Bruce and Jean's Teardrop Trailer
Framing and Deck

NEWS FLASH!!! The teardrop is gone...

We sold it in November of 2009 to make room for our new trailer - The Boxcar.  See the build log here.

We really loved our tear and will miss it. It just wasn't  big enough for us. Here it is as the new owner tows her away. Goodbye and good luck!

Last Look at the Teardrop

NEW!! How I Built Our Teardrop Video

Other Teardrop Gathering Videos:
International Teardrop Gathering 2007
Last Gasp Gathering 2006
International Redwoods Gathering 2006
Robbers Roost Teardop Gathering 2007

laying out a sidewall frameDennys New Teardrop Build Pictures. Cool Stuff!

After spending two years lurking at Teardrop forums, I finally started building one. Jean gave me the
Kuffle Creek plans for Christmas last year so I had a great start. Unfortunately, I didn't have a garage then. Jean and I got married and bought a house with a garage so I couldn't wait to get started. Jean's been very understanding with all the chores that need to be completed on our fixer-upper house while I've been spending all my time in the new garage.

Harbor Freight Trailer9/10/04 Here's the trailer frame that we used. It's a Harbor Freight Tools 1800 lb trailer.  It's frequently on sale so if your timing's right,  you can save enough money to buy  a spare tire and a tongue jack. I'm keeping the fenders even though there are are nicer looking ones available. That flat fender makes a nice beer shelf.

Decking10/9/04 Here's the almost completed decking. You can see the backing for the spare tire, stabilizer jacks and the water tank framing. Its waterproofed with several coats of Henry's asphalt emulsion from Home Depot. The framing is 2x4s ripped in half. Make sure to install the 2x2s as soon as possible as they warp badly after they've been ripped. The deck is 3/4" plywood. I'd use 1/2" plywood if I were to do it over because 3/4" is heavy and 1/2" is plenty strong enough. I used sheet metal brackets at the intersections of the 2x2s for added strength.

Completed Deck10/17/04 Completed deck with the frame painted black. I used a paint from Krylon called "Beaten Metal" that left a really cool texture. I replaced all the nuts and bolts included with the trailer with grade 5 bolts and nyloc nuts. I also used two washers on every bolt. It made a huge difference in the stifness of the frame. I could pick up a corner and wiggle it up and down with the original bolts. There was hardly any wiggle at all after I replaced them all. I wish I would have thought of that before I bolted it all together; I guess I built the trailer twice.

Spare Tire
10/17/04 Spare tire mounted under the front of the trailer. You can just see the water tank to the left. The tank is higher than the axle so hopefully I won't scrape it off on anything.

Completed Deck with Jack Stands10/19/04 Here's the stabilzer jack  mounted to the bottom of the deck. I wish they were about 2 inches longer. Luckily, the neighbor just built a swing set for his kids so I got the left over pressure treated scraps for shims. The uncut sides are sitting on top of the deck.

Test fit of side10/30/04 I liked the profile of the Benroy for the way that it maximized the galley space. I traced the ellipse at the hatch using the method described here. The front profile is just a radius that looked right. I made the door as large as I could to aid getting in and out of the trailer. The doors are square just because a square door looks "right" to me.  You can find free plans to build your own Benroy here.

Sides to Deck10/30/04 Here's a detail of the side connections to the deck. I never did find a picture showing this when I was trying to figure out how to attach the sides. So here's how I did mine. I don't know if its the best way to do it but its what I ended up with. I wanted to make sure that the sides where supported by the trailer frame and not just hanging off the deck. The wood to the right of the wall is a temporary brace to make sure the sides are plumb while the glue dries.

Bulkhead Framing11/7/04 Framing for the bulkead wall. I used 1X3 framing for the uprights so it would be easier to find them later. They will be used to support the galley and cabin cabinets

Wiring and Framing11/20/04 Wow, where do all the wires go? I plan to use the space just below the hatch bow as an electrical chase. I'll mount my fuse box, meters, outlets and fans in the space after I frame it out. I've also insulated and skinned the bulkheads. The cut-out is for  a sliding table to set the stove on. It will slide out 24" and slide back into the cabin.

Insulation11/20/04 Next on the list is insulating and skinning the cabin. I routed out channels in the insulation for the wiring to fit under. What a mess! Styrofoam went flying everywhere and it stuck to everything it landed on.

Skinned11/27/04 The cabin skin is on. No going back now, I hope I have all the wires in I need. The sides are much stiffer with the skin on. I used 1/4" plywood for the skins so I don't have to worry about rolling over in the night and knocking a hole in the wall. More pictures to come.

Roof Bows11/28/04 The roof bows are in. The right angle straps make the bows much stronger than just screws in the end (which I added as well). I saw it used  at another Teardrop construction site and thought it was a great idea. Now I can't find that site and I didn't bookmark it. I wish I had because whoever was buidling that tear had a lot of great ideas. The vertical support on the bottom bow is for a fold down bench.

Door11/13/04 Hey why's that Teardrop door on the ceiling?

Ceiling Damage

Next Page

LED Light Bar

Wiring Diagram

DC Load Calculations



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