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How to Restore/Build a Teardrop Trailer

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flt-blk, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. I like it, one of these days ill get to putting in the insides to my 55 van to make it a camper.. maybe we will meet somewhere? lol
  2. Big Jon
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 146

    Big Jon

    the good thing is ... the more over night events you go to the faster the payback time.
  3. cowboy1
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
    Posts: 914

    from Austin TX

  4. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,348


    Nice project, and nice job documenting the build. Now, go camping!

  5. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,886

    Alliance Vendor

    I want to build one of these! Probably, should get the pickup finished first.

    Can you sleep fully reclined in there? Looks pretty short. Or is that part of the "charm"?

    Love the whole thread, thank you very much, would you want to share some more dimensions with us?
  6. kisam
    Joined: Feb 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,922


    Very cool. I've been looking at them too. I would love to do Route 66 with one.
  7. Hot Rod Elvis
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 606

    Hot Rod Elvis

    Nice job and cool tutorial....even though I would get claustrophobic in there.
  8. Without a doubt! I'm gathering parts for a project to go traveling Route 66 myself - I guess I have to consider adding this to the project schedule... :D
  9. barryvanhook
    Joined: Jun 17, 2011
    Posts: 625

    from Mesa, AZ

    Congratulations! What a nice job! And for those curtains .... you don't have to be able to sew or have a sewing machine ... go to a fabric store and get some heat-activated tape to make those curtain rod pockets and to hem them. I don't know if that's what it's called for sure, but the ladies at the fabric store will know. Then use a regular iron to finish the curtains.

    I don't sew either;)
  10. Bull
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,286


    We've got a 47 KIT as well and this is the most commonly asked question we get . . . "You can actually sleep in there!?" Yes. Quite comfortable actually. If you can fit on a full size mattress, you can fit in a teardrop. We use full size fitted sheets for ours.

    We've had ours just over a year and have had it out countless times. I've probably slept in it 40+ nights thus far and love it! Taking it to Goodguys in Des Moines this weekend behind the roadster actually.

    Our Bubba-built . . . bought from Mercdeuceman 47 KIT:
  11. Bull
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,286


    My wife was at first, but loves it now. We had Stichbitch sew up some screens that velcro in the door openings. Great for sleeping on those hot summer nights.
  12. Wow!
    Tyler, looks great.
  13. magnet
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 853


  14. Impressive man!
  15. nice job on the build..........:D

  16. A couple updates and a few more pictures.

    Took it for a spin on Sunday down the freeway and it towed straight as an arrow, no doors flew open and everything was great.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here are a couple pictures of the vent latch mechanism There are two pins and one hole, engage one to lock it up, pull it back close the hatch and push the other pin into the hole.

    and some details of the hatch legs for Don. The hole is to the back and the slot to the front. When the leg slips onto the pin it automatically pushes back, if you try to pick up the hatch it catches the slot and wont let it go until you slide the leg forward again. simple yet effective...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    And one days distration as the trailer kept moving on me, i had to overbuild a wheel chock
  17. FoMoCoPower
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,490


    Same year/make trailer was on ebay for $700 2-weeks ago,guy never responded to my e-mails
  18. thats more than I paid for my Starter Kit. Good luck though.
  19. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    Great information! And well documented with photos too!

    It'll be handy for me when I get started on my 1947 Kit. My trailer has a "VIN" plate on the hitch which has trailer serial number and build date. Inside the door at the top front near the hinge was a decal with the serial number typed on it and "Directions" or "Instructions at the top. Sadly it has deteriorated and only has the serial number, outline and instruction/direction title.

    My trailer is a one door on right side trailer like yours. I've seen RH doors and 2 door trailer but never a LH door only.

    The side panel seam on the window side on my trailer was covered by a steel rounded top countersunk screw hole moulding about an inch wide, short one to the top rail, long one to the wall bottom.

    My trailer had a round aluminum water tank across the inside under the hinge area with the filler through the body sidewall just forward of the hinge. The tank had a miniature sink attached with a spigot and a drain tube exited through the countertop and out the floor. Sadly, by the time I got the trailer, this and the stove were gone.

