Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

My very athletic son is soon going to be getting to the age where I'm sure he'll be playing sports.  This will most likely necessitate traveling to away games.  My original thought was to build some sort of teardrop camper to take with us to defray the cost of these trips.

Then because I have a serious case of "next-boat-itis", I started looking at various boat plans with cabins on them, thinking my son and I can use this to camp-cruise our way among the San Juans.

Then I thought that it would be possible, albeit a little weird to just tow a boat to the away games and camp inside that, thus killing the proverbial two birds with one boat.  I've actually done this before.  When moving cross-country, I lived in my Precision 21 which I was towing.

Anyway, I would be excited about building both, although it takes me a few years between builds to amortize the costs and I don't have too many years before we get busy with his schedule.  Any thoughts on this?  Thanks.

8 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

FWIW, I have both - Teardrop Camper and Faering Cruiser. I've actually thought about camping ashore in the FC, but that's only realistic when I'm travelling solo. My main concern would be the hordes of curious/puzzled folks that would come over to investigate and be sociable while I'd be trying to sleep.

But it's definitely doable and might be the most cost-effective way for me to get to the West Coast (or Texas or Florida) with a large-ish boat of my own.

The PocketShip would work better in your situation, I think. It'd be a heavier tow, but as a living space it should be more comfortable.

Have fun,



RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

Ha!  I've actually had passersby take up 2 hours of my day when launching at at Green Lake in Seattle.  I actually almost made a sign.  Woulda thought I'd gotten some orders from that.

I'm thinking there might be less interest in a Teardrop in a Wal-Mart parking lot though.

With that being said, I made some really nice take-apart Adirondack chairs and I constantly have people stopping by our campsite asking about those too.

Sigh...  I file these under "Nice Problems to Have"...

RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

One of the best adventures we ever had that way was a trip to the coast of North Carolina with my two eldest grandsons with our Menger 19 catboat in tow behind a pickup truck with a "slide in" camper.  We "guerilla" camped along the way at Walmarts and Flying J's, hooked up the truck-camper at a campground in Sealevel, NC, so we could sleep in air condidioned comfort, and tied the catboat up along the seawall there at the campground.  Used the catboat to explore Core Banks and Cape Lookout, including some overnights afloat.  This was before we'd built our Passagemaker Dinghy; we used a 6' folding dinghy to make the beach landings.  It was the trip of a lifetime, for sure; the boys (now grown men) still get misty-eyed when the subject comes up in conversation.

...BUT...while the GMC 2500 HD had plenty of muscle to handle the whole business (like having having 372 American Cream draft horses under the hood), it was 9.1 mpg going uphill and 9.2 mpg going down!



RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

Cool story, bro...

RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

It was a four-star hoot.  I'm getting off-topic here, but I've got an album of photos from that trip in a Dropbox folder here:


...if you have time and inclination.  There's a PDF document there with descriptions of the photographs, which have all been reduced to 1080 pixels high to keep the megabittage manageable.

We've also used the catboat itself as a camping trailer:

With the cockpit boom awning quickly rigged over the lowered mast (it's in a tabernacle) and boom in trailering position.  This allowed us to come and go in the cabin in the rain without dragging a bunch of water into the cabin.

We did this on a trip to the Les Cheneaux Islands (same grandsons, same boat, minus the camper) in 2013:

2013_07 Les Cheneaux

It was quick to set up and worked like a charm.

I agree with Laszlo that a PocketShip would be a good fit for this sort of thing, and you wouldn't need a whacking great pickup truck to tow it.  It'd be easy to rig an awning over the mast boom similar to what we did with the catboat, as can be seen from this photo:


...from the PocketShip photo gallery.

It's a lot of boat to build, but maybe not a lot more effort than a Teardrop camper?  Anyway, you could have your boat and camp in it, too.  PocketShip would make a better camper than a Teardrop would make a boat, for sure.


RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

As much as I like the PocketShip and admire John's work, it doesn't sing to me like some more classic designs do.  This is a big investment, in both time and money, so I need to fall in love with it all over again every time I see it.  For example, I started dreaming about building my Passagemaker before I was even done building my Eastport pram.

RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

RE: Teardrop Camper, Camp-Cruiser or Both?

Ah, yes, John, I remember having some lovely daydreams about that one:


When we are in our Happy Place in North Carolina, we see a lot of folks schlepping up and down the ICW with sailboats which draw so much water that they'll miss most of the really good scenery.  Plus, which, they don't get in all that much sailing, anyway, and most of 'em never do get out in the ocean much.  Many of 'em would be happier in something like John's intriguing shantyboat/houseboat/camper/mothership: way more comfortable than most cruising sailboats I've been aboard, and probably end up burning less fuel.  Put the coffee on after watching the sunrise, up anchor, fix breakfast while underway to the next anchorage 15 or 20 miles along (unless an unexpectedly appealing anchorage comes into view sooner), put the hook down, have lunch, and then launch the sailing dinghy for an afternoon of sailing fun as the wind comes up.  Supper, sunset, a good night's sleep, repeat.  Dang, this is killing me!


« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.