1-2 year Sabbatical in a FGRV - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-30-2014, 01:29 PM   #15
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,567
Bikes on Back

I'll add my own experiences with carrying bikes on the back…

Weight on the back and towing stability is one issue. Another is that trailers tend to bounce around more than a car. That puts greater peak stresses on the frame, receiver attachment, and the bike rack itself (probably why all the bike rack manufacturers I've looked at say not to mount them on trailers). It also means the bicycles themselves will tend to bang against each other more.

All that said, I have chosen to go that route anyway, but with care…

I mounted the receiver hitch exactly as Scamp instructed, which included welding in an additional frame member. I inspect the whole set-up, including the frame, welds, receiver, and rack, every time I drive with bikes on board. I do not take the bikes on rough back roads.

Our bicycles are inexpensive, aluminum-framed models (Next brand, La Jolla model, from Walmart). They are about 30 pounds and under $100. As far as I could find on the internet, they are the only ones out there with that combination of weight and price. The light weight means less stress on the rack and frame, and the price means I am okay if they get banged up a little.

So far (2 trips), so good… It's not ideal, but the only alternative I can see is a pricey roof-mounted system on the tow vehicle (like Thule). And if I was determined to bring an expensive bike or travel on rough roads, that's what I would have to do.

You did mention you were considering a pick-up truck as a tug. If you do decide to go that route, I believe there are some in-bed systems that might be your best bet. An advantage with that set-up is you could put a topper on the truck (needs to be tall enough) and gain security for the bikes.

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Old 05-01-2014, 12:40 AM   #16
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Name: Conrad
Trailer: Bigfoot 3000 & Barth "slide-in" truck camper
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I would want both models. Put your mom in one and you in the other. <grin>

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Old 05-01-2014, 05:05 AM   #17
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Name: Marsha
Trailer: Oliver
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Originally Posted by Lora B View Post

2. How do you FT with a canoe? Kayaks seem to have better racks. Is FTiming with a yak better when towing a travel trailer? This issue had us contemplating larger stick built motorhomes with garages for the toys, but we'd rather not have to pull a toad or deal with mechanical issues on the bigger rigs. The smaller FGRV seem perfect (and something we would use for years after my "sabbatical" is finished) and will allow us to access more parks and better boon docking sites off road, I think. But I still worry about the paddle sports. I prefer canoeing but not sure how that would work towing all over the country for up to two years. Maybe I should just look into renting at certain stops?
We tow with a truck/capper combo and carry our 17' kevlar canoe on the truck with no problems. While we don't FT, we do travel extensively and bring the canoe along whenever possible.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:00 AM   #18
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Name: Leslie
Trailer: Alto R1723
North Carolina
Posts: 91
Alternate Bike Location

Welcome to the group Lora! It sounds like you and your mom are going to have an amazing adventure together.

I am waiting for my Safari Alto (not a fiberglass RV but also lightweight, though smaller than what you want) and they have an alternative for the bike rack on the tongue. Since I don't yet have the Alto, I can't speak to its performance but a rack on the tongue may be an alternative to consider.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:31 AM   #19
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Name: Lora
Trailer: Shopping for escape or Bigfoot
New York
Posts: 6
Road trip Rhonda- thanks for adding your experience with the sea eagles. I'll have to try one out.

David- I really need to think about the cap/topper. Thanks for bringing it up!

Carol appreciate the common sense answers on fridge keeping veggies fresher than a cooler. I backpacked around Europe in college living off bread and tomatoes. This will be about 10000 steps up

Thanks for the welcome Carl. Friendly bunch!

Steve- very valid point. I had never intended to put a canoe on the travel trailer, but I do see how I might prefer the bikes to be with the tug if the best mtb is a 30 minute drive away from campsite. More reasons to consider the topper truck combo.

Jon- thank you for the thoughtful answer. I hadn't really thought through the issues of washboard rvs and the integrity of the frame and receiver attachments. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. We do have pricy mtbs. And while i have a thule system on the 4runner, I wouldn't be able to haul both bikes or kayaks/canoes. I think that's why the truckbed and cap is seeming like the right fit for me. It will allow both. Plus there will still be room in the bed for some well bungeed storage for a few camping supplies that we don't store in the TT.

Night- haha I wish.

Marsha- thank you for the pic! I like knowing it can be done safely for extensive travels.

