Posts tagged teardrop trailer

July 30-August 1, 2010: Whitewater State Park, Liberty, Indiana

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Campout for the Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers summer rally.

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

October & November 2009: More camping!

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Wow…what an autumn this has been! As the official start of winter bears down upon us (but with weather that is saying winter is here NOW), I decided to relate our continued camping adventures in our new T@B trailer.

We had so much fun during our first trip at Summit Lake State Park, with other TABbers (despite the very chilly weekend), we immediately decided that if the weather was nice the following weekend, we would again go camping. Well, we did; again…and again…and again…and again! We managed to squeeze in 5 camping weekends since October 16th, only missing Halloween weekend (we were warned that camping the weekend closest to Halloween is not advisable for “normal” people as the loonies come out in full force, no offense to any loonies reading this). I also had an unexpected minor but urgent medical condition necessitating surgery, which kept me homebound for two extremely unseasonal and VERY gorgeous weekends. Needless to say, during that time I was a very unhappy (not) camper. I’m not sure how many times I grumbled and whined about my situation…kudos to Pat for his patience. Love you!

But for the five weekends we did camp, they were also gorgeous and we were blessed to have that weather for so long (the two notwithstanding). Here’s a short synopsis of the highlights of each weekend, and some photos from each.

October 23-25, 2009: Versailles State Park, Versailles, Indiana

We only had plans for the previous weekend, to join the other TAB owners at Summit Lake. Having no prior camping experience whatsoever, we faced the daunting task (well, daunting to us) of finding a place to camp. Private, public, electric, water, distance to bathhouse, level or sloped pad, gravel or asphalt pad, pull-through or back in…all decisions we noobs needed to face. Then, there’s availability! Far less of an issue than at peak season, but with the nice weather, it was a consideration.

After speaking to two coworkers who would be at Versailles State Park that weekend, we decided to try that. We found available sites in the same campground and made our reservation. The Indiana State Parks reservation system requires a two-night minium stay, so we decided to leave a little early Friday and stay through Sunday.

When we arrived, we decided to unhitch and push the TAB into the site, so as to avoid the typical “everybody in the campground staring at you to see if you can back your rig” ritual. Take that, kids! Yes, the TAB is so lightweight and with the four corner handles and jockey wheel, two people (even one!!), can easily maneuver the TAB into a camping spot. The plastic jockey wheel we have makes grass or gravel a little more challenging, but fellow TAB owner Alan has kindly counseled us that replacing the hard plastic wheel with a pneumatic one will help with that.

Once we dropped the stabilizers and got generally situated, we ventured to one of the park’s shelters, where my coworkers and their friends were gathered for their annual chili cookoff, to which they invited us. With an array of fine chili to select, I chose one of my new found enjoyable regional delights, 3-way Cincinnati chili with spaghetti, cheese and onions. Yummm. After a while of conversation, we headed back to our campsite, and soon enough, time to get some shuteye.

The next day my workers brought by some of their family and friends to see the TAB…how many of them said how suprisingly roomy inside it really is. A recurrent theme with the TAB, as we’re learning. After they left, Pat and I decided to head out for a while. We took a ride to nearby Madison, Indiana, home to the wonderful Madison Fudge Factory and, as readers of my site may know (not that I have many regular readers LOL), that Madison was also the primary filming location for the 1950′s movie “Some Came Running,” starring two of my favorite performers, the great Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. After procuring some decadent fudge and checking out the local municipal campground by the Ohio River, we headed back to Versailles SP.

I used our new Safari Chef grill to make some chicken fried rice (probably a joke compared to the real thing, but it tasted good to me!).

On Sunday, we had breakfast, then I got some veggie chili going for lunch (using the exceptional Bob Waldmire Route 66 Cozy Chili seasoning). We went for a walk along one of the trails and by the time we came back, lunch was all ready. After filling ourselves with chili, we packed up and headed for home…until next time!

Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

November 14-15, 2009: Little Farm on the River, Rising Sun, Indiana

Starting to feel better, recovering from unwelcome, unexpected surgery, I felt well enough to go camping. After all, it’s not exactly a rough-amd-tumble experience, like hiking 3 miles into the wilderness with 100 lbs of camping equipment strapped to your back and having to set up and breakdown camp, forage for food, etc.  LOL  Just throw some food in the fridge, some games, books, whatever…and go. Simple!

This weekend’s quest for a campground led us to a private campground. Now that we are into November, we are VERY off-season. Many seasonal campgrounds are now closed, or else have no facilities available. So, we found a private campground that is open all year, and has bathroom facilities available. We do have a porta-potty with the TAB, but haven’t used it yet. Little Farm on the River is in Rising Sun, Indiana, right along the Ohio River. That is one part of the campground is, the other portion is about 1/2 mile back from the river.  The person Pat spoke with said there would be no problems with availability now, and we needn’t worry about checkin or checkout times.

