Teardrop Trailer Living: First Impressions

So the cat’s out of the bag! If you’re a member of the IO Inner Circle on Patreon, you heard the news on Saturday. If you follow IO on Facebook or Instagram, you heard it on Monday. And if you’re not following me in any of those places, then I am pleased to announce to you right now that: 1. I’ve picked up my new trailer! And 2. Cas has gone home with new owners!

For new readers or those who somehow missed the memo, I announced waaaay back last year that I’d ordered a custom built teardrop (squaredrop?) from Hiker Trailer. You can go back and read that blog post here if you wish. It’s a small company making them and their popularity has skyrocketed lately, so there was a long lead time, close to 11 months. But I finally picked it up on Friday (the 21st), and sent Cas off the next day.

My next post will be a travelogue for how the pickup, transfer, and sale went, but I thought this post I’d answer the question I’ve been asked most since the news broke: what do I think of the Hiker?

It’s far too early to give a true review, I’ve only been in it four nights after all! But here’s my first impression:

I love the simplicity of it.

I’m boondocking with two friends in Leadville, CO, and during that time one has been having trouble with her water heater – that’s something I no longer need to worry about. It’s been getting down into the 20’s at night and my other friend is worried about his plumbing freezing – that’s something I no longer need to worry about. When we all leave here to pursue our next adventures, they’ll need to find somewhere en-route to dump their tanks and fill up on water – that’s something I no longer need to worry about.

I hate to put labels on myself or others, I feel they often do more harm than good. But I could be described as a minimalist. At this point in my life I don’t seem to need or desire the creature comforts that a lot of other people do. I much prefer to keep the logistics of living as simple as possible, which allows me to maximize the amount of time and energy I have to spend on what matters to me most: Writing. Reading. Hiking. Relationships. Contemplation. Photography. Growth. Adventures. Life. And so far, I’m really, really digging how simple and easy the Hiker Trailer is.

Taken by my friend Bob

And as for the trailer itself…

My only complaint so far is that my doors are squeaky, but that’s a quick fix.

Rob, Lauren, Mark, and the team at Hiker West in Denver do a good job. This thing is solidly built, it’s a breeze to tow, and I’m very happy with the options I selected as of right now (again, it’s only been four days). I find it hilarious and awesome that this little 5×8 trailer has a pure sine inverter, when the Casita comes with no inverter at all (helloooo better laptop charging). If you’d like all the details of my build, I revealed that in a post last year as well, go check it out!

And on a related note, if you’re wondering why I decided to downsize in the first place, I did my best to explain that here and here and will probably have more to say in the future.

But wait, where are the pictures?

I know, I know! You want interior pictures. Well here’s the deal: I picked up the Hiker on Friday. The very next day at noon I did my first showing of Cas (after two weeks with no serious interest), with 80% of my stuff still in him. They decided to buy and wanted to take him home THAT DAY. Cue me throwing my belongings out of the Casita like a maniac, as quick as I could.

In short – the teardrop is still a mess. The truck is a mess too. Guess what? Moving is messy. But I’ve gone shopping for new storage containers and things are slowly coming together. But fine, if you really want interior pictures, here:

And the back:

Having this as a comparison will make the interior look that much more impressive when I’m done with it. Which will take a while! Those plans will be in a future post.

In the meantime I hope you enjoyed this first look and first impression. Just one more thing before I wrap this up. When it comes to the teardrop, what questions do you have, and what do you want to learn more about? I have numerous ideas for blog posts, but I’d like to focus on what you are interested in. Let me know in the comments below!

And as always, thanks PayPal donators and Patreon supporters!

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. John Walters on October 6, 2018 at 5:31 pm


    Congratulations on your new trailer. Just a weird little question: How do you call your new trailer a “Teardrop”? It looks nice and all, but it doesn t exactly match the typical Teardrop shape.

    Live life,
    John Shrek Walters

    • Becky on October 8, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Thanks John! It’s not a typical teardrop shape, but the same size and layout as a teardrop (galley in back, can’t stand up in, etc.). When I looked in Facebook groups and such, “squaredrops” as they’re sometimes called are included in the teardrop family, they’re just a subset of it. But teardrop is a more recognizable name than squaredrop. If I call it a teardrop, people understand that it’s got a galley in the back and is mostly a bed up front.

  2. David Michael on October 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Congratulations Becky. I love it that you are living your dream. And, that you are open to change. Adapt to change and live your dreams. I heard that the average RVer buys seven different RVs in their life time. Five more to go…

    • Becky on October 8, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Thanks David!

  3. Vern on October 5, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Ah, Becky, you make this old man yearn for days away again. But I live on 10 acres of “un combed” woods in athe Ozarks, so where’s to go? Lots of places you appareaatly haven’t found or chose to find yet. Let me tell you about . . .
    into via these blogs/nets/whatever. We seem to find much in possible and solve problems together at a 500 mile distance, thanks to amateur radio. But, that’s another . . .

