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Anatomy of a Teardrop Trailer

When Ann's family has time, they travel in vintage trailers.

Is This a Teardrop Trailer?

There are two rules regarding teardrop trailers.

  1. The galley (kitchen) has to be in the back.
  2. You can't stand up in it.

At the 1st Annual International Teardrop Gathering held in Minden, Nebraska, my teardrop was the subject of this conversation. My teardrop is quite different, so I will show you, and then you decide if it meets the criteria.

The SnoozeBox, built by Gene Gallipeau in 1989.

The SnoozeBox, built by Gene Gallipeau in 1989.

This unique little trailer has a long history, and although we think of it as a new trailer, it is older than I think. When we take it camping, we always are stopped by people who want to know what it is. We give visitors what we call the $10 tour, and our child has now taken over. He does the whole talk himself.

We believe that Mr. Gallipeau is a genius and has created a treasure that is unmatched. Many people have taken pictures vowing to recreate some or all of the features, but we have not seen them yet. Now, for the first time, I am sharing this online. This is the coolest teardrop trailer around.

Ready to Start the Tour?

Plan to spend some time looking at the pictures. At any trailer rally, teardrop and vintage trailer owners will corral you to look at their pictures.

Some Basic Information

The trailer weighs 900 pounds and is completely balanced. That means that my husband can grab the tongue and move it anywhere he wants like a small wagon.

We tow it with the 1967 Ford Ranch Wagon. Because the steering in the car is old and sloppy, we can't haul the larger trailer, but the teardrop behaves nicely with the wagon.

Because it does not feel like you are hauling a trailer, it is easy to forget that it is there. That means that sometimes (almost always) I exceed the speed limit for towing a trailer and always have to make myself drop the speed to 55 mph.

The trailer is built more like the interior of a boat and has a dropped floor for storage. Wherever you see a cushion, the portion either comes up for another function or has storage underneath.

The tent was made just for the teardrop. The outside windows covering the screens close downward to shed water when it rains. The fabric is duck, and not canvas, so it is even more effective in rainy situations.

The interior windows are portholes with blackout foam so the trailer can be really dark.

It is a five-wide. You will hear that term bandied about but what it means that it is not a standard width. A standard teardrop is 4' x 8'. Mine is five feet wide. In the teardrop world, five feet is acceptable, and there is even a teardrop group that calls itself the "5-wide".

Most teardrops have side doors for entry and the hatch that opens in the back for the galley. Our trailer does not have side doors, and the entry is through the back.

Remember the Rule?

It's Not a Teardrop If You Can Stand up in It.

With the hatch down there are two ways to stand in this trailer. The first is something that any teardropper can add to their trailer should they choose. The vent not only cranks up for ventilation, but it also opens out all the way, allowing one to stand on the floor and up through the vent. This way, we can put on our pants without having to scoot around.

Standing up Through the Vent

With the floor in.

With the floor in.

Mr. Gallipeau was a fisherman. In order to keep the trailer clean, he made an opening in the floor to take off his boots before climbing into the trailer itself. This opening has served us in many ways. When my knees won't make the whole step up, we take out the floor which gives me both side cabinets to use for leverage. It is also convenient to stand at the stove with the floor out which puts it at the correct height for cooking.

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We leave our shoes outside at night under the floorboard. If it rains, they stay dry, and we only have to remember to check each morning before sliding our feet into them. Camping includes creepy crawlies, so this is a standard practice.

With the Floor Out


The Other Rule: The Kitchen Has to Be in the Back


The galley is in the back with the stove on the right and the sink on the left. It is just slightly different here because the sink is not visible until you want it to be. Under the sink is the storage for the pots and pans and the gray water tank. Under the stove, there is room for an ice chest.

The drawer that the sink is in also has a small utility drawer where we store knives and other long-handled cooking utensils and duct tape, which we never leave home without.

Sink in the Drawer


The sink is in the drawer which keeps it out of the way when not in use. This is also the location of the utility drawer.

Even a Teardrop has a Junk Drawer


I should have cleaned it out before photographing it. We also keep adapters here for all the different voltages in the campgrounds.

Your Chance to Vote

Teardrop Photos You Might Like

Wait...There's More

You've seen where it is possible to stand in the trailer and the kitchen in the back. You've had a chance to vote. What else makes this trailer unique?

