Teardrop Stretch

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    On to the fenders: did not seem right to slap on some aluminum or galvanized ones, so went a different route –

    First drawing them up – again flexible stick and French Curve drafting

    Then a male mold to shape the panels

    Patterns made of “wigglewood” – much easier to bend.

    Then the female mold:

    Okoume panels bent in, glassed and epoxied just like camper shell:

    I added inner fenders at front and back for strength, filled ends with two part foam, glassed and sprayed with bedliner paint. Then fixed to camper shell


    Amazing build Mike.  Love the attention to detail.  I really like the torsion axle frame hidden in the body.  I’d like see a little more detail on how the tongue ties in to the cross member.  Do those diagonal rails from the tongue extend to the cross member at the axles or do they mount to the plywood body?


    Matt, thanks for the kind words.

    I am away from home until July, so a bit limited in my reply. But I can say that the diagonal rails do not tie into cross member. The ends are welded to angle sections (at the base of the triangle) that are drilled and then bolted through the front of my storage box (3/4 inch ply) which is drilled oversize and filled with hardened epoxy and re-drilled. Inside the box are matching 1/4 inch steel plates to accept bolts and sandwich the ply.

    The tongue piece has 4×6 inch plates welded ate the far end, top and bottom. They slip over and under cross member and bolt through it and continue through floor and matching steel plated underneath.

    When I get back I can post some sketches and photos.

    Lastly a disclaimer- I am no engineer and this may or may not work long term and / or be safe. Buying a manufactured trailer is the safer way to go.


    Matt, for more details best to contact me directly:

    barnards then the @ sign, then telus.net





    Awesome build stretchMike! You described your process clearly, I just want to be sure I’m reading it right as I’m tempted to go down the same road:

    The transverse former marked ‘extra’ between #4&5 is not a clone of either. Rather, the length and angles of its chines are determined by the adjusted curves-right? Were any of the formers straight from the OEM patterns?
    When you stretched the design on paper, did you keep the OEM height and width as a limit? Or did you follow the original curves as much as possible, allowing the stretch to push the height and width slightly?


    Good questions.

    All transverse formers except # 4 & #5 were stock. I did not want to mess with the hatch area or the front of the camper as they are both high curvature and in the case of the hatch somewhat complex were. I figured that changing those shapes would cause a host of problems elsewhere.

    Formers 4 & 5 were modified slightly. If you look at the photo of my flexible stick drafting you will see that to get a smooth curve I started the adjustment just to the outside of those formers. I adjusted the formers by measuring the revised width of the panel at the former station and then transferring it to the former pattern.

    The “extra” former is entirely custom. The width at the base of the camper is the same as for the other formers. For the angles of the panels I interpolated between # 4 and # 5. Again I transferred panel widths from the modified plans. Still it needed to be adjusted a few times. The Height of the camper turned out to be 1 – 1 1/2 inches taller than OEM because of the added section and the curvature of the roof. I think if I were doing it again I would make the extra former adjustable: put my first two panels in and them support them after they were loosely wired in to the other formers. Then repeat for the other panels. I think easier to achieve a smooth shape that way.

    All the best.

    PS: about 10,000 km on mine now. Last week on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, next week Banff and Lake Louise.


    @stretchMike we’re also thinking of installing the domestic sink/stove hob combo in our standard CLC teardrop and wondering if you could share how you hooked it up! We obviously have a little less room, but build the cargo carrier and plan to hook up a water tank below the actual trailer.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by mkley22.

    That is a beautiful trailer.  I’ve looked at the normal CLC trailer, but your’s is more what I want.    Have you showed this to CLC?  I wonder if they would consider selling a kit for it.  I don’t have the skills to figure out the mods so I would have to find someone to do that for me.  Also, I have two kids, 5 & 15, and most of the time they can sleep in an attached tent, but the youngest still gets frightened. There also might be times where weather would drive them into the trailer.  Do you suppose the galley could be replaced with a chuckbox and used as bunks until the kids are older? I would still have a bunk shelf that would go across the rear so I would imagine (with my very limited understanding) that would preserve the structural integrity.  My current vehicle won’t tow more than 1200, so I have to keep the weight down too.  Any idea what your beauty weighs?


    Thanks for the interest. Trying to answer your questions:

    – CLC have not seen it in person but are aware of it and I chatted to Dillon at the Port Townsend wooden boat festival.

    – I don’t think a stretched CLC version is in the cards. Somewhere on their site (FAQ’S?) they say that any bigger version would run into big increases in shipping costs. I can see that. For example I found and used 5×10 sheets of ply which greatly reduced the number of scarf joints you would need, especially in the floors.

    – mine weighs 1250lbs including two 100A batteries, fridge, stove etc.

    – the bunk idea seems like a lot of work and compromise for what will hopefully be a very short term problem with your 5 year old’s nightmares.

    Just my 2c worth.


    Thanks for the response.

    I think I also saw something about shipping costs and wood on their site. I was hoping CLC would sell plans for a stretched version, even if I had to get the wood elsewhere.  One of the things I don’t like about their version is the lack of any storage inside the trailer.  It seems to have a narrow shelf above the footwell and that’s it.  I could add a very high shelf or even some kind of pockets but I would prefer just a smidge more space then that.

    As for bunks, I was pretty sure I wasn’t explaining myself well.  If I’m understanding the photos, without the galley module there is still a shelf and partition between the sleeping area and where the galley goes. If I left the shelf, but removed the vertical partition, I would create a sleeping space for a kid on that shelf that is open to the sleeping area.  Not much headroom, which might be a deal breaker.  With the stretched version, I could probably put the second kiddo under the shelf.  My concern is compromising structural integrity without that vertical piece.  Then once my kids are past the point of needing to be in the trailer, I can add the partition and galley module without too much work.



    I think if you left the galley hatch uncut and did some reinforcement of the galley flat and bulkhead (the partition between main cabin and galley), your idea would be plenty sturdy for the use you described. You might want to avoid any kind of roof rack because the load bearing of the roof may be somewhat reduced. I don’t think I’d completely remove the bulkhead but would instead cut an arch similar to the bulkhead arch that is below the galley flat and shelf.


    That makes sense, thanks.  Now to convince my husband 🙂


    What JB says also makes sense to me.

    Currently camping on beautiful Nicola Lake, BC in ours. Day 21 this year. Mike


    It looks like you might have had to do a bit of custom work for the skylight as well? Of course you didn’t start with their kit, so you didn’t need to adhere to the spots where they indicated you should make the cuts.

    I like your build. Very practical.

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