Teardrop trailers are a type of camper invented in the late 1930s apparently by a man for his honeymoon travels. Plans for this trailer were presented in the 1939 issue of Homecraft magazine. Several others were published in Popular Mechanics in the mid-1940s. Although commercial versions are now produced, it is far more fun to follow tradition and make your own.
Free Teardrop Plans
Plans for teardrop trailers are available form many sources. Most are for sale, but there are resources for free plans also. Most of the free plans, such as those at http://www.angib.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/teardrop/tear00.htm, are CAD drawings that may not have listed dimensions. One set of free plans for a very nice teardrop design is found at http://www.mikenchell.com/images/GenericBenroyPlans.pdf. This plan set has dimensions and several nice graphics of what the finished trailer should look like.
Vintage Plans for Sale
Many of the plans for teardrop trailer built during the 1940s are still available as reprints or copies from a few sources. One such source is http://www.tinytears.cc/scans.html where scans of several of these old articles are available
Many teardrop trailer builders use a utility trailer purchased from Harbor Freight as the base to build their camper on. These trailers are the right size, lightweight and are relatively inexpensive. Many builders use thin plywood as a skin, and some cover the entire trailer with sheet aluminium for durability and a classic look. These materials can be purchased from local lumber and hardware stores or can be purchased online.
Building Your Teardrop
After obtaining the plans for your perfect teardrop it's time to get down to the fun and start building. As it will take most people at least several weekends to complete a teardrop the selection of a workspace is critical. Trying to build anything in an open backyard or driveway is generally an exercise in endurance when the weather is wet or cold or night has fallen. A garage is a much better option to store the materials and do the work of building your teardrop in. Stopping for the night is easier too when all it takes is closing a garage door. Outside builders must be certain that everything is picked up and secured inside before they're finished each day. Keep your materials close by and in an orderly manner. This will make assembly quicker by eliminating wasted time hunting for small parts like hinges or screws. Using this method also insures that everything needed to complete the project has been purchased. Practice safe working practices when building your teardrop. Keep cutting tools sharp, power cords secured and out of the way and loose material and scraps from accumulating under foot. And always remember, measure twice and cut once.