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A teardrop camper

Gary Hitchcock

My little teardrop started life in 2016 as an idea to have something I could use to get away and recharge myself, and also as a bug-out camper in the event of a disaster. I live in Christchurch!

I always liked the shape of the early teardrops “1939” so just started with that. 


I had an old trailer with a body that was too rusty to save, but the frame was ok. The main material for the camper was a UV-protected plastic sheet, ideal for outside use. It was getting dumped from where I was working at the time. I had the advantage of being able to use a large laser cutter to cut it to my design. 


It was about a year before I was ready to start the build, having found funds and materials to start putting it together. A lot of the bits and pieces are reject parts that would have been tossed out, like the windows, roof vent & gray water tank, that are made from PVC cabinet door fronts. I have two layers to the floor so there is lots of storage under the bed. 


The feature I like best is the kitchen. I didn’t do a full, built-in kitchen in the back as I like the open feel of having a large window open to the world. It is fantastic when you get to camp with a great view you can enjoy even if the weather is not great. It still works as a kitchen, with the main shelf and a fold down one I put my vintage Primus cooker on, with the wash sink. It keeps everything flexible to change around to suit what I am doing at the time. After all, it is supposed to be camping. 


I have fun cooking up a storm as I have plenty of food in the storage areas, but never know what I will find till I get there. All part of the adventure. 


I can also easily remove the two clear polycarbonate windows & main shelf if I need to use the teardrop as a covered trailer. 


I use a small old solar panel to run a small fan to have fresh air circulating, mainly for when the teardrop is not in use over winter, so it is always fresh. I didn’t plan on having a TV, but after finding a bargain & some speakers, media player & amplifier I put them all together and made a great little system to listen to music & watch movies when I just want to relax at the end of the day. 


With the teardrop having a bit of an old aircraft look to it I was after something to go on the front. While I was working on it I heard Murray Ball passed away, 12 March 2017, so I made the “Dog” graphics as a tribute and also now to my little dog Angel who just loved being in the teardrop. 


Most of the summer was spent camping out in the teardrop at home, as for some reason we both sleep better in the teardrop than in the house. It isn’t the flashest little camper out there, but the main thing is that it is fun, always changing when I find something new or different to add, and I get to meet great people and enjoy this great country.  


BY: Gary Hitchcock

PHOTOS: ©2022 Gary Hitchcock


I like the open feel of having a large window open to the world.

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