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The History of the Iconic Teardrop Camper

Camper Life

The origins of the teardrop camper date back to the 1930s, during the Great Depression. People needed economical ways to relocate themselves in search of employment while also living on the go. Enter the teardrop camper. 

Teardrop camper classic article

In 1936, the publication, Mechanics and Handicrafts published an article titled, “Building a Teardrop Sleeper Trailer for $50.00”. This is the first known relic of the teardrop. The only thing that this article was missing was the name of the man or woman that pioneered the concept of the teardrop camper. What was, however, included in this piece were step-by-step directions on how to build your own teardrop. This article spurred a plethora of ambitious individuals to build their own and thus the design gained traction and popularity.

When the Second World War began, the teardrop camper’s popularity was interrupted. The war was at the forefront of almost every American’s mind, thus ending the teardrop craze for the time being. But this was not the end for the teardrop… 

Fast forward to post-World War II, when the American economy was booming and American income was on the rise. America had not forgotten about the teardrop camper. Spending time with family and friends was now at the center of Americans’ minds. The highway system was on its way to making travel quicker and easier. Since the teardrop was so small and light, the typical family vehicle could haul it. 

During this post-war period, they often constructed teardrops using overflow materials from the war. Materials like old Jeep wheels and aluminum from fighter planes were used to assemble the small, lightweight campers. As teardrops became increasingly more popular, Kit Manufacturing Co took the initiative to start mass producing them. They would create a kit that consumers would buy to assemble their teardrop at home. The kits were exactly what consumers wanted and because of that, they sold mass amounts of teardrops from then through the 40s and early 50s. 

Towards the late 50s and early 60s, the popularity of the teardrop diminished. People began wanting more nuanced styles of camping. They wanted something bigger because of the advancements made in the automotive industry. With more powerful vehicles and gas still being cheap, people wanted a larger camper to tow. 

For years after this, the teardrop camper had gone forgotten about. But, since the rise of the internet, it has resurrected teardrop campers. Showing up on the local marketplace listings and internet websites has brought the concept back into the minds of the present generation. 

Today, there are manufacturers making teardrop campers that are ready to go right out of the warehouse. Some have gotten to be more luxurious, while others have remained spartan. 

To see the best teardrop camper on the market today, check out the luxurious Ultimate Camper!