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Build a 10 Foot Teardrop Trailer
Vintage 1947 Plans for a Trailer for Two

Restored PDF copy of vintage 1947 Teardrop Trailer for Two Plans with enhanced and enlarged figures and illustrations and searchable text.
Trailer for Two Plans
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September 1947 Mechanix Illustrated Cover Teardrop Trailer For Two Issue
September 1947 Mechanix Illustrated Cover
Trailer for Two; a streamlined home on wheels that’s light and easily towed; has a double-berth and complete kitchenette.
Trailer for Two
A streamlined home on wheels that's light and easily towed; has a double-berth and complete kitchenette.
By Hi Sibley

GETTING away from it all doesn't mean giving up the comforts of home, for with this compact camp trailer you bring them right along with you. As it's only a fraction of the size and weight of a full-grown trailer, you can take this 10-ft. tourer wherever a car will go. And when you reach some ideal spot beside a lake or stream, up goes the hood over the kitchenette and in a matter of minutes there's an appetizing meal cooking away on the pullout stove. Under the same hood, there's an icebox (for the big ones that didn't get away), a water tank, folding table, and cupboard space for a raft of food. After you've finished tucking away your share of it for dinner, you can open one of the doors and there's a full-length mattress waiting for you when you turn in. And if you like fresh air when you sleep, just open the screened-in panels on the doors.

Original trailer designed by Howard Warren of Riverside, Calif. has traveled thousands of miles.
Original trailer designed by Howard Warren of
Riverside, Calif. has traveled thousands of miles

The interior of the trailer has good sitting headroom and a bureau with plenty of storage space for clothes. There's even an electric light for reading in bed. Now let's take a look at the drawings on these pages and then get on with the actual construction.

Standard hitch connects trailer and car. Threaded caster levels body floor when parked.
Standard hitch connects trailer and car. Threaded caster levels body floor when parked.

The trailer has a welded angle-iron chassis that's illustrated in Fig. 2. This doesn't extend the full length of the body so that you can remove the camp body and substitute an open box type. If this might give your wife ideas about building a rock garden, then make the chassis the full length of the body and play safe. The chassis should be built up of 1/4 by 2 by 2 in. angle iron, mitered and welded at the corners and with cross members welded to the side frames. Be sure and grind off all the rough spots.

Figure 1. Trailer for Two front, rear and side exterior elevation views with dimensions
Figure 2. 
Front, rear and side exterior elevation views with dimensions

If you're going to use it for pleasure alone, you can use a little lighter stock and save on the weight at the locations indicated, weld the forward spring hangers to the side frames and the rear spring shackle brackets to boxed sections of the frame. The tow bar extends the full length of the frame and should be welded to the cross members, with the forward end canted up slightly by bending the pipe as shown in Fig. 1.

A standard hitch should also be welded at the front end. Incidentally, that hinged cap at the back end of the pipe is a stunt of Mr. Warren's for stowing his fishing rods inside it. The stake sockets indicated on Fig. 2 can be omitted if you're not going to use the chassis for hauling. Two standard 34 in springs with a welded box -section axle fastened to them with U-bolts, support the chassis and absorb road shocks. All in all, the construction is a bit heavier than you'd normally require for a camp trailer alone but it will really take the gaff. The next operation on the program is to make the simple hardwood frame which is bolted to the side and end members (also the stake sockets, if you're using them) of the chassis. The front end of the frame is bolted to the diagonal pipe braces. Next, cut the floor from 5/8 in. plywood, and glue and screw it to the frame and then drill holes through the assembly and bolt it down to the chassis as shown in Fig. 2. 

Your next chore is to make the sides of the body, using 1/4 in, plywood panels covered with the same thickness of Masonite. Lay the latter face down on a level floor, spread the glue and drop the plywood on top, then spread a dropcloth or tarpaulin over the sandwich? and cover it with dry sand to press the layers together. If you can't get 12 ft. panels, you'll have to make a joint near the front edge of the door (see Fig. 1). When the glue is dry, cut the sides to shape, following the dimensions in Fig 1. and the pattern in Fig. 3. and then cut the openings for the doors and vents. 

