Great Lakes Teardrop Trailer
Although this trailer was built and road ready in 2000, it has been an on going project. There is still a bit of galley work, and some electrical add-on's that are desirable but not necessary. I honestly believe that I will always continue to find a to do something on this trailer.
Below are Photos of the exterior and interior with some text explanation( specifications). Some construction documentation of this project is being omitted because I didn't take the time to make photographs. That usually happened when I got carried away and went on to the next step in construction.
The exterior is skinned or covered in .040" pre painted aluminum. Cost for the (6 individual precut) aluminum sheets in 2000 was approx. $400.00 with shipping. These same sheets in .032" are much easier to work with and less expensive. I used 3M brand #3MT 4624 acrylic adhesive tape applied to the clean surface of the 3/4" plywood bulkheads and overhead. The tape was applied horizontally and vertically forming a crude grid at approximately 12 to 16 inch intervals. The precut rectangular aluminum sheets were then attached to the plywood surface. This tape bonds to the aluminum like a magnet provided the temperature is in the 70 to 90 degree range. Once applied, it becomes a done deal! The aluminum now floats freely on the tape allowing for expansion and contraction with surface temperatures. I don't remember the exact cost for the tape, but I do remember that it is very expensive. A router and patterning bit sprayed frequently with silicone lubricant, or WD-40 (to prevent clogging) is used to trim the aluminum for a perfect fit to all the bulkheads, and door openings.
The tail & marker lights are by Grote and Truck Lite standard found on many trucks and trailers. At the bottom R&L is the rear stabilizers used while camping to prevent side to side or up and down movement of the trailer. Also in the center is a receiver for hitch style bike rack or removable bumper. The license plate bracket from Bug City is a great value. The bracket is all chrome with built in plate lamp for about $13.00.
Rear View with Galley Hatch open
For details and Hatch Construction go to the Galley Hatch page.
At upper center is R/side chrome plated utility entrance door used for storage. The door exists on both sides of the trailer. The idea for this storage area was borrowed from Glenn Johnson's 1956 Sherwood. There is a compartment from one side of the trailer to the other approx. 57" and from the over head downward approx. 30". The openings are large enough to accommodate folding chairs, rain coats, utility light, small hydraulic jack, etc. I found two of these at a surplus trailer store. They were the only remaining two they had for sale. They can also be had at some truck stops as they are normally used for covering the fuel filler tube area on tractors. The fenders are aluminum tread plate bolted in three places to the body and two places to the frame. I did not use welting as the tread plate posed a problem with seating the welting. As you can see there are also draw latches with matching built in locks at $12.95 ea. installed just below the rear marker lights. These were purchased at Ace Hardware. Ace sells the same latches without built in locks at $7.95 ea. The latches provide additional security and added compression for the weather strip.
The cabin doors were built up from the cutouts of the 3/4" plywood using them as a pattern. As with other areas of construction, I'm lacking documentation, but it is very easy if you have a router and patterning bits. The hinges are heavy aluminum and are bolted to the body and door on each side with stainless steel fine threaded Allen bolts. There are a total of 22 bolts per side. Safety or compression nuts are attached to the ends which are countersunk into the inside door frames.
Storage and Antennas
The floor covering is linoleum which runs stem to stern. Headliner and bulkheads are the usual 1/8" oak. This was stained in pickled or white oak. I prefer the light stain because of the inherently small teardrop cabin space. The 7 1/2" thick double bed mattress is removed for this photo. The mattress is approx. 54" x 74". The door frames were made from 1/4 ply and scalloped from a pattern made with a router. The door frame trim also has a 1/4" plywood spacer made from patterning the door openings added to the door frame trim which is approx. 5/8 inch smaller. This allows for fitting a seal to which the door can make slight contact. All exposed wood surfaces were coated with West system epoxy. The trim, partly made from scraps is not stained, but painted with a close match to the lightest shade of the stained oak interior. The molding was made from scraps of 1/4" x 3/4" red oak plywood also painted and covered with a coat or two of water based polyurethane. The overhead lamps are 12 volt swivel type reading lights purchased from any RV shop. The windows are horizontal sliders available from Red Neck Trailer.
Another interior view depicting the headboard end of the trailer. The walnut centerpiece is finished with West system epoxy and lacquer. The centerpiece was routed to fit, and is used to cover an opening for the DOT wiring junction block. Since all the DOT wiring is routed inside the trailer, it was necessary to provide a junction in order to facilitate tow harness replacement should it become necessary.
A cabin view of storage and entertainment area. From top center is an old Schumacher battery charger to which I added a regulator circuit and an analog voltmeter. This modification provided a regulated variable 0 -15 v.d.c. 8 amp power supply that runs stereo (middle) and 9" colored television at bottom and cabin reading lights. It is adequate for operating all equipment in the cabin but not at the same time. To the lower right is the120 v.a.c. ground fault interrupter protected outlet. On the lower left is a D. C. outlet for laptop or other equipment that may require direct current at 0 -15 volts In the background at floor is a sliding door, actually there are two on each side. The sliding doors provide access to storage space for shoes, etc. When shore power is not available, a double pole double throw switch (with center position OFF) located just to the left of the stereo, allows switching to a deep cycle Die Hard battery located in the storage area behind the sliding doors.
For privacy, no trailer is complete or comfortable without a set of teardrop trailer curtains. Instead of mounting the curtains on the door as I have in other trailers, I chose to mount them on a rod just above the door opening. It has been my experience with door mounted curtains that they sometimes end up on the ground due to exit and entry, or damaged from 60 mph highway wind while traveling during summer months with open windows.
A view of the wall mounted curtain rod. The rod was made from a piece of 1/4" x 1 1/4" Oak molding purchased from Home Depot. The support pieces for the rod ends were made from 3/4" x 1 3/4" Oak stock. Each piece is 4" in length, and were routed to accommodate the rod. Holes were counter sunk and the pieces were mounted with screws directly into the bulk head.
I will be adding some additional images and information as changes or additions are made. If there are any questions or comments I may be contacted at:
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Page last updated on 01/18/2011