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Proof for the Disbelievers

June 22nd, 2011

Ever since Mr Chiots and I mentioned that we were building a teardrop camper people keep asking for photos. We were joking the other day that no one really believes that we’re doing it, much less that we’ll have it finished next month. Here’s some proof for all you who keep wanting to know how it’s going and keep asking for photos.

Mr Chiots has been spending a few hours almost every evening out in the garage cutting, sanding, wiring, measuring, nailing and putting together the little camper. The garage is filled with formaldyhyde free plywood, aluminum for skinning and various shapes and sizes of lights and other things needed for the build.

It’s been a fun project so far. I have plans to do a blog dedicated to this build with products used, the build process, and our adventures with our tiny teardrop. I’ll let you know when that’s up and running, I’ve been a bit too busy to get it going.

Any travel plans for the summer/fall for you family?

35 Comments to “Proof for the Disbelievers”
  1. Alyssa Trobacher on June 22, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Well we are traveling right now, but when we get back in the middle of July we have plans to go camping right away. We are also planning an overnight hike to a local lake about 8 (hiking) hours away. The rest of the summer is taken up by preserving, bbqing and working!

    Reply to Alyssa Trobacher's comment

  2. Eliza J on June 22, 2011 at 5:44 am

    That looks awesome! I can’t wait to see the finished product and look forward to your blogging on it.

    Reply to Eliza J's comment

  3. Michelle Leigh on June 22, 2011 at 6:06 am

    How fun!! I wish I had the patience for a long term project like that. If I can’t get it done in one or two sittings, I don’t want to do it sometimes. :P

    We’re going camping this weekend- just tent camping at the family cabin. Plans for the rest of the year involve the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium (an hour away- love it) and possibly New Orleans for New Years. Hope you guys have some awesome trips with your little camper!

    Reply to Michelle Leigh's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on June 22, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Though I am intrigued and can’t wait to see the details, I will never, ever show this to my husband. Because then he would want to build one, but he’s not as skilled and careful a carpenter as your husband and I would end up careening around the country in some slapped-together collection of old plywood and two-by-fours his friend gave him from the barn. With a toddler.

    I get hives at the thought.

    Yours, however, looks perfect. Carry on, Mr. Chiots!

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  5. Grace on June 22, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Oh, lovely! Now I want one . . . or a gypsy caravan:) Can’t wait to see the finished project.
    No big summer vacation plans, but looking forward to a hiking tour of the Fundy National Park in August.

    Reply to Grace's comment

  6. Kathi on June 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Wow, that looks awesome so far. My husband would love that too. He was going to build me a wooden kayak as a winter project, but then we decided against it because he was afraid it woiuld get sctatched when I use it (of course it would). So we bought one instead. Don’t know how you find the time to do everything you do.Enjoy the camper. Can’t wait to see the blog about it . Will share it with my husband.

    Reply to Kathi's comment

  7. Nancy Settel on June 22, 2011 at 8:15 am

    oh this is just amazing. Both of you never disappoint when I need an idea or a pick me up of ideas. Most of my best gardening ideas an suggestions come from you and such great recipes to boot. Keep em coming. nancy

    Reply to Nancy Settel's comment

  8. Melissa on June 22, 2011 at 8:18 am

    That looks awesome! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  9. Chicago Mike on June 22, 2011 at 8:23 am

    That ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

  10. Allison on June 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Wow – very impressive and neat!!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  11. SixBalloons on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Beautiful workmanship! We are going on a road trip to Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada in July… very excited!

    Reply to SixBalloons's comment

  12. Greg on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Looks fantastic! Great work, Brian! (And Susy?) Will be a fun part of your travels when you get to stay in something you’ve built! I like the optical illusion, too… Looks bigger than it really is! :-)

    Reply to Greg's comment

  13. warren on June 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

    What sorts of stuff do you have to consider regarding licensing an owner-built trailer? This looks awesome but I wonder if you need lots of inspections, etc

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on June 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      It depends on the state you live in. Here in Ohio it’s actually quite easy, get it weighed and they give you a license for a home build trailer. Probably why you see so many homemade trailers in Ohio.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Joshua Bardwell on June 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Are the sides made from a single sheet of plywood? Where did you find one so big?!

    Reply to Joshua Bardwell's comment

    • Susy on June 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      It is one sheet of plywood. The wide-angle lens I used to take the photo makes it look bigger than it is. It’s one regular 4×8 sheet of plywood. The camper is only 4×8 in footprint and the sides are each cut from a regular sheet of plywood.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. MAYBELLINE on June 22, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Whoa. No travel plans. I’m a homebody.
    Mr. Chiot has talent. Great job!

