Archive for the ‘Camping Stories’ Category
Follow Mike as he travels around the U.S. in his Little Guy teardrop trailer.
I went out on my first long distance trip to Destin, FL. It was so fun. The camper pulled great with all the camping stuff in it. My friend and I camped at a military recreation facility. My 6 Wide with ramp was a great hit. I loved having the extra ramp space to put things and keep them off the ground. We had so many people come by and check out the Little Guy.
I felt like I was a celebrity. The old timers shared stories of their own experienced with tear drop type campers. We were the smallest camper, but we had all the necessities in a small package. We were next to huge bus and pop up tent campers. Everyone thought the extended ramp for ATV’s or toys was a great idea. I am in love with the AC, and the king bed is definitely big enough to sleep 3 if you are friends. The AC, definitely kept out the Florida heat and humidity.
A storm rolled through and we were dry and warm. I haven’t had a chance to try out the stove and sink, but am going out again this weekend to put them to the test. It was great I had the trailer wired for electric. All my other electric appliances meant I haven’t had to use the propane stove yet.
I want to share a funny story about the propane stove. I bought a small specialized tank to fit in the tongue box. My friend and I attached everything and were trying to start the stove. Two ladies and a grill, how funny is that. We played for 5 minutes hooking, rehooking, and trying to light the stove before I asked a neighbor guy to help. He promptly picks up the propane tank and said, well no wonder it doesn’t work, the tank is empty. We had a good laugh and figured out that the camping store sells empty tanks. Go figure! This camper is perfect for a single person or family to camp. I feel safe being able to lock the doors, and have all the necessities with none of the issues with tent set up. I rolled in, and was set up in no time. Thank you for being there for all my questions. I look forward to future camping adventures.
Small Gathering @ Quartzsite with Pahaque
Teardrop Rendezvous in Quartzsite
Remote Camp Site
Participants traveled from San Diego (main group), Poway, Torrance, Fresno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Utah and Michigan via Miami (some people use these Teardrops for long term). The tow vehicles varied from radical Off-Road Jeeps to simple family cars… all easily accessing the main camp site in the Plomosa foothills.
It’s amazing how a couple hundred yards off the pavement places you in the same terrain where Wyatt Earp lived!
Both novice and experts were mixed together in comfort as our guide and counselor Jeff Basford of Paha Que Wilderness organized and led a treat in the ultra-dry wilderness. We were surrounded by lava rock formations, gas vents, dozens of cacti, gravel like surfaces of dark volcanic pebbles and rugged volcanic flows.
The history of this area is rich and steeped in the Old West. From the mid 1800’s, hundreds of mines were claimed and worked by individuals and consortiums with rudimentary methods being employed next door to highly-engineered systems. Of the more fascinating accounts was the influx of the French prospectors. The cabins they built can still be seen and visited (rock structures with double wall base). These miners utilized the placer mining techniques and their tailings can be easily identified. Typically, there was a dump area within several feet consisting of old meat cans, soup and food tins intertwined with wagon and equipment skeletons.
The desert is lovely this time of year. Many cactus are blooming and the bees are busy. Although in my mind I expected absolute dryness, it was off set by the numerous Palo Verde trees with it’s vivid light-green bark. The Ocotillo cactus featured wonderful red blossoms plus the royal color of Barrel and Prickly Pear cactus flowers. Apparently, this year with the increased rains, we caught the bloom even at the end of March.
This particular trip was unseasonably warm …. around 105 degrees during the day and 90’s at night. We were very glad for the powered roof vent in our Little Guy Rough Rider model… when an inversion occurred in the middle of the night rendering our exhaust mode useless, I simply reversed the fan direction and wah-lah, we enjoyed a comfortable desert night on our queen-size bed.
What a great way to camp with these Teardrop Trailers. They have just enough storage capacity to make the campsite perfect for a fresh-air outing with amenities. We noticed the various methods employed by our neighbors and it really boils down to personal needs and choices. We saw barbeques next to Dutch Ovens and discussions of utilizing Sun Ovens with the unlimited power supply of the sun. We witnessed solar power panels recharging battery systems and practical Teardrop designed side rooms attached to off-set the heat and provide a lee-side breezeway (built by Paha Que our organizer). A couple Teardrops even employed Air Conditioners with a small generator purring nearby and solar shower cabanas (no need for towels in the super dry air).
This event will hopefully launch into an annual outing with the possibility of a second event into the backcountry with 4×4 vehicles only (and high clearance campers). I anticipate quite a number of participants joining us as there was plenty of area for many more campers.
