Last March, my friend Becky and I took a mini-road trip to Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico. While tent camping at nearby Guadalupe National Park, I saw my first Teardrop trailer being towed by a Subaru. I pestered the couple for a tour and walked away convinced that I needed my very own Teardrop. For some time, I had been casting about for the next iteration of my life on the road. After 7 years of living out of my car in between housesitting gigs, I was craving some personal space, but I wasn’t willing to settle in one place. The teardrop was the perfect solution!
For the next few weeks, I was a woman obsessed: I researched Teardrops, got a tow-hitch installed on my Subaru and scoured Craigslist and all manner of online Teardrop trailer forums before I found a classified ad on Teardrops.net for a homemade Teardrop for sale in Lincoln, Nebraska. This Teardrop was different. Instead of just having a bed inside, it had a little extra space: a full-sized bed with a memory foam mattress and storage space underneath, a fold-up table, two feet of floor space, drawers, cabinets, counter space and a pop-up skylight and a slide-out kitchen/galley area with plenty of storage space for pots, pans and food and a propane burner for cooking.
This Teardrop was more than just somewhere for me to sleep, this was a place for me to live and work on the road! I emailed the seller and he responded with a slew of questions about my background and my lifestyle. Apparently, I wasn’t interviewing this man about his Teardrop, he was interviewing me for the privilege of buying it! Later, Egon told me he had several dozen inquiries, but he decided, based on those first few emails, that I was the right person. I’ve been thanking my lucky stars ever since.
I’ve been a proud Teardrop owner for a year now and I’m as thrilled with Egon’s creation today as I was last March. In the past year, “The Raven & the Rattler”, the dogs and I have been to 31 states, including my 50th: Alaska, and four Canadian Provinces. In celebration of my one-year Teardrop anniversary, here are a bunch of my favorite photos of the Raven & the Rattler all over North America. In chronological order, more or less:
For more info on my Teardrop check out my previous posts: A Teardrop Is Born, My Teardrop on the Tiny House Blog and also my video-tour of the Rattler. Stay tuned for another summer on the road!
Reblogged this on ww123.
My goodness Mary, you certainly have clocked up some miles there. Would you explain what Boon docking means. I take it that it means parking. One place I would love to see is Mesa Verde Colorado. I have a friend who lives near there. Anyway thanks so much for this lovely journey. Love your teardrop.
Boondocking is free camping. Read all about it here: https://theblondecoyote.com/2012/05/18/boondocking-101-how-to-camp-for-free-in-beautiful-places/
Seriously Mary. That is one heck of an epic story. I am so envious right now I could probably burst quite easily! [or if I was American I would definitely repeat AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. A lot.] I am going to be daydreaming about touring the US [and Canada] in that super stylish teardrop for weeks now. If ever you need an assistant, count me in. Not sure what I could assist with but I’m sure we could come up with something…….[fingers crossed].
Seriously (wo)man. Awesome! ^_^
Super jealous Babs B (North Wales. UK)
Haha thanks Babs! Maybe we should trade! You can take the Teardrop for a spin around the US and I’ll take your van around the UK! That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you’ve hiked Hadrian’s Wall? I’m scheming for September…
we’ve *done* a section of Hadrian’s wall. Unfortunately for us it rained. ALL day. I mean seriously!!! In fact, I’ve not written about it on the blog but will rectify immediately so you can take a look at some pics featuring a very famous tree (yep. tree), umbrellas and gallons of water. Were you thinking of hiking it all? camping? bunking? cycling? As we’ve just had a severe & freaky snow show you might be in luck and the weather will be okay in September. Let me know if you need pointers, happy to help ^_^
What a great collection of pictures! I am attaching my Pinterest page. On it you will see a whole board dedicated to creative camping. Only need to find one accessible for a wheelchair!!
Hello Mary! Love all the places you’ve taken your teardrop. Ours got its maiden voyage in Colorado last summer, then got put on hold for several months after a prolonged family emergency. We’re now looking forward to the getting her back on the road, and are interested in the shade you have up in the CA Lost Coast pic. Where did you get it, how does it stow away, and is it good just for shade, or also for rain? Thanks for any thoughts you can share!
