DIY Trailer Plans
5 Steps To Choosing The Best Teardrop Camp Trailer Plans
I am often asked “what is the best kind of teardrop trailer to get”, and I always answer "the kind you build yourself". There are so many advantages to building your own teardrop trailer, starting with the cost. With the right set of plans you really can save yourself hundreds of dollars by building your own teardrop trailer. And when you build your own teardrop trailer, you can customize it to fit your style and needs. But when you purchase a set of plans, make sure you know what you’re getting before you buy, because you can really get scammed or worse. For example there are a lot of guys out there that are selling out dated, incomplete, hard to read, difficult to understand and even down right unsafe teardrop plans. For that reason we decided to give you some tips on a few things to look for and a few things to look out for when you are looking to buy your teardrop trailer plans to try to help you avoid wasting your money or building a trailer that is unsafe.
Completely read the description for the set of plans you are thinking about purchasing. I know it sounds a little silly, but you would be amazed at how many people will read a line or two and make a purchase without even reading all of the information in the description on the sellers page. You want to look for a couple things here, how long or how much information is in the description. If a person or a company has actually built the teardrop trailer and made the plans for you to build one yourself, they will be pretty knowledgeable on the subject and that will reflect in the description for the plans. If the description contains very little information, I would avoid buying your plans from that seller.
You can read the description for our teardrop trailer plans here.
Look for information in the description that describe exactly what the plans are? For example, are the plans just a blueprint or does it include the step by step building instructions? This is important because unless you are an engineer and you are capable of looking at a set of blueprints and building from the blueprints alone, (which most folks can not) then you need to make sure that the plans include the step by step building instructions for building the teardrop.
All of our teardrop trailer plans include the complete step by step instructions from start to finish, so they don’t leave you wondering what you are supposed to do next.
Another thing you want to look for in the description is information about the trailer frame to be used. If you intend to use one of the little bolt together trailers for your frame, you want to know if the plans will work with one of those trailers. Or if you would rather build your own trailer frame, then you need to know if the plans you are looking at include the plans for building the trailer frame? If not, can you purchase them separately? Or are you on your own?
Our teardrop trailer plans were designed to be built on one of the little bolt together trailers as its frame. But we now also include a free set of plans for building your frame as well in case you prefer to build your own.
You should also look to see if the description tells you how many pages the plans contain. If the plans you are looking at contain detailed step by step instructions from start to finish, they will have to contain at least 40 or more pages. And 40 pages is on the low side because the plans should include images and/or sketches to go with each step of the building process, and they need to be large enough for you to view clearly and that makes for larger files. So I am saying 40 pages being on the very low end. If a seller does not even list the number of pages that are contained in the plans, this would throw up a red flag for me. But if you are still interested in the plans, be sure you ask how many pages their plans contain. And I can just about guarantee you that if the plans only contain somewhere around thirty pages or less, there is going to be more then one step of the building process that you will be left scratching your head not knowing exactly how you are to complete that step.
Our 5x8 and 5x10 teardrop trailer plans contain over 65 pages each.
How much do the plans cost? Simply looking at the price of the plans can often tell you a lot. A good set of teardrop trailer plans will run you anywhere from $17 to $50. If I see a set of teardrop plans selling for $9.99, that would immediately throw up a huge red flag for me. In fact I wouldn’t even read the description once I seen that price, but that’s because I happen to know what is involved and the weeks of time it takes to just create a good set of teardrop camp trailer plans, and then the weeks after that it takes in editing and proof reading and revising before you could even think about sending them for a copyright or selling them. So if someone is selling teardrop plans for $9.99, I know that person has not put out the money it costs to build one in the first place, let alone spent weeks on them to make them something you will actually understand from start to finish.
For the pdf copies of our teardrop plans that are available for instant download, our 5x8 teardrop plans are $17.95 and our 5x10 teardrop plans are $18.95.
For the Hard Copies of our teardrop trailer plans which are 8.5” x 11” and printed on high quality heavy weight 28lb paper of over 65 pages each and include a free back up cd-r with your teardrop plans, trailer frame plans and several useful bonus files and shipped priority mail, the price is $35.99 each for our 5x8 or our 5x10 teardrop plans and that includes $3.00 for shipping and handleing.
To see the description for our teardrop trailer plans click here.
Safety Tips for Driving with a Trailer
Here are some basic safety tips for driving with a trailer from the U.S. Department Of Transportation.
Take time to practice before driving on main roads and never allow anyone to ride in or on the trailer. Before you leave, remember to check routes and restrictions on bridges and tunnels. Consider the following safety tips each time you drive with a trailer.
Use the driving gear that the manufacturer recommends for towing.
Drive at moderate speeds. This will place less strain on your tow vehicle and trailer. Trailer instability (sway) is more likely to occur as speed increases.
Avoid sudden stops and starts that can cause skidding, sliding, or jackknifing.
Avoid sudden steering maneuvers that might create sway or undue side force on the trailer.
Slow down when traveling over bumpy roads, railroad crossings, and ditches.
Make wider turns at curves and corners. Because your trailer's wheels are closer to the inside of a turn than the wheels of your tow vehicle, they are more likely to hit or ride up over curbs.
To control swaying caused by air pressure changes and wind buffeting when larger vehicles pass from either direction, release the accelerator pedal to slow down and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.
Allow considerably more distance for stopping.
If you have an electric trailer brake controller and excessive sway occurs, activate the trailer brake controller by hand. Do not attempt to control trailer sway by applying the tow vehicle brakes; this will generally make the sway worse.
Always anticipate the need to slow down. To reduce speed, shift to a lower gear and press the brakes lightly.
Acceleration and Passing
When passing a slower vehicle or changing lanes, signal well in advance and make sure you allow extra distance to clear the vehicle before you pull back into the lane.
Pass on level terrain with plenty of clearance. Avoid passing on steep upgrades or downgrades.
If necessary, downshift for improved acceleration or speed maintenance.
When passing on narrow roads, be careful not to go onto a soft shoulder. This could cause your trailer to jackknife or go out of control.
Downgrades and Upgrades
Downshift to assist with braking on downgrades and to add power for climbing hills.
On long downgrades, apply brakes at intervals to keep speed in check. Never leave brakes on for extended periods of time or they may overheat.
Some tow vehicles have specifically calibrated transmission tow-modes. Be sure to use the tow-mode recommended by the manufacturer.
Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. To turn left, move your hand left. To turn right, move your hand right. Back up slowly. Because mirrors cannot provide all of the visibility you may need when backing up, have someone outside at the rear of the trailer to guide you, whenever possible.
Use slight movements of the steering wheel to adjust direction. Exaggerated movements will cause greater movement of the trailer. If you have difficulty, pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start again.
Try to avoid parking on grades. If possible, have someone outside to guide you as you park. Once stopped, but before shifting into Park, have someone place blocks on the downhill side of the trailer wheels. Apply the parking brake, shift into Park, and then remove your foot from the brake pedal. Following this parking sequence is important to make sure your vehicle does not become locked in Park because of extra load on the transmission. For manual transmissions, apply the parking brake and then turn the vehicle off in either first or reverse gear.
When uncoupling a trailer, place blocks at the front and rear of the trailer tires to ensure that the trailer does not roll away when the coupling is released.
An unbalanced load may cause the tongue to suddenly rotate upward; therefore, before un-coupling, place jack stands under the rear of the trailer to prevent injury.