Kudzu- cute trailer! Interesting bike rack.I wonder what it does to the aerodynamics of your set up.

thanks again for all the responses.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:11 PM   #20
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Name: Hazel
Trailer: Trillium
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We bought an Innova Swing2 inflatable and it is great. Handles and tracks really well. It has a detachable keel to assist with this. Our tug is a HondaElement and hubby built a rudimentary shelf that goes behind the back seat. The kayak (and a few sundry bits and pieces) go underneath, with 'kitchen' stuff on top.

Inflatable Kayak, Inflatable Canoe, Inflatable Boat, and Accessories by Innova Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes - for Touring, Whitewater, and Adventure.

Another possible alternative might be a lightweight plastic kayak - ours is a Pelican (from Canadian tire). They are very light and handle well - but you would need two, of course. Our grandkids started using ours (with supervision) at around seven or so. They easily launched and returned to shore unaided.

Can't suggest anything for bikes as we've never taken any along.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:29 PM   #21
Name: Karen
Trailer: Formerly Bigfoot 25RB21 and Scamp 19
Posts: 91
Good for you on this entire idea. I hope it works out exactly as you and your mom want.

Here in Colorado you commonly see people with kayaks AND bikes on top of their SUVs. Big roof-mounted racks. We pulled our 21 ft. Bigfoot with a Toyota Sequoia and had a topper on top of the Sequoia. It pulled the Bigfoot perfectly.

The thing about a Bigfoot of that size is that it will have a sizeable fridge. You'll be able to keep a fair amount of veggies fresh in the fridge and can use the fairly spacious freezer as well.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:20 AM   #22
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Name: Lora
Trailer: Shopping for escape or Bigfoot
New York
Posts: 6
Hazel, thanks for sharing your experience with inflatables.

Karen- you have the setup we are leaning to right now. I just love the true 4 season aspect of the Bigfoot. It seems like it would be a good fit. My mum would prefer the 25 ft, but I wonder if that will exclude us from some NP or boondocking sights, so I'm trying to sell her on the virtues of smaller.

I also think the issue of water toys is decided: 2 kayaks ontop of the TV. Now, if I could only decide on sequoia vs f150 with topper, I'd be all set.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:20 AM   #23
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Oak Park, IL
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We have Dahon Boardwalk single speed folding bikes and Citizen UHaul 6 speed folding bikes. The Citizens are our regular bikes now.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:39 AM   #24
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Name: Ted
Trailer: (Dark side)Coachman
Glade Valley, North Carolina
Posts: 967
Welcome Lora,
Hope your doing well now. If you can afford it I say "Go for it". My Dad is presently in the hospital and not doing well at all. Best hope for now is a rest home; if he makes it. He is only 75 years old. So, do what you can now and make the best of it. Best of luck and happy camping.
“I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends would respect me. The others can do whatever the Hell they please!” —John Wayne
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:42 AM   #25
Name: Karen
Trailer: Formerly Bigfoot 25RB21 and Scamp 19
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by Lora B View Post
My mum would prefer the 25 ft, but I wonder if that will exclude us from some NP or boondocking sights, so I'm trying to sell her on the virtues of smaller.

I also think the issue of water toys is decided: 2 kayaks ontop of the TV. Now, if I could only decide on sequoia vs f150 with topper, I'd be all set.
The 25 ft. Bigfoot is quite a bit heavier in addition to the extra length (vs. a 21 ft.). I don't think I would have wanted to tow a 25 ft. with the Sequoia. Especially if you end up loading up the tow vehicle, I think you'll have a more comfortable towing experience with the smaller trailer. The flip side, of course, is that you may have a more comfortable living experience in the bigger trailer, especially full-timing. You don't want to buy the tow vehicle only to discover you aren't happy with how it matches to the trailer, so you might want to figure out which size trailer first and then shop for the TV accordingly.

Have you had a chance to go inside both size trailers? I recommend you and your mom do that if you can. I have seen some of the longer Bigfoots that actually felt more confining (to me) because there was a separate bedroom whereas the 21 ft. rear bed layout feels open and spacious (again, to me). If you think you and your mom may want to go to separate, closed spaces from time to time, you can't really achieve that inside a 21 ft. Just some more food for thought . . .
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:51 PM   #26
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Lora B View Post
I just love the true 4 season aspect of the Bigfoot. It seems like it would be a good fit. My mum would prefer the 25 ft, but I wonder if that will exclude us from some NP or boondocking sights, so I'm trying to sell her on the virtues of smaller.
I am with the others that suggest you pick your trailer before you pick a tow vehicle. I can tell you from experience that its a lot more enjoyable to be pulling with a tug that has more than enough towing capacity to tow the trailer you purchase as well as a total Gross vehicle Weight rating that allows you to bring along all the extra stuff you want to bring then it is to tow a trailer with a tug that only has a tow capacity slightly over the loaded trailer weight & you need to watch your total GVWR carefully.

