Instructables
Picture of Mini Teardrop Trailer
I wanted to build a small (18-1/2" x 39-1/2" x 19-1/2" body) , scale Teardrop Trailer to pull behind the small, scale 1955 Cadillac scooter that I made to ride in a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.  I am a member of The Rolling Elvi (about 120 guys who dress like Elvis and ride scooters in Mardi Gras parades) I wanted something to carry my Mardi Gras throws as well as an ice chest.  Initially I considered making an Airstream Trailer, however I felt that it may get to be way too heavy if made to a similar scale as my Cadillac.  Therefore I opted for the Teardrop as it also maintained a cool retro look.
 
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Step 1: Materials & Tools

MATERIALS:
1/2" x 1/8" Steel Angle Iron
1/2" Steel Square Tube
1" x 1/8" Steel Flat Bar
5/8" Steel Rod (for Axle)
10" Pneumatic Tires (from Harbor Freight) w/ 5/8" Axle Bore w/ Bearings
20" x 10' Aluminum Flashing
1/4" Oak Plywood
1-1/2" x 3/4" Poplar Board
1-1/2" x 3/4" Oak Board
1/2" Plywood
Fiberglass Resin & Hardener
Piano Hinges
9" Galvanized Reinforcing Straps (x2)
1-1/2" Galvanized Angle Braces (x6)
1-9/16" Zinc-Plated Safety Pins (x2) - OR Cotter Pins
3/4" Philips Wood Screws
3/4" Copper Coated Nails
1/4"-20 T-Nuts
1/4"-20 x 1" Winged Screws
100% Silicone Caulk
Exterior Wood Glue
Wood Stain
Exterior Grade Urethane
Paint
Bicycle Kick Stand
(Parts from Sindrone's Instructable titled "Quick Hitch for bike trailer": http://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-Hitch-for-bike-trailer/z)

TOOLS:
Tape Measure
Oversize Copier (I went to Kinko's)
Large & Small Square
Welder
Grinder
Circular Saw
Table Saw (not necessary, but helpful)
Mitre Saw
Hand (Pull-Cut) Saw
Jig Saw
Hammer
Pencils
Sharpie
2" Chip Brushes
Razor Knife
Drill/Driver
Assorted Drill Bits
Medium Grit Sanding Blocks
spratjack70118 (author) 1 year ago
I'd like to thank everyone who checked out my first Instructable... 16,000 looks in 6 days amazes me! I really appreciate your interest.
onrust1 year ago
This looks awesome. I hope the hitch works well for you. If you have problems, might I suggest a set up similar to this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Trailer-Hitch/
I know its a different set up but since you are welding yourself, you could add a hyme joint sitting on a pin. This would eliminate noise and play.
spratjack70118 (author)  onrust1 year ago
I was not that familiar with the hyme joints and I enjoyed the flexibility of using a pneumatic quick-connect as a hitch. I'm soon to put a male hitch end on my bike to pull the teardrop with it as well as my Mini Cadillac. By the way, stay tuned... I'm about to post the steps I took to build my Mini Cadillac shell.
wingnuts1 year ago
Cool job! I Love NOLA. Where else can you get 120 guys to Elvis-up and ride scooters? ( No Elvis-ettes?) If I ever get a chance to get down there again I'll keep an eye out for you.

