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2019 Forester - Touring CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
I came across these classic "teardrop-style" trailers from Vintage Overland. I am still 7-10 years off retirement, so just daydreaming for now, but I could see getting one of these for touring the country and camping in.

It's fairly basic, closer in some ways to tenting than to a big Airstream trailer. But, it's light - 900lb for the "big" model, which has a 5x8 ft cabin - size of a queen mattress plus 1.5 feet at one end. It's also streamlined, so this would be easy to tow and wouldn't hurt fuel economy too bad. You'd at least have a soft, dry, level bed to sleep in, no leaks when it rains, LED lights inside and no need to set up or take down a tent to make or break camp. There is also a generous trunk behind the cabin to allow you to configure as a primitive "kitchen" or to bring more gear with ready access. I've seen other models that are far more elaborate, but I don't know if you need all that crap.

Review in Outside Magazine:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2006671/vintage-overland-trailer

Company website:
https://www.vintageoverland.com/galleries/
 

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Very pretty! If you have time to plan and are good with tools, you might research DIY builds of this classic design.

Kind of sweet if you spec'ed the hubs and extra tire to be full size spares for your Forester! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, LuvMySubaru - I will do that. As I said there is plenty of time yet, I should probably just start accumulating links to resources and excerpts of info in a folder on my disk drive. I did a ton of hiking and backpacking in my younger days. Just shy of 60 now though, and I am afraid that's not practical anymore, but I still love being outside, so I just need to make some adjustments to continue enjoying the experiences :).

I should ask - have you built your own already? Where have you found info on this?
 

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www.tnttt.com is a website for teardrop trailer enthusiasts

tnttt.com is a very popular website for teardrop trailer enthusiasts. People post Build Journals about teardrop trailers they are building. I'm (slowly) building a 5' x 10' teardrop that I'll tow with my Forester.

tearjerkers.net is a nationwide club of teardrop trailerr owners and discussion forum. Members organize teardrop gatherings or crawls around the USA and Canada. Tearjerkers Gathering Calendar

Many of the better/best commercial/custom teardrop trailer builders:
oregontrailer.net
vistabule.com
tinycamper.com
socalteardrops.com
teardropsnw.com
timberleaftrailers.com
cozycruiser.com
hikertrailers.com

YouTube channels by teardrop trailer enthusiasts/adventurers
Cosmo Weems
Playing with Sticks
Mandy Lea
 

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2019 Forester - Touring CVT
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey! don't knock Airstream. Before you make any kind of decision look into what it would take to restore an older/well used one. It would have to be a "labor of love" Here's an example, the recording studio for "Under the Influence" https://terryoreilly.ca/terstream/
I am not "knocking" AirStream - I think they're nice looking, look well designed and fairly luxurious. Everyone has a different budget as well as different priorities on various advantages and disadvantages though.
- While you can sell any of these rigs after a few years of exploring to recover some of your purchase price, I imagine that the more that you spend, the more that you will lose. I need to look after my money carefully in retirement.
- Whether it's a large trailer or a bus style, gas mileage with a large rig will be awful, and I'd rather save the gas money and be kinder to the environment
- The bigger the rig gets, the more cumbersome it is to drive, maneuver and park
- If I really want nice, comfortable accommodations rather than roughing it in a simple trailer, I'd prefer just to drive a conventional vehicle towing nothing, and then stay in bed and breakfasts, cabins, inns and hotels, rather than driving or towing a small apartment with me.

Just my opinion...
 

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- While you can sell any of these rigs after a few years of exploring to recover some of your purchase price, I imagine that the more that you spend, the more that you will lose. I need to look after my money carefully in retirement.
My friends searched for over a year to find a used Alto, they sell pretty much as soon as they are listed. These are made to order and even 2 years after my friends got theirs, there is still a 1-1.5 year wait time when you order.
It's probably the only trailer that does hold it's value well.

I thought the price was crazy until I spent the weekend in it. Once you do and then see other ones, the perspective shifts to why do these wooden shells cost as much as they do.
 

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I posted links up above to eight teardrop trailer builders who build good to excellent quality teardrop trailers that are small and light enough (under 1500 lbs) to be towed by a Subaru Forester. Most teardrop trailer manufacturers are small businesses that only sell their trailers directly to buyers, not through RV dealers. Usually the trailers are built-to-order with customized upgrades. It may take several months up to a year for a teardrop trailer to be built and delivered after an order and deposit is placed for one. The demand for well built teardrop trailers exceeds supply in this niche market.

Well built teardrop trailers often hold their value, unlike most other RVs which quickly depreciate.

In recent years Little Guy, nuCamp and other commercial trailer manufacturers have capitalized on the resurgent popularity of teardrop trailers by building larger and heavier "teardrop" shaped trailers that sometimes have standing room, an inside kitchen and/or an inside bathroom. Most of them are too big and too heavy to be towed by a Subaru Forester.

Many people, like me, build their own teardrop trailers for personal satisfaction, to save money, and/or to include custom features that may not be readily available from a teardrop trailer manufacturer. Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers tnttt.com is a very popular website for home builders of teardrop trailers.
 

