NW Teardrop Fans Dream Big, But Camp Small

Primitive Teardrops this one from mag copy

This weekend, the Trask River Teardrop Camping Gathering happens on the middle Oregon coast in Tillamook.

Find out more about the weekend gathering on our Events page. Our plan is to visit the gathering this weekend to take in some of that Teardrop culture and cooking.

First in this week’s series is a visit with Jim Bailey. More to come as we count down to Saturday.

After our first blog about Camping the Coast, we wanted to learn about building teardrops. We heard from professionals, from those who started as hobbyists and have made a business out of it, and others who gave it a shot just for fun.

Retro vintage plans Measure OnceAfter all, that’s how the teardrops first became popular. When they were first built during the Great Depression, cash was tight and the little trailers allowed escape to the outdoors with a modest investment.

After World War II, returning vets used war-surplus material to build them. They were eager to put the scrap and their newfound skills to the test. Magazines like “Popular Mechanics” and “Mechanix Illustrated” ran “how-to” articles.

Today, the traveling-light ethos still makes sense given gas and travel costs.

Jim Bailey from Carson, Washington supplied the photos in the slideshow that follows. Jim says, “What you’re seeing is a reproduction of a 1950 Kampmaster, or as some called them the ‘Wild Goose’ because of the wing-span look.” With no blueprints to work from, he referenced old photos.

“We …take our annual trip to the coast and enjoy staying at Newport, Seaside and Lincoln City.”

The cabinets are solid oak which he says make for a better-looking and more solid cabinet. There’s a futon/couch theme up front with castors to take advantage of the roundness of the front of the cabin when you want to roll the bed into a couch. Builders need to be creative when space-planning these mini modules.

“I stayed with an icebox instead of going to a refrigerator to save money. I find for short trips, the icebox works great. Especially if there is no power to run the fridge.”

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He calls the trailer “a little bit old and a little bit new.”  Instead of the old water can to supply the fresh water, he installed a holding tank with electric pump and is getting ready to put in a two-burner cook top propane stove instead of the usual countertop camp stoves they used to use.

You can visit his website to see much more.

Hang on because the stories and photos will keep coming this week. Stay tuned for our road trip to Salem and a video tour a Teardrop factory.

Photos courtesy of James Bailey, Gorgeous Teardrops, 122 Shipherd Falls Road, Carson, WA , (541) 400-0393

2 thoughts on “NW Teardrop Fans Dream Big, But Camp Small

  1. Big Silver Streak fan, and vintage 1950-60s versions. Went to a Vintage Trailer Ralley in Newport, CA and checked out probably 100 different trailers inside/out.
    What a fun day!

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