Zyl Vardos Makes a Teardrop

by Abel Zyl Zimmerman

Though I normally build tiny houses, I don’t limit myself to that kind of structure. So, I recently built this teardrop trailer for some really sweet people who live just a few blocks down the hill from me.

It is always so hard to fall in love with a project, and then have to give it away. But the sweet flipside is knowing that someone else is out there enjoying it immensely. Indeed, the day after I delivered it, they departed on a week-long camping trip (in November, no less!)


Anyhow, the Zyl Teardrop is 5 feet wide and 9 feet long. It has a queen-size sleeper, a ‘rumble kitchen’, some nice LED light bars, a marine-type epoxy-varnish wood finish, all stainless steel hardware… and it only weighs 625 lbs. I think a team of dachsunds could pull it. Continue reading

Recycling Old RV Trailers

by Abel Zyl Zimmerman

I recently bought and dismantled a 14 ft. RV trailer for tiny house parts. I thought you avaricious do-it-yourselfers might find the story interesting.

It was a pretty moldy RV, with some appliances inside and an undamaged trailer frame. My goals were to get those two things out of it, and when all was done, I was about 80% successful in doing so.

RV exterior

RV exterior


  • Purchase price: $300
  • Licensing: $23 (it had current tabs)
  • Work gloves, dust masks: $10
  • Sawzall demolition blade: $7
  • Contractor trash bags (for loose debris and fiberglass): $12
  • Diesel fuel for the project, towing it home and delivering recyclables: $55
  • Local landfill fee (plywood, broken glass, fiberglass) $99 Continue reading