We took a nice, winding route down to Rising Sun and checked in. They have a nice camp store available, though at this time of year, their supplies are understandably low. We took advantage of their 50% discount on food to pick up a couple of candy bars! They said to pick any spot in any area we like, that there are none reserved now. The camping area away from the river where the camp store/office was seemed fairly well attended, actually. We ventured down to the riverside camping section, which was far less crowded…a few big rigs, motor home, fifth wheel and a larger trailer, but not much. We found a nice spot down by the river and again, set up the TAB with relative ease…had to use a little strength, as the pad was gravel, but Pat took most of the effort, due to my post-surgical condition.

Once we got set up, Pat built a campfire and we had dinner. Wow…dark by 6:00!! We laughed, thinking how it felt later than it was, but yet it was only 6. But between making dinner, sitting and talking by the campfire, before you know it it was 9-ish and we retreated to the TAB.

Breakfast the next morning, another campfire…warm day! We went up to the camp store to check out the merchandise they had. T-shirts, hats, etc. I bought a T-shirt and Pat bought a hat. We also spotted a small trailer parked in the campground called an iCamp. The iCamp is very similar to the TAB in many respects, but yet in other respects, very different. From what I understand (and this is only from what I readon on the Internet , so obviously, I would not say this is fact!), the iCamp is a Chinese variation of the TAB. It is evidently made with American-made parts that are shipped to China and assembled there. The final product is then shipped to the United States. I guess the Chinese labor is so inexpensive that it nullifies the shipping costs, making this an affordable trailer that the company can still generate a profit?  LOL

The exterior is similar to a TAB as far as its general look of the skin and trim. Shape is different, since the TAB has a teardrop shape and the iCamp is rounded in front and has a straight back. Not sure of the construction material, but the iCamp does have a shower and toilet. We walked over and met the owners, a couple from the area who were camping with their son (who was in his large motorhome). They just bought the iCamp that week and picked it up from Florida…and they had the first ever production model number 1! Hopefully all the kinks had been worked out prior to their purchase.  LOL  They came down to the riverside camping area to take a look at our TAB and we chatted a while.

Pat and I then had lunch, packed up and headed for home. Until next time!!

Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

 

November 21-22, 2009: Lieber State Recreation Area

Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

November 28-29, 2009: Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, Ohio

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

October 2009: Summit Lake State Park – Our first T@B camping trip!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

It’s been exactly a month since we picked up our T@B from Tiara RV. We “camped out” (i.e., slept in and watched a DVD the first night we brought it home). We hadn’t had a chance to really camp in it, since we needed to get a tow vehicle first. Every other weekend I have been busy “fall cleaning” the house. To our delight, several members of the T@B / T@DA Yahoo Group were getting together this weekend. We definitely wanted to go and were excited about it. We made reservations at the campground and toward the end of this week, started getting more items, packing, etc.

We took Friday off, and in the morning we registered the T@B with the BMV. Of course, they have a new computer system, basically a “blank slate” and T@B was not in their new system. It took a few calls to the main BMV department but they got us added to their system and registered. *whew* We made a few last stops for needed items, then went home to pack.

Since this is our first trip, we sort of were “winging it.” Hopefully we had everything we needed, but it was also a learning experience on our part to see if we brought too much, forgot anything, etc. I’ll be writing up a complete checklist for us to work from, but I was too busy for now…

We arrived around 5:30 or so and was quickly greeted by Alan, followed by his wife Carie, then Tom & Ella. Alan immediately gave us advice and tips on our T@B – VERY much appreciated!!! We are clueless, after all!  LOL

Tom, the Archwing canopy expert, helped us put it up – big thanks there too. It was our intent to practice putting it up at home, but Pat got sick last weekend, which put the kibosh on those plans.

Next, Julia showed up with her white & yellow T@B.

It was cold and drizzling, but we hung out by the campfire for a while. My allergies and lungs held up very well, thanks to my new allergy medications! Pat and I went back to the T@B to watch a movie and head to bed, but didn’t watch much of the movie after all…

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I woke up around 6:00 and went to the nearby facilities. It was very dark and cold, but the weather cleared up and the sky was beautiful with a billion stars! Once we were more awake and coherent, I made breakfast (eggs and turkey sausage), then made some apple crisp for the potluck supper that afternoon. Ella gave us some Amish Friendship bread…it was awesome! Thanks to Ella for that. mmmmm..

Pat and I went for a walk around the nature trail and found a geocache in the park. Here are two photos from along the nature trail:

Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

We came back to our campsite and Pat put together the new grill we bought, a Safari Chef. It’s a regular grill, nonstick grill, griddle, a wok, or a stove to boil water. The wok is also a cover. Pretty nifty! I made some grilled vegetables, in addition to the apples.

I also played around with our Route 66 throw, draping it over the back of the dinette. We also brought our Route 66 napkin holder, sugar and salt & pepper shakers.

