Family Friendly Floor Plans - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2007, 08:30 PM   #57
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Name: Thane
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On the Casita's, the side bunkbed option does not include the overhead cabinet as the headroom is subsequently restricted and chains are used to hold up the side rail.

You could ask that the upper cabinets be left installed, but I am not sure what the space impact would be.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:37 PM   #58
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So, you're asking about really two couches rather than bunkbed setups. Yeah, that would give you the overhead cabinet space....but you really don't want to put a lot of weight in those overhead cabinets. Not a good place to store canned food, extra water, cast iron pots...and the like. More like plastic cups, potato chips, etc. Those cabinets are basically hung from the ceiling with some support at the sidewall. If you got the bunkbed setup, you really don't want the overhead cabinets...unless you want to deal with children getting headaches....there just not sufficient room.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:38 PM   #59
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I agree that overhead cabinets are for relatively light stuff - for both structural and dynamic reasons, but that's still valuable storage. I can really understand wanting two seat-level beds with cabinets overhead, instead of one bunkbed and another closet area, because if the upper level isn't great for storage, it's even worse for sleeping!

It seems like a reasonable plan to me, Michael.

If the load capacity of overhead cabinets is a concern, then I would consider adding supports from the floor level, like the structure which holds the bunk/cabinet over the gaucho in 17' Bolers.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:29 AM   #60
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We just bought a Casita 16ft SD with no bath...We only do the weekend camping so we really don't need the bath...Just use the bathhouses...Ours is very roomy without the bath..It has the counch on the front that makes a bunk...There's only the 2 of us, but we still like the roominess...We haven't camped in it yet cause it's too hot...We are near Nashville, TN and have a heat wave and drought here...But as soon as the weather breaks we're outta here!!! We've had the big campers and just hated pulling them...The Casita is sooo easy to pull.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:00 PM   #61
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Trailer: Scamp 16 ft Side Bath (full of kids!)
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We're a "small" family of 4. Our kids are 11 & 9 years of age and we currently camp in a 2005 Scamp 13'. We "downsized" last summer from a 1982 Scamp 16'. we wanted a new trailer and think the 13's are perfect.

We love it! As Mike says, it gets cramped on a rainy day, but otherwise it is the perfect set up for a young family of 4 to go on weekend camping trips.
Hi Jeremy,
We just did our first outing in a borrowed 13' Boler with 2 adults and four kids. I am thinking about going a little larger to a 16' egg. Why did you choose to downsize? Was there that much difference in how they tow? Any advice you and anyone else have would be appreciated.

How well does a 16' Scamp tow behind something like a Honda Odyssey van?
Which wheight jacking hitch is the best?

Thank you,
Nolan
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:13 AM   #62
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Family-friendly plans

On an overall basis, I agree with nearly everything said so far on this thread.

However, there is NO WAY at all - ever! that "the kids (or anyone else, for that matter) will want to sleep in a tent!" If we can't accommodate everyone IN the trailer, we will be doing the motel thing!

In our case, we are not "campers" - we use the trailer for meals, for socializing and for sleeping while attending events that relate to our hobbies. When it comes to "going camping" - it is unanimous - we'd all rather stay home!

What we need in our case is a way to sleep up to 6 adults, sans anyone having to be on the floor AND we need to have a bathroom, pref with shower, plus a closet to hang coats & things. I am convinced that there are many other families with similar needs, whether they "go camping", travel for vacations, or just weekend while attending other events. From some other comments earlier on this thread, it seems that there others who also need/want "more than what we can find"

Overall size of the trailer is not an issue for me - my "tug" is a GMC one-ton (extra cab/extended cab version) that seats 6 quite well. (Highway fuel mileage is actually V good - about 400 miles on a 17 gal tank, while towing the Boler) (Next one will be the "disease-el" version of the same truck.) I also often tow with my '57 Chev hotrod. Again, it can handle much more than my Boler 1700

