Retired and Living in a Teardrop Trailer

Sharon with her new t@b trailer and her beautiful 4-Door Jeep.

Sharon with her new [email protected] trailer and her beautiful 4-Door Jeep.

(Today we are going to have a guest post from my friend Sharon who just retired and moved into a new [email protected] trailer. I was so impressed with it I asked her to do a guest post and she kindly agreed. We’ll come back to Road Trip Tips later)

Thank you to Bob for asking me to contribute a guest post to his blog.

In May (2014) I retired from my career as a pharmacist. In June I purchased a 2015 [email protected] teardrop trailer to be pulled by my 4 door Jeep Wrangler and set out as a full-timer. To not confuse this teardrop with the classic teardrop trailers, I have standing room in this trailer. The inside height is 5’9” at the tallest point which is perfect for my height of 5’4”. I call my trailer a tall teardrop.

This purchase was not an overnight decision! I attended the January 2012 RTR and was trying to decide at that time what rig would be best for my adventures. I had previously owned larger travel trailers and was not sure if I wanted to return to towing or to try a small RV or van for my next home on wheels. The biggest catch was not wanting to get rid of my Jeep since it was  paid for and I love driving it. Jeeps are limited by their towing capacity and are not known to be stellar tow vehicles. The tow capacity of my Jeep is 3500 pounds and the recommendations are to stay somewhere within 70% to 80% of that number. It is a 2010 3.8 Liter/Automatic 4 door Wrangler Unlimited. Jeeps tend to love fuel and mine gets around 17 to 21 miles per gallon not towing; towing it ranges from 14 to 17 depending on the terrain.

The T@b has a fully functional little kitchen.

The [email protected] has a fully functional little kitchen.

 While Jeeps are not known for towing, I have been pleasantly surprised at how well it tows this little trailer. It does slow down on hills maybe 10 miles an hour or so, but otherwise I would not know the trailer is back there without checking the mirror. Because it’s a 4-door, it has a large back area has become a handy storage unit for those things I don’t have room to carry in the trailer

I believe I may have looked at every small travel trailer over the year and a half before purchasing the [email protected] There are many great little trailers out there and each one has pros and cons to it, as does every other RV. The [email protected] won out for me due to its weight of 1670 pounds, its aerodynamic profile and the amenities inside such a little trailer. My trailer, much to everyone’s surprise, has:

  1. A sitting and sleeping area: I leave the back folded down as a twin-size bed
  2. A sink, 2 burner stovetop, and a 3-way fridge (all inside as this is not a clamshell model)
  3. A TV, radio, CD, and DVD player
  4. A heat/hot water system and an air conditioner
  5. A wet bath with toilet and shower: Tiny, but functional
  6. Plenty of windows for light and ventilation, including a Fantastic Fan
Sharon's trailer has what many people want the most, a usable, comfortable shower.

Sharon’s trailer has what many people want the most, a usable, comfortable shower.

That is a lot packed into a 12 foot trailer (15ft with tongue) and it tows like a dream!  Tab  Trailers  are manufactured in Ohio by the Amish and it has beautiful interior woodwork.  The link to see the website is: http://tab-rv.com/

I purchased mine in southern California (American RV Company); however, the CA sales tax is a big hit and if you live in or claim residence somewhere else, it will save you a lot of money! The trailer sells for anywhere from $15,000 to $18,000 depending on where you buy it and any additional add-ons you may want such as a tent-room addition, various awnings, or different window configurations. I saved up for this purchase and it was my retirement gift to myself. Here is the page with their current inventory:  http://www.americanrvcompany.net/TB_c_76.html

I certainly found with small trailers that they tend to be as much or more expensive than larger trailers. It is a trade-off as to what you want and how you will use it. I wanted a new, fully contained trailer that was small and easy to handle.  I actually love and prefer it’s smallness  because it makes me get out and do things. Also, while it is fine for one rainy day, it would be confining for continued bad weather and that is a good reason to follow the sun and be outdoors more than inside.

