Teardrop Upgrades!

The Teardrop's Winter Berth

The Teardrop’s Winter Berth

Since leaving  Vermont, my Teardrop has been riding out the winter in my parents’ barn in Pennsylvania. I miss it! This week, while I’ve been home, I’ve been working on it, getting “the Rattler” ready to set sail in March.

One project I’ve been scheming for awhile: a wood floor! I want to keep the Teardrop as light as possible, so as not to tax my trusty “Raven” too much (empty it weighs about 600 pounds, well under my Subaru’s 2,000-pound tow capacity), so I went shopping at Home Depot for some lightweight wood laminate flooring. I found tiles made to look like parquet flooring for 89 cents each. The Teardrop’s floor is 4 feet by 4 feet, so I was able to install my fancy parquet wood floor for $16! Score.

New (wood laminate) Parquet Floor! So classy.

So classy. Makes me want to have a dance party!

The other upgrade is courtesy of my dear mother, who gave me something for Christmas I’ve never ever heard of: a propane camp oven! This little Camp Chef range and oven runs on those little green propane canisters. Now I can bake cakes in my Teardrop!

Camp Chef Oven and Range!

Camp Chef Oven and Range!

Next time I swing through Nebraska to visit Egon, my Teardrop’s mastermind, we’ll see about redesigning to the kitchen to incorporate the new oven. I think I’ll have to pull it out and set it on the ground to use it — it gets hot on the outside and I don’t want a fire hazard in the Teardrop! But it would be nice to be able to store it in the kitchen area. For now, it slides neatly under the bed.

My current kitchen set up. Not sure if we'll be able to incorporate the new oven into the kitchen, but for now it stores nicely inside under the bed.

My current kitchen set up. More counter space than I’ve had in some apartments!

I can’t wait to hit the road! Right now my plan is to go southwest to New Mexico in March, spend April in Utah, head to Oregon in May and then spend the summer hiking and boondocking in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Stay tuned for another summer on the road with the Blonde Coyote, the Raven & the Rattler! 🙂

Boondocking in Utah last summer

Boondocking in Utah last summer

What route will I be taking to New Mexico? I have no idea yet! Check out my previous post: How To Plan A Killer Road Trip!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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27 Responses to Teardrop Upgrades!

  1. Sandra says:

    When you head through Nebraska, give me a buzz. I am a professor of history at NWU, and hubby is a Botanist there, too. We’d love to grill out for you and give you a berth here so you could have a hot shower. 🙂

  2. Sandra says:

    FYI: Lincoln isn’t far from your teardrop’s home. 🙂

  3. natureglo says:

    Hello! A great big thanks to you and Bob Wells of Cheaper RV Living, I’ve been inspired to be a full timer living in a 2001 Ford E350 called the Green Queen. I too will be heading for the Southwest in March with my dog, Rochelle. I’m going to be heading to AZ in March to hang with some vandwellers for a while. It would be so neat to cross paths with you, as you’ve been a great inspiration to live a more adventurous life. The vandwellers have a great niche on frugal boondocking, so, I’m really excited to live a lifestyle I always thought was for the wealthy.

  4. Donna says:

    same as above, I am in Nederland, Colorado. I would offer you a free place to park, or guide you to the best kept secret places.


  6. Love your idea about the tile on the floor of the teardrop. Lightweight and very attractive. I’d like to look into that for the Pony, as the carpet is really hard to keep clean, even when we wipe our feet at the door. Would love to hook up with you when you reach New Mexico!
    Safe travels! Carol

  7. PS – We got a solar panel for the Pony so we can have enough electricity via a charged battery for lights and laptops in the evenings. Carol

  8. The floor looks like fun and I love the stove. We are doing some modifications inside our teardrop to make the bed fold into a sitting area. Work is in progress but nearing completion. I still want to find someone to do the solar retrofit on mine so we can be more off grid. If you figure out an innovative way to integrate the new cooking area let us know. Best,
    Stephanie, Dave, Porter the dog and Izzie the dog

  9. heidikins says:

    Hi there, been a reader for quite a while, not sure if I’ve commented before though. I’m in Salt Lake City (downtown, not in the mountains) and would love to offer you a place to park and a hot shower as well. I can also take you on a short hike to a great overlook of the Salt Lake valley if you’ve got a hankering for that sort of thing. 🙂


    • Thanks, Heidi! I’ve actually never been to northern Utah or Salt Lake, so that region is definitely on my to visit list! When I do, I’ll take you up on that invite! A little hospitality goes a long way on the road! Cheers, M

  10. Hello from the Hoosier state. I have really enjoyed reading your posts. We are in the process of renovating a 1968 Trotwood camper. It has been a ton of work but SO worth it and SO much fun. You may already know this, we have found a refill kit (for only around $15) that allows you to refill the little green canisters from a larger 20 lb propane tank (like the standard gas grill size). It’s a much more cost effective way to use propane plus less waste. Hope this helps. Safe travels!

    • Mary says:

      Where did you find the refill kit? Sounds like exactly what I am looking for.


    • I have the little key so I can recycle the canisters, but I haven’t heard of a refill kit. Where did you find that? I was surprised how few canisters I went through last summer, but I’d love to be able to just top one off instead of buying and recycling. I’m sure I’ll go through more with the new oven. Thanks for the tip! M

  11. Susan Britt says:

    I am so jealous – New Mexico is my favorite place in the entire world …. every part of New Mexico. I love Taos and Cloudcroft and every place inbetween. Enjoy!

  12. ritaroberts says:

    The makeover to your delightful teardrop Mary looks really cosy.Those parquete floor tiles are excellent, they give a nice golden glow as I remember and love the stove.Brings back memories for us.We used to travel around England weekends with our caravan loaded with Original roman recipe sauces we produced. We were Re enactors selling our wares. Enjoy all your posts,they are always ! and I mean always exciting. Take care on your travels.

  13. Nice looking floor, I see a second calling for you in the future. In my 9 years of travel, this is only the second oven like this is have seen, and the first was only 2 weeks ago, and the couple loved their little oven and said it gave good results (they were making cookies when I met them). BTW, they were also travelling in a teardrop, albeit a little larger one (the r-Pod). Happy travels!!

  14. forkinriver says:

    Wow, your parents’ barn is gorgeous. Chandeliers and stone floors. Yes, please!

    • Yeah that barn is amazing– it’s 115 years old! The floors are original and we added the chandeliers for my sister’s backyard wedding in 2010. They sure do class the place up! 🙂

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