With seven years of tiny trailer camping behind them, Ruth and Greg Seubert are a reservoir of knowledge, experience, and great stories. Hailing from central Wisconsin, the Seuberts are in the process of fulfilling our shared camping dreams of good times in nature--specifically for them, to visit "as many national parks as we can. We’d also like to visit all the state parks in Wisconsin."
Pulling a 5x9 TC Teardrop with a Subaru Outback, their tiny trailer experience began with a TC Teardrop 5x8 in 2011. After that foundational experience, they moved on--or up. "After 4 years we decided to upgrade and purchased a new 5x9 model." Their original tow vehicle was a Honda minivan, but for the last five years they've had the Outback. "There have been no issues pulling the teardrop. You tend to forget it’s back there!"
Like many tiny trailer owners, the Seuberts were not new to camping when they entered the tiny trailer community. Ruth writes that she grew up with nine brothers and sisters, and they tent camped. Her husband camped with his family in a homemade trailer. "With our three kids we tent camped and had a short stint in a pop-up camper that we decided was too much work and went back to tent camping. We really like the simplicity of the teardrop. It’s a wonderful step up from a tent, yet is still minimalist."
Ruth and Greg's camping year tends to run around 35-40 nights a summer, "sometimes more if winter doesn't hit too quickly." State campgrounds are their favorite, although they camp at a county park every once in a while. "We haven’t really camped off the grid, but we don’t hook up to water or electricity regardless of location."
Favorite camping spots are "definitely the woods near lakes," which means Ruth and Greg must often be happy campers, since central Wisconsin has a lot of wooded waterways! "We have camped on the prairie in North Dakota and in Smokey Mountain and Grand Teton national parks. Bayfield, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior is one of our favorites, along with Copper Harbor, MI, on Lake Michigan, and Door County, Wisconsin. Our all time favorite is a state campground an hour away! The fall is definitely our favorite time to camp! No bugs, and far fewer people. We enjoy the cooler temperatures, beautiful colors and hiking. Nothing beats a warm fire on a chilly evening."
Years of camping must provide many great camping stories because when asked to tell a favorite, Ruth's response was "Just one? Yikes!" One of the funniest she remembers was when they were camping in Copper Harbor. "At one point we had three other campers in our site asking questions about the teardrop. A young man said his wife was so embarrassed by him coming over to talk to us! But eventually she showed up, too!" She also remembers when "in the Grand Tetons we had two bears walk right through our site the first day we were there! And camping on the shore of Lake Michigan in the UP was amazing." Michigan sounds like a destination to add to the camping list!
The Seuberts are pleased with their current trailer. "We have actually made no major modifications to the TC Teardrop itself, but we’ve added a few options over the years. A Rhinorack Foxwing awning was an investment that we love, along with the Rhinorack Sunseeker Awning and Base Tent. The tent attaches to one of the side doors, and is all enclosed with a floor and zipped screening. It’s perfect for getting in out of the rain, away from mosquitoes, changing; and it houses our clothes, a couple chairs, and port-a-potty. We also added 4 Rotopax water containers, which eliminates the trips to the water pumps in campgrounds, and a RoadShower.
Based on their years of camping experience, the best advice the Seuberts can give is this: "Embrace the outdoors!" Living in in human-made boxes is just too limiting. "When we decided to upgrade from tent camping, we went to a dealership to look at small pull-behind, hard-side campers. We stepped inside the first one, saw the stove, refrigerator and microwave, and knew that was not what we wanted. So often we see people with the large RV’s, and they are inside! Get outside! Cook over a campfire! Hike the trails! We climb into the teardrop after a long day, and head back out in the morning."
Ruth and her husband like the minimalist nature of tiny trailer camping, and not only are teardrops "minimalist" but also require a certain less-is-more attitude toward gear. Ruth advises to "pack minimally. It reduces the weight you’re pulling and makes it easier to find something when you need it. The only things we need to pack/unpack for each trip are food and clothes. Otherwise, everything stays in the galley and lockbox at all times."
Ruth and Greg hope that retirement is just around the corner. Their teardrop has already provided them with a wealth of memories, and they hope it will last a long time and provide more great memories. We thank the Seuberts for sharing their tiny trailer camping experiences and providing us with future hopes and possibilities.