The Wings


This was a great mystery. We saw the wings in the pictures but didn't really understand what they were for. As you can see in the pictures, they store the dishes, silverware and food items. We also keep aluminum foil, trash bags, potholders, and dish towels too. It took a while to realize that the cabinets are shaped like teardrop trailers, and they are unique and very useful.


Indoor Plumbing (Well Sort of)

Indoor plumbing (well sort-of)

Indoor plumbing (well sort-of)

The Bathroom

This is the bathroom portion of the tour.

While this may seem icky to some, having a bathroom is a luxury many older vintage trailers and teardrops do not have. Most clever teardroppers construct a shelter outside where the porta-potty has its own space. In our trailer, it is possible to take care of business without leaving the trailer.

As you can see from the photo, it is in the center of the trailer.

On the $.10 tour, my husband likes to show the bathroom in the trailer and even points out the newspaper he keeps on the side to read while he is there.

I jump in at this point and tell people that he had never asked me to move my feet to use the bathroom. Still, it is handy when traveling. If we are somewhere in the middle of nowhere, we only need to pull over, and we have a safe, clean place to take care of business.

It has come in handy several times although we do not use it when other family members are sleeping there.

Yes, We Take Showers

Yes, we take showers

Yes, we take showers

Get a Shower of Your Very Own—They Are Handy

Tables for Two


By now, you have seen that the bed can be configured into several different positions so here is another feature. The two end pieces of the bed can be used to make tables. With the hatch up or down, cooking is done in the back with comfortable seating for eating the meal as well.

A place for Bedding and Electronics


Under the cushions are places for storage. There are two long areas on either side of the trailer where we store the tent and the bedding. The trailer stays clean and can be used during the day without moving all the bedding to use the tables or for just reading or relaxing. In the evening, the sleeping bags, pillows and blankets reappear.

The trailer has a battery that is charged as we drive or can be plugged in to charge. This operates the lights and the stove which has electronic ignition. The trailer is also equipped to run off the electricity in the campground which is handy when we pull out the microwave (don't tell anyone that we travel with it) and for charging our phones. The inverter is at the front of the trailer, and the storage area is under our heads.

Here is another great view of our bathroom.

Cabazon, California

 All of our trailers have had their photos taken with the dinosaur.

All of our trailers have had their photos taken with the dinosaur.

These Pictures Were Taken Before We Bought the Trailer


Someday it Will Be All Mine!!!


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


anonymous on June 18, 2013:

Hi, we are proud to announce that we have launched our new teardrop trailer website for all camping and traveling enthusiasts! You can find our brand new site at

Juno Custom Teardrops is very excited to share our beautiful teardrops with you on our new site. Enjoy the site and share it with friends!!

paultheprogrammer on May 28, 2013:

Teardrop trailer caravan - travel in micro-style. Great lens, enjoyed the read. thanks. great teardrop caravans

StewartClan on October 15, 2012:

This is so brilliant. More than anything I would love to move to the US and travel round with a motorhome, I am sure I could happily live out my days doing that. I love the use of space, and especially the sink in the drawer! Love it.

hntrssthmpsn on July 24, 2012:

What an awesome tiny trailer! I had a pal with a teardrop trailer in my late teens, and we spent untold hours in there playing cribbage... good times! Love the sink in the drawer. Such clever use of space.

KateHonebrink on May 06, 2012:

What a quirky, vintage time machine! Love it!! This was such an interesting article - it really makes me want to go camping with a tear-drop trailer - and I don't camp!

pennyhart lm on May 04, 2012:

I love teardrop trailers. It must be so much fun camping with one of those little things!

getmoreinfo on May 04, 2012:

These are cool and surprisingly have lots of space in them.

biminibahamas on April 10, 2012:

Do you live in this full time? Holy smokes!

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on April 01, 2012:

I love camping. Growing up we had a small compact trailer, a Scotty. Never have seen the inside of a teardrop. Thanks for sharing!

bossypants on April 01, 2012:

I have seen these adorable trailers but never knew the name nor had I ever gotten a look inside before! Very interesting lens and I think your trailer is just too cute for words!

Joan Haines on April 01, 2012:

Every inch is so efficient. Almost makes me want to shed a teardrop. "Squid Angel blessed."

