Ross & Donna Deegan

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Building our teardrop was a great project! We had been looking for a camper trailer for some time before deciding to build a teardrop camper. The deciding factor for us was definitely the thought of folding up wet canvas after bad weather (if we had your everyday fold out style tent trailer). As soon as we saw the teardrop campers online we knew they were perfect for us!

We lived on our yacht for a little over 12 months and were very comfortable with the size of our new “holiday home”. The bedroom in the teardrop is just as roomy as an aft cabin and with a good amount of timber trim, marine lights and fan – it brings back some very fond memories of life on the water.

The teardrop took us 6 months from start to finish (with a few trips away and a lot of procrastinating consuming the majority of hours). We work best when we both know what’s happening. This often results in one of us remembering something important that the other has overlooked. We would spend hours sitting in the shed discussing the teardrop as she started to take shape. We would like to think that our strategy has paid off as there is very little that we would change or do differently now she is complete.

Our tip for new builders would be to take your time and give each task the amount of thought required. Don’t let it get to you when you are unsure of the next step. If you can’t work it out by yourself call on Reiner or one of the home builders listed. We needed help a few times during the project and without Reiner and Chris Coles we could not have achieved our end result.

You do not need to spend a lot of money on tools. We used a mitre box and tenon saw for all our hardwood spars. The most invaluable tools for us during the build were router; laminex trimmer; staple gun and rotary tool. Your local hardware will become your favourite haunt and its staff will become your new best friends! Be prepared to buy ridiculous amounts of Sikaflex, liquid nails and a variety of screws. Don’t be tempted to skimp on quality – if necessary save for another week so you can buy the better product.

We recently travelled 5400kms in 3 weeks from Brisbane to Cooktown and home inland via Charters Towers, Springsure, etc. The teardrop performed without fault the entire trip. We are already planning our next adventure!

We chose to prime and paint our chassis rather than powder coat. Chassis is ready for the floor and walls. The walls are up, now is a good time to see if the doors fit properly.
The galley fit-out is starting to take shape and some wiring is in. Ross routes a groove in the wall for the bed lamp's 12V wiring. Grooves and screw heads bogged and sanded for a smooth wall finish.
Internal fit-out is finished with stereo, lights, fan and 240V power. Marine Chandleries are good suppliers for internal lights and fans. Heavy duty load straps are great for when you put on the outer ply.
The teardrop really starts to take shape once the outer ply is on. The bed lamp is halogen, but can easily be changed to LED bulb. Good preparation is essential for applying the fibreglass sheeting.
The fibreglass sheeting gives the van a true professional finish. The laminex trimmer was the most invaluable tool in the project. The doors are fitted and now we are ready to fit the rear hatch.
The rear hatch is fitted and the kitchen hatch handle finishes it off. Most of the black corner trim is in place now and mudguards fitted. The taillights are fitted and rego done.  Now to fit the rear catches.
Six months on the van is finally ready for her very first road test. We purchased some graphics to giver her that "holiday" look. We made a tool box to carry the tarps and tent pegs, etc.
Finally the van is finished and ready to head north for the winter. We travelled 5400kms in just 3 weeks and the van was incredible. This road train pulled alongside us at a roadhouse in Clermont.

Ross & Donna's Teardrop, built in Redland Bay, Qld 2009. Email Ross & Donna, 0413 061 299

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