Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Teardrop American Outbacker Restoration: Galley Shelves, Sink Drainage and Camping

Filed under: Teardrop Trailer Restoration — Laura Moncur @ 9:17 am

There was a flurry of activity last week as Mike and I worked to make the teardrop trailer ready for a maiden voyage. We had a bunch of little things that needed to be completed before we could camp. The MOST important thing was preventing the windows from leaking, which we didn’t complete, but since there was no rain planned for that weekend, we took a chance and camped anyway. Continue reading to see what we did and more pictures:

Sink Drain

The original sink drain was poorly designed and inadequate for proper drainage.

Not only was the hole too small to drain quickly, the sink support didn’t slope toward the drain, so the water was just pooling under the sink. Mike and I bought some PVC pipe and fittings to create a new drain.

We marked the spot where the sink drained and there was plenty of room to put the new drain without disturbing the old one. Since the Reliance sink has a pocket underneath it, we were able to have the PVC pipe fit right up into it.

I would have liked to have the drain go straight down to the ground, but if we did that, it would have intersected with the trailer frame. We had to jog over a bit to avoid it.

In that photo, you can see the original drain, which was attached to a garden hose. The garden hose should have been enough to drain properly, but the hole in the sink support was too small. We left it intact just in case a little water escaped into the sink support, but our drain did the job perfectly.

The PVC drain comes out the bottom of the trailer and just drains onto the ground. When we camped, we put one of our plastic bins down there to catch the water.

Galley and Door Latches

Our trailer didn’t have any latches on the doors or galley. There were holes for the normal T-Latch, so we bought some at the local locksmith.

WARNING: If you buy T-Latches at the store or locksmiths, they will all be keyed the same. Every T-Latch has the SAME KEY. I asked the locksmith if he could re-key it. He wasn’t sure, but after looking at them, he said he could do it. It cost us $16 a lock to have them re-keyed, but at least some stranger couldn’t walk up and get into our trailer with the key from their own T-Latch. What’s the point of putting a lock on it if they are all going to be the same?!!

It took us a long time to make the latches work with the doors and we ended up cutting the cams with a hack saw to get them the right length to work. The galley hatch was even harder because our trailer didn’t have the bracket for the cam to lock into. We replaced it with this L-bracket, but we had to bend the thing for it to work.

I painted the bracket white to make it less noticeable and now it closes, locks and actually looks pretty good!

Galley and Cabin Shelves

Mike and I bought some wire shelves meant for kitchens. We drilled holes through the galley into the cabin. Using one bolt for each side, we attached the corresponding shelves in the kitchen and the bed area.

If you notice, I also attached a paper towel holder on the middle shelf. That didn’t work because the paper towels were in the way of the pump for the sink, so I had to move it.

The shelves matched in the cabin. After camping, we realized that we are going to need a bigger electric heater, so we’ll have to remove that middle shelf and add one that will accommodate our Duraflame heater.

Here is the kitchen at the campsite. If you notice, I moved the paper towel holder to the plate shelf. It worked PERFECTLY there. Despite all the wind, the paper towels just stayed there nicely. It took two hands to pull a towel off, but at least the towels didn’t go flowing in the wind like they did on my Portal camp kitchen. No rubber band needed!

Camping with the Teardrop

We took the teardrop to Utah Lake State Park last weekend to try it out. We still haven’t fully solved the leaking windows, but there was no rain predicted, so we decided to give her a test run.

On our last trip, we tested the small cooler that fit into the cooler spot and learned that it wouldn’t work for us. Instead, we kept our cooler in the car and used that spot to hold kitchen gear.

We strapped the stove on top and it stayed steady for the drive. I was worried that they would bounce around, but they had no trouble at all. This is how it looked when we opened up the galley after driving. By the way, we got GREAT gas mileage while towing it (31.8 mpg)!

The trailer looked great at the campground.

It was incredibly windy last weekend, which just highlighted a problem with my awnings. They are very vulnerable to the wind.

If I had added snaps to the sides, they would have held better. I actually considered doing that, but decided against it, so now I have to add them. I’m also going to figure out how to weight them at the bottom so they’ll stay in place. On the whole, they worked pretty well.

Camping last weekend with the teardrop trailer was lovely and I talked about the actual trip here: Starling Travel ยป Teardrop Camping at Utah Lake State Park

Now, all I need to do is get the windows to stop leaking…



  1. Love your renovations on your little trailer! Try using fishing weights to keep your awnings in place. They are cheap, come in many sizes and can easily be added by sewing a little pocket or sleeve on the inside.

    Comment by Alley — 7/8/2012 @ 9:57 pm

  2. It’s interesting how on your previous article you bashed trailer camping in a sense upsetting many of us trailer campers by even telling us trailer camping wasn’t real camping. I know you ment the big campers but you didn’t specify that in your original article. Now, lo and behold you are trailer camping. Hipocrisy at its best.

    Comment by Robert — 10/14/2012 @ 6:56 pm

  3. Robert,

    I actually had a lot of reservations about buying a teardrop and when I did, I went through my list of tent camping VS. trailer camping again here:


    Now, we go camping in a pop up camper (tent trailer) and honestly, it doesn’t feel like camping at all. It feels like we’re taking our bedroom with us. Compared to freezing in the Springbar, it doesn’t feel like we’re camping. It’s MUCH MUCH better.



    Comment by Laura Moncur — 10/15/2012 @ 2:08 pm

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