Hey Reace, I have a couple of suggestions (anyone surprised?) based in the assumption that this unit would be essentially the size of the current 17' Escape
, plus the upper body extension over the truck box.
There have been a few recent discussions of "fifth-wheels" in the forum, and one recurring theme is "what can tow it?" With the number of compact trucks out there with very short boxes, I think it worth considering a configuration which places the entire upper body section about a metre (3 ft) behind the hitch pin/ball, with just a narrow structure (gooseneck
) over the box. That's not just an extended pin box, because it means less upper body protrusion compared to the main body (or a longer lower body, depending on how you look at it).
design uses a 2" ball coupler
. A ball makes sense to me, and I'm sure the coupler was chosen for light weight
, but the 2" size is obscure for bed mounting - a 2-5/16" ball would make for much better hitch availability. A true fifth-wheel (pin-and-plate coupler) seems unnecessarily heavy, complex, and expensive.
In the current 17' Escape
, and essentially any fiberglass trailer with a side bathroom, the size of the bathroom
is an area for improvement. Of course, it can't just be made bigger without giving up something else. With the extra room in this fifth-wheel, and the need to raise the roof line (you show a nice slope up to the over-cab section), perhaps the bathroom could be both taller and wider, while staying the same general location.
Another common floorplan issue in the classic egg layout - of which the 17' Escape is an example - is difficulty in access to the dinette
. There are "pinch points" at both sides, where the occupant is required to squeeze between the table corner and either the kitchen cabinet or whatever storage cabinet is on the other side, and rounding off the corners of the table doesn't really fix it. If the door were closer to the rear (and I do realize that the wheel is in the way), so that there was no deep cabinet between the door and dinette, at least one side would have easy access. This is essentially the situation with the front dinette in the Boler
I am uncertain how well my wife would handle the climb into the raised bed. Buried in the thread "Doors in benches under Scamp rear dinette, Benches strong enough to put these in?"
, Nancy in Oregon
has posted a nice custom staircase/storage unit. Wider (front-to-back) steps would be nice, but the point is that some easy-to-use access method
is required, and it should make good use of the space.
With the right interior features, and in particular that access issue settled, I would consider trading the Sienna for a mid-size pickup to be able to get this type of trailer. Thanks, Reace, for the opportunity to provide input to the design process.