Here is a guest post by Steve Whelan on his DIY Teardrop Trailer.
It took $2,000 and about 5 months to build part time. Why build it? I was bored and needed a project!
I am an artist as well, “targeting” my work as “Urban Art” with a twist. The military aspects of my work bring on a different feeling of peace.
It’s 4′ wide, 8′ long, based on “Big Woody” plans with my customization. It features all the basics to survive. Gas, propane, water
Man Builds $2k Military Style Teardrop Trailer
Images © Steve Whalen
Images © Steve Whalen
110v hook up
12v deep cycle battery
LED lighting in kitchen
12v interior lights
Locking interior cabinet doors
Laptop sized shelving (no need for TV)
2.5 gallon fresh water
Faucet/sink/drain (self contained)
Fully operational screened windows/doors
Exterior skin is covered with canvas, primer and paint, trimmed with aluminum
Custom decal and authentic military stencil lettering
Real Mortar rocket carrying case used for storage
Clip on tables (3)
More Info from the Artist/Builder 🙂
I’m an artist at heart and have all my life felt the need to create. Whether it’s a pop art canvas of Amy Winehouse or a customized Technics turntable, if it pops into my mind I get the urge to build it.
I am an on-air DJ in Laguna Beach, Ca and often attend 3 day music festivals (Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle etc.) on a regular basis.
One year I spent some time with 2 other guys in a tent which was not ideal and thought there has to be a better way! After a few months of “non creating” I got the urge to build something. Something special that is unfamiliar to most people…
I have been following the “Small House Movement” that is becoming very popular these days and after researching a home trailer build I discovered the Teardrop.
Most of my creations take a military theme but I switch it around to be “Non violent”. I created a painting not so long ago featuring a soldier launching a mortar but I switched out the mortar for a microphone as if to say “Talk” don’t “fight”, there’s no need!
I did buy the “Big Woody” plans so I had a template to cut out the traditional shape. From there on the rest was customized by me.
Careful thought went into every aspect of the build which actually prolonged build time. Once I know what I want to create the rest goes fast.
The trailer itself is a Harbor Freight foldable rated for 1100 lbs.
Every aspect of the teardrop was built by hand, by me over a 5 month period (part time). No physical help from others what so ever. Joining blogs and FaceBook groups is an invaluable tool. Many people came to my rescue when I had questions.
I actually used free and recycled items such as the re-purposed mortar cases on each side. they were originally attached together with a carrying handle to which I split them and mounted them for cable/flashlight/battery storage… Airtight/watertight.
I decided to use a single mattress to give me a little wiggle room inside.
Some space saving ideas are the removable tables (3), tongue box, lockable interior cabinets
To seal the exterior I used the glue/canvas/glue method followed by multiple coats of primer and deck paint. The canvas was actually Ikea curtains!
I designed the custom decal and official stenciling as used in the military.
The code is… K= Special Vehicle TD= Teardrop GS= General Support #=1
Having electrical experience the teardrop it wired for 12v and 110v. If needed I carry a generator in my SUV.
What would I do differently on my next build? Well I would add a retractable power cable somewhere as my generator is best hidden away for noise purposes. I would also incorporate a roof rack for a canoe or bike.
One issue I have ran into is that nobody knows how to categorize the teardrop when attending the music festivals. It’s the same size as most small tents but it’s on a trailer. “Not much of a problem” I hear you say, well the price difference for attending the festivals is very large between tent camping and RV camping.
A big thanks to Steve Whalen for sharing his DIY teardrop trailer with us!
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