Travel Trailers Dover DE
T@B Microlite Travel Trailers
By Bill Siuru, PhD, PE
Travel trailers and motor homes seem to get bigger every year and more luxurious with ever more creature comforts. Now, you can even equip your motor home with a real sauna. The downside is huge fuel bills for even a short trip. Well, here is an option that will allow you to camp in comfort and only need a vehicle with a 2000 pound towing capacity to pull it.
Many of us remember the tiny teardrop trailers that were popular decades ago. Some people are restoring old teardrops that date back as far as the 1930s. Others are building new ones. You can find plans on the Internet, as well as companies offering turnkey units. Thor Industries' Dutchmen Manufacturing is offering a lineup of T@B Microlite Travel Trailers that improve on the already very efficient teardrop design and has added the availability of modern features found in much larger travel trailers.
First of all, the new T&B teardrops are a bit longer (15' 6''), wider (6' 7") and taller (7' 9") than the old teardrops. The interior height of 5' 9" allows many people to actually stand up inside, well at least stoop. This definitely wasn't the case with the original design where the interior space pretty much only allowed for sleeping. The interior dimensions can even accommodate a queen size bed in one floor plan. The T&B can be stored in most standard garages.
On three of the floor plans, there is an inside kitchen complete with sink, two-burner stove, ice box and ample storage space. A 1.8 cubic foot Norcold three way or 12-Volt refrigerator is optional. You can also order a Cool Cat 12,000 Btu air conditioner with a heat pump or 12,000 Btu LP heater with thermostat and fan. The A/C is located inside so the trailer's streamline styling is not marred by the typical roof top unit. Also, there is room for storing a Port-a-Potty inside. A fourth layout features a clamshell rear door that opens up to expose a complete kitchen, just like in the original design.
Unlike most of the original teardrops that were made largely of hard-to-maintain wood, the T&Bs features an AluFiber construction that combines aluminum with fiberglass and laminated over foam. This design means a long life. The T@Bs features an Al-KO Kober ultra light, galvanized frame. It rides on an rubber torsion, independent suspension axle. The frame includes a surge brake coupler, parking brake, easy-up tongue jack, and four corner stabilizer jacks.
The T@B's high-gloss automotive finish is easier to clean compared to traditional fiberglass and aluminum finishes. An UV resister reduces yellowing and fading. Either a white or silver finish is offered with a choice of Grey, Orange Krush, Mellow Yellow, or Cherry Red exterior trim.
With gross vehicle weight ratings of under a ton and hitch weights of only 110-154 pounds, these microlite travel trailers can be towed by virtually any vehicle with a 2000 pound towing capacity. They come equipped with a built-in surge...
Vintage Travel Trailers
By Bill Siuru, PhD, PE
Recently I pulled into the Vail Lake Resort near Temecula, California and was transported back many decades to when people camped in 'canned hams,' 'bread loafs,' 'streamliners' and 'teardrops.' That's because the Vintage Trailer Rally was being heldin this nicely restored trailer park with lots of old oak trees. Of course, these terms aptly described vintage travel trailers like Airstreams, Shastas, West Coasts, Spartans and so forth because of their distinctive shapes.