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Two-Story Teardrop Trailer Featured In The New Pioneer Magazine

Eric Keiper is a physical therapist in Oklahoma who recently had his homebuilt teardrop trailer featured in The New Pioneer magazine. Not only does this fun and functional camping trailer have a rooftop tent, but the entire project only cost about $2,000 to build. The magazine includes the materials list and an interview with Keiper.

Eric Keiper’s teardrop trailer features a rooftop tent.


Keiper designed the teardrop trailer, named “Escape”, and wanted to make sure he had enough room for his family of four. The rooftop tent is used by Keiper and his wife (their teenage daughter prefers the inside of the trailer) and was purchased from Cascadia Vehicle Tents for around $1,300. Keiper built a customized roof rack where the tent can be attached to secured pipes. The tent can then be unfolded at the campsite.

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The tent and teardrop fits his family of four and all necessary gear.


Built with basic handheld tools, the 4×6 foot, 700 lb. teardrop has oak framing and R5 foam insulation with a fiberglass interior and exterior. Butyl putty tape was used to seal out water and UV resistant house paint was used on the exterior shell. The trailer also includes a bike rack, air foam mattress and two 18×26 inch doors.

The trailer has an oak frame and R5 foam insulation.


The galley area includes a sink connected to an 8-gallon water tank and an on-demand pump, plus a small 110 volt refrigerator that runs off of hookups. The lights and fan are powered by a 12 volt marine battery. The trailer and tent combo is towed with the family’s Subaru and has a decal that describes the trailer to a T: “NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST.”

The fall issue of The New Pioneer magazine features the teardrop build.


The New Pioneer Magazine is a quarterly guide to self-reliant living, sustainability, building projects, solar power, off-grid living, gardening and keeping livestock. The Fall 2015 issue features Keiper’s trailer as well as articles on building a raised cinderblock grill and a 150 square foot straw bale cottage. You can subscribe to the magazine at Real World Survivor.

The New Pioneer magazine features articles on self-reliant living.


Photos by Eric Keiper and Christina Nellemann

1 thought on “Two-Story Teardrop Trailer Featured In The New Pioneer Magazine”

  1. My comment: Why??? I always want to carry a ladder when I go camping. And if you’re trying to bear-proof a tent, that ain’t gonna happen.

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