You will notice two separate lines drawn on the side of the
trailer. These were drawn with a homemade marking gage deigned for
curves. The lines are drawn at 2" and 3" spacing.
Even though you can use any size lumber for roof spars, it is quite
common to use 1" x 2" or 1"x 3 " Since my roof
a measured 1" x 2 1/2",
I used the 3" mark for the hatch, and drew the 2" curve for explanation purposes.
This dimension will allow ample clearance between the saber saw blade
and roof/hatch spar supports. Note: the diagonal line is where the
center or joint of the hatch hinge plates meet
. It is also assumed that
you have temporarily installed your hatch hinge and all roof/hatch
These curves are drawn on both L & R sides of the trailer. I also drew them on the inside of the galley to make sure that
my saber saw
blade was not flexing as the cuts were made. The saber blade
leaves a very small foot print which will be taken up with a (weather strip used
in the sealing of glass to metal frame of sliding glass doors)
WX strip thickness will depend upon the the type of tool used for
cutting the hatch lid away from the body.
gage is very important as it will keep your line exactly at the proper
distance from the bottom of the hatch lid to the top. It
operates on two nylon rollers that follow any curve or contour including
minor variations. Stanley patented this gage which was invented by an
employee of theirs in the late 1800's. To my knowledge it was never marketed
by Stanley Corp.. You may be able to buy one, but I can't offer a
suggestion as to where. Here is a picture of the gage if you want
to take the time to build one. It took me about 30 minutes.
Fabricated with scrap wood and used nylon rollers from a sliding screen
door. Best of all,
the price was right...Nada. With a little imagination, you will
find several other uses for this gauge while building the teardrop.
It's great for transferring pattern information from one place to
but effective gage for curved surfaces.
image depicts the hatch lid and basic framework for the galley. It
is easy to see by the framework how this style of galley hatch is
built. The two black harnesses on the R&L upper are for the
rear DOT lighting system and an overhead galley light. The weather
strip mentioned above is also shown.
The grey box on the left is the 110 volt AC breaker box, and
the wall mounted walnut box on the right is the 12 VDC breaker box for
all wiring supplying power to the onboard electronic equipment such as
lights, TV, and Stereo inside the cabin . I found that there
was insufficient space for the wiring inside the homebrew breaker box
and will have to remove and replace it with something more substantial.
The icebox is on the lower left. It holds a 10 lb. block of ice and has a drain through the floor. The ice lasts about
2.5 days in an average of 80-90 degree weather, and 4.0 days at 50-70
A built in two burner
stove and Oak cabinets to the right of the ice box (not shown in
this picture) are also part of the mobile kitchen. There are also
two sliding doors in front of the electrical boxes (also not shown) that
also double as a small pantry.
This is a view of the roughed in galley. I have no
plans or intensions of installing holding tanks for potable and gray
water. I may possibly add a sink at a much later date.
frame face for upper galley. Upper section is for four sliding
doors, and the lower section is for four cubby hole storage
compartments, approx. 9" x 12" each.
front view of the same frame face.
of sliding door tracks for upper galley frame face. These were cut
on a router table with a 3/16" bit. To the right of center is
the frame partition for the cubby hole doors. In lower left corner
is the frame for the bottoms of the cubby hole spaces. The sliding
doors are 1/4 red oak ply, and cubby hole doors are solid oak with Euro
style hinges. In addition to storing dish towels, cereals etc.,
the sliders will cover the A.C. breaker box and all of the D.C.
circuitry including battery charger and A.C. oulet.
end view of one the four sliding door tracks.
cutting, staining, and installing the doors in the upper galley frame
face, I thought it would be a good time to add an extra A.C. outlet in
the cabin storage area for an electric heater, or whatever utilitarian
electrical appliance might be called into service in the storage area.
outlet mounted below the upper galley lower frame. This is used
for an electric heater located behind the sliding doors in the storage
compartment at the foot of the cabin sleeping area.
galley cabinet completed. Note the two sliders at bottom of photo.
They are at the foot of the cabin and are mounted in 1/2" aluminum
channels. The space between the sliders and the back of the lower
galley cabinet is storage of approx. 14"D x 18H" x 55L".
galley right side contains the D.C. supply from power supply located
inside of cabin, and battery in lower galley cabinet. The charger
is hardwired to the battery.
lower cabinet frame was constructed of 1" x 2" and 1" x
3" pine. The reason for the 1" x 3" is to accommodate
the rear support brackets for the drawer sliders. The lower
frame face is constructed from red oak.
