In the March/April 1939 issue of Popular Homecraft an article ran– along with detailed plans– for a new, cool oddity called “Honeymoon House Trailer.”
Built by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California, the guy literally saved his dimes and built this little gem back in the late 30’s, to take his new bride on their wedding trip. The 8’x4’ floor plan was had tongue-and-groove flooring on a pine chassis, and Rogers used a Chevy front axle with 28” wheels and 1926 rear fenders. The odd little trailer slept two and had a raise-up deck lid for a rear kitchenette, complete with ice box and stove. A curtain-enclosure outside the starboard entry served at the “dressing room.” The whole project set him back about $60 ($1,026 today). This may or may not have been the first teardrop trailer, but it was certainly in the ballpark.
DIYers went crazy. They followed Rogers’ plans, and soon added touches of their own. After World War II, models of the trailer morphed even further, sporting Jeep wheels and exterior skins made from bomber wings. After the 50’s, though, their popularity started dropping as big RVs appeared. Then the teardrops returned with a vengeance. Today you can find a number of websites for plans (some free!), photo galleries, forums and clubs. Teardroppers believe that creating, renovating and modifying unique, personalized models are what give the little campers their timelessness—and the most rewarding way to own a teardrop!
Probably the coolest part of all this is, you don’t have to be a master builder to make your own drop-dead gorgeous teardrop trailer. If you’ve got just a basic knowledge of woodworking and some tools, you’re already ahead of the game.
First thing, how to go about it? On a recent Google hunt, I found this most EXCELLENT “HOW-TO” tutorial on building a teardrop trailer on Instructables.com with extremely detailed steps, TONS of pics (man, you gotta have pics!) and a comfortable daily planner. Building it on a U.S. General 1720 lb-Capacity. 4’x8′ Super Duty Trailer…
…the author created this beautiful camping capsule, complete with aluminum siding, wiring and lights, vent fan, sink-&-stove kitchen area, windows on the sides and front, and a roomy bed with a second kid-sized bunk, for under two grand!
- Box Cutter
- Framing Square
- Metric Wrench Set
- Cordless Drill
- Chop Saw
- Table Saw
- Belt Sander
While it’s not exactly be a 2-weekend project, the finished product will leave you buzzed with sublime satisfaction and give you years of fun and memories you just can’t buy.
Of course, most of the tools necessary to make this dream a reality can be found at Harbor Freight Tools. Make sure you check the ads for specials and coupons for even greater savings!