KURT BOWDEN
Designer/Builder

(530)238-2914

 

Custom Teardrop

Trailers

For Little Cars

 

Perfect for Road Touring, Comfort Camping, Hot Rods & Car Shows


MiniTears Teardrop Under Construction

Updated June 30 ... Project complete!:
   Running a few days behind schedule due to delays at the powder coaters, this MiniTears was  built for Stephen and Ruth Peter of Tampa, Florida. It has just about every option available in a MiniTears teardrop.
    By holding your cursor over each photo a caption will appear explaining the photo. Please enjoy the gallery.

This temporary structure will allow me to varnish panels in a dust free environment while I continue working in the woodshop. The first coats of hand brushed varnish are applied to the  wall panels.
This temporary structure will allow me to varnish panels in a dust free environment while I continue working in the woodshop. The first coats of hand brushed varnish are applied to the wall panels.
In this photo I am installing the 2x2 pressure treated rim to the bottom of the floor.
In this photo I am installing the 2x2 pressure treated rim to the bottom of the floor.
Using masking tape, I lay out the wall panels for dadoing.
Using masking tape, I lay out the wall panels for dadoing.
After the walls are dadoed they are pre-drilled along the bottom where they will be screwed to the floor.
After the walls are dadoed they are pre-drilled along the bottom where they will be screwed to the floor.
This wall panel is ready to be cut into the teardrop profile.
This wall panel is ready to be cut into the teardrop profile.
Before cutting, I sandwich the two wall panels and the two exterior sheets of aluminum siding together. This will insure that they are all perfect matches.
Before cutting, I sandwich the two wall panels and the two exterior sheets of aluminum siding together. This will insure that they are all perfect matches.
Using a template that was plotted in my office, I trace the wall and door profiles onto the panels.
Using a template that was plotted in my office, I trace the wall and door profiles onto the panels.
MiniTears II begins to take shape!
MiniTears II begins to take shape!
In this photo I am attaching the first wall panel to the floor platform using Gorilla Glue and screws.
In this photo I am attaching the first wall panel to the floor platform using Gorilla Glue and screws.
When the second wall panel is installed, the lower bulkhead and galley countertop are snapped into place. When the panels are glued and screwed together the body becomes very strong and rigid.
When the second wall panel is installed, the lower bulkhead and galley countertop are snapped into place. When the panels are glued and screwed together the body becomes very strong and rigid.
Some of the critically located structural cross ribs are let into the wall panels to maximize strength.
Some of the critically located structural cross ribs are let into the wall panels to maximize strength.
All of the front cross ribbing is complete.
All of the front cross ribbing is complete.
This photo shows how the moonroof framing is done.
This photo shows how the moonroof framing is done.
Back in the galley, I have installed the formica flooring, a cabinet partition, and cut in openings for the ventilation system and battery box.
Back in the galley, I have installed the formica flooring, a cabinet partition, and cut in openings for the ventilation system and battery box.
I selected this mahogany plywood panel for its beautiful color and grain pattern. It will make for a striking ceiling!
I selected this mahogany plywood panel for its beautiful color and grain pattern. It will make for a striking ceiling!
Laying down another coat of varnish.
Laying down another coat of varnish.
Fitting interior panels.
Fitting interior panels.
These backing blocks will provide support for a section of the ceiling.
These backing blocks will provide support for a section of the ceiling.
This is a preliminary fitting of the stow cabinet face frame.
This is a preliminary fitting of the stow cabinet face frame.
These are conceptual drawings of the interior trims and details.
These are conceptual drawings of the interior trims and details.
I've been cutting templates of all the cabinet face panels as I go. In this picture I've just cut the stow face panel and it's template.
I've been cutting templates of all the cabinet face panels as I go. In this picture I've just cut the stow face panel and it's template.
Fitting the stow face panel and a ceiling section.
Fitting the stow face panel and a ceiling section.
Building the face frame of the entertainment center.
Building the face frame of the entertainment center.
Components of the cabin drawers ready to assemble.