 

It did take me a couple of weeks to “adjust” to being in a tiny trailer after I left my rental unit in California. Now it is cozy and comfortable. Cooking inside is easy and fast. The bed is a good size but I do plan to switch out the cushions for a different mattress. The bathroom is a great addition for a late night necessity and the shower is quite adequate with 6 gallons of hot water available. This unit would not be as comfortable for a tall person since the scale is small.  That said, I see couples camping in teardrop trailers often so it is just a matter of working out the details. It also depends on how long you plan to be in a teardrop. This trailer will serve me well for years to come where a couple may want a larger unit or only use it for weekend camping.

tab-back

It is proving to be a wonderful tiny home for me and my two Chihuahuas as we travel. I do enjoy being able to set up the trailer and then take off to explore the nearby areas where I’m camped. At this writing, I am on the Oregon Coast and there are plenty of beautiful places to visit and the coastal climate is perfect.

While I enjoy hook-ups for the trailer, it would be possible to boondock with it. It is already set up to attach a solar panel to the battery. You may need more battery power for the fridge or switch to a cooler. The lights are all LED and will work great on battery/solar. The holding tanks are small with 19gal grey, 6gal black, and 6gal fresh water. The great thing is that the trailer is so easy to hitch up and move that emptying the tanks is a breeze. Also, if boondocking, you may want to change how you use the tanks and use a solar shower instead.  You could also use a generator if you wish. I do not plan to use one since I can work around the need for it.

tab-bed-use

After living in my trailer for the last two months I can say that I did get the right one for me. It fits my new lifestyle for a small, non-fussy unit with just enough comfortable extras to make life easy. It is also attracts a small parade of visitors wanting to see it. At one rest stop while traveling, an entire tour bus of Chinese tourists came out to take pictures of it. I imagine I am in a collection of photo albums in China following their vacation trip. I will be happy to give tours at the next RTR. Life on the road is wonderful and I am glad to be out here enjoying every day.

tab-bed

It has two things you really need in a small space, enough windows so you don’t feel claustrophobic and good storage.

In the Fall, I’ll be heading down California to visit friends and family on my way to Arizona for the Winter in Quartzsite. I am looking forward to the RTR in January. After Quartzsite, I am planning a cross-country trip to see all of the places I have always wanted to see. Some of the definite advantages of towing a small trailer are being able to fit into any size campsite and the loss of mpg is not as great as driving or towing a large unit.

It even came with an Air Conditioner!

It even came with an Air Conditioner!

There is a great unit for everyone who wants this adventurous lifestyle. The most important thing is to find the one that resonates with you, get it, and simply Go!

What a great life! Set-up camp, go explore in the Jeep!

What a great life! Set-up camp, go explore in the Jeep!

Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

112 comments on “Retired and Living in a Teardrop Trailer
  1. Linda Sand says:

    It looks like a perfect fit for us short people. Glad you found the right rig for you.
    Linda Sand recently posted…Going south?My Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you, Linda
      The trailer is a great fit for me, I can stand up in all parts of the trailer and that makes a huge difference in comfort!

  2. The Amish keep confusing me about what sort of modern machinery they’ll use or make. But it looks very slick.
    Al Christensen recently posted…A year laterMy Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Hey Al,
      Yep, the Amish are an interesting religion/culture. I must say they can make a nice little trailer. Working with wood is a specialty of theirs and I am loving the wood in my little trailer.
      Sharon

  3. Openspaceman says:

    Sharon_

    Very nice setup. I’m a jeep guy/person and think it’s perfect for you and your travel companions. I think the solar is key to power a couple fans and the fridge then you’ll be good to go anywhere. Good luck! and thanks for the post.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Openspaceman,
      Love my Jeep! I once rented one on a vacation and was hooked for good! I am looking forward to adding some solar to my setup for even more freedom. Thanks for your comment.
      Sharon

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks for the tour! One of your puppies is a camera hog. 😀 Very cute.
    Karen recently posted…The FactoryMy Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Karen,
      Oh yes, that little camera-hog is Lulu (little one with white on her feet). She is a Lulu for sure! My other little angel is Tito and he has never forgiven me for getting her! ha-ha
      Sharon

  5. Steve says:

    Ive never considered a TAB but have looked and stepped inside smaller models. Your set up sounds great, 14′ of living space, a bed, a small couch, inside kitchen and a small shower/bathroom. All of those features I didn’t know TAB had. Thanks for this information. I’ll check out both of your links. Does Sharon have a blog?
    Steve recently posted…I Saw The Bad Side of the Economy TodayMy Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Hello Steve,
      One of the URL addresses does not seem to work, the one for American RV; however, the tab-rv.com link is good. There are quite a few models, I have the [email protected] S Maxx model with all of the little extras (esp. the bathroom). I am in process of getting together a blog, will let Bob know so anyone can follow me when it is up. Thank you for asking! Sharon