For the hinge problem - what about encasing it in a section of an inner tub before you install it?
spratjack70118 (author)  wingnuts1 year ago
We actually have Priscillas who ride in a vehicle along with us. I like your tube idea for encasing the hinge. I'll try it sometime.
Rob O1 year ago
Cool. I did an 'ible on the full size one I built. Fun eh!!
spratjack70118 (author)  Rob O1 year ago
Lots of fun. I'd love to have a full sized one. ...I bet you didn't make yours in your den, and have your wife mad at you for leaving sawdust in her carpet.
One way that you could weather proof the hinges is to place self adhesive weather strips along each edge of the hinge. Also I love the instructable! I have been looking for something like this to use for my bike.
spratjack70118 (author)  rangerweavere1 year ago
rangerweavere, it's more the center/spine of the hinge where the water will penetrate, as opposed to the edges. I'm thinking that perhaps a small strip of duct tape will cure my problem - and be flexible enough to hold up to the opening & closing of the hatches. It will also be easy to replace. I'll give it a try. I appreciate your input.
spratjack70118 (author)  rangerweavere1 year ago
The foam weatherstrips? I'm not able to picture it in place. Perhaps adhere it to the top (exterior) of the hinges so when the hatches open it compresses the foam upon itself?...this may cause the adhesive to fail. Heck, in this scenario even duct tape could work.
Actually I have used this method before. And so far it has held up for around 2 years.
spratjack70118 (author)  rangerweavere1 year ago
I certainly believe you, I'm just trying to visualize your suggestion.
Bubbler1 year ago
This is a great outfit. I would like to know how the car was made, or was it a toy car recycled for this purpose? I wouldn't worry too much about weatherproofing the trailer, because the Elvis is wide open to the elements in any case. LOL
spratjack70118 (author)  Bubbler1 year ago
You are right about Elvis getting wet. I was just hoping to be able to provide some safety for Elvis' cell phone, wallet, etc. Now regarding the car... 4 or 5 years ago I carved it out of foam, made a mold of it in plaster of paris, and made a fiberglass cast from the mold. I didn't know of Instructables at the time, therefore the cart is coming before the horse in this circumstance. I'll have to dig up some old photos to show those steps I took and make another Instructable for my Cadillac...
You are from NOLA? I'm from Lafayette! Mardi Gras RULES!
Thanks for that. It looks like a store bought one. Barbie would be proud to own one like that. LOL. You must keep the wallet out of your pockets, because it does nothing for ones figure to have it in the hip pocket. I'm certain Elvis carried neither, so yep, hid them away and keep them safe. A great outfit once agian.
spratjack70118 (author) 1 year ago
In the last (16th) step I just added a photo of the ice chest that I adapted to fit the rear compartment.
wobbler1 year ago
This is either the work of pure genius or pure insanity. My only question is:
does it run well on the moon?
spratjack70118 (author)  wobbler1 year ago
I like to think it is both genius AND insanity (see my face)... and I think it is moon-ready.
seamster1 year ago
Ha! I love it. Very nice work.
spratjack70118 (author)  seamster1 year ago
Thank you Seamster. I love building this kind of stuff. I have yet to see how well it pulls behind my bike.
mayagayam1 year ago
So cool. Nice job.
So you don't sleep in it then?

Hmmm just joking....

I have made a trailer with the same kind of wheels for behind my push bike and it's great with heavy stuff over say 5 or 10Km....

A good work out.

But over long distances, it's a bit of an anchor......

I put it mainly down to the small OD wheels (many RPM's per distance), and the better SKF bearings I put into them.
spratjack70118 (author)  Wroger-Wroger1 year ago
I initially had a trailer with bike-type wheels (spoked) which would have been easier to pull, however this build was also about the way it LOOKED. I wanted to achieve a finished trailer that looked as much as the full-sized teardrops as possible.
randomray1 year ago
Sweet , looks great . Here's mine http://jarm13.deviantart.com/#/art/Tiny-tiny-teardrop-trailer-279584340?_sid=1de4f657 .
spratjack70118 (author)  randomray1 year ago
Very nice work. I like the wheel shrouds and the paint job. I have made a trailer (not a teardrop) out of a kid trailer, and was going to make it into a teardrop. I decided to build from scratch instead as it would have been larger than I wanted. Also, I wanted to make the wheels more like a scaled-down full-sized trailer's wheels. I just love coming up with an idea and building it. It's a lot of fun.
Don't get me wrong cause I love your trailer I think you did a great job . And I'm really glad you made the instructable . I'm probably going to use some of your ideas on my next one . One thing , You probably don't need the wood under the aluminum , but a belt and suspenders thing is never actually bad though . I'm looking at experimenting with a " foamy " trailer Foam with cloth over top . There are full size trailers made this way . BUT , this is really IMPORTANT , why isn't yours pink to match your scooter ? Again I love it !
spratjack70118 (author)  randomray1 year ago
randomray, I'm not familiar with the "foamy" trailer foam method. I'd have concern regarding strength. For instance: during our parade ride the other night some drunk girl climbed on for a ride. Fortunately, it did no damage, but she was asked to go away. If it was "foam" underneath the aluminum, I would think it would have crumbled. Regarding the color... I wanted to be able to pull it with my bicycle as well and didn't necessarily want it to be pink as the Cadillac.
Hilarious and great work. I love it!!!
Yeah we would DEF beef this up a bunch! But the simple idea of how to DO some of the build appeals to me--some of the other builds we have looked at are--rocket science! And not really needed. We have a 1500cc Honda Valkyrie and she can pull a bunch even fully mounted so weight is of course a big consideration but getting the "look" is important too! Right now we have the "Car Topper Hack"--small Harbor Freight trailer cut down some and then we mounted the car topper on--er-top. We did a "Maiden Voyage" to Boston from Upstate NY as a "shakedown" and boy did we EVER shake rattle and roll! Altho the trailer worked perfectly road wise we did have to mod the inside to keep things where they needed to STAY. After that we went from Rochester NY to West Virginia and Ohio with just the bike and trailer and had a great time and no mmore destruction of cargo.

