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This is going to be a short, to the point, blunt diary as this consumer product is at the very top of my pet peeve list.  

Did I forget anything?  Don't leave home without it!
There is no more perfect an example of ass-backward super-consumerism than the American recreational vehicle better known as the RV. Averaging roughly 4-18 miles per gallon these behemoths of the road cater to the super-consuming spoiled tourist encouraged to exist and actually admired in this country.

You see them every day of the summer on our nation's freeways and highways. The mobile home on wheels with the car or truck and dirt bikes in tow.  It is the “don’t leave home without it” ideal summer vacation aspired to in the good old USA!

The recreational vehicle industry symbolize everything wrong with the United States of America's energy policy.
There have been some vain attempts in the industry to make these gas guzzlers a little more efficient but not nearly enough in my opinion.

Follow below the orange hairpiece for that scoop.

In 2008 Freightliner introduced the first ever fuel/electric hybrid motorhome chasses at the RVDA trade show in Louisville called the "EcoFred".  Informal tests have shown fuel mileage gains in the range of 7-19% vs diesel only and perhaps as much as 42% vs a gas engine coach.  

During the summer of 2009,Brad and Amy Herzog, spokespeople for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA, used a Winnebago motorhome equipped with a eco-Fred chassis.

He had this to say about the concept vehicle:

"I'm thrilled to be driving this concept hybrid RV from Winnebago Industries," said Herzog. "There are many ways in which RVing teaches Earth-friendly lessons -- just by doing things like visiting natural wonders, shopping at farmers' markets and reducing consumption and home energy use. But the Adventurer hybrid is an exciting step forward in the industry's green initiatives. I've always reduced the RV vacation advantage to four Fs -- fun, family, flexibility and financial savings. But now I can add a fifth -- facing the future."
Now that quote is one of the best examples of cogniitive dissonance I've ever encountered.  Not sure what future he's facing or what drugs he's been taking to be able to see that future but it looks nothing like the one I'm seeing. Just makes me want to say Holy Shit!

This is the end of the road for this diary.  I wish it was the end of the road for RV's instead.  

The Church of the Holy Shitters will post articles on our holy S.H.I.T. day ( So Happy It's Thursday)  

Last week: 7/10/14 - Don't Piss Off Piss!

Next week: 7/24/14 - Ecotourism - Zip It!

Hoping to add some humor, provoke thought, spark debate,  deepen understanding, and shed some light on the fecal side.  

Remember:  "If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit." ( Shitbit by Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters)
Church of the Holy Shitters
A secular environmental religion, scientifically based, with a focus on the psychology of it all. Our ego is the culprit when it comes to dealing with climate change. We cannot save the planet. We can only save ourselves. Our current egotistical self-perception makes that prospect a dubious one at best. Meekness, humility and a realization that our shit does stink, guides us on our path to true sustainable living and climate equilibrium.

Cross posted at

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:22:03 AM PDT

  •  18mpg? (24+ / 0-)

    Isn't that better than some pickups?

    Also, I have more sympathy for some RVers than you do.  Apparently many retired people who can't afford to keep their houses have turned to using RVs as their full-time homes and national campgrounds as their parking spots.

    They may not be efficient vehicles, but they're sure better than homelessness for the elderly.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:35:50 AM PDT

    •  bingo. portable apartment. (9+ / 0-)

      The latest in "affordable housing."

      They sit where they can for as long as they can, and only move when they have to.  

      MPG is not as significant an issue as TFC, total fuel consumption.  How much gas per month.  A guzzler that doesn't move around much has a lower ecological impact than a hybrid that does a lot of miles per month.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:48:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many of them volunteer to be hosts at campgrounds (9+ / 0-)

      that would otherwise be closed to visitors because Congress has cut Interior and Forest Service budgets for recreation.

      They check in visitors, maintain and clean restrooms including no-flush vault toilets, sell firewood for extra income for that park (because "burn it where you buy it" is helping reduce the spread of bark beetle and other pests), clean out fire rings, serve as interpretative rangers in that they give directions, offer information about local facilities, help redirect young children back to their campsites, help find lost dogs, make sure that resources (like water) aren't being wasted (calling for repair crews if there are leaks).

      All for the cost of "free" use of a campsite over the summer, except they have to pay for their own propane and obviously all their own supplies.  

      That's how many senior citizens spend their "retirements" moving between summer and winter locations.