Components of the cabin drawers ready to assemble.
Assembly of drawer cabinets.
Assembly of drawer cabinets.
A preliminary fitting of the drawer cabinets in cabin.
A preliminary fitting of the drawer cabinets in cabin.
Trimming the drawer cabinets with Peruvian Walnut.
Trimming the drawer cabinets with Peruvian Walnut.
Dovetailed drawer faces. Alder and Peruvian Walnut make a beautiful team.
Dovetailed drawer faces. Alder and Peruvian Walnut make a beautiful team.
Prefinished moldings ready for installation.
Prefinished moldings ready for installation.
Installing cabin cabinet components.
Installing cabin cabinet components.
Cabin cabinets coming together.
Cabin cabinets coming together.
Installing the walnut surrounds at the stow cabinets.
Installing the walnut surrounds at the stow cabinets.
A close-up of the Peruvian Walnut stow trims.
A close-up of the Peruvian Walnut stow trims.
This led light fixture will throw perfect lighting for reading.
This led light fixture will throw perfect lighting for reading.
Cutting in the sink is the first step back in the galley.
Cutting in the sink is the first step back in the galley.
Final fitting of the sink and faucet. The Shur-Flo pump is ready to install down below.
Final fitting of the sink and faucet. The Shur-Flo pump is ready to install down below.
The battery charger and fuse block are mounted into place. In this shot you can also see the ventilation fans mounted in the lower bulkhead.
The battery charger and fuse block are mounted into place. In this shot you can also see the ventilation fans mounted in the lower bulkhead.
The pull-out ice chest shelf is modified with Velcro straps to hold the chest firmly in place.
The pull-out ice chest shelf is modified with Velcro straps to hold the chest firmly in place.
All straped down & ready to roll.
All straped down & ready to roll.
The upper galley cabinet face frame is cut out of a pre-finished piece of plywood.
The upper galley cabinet face frame is cut out of a pre-finished piece of plywood.
In this photo I am fitting the face frame and upper shelf into place.
In this photo I am fitting the face frame and upper shelf into place.
This slot will provide clearance for the gas assist lift arms.
This slot will provide clearance for the gas assist lift arms.
After the tambour doors are installed in the face frame the cabinet is installed permanently.
After the tambour doors are installed in the face frame the cabinet is installed permanently.
With the upper face frame installed I can fit the drawer cabinet into place. I have installed the tambour door below but I won't install the lower face frame until the electrical is complete.
With the upper face frame installed I can fit the drawer cabinet into place. I have installed the tambour door below but I won't install the lower face frame until the electrical is complete.
In this picture I have installed the LED rope light that will provide lighting to the galley.
In this picture I have installed the LED rope light that will provide lighting to the galley.
In this picture you can see the mini can lighting and cabin speakers that have been installed into the ceiling panel. The moon roof won't be permanently installed until the aluminum siding is finished
In this picture you can see the mini can lighting and cabin speakers that have been installed into the ceiling panel. The moon roof won't be permanently installed until the aluminum siding is finished
The upper galley is almost complete. The new panel mounted on the upper shelf will provide a chase to hide all the wiring. It also makes a great place to mount the galley light switches and 12v recep
The upper galley is almost complete. The new panel mounted on the upper shelf will provide a chase to hide all the wiring. It also makes a great place to mount the galley light switches and 12v recep
This shows the wiring for the entertainment center.
This shows the wiring for the entertainment center.
With the wiring completed within the ceiling cavity, I secure the loom in place.
With the wiring completed within the ceiling cavity, I secure the loom in place.
This is a photo of the reading light wiring. I've left plenty of slack wire to enable the fixture to be removed for future maintainence.
This is a photo of the reading light wiring. I've left plenty of slack wire to enable the fixture to be removed for future maintainence.
The wiring all comes together in the upper galley where the fuse block has been relocated. The panel in front of the wiring will close up to hide everything.
The wiring all comes together in the upper galley where the fuse block has been relocated. The panel in front of the wiring will close up to hide everything.