Go look inside as many different layouts of 21' and 25' that you can. Call Bigfoot they may be able to help you with that in your area. A different layout can mean a lot as far as how big or small the trailer feels inside. A don't think that the 4' difference between a 21' & 25' is going to change anything in regards to restrictions you may find in regards to places to camp. I think the big shift happens once you go over 13' or 16' feet mark but even then in many places you will still need a raised axle on the tug and the trailer to get into some of the real remote locations. In the NP's and other common boon docking spots I have been in (only 9 states so far) its very common to see 25' trailers out there. A 25' or under trailer is considered in many RV circles to still be a small trailer!

Feathercraft makes a very nice collapsable ocean as well as fresh water kayak. Have several friends who have owned them for a number of year now with no complaints.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:06 PM   #27
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
You want your toys with the car not the trailer.
Steve has it right.
Now that you've decided on 2 kayaks. Roof mount them on your vehicle.
You can use a front rack on the tow vehicle for 1 or 2 bikes. Or 1 bike if room allows for the second on the roof with the kayaks. Or the second bike can go on the back of the trailer getting moved to the back of your vehicle when in that mode. Some put their bikes in the trailer for travel but that means moving them in or out at every stop.

A couple of thoughts. You might want to consider a twin bed layout or something similar. Reace can be pretty creative with the Escape interior. When is the last time you slept with your mom for an extended period of time?

Which brings me to the 2 airdales. Are they bed dogs or floor dogs? What do you plan on doing with them when you are out biking or kayaking or even touring for that matter. We travel with a couple of dogs and they can be very limiting to some activities.

Decisions, decisions...
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:40 PM   #28
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Name: Lora
Trailer: Shopping for escape or Bigfoot
New York
Posts: 6
Sorry for my slow reply, I was out if town TT shopping. Please excuse my typos as I'm on the iPhone. As always thanks for the time and replies!

Yes as many have said we are waiting to upgrade the TV until after we have placed an order on the TT.

I hadn't realized reace would alter the configurations of the escape interiors.. I will be shooting them an email to see what's possible.

I almost bought the 25b25fb this weekend. However just prior to looking at the bigfoot I had looked at a non fiberglass arctic fox. Man those things are heavy, but seem very solidly built. The 25 p floorplan had a slide so obviously when I stepped into the model I wanted to see the bigfoot felt tight width wise. I decided to wait and do a little more hunting as we still have time. Although I really think the bigfoot is the one. The 21 escape seems a little restrictive. Dinettes aren't very comfy on rainy days when trying to read for any period over 45-60 minutes.

It's been years except for the few hospital weeks after my transplant since I slept in such close proximity to my mum. I understand we will definitely need space. However, I am an experienced backpacker and do hope as my health improves to take some solo overnight-5 night trips just me, the dog and a tent. This is why both dogs are coming. As single women we both feel safer with the dogs and will not mind splitting up. Between exploring the local sights, hiking, photogaaphy, kayaking and requisite campsite outdoor lounging, I don't expect we will both be inside for more than sleeping unless it's a rainy day. And that's why we have Truck to escape to the nearest town or indoor attraction or we can bury ourselves in the laptops editing photos or reading a kindle. Perhaps I'm overly idealistic. But I do recognize the challenges. we will meet up at times with her friends or mine at various stops. I anticipate boondocking solo for a week at a time while she visits with old sorority sisters in az,nv, and mt. And we plan to visit a few major cities along the way (months apart) where we will actually splurge to do the whole hotel thing, dine out, spa, catch a nfl or MLB game or see the symphony, while the dogs spend a few days at a doggie spa.
I like our not entirely flushed out plan

The dogs sleep on their own beds or sofas (my dog grabs a leather chair at my apt). My mum's dog usually sleeps on his own dog bed but has been known to sneak up on a sofa. I think we will try putting dog beds or blankets down at night for them to nest in. When we are both away from the campsite at same time we will either put the dogs in a doggie daycare for a few hours or leave them in the rv in their own soft sided crates with appropriate climate control going. After a long morning hike they tend to sleep.

Thanks for the feathercraft heads up. I'll look into that as well. But with a cap/topper on a truck we will be able to just mount some kayaks and a SUP on top of the car. The bikes could be placed in the covered truck bed, if I decide to bring them.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

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