      In the old day, park rangers and staff performed all these tasks. But these positions have been cut in all but the most heavily trafficked NPS locations like Yosemite and Yellowstone.  

      So yeah, those folks in RVs are keeping America's public lands open for Americans to enjoy.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good for them. (6+ / 0-)

        Bad for us, though.  

        Not because they're not doing a good job, but because a job like that should be a job, not a "volunteer" effort that gets you a place to park your carcasses.

        © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:20:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree. It should. (6+ / 0-)

          But the actual alternative is that they would close the campgrounds; or only have them open a few days a week.

          State of California did exactly that when it decided that there wasn't enough money for parks.

          Republicans don't really care if there are campgrounds open for middle and working class families to escape to. If they're not used, then it's a good reason to sell that land to private campground owners, or better yet, condo developers.

          So, it's better for us that they're open and limping along with volunteers than that they're closed. Once we get -- and keep -- control of Congress long enough to rehab the tax system and restore funding, we can reinstate those jobs.

          © grover

          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:36:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  *nods* Good points. (5+ / 0-)

            And I didn't mean to say they shouldn't be doing it, just that it was a bad thing we were running things that way.

            Re: your .sig: it's a nice idea, but if it were my last day on earth, I would never, ever do laundry.  But one can't live like that.  Quandary.  ;)

            © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

            by cai on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:49:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd wash laundry. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cai, John Crapper

              But not fold it. I hate hate hate folding laundry.

              But I don't want to leave my soiled clothes for my loved ones to deal with. I'd be, " hold on Death. Let me just toss this load in!"

              © grover

              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:44:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (6+ / 0-)
          The National Park Service, which has long struggled with underfunding, has been crippled by compounded budget cuts over recent years. This pattern threatens the long-term protection of our national treasures and the countless local economies that depend on American and international visitors having a safe and inspiring experience. This year, the fiscal year 2014 federal budget brought some relief from the damaging cuts, but it has been insufficient to bring parks back to where they were, and where they need to be—especially in advance of the 2016 Centennial.

          The budget to operate national parks has been cut nearly eight percent, or nearly $190 million in today’s dollars, compared to just four years ago; national parks also suffer from an annual operations shortfall of more than a half-billion dollars. Recent cuts have forced national park superintendents to delay the opening of parks or park roads; close visitor centers, picnic areas, and campgrounds; decrease the number of rangers to protect and maintain parks; and limit the number of educational programs. .

          © grover

          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:40:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's my retirement plan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, John Crapper, daysey

      I doubt I'll ever be a homeowner, and that's okay.

      But I do hope to own an RV someday and live out my remaining years vagabond-style.   If I'm really lucky I'll find a nice out-of-the-way campground and get a job as "host" for part of the year.

  •  Don't Own One But Our RV Policy is Take Plane or (11+ / 0-)

    family car near to destination, then rent an RV there to serve as short distance mobile tent, then come home.

    Best of 2 worlds.

    Yeah the mileage is horrific. We rented one once for a full trip, never made that mistake again.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:36:59 AM PDT

    •  I priced renting an RV one time (10+ / 0-)

      and was shocked to discover that we could stay in a very nice hotel for less money per night.  A lot less, as in enough to pay for meals in restaurants, too.

      •  That's the same conclusion I've reached (8+ / 0-)

        too.  They really don't pencil out.  

        If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

        by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:24:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Buying one is an even worse deal (7+ / 0-)

          Some of those behemoths cost more than buying a nice house! And unlike houses, they never appreciate but only depreciate.

          •  Every house -- the actual structure -- (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            John Crapper, daysey, rebel ga, G2geek


            If you do good (not just minimal) upkeep and upgrades, then it won't, not as quickly.

            But there is a reason when you buy insurance on your home, you buy (or at least, you SHOULD buy)  Replacement Cost Coverage. That's because your 30 year home is about 1/3-1/2 way through its useful life (unless, as I said, there have been substantial updates and upkeep).

            A home that's over 70-90 years old with no updates? Technically, that's about lived out its useful life.

            Now, what does often appreciate is the land that the house sits on. But as we've seen in recent years, that's not always the case. Land can depreciate too.

            Yes, RVs depreciate. They're vehicles and the movement causes wear all its own. So they tend to depreciate faster if not given extraordinary care and maintenance.

