This is the first video in a series where I’m going to cover, from start to finish, with videos, how to build your very own teardrop camper. Let me first say that this is in no way the only way to do it, this is just the way I’ve done it and I am happy with the results. My videos are going to cover the majority of the build, but the notes and all below will show some of the details and afterthoughts from the video that you need to pay special attention to, or should at least be considered when building your own camper.
I’ll be referring to this one as the “Silver Eagle”. It’s for my Mom and Dad, and that’s the name they picked for it.
- The profile can be just about any size or shape that you want. BUT, generally speaking, it’s a balance of aesthetics and use of room. More curves look better, but they take away from space. More space is usually the more squarish design, and bigger is more weight. In the first build weight wasn’t really an issue, so we went 6 wide and 10.5 long BUT if you have small vehicle, that’s going to be a much to heavy finished product (ours is about 1900 lbs unloaded). VERY heavy for teardrop standards, sub 1000 lbs weights are what you’re shooting for if you are on a weight “budget”.
- The profile template will take a little extra time vs just drawing the shape you want and cutting it out of the finished plywood or framing material, but I think it’s well work the effort and time, and money. It will give you an overall feel, can be moved around easily in the shop, and can be used (as a template) to make some of the parts later on.
- Here are a few links to other builds of different shape ans style. Some are “standard”, meaning that they came from original teardrop manufacturers many, many years ago. Others are just custom designs that I think work great and look good.
- Silver Beatle – a very classic looking design, but stretched and tweaked a bit. Great looking build over all, and great documentation of many different building techniques and ideas
- The Atma Travelear – Nothing but quality here. Have to see it to understand. Be sure to checkout the design, the build and the finished product.
- The Weekender – squareish, but very functional and a good use of space. Also, this can be much easier to build if you don’t want to deal with any curves.
- The Runaway Campers– This is a small commercial manufacturer located in Florida. Their base model is very simple, and does not include a galley in the back. Although not my preference, it is somethings that adds more interior room and also simplifies things a bit in the build process.
- Vistabule– A different take on the teardrop design that encorporates a large window into the design, as well as some other great features that save space.
- TCTeardrops – Great stuff, with a little bit of a different shape.
- Oregon Trailer – Quality build, semi custom campers. These folks started just a few years ago, but they build a very impressive camper.
The list above is in no way comprehensive. That would be almost inconceivable. The nice thing about teardrop campers is that there are as many ways to build them, and as many different designs as you can imagine. Many of them are very traditional others are very outside of the box.
If you have any questions please comment here, or on the videos themselves, or shoot me an email. I’ll be glad to answer any questions that I can if not point you in the right direction.