  6. jonthebru says:

    I enjoyed your story and what you are doing. The TAB trailer is well made and perfect for your purpose. There are so many single Ladies doing the fulltime life it is gratifying to see.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Jonthebru!
      Thank you for your comment. I am just loving this fulltime adventure. I always knew I would and it is fun to have it come true. Yes, I agree the Tab is well made, so far, so great!
      Sharon

  7. Cae says:

    Sweet rig

    • Sharon says:

      Hey Cae,
      Thank you. Yes, I agree, this little trailer is Sweeet, so glad I jumped in and hit the road. Way too much fun!
      Sharon

  8. Ooh, that looks perfect — except for the price tag. It’s probably like Scamps and other small trailers that nobody wants to let go of, so used ones are hard to find and not dirt cheap, ever. I would sure love to have one, though.
    LaVonne Ellis recently posted…An Open Letter to Congresswoman Susan DavisMy Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Hi LaVonne,
      You are right, all little trailers are pricey! And the used ones are not cheap either unless you find an amazing deal or the trailer needs Lots of work. I had to take a deep breath and go for it. No regrets. Thanks for your comment.
      Sharon

    • Springer says:

      We purchased a home built tear drop for less than $3000.. They are out there. We had our shakedown trip at the National Women’s Music Festival in Madison, Wisconsin. We stayed at a great city park in Dane county at Mendota park.

  9. Jo L says:

    Very nice set-up! Congratulations on your retirement, too! You are really going to enjoy it while having all of the comforts at your disposal. Happy trails!

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Jo L,
      I must say this retirement-thing is bliss! I don’t miss work one minute. One of the things I love about my little trailer is that it has just what you need and nothing more. This translates to simplicity, a much desired state of life.
      Thank you for the comment.
      Sharon

  10. PamP says:

    Fantastic! Had no idea the tear drop had so many amenities. Its encouraging to see a single woman out there enjoying the sights and experiences. I’ve gotten a bit chicken about towing very far anymore. Now, you make me ashamed of myself. GO GIRL!

    • Sharon says:

      Hey Pam,
      Hitch ‘er up and go! I chose this little rig so I would be able to handle it all by myself. I do find that other RV’ers are always willing to lend a hand when needed, but it is nice to be independent. See you on the road!
      Sharon

  11. Calvin R says:

    If I could get the money, this would be nearly ideal. I’m even located in Ohio, and Sugarcreek, where the factory is, is a favorite place to visit. I have toured a couple of [email protected] trailers but was awaiting a report from someone who used one to find out if they were too flimsy. I guess not if you’re full-timing in it.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Calvin,
      I have been quite impressed with the quality of my [email protected] And even more impressive is the service from the manufacturers in Ohio. I would love to see the facility in Ohio, it is on my list of places to go. Most trailers are not built for full-timing; however, if you live “lightly” they will do the job.
      Sharon

      • Calvin R says:

        Sugarcreek is a good place to do some tourism also. I particularly like the restaurant in the middle of town, Miller’s Dutch Kitchen, but there are several. Amish Country tourism is mostly in the next county west, Holmes County. Holmes County has several campgrounds and many tourist sites, restaurants, etc.

  12. Naomi says:

    Love this! I had no idea about the room and amenities. Love the chi, too.
    ~Naomi

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Naomi,
      The trailer is tiny and it is amazing what all has been fit into it. I am now a teardrop fan, both of the classics and the new design like mine. The Chihuahuas(Tito and Lulu) are great little travel buddies.
      Sharon

  13. Lois says:

    Very nice, Sharon! I’ve taken pics of these trailers in parking lots because I thought they had great lines and ave always wondered what the insides looked like. Thanks for the review and tour. Have fun out there with it!

    Thanks for the guest post, Bob. It was a good one!
    Lois recently posted…Clackamas Wild and Scenic River – Mt. Hood National ForestMy Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Hello Lois,
      Thank you for the comments. I Still turn my head and stop and talk to every teardrop owner I see while traveling. I love nostalgia and teardrops fit the bill. This trailer won me over with the lines which are a nod to the past and the amenities which are a bonus of the present.
      Sharon

  14. Lynnzie says:

    Nice has several items I wish I had like a shower. I still love my 13×7 vintage 1985 Ideal camper and same weight. See ya at the 2015 RTR, Sharon.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Lynnzie,
      The vintage trailers rock! I love ’em all! The wet bath (shower/toilet) was a huge selling point for me with this rig and it is a great convenience!
      Looking forward to seeing you at the RTR.
      Sharon

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Oh Sharon, thank you so much for your post. I fell in love with teardrops years ago, though now that my husband is on board, we’re going for a used class B. I’m so happy you found what works for you! I loved your prayer flags and cushions covers, but most importantly your wisdom hummed in my soul as my chest “resonated” with your words. Ahhhh! Thank You!