            But it's a myth that residential homes don't.  And it's kind of a dangerous myth at that. It's part of the reason that many people end up being grossly under-insured.

            © grover

            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:37:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think what you wrote is more true (0+ / 0-)

              for modern construction than it is for homes that were built in the good old days. Our home was built in 1950 and is still in wonderful shape. We've just updated the bathrooms, but other than that have done nothing major since we bought it 30 years ago...other than replace the roof and minor things like carpeting. The AC is still going strong even though it was several years old when we bought the house.

              My parents' home is even older. It was built in the 1920's. They have not done any major remodeling to it, either. In no sense is that structure near the end of its useful life.

              As far as I know, there are no 50 year old RVs still rolling around, much less ones near 100 years old.

              They don't make things like they used to!

  •  They are great to draft behind . (5+ / 0-)

    They are awful to park , not many parking spots big enough .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:50:30 AM PDT

  •  As the old sayig goes (7+ / 0-)

    Whatever floats your boat.

    I have a travel trailer.  I don't haul it around all over the place but I do use it for recreation once in a while and when I do I pay for it in greatly decreased gas mileage.  In any event, my minor extra consumption is far less than gets wasted by "big" players and users on a daily basis.  If you don't like them, think they are wasteful, or whatever, fine don't own one but don't presume that I will tolerate or accept you telling anyone else that they can't.

    It's kind of like on of my pet peeves: the govt telling me I can't buy incandescent light bulbs.  I want a plain old 50 cent 100 watt bulb for my garage lights.  It gets used a total of a couple hours out of a year but because some dogooder decide to mandate "efficiency" I can't go into a store an buy them.  Instead I am told I have to buy some $20 LED bulb that will save me a total of 25 cents in electricity over my entire lifetime.  Compare that "savings" to the millions of megawatts that industrial customers WASTE on a daily basis.  It's absolute bullshit.  The difference is that THOSE customers actually have congressional representation and the people don't.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:07:14 PM PDT

    •  I didn't say that now would I ever. I actually (6+ / 0-)

      owned a camping trailer for a while and used the hell out of it.  It was basically a tent that was over a trailer.  Didn't even have propane.  

      I still have and use incandescent bulbs where desired to.

      But to claim the RV teaches "earth friendly lessons" is way over the top.  

      Another one of my pet peeves I'm writing about next week in this vein - "ecotourism".  The tourist industry claims in this regard are absurd in many respects.  

      Buy what you want but please don't equate RV's with eco-friendly.  

      I ride on jet planes too but fully realize they are just a flying gas tank and not eco-friendly.  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:22:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gotcha. I didn't really get the eco-friendly part (3+ / 0-)

        When I read your post the first time.  I read it as a complaint about expensive gas guzzling toys.  Upon re-reading it with this in mind I see what you're saying and yes, I agree, there is a false sense of "being one with nature" that is common in RV'ers sometimes.

        t was basically a tent that was over a trailer.  Didn't even have propane.  
        Sounds like my first trailer, it was a popup, but it did have a small propane stove.  No AC which could be rough, and that was fixed with a cheap window unit sitting on the spare bed taped off with the tent flap.  Ah, the memories....

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:47:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't Get Me Started On Boats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Crapper, G2geek, CWinebrinner

      Recreational boats really are just holes in the water into which the owner can throw literally "boat-loads" of cash.  I worked with a senior colleague in MD many years ago.  He kept a boat over in Annapolis.  Every weekend over the summer he'd regale me with tales about how he was "investing" another $500 in his vessel (and that amount would represent about $4000 today).  The only time it stopped was when he had to put the boat into winter storage.  And, he had a sailing boat.  The guys who own "stinkers" with their gasoline or diesel engines get about 2 gallons to the mile, which means a 50 gallon tank of fuel good for a days outing on the water will set you back about $200 while you'll be lucky to be able to cruise across the bay and back.  My spouse has standing instructions that if I ever start seriously arguing for a boat, she's to put me down because it's "time."

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 07:23:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they have their uses (7+ / 0-)

    An aunt and uncle of mine have one of these bus-style RVs. They show (very large) dogs all over the country. They don’t trust the airlines to fly their dogs and it was always a crap shoot for them to try and find dog-friendly hotels. The RV solved all of that. Separately, one year they loaned the RV to their daughter when she started a new organic vegetable farm and there was nowhere to live anywhere near the land. They had an electrical drop installed from the power lines, parked the rig right on the edge of the field and walked to work every morning.