Hi Wynne, Always nice to hear from a fellow Teardropper! That awning came with the Teardrop, another of Egon’s ingenious ideas. It’s a metal top pole and two flexible side poles and some lightweight shade fabric. It attaches with a string running through the fabric and a metal rail on the side of the Teardrop. The metal pole breaks in half and the poles and the fabric roll up together and store under the bed. I used it a few times last summer at the beach and at a rodeo, anytime I needed some shade. I’ve been thinking about getting a tarp for rain though too… Good luck getting back on the road! M
Thanks, Mary! I’m sure we can create something similar, maybe one for each side since we have 2 side doors. Living in the southwest, monsoon rains are something we try to be ready for in the late summer months. We’ve managed to tie a tarp to our hatch (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=447856541915269&set=t.1421794432&type=3&theater) for those short-lived burst of wetness, but it’s a little more challenging to tie it to the side for ease getting in and out of the cabin in a downpour, as well as for good shade. Here’s a little shot of our setup on the road (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4420293591769&set=t.100000727824923&type=3&theater), and here’s the galley (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4420292391739&set=t.100000727824923&type=3&theater). Aren’t most teardrop owners keen to show off their pads?
We’re preparing for an ultimate change of venue–moving to New Zealand in the fall. We’re downsizing our lives, and sadly, might not be able to haul her overseas. Or maybe we’ll just have to find a way!
Really enjoy seeing all these photos again, most especially the boondocking photos. You know of some very great and scenic places to pull up for the night. Carol
Yeah I get lucky a lot. In the morning, I rarely know where I’m going to sleep that night, but it always seems to work out, sometimes spectacularly, never disasterously. I’ve only once spent the night in a Walmart parking lot and that’s because I got caught in a spring snowstorm in Colorado.
Hi Mary! Here I am at three in the morning checking in on your blog! I am waiting to hear from Egon. Last email said he had one more coat of paint to do on the back and one side. I can not wait to see Egon #5 hooked up and ready to roam. Take care out there on the road hope to catch up with you one of these days!
Congrats, Sandy! That’s great. When will you go pick it up? Thanks for reading (esp at 3 am!) 🙂 M
Hope to pick it up last week of April! I am scared to death…..never dreamed the dream would really come true. Does that make sense? All those places that I’ve only read about are out there waiting for me so….deep breath ……..find a back road and just go with it! lol
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Superb! I admire you big time for what you are doing 🙂
great post! WOW at the sunflowers picture! amazing! Thank you for bringing those images to me for now, not able to travel to such beautiful places!
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This is awesome!
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Solar panels? You didn’t say solar panels. Nicely done Mary 🙂
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Thank you for the amazing photos. You are lucky. Best days of a life is traveling and discovering new places.
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I’m about to take off on my own trip around Australia in a couple of months … I love the teardrop! But I haven’t seen any here, just the old fashioned caravan which looks a bit similar …
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Love your blog. I travel in a vintage travel trailer with two dogs as well. I thought you would like to know about a blog called Animal Travelers, it’s a open group . And it’s about world travel with your pets. And overland traveling.
Wow that is one of the coolest teardrops i have ever seen. You should check out my company http://www.theteardroppers.com. We specialize in teardrop trailer kits. Is it ok if i put a link to your article on my site?
Thanks David! It’s one of a kind. Please share the link and thanks for spreading the word! Cheers, M
I read on Tinyhouseblog that you are using a cooler and miss having a fridge.
Both ARB and Engel make highly respected fridge/freezers for automobiles. They are pricey, but everyone who has one says they’re invaluable for long term boondocking.
Mary M., one day I will have myself a teardrop camper and will roam this country of ours. You are a serious inspiration for me. I have spent 35 years in uniform serving our country, 22 years full time and the rest in the reserves. During my sabatical with the military I attended Humboldt State University and earned my BS in wildlife management, worked for the USFWS for about 7 years (the military needed me back). I am currently retired and contracting for the Army here at Fort Carson, Colorado. I own a tiny piece of land up in the mountains of south park that I obsessively escape to almost every weekend. This alone time or what I call “Ricky Time” is my therapy, however, even from there I long to hit the road. Thanks to you I am able to vicariously travel and see the country side through your website for now, please do not stop traveling and sharing. From my heart; a great big thank you! And by the way, I did purchase the adventure map and was able to do a week of boondocking through NV and UT. I enjoyed every minute of it!
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