    On the right side is a metal lined ice chest built into the countertop with a latching lid and drain out the bottom through the floor. In the front wall of the cabinet under the ice chest is mounted a "genuine" Coca-cola bottle opener.
    On the left side is an aluminum covered asbestos pad under an open two burner cast iron propane stove (lucky me, I found a replacement at a yard sale).
    On the left side under the cooking area is a door which opens to reveal a pantry with shelves for canned goods etc.

    Inside on the front wall of the rear compartment is a shelf as yours now has. Under it is a 46-48 Mopar backup lamp used for interior lighting.

    The hatch on my trailer was structured in plywood as yours was but had a hardboard liner rather than the aluminum sheet in yours. The original taillamp and license bracket in the center of the lid about midpoint has been replaced with an original Model T taillamp, the 23-27 style with round ruby lens.

    My trailer had a set of 32 Chevy runningboards and rear fenders on it, fit well too. Across the rear was a 42-48 Chevy rear bumper with a steel shelf welded to it from fender to fender and steel strap railings for tying down items. The runningboard on the window side had an old expandable rack like early cars used for luggage carriers.

    I don't believe the trailer had fenders but haven't gotten the old fenders off to see if there any "extra" holes for oem fenders or not.

    Another addition was a bed size platform up top with a square tubing access ladder from over the tongue above the gas bottle bracket. Made of pipe and angle iron, it extends to the rear about at the deck hinge line. When I first saw the trailer it had 1X6s forming a box around the platform which was decked in plywood and a suffed cotton mattress up there. Above that was a rooftop just like a doghouse with shingles and all. It could be lifted up and secured for the kids to sleep up top and had mosquito netting stapled there for night time protection. This didn't do the structural integrity of the trailer any good after the walls began to go! There was no support from frame to platform out back, just 2 mount points on each side into the top of the sidewalls.

    Suspension on the trailer was swing axle with coil springs around it on either side. One was broken but a brand new setup was available at the local trailer place so easy to replace. Hubs were early car with 5 on 4.5" circle. New axle had hubs with same bolt pattern. Modern rubber-snubbed torsion axle would be a great now replacement.

    Just the getting of the trailer was an adventure of sorts in rural eastern OK back in the mid-70s. Too long for this forum. Suffice it to say that this was the first time I ever saw anyone get excited about a $100 bill enough to call out everyone in the rooming house to pass it around and examine it!

    Hope this information is useful for someone. These little trailers when rebuilt are smooth towing, comfortable and great looking. Kit Kampers in Long Beach CA...thanks.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  20. According to my research on fenders. Early 46 (like mine) did not have fenders at all. Late 46 got flat top fenders, pretty basic in shape and construction. and 47 got the rounded fiberglass fenders, like I have coming.

    I have thought it would be cool to put a roof rack on this, I am picturing the bamboo rack on an old VW Beetle. Not sure what I would want to store up there though that I couldn't just put inside.

    I was told to put the VIN tag on the tougue, but didn't want to get in trouble for falsifying a VIN tag or anything like that, so it will stay on the door.

    I have found myself over that last few days stacking stuff in the kitchenette so I don't forget it when we go camping; clothes line, Toilet Paper, Matches, bug spray, sun block, etc. Eventually I hope to have it self contained so we can just hook up and go.
  21. WildWilly68
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 1,724


    Great write-up. I've thought about doing one of those myself many times...maybe someday.
  22. looks Great!!!-what happend to the wine box???? tow it down to pa and i will put you up next to the garage ...:D
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  23. matthew mcglothin
    Joined: Mar 3, 2007
    Posts: 970

    matthew mcglothin

    very cool!! I'm jealous..another project added to my list.
  24. Really nice! This is just what I need. I've seen the diy plans to build one. You've done
    a great job with this, T love it.
  25. This one is practice for converting a boat trailer to tow the FED,

    Hotrodsurfer, can I park that one at your house too?? :)
  26. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,917


    No, the FED needs to park at MY house!
  27. no problem ;)
  28. you guys crack me up, where were you when I needed heavy lifting? :)
  29. ummm...jest a text or phone call away far as heavy lifting.. who picks you guys up at the airport???

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