    Also, fuel costs aside these types of RVs are heinously expensive (well over $100K bought new) and their rate of depreciation is incredible.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:28:10 PM PDT

  •  We lived in an RV (actually two of them) for (10+ / 0-)

    twelve years - from 1982 to 1994, when it was an adventure. We would park the RV, usually at a KOA or military RV park and do all of our sightseeing in a small car. Our first RV was 10 meters long, the second 40 feet with a stackable washer/dryer.

    Being full timers, we spent seasons working as volunteers at National Parks. Also, we had the opportunity to see almost every bit of this nation. My husband spent 27 years in the Marine Corps defending this land and his one real dream in retirement was to see it.

    We did. In an RV.

    Oh oh, I hope THAT doesn't end up in someone's sig line! :) - kos

    by Susan Grigsby on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:36:45 PM PDT

    •  Congratulations on achieving your dream. (5+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your husband's service.  I'm a Vietnam Vet myself.  I was also a proud Vietnam Veteran Against the War.  I also worked in VA Hospitals for 10 + years.  

      One of the challenges we have going forward is to come to terms with the fact that we can no longer afford to produce and buy anything and everything capitalism can provide us.  It is just not ecologically sustainable.  

      I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen but I'm confident nature will step in to correct the imbalances we are causing by our super consuming ways.  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 12:47:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me too, fulltimed for 9 years in a Roadtrek 190 (8+ / 0-)

      and volunteered at national monuments and wildlife refuges. Most people have no idea about the RV world. Our public lands now depend on RV volunteers to stay open since their bugdets keep getting cut and not being able to hire park rangers. Besides the fact that the vast majority of RV'ers are sitting at a campground most of the time, they also supply volunteers for charities such as Habitat for Humanity going from project to project.
      It is not at all as simple as gas mileage. BTW the 9 years I fulltimed were some of the best of my life.

      •  People in RV's do nice things and some of those (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, Penny GC, blueoasis

        things are good for our environment but producing, buying and traveling around the country in one o them is not "earth friendly" as Herzog attempts to claim IMO.

        I'm sure you had a great time.  I'm a pilot and I'm sure I'd have a great time if I owned my on plane and still flew for recreation.  But I would never claim it was earth friendly.  

        If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

        by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:11:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My fulltiming dream didn't work out... (6+ / 0-)

      Just as I was preparing to go, the housing market tanked and I could not sell my house.  Now I'm married and housebound again.  But I love my old 26' class A GMC motorhome.  Yes, the mileage sucks, but I haul my motorcycle for side traveling.

      I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

      by beemerr90s on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:11:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're looking at doing exactly this. (7+ / 0-)

      Even a top-of-the-line Class A motor coach costs less than a decent house in some states, you get the mortgage deduction on your taxes, and you can pick up stakes and go to the next place almost at will.

      To the diarist: The mileage may seem bad, but a diesel pusher gets you from point A to point B pretty economically all things considered. Plus, it's not like you drive the thing around while you're sightseeing. That towed vehicle (the "toad") you derided actually serves that purpose. And the toad gets the same mileage as, well, a car.

  •  RVs can be pricey, and environmentally unsound, (6+ / 0-)

    but they are also one of the cheapest and most mobile forms of transient housing available.  The folks who use them this way don't have time to rent; they get anywhere from 2 days' to 2 weeks notice that it's time to move to the next job site.

    We have a small RV park in my home town (population hovers around 1,000); it's full right now (about 30 lots), and has been for nearly 4 years running, due to a highway construction project, then two pipeline repair/replacement projects, and a HUGE addition to a nearby refinery that just started and will take 3 years to complete.  There's a lot of RV parks nearby.  One has over 175 available lots, and it is completely full right now; most of the residents there are workers who have their entire family with them, at least for the summer.
    The workers for most of those jobs get paid around $25 to $40 per diem for housing, since they are nearly all from out of state.  That more than covers their RV note payment, their utilities, and often the note payment on the vehicle they are pulling the RV with as well (most of these are fifth wheel style; very few are motor homes).  Some don't even need the extra vehicle; quite a few need heavy duty trucks to get to the job sites or to carry tools or welding equipment, so their work truck doubles as their pulling truck for the RV.