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  16. Lee on June 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Wow, I’m impressed..

    Reply to Lee's comment

  17. Beegirl on June 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Looks great! I’d love a teardrop too, but don’t think I could tackle building one. Would love to read more about it..plans you chose, size, weight, etc. Will you customize it to match your Mini? A silver “vacation in a can” with orange fenders would be my “dream camper”
    : )
    Good luck and keep posting! Love it!

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

    • Susy on June 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      It will be skinned with aluminum, so it will be silver. We’re using the original plans from the 1940’s “Kit” plan. It’s actually pretty easy to build so far.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Mistresseve on June 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    All I can say is WOW! I am endlessly impressed (and inspired) by you and your husband’s ability to find the time and motivation to do all that you do, let alone daily blogging and taking all of those beautiful photos of your hard work. Thank you for sharing so much of your amazing life with us.

    Reply to Mistresseve's comment

  19. Michele on June 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    That is so cool! The adventures you both will have….just awesome. Travel plans…just pack walks/hiking when we can get away.

    Reply to Michele's comment

  20. Tammey on June 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    How in the world do you two get SO much done…and have time to tell all of us about it!! I look forward to your adventures every day here on your blog

    Reply to Tammey's comment

    • Susy on June 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      Needless to say we don’t spend much time watching TV or sitting around relaxing!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  21. Cynthia on June 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    That is very cool. My husband and son are trying to build one of these too. We also have a 1946 model teardrop that we’ve been pulling behind our ’57 Chevy station wagon for years. We would love to see a blog documenting the process. When you finish your camper, check out the national teardrop campout held every two years in Nebraska. Our family has been to the campout a few times and teardrops show up from everywhere.

    Reply to Cynthia's comment

    • Susy on June 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      We’re building our camper using the original plans – we actually were able to find and buy an original 1947 frame to build our camper on. We drove all the way out to Indiana to buy it! I’ll have to check out that group!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  22. KimH on June 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Very cute!! Great idea for “someday” when Im an old lady traveling the road.. ;)

    Im traveling to North Texas week after next for a week.. and may go to South Texas in Oct/Nov.. I’ll take several day trips to Western NY thru the summer too.
    I’ve been wanting to go to Monticello for my whole life and may decide to take a week and go this summer sometime, but havent made any firm decisions. Or I may wait for next year. Soon though.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  23. alison@thisbloominglife on June 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Wow. I’m dreaming of summer having just been through the winter solstice here in Oz. We have a 1950s caravan very similar in shape that we take camping. It’s a LOT heavier than yours will be so we need to careful where we go, no big hills!

    Reply to alison@thisbloominglife's comment

    • Susy on June 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Yes, we’re trying to build this as light as possible since we only own two small cars for towing. Looks like we’ll be accomplishing our goal – should be interested to see how much it weighs when we’re finished. We’re planning on heading through the Rockies!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  24. kellie on June 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    That looks great suzy, You and brian have done a fabulous job. Would love to see the plans, though I don’t know if you are allowed to make your own trailers here in Aus. Will have to do some research I think. James would love this project.

    Reply to kellie's comment

  25. Candie on June 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    This is so cool were did you get the plans? My hubby would LOVE this!

    Reply to Candie's comment

  26. Jennifer Fisk on June 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I saw a trailer at Seawall Acadia National Park yesterday that looked just like this. You will have lots of fun with this.
    I will make a two day foray to Eagle Lake Maine to a friends camp and perhaps Cobscook State Park with my tent. There is so much beauty and opportunities on MDI, there really is no reason to go elsewhere.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  27. igardendaily on June 26, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Wow! What ambition! That is amazing you are building your own and it looks as if it is going to be a masterpiece! So meticulously crafted… We have a pop-up tent trailer (Fleetwood) that we take on a long camp trip(s) every year. It is fun at the campgrounds to see all the camping options people use. I’ve seen many teardrop style campers but didn’t know you could make them yourself from a kit.

    We just finished two weeks camping at three national parks. They were all naturally awesome…Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon. Where are you going with yours when it is finished?

    Reply to igardendaily's comment

  28. angie h on June 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Please do the detailed how-to post on this!! I’m drooling!

    Have you and Mr. Chiot’s ever looked at Ana White’s Knock Off Wood blog?

    She posts detailed, Google Sketch-up plans for all kinds of furniture, cabinetry, green houses, you name it! And they are all free plans. Her husband and her are building from scratch a “momplex” for their moms in Alaska. Many of the furniture plans are imitations of Pottery Barn and other expensive furniture places. She is another one of my favorite bloggers :)

    Reply to angie h's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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