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Friday, June 21, 2024

What is a Teardrop Trailer? A Beginner’s Guide to Teardrops

Teardrop trailers became hugely popular in the mid-20th century as a way to hit the open road and explore America’s burgeoning highway system. These compact, easy-to-tow trailers have remained popular over the years as an economical way to go camping, overlanding, and road-tripping.

Now, the popularity of teardrop trailers is seen both on-road and off-road. Just like teardrop trailers are easy to tow, easy to set up, and offer plenty of amenities for folks that never leave the asphalt, teardrops provide all the same benefits for folks that enjoy getting off-grid.

To help explain what a teardrop trailer is and why it’s a great option for your off-road adventures, we’ll use the So-Cal Teardrops Extreme Off-Road XS511 trailer as a prime example. 

So-Cal Teardrops is a well-known name in the trailer industry, and their teardrop trailers are beautifully designed, impeccably built, and backed by a knowledgeable team of experts that strive to give you the best trailer experience possible.

Let’s take an in-depth look at teardrops to understand what makes them such a great choice for overlanding.

Table of Contents

What is a Teardrop Trailer?

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As you would have guessed by the name, teardrop trailers are simply trailers that are compact in size yet loaded with top-class amenities. You can tow one with your mid-size truck and discover far-flung locations without having second thoughts.

So, if you’re confused about what is a teardrop trailer, it is called a teardrop due to its profile and shape, which resembles a teardrop and hence its name. It has two wheels, an interior with storage and bedding, an exterior galley, and storage options.

In the case of the So-Cal Teardrops XS511, it weighs under 2,500 lbs and can be easily towed with a mid-size truck or SUV. The So-Cal XS511 has a dry curb weight of 2,200 lbs and comes with all the capabilities you need for rugged off-roading.

What Amenities Do Teardrop Trailers Have?

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Every manufacturer equips its teardrop trailer with different standard and optional features.

The So-Cal Teardrops XS511 trailer comes with tons of luxury and utility amenities that make your life fun and comfortable when Overlanding. This rugged trailer is completely handmade and comes with a Baltic Birch interior with storage options, power outlets, and a mattress.

so-cal teardrops xs11 4 suspension

You also get a sturdy suspension setup with capable wheels, and can choose to get a 3,000 BTU air conditioning unit, a slide-out kitchen, a fridge, a portable solar setup, and an undercarriage guard as well. The list extends even further, and the company will add anything you want in your super-tough XS511 teardrop trailer. As I said earlier, the folks at So-Cal Teardrops want you to have the best possible experience in your trailer!

Can Teardrop Trailers Go Off-Road?

Teardrop trailer rock crawling

If there’s one department where teardrop trailers shine, it’s off-roading. One of the primary reasons for getting a teardrop trailer is to have a compact machine that can be towed anywhere without having to worry about weight, maneuverability, and road clearance.

The So-Cal XS511 has a reinforced steel-aluminum chassis, a rugged suspension setup, a straight axle, and electric brakes. Its beefed-up 30” tires offer a generous road clearance of 18-inches.

When you have a loaded trailer like this with such dependable capability, no destination seems too far off-grid. If you and your tow vehicle are up for a challenge, the So-Cal Teardrops Extreme Off-Road XS511 is ready, too!

How Big Are Teardrop Trailers?

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Again, there is wide variability in terms of the size, weight, and even the shape of teardrop trailers. 

Let’s take a look at some figures and dimensions of So-Cal XS511 teardrop trailers to get an idea.

  • Height: 73-inches
  • Length: 120-inches
  • Width: 60-inches
  • Weight: 2,200 lbs
  • Headroom: 44-inches

In other words, this trailer is compact, yet offers ample living space. The towing experience is second-to-none on-road or off, with far less drag than a traditional off-road trailer.

As mentioned earlier, you can easily tow this and other teardrop trailers with a mid-size SUV or truck. What’s more, you can tow this trailer with regular passenger cars, too!

Why are Teardrop Trailers So Popular?

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Teardrop trailers are getting hotter and hotter in the off-road industry, and enthusiasts can’t get enough of them. This is not accidental, and there are a few solid reasons behind their popularity.

Compact and Manageable

Teardrop trailers are smart and compact in design, making them very easy to maintain, prepare, and tow with many types of vehicles. The smaller size means maneuvering becomes easier, and it travels over tough terrains more easily due to the better handling and balance. Keeping them in your garage and towing them to different locations is also much easier than larger trailers or RVs.


The tough steel reinforced chassis with a rugged suspension, axle, brakes, and tires make this off-road teardrop trailer well-suited for all types of terrain. Just about anywhere you plan to go, the SoCal XS511 will get there without batting an eye.

Fully Loaded

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Despite their compact size, teardrop trailers come loaded with many of the amenities you’d get in a motorhome. The XS511 has:

  • Baltic Birch interior with Queen-size mattress.
  • Foldable table and other storage spaces.
  • Power outlets for charging, powered by a solar setup and inverter.
  • Galley kitchen and fridge.
  • Front Lockable and tongue storage area.
  • Rooftop racks for tent setup or luggage.
  • 3,000 BTU air conditioning.
  • Upgraded mechanical setup and other options.

So, again, despite its small size, you get loads of amenities in a teardrop trailer like the XS511 from So-Cal Teardrops. It’s the best of both worlds, really – a comfortable space with lots of amenities that’s easy to tow and maneuver off-road.

What more could you ask for?!

Get all the details on the So-Cal Teardrops XS511 by visiting their website.

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