After cutting, staining, and installing the panels for the cabinet
dividers and cabinet floor, I installed the Ice Box in it's
dedicated and well insulated compartment. I discarded the foam
housing that came with the Ice Box and made my own insulated
compartment, while tripling the insulation factor. The back side and
ends of the lower cabinets are also insulated with foil faced 3/4"
close up of the Instafreeze Ice Box (no longer in business). I don't remember the price as
I purchased this unit about six years ago. The adjustable upper
compartment is for block or crushed ice. The drain tube is
1/2" and as previously stated, goes through the floor for
drainage. It's an extremely convenient and efficient
battery is installed in the lower right cabinet. A single
1/2" hole was drilled for a single set of 10 guage wires. The
shelf above in the same cabinet is removable for easier access to the
battery. The battery is hard wired to the charger. In the
past three years I have only added about 1 1/2 quarts of distilled water
to the cells. It will last a long time with a bit of maintenance.
16" drawer sliders (made by Accuride)were purchased from Woodcraft, and are rated at 100 lbs. Also, just above the
sliders is the bottom of a drop in stove, and associated
regulator. Below is my distilled water jug and a home made
propane bottle holder for Coleman 16.4oz. propane cylinders. It is my understanding
that two one pound bottles are legal to have inside of a residence,
hence the two cut outs for the one pound disposables. The flex
hose is directly behind the bottle, and stays disconnected when not in
use. The flex hose is connected to a regulator mounted above at
right side door on face frame. The latch is a ball bearing
(mounted inside edge of face frame and door) mechanism purchased from Woodcraft.
and drawer face were made from 1" x 4" and 1" x 8"
respectively. The dimensions are 14.625" W x 15.75
D with an inside depth of 4.75 inches.
staining the utility drawer, I assembled the rails and stiles along with
the 1/4" red oak ply for the lower cabinet door. The drop in
stove is visible at center.
drop in two burner propane stove by Suburban. This company is
located in Tennessee, and has a web site. The counter top is
1/2" plywood covered with Formica. I added an Oak bull
nose molding to the front of the countertop to create a nice visual
effect. The molding was created out of a scrap piece of 1" x
2" red oak. It was ripped on the table saw and the chamfer was
done on a table router.
closer view of the stove. This unit can be operated from either
the Coleman one pound propane bottles or a 20 lb. propane bottle
used for outdoor grills.
Note: This stove is not sold with the
regulator. In order to operate this unit from propane, it is
necessary to purchase and plumb the regulator to the stove with 3/8
copper tubing and flare fittings. I have had no problems with the
stove and installation was a breeze.
Because the stove is
surrounded on three sides by the trailer and an overhead hatch, wind has
not been a problem. It takes 12-15 minutes to percolate 12
cups of coffee using Coleman's heavy aluminum coffee pot.
began experimenting with LED's for lighting. A teardrop is a
great place to experiment, especially with electrical items. The
six LED's with their current limiting resistor, and junk box switch, are
mounted on a homebrew etched pc board. This picture was taken in
daylight. with LED's turned on.
close up of the six LED's turned off. These draw a minimal amount
of current and provide enough light to grope around the counter top and
help find things inside the upper galley cabinet. These
LED's are clear green and keep the bugs from bugging me. I
beginning to think we all use far more light than necessary while
viewing in diminished light. I have drawn up a 42 LED array
for use in my trailer galley area, and should have it completed
after the New Year 2007.
have used gas props, and sliding props for teardrop trailers, and had
problems with both. Invariably, a gas prop will leak, and a
sliding prop will slip if not properly tightened. The hatch on
this trailer is constructed of 1" x 3" oak, making it
extremely heavy, and a safety concern while standing
I found a teardrop website that depicted a
safe and sturdy homebrew galley hatch prop, but I don't remember the
website address. The author utilized a kick down door stop on both
ends joined in the center with electrical conduit for the vertical
support. I found these
doorstops at True Value hardware and they work great with a bolt at the
bottom and top to prevent the wind from lifting the hatch from the
props. I used 3/4" electrical conduit for the vertical hatch
supports. When not
in use they simply fold down onto the counter top in the closed
position. The water pipe insulation wrap prevents them from
scratching or marring surfaces.
completed teardrop galley with all of the doors and compartments
open. It took some time to complete this galley as plans were made
one day at a time. Most of the time was spent with a
cup of coffee and staring intently at the empty space. My
first objective was to make use of all the space available, and
secondly to provide individual space for those small items that get lost
in the bottom of a junk drawer.
The material cost for this
Galley was approx. $400.00 which does not include left over oak stock
from other projects. Scrap was minimal due to to measuring
everything four times.
view with doors, drawer, and compartments closed.
Joining of cabinetry
was primarily pocket hole, as well as lap joints. Major power
tools used were plunge router, table router, radial arm saw, table saw,
hole saw, jig saw, and orbital sander.
stained with a 60/40 mixture of Mineral spirits and Red Oak stain by
Minwax respectively. The mixture dries quickly and resembles pecan
with a peach hue. This was then hand rubbed with a 1:1 three
coat mixture of shellac and linseed oil. Five coats are
desired ....... when I find the time.
Personally, I like to keep things simple.
An ice box, stove and a jug of water work for me.
years there has been a surge in a movement toward teardrop trailer
ownership. I suggest looking on the web for additional
information regarding more elaborate