    “The most important thing is to find the one that resonates with you, get it, and simply Go!”

    • Sharon says:

      Nice, nice words, Elizabeth..Thank you so much. I am decorating the interior in a gypsy-type motif since it suits my soul. I have always longed to be free-on-the-road and now I am….Ahhhh indeed!
      Sharon

  16. Ming says:

    cute trailer! I saw one parked on the street earlier this summer and was wondering what it was like inside. Thank you for the tour.

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you, Ming
      There are several models and all of them are pretty cute inside and out. Most people love giving a tour of their tiny home. If you are at the RTR, you are welcome to come over to mine for an in-person tour.
      Sharon

      • Ming says:

        thank you Sharon, I’d love to take you up on that if we come across each other at a RTR or on the road. I’ve been too shy to ask to see the inside of peoples’ homes on wheels when I travel. Others I’ve noticed aren’t so shy – I get regular requests for a peek inside my rooftop tent! 🙂

  17. Wow! This is so inspirational! I’ve thought about what my next step might be. Right now, I’m pretty comfy in my 2001 Ford E350 v10 extended van, dubbed the Green Queen. She’s got LOTS of towing power. So, I’m seriously thinking of towing a camper with her in the future. Up until now, I thought the Casita or Scamp would be the way to go for me, but, the price tag might prevent me from doing the [email protected] But, oh So, impressive and lovely inside. Love the wood! I much prefer something small like this just for myself and my medium-sized dog, Rochelle Claire. I hope to cross paths with you at RTR this year! All the best!

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Gloria,

      Your FordE350 would pull a [email protected] as if it were a dragonfly! I found all of the small trailers pretty expensive although sometimes you can find a used one for a decent price if the timing is just right.
      The other thing to watch is that sometimes the “base” price is ok, but Everything is an option to the point that the base is basically a shell with walls and a door. It is a process to sort them out. See you at the RTR! Thank you for the comments. Sharon

  18. jim says:

    Great hope you enjoy every day of retirement did you sell everything you own or is this a part time thing, be careful out there and please keep us posted on how it’s going if you start a website let us know

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Jim,
      I did have a big give-a-way of my stuff to lighten the amount of stuff I have to travel with or store. Other than a few boxes stored with family, I am traveling very light. Feels great!
      Sharon

  19. Tom says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Sharon, and congratulations on your retirement. I’ve looked at [email protected] but had no idea they where made by Amish and they had one this large with so many extras.

    Happy trails and thanks again.

  20. Lynnette says:

    Thank you Sharon for sharing your experience. Your pharmacy community misses you. I am so happy that you have opened new doors, are set for adventure and found the perfect prescription for your retirement. Looking forward to your blog and your visit back to California!

  21. Hey Bob. Please make a blog post about this.

    The following is extremely important to campers, hikers, bikers, boaters, fishermen, climbers, ATVers, hunters, rock hounds, everyone.

    We are about to lose our our rights to freely recreate on federal public land.

    Time is of the essence. Congress returns from vacation this week. The bill is ready for a vote.

    HR 5204, if enacted, could destroy the concept of public lands as places where everyone has access and is welcome. This new bill deletes the rules that prohibit the feds from charging fees for dispersed camping, roadside parking, hiking, and other forms of recreation on all public lands.

    Every place, every activity, every person, could be required to pay a fee – an additional tax on top of the taxes that already support public lands – for access, regardless whether they are highly developed like National Parks and Forest Service or BLM campgrounds, or completely undeveloped like Wilderness Areas.