    Anyway, if you want a secluded and safe spot to hide away to shuffle stuff or just rest, I can fix you right up via private mail.

    So, keep on keeping me wishing and solving stuff.

    • Becky on October 5, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you very much for the offer Vern! It’ll be a while before I’m back in the Ozarks area again but I’ll keep you in mind. I’m glad you’re enjoying IO, thanks for reading!

  4. Seana on October 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Ahhhhh!!!!! Finally here 🙂 ok, I’M a little behind real life time, but congratulations, Ms. Schade, on your new home by square 🙂 the freedoms must be intoxicating!!! It’s like starting full timing all over again but older and wiser, knowing exactly what you want and DON’T want out of your home on wheels 🙂 🙂 🙂 the other half and I leave tomorrow for the full timing life. We knicked the trailer idea, sold the 1983 26′ Komfort we were refurbishing, and bought a used 4×4 Toyota Tacoma with a camper top instead, hello new bedroom!!! Haha, we’ll see how long we last this way, it may be for years! I do have a question, or request of opinion for you rather. Your choice of a pooping station, which type or brand did you end up going with? Hehe poop talk!! We ordered a 5.3 gal Vingli, I hope the seal holds up in cold weather :/ I’m curious about your view of the PortaPotty situation, no, I don’t need the finer details, but my biggest concern is quality of these types of toilets. Ok, enough bathroom talk, there are too many gorgeous places waiting for you to explore. Your path in life is awe-inspiring and I don’t see it lowering from that level any time soon, or ever hopefully!! Keep on rollin Becky 🙂

    • Becky on October 2, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks for your input Seana, a lot of people have asked about the bathroom and kitchen situation so I’ll definitely be sharing more about those!

      More importantly, congrats! You two must be very excited. I wish you the best and hope your transition to full-timing goes smoothly. You’ll remember tomorrow for the rest of your lives. 🙂 I’m glad you’re finding IO helpful and inspiring and I look forward to sharing the new teardrop adventures with you.

  5. Kime P. on October 1, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Well…well not an RVer anymore! Living in the Hiker is living in a “hard shell tent”. You could have saved yourself thousands of dollars by just living in the back of your truck shell, and have even more mobile capability to go to more remote places. Your just one more step away to being a “backpacker”. Then…maybe a Thru-Hiker doing the AT, PCT and the CDT to be one of the few women “triple crowners”. Good luck to you Becky. I’ve enjoyed your blog. See you out on the trail “Hiker”.

    • Becky on October 2, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      Eh, it still takes an RV spot vs. a tent spot in a campground, so I still consider it a tiny RV. I have a lot of respect for people who can live out of their vehicles, but I love being able to use the back of my truck for storage – it means the interior of the teardrop is pretty clutter free! As for backpacking, I’ve done that a couple times now and love it. I’ve thought about doing one of the long trails one summer, but we’ll see!

  6. Wendy on September 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    I would be interested in seeing your setup as you get organized and as time goes along how you adapt your Hiker to fit your needs.
    As a fellow teardropper I have managed to set up for solo adventures with a single bed setup that allows me more inside space to use for storage, washroom and kitchen space during inclement weather……….but can easily be converted back to a queensize bed when needed. I also love the simplicity of the teardrop and paring down to the bare necessities. Have fun personalizing your new squaredrop…….the joy is in the journey.


  7. Gerald Brady on September 29, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Suggestions for a name: Simon, as in Simple Simon? Or Jane, as in Plain Jane?

    • Becky on September 29, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      In my head I’ve referred to it as the BnB, that’s Bed in Box. 😛

      • Another Texas Traveller on October 2, 2018 at 11:04 am

        I like that!

      • Vern on October 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm

        That’s “B,B&B,” isn’t it? Bed and Breakfast in a Box.

        • Becky on October 19, 2018 at 4:39 pm

          I suppose it could be, hah!

  8. fran garlits on September 28, 2018 at 11:54 am

    hey good luck with your new rig, does it have an outside kitchen, i could not tell by the pix, big adjustments after having the casita, but what the heck, you have plenty of time, day by day it will all fall in place, be careful, and enjoy life,

    • Becky on September 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks Fran! It’s kinda an outside kitchen, but there’s a passthrough to the big middle shelf from inside.

  9. Tom Niemeier on September 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Congratulations Understand the minimalist approach but many years ago I spent 30 days in the woods in a tent even trying to live off the land. No thanks. Want more in my life than cut wood, keep warm 🙂 And my age and stage wants a really good bed. And a toy hauler also let’s me take my kayaks, ATV, motorcycles. Still I admire your approach and attitude. Still, no hot water? Ouch, girl 🙂

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Tom. I don’t miss having hot water at “home”, heck, I never used it in the Casita other than to test it once a year to make sure it still worked, hah!