When you get the Walmart Chrome Bling be aware there are two kinds--one is a "U" profile that slides over the edge of doors etc--this is what you prob want. Let it WARM UP--do NOT melt by trying to warm over propane heater please don't ask---in a warm place--which you prob have way MORE of than WE do!!!---and then if you need to use a fine blade screwdriver to "widen" the "channel" part to get it to fit...I found I had to use the screwdriver and go along in front of the application--but then I did get a really tight fit which was great. Use a box cutter to cut this for a mitered edge and it looks like a pro job. We also got the flat-peel-n-stick edging which is wider but haven't really used it yet. Might work for other apps tho.

We have "Elvis Fest" here the week BEFORE Americade Bike Week--sometimes we have Left Over Elvi and Bikers at the same time--makes for an um interesting mix!
This is adorable! And very up-scalable for a full size cruiser motorcycle project we are thinking about--

There are several small scale Tear Drop builds out there on the Net--if you look for "Motorcycle Tear Drop" you will find a few and "Miniature tear drop" or even "DIY Teardrop" might turn up a few---there are also organizations devoted to the lovely Teardrop.

Any of these might give you an idea of how to solve the potential leaky hinge--I know I have seen this addressed but not having built one I can't say I remember off hand what was used. Surely if you looked for one of these and posted to their Q&A pages they would be happy to help you. OR even go to an RV dealer and ask what is used in the regular Tear Drops!

We built a pull-behind the bike--she's a big girl so she can pull a fair amount---and we used the foam weatherstrip to line the area where the two hinged surfaces met--think car top carrier on a frame.

One thing we did that looks very cool is to "bling" out the fenders a bit---we used the orig BLACK SHINY metal fenders and then added some black "rubber" flexible "diamond plate"---this is avail from HARBOR FREIGHT in small step sizes for stairs and shop floors--easy to cut with a scissor! We cut this to fit on the top and the slanted sides and then we used the decorative "Chrome Edging" sold at Walmart in the Auto section---made for car door edges---this just slides over the edges and you can add a dab of silicone or glue---to edge the sides and top edge. Added a REAL sharp retro look for about $10 (and we have bunches of "chrome trim" left! We toyed with the idea of adding silver diamond plate but I like the black and silver combo--our bike is a deep yellow and black like a bumblebee!

Can't EVER have too much CHROME!

Do you do the Lake George NY ELVIS FEST? If you are attending contact me!

spratjack70118 (author)  valkgurl1 year ago
...and we really only do Elvis things around New Orleans. There have been a couple of pilgrimages to Graceland as well. Sometimes we are asked to help spice up events... the local roller derby team has us hand out candy to the fans in the stands...a local racetrack had us mingling with the crowd on opening day...a recently renovated drive up restaurant had us there on opening day, etc. We're fans, but not all of us are fanatical. We're just out to have a fun time.
spratjack70118 (author)  valkgurl1 year ago
I guess I should stress that this particular teardrop is not meant for the open road as the tires are really meant for things such as hand-trucks, wagons, etc. I'd be surprised if my scooter would go 30mph in the first place. You should probably step up the chassis for a trailer to pull behind a motorcycle. As a matter of fact, I'm going to edit my Instructable with a suggestion for that...Look at the chassis build for a suggestion to consider...
I like your idea of adding some chrome edging. I'll have to go to Wal-Mart for some BLING. For next year's Mardi Gras I'll probably add some LED lights and maybe some tail lights. By the way, I also love Harbor Freight.