    Please spread the word!

    http://freecampsites.net/all-access-to-public-lands-will-require-a-fee/

  22. jim says:

    It’s sad what this world is coming to when i was a kid you could hunt,fish and camp anywhere all you had to do was ask now a days with all the hunting club buying or renting all the land if you are not in a club paying forget it, I’ve said this for years the goverment wants you to go to work pay your taxes then go home and set there and do zero till it time to go back to work again just look at all the taxes we have and the price of gas keeps most people from not going to far,no matter how you chose to live you can not get out of paying till the day you die someone will have there hand in your pocket you only have a little control as to how deep they put there hand in your pocket, I’ve live in a small house in the middle of nowhere hunting,fishing,trapping i’ve live in a nice 5 bed room house and i’ve in a camping trailer and when the dust settles it all was the same pay pay pay till someone comes up with a way to not eat,sleep on the ground year around and walk everywhere you go it will be pay pay pay people will not stick togather so we just have to hope and pray for the best,people my age may not live to see it but so day public land will be something talk about in the past tents,

  23. Kim says:

    Sharon – what an excellent post. Thanks to you (and Bob) for sharing. Timely too as I was just thinking about a teardrop for my van when DH retires. Can’t wait to meet you at the RTR and maybe take a tour, if you’re having open house!

    Kim

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Kim,

      I did not realize there were more comments to respond to…I will be at the RTR and will be happy to give your a tour and answer any questions that I can for your future teardrop purchase. Thank you for the kind words.
      Sharon

  24. DougB says:

    What most impresses me is that you took a lot of time to prioritize wants and needs, and then what you didn’t need. Then you researched the heck out of all the potential solutions available and wound up with an excellent fit for yourself. So the end result isn’t really a brand or model, so much as owning what’s just right for you!
    What surprised me is your trailer’s greywater capacity, which allows you the option to refill your little freshwater tank several times from jugs, which makes boondocking for a nice little stretch possible. Since you’re prewired for solar, adding a system is easier if you ever do decide to boondock for nearly a week at a stretch. Clever pick!
    DougB recently posted…A Change in Operating PhilosophiesMy Profile

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Doug,
      Thank your for your insight. I definitely took the time to pick what I needed in terms of easy, lightweight living and this little trailer has been great. I do hope to do some boondocking and see how it goes since it is ideal to be able to be on or off grid.
      Sharon

  25. Cindi says:

    HI. We just recently joined the world of teardrop RV living. It does take some time to get used to it! Here’s where we are at it so far:
    http://thriftyat60.blogspot.com/2014/08/minimalist-camping.html

    I have to get a new mattress also. You’d think with all those extras we got, the mattress would be usable. Trading it in for a tempurpedic! Also true that because the unit is so small, we live more outside than inside. I consider my R-Pod a floating cabana!
    Happy trails!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks for the nice comment Cindi. I like your blog and signed up for it. It’s pretty hard for me to imagine a couple living in that small a trailer full-time, but you seem to be doing it pretty well!
      Bob

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Cindi,
      I looked at the R-Pod too, very cute trailer! It was just a little heavy for my Jeep. Isn’t it such fun to have a small trailer that slips into any spot and is so easy to tow and manage. I enjoyed your photos.
      Sharon

  26. Jo says:

    I love your duo, Sharon. That teardrop is so cool.
    Friday i began my Full-time RVing, so it was of great interest and en ouragement to read yours. I have a Leisure Travel Van right now stuffed with more than I want…Will head for the East coast in a few days and distribute items along the way and among family and friends in VA, MD, DC and NY. See you in Quartzsite!

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Jo,
      Congrats on your debut to fulltiming! Although I thought I had gotten down to the bare necessities, I Still have too many things and have to drop off some of them as I proceed along. It’s kind of like leaving breadcrumbs along the way, haha. Yes, see you in Quartzsite!
      Sharon

  27. Jean says:

    I am an over the road truck driver, just starting to set up my boondock truck. I had wondered about the tear drops on the cooking etc. does it have the vents available incase of smoke splatter etc in adverse weather? (rain etc.) I am also curious on the door lock, I had seen some at rest areas but they don’t seem like sturdy units, am I wrong on that?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jean, hopefully Sharon will answer your specific questions. But I want to make sure you understand the difference between the normal teardrop which is tiny and you can’t cook inside at all, and this teardrop. This is a normal trailer that has been shaped in the form of a teardrop. So my guess is it just like any other trailer inside and has the standard vents and a standard RV door. But that is just a guess.
      Bob

    • Sharon says:

      Hello Jean,
      Classic teardrop trailers have a clamshell design with the galley (kitchen) in the back, while my design is different with the kitchen inside and cooking is quite easy. If I am cooking something that needs more air circulation, then I can turn on the Fantastic Fan to draw the odors outside as well as open the door. I also enjoy grilling outside. As to the door lock, it is a typical trailer lock and is basically designed for the door to not be opened vs. a lock to deter a determined burglar. I think having some “back-up” protection is a good idea when traveling and what that protection is depends on your comfort and training level.
      Sharon

  28. Ellen says:

    Hi Sharon

    I’m planning on retiring in February and want to do exactly the same thing as you’re doing! I love the T&B w/bath. (I think I’ve lived in apartments in NYC that were as small!!)