  10. Kevin on September 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Congratulations on your new purchase. I’m looking forward to learning more about your use of a porta-potty as that may be a drawback over having a bathroom as Cas had. I know most folks in tiny homes are going with composting toilets but not sure if they make them in a compact size like a porta-potty. It will be great to hear about your move to an even more minimalist lifestyle. I enjoy your blog and look forward to hearing about your adventures. I have a 13′ Trillium but I’m not living in it full-time like you but hearing about your experiences does make me think I could use it to go south in the winter for 4 or 5 months. Would likely have a hard time convincing my wife of that without it having a washroom though.

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks for your input Kevin!

  11. Elisa on September 27, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Congratulations on your new home! Please keep us posted on your impressions as you live with her a bit longer. Love your posts.

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Elisa! Glad you’re enjoying IO. 🙂

  12. Doug on September 27, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Interested what the tongue weight is. Is the manipulation easy enough for hook-up?

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      When I picked it up (dry weight), about 200 lbs. So no, you can’t just pick up the tongue and move it. 😛

  13. Donald R on September 27, 2018 at 11:10 am

    A naming contest for the Square-Drop sounds fun. Get ideas from your patrons pick top five or so add one or two of your own and survey for the winner. It would give your fallowers a feeling of being a bigger part of the adventure.
    Having built a Square Drop myself and having the best year camping of our lives made me excited to hear about full timing in one. Wife and I got a pop-up shower tent for potty, changing and clean up.
    I will be checking inbox often for your new posts.
    Best of luck

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for your input Donald!

  14. Beth on September 27, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I’m curious to see if you miss the standing room.
    especially during longer stays inside due to inclement weather. Also interested in the electrical situation (what you need to power up) and how it’s working out. I do love the simplicity of your set up without the complicated systems, so will find it interesting to see how it all works out.

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks for your input Beth!

  15. Jodee Gravel on September 27, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Water and “dumping” still happens so of course I’m curious what you’re doing now. Sweet to have such a small foot print and looks like you can go just about anywhere.

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks for your input Jodee!

  16. David on September 27, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Looks pretty cool, Becky. Like Terry said, I’d like to see a post on how you live full-time in your new rig. Such as, if you don’t have plumbing and don’t have tanks to dump, then what do you have/do instead. So, a representative day-in-the-life of living in a “teardrop” would be great. Thanks!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks for your input David!

  17. Rhonda on September 27, 2018 at 9:32 am

    As a small trailer enthusiast, I am *thrilled* for you, Becky! If I had known about the Hiker five years ago I would have purchased it instead of the T@G, which I kept for a very short period of time as it turned out to be more “frilly” than functional. I next bought a 14′ Jayco which I’ve been tearing down to be rid of what I don’t need or want…the water heater/tank, the rv fridge. I am now contemplating ripping out the useless bathtub and perhaps even the commode, which requires a black tank, of course. I might end up with an office space sporting a Nature’s Head….:-). But, isn’t that part of the beauty and fun of rv’ing? Modifying what doesn’t work into what does for travel. Simple and functional seems to be the best way to go and you are certainly spot on with that as you continue to travel life’s highways before you. Congratulations! 🙂

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks Rhonda! Yes I love the outside look of the T@G, but not the way it was set up. I loved that for the Hiker I could pick and choose exactly what I wanted. 🙂

  18. Dawn in NC on September 27, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Hi Becky! Congratulations on the new rig! I think that you are quite brave going smaller. Although I see the pull in terms of simplicity! My first question is in terms of praticality. Where do you use the bathroom in your new rig? That would be my only reservation with it. Can’t wait to hear more about your life in it!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks for your input Dawn! I think a lot of people are curious about that and I’ll be writing more about it for sure.

  19. S. Kaeseman on September 27, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Congrats on your new home. Can’t wait to find out your name for her/him. Look forward to hearing how you like the big change as you get used to living in such a smaller space. But it sounds as if you were more than ready to make the change. I also can’t wait to see all the new out of the way boon-docking camp sites you find and that are easier for you to get to. Do you have plans to get rid of Bertha and get a new tow vehicle with 4 wheel drive to get to even more remote spots? I know you love Bertha, she has been loyal and reliable, but now with the new tear-drop, I would think, that maybe something you are really thinking about. Take care of yourself and as always enjoy your life as you seem to always do.
    S. Kaeseman

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks for your input S! I’ve actually said in previous posts that yes, I do intend to replace Bertha with something 4WD (or AWD) when she finally dies.