    And don't EVER buy one new; the original buyer takes more of a hickey than a first time car owner even thinks about in loss of value!  If you take your time and look, you can find high quality used RVs in good condition for well under book value, especially if you live along the snowbird routes.

    We own a Newmar Mountain Aire 40 foot fifth wheel; we took it to Indianapolis this spring; it cost less in fuel and space rent than taking our car and staying in hotels, and we took and cooked our own food, rather than eating out all the time.  We bought it for $21K; it books for a bit over $40K.  

    To the left, to the left....

    by CWinebrinner on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:19:17 PM PDT

    •  Very interesting and informative comment. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CWinebrinner, Penny GC, PrahaPartizan

      Thanks for the education!  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:38:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was hoping someone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Crapper, daysey, CWinebrinner

      would chime in with this perspective.

      My husband and I full-timed in a used 36' fifth wheel for 6.5 years when his company sent him all over the country for work, and I do mean all over the country: Boston to Miami, Houston to Los Angeles and all points between.

      Much of the work took place in very small towns (hello, Eddyville, IA) and even on the rare occasions housing could be found, rents were exorbitant because scarcity and stereotyping allowed it.

      Even the most frightening dive hotel in Miami (i.e: pimps beating up hookers in the hallway) ran $300/week, versus $300/month for an RV space a half-hour west. Rates like that will not only burn through even the best per diem rate in about a week, but make it so that you are paying more to be on the road than you're actually bringing in.

      No matter where we went, we were always home with all our 'things' about us, cats and all. No leases, no pet policies, no being forced to eat in restaurants every night and best of all, we owned it outright. It was OUR roof and no one could take it from us. It was security. It was affordable housing.

      When we finally did sell it, I marketed it as a 'Foreclosure-Proof Home'. I still think selling it was one of the dumbest things we ever did.

      So, you see, not every RV owner is an entitled anti-environment asshat.

      When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

      by Late Again on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:30:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We started out (0+ / 0-)

        in a pickup bed pop-up camper.  Hubby bought an old boat (hull only) and trailer for $200, threw the boat away, and built a floor on the trailer, so we could permanently attach the pickup bed camper to it.  It had a small heater and a small propane refrigerator, so it was uptown!  We picked up a small carry-along porta-potty, so we didn't have to go behind a bush to do our business, and we were set.  

        That was over 13 years ago, and we've had one sort of camper or another ever since, except for a couple of six month stretches.  Never had a motor home; it's always been trailers of one sort or another.

        To the left, to the left....

        by CWinebrinner on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:37:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Teardrop Trailers are economical and very fun (5+ / 0-)

    On the smaller side teardrop trailers are small enough to be pulled by most normal passenger cars or small trucks. Teardrop trailers, aka teardrops, usually range in size from four feet wide by eight feet long upwards to five feet wide by ten feet long. Typically they weigh from about 800 pounds up to 1,400 pounds for larger ones.

    A teardrop is kind of like a hard sided tent on wheels with a kitchen in back. There is enough room inside for a bed for two up off the ground protected from the elements.  Usually there is an outside kitchen or galley area in the back.

    Teardrop trailers are often home built. By men, women, and sometimes by teenagers. Teardrops and Tiny Trailers ( is a popular web site for teardrop trailer enthusiasts from around the world. There is a wealth of helpful information on the friendly web site.

    Another web site for teardrop enthusiasts is which is camping oriented. It's a free website with camping chapters throughout the USA, Canada, and elsewhere in the world.

    Teardrop owners often camp together in gatherings. Grant Whipp, of Li'l Bear Tag Alongs...a teardrop parts supplier, keeps a schedule of many upcoming Teardrop Trailer Gatherings. A popular one is the International Redwood Gathering held bi-yearly near Eureka, California. YouTube of the IRG 5.0, Teardrop Trailer International Redwood Gathering 2014 and another YouTube by the IRG hosts IRG 5.0 Pamplin Grove 2014.

    YouTube of a CampInn teardrop trailer Campinn Tear drop Trailer which is a high end commercially made teardrop trailer. Liittle Guy Teardrop Trailers is another manufacturer of teardrop trailers. is a very enjoyable weekly blog about teardrop camping. Teardrop trailer: classic 50's mobile micro-home renaissance - YouTube demonstration of a teardrop trailer is an ongoing blog by a young woman who lives in and works from her teardrop trailer. Mary, aka The Blond Coyote, is a professional writer and photographer who favors traveling the back roads of the USA. I can easily lose myself for hours enjoying her adventures and hoping to retrace some of her travels in a teardrop trailer.