 T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

We had a very nice get-together…dinner was great! We hung around the campfire for a while, then Pat and I went back to the T@B and played a few games of Yahtzee. We were pretty tired, then went to sleep.

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It was late when we woke up today, about 8:10. We didn’t want to miss saying goodbye to anyone, so we cleaned up the trailer and ourselves, and had a quick breakfast. Tom and Ella left early, as Tom wasn’t feeling well. We talked to Alan & Carie for a while, then said our goodbyes to them and Julia. Pat and I were going to stick around for a while, go for another walk and take some photos, then have lunch. First, a photo of our campsite:

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana
So, we walked around the campground trail, but probably took an incorrect fork and ended up walking longer than .9 miles!  LOL It was really comfortable out. Today was the warmest and most beautiful day…very sunny and a few clouds. Just perfect!
Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

We were among the last in the campground to leave, there were only 3 others remaining. It was time for us to break down our campsite, pack up and head home (we didn’t want to!)….but this is only the first of many fun outings for us!

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

Below is a slideshow of all photos from today.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

Our new T@B Trailer

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For several years, Pat and I talked about getting a teardrop trailer/camper. We had seen the traditional teardrop style, and thought it was cute. A traditional teardrop trailer is small, and the inside is just a bed (can’t stand up in it). The back hatch opens up to a galley kitchen. Some are very basic, whereas others are more elaborate, with air conditioning, a refrigerator, sink, cable TV…the sky’s the limit on customizing these. Here is one made by a company called Cozy Cruiser:

We looked into them several years ago, but at the time, weren’t ready to purchase. So we kept taking our road trips and staying in motels as usual. This past weekend, we attended the 2009 Missouri Route 66 Association’s Annual Motor Tour. There was a couple on the tour, traveling with a teardrop trailer, decked out in a Route 66-theme. How cool!

Route 66-themed teardrop trailer

Not only cool, but for sale too. We were very interested in it, and thought we might catch up with the owners again and talk about it.

During the tour, one of the passport stops was at a town festival in Strafford, Missouri. There was an RV display with a full-size RV, a camper, and a teardrop-esque trailer, called T@B.

While not a “traditional” teardrop, T@Bs have the same general shape of a teardrop, but taller and longer. It’s exterior dimensions are: height -  7′ 9″, length – 15′ 6″, width – 6′ 7″. It’s interior height is 5′ 9″. This particular model has a toilet compartment inside. Other features common to all T@Bs are a dinette which converts to a bed, interior kitchen with stovetop and sink, and cabinets. Options include fridge, flip-down TV/DVD, air conditioning / heater, porta-potty, awning, screenroom, and more.

Here is the dinette area:

And the kitchen area:

Another passport stop was at a Route 66 RV park / motel, and we talked to the owner for a while. He highly recommended Scamp or Casita. Both fine trailers, but we preferred the teardrop style. The T@B combined the best of both worlds: teardrop shape, but bigger inside, with a kitchen and seating area. On our ride home, I was searching the internet on my smartphone for trailers, but that was challenging!

When we got home Sunday, we started searching…continued Monday night…Tuesday, I found a Yahoo Group for T@B owners. I joined, and started asking questions. Pat found out that Dutchmen was discontinuing manufacture of the T@B, but the enthusiastic and friendly members assured us that purchasing a T@B was a good idea and we would have loads of fun in it. The members are also very knowledgeable and an amazing resource for all aspects of owning a T@B. Pat and I talked alot, asking ourselves if we wanted a traditional teardrop, would we really be comfortable inside it? If it rained as we had to cook in the open galley in back? Not that there’s anything wrong with them…they’re still cute, but the lure of the T@B keep pulling us back.

So, we finally forged ahead with wanting a T@B, searching new vs. used. We made a few contacts through Craig’s List, but they were very far away. We ended up finding a dealer with new 2010 T@B models, right here in Indiana! Their prices for new were very reasonable, far below what we had seen elsewhere on the internet for new models from dealers.

By Wednesday, Pat and I were so enthralled, and seeing the price for the new T@B, decided to plunge headfirst. We’d been corresponding with Deb at Tiara RV, and so once Pat and I made a definite decision, I called Deb, and the deal was in motion.

Here is the one we selected:

We made an appointment to pick it up Saturday. Now, here it is, Saturday morning, and we’re getting ready to head out. I slept well last night, but I guess I was so excited, I woke up at 4:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep!

So, I’ll post more of my own photos later when we get home with our new baby!!

Here she is!!

This cool motel sign was in front of the RV dealer. We pulled up with our red T@B and the dealer had a yellow model on display out front. How well they coordinate with the sign!

T@B - TQ Teardrop Trailer

Here’s the kitchen area…

T@B - TQ Teardrop Trailer

And the dinette, which folds down to become a queen-sized bed.

T@B - TQ Teardrop Trailer

Stay tuned for our travels with our “Cherry Bomb.”

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