With the wiring completed, the galley can be buttoned up. All this galley needs now is a couple of drawer faces.
With the wiring completed, the galley can be buttoned up. All this galley needs now is a couple of drawer faces.
Here's another shot of the galley.
Here's another shot of the galley.
The framework for the galley hatch takes shape.
The framework for the galley hatch takes shape.
The speakers that will be mounted in the hatch require small cabinets for mounting.
The speakers that will be mounted in the hatch require small cabinets for mounting.
The face frames for the speakers will be painted black and then covered with a special fabric designed for speaker cabinets.
The face frames for the speakers will be painted black and then covered with a special fabric designed for speaker cabinets.
This is the insulation assembly for the ceiling. It consists of a 1 inch rigid foam board and 1/8 radiant barrier blanket.
This is the insulation assembly for the ceiling. It consists of a 1 inch rigid foam board and 1/8 radiant barrier blanket.
The insulation is complete and the outer skin can be installed.
The insulation is complete and the outer skin can be installed.
The 1/8 inch plywood skin has been glued and stapled into place.
The 1/8 inch plywood skin has been glued and stapled into place.
The body side of the hurricane hatch hinge is fitted and screwed into place.
The body side of the hurricane hatch hinge is fitted and screwed into place.
The hatch frame is reinforced with this 1/8 aluminum rib.
The hatch frame is reinforced with this 1/8 aluminum rib.
The hatch side of the hinge is temporarliy install so the hatch fit can be checked.
The hatch side of the hinge is temporarliy install so the hatch fit can be checked.
This is the 1/8 mahogany panel will be used to skin the hatch interior. The holes are for the speakrs.
This is the 1/8 mahogany panel will be used to skin the hatch interior. The holes are for the speakrs.
The hatch is getting wired for the speakers, license plate light, and a very trick overhead light I've come up with.
The hatch is getting wired for the speakers, license plate light, and a very trick overhead light I've come up with.
Using this 8 inch pipe I can find the center of balance of the cabin. This will help determine the axle location.
Using this 8 inch pipe I can find the center of balance of the cabin. This will help determine the axle location.
Again, kind of simple, but using dead weigh, I can simulate the weight of missing elements, such as a full ice chest and the missing hatch lid, during the balancing process.
Again, kind of simple, but using dead weigh, I can simulate the weight of missing elements, such as a full ice chest and the missing hatch lid, during the balancing process.
I have now established the zero balance point of the trailer's cabin and can use this alxe location to determine an accurate tongue weight.
I have now established the zero balance point of the trailer's cabin and can use this alxe location to determine an accurate tongue weight.
After balancing, I lower the cabin onto stationary blocks that provide a means of support for the sheets of siding. The cabin will stay on these blocks for the remainder of the project.
After balancing, I lower the cabin onto stationary blocks that provide a means of support for the sheets of siding. The cabin will stay on these blocks for the remainder of the project.
The frame has been welded by a certified welder who happens to live across the creek from me. Very convenient!
The frame has been welded by a certified welder who happens to live across the creek from me. Very convenient!
The interior skin of the hatch is glued iand stapled into place.
The interior skin of the hatch is glued iand stapled into place.
The aluminum skin is fitted to the hatch but not installed yet.
The aluminum skin is fitted to the hatch but not installed yet.
Before I install the aluminum siding I seal all the seams with a coat of varnish.
Before I install the aluminum siding I seal all the seams with a coat of varnish.
All the wall edges get sealed as well to insure waterproof ing of the plywood walls.
All the wall edges get sealed as well to insure waterproof ing of the plywood walls.
Jack the Shop Dog takes five from building teardrop trailers.
Jack the Shop Dog takes five from building teardrop trailers.
I'll use this template to locate the windows in the doors.
I'll use this template to locate the windows in the doors.
The first panel of siding is glued into place and clamped to insure a tight bond.
The first panel of siding is glued into place and clamped to insure a tight bond.