    One question, I hope to do a bit of biking and hiking on the road – not longer than 3-4 hours at a time. Have you ever left your dogs in the trailer? I have a small dog and have been told that if you leave the fan on, the unit doesn’t get too hot.

    What’s your opinion on this?

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Ellen

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ellen, hopefully Sharon will answer but just in case she doesn’t I’ll give you my two cents. If you are like most of us if you are outside biking or hiking it can’t be too extremely hot, and your dogs will probably be okay.

      Once your mobile, the best thing is to be a snowbird and avoid extreme heat both for your sake and for your dogs.
      Bob

      • Ellen says:

        Thanks Bob. Sounds like good advice!

      • Sharon says:

        Hi Ellen,
        I do leave my little dogs in the trailer when I have places to go and they would have to stay in the Jeep. I always make sure they are in the shade and have plenty of air circulation. They love sleeping on my bed (as if they own it!).
        You will love the [email protected] if you get one. It is a cozy little home.
        Thank you for the comments.
        Sharon

  29. Michelle says:

    What inspiration! I am retiring within the next few years and look forward to buying a small trailer to explore the country. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts about the [email protected] I love it!!

    Michelle

  30. Michelle says:

    Thank you Sharon, I appreciate your positive thoughts!

    Dreaming of my lil’ RV,

    Michelle

  31. Becky says:

    I’ve got a long way to go before I’m retired, but I am intrigued by the [email protected] trailers and living in one full time. How do you take care of getting mail or medical issues? Are they expensive to license and insure?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Becky, here is a post about getting mail that explains it pretty well.
      https://www.cheaprvliving.com/stay-touch/

      Medical issues has so many variables it’s a very long answer. Email me at [email protected] and tell me the particulars of your situation and I;ll try to answer your questions.

      Trailers are usually very cheap to license and insure. Some companies specialize in RVs and insurance is usually much lower because it’s older people and they don’t get driven very much.
      Bob

  32. Sharon says:

    Hi Becky,

    Bob has given great information on mail and medical. I will say regarding medical, I have major medical with a hefty deductible so my goal is to do everything I can to not have to use it, but it is there for an emergency. My [email protected] is registered in California where I bought it and while I may change my registrations to another state, the [email protected] due to its small size qualified for a permanent trailer license which is only $30 every 5 years. I insured it on my Jeep policy and it did not raise the rate much. Trailers 15ft. and under qualify for the permanent trailer license in CA.
    Sharon

  33. anni says:

    hi, i saw that you’ll be on the calif coast and i am headed down that way before the holidays. have you found any good free or very inexpensive places to stay, especially in the area between monterey and santa barbara? i’ll have a month before xmas to be on the loose, but haven’t explored that area for free camping. Really lookiing forward to the RTR and am all set to head down and be there by the 6th. Sounds like a lot of other women vagabonders will be there as well! happy trails to you! Anni

    • Bob Bob says:

      Hi Anni, I haven’t spent any time camping along the coast so I really can’t tell you anything about it. I’ve camped on BLM desert land in California, but that’s all. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

      Yes, there will be lots of women at the RTR. Probably at least 40% will be women and there will be two women-only meetings.

      I’m looking forward to meeting you!
      Bob

    • Cooltruth says:

      There’s a campground at Big Sur which wasn’t free, but wasn’t that expensive either. You might want to check it out…

  34. anniw says:

    hi bob, sorry, i was hoping sharon might read my inquiry, but i did get info off the freecampsite.net. i’ve been at two RTRs already, we’re the ones in the silver sprinter! but my husband is staying north this winter, the dessert is not his cup of tea. but i’m looking forward to a couple months traveling down there! see you in January! Anni

    • Bob Bob says:

      Anni, I remember you! I’m not good with names, but I generally remember a rig, especially a beautiful Sprinter! Are you going to make it for Thanksgiving? See you either then or at the RTR.
      Bob

  35. Cheryl Ford says:

    Sharon, I have been seriously pondering the purchase of a [email protected] S. How hard is it to move around by its handles? Do you have any difficulties hitching it up? Also, is there any storage in the wet bath? One picture I saw on their web site looked like there was a wooden door behind the toilet. How about storage under the bench seats? Any other storage tips? Like where do you put your trash? Thanks!!

