Duncan and I love road trips. We love the windows down, music loud, and the endless possibilities. We also love camping and just being in nature. We often leave work and hit the trails. Hammocks and campfires are a big part of our life. We have it down to make it as easy as possible to pick up and leave. We have a camping tub with most of our supplies in it. We also have terrible luck with camping. Not only does it rain on us, it floods. We tent camp and that often results in scrambling in the middle of the night throwing our soaking wet gear into our car. When we saw a teardrop camper on the road, we knew that was for us. Our summer project is to build one. We have no idea what we are doing but we are excited. We both have notebooks with ideas. Mine is full of lists and wallpaper ideas, and his notebook is full of measurements and parts.
Getting a 5×8 trailer to start the process of building a Teardrop trailer seems easy enough. Buy a trailer. Either from a store, online or craiglist. easy enough, right? Wrong.
I found a trailer on Craiglist for $275 which was a wonderful price and worth driving to Arkansas for. Most trailers start at $550 for a 5×8. After work one evening Duncan and I made the trip. I had been texting Dustin from craigslist. We showed up at a small gas station in Arkansas and waited. I started to get nervous. Did we just drive two hours for this dude to blow us off?
Finally a truck pulled up (no trailer attached) and hollered out the window. ” Are y’all here for the trailer?” asked a 19 year old kid in the passenger seat. We replied and he asked if we can follow him over to the next town. As we follow these strangers to Mountainburg, Arkansas, my anxiety builds, but Duncan reassures me that everything is fine. We pull into a gravel driveway where the trailer sits. The yard is filled with different tractor equipment and random animals. It turns out the boy and his brother built the trailer. Everything with the trailer checked out, so the boy had his aunt write a bill of sale on a torn page from a notebook. Very official. The truck we borrowed to haul the trailer needed a stop at Walmart before we hit the highway to hook up the lights on the trailer. That took some time to hook up but we were making decent time.However we were already ready for bed and we still had a 2 hour drive. We hit the highway excited about the trailer and our new adventure. Periodically looking in the rear view mirror to make sure everything was still there, I saw sparks. Sparks coming from the trailer!
We pull over quickly and jump out of the truck. Turns out the hitch ball was too small. The trailer hit a bump and popped right off. The electrical wires were ripped as well. Luckily no one was behind us and nothing flew off. The chains on the bottom of trailer kept it attacked to the truck. Quickly, I searched on my phone for the nearest Walmart. 10 miles. Whew.
We drove slowly to the next town letting everyone pass us. We ran inside Walmart to grab the right size ball and new hook up for the trailer lights. It was now midnight and we were sitting in the parking lot trying to rewire everything. Duncan was stripping the frayed wires and putting electric tape over the usable pieces. We finally get it and hit the road. We made it home at 2 am and get four hours of sleep before work. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems.
Get the trailer to Enid.
We will be building the Teardrop Camper in Enid for a few reasons. 1) It will be out of the way at my Grandparents house. 2) My Grandpa has a garage full of tools we can use. 3) Duncan’s Dad (who build houses for a living) can help out 4) We can cool off in my parents’ pool at the end of the day. It is a pretty good system.
The first weekend in Enid was pretty uneventful. We took inventory of tools and made a list. Duncan had to cut off extra metal bars around the frame of the trailer. We also had to rip a few pallets apart. I did my part and pulled nails out of boards and kicked a few boards loose.
Carpenter Ninja, that is me.
Our next step is to build the frame. I am excited to see it take shape.