What trailer sleeps the most? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-12-2019, 08:21 AM   #1
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Name: Kirk
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Question What trailer sleeps the most?

I am wondering what molded fiberglass trailer has the most sleeping accommodations to accommodate a growing family (5 currently), due to which we drive a minivan with 3500# towing limit (closer to 3000# with passengers). If absolutely necessary, we could upgrade to a minivan with 5000# towing limit.

  • We tried a 16' Scamp, layout 4. This was ok for us, but with 4 in the family. It probably needed a WDH. The minivan front wheels would spin on gravel/wet pavement.
  • We tried the Livin Lite Quicksilver 14XLP. It towed great and has the sleeping room, but the setup/teardown can be inconvenient if we are stopping every night, and/or in inclement weather.
  • We looked at TrailManor, but I am worried about leaks and longevity. Also, although it has hard sides, it seems a similar hassle to setup/teardown. People indicate they weigh much more than the official weight, which would be a problem for minivan pulling.
Some options we considered:
  • Scamp 16' with layout 7, but this gets only 1 additional bed. It would be nice if we could add a bunk/cot above there afterward.
  • Something like Lil Hauley or other empty shell with Disc-o-bed or similar bunk beds, that can convert to bench seating during the day.
  • Casita 17' Independence standard, if the twin beds could also have back cushions that flip up to make bunks (giving 6 bunks). Or some sort of after purchase cot/bunk arrangement.
  • Escape 19' with cot option, and if they could put 1-2 cots also above the large sleeping area in the rear. But weight will be too much with current minivan.
We do not need fancy fit and finish: Disc-o-bed bunk cots and a basic kitchen island and a cassette toilet would be fine. What I am wondering is if there are any molded fiberglass trailers (current or past models) that would fit our needs, or could be easily modified to do so. Thank you!
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:23 AM   #2
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Casita 16’ Spirit standard with side bunk option has six berths: front and side bunks plus rear dinette bed. You can get the same thing in the 17’ length, but it will certainly be too much for your minivan. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that configuration used in either length, so you’d probably have to order new.

You will likely have the same FWD traction issues as the Scamp. I experience it occasionally towing our 13’ Scamp behind our FWD Pilot with four on board. FWD is a compromise that comes with some limitations.

Your trailer and tongue weight ratings are based on only two people. They decrease as you add more people. The limiting factor is the rear axle weight rating. You may have already exceeded it with the 16’ Scamp hitch weight and 5 on board. As the kids grow, eventually you certainly will. Something to start planning for...
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #3
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indeed, FWD is not a good layout for towing.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:59 AM   #4
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Per the manual, our current towing limit is 3050# with 5 passengers (150# ea + 15# cargo). With 6 it is 2900# but then it drops off after that (hits GAWR and/or GCVW, I imagine). We hope to get more use out of this van before moving up to something like a Mercedes Metris, which has has higher towing capacity and is rear-wheel drive. But maybe sooner would be better than later, if it helps with towing.


That is interesting that the Casita Standard can come with two sets of bunk beds. I thought I had pored through the websites of all the manufacturers, but I didn't catch that. Thank you! Are there any other makes/models of molded fiberglass that have similar "hidden" layouts with two sets of bunk beds?

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Old 08-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotherm View Post
That is interesting that the Casita Standard can come with two sets of bunk beds. I thought I had pored through the websites of all the manufacturers, but I didn't catch that. Thank you! Are there any other makes/models of molded fiberglass that have similar "hidden" layouts with two sets of bunk beds?
Nope. It's the only.

This is what I'm seeing on the Casita website. The 1st column is the 16' standard and the 3rd column is the 17' standard. The "Front Couch/Bunk Beds" are standard and replace the front wet bath; the optional "Couch/Bunk Beds" replace the side dinette.
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Didn't think about the Metris. Nice choice! It might even handle the 17' length, which gives you a more usable dinette/bed (54" vs. 45"), along with a number of other design improvements, like a flat door with screen and a rear window that opens for more ventilation. Hmmm...

