Some Basic Information

The trailer weighs 900 pounds and is completely balanced. That means that my husband can grab the tongue and move it anywhere he wants like a small wagon.

We tow it with the 1967 Ford Ranch Wagon. Because the steering in the car is old and sloppy, we can't haul the larger trailer but the teardrop behaves nicely with the wagon.

Because it does not feel like you are hauling a trailer, it is easy to forget that it is there. That means that sometimes (almost always) I exceed the speed limit for towing a trailer and always have to make myself drop the speed to 55 mph.

The trailer is built more like the interior of a boat and has a dropped floor for storage. Wherever you see a cushion, the portion either comes up for another function or has storage underneath.

The tent was made just for the teardrop. The outside windows covering the screens close downward to shed water when it rains. The fabric is duck and not canvas so it is even more effective in rainy situations.

The interior windows are portholes with black out foam so the trailer can be really dark.

It is a 5-wide. You will hear that term bandied about but what it means that it is not a standard width. A standard teardrop is 4x8 feet. Mine is 5 feet wide. In the teardrop world, 5 feet is acceptable and there is even a teardrop group that calls itself the "5-wide".

Most teardrops have side doors for entry and the hatch that opens in the back for the galley. Our trailer does not have side doors and the entry is though the back.

Remember the Rule?

It's not a teardrop if you can stand up in it.

With the hatch down there are two ways to stand in this trailer.The first is something that any teardropper can add to their trailer should they choose. The vent not only cranks up for ventalation, it also opens out all the way, allowing one to stand on the floor and up through the vent. This way, we can put on our pants without having to scoot around.

Standing up Through the Vent

Helpful handy hint here - If you are female, this is not a great place to change your shirt. Just saying....

With the Floor in

Mr. Gallipeau was a fisherman. In order to keep the trailer clean, he made an opening in the floor to take off his boots before climbing into the trailer itself. This opening has served us in many ways. When my knees won't make the whole step up, we take out the floor which gives me both side cabinets to use for leverage. It is also convenient to stand at the stove with the floor out which puts it at the correct height for cooking.

We leave our shoes outside at night under the floor board. If it rains, they stay dry and we only have to remember to check each morning before sliding our feet into them. Camping includes creepy crawlies so this is a standard practice.

With the Floor Out

The Other Rule: The Kitchen Has to Be in the Back

The galley is in the back with the stove on the right and the sink on the left. It is just slightly different here because the sink is not visible until you want it to be. Under the sink is the storage for the pots and pans and the gray water tank. Under the stove, there is room for an ice chest.

The drawer that the sink is in also has a small utility drawer where we store knives and other long handled cooking utensils and duct tape that we never leave home without.

Sink in the Drawer

The sink is in the drawer which keeps it out of the way when not in use. This is also the location of the utility drawer.

Even a Teardrop has a Junk Drawer

- Should have cleaned it out before photographing it. We also keep adapters here for all the different voltages in the campgrounds.

Your chance to vote

Does this qualify as a teardrop trailer?

See results

Teardrop Photos You Might Like

Teardrops and Tiny Trailers
Teardrops and Tiny Trailers

Douglas Keister has some mighty fine photos of teardrop trailers. Mine isn't in there but I know all the rest of them. Teardroppers are a close knit community and there are some really clever trailers. None of course, are better than mine but they come close.


Wait...there's more

You've seen where it is possible to stand in the trailer and the kitchen in the back. You've had a chance to vote. What else makes this trailer unique?

The Wings

This was a great mystery. We saw the wings in the pictures but didn't really understand what they were for. As you can see in the pictures, they store the dishes, silverware and food items. We also keep aluminum foil, trash bags, potholders, and dish towels too. It took a while to realize that the cabinets were shaped like teardrop trailers but they are unique and very useful.

Indoor Plumbing (Well Sort of)

Indoor plumbing (well sort-of)
Indoor plumbing (well sort-of)

The Bathroom

This is the bathroom portion of the tour.

While this may seem icky to some, having a bathroom is a luxury many older vintage trailers and teardrops do not have. Most clever teardroppers construct a shelter outside where the porta-potty has its own space. In our trailer, it is possible to take care of business without leaving the trailer.

As you can see from the photo, it is in the center of the trailer.

On the $.10 tour, my husband likes to show the bathroom in the trailer and even points out the newspaper he keeps on the side to read while he is there.

I jump in at this point and tell people that he had never ever ask me to move my feet to use the bathroom. Still, it is handy when traveling. If we are somewhere in the middle of nowhere, we only need to pull over and we have a safe, clean place to take care of business.

It has come in handy several times although we do not use it when other family members are sleeping there.

Yes, We Take Showers

Yes, we take showers
Yes, we take showers

Get a Shower of Your Very Own—They Are Handy

Seattle Sports PVC Free Solar Shower (5-Gallon)
Seattle Sports PVC Free Solar Shower (5-Gallon)

We do a lot of dry camping - no bathrooms or running water. This really is a necessity.


Tables for Two

By now, you have seen that the bed can be configured into several different positions so here is another feature. The two end pieces of the bed can be used to make tables. With the hatch up or down, cooking is done in the back with comfortable seating for eating the meal as well.

A place for Bedding and Electronics

Under the cushions are places for storage. There are two long areas on either side of the trailer where we store the tent and the bedding. The trailer stays clean and can be used during the day without moving all the bedding to use the tables or for just reading or relaxing. In the evening, the sleeping bags, pillows and blankets reappear.