    •  Love those, also Casitas & Scamps n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC, John Crapper, CWinebrinner
    •  Great info. Thanks a lot. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:29:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pinterest - teardrop camper ideas and designs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        John Crapper, CWinebrinner has photos and quite a bit of information about teardrop campers too.

        Sunset Magazine's July 2010 cover featured a teardrop camper.

        This is from Sunset’s May cover. A teardrop camper in the woods at Gold Lake, CA. Something about it makes me thirsty for travel and summer. It’s rustic, it’s retro, it’s glam… It’s the West on wheels. Here’s your glamping eye-candy, kids. - See more at:
        A good comment by Brian L
        I have a teardrop similar to what is shown in the picture. Mine has air conditioning, queensize bed, DVD player, two burner stove, bug screens, and so much more. Our teardrop was made in Wisconsin by Camp Inn ( Great customer service and product. Their web page will help to answer many of your questions. They also have an unofficial Forum ( with feedback from owners. I originally thought it would be too small and that I would miss a toilet. Most toilets in RVs become a pain to maintain. Driving cross country, we never had a problem finding a camp ground with a bathroom. We even stayed in a Walmart in Salt Lake City. Their bathrooms stayed open until midnight and re-opened at 6 am. Forgive me for saying this, but there is something nice not hauling your poo around with you. We enjoy leaving our trailer in the camp ground and then driving around to explore with it un-hooked. I too was skeptical, but am sold on them now. When not in uses, our tailer is in our garage ready to go…just add wine, water, and our ice chest full of food.
        - See more at: digital teardrop magazine
        The Teardrop Trailer Magazine - Cool Tears and Tiny Campers.

        Cool Tears and Tiny Campers Magazine is a
        bi-monthly publication that is delivered primarily in digital format but is available in print as well. It is dedicated to those cool little camper trailers known as teardrops and the people who love them.

        Although our focus is on teardrop trailers we also cover other small and ultra-lightweight trailers from time to time. We want to include a variety of trailers that allow us to do more traveling by saving us money on vehicles and fuel. More than just saving money it's also about having a lot of fun camping in style with those unique eye catching teardrop campers.

        One goal of this teardrop trailer magazine is to break down the vast amounts of information into a few interesting stories presented in a familiar graphic magazine format. We want to provide another way to draw attention to  and tell the stories of these unique camping trailers and the friendly people who love them.

        •  a bathroom that's closed from midnight to 6AM... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          John Crapper, CWinebrinner

          ... means that if you catch any kind of intestinal bug, you're in a very bad situation.

          I don't get this:  

          For cooking you can always set up some kind of outdoor cooking under an awning, eat at restaurants, carry MREs, etc., any number of options.  But when you've gotta "go," you've gotta go, and there is no putting that off.  When done you've got to wash your hands or you're risking getting very very sick.  

          So I don't get why these micro-RVs prioritize cooking over having a basic WC.  Seems to me like pure expedience at the expense of health risks.  You can fit a basic WC compartment with integral toilet, sink, and shower in a square that's 3 feet on a side and 7 feet tall, with a tank above and another below, gravity flow all the way down.

          If I was designing an RV, the priorities would be a bed, a WC compartment, and a table with two seats.  An electric cooler chest and a microwave would suffice for preparing food, and "cooking" as such (stove, blah blah) would be way down the list.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:16:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree on the WC 100%, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but I'd rather have the stove than the microwave, simply because some of the most beautiful areas don't have electric hookups.  If you have a microwave, you've got to have electricity or a generator.

            Every camper I've had could run on 12V battery power and propane.  A couple only had battery power for the lights, as the refrigerators and water heaters are almost all propane burner style, or are built to run on either propane or on electricity.

            To the left, to the left....

            by CWinebrinner on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:48:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  good points. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              John Crapper

              I was also thinking, Engel 12-volt cooler chests.  Engel = best of breed, ruggedized, and highly efficient.  

              Photovoltaics are already cheap enough that covering a camper roof with them will provide enough power to run more stuff.  Though, electricity is inefficient for heating, compared to either solar thermal (which competes for roof space) or fire-based systems such as propane.