I like the idea of a molded glass trailer, but may have to get a stickie - and a lot of the stickies in the 21-25 foot range are actually lighter than (for example) a Bigfoot 21 footer that still can't do the job for us! I have seen quite a few stickies in a 21-24 foot size that have a bed PLUS a gaucho PLUS a dinette

There is more to the market than a 13 to 17 footer and there is more to the market for a 21 footer than a unit that only sleeps 2 (or 4 max) yet no maker of molded glass units seems to address it

We are currently using the Boler 1700 with rear gaucho, (bunk over it) front dinette and, at night, that means one or two on the floor, which causes folks to get stumbled over when "potty time" calls in the middle of the night. The rear upper bunk I made for it does the job for ONE, but no way for two people. When folded up into "cabinet" configuration, it holds all the bedding during the day and when towing.

Our perfect "vision" would have a dinette (convertible to a bed) and a gaucho (or two) that convert to beds, (or two dinettes plus a gaucho) plus a kitchen, bathroom (and a shower - the all-in-one in our Boler is adequate) plus a closet. In something the size of a 21 footer, a bed PLUS a gaucho, PLUS a dinette would be a dream come true!

Don't need A/C (would be nice, but I can't remember ever having 120 V available.) Ditto an awning - nice, but not really needed.

Do need a fridge (small one is OK), don't need an oven but do need a 3 burner (minimum) stove-top. The amount of storage space in the Boler 1700 is actually more than we have ever needed.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:41 AM   #63
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
On an overall basis, I agree with nearly everything said so far on this thread.

However, there is NO WAY at all - ever! that "the kids (or anyone else, for that matter) will want to sleep in a tent!" If we can't accommodate everyone IN the trailer, we will be doing the motel thing!

In our case, we are not "campers" - we use the trailer for meals, for socializing and for sleeping while attending events that relate to our hobbies. When it comes to "going camping" - it is unanimous - we'd all rather stay home!

What we need in our case is a way to sleep up to 6 adults, sans anyone having to be on the floor AND we need to have a bathroom, pref with shower, plus a closet to hang coats & things. I am convinced that there are many other families with similar needs, whether they "go camping", travel for vacations, or just weekend while attending other events. From some other comments earlier on this thread, it seems that there others who also need/want "more than what we can find"

Overall size of the trailer is not an issue for me - my "tug" is a GMC one-ton (extra cab/extended cab version) that seats 6 quite well. (Highway fuel mileage is actually V good - about 400 miles on a 17 gal tank, while towing the Boler) (Next one will be the "disease-el" version of the same truck.) I also often tow with my '57 Chev hotrod. Again, it can handle much more than my Boler 1700

I like the idea of a molded glass trailer, but may have to get a stickie - and a lot of the stickies in the 21-25 foot range are actually lighter than (for example) a Bigfoot 21 footer that still can't do the job for us! I have seen quite a few stickies in a 21-24 foot size that have a bed PLUS a gaucho PLUS a dinette

There is more to the market than a 13 to 17 footer and there is more to the market for a 21 footer than a unit that only sleeps 2 (or 4 max) yet no maker of molded glass units seems to address it

We are currently using the Boler 1700 with rear gaucho, (bunk over it) front dinette and, at night, that means one or two on the floor, which causes folks to get stumbled over when "potty time" calls in the middle of the night. The rear upper bunk I made for it does the job for ONE, but no way for two people. When folded up into "cabinet" configuration, it holds all the bedding during the day and when towing.

Our perfect "vision" would have a dinette (convertible to a bed) and a gaucho (or two) that convert to beds, (or two dinettes plus a gaucho) plus a kitchen, bathroom (and a shower - the all-in-one in our Boler is adequate) plus a closet. In something the size of a 21 footer, a bed PLUS a gaucho, PLUS a dinette would be a dream come true!

Don't need A/C (would be nice, but I can't remember ever having 120 V available.) Ditto an awning - nice, but not really needed.