The trailer has a battery that is charged as we drive or can be plugged in to charge. This operates the lights and the stove which has electronic ignition. The trailer is also equipped to run off the electricity in the campground which is handy when we pull out the microwave (don't tell anyone that we travel with it) and for charging our phones. The inverter is at the front of the trailer and the storage area is under our heads.

Here is another great view of our bathroom.

Cabazon, California

 All of our trailers have had their photos taken with the dinosaur.
All of our trailers have had their photos taken with the dinosaur.

These Pictures Were Taken Before We Bought the Trailer

Someday it Will Be All Mine!!!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, we are proud to announce that we have launched our new teardrop trailer website for all camping and traveling enthusiasts! You can find our brand new site at

      Juno Custom Teardrops is very excited to share our beautiful teardrops with you on our new site. Enjoy the site and share it with friends!!

    • paultheprogrammer profile image

      paultheprogrammer 4 years ago

      Teardrop trailer caravan - travel in micro-style. Great lens, enjoyed the read. thanks. great teardrop caravans

    • StewartClan profile image

      StewartClan 5 years ago

      This is so brilliant. More than anything I would love to move to the US and travel round with a motorhome, I am sure I could happily live out my days doing that. I love the use of space, and especially the sink in the drawer! Love it.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      What an awesome tiny trailer! I had a pal with a teardrop trailer in my late teens, and we spent untold hours in there playing cribbage... good times! Love the sink in the drawer. Such clever use of space.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      What a quirky, vintage time machine! Love it!! This was such an interesting article - it really makes me want to go camping with a tear-drop trailer - and I don't camp!

    • pennyhart lm profile image

      pennyhart lm 5 years ago

      I love teardrop trailers. It must be so much fun camping with one of those little things!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      These are cool and surprisingly have lots of space in them.

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      Do you live in this full time? Holy smokes!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I love camping. Growing up we had a small compact trailer, a Scotty. Never have seen the inside of a teardrop. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago

      I have seen these adorable trailers but never knew the name nor had I ever gotten a look inside before! Very interesting lens and I think your trailer is just too cute for words!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      Every inch is so efficient. Almost makes me want to shed a teardrop. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • profile image

      AlexBooth 5 years ago

      Looks a little cramped to me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is so cute in Australia we have camper trailers but they come with a hard top that flips over to make a floor at the end with a canopy and annex.

    • rebecca aniston profile image

      rebecca aniston 5 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing this Building your own tear drop camper

    • profile image

      howtop10 5 years ago

      Interesting lens! Great trailer too...

    • profile image

      Jolent 5 years ago

      This looks like it is just the ticket!!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 5 years ago

      Very cool lens. Blessed by a squid angel :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Amazingly creative and practical, love it! :)

    • parmaggie profile image

      parmaggie 5 years ago

      I have recently looked into these. Actually want to do some travelling and camping around the country just me and my dog.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      It was my dream to pull a teardrop trailer with my red Dodge Magnum. My husband didn't like the idea. I thought it would be so simple, economical and easy storage. What's wrong with that? But no. I was very disappointed.

    • profile image

      greenlivingsource 5 years ago

      This is really cool and I like your rv trailer very much.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      What fun!

    • deckdesign profile image

      deckdesign 5 years ago

      Thanks for making this lens. I've always wanted to see inside a tear drop trailer.

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 5 years ago

      Very interesting. A little too small for me. :) Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What fun to have your Teardrop on the front know I love these! Thank you for your wonderful tour and your comments along the way are so filled with life and love, its nice to have a private place to do your business and catch up on the news...blessed, blessed, blessed!

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      This looks like a fun way to travel! Blessings!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      What a fun little travel trailer, I read every word :)

    • Scraps2treasures profile image

      Scraps2treasures 5 years ago

      I loved looking at all the pics of your teardrop trailer! My dream is to own one someday.

    • Gabriel360 profile image

      Gabriel360 5 years ago

      Nice job.

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      I would love to take trailer somewhere in beautiful lake side and spend some quality time with nature. Lovely lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Love the .10 tour! Thanks! I love all the cubbies in trailers and yours is certainly unique!

    • NatureLuver profile image

      NatureLuver 5 years ago

      I think I want one.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      What a great way to travel! :>)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Great article! Can't imagine being in such a small space but it looks very organized and functional. :)

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      looks really cool

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      This is so cool and fun. Reminds me of the Airstream trailers. Thanks for sharing.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      This is really cool and wonderful. One can really travel far with this Teardrop Trailer.

    • futurefocus57 profile image

      futurefocus57 5 years ago

      Cool! I really like your trailer. Have fun.

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 5 years ago

      I love this! I saw a show on TV about Teardrop trailers, the restorations, the clubs, it looks so fun. I even looked at stuff online about trying to get one. My hubby says no, he is 6' 2" and says he will never fit. I am so jealous, what a fun time you must have with it.

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      Awesome :) and I'm envious!

    • profile image

      InnovativeToys 5 years ago

      Love it.. congratulations on a cool RV!

    • profile image

      cyberwizzard 5 years ago

      I can honestly say that I have seen them but never been in one. Very interesting and cool!

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 5 years ago

      I want a teardrop!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      This is so cool! Thank you for the wonderful tour.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tour of your teardrop trailer--I'd never been in one before!

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      What a lovely simple life you lead. The beauty of this is you just don't have space to accumulate stuff. Angel blessed and featured on Angels In Paradise:

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      love this! nothing like just grabbing your keys and trailer and riding off into the sunset! 'thumbs up' from this reader for a great lens!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      What a gem! We travel in a RoadTrek campervan, but what you have is way more compact. I've always admired vintage trailers that we see on the highway, but never had the chance to see all the nifty stuff inside.