              Microwaves are interesting: high surge power consumption for a short period.  If empirical power consumption is 1000 watts during a cooking cycle of 10 minutes, that's 167 watt-hours, equivalent to a 35-watt laptop for about 4.77 hours.  Assume two 5-watt LED lights on at any given time for 8 hours a day, total of 10 watts for 8 hours = 80 watt/hours.  

              To round up a bit, assume 200 for the nuke, 200 for the laptop, 100 for lighting, let's throw in another 200 for misc devices, total is 700 watt/hours per day or less than 1 KWH/day that has to come from "somewhere" e.g. solar cells on the roof.  

              700 watt/hours/day = 21 KWH/month, whereas average for apartment-dwellers is about 400 KWH/month and for single-family houses is about 3,000 KWH/month (these numbers from misc research + solar contractors I know).

              That should be "easy" in any environment with decent sunlight, and assume a gasoline generator for emergencies such as during long spans of overcast.

              Next step is to design for solar electric refrigeration e.g. an Engel unit.  And also potentially a wind charger even though those are not particularly efficient (this I need to research, I know utility-scale wind from having worked on it, but residential-scale I don't know; possibly the sailboating world has something interesting).

              OK, so you've got me thinking about another eco-industrial design project.  And what works for a camper can also work for a micro-house, so there we go!

              Yes this is one of the things I do for recreation, Nerds R Us;-)

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:08:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  WC in a side tent next to a teardrop trailer (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Teardrop trailers are too short, height wise, for an inside WC. The are typically four feet tall, or less, inside.

            Teardrop trailer owners may use a side tent for a portable WC and easier dressing area. One example: Little Guy Trailers' sells a Little Guy 5x7 Mini Screen Room.

            PahaQue sells a Teepee

            The Tepee Shower and Outhouse Tent, the camping industry's first fully-equipped portable outhouse by PahaQue, provides a common sense evolution in campsite restroom and shower
   has a number of less costly portable shower tents that work well too.

            These are some of many choices available to a teardrop trailer user.

            •  ooh, design challenge!;-) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CentralCoaster, John Crapper

              I've designed the floorplans and interior fittings for a bunch of micro-houses down to 150 square feet, and emergency shelter systems down to 64 square feet per unit, so this would be an interesting design challenge: "teardrop" style camper with integral WC & shower.

              I see from the first link, their logo shows a 2-wheel camper trailer that IMHO stretches the definition of "teardrop" more than a little, so if that's permissible, then I'm quite sure I can design something that'll work.  WC in front at the high front end, door into sleeping area at the rear.  Making it as disabled-accessible as possible is the biggest challenge.

              Though, pragmatically, the ideal case for shape is to use all of the available plan area to its maximum safe height, which means sacrificing the "teardrop" aesthetic for boxy functionality.  OTOH, demonstrating that this could be done within the limits of the aesthetic is an interesting exercise for its own sake.

              I don't much like those tent thingies: not so good in nasty weather.  The goal should be that you can stay completely within a solid envelope at a viable temperature when you're sick, such as down with the flu (keyword search "pandemic flu").

              BTW, my interest in these things is, portable housing to go in a natural disaster.  Earthquake smashes your house, hop in and go somewhere safe.  Tornado, hurricane, whatever.  Keep the gas tank full and you have at minimum 200 miles' range.  And know when to evacuate so you don't get stuck in a traffic jam while tornadoes are roaring around nearby.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:31:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Tiny Houses (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                John Crapper, G2geek

                G2, maybe you should look into Tiny House ideas.

                Or something like a T@b Camper Trailer and the T@B owner's forum.

                Teardrops are a niche with many enthusiasts. I am one.

                •  i'm familiar with most of the tiny house sites... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... going back at least a decade.  The only issues I have with many of these designs is that they are not disabled-accessible, which is something that is relevant to everyone as we will all get older to the point where we need accessible living.

                  BTW, pops up a site warning for poor security & malware, so I can't go there.  Someone needs to tell them to fix their site.

                  I agree, the aesthetic is good.  I saw enough of that site's front page before the security warning kicked in, to see that they've also expanded the definition slightly, to get standing room height.  Round windows and doors with rounded top edge are cool, suggests something like post-WW2 "modern," and vaguely reminiscent of that era's view of spaceships;-)  

                  I'm also familiar with the Dymaxion house: similar aesthetic, the problem is that it's hard to fit stuff into a circular plan form without a lot of custom carpentry.  But there should be ways of combining the "streamline" aesthetic with rectangular efficiency.  If I was rich I'd be putting a lot of my architectural ideas into practice by building a house accordingly.  "Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly"...;-)

                  We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                  by G2geek on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:26:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Really cool idea! n/t (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

                by John Crapper on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:58:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks CC - This is the kind of stuff JC likes (0+ / 0-)

              to check out.  I took some time to look at the teardrop links.  Very cool.  Got me thinking!  Much appreciated!!