If you have a Teardrop or Aliner and want to join in, please send your email address to us and we’ll include you in subsequent notices of our campouts. So far, we still want to catch Death Valley in the late fall or early spring, a mountain region lake in Arizona waiting for us on an Indian Reservation and a winery near Julian which would be perfect on a moonless night.
Our sincere thanks go to Jeff Basford and Mike Greaves of Paha Que Wilderness Camping Systems, our organizer, for designing a worthy trip with great historical and geographical account of the area. We also want to thank our participants for becoming good friends in a matter of a few days! There’s nothing like camping buddies.
French miner cabin site
Most of all we want to thank Camping Life Magazine for joining us with the trip. We should see a great article by fall with the possibility of a cover theme on Teardropping in the remote desert. We highly recommend subscribing to this publication as they endeavor to cover the type of camping near and dear to us all.
See you next trip!
Enjoy this site full of pictures and complete blog of their adventure with their teardrop camper trailer….it is really something else. We are all envious!!!
This month there are two stories/testimonials that we’d like to share. The first is from Doug and his dog, RockC, and the second from Ann and the last from Mike.
Just got home from our road trip. 4800 miles through MO,IA,NB,SD,MT,WY, ID,UT,CO,AR,NM,KS.
Me and the dog had a wonderful time and it was so much fun with our Little Guy Teardrop Trailer.
We met so many fellow travelers, nice folks who just wanted to check out our little camper. From riders on motorcycles to families in self contained motorhomes, they all wanted to check out our rig. I was proud of it. And during the storms, rain and rough roads we traveled, it handled and pulled just fine. I took it places in central Colorado that I should have been in a Jeep! And…… I slept great everynite.
I am a happy camper. I’ve got the road atlas out. Planning my next road trip. BTW, I pulled my 4 wide with a 2wd,4 cylinder Ranger PU. Have not figured my gas mileage yet. But it’s around 22 mpg with a canoe on the roof all the way.
And thanks for your newsletter,
see ya later………..doug and RockC
I’ve been the talk of the neighborhood since my Little Guy arrived. There was a crowd watching the unload, then visitors, visitors and more visitors. I’m still the talk as everyone wants to know when my next trip will be.
On the first trip, to SC, a couple came over and wanted to look. They did and I gave them a brochure. On the second trip over Thanksgiving, 2 different groups wanted to see. They both got brochures. A couple of my neighbors also wanted brochures. I’m keeping the last one so I can give people information.
I’ve recently joined Tear Jerkers, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. So now I have to plan my weekends carefully. Quite an active group–with a tremendous sense of humor.
My “Journeys with The Bug and Buggy” album has just started but I thought you might want to see what I look like, what Watson the dog (who hates riding in cars) looks like and what I have done to the inside. Enjoy and use the photos as you wish.
Thanks again for your patience and support and for my little Buggy!
I just returned to Iraq after my 15 day R&R. We stayed 14 days in the Little Guy. We went all over Alaska. We are avid campers and this was the best camping trip I have ever had. The camper was great, both my wife and son loved it. After being away for 10 months I could not dream of a better way to reconnect. I wish I had known about these campers years ago. When things slow down I will put a review on your WEB site. Thanks for all the help getting the camper to Alaska, it made for a great time with the family and I cannot wait for next summer. If you need anything from Alaska just let me know.
This story was contributed by Dr. Sharon and Bob Richart from Parish, FL. We found it to be so liberating, that no matter your RV, teardrop or fifth wheeler, the spirit of adventure lives on and must be shared. Without further adieu…
It all started back in September of 2000 when I was living in Torrance, CA. I was looking for plans to build a camper for my Nissan pickup so I could be a little more comfortable while I explored the natural wonders of sunny southern California. After a short search on the Internet with little results, I thought I would take a look for camping trailer plans. It was during that search that I saw my first teardrop. I was intrigued by the compact size and functionality of the teardrop design. After spending the entire night starring at my computer and looking at hundreds of photos I decided that I would indeed build a teardrop.
Searching for Plans
Now that the decision was made all I needed was suitable plans to begin construction. I bought a $60 set of plans for a KIT replica I found online and anxiously awaited their arrival. Disappointed by what I got, I found myself creating my own design by combining the back half of the KIT profile with the chassis design of Larry Sorensen’s Outback Teardrop. Builders today have a much wider selection including some excellent plans from Kevin Hauser at Kuffel Creek.