Do need a fridge (small one is OK), don't need an oven but do need a 3 burner (minimum) stove-top. The amount of storage space in the Boler 1700 is actually more than we have ever needed.
Camping generally entails enjoying the outdoors. Some like to do it the entire 24 hours a day while others prefer the sleep time to be more secure.

FGRVs typically are designed for low Maintenance, longevity, and ease of pulling with smaller vehicles. Real world, they are designed to be "CAMPERS", not Hotels or resorts. Folkes that like to use rolling stock, to "camp" out of, buy them for a certain degree of comfort and security. Folks like you, that don't care about actually "camping" and want the room and aminities more house or motel like, buy motor homes or large tow alongs or fifth wheels.

I don't know of any FG unit that will suit your "needs". You are going to have to go to something a lot larger. Maybe even one with "sliders", in order to sleep 6 adults, with no one touching.

We have to plan carefully for sufficient storage in our 17'er for the 2 of us. How you do it for 6 adults is mind boggling.
As is doing it on battery power alone, (no 120 volts).

What drive train is in your GMC 1 Ton Pickup? Any way we look at it, 23.5 MPG while towing a 17 foot camper, with up to 6 adults is quite a feat. That's 8-12 mpg better than most 1/2 ton pickups get towing FGRVs. Actually it's better than most 1/2 ton vehicles get without a load of any kind. I'll bet General Motors would pay big $$$$ to know how you do that.

Kip
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:57 AM   #64
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Wow Dave you are a really good friend. Your friends seem to want you to spend your money so they can be comfortable.... I love my family and friends too. But, I work hard for my money and spend that money on my needs and comfort just as their money should be spent on themselves. I agree with Kip, time to look at a different kind of trailer.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:44 PM   #65
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My truck is an "ancient" '92 GMC HD 2500, uprated to a one-ton capacity by swapping in the rear axle and suspension from a "single wheel" 3500. It has a 350 Throttle-body FI engine with a custom-built cold air intake, K&N filter, Doug Thorley "Tri-Y" headers and a very low restriction 3.5 inch exhaust with a low restriction (Flowmaster) Cat converter and Thrush muffler. It has a 4:11 rear gear and the 4L80E trans has a shift kit. Synthetic lubricants everywhere. It easily passes the annual smog inspection with extremely good numbers. Biggest gain is the canopy/topper/cap (whatever you want to call it) for aerodynamics when towing. It had 360,341 showing on the odometer when I had to fill out the warranty papers for a new muffler yesterday. A couple of months ago I went to Portland, Ore and came back with two (early 70's) 500 cu inch Cadillac engines, plus three TH 400 transmissions in the back. I filled up in Portland and still had about a quarter tank remaining when I got back home (Vancouver, BC area). If GM wants to play with it, I'll swap them straight across for a 2500HD with the Duramax "Disease-el" with all the toys on it.

On I-5, it seems to like about 70 mph, but if I don't use the cruise control, it will "sneak up" to over 90. When towing, I set the cruise to 60 mph.

We have never needed any additional storage in the B17, likely because we have never been gone for more than a weekend. Light weight pots n pans plus dishware are in the cupboards over the kitchen area. "Silverware" & utensils in the drawer under the fridge. Food is either in the fridge or the o/h cupboards over the dinette area. Bread & buns go into the oven. (have no idea if the oven works- never tried it!) Heavy (cast iron) pots & pans are under rear gaucho, as are canned goods. Bedding goes in the "folded up" bunk over the rear gaucho. Towels, soap, first aid kit, flashlights and misc "stuff" in the little cupboard over the fridge. Dishsoap and drain pan, plus clean-up stuff in the cupboard under the sink (and water heater) Tools, jacks, ext cords, pads for the jacks, wheel chocks are under the "curbside" dinette seat. Under-seat storage in the "streetside" seat has never been used (that I can think of) nor have the rear "hampers". I may have to go look to see there is actually anything in those spots! Extra cords and water hoses (can't think why we take those along anyway!) are in front streetside "hamper" along with the folded up awning that has only ever been used once (what a PITA that thing is!) and the folded up piece of artificial turf that also never gets used plus a tiny BBQ that has also only been used once. (poles for the awning are in a length of 3 inch ABS pipe secured to rear bumper with giant U-bolts).