              If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

              by John Crapper on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:04:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am slowly building a Benroy style teardrop (0+ / 0-)

                I am building a 5'4" wide by 10' long Benroy style teardrop camper. It will have room for a queen sized foam mattress in the cabin, two doors, and a galley in back. It will be fiberglassed and painted on the outside for weather protection. The goal is to build a teardrop that weighs no more than 1,200 lbs.

                The galley will gave a Camp Chef Oven under the counter top on a slide out drawer. There will be an AC/DC chest type fridge freezer on another slide out shelf. An ARB 37 or a less costly TruckFridge TF41 are the ones I'm considering. Between these there will be a drawer bank for silverware, utensils, food, and cookware. Some inspiring galley pictures.

                All lighting will use LEDs to cut down power usage. A solar panel will be mounted on the roof to recharge a 12 volt battery. The sleeping cabin ventilation will be helped with a Fantastic Fan in the roof.

                The camper will be used for vacation travel, a portable spare bedroom to visit family and friends, and in an emergency it could be used as a bug out shelter.

                Unlike tent camping there is very little set-up time.

                Gas mileage pulling a teardrop trailer is reduced very little. With little need to pay for motels or restaurants travel will be considerably more affordable, relaxing, spontaneous, safer, and enjoyable. Just plain fun.

                There are many state and national parks I hope to visit. Or music festivals. Maybe some Kossack meetups. A tent site, or a friends driveway, is usually all that will be needed for over night camping. I will also have the freedom to boondock for days in my hard sided, well insulated, camper.

  •  John, there is a diary up about Whale Poop! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper

    Thought you might want to re-post to Holy Shitters or just read, some very interesting facts about how nutrient rich whale poop is! And CO2 levels...
    Also, when is the next meet-up in August? Do we have a date yet, and can I suggest early August?!

    Peace and Blessings!

    “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

    by Penny GC on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:22:26 PM PDT

    •  Thanks - I'll go check it out right now. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:30:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I haven't nailed a date yet but tentatively (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC

      mentioned 8/23.  We're really busy this summer with visitors and planned trips.  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:28:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, I will kids get back to me on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        John Crapper

        the 22nd and they are gone a month and a half. No promises as they are teenagers and will need lots of me in the 1 week until school starts. Any chance for a 8/16?!
        It would be me and my husband this time...because no kids!
        Anyway, thought the whale poop diary was right up your alley and glad you liked it!
        Peace and Blessings!

        “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

        by Penny GC on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:35:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We want to get a small RV for visiting family. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper, daysey, grover, CWinebrinner

    Solves needing real beds these days versus people who have downsized to smaller housing, and he and I both have guts that randomly decide to download. I feel better knowing that I am taking facilities with me. I can cook instead of needing to stop at restaurants, and I don't have to worry about packing and unpacking and did we remember his meds and my power cord and....cause we only unpack once.

    We'd like to do this soon, as his mom's generation is dying off and he hasn't seen some of them since we got married. Yet another dream for "after the disability comes".

    Help me get my utilities on! I can't eat this elephant by myself.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:27:35 PM PDT

    •  There are many good reasons people want (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, CWinebrinner

      to have an RV.  There are also many reasons to fly in a jet to some far off exotic place.  My point in this diary is to say it's not environmentally friendly and attempts by the industry to sell it as such is stretching things.  

      There are also plenty of people on the road in one that goes way beyond any semblance of "necessity".  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:41:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if there was affordable housing next to.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        John Crapper, CWinebrinner

        ... rail lines, without some f---ing control-freak rules about how you're "allowed" to behave, and regular "inspections" (searches) of your living space, this wouldn't be a problem.  

        It's all about the basic human dignity of privacy and autonomy under your own roof.  

        I'm a ferocious sustainability "nut" (telecommuter, graywater system, etc.) but I can see exactly why people would choose to live in an RV if there are no other reasonable alternatives.  

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:21:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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