Rod Short

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If you are looking for a different way to travel, check out http://www.trikesaustralia.com

I became keen on the concept of a teardrop after seeing a camper trailer magazine that featured Reiner's teardrops. I knew then that I would probably end up building one.

We were looking for a trailer to cart around the excess camping gear (young family) that would no longer fit into our Subaru Forester. A teardrop seemed to be the perfect (and stylish) solution.

After lots of searching of the internet we finally decided to build a simple but robust teardrop for our camping adventures.

I worked out most of the detail of how to build a teardrop by looking at the web and asking lots of questions. People seem to like the concept and were always helpful and full of suggestions.  At the end of the day though, you make up your own mind on what to use, how to build it and with a bit of thought, by cutting things square and by taking your time it usually works out OK.

My welding skills are minimal, so I decided to get the chassis built here in Perth by John at Wandering Star Trailers,  a local off-road camper trailer manufacturer who was very helpful and did a great job. Finding the bits for construction and the research for building methods was a good part of the experience and not too hard. My favourite tool for the project ended up being my router great for cutting the ply sheets to shape with square edges and for cutting aluminium. The door I ordered from Reiner (it was worth the freight cost) but all the rest was found locally. The internet generally and the Yahoo! Teardrop Campers Group were a great help and encouragement. Construction took from February to around September 2006.

There are still small bits to finish and a few changes to be made here and there. We have now been on three good trips including some rough off-road sections. It tows great on and off-road (although my carefully powder coated mudguards have copped a beating from stone chips.) For both camping and carrying our gear it meets our needs exactly. We set up a simple dome tent and an awning if we are camping for a few days, all our gear fits in the teardrop, so the back of the car has plenty of room for kids, the esky and the dog (if invited along.)

A few specifications:

  • 8' x 4'
  • Chassis built with 50x50x3mm box steel
  • The suspension is 60mm off-road 6 leaf, eye-to-eye springs (with rebound spring) Ford slimline bearings and a 45mm square axle
  • The hubs were drilled to fit a Subaru pattern wheel, with tracking the same as the car
  • 15mm exterior ply for the sides and 12 mm for the base
  • Outside was clad with 1mm aluminium
  • The final weight unloaded was 360 kg with 40kg on the tow ball

Rod Short's Teardrop, built in Palmyra, Western Australia, 2006. Email Rod


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