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Teardrop trailer: classic 50’s mobile micro-home renaissance

Teardrop trailers first became popular in the 1930s when Scientific American and Popular Mechanics published DIY plans. The idea was simple: a travel trailer small enough to accommodate plywood-only construction (no framing materials), so easy enough for any user to build (There was even “The Honeymooner” model that a groom could build for his bride).

The concept fell out of favor for a few decades, but has come back into fashion now that plans are easily accessible online. The layout is classic minimalism; the inside section is the bedroom and the kitchen (or galley) opens up out of the trunk.

There are also companies that build teardrops ready-made. Blogger Christina Nelleman– Tiny House Blog and Tiny Yellow Teardrop— bought her bright yellow “Sunflower” trailer from Amish craftsman in Ohio. She fell in love with the design after searching for something her Dodge Neon could pull and an alternative to a tent for her 75-year-old mother (who asked to join her at Burning Man).

Christina and her husband became teardroppers 6 years ago and have since become so enamored with their tiny trailer that not only did she start a blog on the topic, but they are dreaming about retiring in one (and soon, she says her husband hopes to retire young, i.e in a few years).

Their teardrop is only 40 square feet (8 feet by 5 feet), but she thinks it’s enough room (as long as you don’t hit long stretches of bad weather) because the outdoors is the rest of your home.