AlexBooth on March 31, 2012:

Looks a little cramped to me!

anonymous on March 31, 2012:

This is so cute in Australia we have camper trailers but they come with a hard top that flips over to make a floor at the end with a canopy and annex.

rebecca aniston on March 30, 2012:

Thank you very much for sharing this Building your own tear drop camper

howtop10 on March 30, 2012:

Interesting lens! Great trailer too...

Jolent on March 30, 2012:

This looks like it is just the ticket!!

VarietyWriter2 on March 30, 2012:

Very cool lens. Blessed by a squid angel :)

dahlia369 on March 30, 2012:

Amazingly creative and practical, love it! :)

parmaggie on March 29, 2012:

I have recently looked into these. Actually want to do some travelling and camping around the country just me and my dog.

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on March 29, 2012:

It was my dream to pull a teardrop trailer with my red Dodge Magnum. My husband didn't like the idea. I thought it would be so simple, economical and easy storage. What's wrong with that? But no. I was very disappointed.

greenlivingsource on March 29, 2012:

This is really cool and I like your rv trailer very much.

Rosaquid on March 29, 2012:

What fun!

deckdesign on March 27, 2012:

Thanks for making this lens. I've always wanted to see inside a tear drop trailer.

bjslapidary on March 27, 2012:

Very interesting. A little too small for me. :) Great lens!

anonymous on March 27, 2012:

What fun to have your Teardrop on the front know I love these! Thank you for your wonderful tour and your comments along the way are so filled with life and love, its nice to have a private place to do your business and catch up on the news...blessed, blessed, blessed!

Linda Pogue from Missouri on March 27, 2012:

This looks like a fun way to travel! Blessings!

Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on March 27, 2012:

What a fun little travel trailer, I read every word :)

Scraps2treasures on March 27, 2012:

I loved looking at all the pics of your teardrop trailer! My dream is to own one someday.

Gabriel360 on March 27, 2012:

Nice job.

allenwebstarme on March 26, 2012:

I would love to take trailer somewhere in beautiful lake side and spend some quality time with nature. Lovely lens.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on March 26, 2012:

Love the .10 tour! Thanks! I love all the cubbies in trailers and yours is certainly unique!

NatureLuver on March 26, 2012:

I think I want one.

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on March 26, 2012:

What a great way to travel! :>)

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on March 26, 2012:

Great article! Can't imagine being in such a small space but it looks very organized and functional. :)

MintySea on March 26, 2012:

looks really cool

jlshernandez on March 26, 2012:

This is so cool and fun. Reminds me of the Airstream trailers. Thanks for sharing.

intermarks on March 25, 2012:

This is really cool and wonderful. One can really travel far with this Teardrop Trailer.

futurefocus57 on March 25, 2012:

Cool! I really like your trailer. Have fun.

Coreena Jolene on March 25, 2012:

I love this! I saw a show on TV about Teardrop trailers, the restorations, the clubs, it looks so fun. I even looked at stuff online about trying to get one. My hubby says no, he is 6' 2" and says he will never fit. I am so jealous, what a fun time you must have with it.

fullofshoes on March 25, 2012:

Awesome :) and I'm envious!

InnovativeToys on March 25, 2012:

Love it.. congratulations on a cool RV!

cyberwizzard on March 25, 2012:

I can honestly say that I have seen them but never been in one. Very interesting and cool!

puppyprints on March 25, 2012:

I want a teardrop!

SteveKaye on March 25, 2012:

This is so cool! Thank you for the wonderful tour.

anonymous on November 13, 2011:

Thanks for the tour of your teardrop trailer--I'd never been in one before!

Lynne Schroeder from Blue Mountains Australia on November 03, 2011:

What a lovely simple life you lead. The beauty of this is you just don't have space to accumulate stuff. Angel blessed and featured on Angels In Paradise:

anonymous on October 19, 2011:

love this! nothing like just grabbing your keys and trailer and riding off into the sunset! 'thumbs up' from this reader for a great lens!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on October 16, 2011:

What a gem! We travel in a RoadTrek campervan, but what you have is way more compact. I've always admired vintage trailers that we see on the highway, but never had the chance to see all the nifty stuff inside.

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