Teardrop: A Short Shakedown Trip

— on January 16, 2019 by in Teardrop Camper | travel

It’s been a quiet few months photography wise. After my trip to Bosque in early December, not much has happened, at least with a camera in front of my eye. Between the shutdown and our busy live, we canceled our Bryce Canyon and Zion road trip.

Idyllwild Camping

Instead of a pretty epic road trip through Utah with the teardrop, we went to Mt San Jacinto state park in the mountains northeast of San Diego. Instead of 10 days, we cut it to three. It ended up being a good shakedown of the nearly finished teardrop camper.

Teardrop galley loaded and ready for camping.

The teardrop loaded and ready for our first camping trip in it.

One of the reasons we wanted to venture into the red rock wonderland of southern Utah was the hope for snow. A landscape without snow seems a little naked to me now…

We didn’t go here ↓ this year. 🙁

The red sandsctone of arches with a dusting of snow.

The red sandstone of Arches NP with a dusting of snow.

Fiery Furnace inside arches after a snowfall.

Fiery Furnace inside Arches NP after a snowfall.

Your Forecast: Slush

We didn’t have the red sandstone, but we did have a little snow, and rain, and sleet. Our trip started on Christmas eve. Christmas day, we woke up to slushing. Eventually it changed to wet fluffy snow and back to sleet, circled around to rain and skipped straight back to snow.

Snow and slush falls from the galley.m

Snow, sleet and rain fall on Christmas morning.

The teardrop sitting in the snow mid afternoon on Christmas day.

The snow had largely melted by evening on Christmas.

Sitting by the camp fire near the teardrop.

I like a good campfire, and with the cold, it was double-good.

Teardrop Shakedown

I haven’t finished blogging the build of the teardrop that got us to this point, but needless to say, it was quite rushed. The trailer wasn’t fully finished yet, but was good enough for a maiden trip. I wasn’t confident in the door or galley seals yet.

A Kelty Noah's Tarp 12 over the teardrop.

A Kelty Naoh’s Tarp 12 providing door cover.

We set up a Kelty Noah’s Tarp 12 over the doors to provide shelter for us to enter and exit and keep water away from the door seals. The other corners of the tarp protected the top corners of the galley hatch and the heat pump connections.

Our heat pump connected to the front of the teardrop.

The heat pump connected under the tarp.

On a side note, this Noah’s Tarp has been the single most useful camping item I’ve ever bought. We bought it about 9 years ago and I’ve used it pretty much every single trip. It’s an all around problem solver. It’s shade, rain protection and wind shelter all in one. And, it is a handy shape.

Back to the trailer. The galley was a success. We were both happy with how it performed. Eventually we’ll get a countertop induction cook top for use on shore power like this. The old coleman propane stove worked fine, but, you know, propane.

The teardrop's galley set up to make dinner.

The galley open for business. The quick setup floating peninsula worked really well. The cooler makes a nice drink stand.

Just 1 Hike

The weather Christmas morning wasn’t great (see: slushing) but by mid-afternoon it had let up so we did a little exploring. About 1/2 of LA had the idea to come look at the snow so we mostly just gawked at people playing in the snow on the side of the road. (Note: I’m a terrible journalist… I didn’t even think to get photos of this.)

On boxing day (that’s the day after Christmas) we had blue skies and great weather. We set out on a hike. Not much narrative, but a dump of photos…

The trail sign for Suicide Rock.

Hiking to Suicide Rock.

The total hike was just over 6 miles and 1800 feet of elevation gain. There was even some snow left along the shaded sections of the trail at the higher elevation.

Sun through the trees on our hike.

Sun through the trees on our hike.

A dead tree in the snow.

A dead tree in the snow.

Lichen or something on a tree.

Lichen or something on a tree.

Adrian found an abandoned "elf on the shelf" or something.

Adrian found an abandoned “elf on the shelf” or something.

A panoram from Suicide Rock trail.

A panorama from the trail.

A dead tree in the shade.

A dead tree in the shade.

Bark on one of the pine trees.

Bark on one of the pine trees.

Adrian walking through snow on the trail in a shady area.

Adrian walking through snow on the trail in a shady area.

San Jacinto Peak.

San Jacinto Peak.

A gnarly tree along the trail.

A gnarly tree along the trail.

The view from "Suicide Rock".

The view from “Suicide Rock”.


It wasn’t the trip we had planned, but as a shake down it worked out well. With everything going on it was probably for the best that we only did a 3 day trip close to home.

The teardrop home and ready for "the finishing touches."

The teardrop home and ready for “the finishing touches” like paint, exterior trim and seals that work…