Where to start…

…or, where did we start? Well naturally, I started by looking at Pendleton blankets to lay across the queen-size bed in our beautiful (yet to be designed, built or tested) camper. 

In reality, we began by reading. A lot. There are tons of blogs, forums and websites dedicated to building a teardrop camper. The information, at first, was honestly overwhelming. 

As we read more and more we realized there were a lot of consistencies in each version of the “build your own teardrop camper” story we read. Certain steps in the process were required, with minimal variation. Other parts had a bit more creative liberty to them, which is where my excitement lies. 

Here are a few blogs we found most helpful (so far):

By the end of week 2 since deciding to embark on this project we knew a couple things about the type of camper we wanted to build:

  1. We liked the Benroy body style
  2. We needed it to sleep 4 people, so the Summit design by Colorado Teardrops, which includes bunkbeds, was going to be our main inspo

I am someone who thinks by visually laying it all out, so on a coffee-filled morning I got out the ikea paper roll from the kids playroom, a sharp #2 pencil, a few erasers, and began drawing.

Here is what we have drawn so far

Not-to-scale drawing of the trailer (version 1)

This is by no means to scale, it is also not the final design. The purpose of this sketching exercise was to remove all of the ideas I had thought about over these last 2 weeks from my head. In doing so there were a lot of a-has! that came up, and also questions.

For example…Sam is 6’ 8” we would need to account for this in the galley hatch because most designs don’t extend up that high, and he needs to be able to stand underneath – how else is he going to be able to cut the limes for my margaritas?

First steps to take

Once everything was on paper there were 2.5 things we knew we needed to do before being able to draw out any to-scale plans:

1 – Buy the trailer

1.5 – Upgrade the tires/wheels

2 – Buy a collapsable queen mattress

Why were these so important to start off with?

Buy the trailer

This is a no-brainer. Step 1 when building a house is foundation, step 1 when building a trailer is buy (or make) the flat bed trailer. 

Upgrade the wheels and tires

We are going to put substantially bigger tires on the trailer. Once we began drawing plans one big piece stuck out like a sore thumb. We cannot know the height of the countertop in the galley, in relation to the bottom of the cabin, until we knew how high the floor would be off the ground. Being that we are optimizing space, every centimeter counts, and knowing the precise height of the countertop was important for us. The wheel/tire size was going to definitely impact this, so this became step 1.5.

Buy a collapsable mattress

Buy a collapsable queen mattress

We knew we wanted a queen mattress. We also knew that we wanted to be able to fold it into a couch formation for days we may be stuck in the trailer. Not many good options exist, and being that I am not about to make a foldable mattress, buying the specific one we would use was important for the compositional layout inside the camper

So…off we go to buy a trailer and a mattress. 

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