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Montana Artists Build Teardrop Trailer Using Wrecked Auto Parts

Mark and Kelly Harro are Bozeman, Montana-based artists who love backpacking, but wanted a new base camp for their art shows and their trips into nature. They built their teardrop trailer, Betty, with help from Pinterest and some recycled auto parts.

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Artist Kelly Harro and her husband Mark built their teardrop “Betty” from an old cargo trailer. Photos by Kelly and Mark Harro/Homespun Harros

Kelly learned about teardrop trailers while taking an art history course on industrial design in graduate school. After perusing Pinterest boards on the tiny trailer, she convinced Mark that they could build their own “Teardrop for Two” and have it include everything they wanted in an RV—in a scaled down version.

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The couple pose just like a vintage teardrop trailer advertisement.

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The Harros had three criteria for their new trailer: it had to be towed with their 4-cylinder Subaru Outback; they wanted to enjoy the luxury of a kitchen and mattress but still be outside; and finally, it had to have style.

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The teardrop has a bed for two and cubby holes for small items.

Mark built the teardrop on a cargo trailer frame he already owned and used Google Sketchup to design the interior. The couple painted and insulated the frame and Mark added a spare tire holder from a Toyota 4-Runner.

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Using the CAD drawing, they printed life-size paper cutouts and Masonite templates that they used to cut out the birch plywood doors, sidewalls, and joint areas. The walls were then sanded and painted with polyurethane. The walls were covered with layers of marine grade epoxy, fiberglass, and spar varnish for a waterproof coating.

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Building the galley and the galley hatch was their biggest challenge and took just as long as building the rest of the trailer. Mark claimed he lost a lot of hair while working on the hatch wiring.

The galley kitchen contains a slide-out stove, an anniversary version Formica countertop, a little sink with a fresh and gray water tank, and a pass-through door for the sleeping area.

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The galley has a sink, slide-out stove, and a retro design.

The bed has a four-inch foam cushion, a homemade duvet, wall cubbies, reading lights, and cell phone chargers. Most noteworthy, the homemade gear loft above the bed is made from seatbelts and can be used as a child-size bunk.

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The gear loft above the bed is made from old seatbelts.

The couple tow their teardrop with a 4-cylinder Subaru Outback and camp with an awning that Kelly designed and they had sewn at Montana Canvas.

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The interior includes reading lights and cell phone chargers.

Mark and Kelly Harro create artwork inspired by their love of art, animals, and each other. They sell their delightful ceramics and prints on their Etsy shop, Homespun Harros, and in galleries in Montana and Florida.

The Harros talk about their build at a Bozeman presentation.


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