Cost-wise the Metris puts you in the same territory as a Ford Transit, which gives you more drivetrain options and payload/towing capacity, though you sacrifice drivability in everyday use. It would certainly handle a Casita 17 with margin to spare.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:46 AM   #6
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yeah, I thought the max in a casita non-deluxe was the main bed, the double bunk in front, and the dinette turned into another single bed, which is 6' long but only 24" wide.

in a 16 or 17 foot casita, if you get stuck inside on a rainy day, there's nowhere for 5 to sit, short of the beds.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:31 PM   #7
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Friends of ours have an older 19 ft Scamp 5th wheel.
It has a sign by the door that says: "SLEEPS 8 ………. 2 AT A TIME"

A side room tent for the kids works. they need to learn how to rough it.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Pop-up tent trailer. They are VERY roomy and everyone will have an enjoyable trip. Save the egg for empty nest time.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:05 PM   #9
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Wow, those Casita options would be clearer if they said "Side Couch/Bunk Beds"! I imagine the kids will want to go out in a tent at some point (maybe 8-10yo), but we aren't there yet.

We really, really wanted the popup trailer to work. It tows wonderfully. It has a lot of room. When we camp, we stay for 2-3 days; so once it's set up, it's great... assuming no hailstorms!

But we also used the Scamp to travel, and would pop in to make/eat a meal, let the kids play, take a quick nap, use the facilities, etc. It made travel more leisurely, and we could take in more of the things along the way. That sort of thing is totally out of the question with the popup, and we miss it.

So it's a bit of a trade off between room while set up vs. actually using the camper more often. Thus the inquiry...
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:53 PM   #10
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What about a hybrid trailer? That would give you the main body of the trailer to do as you mentionned---have lunch, use the facilities, nap etc.



The fold-out beds at either end could be deployed for sleeping upon arrival, giving lots of room.


Our son has one and with 2 kids and a huge dog, they find it perfect.


Something to consider.....
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:58 PM   #11
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The trailer that sleeps the most... is the trailer that travels the least. (So it sleeps in the driveway all the time.)



If you can use a light duty weight distribution hitch, it will put more weight back on the front axle and cut the wheel spin. Other than that, I see a more capable tow vehicle in your future.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:03 AM   #12
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The hybrid trailers sound interesting. It would solve some of the challenges. Are there any lightweight ones? K-Z Escape and Jay Feather seem to be 2700-2900# dry in their lightest configuration, which will be really pushing the towing limit with water, propane, etc.

A combination of the older Northern Lite trailers, with the tip out bunk, plus the cot over the rear bed in the Lite House trailers, seems perfect. But nobody makes this.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:12 AM   #13
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What trailer sleeps the most?

Living Lite did make some layouts with optional tip-out beds in their Camplite line of all-aluminum travel trailers and small toy haulers. The smaller ones might be doable with your minivan. Personally, I feel like Thor ruined that brand, and finding a pre-Thor unit with tip-out beds could be a challenge.

For me, I’d rather deal with the challenges of a small space. We’ve had all four of us inside our Scamp on a bad weather day more than once. Thanks to the convertible beds, there’s plenty of room. Kids’ll eventually get bored no matter how big the trailer. Jump in the car and visit a nearby town, or... horrors!... put on raincoats and take a walk in the rain. It’s camping!

Smooth, leak-free, solid fiberglass walls all around on a wet and windy night... priceless!
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotherm View Post
The hybrid trailers sound interesting. It would solve some of the challenges. Are there any lightweight ones? K-Z Escape and Jay Feather seem to be 2700-2900# dry in their lightest configuration, which will be really pushing the towing limit with water, propane, etc.

A combination of the older Northern Lite trailers, with the tip out bunk, plus the cot over the rear bed in the Lite House trailers, seems perfect. But nobody makes this.
You won't find any appreciably lighter conventional travel trailers. I suppose one could build a trailer out of foam and cover it with muslin cloth and paint it... that would be lighter. .

Maybe look at a cargo trailer. Build some bunks and shelves in it.
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