  20. Deb on September 27, 2018 at 7:43 am

    He reminds me of “Walle”, the little robot, following along behind your truck. Safe travels!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Hah! It is small and square isn’t it. 😛 Thanks!

  21. Pamela Campbell on September 27, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Yippee! Congratulations 🎈on your new home! I’ve been looking forward to this. I can identify with your desire to simplify. It does feel calmer to me when there are fewer things to clutter or worry about.
    I’m interested in just seeing how you enjoy this square drop – daily routine, what you discover, where you put things, cooking, adventuring.
    So happy for you, Becky!
    Happy Trails!
    Pamelab in Alto, Michigan for a few more days before heading to Newport News, Virginia

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks Pamela! Your input is appreciated. 🙂

  22. John on September 27, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Why do the walls on the interior picture look damaged? That is the finished look?

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      It’s wood John, but has a coating of something over it. Those imperfections are knots. 🙂

  23. Darren Elrod on September 27, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Hey Becky, What I would like to know is what are your preparations for bad weather? I know some of the places you work camp and areas you stay at will be in tough weather conditions. If you are pinned down for a few days in such a small space, what are your ideas on projects or hobbies. I know you have had to think about, My wife in and are still living in our 37 foot triple slide travel trailer and I get a little stir crazy in it especially since we have been living in east Texas and we have had days of extreme rain!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks for your input Darren!

  24. Rena on September 27, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Congrats on joining the TD world!! I have had mine for 3 years and am out on the road for 6 weeks right now. Will be FT in January. Can’t wait to read and see your impressions as you go along. Also, check out Tearjerkers.net. It is an international group that have meet ups all over the country. Great way to network and learn more about your tear.

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks Rena! Doesn’t seem like there are many full-time teardroppers so it’s always nice to meet more. 🙂

  25. Terri on September 27, 2018 at 5:31 am

    I am so happy and excited for you! If I didn’t have my five pets (bc as you know, Sophie is gonna be a foster failure), I would LOVE to do the simplicity of a teardrop! For those reasons you mentioned. Don’t have to worry about the water and all that other stuff breaking. So when I go nomadic I will most likely do it with a class B or a van somehow. (It’s part of why I have been working my butt off transcribing so much lately! Getting out of debt!)

    I am so surprised there was no interest in Cas for two weeks??! What??

    Anyway, I am glad you got it sold. Bittersweet, huh?

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks Terri! There was interest in Cas, but nothing that lead anywhere – false hits. It was a little sad to see him go, but mostly it was exhausting and a relief. 🙂 Helps that his new owners are awesome people.

  26. Mike on September 27, 2018 at 4:52 am

    Very inspirational. I look forward to following along.


    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      And I look forward to sharing this adventure with you. 🙂

  27. Terry on September 26, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    A day in the life of Becky living, working and loving life in the Hiker trailer is what I’d like to here. Wake up, find your shoes, use “the facilities”, whatever they may be. Then it’s coffee or tea time in your “kitchen”, whatever and wherever that may be. Breakfast, how does that come together and where. Next it’s time to clean the dishes without running water, somewhere yet to be discovered. Maybe you’ll work after that, where? Inside or out? Anyway, you get the drift. We want to see a typical day from your perspective. I was already thrown off by the lack of a kitchen in the back. I’ll be interested to learn if all cooking is done outdoors just like campers with tents. I do like not having to worry about lines freezing. That was my first thought when I learned you and your friends were in Leadville. I live at about the same elevation a couple hours away from there and have already winterized my trailer.

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks for your input Terry!

  28. Colleen on September 26, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I will be quite curious to learn more about food storage and cooking in the new rig!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks for the input Colleen!

  29. VICTORIA Mora on September 26, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Yes please a new tour on u square drop.congratulations :);)

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks Victoria!

  30. Maria Peagler on September 26, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Becky – I subscribe to your blog and bought a Runaway Navigator last year. I don’t use it full-time, but for plein air painting trips. I didn’t do a whole lot to my interior, other than put in a Columbia foam mattress and some rope shelves. The shelves made the interior feel too cluttered, so I took them out. Instead I made a bunch of fabric baskets and totes that can hang or stack on top of each other. Have fun with your Hiker!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks Maria!

  31. Diane Ely on September 26, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Does s/he have a moniker yet? Maybe you could have a naming contest!

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      No name yet! It usually takes me a while to find the perfect name. Thanks for your input!

  32. James A. Justus on September 26, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! Enjoy and safe travels…..

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm


  33. FrugalRVGal on September 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Can’t wait to hear more about the square drop! : )

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      It’s cool to be square! 😉

  34. Kathy on September 26, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    You mentioned that it was getting down in the 20’s. How do you keep warm? Do you have heat?

    • Becky on September 27, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks for your input Kathy!

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