“contributor, Susan Burnside”
A teardrop trailer has everything you need to have a perfect road-trip vacation; they’re simple, affordable, and have their place in the folklore of the Great American Roads that dates back to the 1930’s. Though the trailers are undeniably much less spacious and luxurious than modern recreational vehicle, that’s all part of their charm; a vacation in a teardrop trailer has an authentic, unpretentious quality that simply can’t be matched. With that said, most people with a trailer are keen to take theirs out into the great outdoors and so will you, most likely. However, it’s important to be prepared to ensure your trip goes off smoothly and is the best it can possible be.
Things to Know
While some teardrop trailers are large enough to be well-equipped with a host of modern amenities, most are restricted to simply containing the bare essentials. This means that you can’t solely rely on the trailer to provide for you all the time – you’re going to need to find a place with a bathroom along the way. You’re also not going to have a lot of room for storage, which can be both a blessing and a curse; on one hand, it forces you to travel light and think carefully about what you bring, but it also means that you’ll have to buy some accessories on your travels rather than bringing them with you.
Teardrop trailers are compact and even small cars can tow them just fine. However, whichever way you look at it, it’s still a sizeable piece of metal you’re towing behind you. Driving while towing a trailer can take some getting used to, so you’ll want to practice in a safe, open area to get used to how the increased drag feels. The basic rule of towing is to take everything slowly; that is, drive slower, turn corners slower, and accelerate slower. Before you set off, check that the trailer is properly attached and the brake lights are working. Also remember that, though the trailer may be light, it’s unlikely that you’ll be hitting your vehicles top speeds and so it’s recommended to generally stick to the right hand lane while driving.
Particular care should be taken when driving in areas of natural beauty, which typically require driving through hills/mountains and can be extra hazardous when towing a vehicle. Ensure that you have adequate insurance to protect yourself against breakdown or an accident. Always drive slowly when in the mountains. Use your gears to slow down on steep downhill gradients. If any uphill routes are too steep, look for alternative ways to reach your destination. Make use of passing turn-outs to let any build-up of traffic behind you pass. Always remember to stay calm if anything goes wrong; it’s always possible to stop/slow down on uphill and downhill gradients, so take your time and go through the steps safely.
Where to Stay
One of the real beauties of a teardrop is that they’re comparable in size to a tent (though you might have to pay more), so you should always be able to find space at a campsite unless it’s completely full. It’s worth reserving a campsite if visiting a popular area during the peak of summer. Be aware that some campgrounds are “tent only” and, although teardrop trailers are closer to tents than RVs, you won’t be able to pull in here. However, with that said there are thousands and thousands of campsites across America and you’ll always find a space, even if the first place you first pull into is not suitable.
Also be aware that, as mentioned earlier, teardrop trailers don’t have all the amenities you’ll need when camping, and you’ll have to find a campground with showers if you want that particular luxury.
…And if you’re still on the fence
If you haven’t quite decided whether you want to buy a teardrop trailer yet, then do some research to see if it’s right for your travel style. Look at the models that are available and see if you can see yourself camping in one; if you have a friend with one, ask for a tour or even a trial run out in the wild. Teardrop trailers are a fantastic way to get out in to nature; ultimately, when you’re lying under the stars in your cozy trailer, you won’t regret your investment.