Use the same grid to bandsaw the 1/4 in. by 2 in. plywood braces to shape. After these are glued and screwed to the sides (from the inside), cut notches through the braces and the plywood (but not through the Masonite covering) for the 1 by 1 1/4 in. beams which support the top.

Detailed plan for a vintage travel trailer ice box.
Ice Box Detail
Detailed plan for vintage travel trailer water tank.
Water Tank Detail
Detailed plan for attaching a travel trailer fender.
Fender Detail
Illustrated parts breakdown and assembly plans for a vintage teardrop trailer for two.
Figure 1.
Illustrated parts breakdown and assembly plans

You're now ready to assemble the sides to the floor, fastening them along the bottom with screws into the frame. Then cut the beams to the correct length and glue them in place, using a wood screw at each notch. Cut the framing for the forward and rear partitions from 5/8 in. plywood, with openings in the forward one for the doors leading to the front compartment, and install the partitions. Figs. 2 and 3 will give you the location and details of these. Next, add the framing for the compartment and drawers, including slides, of the bureau. 

Rear view of the teardrop trailer interior showing full-length mattress and storage space in bereau above it.
Rear view of the interior showing full-length mattress and storage space in bureau above it.
Forward end view of teardrop trailer interior. Storage compartment doors must be high enough to clear bedding.
Forward end view of interior. Storage compartment doors must be high enough to clear bedding.

The kitchenette comes next, and here the arrangement will depend on the equipment that you plan to use. If you're using the usual two-burner camp stove, you can follow most of the dimensions and details in Fig, 2 and the detailed drawing of the kitchenette on page 117. Make the ice box and water tank first, following the detailed drawings for these, and install them in place. The tank rests on a shelf with space beneath it for a regular-sized bridge table for chow time. When these units are in place, add the framing for the utensil compartment, the top of which forms a base for the stove. Don't forget to line this space (and under the cupboards too) with sheet asbestos to reflect the heat. The framing for the cupboards, bread slide and cutlery drawers should then be fitted in place. Make all the cupboard and compartment doors, bread slide, bureau and kitchenette drawers, etc. at one time and don't forget to notch the latter so they won't tumble out and strew your wife's underwear or the knives and forks all over the place. The cupboard doors, made of 1/4 in. Masonite, sliding in rabbets, should have small hooks to keep them closed. When you're finished with all the cabinet work, the body should look like the drawing in Fig. 2.

Detailed plans for a vintage teardrop trailer door.
Side Door Detail
Detailed plans for building a teardrop trailer rear kitchen hatch.
Kitchenette Lid Detail

Then, while you still have room to work inside, add the wiring for the clearance lights which will connect to the regular car lighting circuit. The interior lights, one over the front compartment doors and the other on the rear lid, are wired later and connected to a separate battery. The 1/4 in. Masonite top can now be glued and screwed to the side braces and beams, using a stainless steel angle molding to cover the seams at the sides.

Plans for teardrop trailer rear kitchen with dimensions
Plans for teardrop trailer rear interior cabinets with dimensions
Bureau Looking Aft
Plans for teardrop trailer front interior cabinets with dimensions
Forward Compartment
Arrangment of storage spaces for cooking equipment and clothing may be altered to suit individual requirements. Double doors at forward end should be hung on offset hinges and have latches.

The kitchenette lid is then made, following the details in the small drawings and the pattern in Fig. 3. The lid is hung from the top with a long piano hinge and a 3/8 in. rod installed as shown in the drawing to hold it up. You're on the home stretch now and the next job is to make the side doors. These are hung from the sides so that when closed they'll be flush with the outside walls. A regular car door handle and a simple bar lock inside, complete the hardware on them. You can now paint the outside of the trailer and varnish the interior. Make the fenders from heavy sheet metal and bolt them to the side walls.

Figure 3.
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This modern chassis makes an excellent base for your teardrop trailer project, lightweight camping trailer, or vintage travel trailer build.
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