I set out ordering axles, wheels, lights, metal, wood and everything else needed to complete my teardrop and waited for the materials to arrive. With every intention of documenting my project like Larry did, I began to build the trailer on my patio and moved to the shared garage of my townhouse once the chassis was complete. As the work progressed, I found myself less intent on the documentation than on the completion of the project (sound familiar to anyone out there). With lots of help and encouragement from Larry, Grant Whipp, and countless others on the discussion board, my completed teardrop rolled out of the garage in time for the Southern California Touring Teardrops Gathering held at Sweetwater County Park in March of 2001.
I have included photos of the original construction and ongoing modifications on the Construction page.
The experience and satisfaction of building and using this little trailer has been priceless. From the challenges of construction to the adventures I have had, I do not regret for one second the decision I made.
To all of my friends in the teardrop community I say thank you and may you always enjoy your teardrop time!
I gave this trailer to my youngest son John in the spring of 2009.
This story was contributed by Barry and Monique Zander, courtesy of RV.net. We found it to be so liberating, that no matter your RV, teardrop or fifth wheeler, the spirit of adventure lives on and must be shared. Without further adieu…
We departed Orange County last Friday, eager to begin our on-the-road adventure toward Alaska by staying at an RV park in the Inland Empire of California. As we headed toward our destination, Monique declared, “Let’s just go!” And two hours later, we were battling a poorly designed dirt entry into a campsite in Red River Canyon State Park, very few miles from Death Valley.
The freedom to not be driven by schedules and calendars is what we consider one of the greatest blessings of our blessed lives. We celebrated our decision to change plans by enjoying a Happy-Hour-for-Two amid temperate breezes that whipped around among the surrounding walls of sandstone etched for millennia by wind, heat and long-forgotten rain.
If you’re a full-timer or RV extensively, you might know the exhilaration of this benefit of the nomadic life. If you’re still bound by obligations around home but are planning to transition to extended RVing, or still trying to decide whether to make your move, I’ll clue you in on what it took for us.
First of all, Monique and I had the advantage of being in complete agreement on the idea of traveling full-time. On the road, we meet so many couples who are trying to make it work, even though one member of “the team” is determined to return to a “normal” lifestyle. Some of those folks have been putting up with compromises for years, and somehow they are still speaking to each other (at least when we’re around).
When Monique proposed our life on the road and I quickly agreed, we began by setting a timeline from that day until we embarked on our journey. Some of the biggest issues we faced were: 1) separating from our family and jobs; 2) deciding what type of RV to buy, and then what kind of truck to buy to pull it (Monique’s main requirement was a quiet motor and Bose speakers); 3) selling our home; and 4) planning where we wanted to go.
1) Our timeline included dates for telling our families – we had to tell our seven children, my mother and sister that even if we are crazy, we still intended to go through with our plan. As for our careers, we both enjoyed providing service to people who appreciated us, with employers who valued us. Telling them about our decision was hard to do. We planned it every step of the way to build support before going to those we expected to be less agreeable.
2) When you are ready to choose an RV, don’t do it without asking lots of questions. Ol’ Walt, who sold us our first trailer, told us about the couple who bought a pop-up, along with an electric frying pan, toaster, hair dryer, percolator and more. They returned the next Monday to get an RV that suited them better. A diesel pusher with granite counter tops may be the life you’re accustomed to, but it may restrict your traveling because of size and operating costs. We meet people every week happy to have chosen a van conversion, a cab-over, C-Class, a fifth wheel, motor home or a travel trailer. It’s all about what you hope to do with your RV and the places you want to stay… resort versus primitive, for example.
3) The hardest part was preparing the house for sale, which was no different for us than for just about anyone else trying to get the most bucks for their home. We did numerous repairs and sacrificed many valued things that were parts of our lives before calling in a private property inspector. Next, we interviewed the top Realtors in our area – each one was a revelation! We sorted, packed and tried to stay calm. A prospective buyer said “Yes, I want it,” one day after our time-line date.
4) And the easiest part is where to go. We meet people who want to go to every major league stadium, every presidential library, every national park, every state capitol, and more often a rotation among their grandchildren’s hometowns. We have set our sites on camping in every state, with Alaska this year being our 36th. No rush. Meanwhile, we are also looking for the place where we want to live when it’s time to put on the brakes, at least as full-timers. Part of the joy of looking is that it encourages us to get to know the locals and hear what’s so great about where they live.
We find that the biggest obstacles to living on the road, after you’ve found the financial resources, are health and health insurance. Although we are healthy and have good health coverage, we know that these are the issues that present the most problems for many wanna-be RVers. We hope it works out for you.
A camper by the name of Dermott told us early-on, “Without courage, there is no freedom; without freedom, there is no happiness.”