Once the window hole is cut in the door the protective plastic needs to be removed to allow the window and moldings to be set. Great care must be used around this polished aluminum. It scratches easy!
Once the window hole is cut in the door the protective plastic needs to be removed to allow the window and moldings to be set. Great care must be used around this polished aluminum. It scratches easy!
This window is ready to set.
This window is ready to set.
With the drawer faces finished and the new Coleman ice chest in place, all the galley needs is a hatch.
With the drawer faces finished and the new Coleman ice chest in place, all the galley needs is a hatch.
The dovetail detail in the drawer faces give this trailer the MiniTears touch.
The dovetail detail in the drawer faces give this trailer the MiniTears touch.
This door is being fitted with a bendable aluminum tee molding. It is a very slow process to avoid kinking the molding.
This door is being fitted with a bendable aluminum tee molding. It is a very slow process to avoid kinking the molding.
Once the door has its moldings and window it is fitted into its hinge.
Once the door has its moldings and window it is fitted into its hinge.
The edge moldings are installed onto the wall edge at the galley.
The edge moldings are installed onto the wall edge at the galley.
Door handle hardware is the last detail on the doors.
Door handle hardware is the last detail on the doors.
Here I am constructing an overhead light fixture for the hatch. The fixture uses the two speaker cabinets as part of the fixture.
Here I am constructing an overhead light fixture for the hatch. The fixture uses the two speaker cabinets as part of the fixture.
This light fixture will draw more wattage because of its halogen bulb, but the extra light will be handy in the galley and it looks great too.
This light fixture will draw more wattage because of its halogen bulb, but the extra light will be handy in the galley and it looks great too.
After setting the moon roof into the top of the trailer I trim out the chase inside the cabin.
After setting the moon roof into the top of the trailer I trim out the chase inside the cabin.
This bug screen, built out of solid walnut and marine grade hardware will be fitted to the moonroof. It has a magnetic closure.
This bug screen, built out of solid walnut and marine grade hardware will be fitted to the moonroof. It has a magnetic closure.
This water-tight port gives access to the battery charger cord. It allows the hatch lid to be closed and locked during charging periods.
This water-tight port gives access to the battery charger cord. It allows the hatch lid to be closed and locked during charging periods.
This is the final piece of exterior siding to be installed, the tailpiece. Once in place I will install the wooden threshold and seal with silicone.
This is the final piece of exterior siding to be installed, the tailpiece. Once in place I will install the wooden threshold and seal with silicone.
The bug screen is installed and looks great!
The bug screen is installed and looks great!
Once the frame has been powder coated it's time for assembly.
Once the frame has been powder coated it's time for assembly.
First step is to attach the wheel adaptors to the hubs and install the axle.
First step is to attach the wheel adaptors to the hubs and install the axle.
After the wheels are attached the frame is flipped over right side up.
After the wheels are attached the frame is flipped over right side up.
Next step is to install the tongue jack and insert the draw bar into the receiver.
Next step is to install the tongue jack and insert the draw bar into the receiver.
The last step in preparing the frame is to pre-wire the tail lights. All the wiring is sheathed in a plastic loom for protection.
The last step in preparing the frame is to pre-wire the tail lights. All the wiring is sheathed in a plastic loom for protection.
Once the cabin is mounted to the frame the fenders are attached.
Once the cabin is mounted to the frame the fenders are attached.
The Mini 'S' spoke wheels we are using have a wider profile that require a 1 inch aluminum spacer at the fender.
The Mini 'S' spoke wheels we are using have a wider profile that require a 1 inch aluminum spacer at the fender.
The trailer is ready to roll!
The trailer is ready to roll!
The trailer will be towed to town to have the red stripes installed. This baby is almost finished.
The trailer will be towed to town to have the red stripes installed. This baby is almost finished.
Back from town sporting its new stripes. This trailer is ready for its delivery trip to its new home in Florida!
Back from town sporting its new stripes. This trailer is ready for its delivery trip to its new home in Florida!