Teardrop trailers are an interesting style of RV for a couple of reasons. Teardrop trailers range in size, weight, and shape to fit a variety of needs and a price tag to fit most budgets.
They have a distinct teardrop shape that looks aerodynamic, and is where they received their unique name. It is where we got our name as well!
These campers range from being very small, incredibly basic trailer designs, to completely self-contained, full-sized rigs that sport the signature tear drop shape. You may have seen them around the camping grounds but did you know they have a wonderfully saturated history.
Teardrop trailers evolved in the 1930’s and became extremely popular in the 1940’s after World War II. The Depression was over and the war had given the economy a large boost. The citizens of the US wanted to go on vacation with their families.
The United States was developing the highway system and that made travel easier. The teardrop trailer was light weight and could easily be pulled behind the family car which in the 1930’s and 1940’s had an engine under 100 horse power, or in some cases a motorcycle.
Most of the original Teardrop trailers were constructed with materials obtained from World War II surplus markets. The chassis were made of steel U channel or from round steel tubing, and in some cases the wheels came from jeeps that were salvaged and found a new life on a teardrop trailer. The exterior skins were usually made from the aluminum wings of World War II bombers which gave the Teardrop trailers their shiny exteriors. Some Teardrop trailers are called Woodys due to the wood sides.
The popularity of teardrop trailers continued through the 1950’s. This popularity was due to the do-it-yourselfer that wanted to build their own teardrop trailers with their own hands. This is also what is making the teardrop trailers comeback now. In the 1950s the “Popular Mechanics” magazine published teardrop trailer plans in their magazine which many do-it-yourselfers used to build their own teardrop trailers. These plans included a trailer made of wood. Many Teardrop trailers today are built on purchased steel trailers or custom made steel trailers.
The popularity of the teardrop trailer started to dwindle in the late 1950’s because the Americans wanted campers that were “bigger and better”. With cars getting bigger and more powerful in the 1950’s larger campers could be towed rather than the smaller teardrop trailers.
There’s been a huge surge in popularity for teardrop trailers over the past few decades. Because of their compact footprint, these trailers are ideal for adventurers who plan shorter trips and want basic amenities when they travel. They’re also a great option for camping at state and national parks. Campsites here are often small or don’t have as much room to maneuver a larger RV, but that’s no problem for a teardrop trailer.