Duffle bags get stacked against the door at night and/or under the table/bed base., as well as under the area created when the rear gaucho shelf is pulled out.

Never had an issue with the single "Blue Top" Optima battery supplying a weekend's worth of lights and power for the water pump. Furnace is convection only (no fan). No television or stereo in the trailer. We do use an inverter (the tiny "plug into a cig - lighter type) to recharge a laptop and to recharge the "walkie-talkies" we all use to keep in touch when at major events. Just bought (but not installed yet) a Maxxfan 7000 so we'll see if that causes "issues" with power. If so, I'll add a second battery.


The older couple we sometimes take for a weekend Hotrod meet both love old cars, but are not in a position to even have a daily driver car of their own, never mind a trailer to tow.

We live in the countryside so we have no need to go somewhere to enjoy it. We often get visits from coyotes, bears, raccoons and possums, and a cougar was spotted about a mile or so away last week. We can go fishing, skiing or to the seashore within an hour's drive. We have 150 foot Douglas Firs in our backyard.

I had a stickie once. The flex caused seams to open and water got in and.... ( Wound up stripping it for parts and junking the rest) Don't really want another stickie because of that experience.

No interest whatever in a Mo'home - it is too single purpose and would be silly to take to a hotrod event - one person to drive the mo'home and one to drive the hotrod.

Had a slide in camper many years ago. Hated the "top-heavy" feelings, esp in crosswinds. Also - same issue as with a mo'home - once set up, you have a LOT of hassle if you want to go out for dinner or go sightseeing, or if wife just wants to take off and go shopping.

5th wheel just doesn't do it either! I would lose the ability to bring home treasures (engines, fender etc) from swap meets, plus my rule is - if the '57 Chev can't tow it, it does not belong here.

I have seen several stickies in the last while. (looking at floorplan ideas) All were 21 footers, all had a bed, plus a gaucho, plus a dinette. None had slides. All were lighter than a Bigfoot 21. I have never seen a 'glass unit with that much family-friendly accommodation.

If I found my name on the FORBES list of the world's wealthiest people (I checked - I'm not there! ) I would buy a Bigfoot 21 and get some renovations done. I'd pull out nearly everything on the "curbside" - esp the humongous fridge! - and install a smaller fridge on the streetside and install a gaucho along the curbside wall. With the (already present) dinette and bed, it would fit our needs perfectly. However, I am VERY inept at carpentry (esp finish carpentry/cabinet work) and getting that level of "stuff" done is just too expen$ive.
I thought the purpose of thread was to "define" a family friendly floor plan. So I did.

I don't think my needs/wants are all THAT much different from those expressed by some others elsewhere on this thread (yes, I read it all!) There are families with several "kidlets" and teenagers who also need to be able to sleep more people than can be found on the market in a molded 'glass trailer right now. Maybe if a maker reads this thread, they may get inspired to look into making one in an already-existing size, but with a "less luxo", more efficient floorplan


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Camping generally entails enjoying the outdoors. Some like to do it the entire 24 hours a day while others prefer the sleep time to be more secure.

FGRVs typically are designed for low Maintenance, longevity, and ease of pulling with smaller vehicles. Real world, they are designed to be "CAMPERS", not Hotels or resorts. Folkes that like to use rolling stock, to "camp" out of, buy them for a certain degree of comfort and security. Folks like you, that don't care about actually "camping" and want the room and aminities more house or motel like, buy motor homes or large tow alongs or fifth wheels.

I don't know of any FG unit that will suit your "needs". You are going to have to go to something a lot larger. Maybe even one with "sliders", in order to sleep 6 adults, with no one touching.

We have to plan carefully for sufficient storage in our 17'er for the 2 of us. How you do it for 6 adults is mind boggling.
As is doing it on battery power alone, (no 120 volts).

