- Sarah Tucker
8 Tips to Ensure a Great Time in a Teardrop
- by Contributing Writer -
With a little preparation, camping in a teardrop trailer can be a blast! We’ve had our teardrop for over 3 years now and have taken it on many, many adventures. Here are 8 things we’ve learned along the way to help ensure your next camping trip goes smoothly.
Editor's Note: Over the last year, Cool Tears has brought hundreds of camping tips thanks to the guys at Camp-Inn. Tiny Camper, Big Adventure blog had a whole other set of tips that were so great, we had to share them in Cool Tears as well.
Our family has always loved camping and we have been on countless camping trips over the years. However after a back injury made sleeping on the ground impossible, we knew we had to find an alternative if we wanted to continue camping as a family. In early 2015, we became the proud owners of a teardrop trailer. In the past few years, we’ve put a lot of miles on our camper and have had so many wonderful adventures. We’ve definitely picked up a lot of teardrop trailer camping tips on our outings. We thought we would share some things with you about camping with a teardrop trailer that we wish someone had told us when we bought ours.
Tip #1: Before camping in a teardrop trailer, practice backing up!
Before you take your teardrop camper on its inaugural trip, take it over to a large empty parking lot and practice backing up. Practice backing up a lot! Trust me on this one.
Kevin drove a delivery truck for years, so he is no stranger to maneuvering large vehicles, but he had trouble backing up our teardrop trailer at first. And to be honest, even after 3 years, he still has a bit of trouble backing it into our driveway when we get home. The shorter turn radius actually makes backing up a teardrop more difficult that backing up larger trailers.
On our first camping trip, it took a lot of tries to finally get the camper situated on the pad at our campsite. Not a lot of fun if you arrive at the campsite after dark!
That being said, most teardrops are so light that you can maneuver it into place manually by picking up the hitch if you get frustrated trying to back it up perfectly with your tow vehicle. But it is a good idea to practice backing up before you ever take your camper on the road. line.”
Tip #2: Invest in an extension cord for your teardrop camper
If you are planning on staying at a campground with an electrical hookup, invest in an extension cord. It just might make the difference between camping in a teardrop trailer with electricity for the duration of your trip or doing without!
Some teardrop trailers come with really short electric cords. The cord for our trailer is only about 10 feet long, which seems like an adequate length.
However, we have stayed at a couple of camp sites where the electric hookup box was situated in a weird place. We had to end up maneuvering the teardrop off the pad to make the plug reach the electric hookup. So if your cord is short like ours is, invest in an extension.
Tip #3: Make security a priority when camping with a teardrop trailer
Campers are a pretty friendly lot and look out for each other, but my philosophy is better safe than sorry. We’ve never encountered any issues while camping in a teardrop camper, but have read many stories of these tiny campers being stolen. So take precautions to secure your investment.
Start with insurance. You will want to talk to your insurance agent about adding your teardrop to your auto policy. That’s what we did with ours. It costs us about $12 a month I believe – so not a lot of money for a little peace of mind.
You will also want to have a way to secure your camper while you are on the road and at the campsite. We use a hitch lock while the teardrop is hooked up to our van for travel and we use a coupler lock on the ball while we are in the campsite. You can save money by buying these in a set on Amazon, or you can also find these locks locally at hardware stores or camping supply stores.
In addition, wheel chocks are a must-have when camping with a teardrop trailer on uneven ground. They will keep the trailer from rolling. Just be sure to remove them before you go to leave your campsite. That was a lesson we learned the hard way!
Tip #4: A pull-through site makes camping with a teardrop camper easier
Even after you have mastered backing up your teardrop trailer, it is still infinitely easier to get a pull-through campsite.
With a little preparation, camping in a teardrop trailer can be a blast! We've had our teardrop for over 3 years now and have taken her on many, many adventures. Here are 7 things we've learned along the way to help ensure your next teardrop camping trip goes smoothly.
There are many times we have arrived at a campsite after dark and we were glad for a pull-through site so we didn’t have to try to maneuver the camper in the dark. It is much less of a hassle to be able to just pull in and be done.
Tip #5: Get a campsite near a bathroom
Most teardrop campers do not have a bathroom so you will want one close in case you need to use the facilities in the middle of the night. With a little preparation, camping in a teardrop trailer can be a blast! We've had our teardrop for over 3 years now and have taken her on many, many adventures. Here are 7 things we've learned along the way to help ensure your next teardrop camping trip goes smoothly.
I never thought this would be an issue. I never wake up in the middle of the night at home, so why should camping be any different? But for some reason, every time we camp, I wake up in the middle of the night having to go to the bathroom, despite having a great teardrop trailer mattress. I think it may be that I get cold due to having the fan on our AC unit blowing to get ventilation in the small sleeping place.
Whatever the reason for my waking up, a midnight walk to the bathroom in the dark is not fun! We didn’t bother to get a spot close to the bathroom when we stayed at the campground near Niagara Falls and regretted it. Fortunately Kevin is a good sport and doesn’t complain about getting up in the middle of the night to walk with me to the bathroom. However, this summer, we are going to be investing in a privacy pop-up tent and a portable toilet! But if you don’t want any more camping gear to lug around, just reserve a campsite near a bathroom.
Tip #6: Ensure there is adequate ventilation in your camper
This is especially important if you have built your own teardrop. There have been stories of campers asphyxiating during the night while camping in a teardrop camper.
This is usually only an issue with home-built trailers that haven’t included adequate ventilation. When the camper is closed up for the night there is a danger of running out of air
I have never heard of this happening with commercially built teardrop trailers, but we sleep with the windows open just to be safe.
Tip #7: Bring along an EZ-Up in case of bad weather while camping in a teardrop camper
It is rare that we have a camping trip where it doesn’t rain at all, so we bring along an EZ-Up shelter to put over the galley area. This allows us to have a nice dry space for cooking if it is raining. Our EZ Up is large enough that we can raise the galley lid completely underneath the shelter. We have a 10′ x 10′ one and that is definitely enough room for a picnic table and our camp stove underneath. More than a few times having the EZ-Up has allowed us to cook our meals during inclement weather when camping with a teardrop trailer.
Tip #8: Don’t pack more than you need when you are camping in a small trailer
There is minimal storage in a teardrop. So you will definitely want to think long and hard about what you take along on a camping trip. Space isn’t usually an issue when when camping in a small trailer for a long weekend trip.However, when you are gone for more than 4 days, things can get tight when you consider all the clothing, food, and equipment you need for the duration of the trip.
So we think long and hard about everything that gets packed in our teardrop and are continually re-evaluating our packing list to pare down. Plan your packing list carefully so that you only bring along what you absolutely need.