  36. anni says:

    Bob, not quite sure how November is going to shake out yet. i’ll try to find what you posted, but where are you gathering for Thanksgiving again?

  37. Ramon DeLong says:

    i bought a pop up camper. Going to try & sell it or trade it in for a teardrop. Retired Army & ready to hit the road. 50 states, hopefully 52 weeks! Lol Maybe see you on the road someday. I have a Ford Flex to pull it. Good luck & safe travels.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ramon, the Tear Drop sounds like the perfect thing for your trip. You’re going to be moving a lot and moving fast so something small and light is ideal!

      It sounds like a great adventure, I hope you keep in touch and give us reports on the trip.

  38. Joe Todd says:

    I am also a retired pharmacist,, Hope to get a T&B after 1st of year
    est of luck to you

  39. Sharon B says:

    These are adorable, but from what I see at the RV shows they cost a pretty penny.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Sharon, yes, they are, but all the small super-light trailers are. I think part of the reason is the technology to make they light is expensive, but more it’s supply and demand; they sell all they make so they can charge anything they want.
      Bob

  40. Corine says:

    I’m so glad I read your blog. I just bought a 2005 tab today and was afraid I spent too much at $7600. It’s in excellent condition and looks just like yours except it weighs 1460lb. I have a Kia Soul and it can tow up to 2000lb. The mechanics I talked to were very hesitant to have me towing the tab, but from what I’ve read and hear it should be ok.
    I’m retiring early due to a disability and I need somewhere affordable and cute to live
    Thanks for the inspiration

  41. Sage Thomas says:

    I’m so happy to have stumbled across this blog post! I am an RN living on Vancouver Island, bought my teardrop trailer (I call it the dew drop) 1 year ago and am moving into it now. I am 25 years old, and am so happy to experience this now… and potentially continue for many years to come. I got nearly the same model as you – looks like the only difference is that I don’t have that beautiful window over the stove or AC.

    I hope you are having the loveliest of adventures!

    Sage

  42. GG says:

    I’ve actually imagined living FT in one of these. Then imagined taking a lovely hike or doing some PT work or shopping & coming back to an empty space. How does one keep this safe, seems someone could keep a watch of habits, then take those handles & have it hooked to their car in less than 5 min. flat….. Is there some sort of a GPS thing oh, lojack I think. Or an alarm. Would be a great added feature to have a fingerprint reader to lock & unlock & have it call the police if someone without the fingerprint took it.

    I LOVE this model. I do think for a single female, the bed could be a little bit smaller to make room for a closet. Must have been a man who designed it lol. With a closet & sleeping for 1 rather than 2, already installed solar & a portable composting toilet, it would be the hottest selling thing out there. What if you leave it somewhere for a day or so if you visit family …. where in the world would you put it?

    They should have a website to have people allow travelers to house it in their garage for a few days, like for Christmas or Thanksgiving when you want to stay with family.

    • Bob Bob says:

      GG, it’s actually pretty easy to secure your trailer so it’s hard to steal. It will never be 100% safe but it can be secure enough to slow a thief down and he won’t even try. Three methods are:

      1) a lock that goes up into the ball and makes it impossible to hook up to it.
      2) a wheel boot that locks onto the wheel and won’t let it turn
      3) a cable that goes rough the wheel and up to the tongue. It won’t allow the wheel to turn.

      These are all very good and will keep your trailer safe. The combination make it take so long no thief would bother. I put my trailer in storage every summer and it’s easy to find outside storage for $30 a month. Worse comes to worse you can put it in storage even if it’s only for a few days.

