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COVER STORY: The History of Teardrops

by: Sarah Tucker

Teardrop trailers first became popular in the 1930s, when magazines such as Mechanix Illustrated published plans. The first teardrop designs incorporated standard 4 by 8-foot sheets of plywood with hardwood spars. Teardrop trailers remained popular until the mid-1960s, after which they disappeared from mainstream camping. However, in the late 1990s, plans became available on the Internet and in recent years teardrop trailers have made a resurgence and are again growing in popularity. While not all-encompassing, this is just a small part of the history that was the beginning of teardrop trailer.

In the December 1936 issue of Mechanics and Handicrafts, this article ran and seems to be the oldest known written artifact about teardrop trailers. It includes very little on the background of the units but does have step by step instructions for building one. I personally loved the first photo of the movie star entering her trailer. The author posted a material list and cost analysis at the end of the article that will make anyone building in today's society smile...or maybe grimace. And thus...the birth of the DIY teardrop trailer plans.