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Classic RVs:
The teardrop trailer

By Chuck Woodbury
Editor, Beginners Guide to RVing
Teardrop trailers became popular in the 30s and 40s.

Before I owned my first motorhome, I owned a Teardrop trailer. I was in college, and I had dreams of touring the country with my own recreational vehicle. My small Toyota, I reasoned, would pull the Teardrop, but nothing bigger.

Alas, I never took the trip, and I sold my Teardrop a year later. It needed a lot of work, and I am a terribly unhandy guy. But what a neat little "camper" it was — complete with its interior double bed and single lightbulb and a flip up backside that revealed a kitchen that could be as basic or extravagant as the trailer owner wished. A college buddy of mine, a very handy guy, had also purchased a Teardrop which he restored it into tiny palace of mobile elegance. It was inspiring.

The Teardrop got its name from its streamlined design. The mini-trailers were popular in the 1930s and 1940s and are once again becomming popular. The "true" Teardrops evolved after World War II using suplus aircraft aluminum from the wings of World War II bombers, making these perhaps the only travel trailers that had actually experienced combat.A Teardrop Trailer can accommodate two people. Depending on the model, it includes a queen or full-sized bed. The sleeping cabin is hard-sided and doesn't need to be popped open like a pop-up trailer. The cabin can serve double-duty as a cargo area during travel. The typical size of a Teardrop is 4 feet by 8 feet, the same as a standard piece of plywood (there was no room for waste in early models). You cannot stand up inside a Teardrop trailer unless you very, very short as the trailers are

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generally about four feet high.

The kitchen is accessed from the rear of the trailer by raising the back hatch of the trailer much like opening a car trunk. There is room for a ice chest, portable stove, and a basic set of pots, pans, cooking utensils and some food.

Teardrops were sold — and still are — as kits to build yourself or totally assembled and ready to roll down the highway.

Many small manufacturers still make Teardrop-like trailers, which are popular today because they can be pulled behind small cars and even motorcycles.


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