I came to the realization while offroading in my friend’s Ford Raptor the other day that the cab of her truck is roughly the same size as the living quarters of my teardrop trailer. Now admittedly, the Raptor is a wide and spacious truck, but still, that isn’t a lot of space. And probably the question I hear most from people with larger RVs and campers is, just how do I manage to live comfortably in a space this small. So here we go, five things I do to avoid going stir crazy in my Hiker Trailer:
One good way to avoid feeling antsy with a small camper is to camp with a view you enjoy, as it makes your limited space more appealing. With a trailer as tiny as a teardrop, you can get to some pretty remote places and camp with some pretty amazing views. Keep that view fresh by changing it often, a teardrop is easy to hitch up and move.
2. Have a comfortable space inside to sit and sleep
I have my trailer set up with both a sleeping and a sitting spot, and that makes a huge difference with my comfort inside the trailer. My bed stays a bed full-time, and I chose not to have a second door on the left side of my trailer so that I could use the wall there as an easy backrest. I bought a small folding table with adjustable legs just the right size for my 13” laptop. I set the table on the ground, and it overhangs my mattress, where I sit crosslegged (which for me is comfortable) to have a perfectly serviceable spot inside to work and eat when it’s raining. Another great option is to get a folding mattress and put the bed away every day and make the bed into a couch.
3. Stay active
Exercise does a lot to relieve feelings of being cooped up. Take regular walks. Get out of your teardrop and stretch. Learn exercises that can be done in a small space. Get involved in a sport or outdoor activity, there are plenty that can be done while traveling. I enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, and poi dancing, the later two of which I learned while on the road.
4. Spend time outside
When you’re camping, remember that the space surrounding your camper becomes part of your living space. Do what you need to make this ‘outdoor room’ work for you: kitchen, comfortable seating, awning and mat… whatever feels right. I prefer to keep it simple compared to many weekenders. An elaborate outdoor setup adds a lot of time to camp put-up and take-down which is okay for a vacation, but gets kind of old when it’s your life and you have to do it all the time.
5. Go on adventures away from the camper
Plan your trips near interesting things that you want to see. Arrange outings with friends. Take your tow vehicle on day trips. Spend rainy days at a movie theater, library, or museum. Look at local publications to find fairs, markets, concerts, parades, festivals, and other events to attend – and as a bonus get to experience the location as a local and less like a tourist.
* * *
Everything about camping and RVing is a trade off. Small rigs like teardrops have less in the space and amenities department, but are easier to travel with, have less things to break, and can get to more remote locations. A smaller space can still equate to big fun. Teardrops are vessels to have adventures out of, not in. Get out there and see something new!
For more information on teardrop trailer living, check out this series:
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