What drive train is in your GMC 1 Ton Pickup? Any way we look at it, 23.5 MPG while towing a 17 foot camper, with up to 6 adults is quite a feat. That's 8-12 mpg better than most 1/2 ton pickups get towing FGRVs. Actually it's better than most 1/2 ton vehicles get without a load of any kind. I'll bet General Motors would pay big $$$$ to know how you do that.

Kip
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:13 AM   #66
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
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That is an interesting set up on the truck. You must have a fairly high top gear in the tranny to get that kind of fuel mileage with a 4:11 rear gear.

In days gone by, when we were towing large campers, we built a '78 Chevy G20 LWB van for towing. Money was tight and modern technology wasn't available back then, so we couldn't do all you did, but the end result was a significant improvement over the pathetic offerings of that era.

The 350 engine's 2bbl heads were replaced with "Worked" 4 bbl ones with the larger valves, opened and polished ports. . Intake was cleaned up and a Quadra Jet carb replaced the 2 bbl. We punched out the cylinders as much as safety would allow, and ran a compression ration of 10 to 1. Reworked the distributor weights and springs. Used a "Crain" cam designed for RV's, balanced the whole thing, and finished with "Black Jack" headers and low restriction dual Carlisle mufflers. NO CATS!

OEM Rear gear was a 2:92 and we changed that to a 3:42 Posi-traction which worked well with the 3 speed auto tranny. Tranny had a shift kit but NO locking Torque Converter. RPM at 60 mph was/is 2500 rpm.

The last inspection necessary was in 2003 and it still passed with flying colors. We keep it around for nostalga and the occational run to Lowe's or Home Depot. On a good day it will deliver 16 mpg at 60 mph on the road, on regular fuel. Local driving more like 9-10 mpg. Towing the Argosy 10-12. Towing a square box camper 8-10.

We had a number of campers in the past. Our favorite was an 03 Argosy by Airstream. Bought it well used and everything still worked. Never had a water leak and it towed like a dream compared to the square box campers. It was identical to an Air stream except painted, and the front and rear top end caps were galvanized instead of aluminum, so folks could'nt strip the paint and them look like an Airstream. Plenty of room for the 5 of us. Today, the 17' Casita does everything we need for the 2 of us.

Good luck with your quest!

Kip
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:10 PM   #67
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I to have wondered why there are no larger molded fiberglass trailers. There are large fiberglass boats, why not trailers?
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:43 AM   #68
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I to have wondered why there are no larger molded fiberglass trailers. There are large fiberglass boats, why not trailers?
Both "Escape" and "Bigfoot" make larger FG trailers.
There may be others.

http://bigfootrv.com/bigfootrv_trave...lers_2500.html

http://escapetrailer.com/

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Old 07-12-2011, 10:02 AM   #69
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I guess when compared to the more common 13 to 17 foot egg trailers the largest Escape and Bigfoot trailers might seem large, but even the 21' Bigfoot is still considered a small trailer. The question remains, why no molded fiberglass trailers in even the 24 to 30 foot medium size class? Would they just be too expensive to compete with the stick and staple trailers?
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:07 AM   #70
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
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They don't even need to be all that big! I have seen stickies in the 23 foot range that make very good use of the space and can accommodate an entire family, yet every F/G one that I see has many,many,many, many closets, a fridge the size of an average home fridge a huge amount of "open space"and sleeping for only 4 at the very most. The larger glass ones seem to be full of storage space for everything except people, while other makers seem to be able to get everything in, with no feeling of being cramped or crowded. Take a look at the 25 foot Bigfoots - then go look at a Dutchmen 25. (yes the D'men will fall apart in a few years - I am NOT recommending a sticky! ) but my initial questions is still the same: Why is it that some makers seem to get a really efficient floorplan, while other use the same amount of space to result in a unit that is NOT so family-friendly? And why do the fiberglass ones seem to be among the worst offenders, when they are so good at packing so much into such small spaces with the small ones?
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