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I should ask - have you built your own already? Where have you found info on this?
Just a dream for me too at the moment, but if you search on teardrop+trailer+kits you will find they are popular and cover a range of prices. The build typically is on a standard commercial trailer frame, so you could upgrade easily for clearance and rough-road capability, and you can start as cheaply as plans while sourcing materials in almost any price range. :thumbsup:

https://www.birchcampers.com/sprig.html is a new start-up in my area (sort of intrigued by that!) and there is a movement of "tiny house" folks who are figuring out how to build small scale and portable abodes.
 

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For the DIY types
https://www.clcboats.com/teardrop

Haven't seen any of their trailers but have seen a few of their kayaks when I live in the Tidewater VA area. They were beautiful. Of course part of that was due to the skill or care taken by the builders but the lines were great
I’ve seen two and they were spectacular!

Someone really put some thought into that design, very fitting as a Forester companion! There are several YouTube videos showing them being built - looks like fun, if you have the space...
 

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Interesting thread. I like the idea of the convenience of a trailer when you can set up camp and still get out and around without having to restore everything to driving condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting thread. I like the idea of the convenience of a trailer when you can set up camp and still get out and around without having to restore everything to driving condition.
Yeah, I have done a lot of backpacking plus a little car camping in my younger days, making and breaking camp is certainly doable, and in any weather... but still, if I were car camping these days, especially if it were an extended trip where you're moving a lot, this would just be a lot faster and easier, and a raised bed with a real mattress and reliable weather protection would be nice....

Two other things I like the idea of are (A) the side-awning that will shield your sleeping area from rain when you open the door - kind of like a tent vestibule (pictured below), and give you a little protected area for some folding camp seats for two people to eat or have a drink that's shielded from rain or strong sun; and (B) an organized meal prep/galley area at the back hatch that's functional and easy to keep clean, doesn't need to be elaborate.

To my taste this kind of rig (some small-ish teardrop) is the sweet spot between tenting and RV-ing. It's convenient and offers a comfortable bed with good weather protection, maybe a little porch and an efficient place to deal with meals. But it's still simple, small, light and (relatively) inexpensive. Once you start thinking that bigger is better, and more systems is better - there is really no end to that line of thinking. Even if a Forester could somehow tow it, I have no desire to be burdened with towing a small apartment with me, or maintaining a pile of systems - far easier to just travel light and get a hotel room or rent a cabin at that point (in my opinion).

 

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Another aspect of these types of campers that I like is that when you're not out using them they're relatively easy to store...in a garage with normal overhead...on a small patch of yard
 

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Discussion Starter #17
These TAG teardrops from nuCamp are fiberglass instead of aluminum shells, have a little more accommodations and the TAG-XL is a foot wider but keeps the low profile... and also keeps the weight well under 1500lb and keeps the price under $20K.

https://nucamprv.com/tag-trailer/
 

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Discussion Starter #19
On further reflection, within the teardrop world, the Vintage Overland might be too little accommodation - beautiful but almost a barren shell, and the TAG-XL might be too much - requiring RV-hookups despite the small size, perhaps quashing the go-anywhere, travel-light goal.

These High Camp trailers strike a nice balance in accomodations - plenty of organized storage and a functional galley, but you don't need shore power, water, and cable TV hookups. This trailer is still self-sufficient and could be used in scenic / primitive sites. Options include dual propane cylinders running the galley stove and a furnace to keep the cabin toasty on cold nights.

https://www.highcamptrailers.com/





 

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websites of teardrop trailer builders

I'm (re)posting a list of many of the better/best commercial/custom teardrop trailer builders:
oregontrailer.net Oregon Trail'R teardrop trailers
vistabule.com Vistabule teardrop trailers (are especially beautiful).
tinycamper.com Camp-Inn teardrop trailers Unofficial Camp-Inn Forum
socalteardrops.com SoCal teardrop trailers
teardropsnw.com Teardrops North West teardrop trailers
timberleaftrailers.com TimberLeaf teardrop trailers
cozycruiser.com Cozy Cruiser teardrop trailers
hikertrailers.com Hiker teardrop trailers

They all build and sell teardrop trailers that can be built-to-order and customized in sizes and within the towing weight limits of a Forester. Some would require adding optional trailer brakes to be within a Forester's towing weight limit when you also account for the added weight of bedding, clothing, camping gear, cooking utensils, food, water, etc. Check out their websites to learn more.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are additional teardrop trailer builders I could have added.

I'm building a 5'4" wide x 10' long Benroy(ish) teardrop that will have a painted fiberglass outer skin and a roof top solar panel. I had a local welder build a trailer frame to my specifications. It has a Dexter Torflex #9 torsion axle with electric brakes.

I will probably buy teardrop trailer doors from Challenger Door https://www.challengerdoor.com/teardrop-trailer-doors/ instead of building my own doors. It will save me considerable time and help me avoid some all to easy to make booboos when (attempting to make) your own doors.

https://www.teardroptrailerparts.com/ sells teardrop trailer doors, widows, hurricane hinges, and many, many other parts needed to build a teardrop trailer. They also build and sell teardrop trailers.

Teardrops N Tiny Travel Trailers www.tnttt.com is a website for teardrop trailer enthusiasts. Check out some of the Build Journals for inspiration. I'm a member. Most tnttt members agree that a good teardrop trailer should have 2 doors and be 5' or so wide.

:thumbsup: What is the Perfect TD for me is well worth reading. I met Duane, the author, and saw his beautiful home built teardrop about ten years ago at a teardrop gathering.
 
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