5 Reasons To Avoid Teardrop Trailers
After more than a decade of camping in an eight-foot long teardrop trailer, I feel I can provide both the pros and cons of the lightweight, miniature campers. There are a ton of pros for them, but not too many people talk about the cons.
If you don’t already know, teardrop trailers are the smallest type of RV available. Normally they are around four to five feet in width and about eight to 10 feet in length. There is usually no way to stand up inside a teardrop trailer and it is just large enough to fit a double bed inside and a small galley kitchen in the rear.
History of teardrop trailers
Teardrop trailers originally evolved during the 1930s when the U.S. was developing the nation’s highway system. Soldiers coming home from WWII would build the little trailers with military surplus materials. The aluminum from airplane wings gave the campers their distinctive shiny exterior.
Since then, teardrops have evolved into both homebuilt and mass manufactured industries. Their popularity has increased exponentially in the last decade due to their cuteness factor, availability, and ease of use.
If you have ever wanted to break into the camping world without too much effort or don’t have a beefy towing vehicle, teardrops are a great first step. They can be towed with a smaller, 4-cylinder vehicle and are easily and cheaply modified to fit your style.
However, there are several cons to these types of campers. Before you start looking into buying your own teardrop trailer, check out these five reasons to avoid these mini RVs.
1. They are not much fun in inclement weather
Over the years of teardrop camping, my husband and I camped in all types of weather including pouring rain, freezing snow, gusty winds, Burning Man dust storms, and damp fog. We and our trailer survived, but it was never as much fun as camping on those sunny 70-degree days.
Bad weather would sometimes deter us from taking a trip or would keep us inside our less than 40-square-foot space. There are ways to add additional shelter to a teardrop trailer, but less than ideal weather is always an issue.
2. Teardrops don’t have a bathroom
While it was never a big deal for me, not having a bathroom is a big deterrent for some experienced and newbie campers. There are ways to add a camping toilet or bucket to your teardrop trailer arsenal, but I have never seen a teardrop with a dedicated bathroom with a sink. Some teardrops have a sink in the galley kitchen, but many are built without them.
3. Lack of headroom, foot room, and well…room
Anyone who shops in the big and tall areas of the mall may have trouble even fitting inside a teardrop trailer. The majority of teardrop beds can only fit one or two people under 6’5”. Teardrops are also around four to five feet in height. I don’t know of any teardrop owner who hasn’t hit their head at least once or twice on the ceiling or the door frame.
4. They are not the most family-friendly RV
Along with the lack of room comes a lack of extra beds for a larger family. Some teardrop trailers come with fold-down beds for small children, but most families with one or two kids need to snuggle up together in the same bed. Check out Playing with Sticks on YouTube to see how some families accomplish this.
The same goes for families with pets. I’ve seen adjoining tents set up for larger dogs who can’t fit inside a teardrop. These types of tents can also be used as outdoor living rooms for all family members.
5. Teardrops can be overpriced
Because of their soaring popularity and because no major manufacturers are building them in mass quantities, many teardrops are priced unreasonably high. Some of the newer designs are running around $20,000 or more for what is essentially a bed on wheels. I’ve even seen some that cost over $60,000!
You can find more affordable used teardrop trailers online, but they do tend to get snapped up quickly. Since they are so desirable, they also retain their value and owners are not letting their old teardrops go at too low a price.
While there are a few reasons to avoid purchasing a teardrop trailer, I had a blast camping in mine. My little 850 lb. camper went quickly and easily over mountain passes, through national parks, and around curvy roads. It fit into tight campsites and even through fast food drive thru windows. In addition, everywhere it went it would draw a crowd and even charm a few highway patrol officers.
If a teardrop trailer sounds like it is right for you, check out this new $17,000 Teardrop Camper Built To Go Off-Road.