      Society controls us with fear which it constantly bombards us with. That’s the voice you are hearing in your head. Nearly everything it tells us is a huge lie.
      Bob

  43. Ronda says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. I am really curious about how you manage with your chihuahuas when you are travelling in your Tab. Do they stay in the trailer when you are out sightseeing or at the beach? That might be a nice follow-up article!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ronda, I’ll let Sharon answer that but I want to add a second voice to encourage Sharon to do a follow-up article here! We’d all like to hear how she is doing!
      Bob

  44. Sharon says:

    Hi Bob and all,
    I see that there are still responses to my original posting. If anyone would like to ask me questions or share comments, I would be happy to respond from my own blog at: gypsyteardrop.com
    I am still traveling full-time and loving it!!
    Sharon

  45. Dan Southcomb says:

    Well it’s been about a year now. I would like to know how Sharon is making out in the [email protected] trailer, as I have purchased a 2016 [email protected] Maxx S. I would like to hear her Pro’s and Con’s after her first year on the road. Thanks Bob for all your knowledge/experiences. I truly believe you love the way you live and are willing to share that lifestyle with us who are thinking about it, and those of us who dream about it.

  46. Dan Southcomb says:

    Bob, you may have already heard this.

    “None of us are here for a long time. So we better make sure we have a good time”.

  47. debit.servus says:

    Before getting the van, I looked into living full time in a small trailer towed by a super fuel-efficient car. Drop the trailer for the day for errands, days/nights out. Best option for those who like feeling more “conventional”. Looking at the [email protected], even though it’s a manufactured trailer, it’s a whole different animal compared to the cheaply-built sticks-and-staples travel trailers.

    This model of [email protected] is luxury compared to the van I have. One is looking at a microapartment with climate controls, full kitchenette, “1 bath”, “1 bedroom”(Put those last two in quotes because that is how conventional house bed and bath are worded in real estate listings). The [email protected] does cost as much as a full-size travel trailer upfront, but will be much cheaper to maintain in the long-run; unlike a cheaply-built full-size travel trailer.

    Thank you for sharing your experience fulltiming in a [email protected] teardrop.

  48. Cathy says:

    Sharon,
    When you leave your rig to go tour the area/cities you are near. Do you worry about someone coming and taking your home? I have never RV’d just tented when you are staying at the site.
    Thanks,
    Cathy

  49. Lisa says:

    I must say what an adorable little rig loved the tour you have everything and the cooking outside great idea, so roomy and cute I’ve always been in to not a lot of things its prefect the only thing don’t,t think could do the wet bath iam a tub kind like soaking but everything welse love and yap having your own wet. bath does give it that extra special something no truck stops or anything but your very own bathroom ,I used to love to travel with my husband but he passed Jan this year so I son,t think I’d be brave like you to be on my own just felt safe with him not suffer panic attacks just going anywhere but iam happy your happy your life sounds wonderful keep enjoying be safe love to you and your dogs your an inspiration

  50. Donna M. Stiles says:

    Love to read all your comments. I looked at a Retro White Water this morning, but heart is set on the [email protected] S. So I will go searching. Single gal here for now so would like some comments about camper sites. CAn you get a pass for the Federal sites?
    Thank you so much. Donna

  51. I don’t have a website. Sorry. Donna

  52. Lynn Rea says:

    I just saw this posting. thank you so much for the info. After two years now, are you still quite happy with the TAB teardrop? I just looked at one near me in Eugene, Oregon. Does it bounce around alot or sway back and forth? I saw you have solar as well. What do you think is adequate? Thanks again for your info. Look forward to future posts..

  53. Alexis Abbott says:

    Hello, I would like to know how much maintenance and upkeep costs have been? I am looking into living in a tear-drop trailer myself for a while and would like to plan accordingly. Please let me know, as I can find a bunch of blogs on how fun it is but so far very little on actual living costs! Thank you in advance!

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Alexis,
      I sold the great little trailer in Feb.2017 due to not wanting to tow anymore. As for how much it was for maintenance and upkeep for the teardrop, very little. The trailer was brand new and nothing needed fixing or repair for the 2.5 years I traveled. I bought new sewer hoses and seals for the tanks. My best advice is to have something be it a tiny trailer or van with the most simple build possible. The less you have, the less to repair. I am looking to get a van and do the most simple build ever and hit the road once again.
      Best to you, Sharon

  54. Calvin Rittenhouse says:

    I follow some RV things still, mostly the RVtravel newsletter. That’s my best reason for not getting a manufactured RV even if I could afford it. Simplicity means less breakable parts and less “this went out and made that fail” issues. The lower maintenance time and expense give you more time to enjoy your life.

  55. Tina says:

    Sharon……thank you thank you thankyou! for sharing your adventure in your tab! I have a 2018 tab 320S, waiting for me to pick up in a week…I have gone back and forth on whether I can or should…you know, fear etc. You have inspired me to step out and go as my spirit wants to soar!

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