Upsize, Downsize, Upsize? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-05-2014, 07:20 AM   #1
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #69
South Carolina
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Upsize, Downsize, Upsize?

As some of you know, I'm getting ready to do a major downsize. I've been going thru ALOT of unused stuff that I'm going to get rid of. Kind of like spring cleaning on steroids!

I post this here in the fulltimers section as many of you spend gobs of time in your trailers, similar to what I will be doing with my new egg.

So I ask you this: Have any of you downsized, and then later felt you needed to go back to a bigger trailer? Could you share your reasons and how it went?

Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:09 AM   #2
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Name: Darral
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Ron, since I live close to the Oliver factory, I've been following your posts with interest...even some of the semi-controversial ones with the other lady . Here's what WE are finding with a 13' Scamp.

For the weekends and even being in it a week on a 'vacation'? Fine. But the wife definitely hollers "more room" later on when we're going to be spending a considerable amount of time (maybe 1-2 months at a time) with our kids in another state.

Now, here's the clincher and hopefully you can shed some light on it for us as well. You're obviously downsizing from a larger "box" trailer? From what I've read, you've been through most of the spectrum of trailers!? We've seen/toured the larger Oliver (23'er I believe). We've visited the newer laminated trailers- Colemans, KZ's, Skylines....on and on from 18'ers to 30'ers! While we DO consider the Oliver a definite "upsize" for us, she STILL says she still likes the roomy feeling with the "slideouts" and feels the Oliver still has that "closed-in" feeling because of the narrow isles. So the length is there for "room" but the "openness" (for us) is simply missing.

I know mine is not the post you're looking for, but being around and touring/looking in MANY MANY trailers over the past few years, this is our experience vs thinking for the future. I'd appreciate and value your opinions....

(Just edited this post
Wife says regardless, she hopes we can keep the 13' for the weekends.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:23 AM   #3
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Thanks for your post. I'm sure there will be many that post that they are snug as a bug and happy with what they have. That's perfectly OK. Put I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't a bit nervous about such a radical change. I'm certain I'll be happy with what I'm buying, but it's ALOT less space.

As far as the other thing, I tend to draw in the loons for some reason - moths to a flame I guess.


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Old 11-05-2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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Buy back?

Any time you clean house and get rid a bunch of stuff you think you don't need there will something that you need to "buy back" at a later date. Since we can't see the future this happens. In my opinion it's better to jettison stuff and have to buy back less than 1% than to hang on to all that stuff.

Living in a small trailer takes some careful considerations. I like the example one couple set a few years ago. They a bunch of stuff in storage then came back every year to sort through the stuff. At the end of four years it was all gone. I think most of us have more stuff than we need.

One of the other rules of small trailer living is that is one thing comes in something goes out. That doesn't always work.

Another thing to consider is a small van or pickup with a canopy to store some of the stuff and take it with you.

We live in a 13' 3 to 4 months each winter. The ritual is to go through the stuff accumulated in the trailer at end of along trip and remove stuff that we didn't use.

Now to answer directly your question. No, we had no desire to go to a bigger trailer. Most of the time is spent out side and the with trailer we can go to where the climate suits our clothes as the song goes. In fact we are hauling around a lot less now than we were a few years ago. We're probably an exception rather than the rule.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Ron,

We started with a 32' Motorhome towing our CRV. Our plan was to take ONE trip in a small trailer across Labrador lasting 2 months. We did. We continued on after the Labrador trip for 8 more months doing a loop of the USA. We never took the motorhome out again.

We have the one in one out rule that Byron mentioned. As well we have the rule, except for tools, that if we don't use it on a trip it stays home next time.

We do not carry winter clothes even when going to cold places, we layer.

As to our home we now buy less, give stuff away, continuing to downsize. In general we like living with less, it's easier and we're happier. As well many things, like a smart phone can perform multiple functions.

Going to lunch but will chime in later. Simply 14 years on the road has taught us how little we need to live happily.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:55 PM   #6
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I have never personally downsized but am considering it as retirement approaches. Nor do I have much to offer in the way of trailer specific advice. But I have witnessed first-hand a massive downsizing, my Mother’s. She went from a 5 bedroom 3 Ĺ bath home to a two bedroom apartment a year ago. It took her five months, working hard seven days a week, to sort through a lifetime’s accumulation and decide on what to do with it all. I just shake my head when I think what it would have been like if she had gone on and left me to deal with all her stuff. It literally would have taken me at least a year working part time to do what she did, and she knew about all the stuff! At first the plan was to move her to Ĺ a duplex with a garage, so she would have room to store her excess stuff that she could not part with (right then).

The more we thought about it we decided she could store the excess stuff at my house in my unused spare bedroom. That would allow her to move to the much more inexpensive apartment (both the apartment and duplex are in the same retirement community). As mentioned above in another post about putting it in storage and sorting it over time, at first the bedroom was full and stacked deep. Over the succeeding months she would come over on weekends and sort and take some home with her and give some away. Right now there is a little in one corner and the closet is still about full. It is a fraction of what was in there right after the move and she lives comfortably in the apartment. She did have to replace some fans and space heaters she prematurely gave away, but she likes having nice new stuff anyway.


Sorry if this ramble is off topic and not directly on point but my experience with Mom’s downsizing certainly gave me pause about my accumulation, and possibly sticking my daughter with having to sort and dispose of MY crap someday. I hope to give the same gift to my daughter that Mom gave to me, I will take care of my own crap so she does not have to deal with it. As I heard a long time ago from an old timer “I hope to live long enough to go to my sale”. That is my plan, sell this excess and live happy, and simply, on the road.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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I'm sure there are many different kinds of campers (people that camp in trailers and assorted RVís) in this world, but in my mind there are basically two.

There are those folks that like to take the camper over to the river or up to the lake for a few days or weeks. They bring all the kids, the bicycles, tricycles, golf carts, ipads and other implements of destruction, pull in, plug in, put out the slides, hook up the water and the sewer hoses, get out the lawn chairs, spread the table cloth, hang the party lights turn on the outside television and settle in. They have driven usually less than 50 miles. They are not too concerned about capacity of the tow vehicle (it got us here, didn't it), have never heard of, don't understand or could care less about the differences between GVW, GVWR, and GCWR. I know a ton of folks that are of this mind set and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Then there are those like myself (and I suspect a good many that participate in these forums) who think a camping trip is a journey, even an adventure, and not simply a destination, never mind the distance traveled. I view our trailer as a tool, one of many that we have in our traveling arsenal, to be used to compliment the others and create an enjoyable experience wherever we may choose to go. We love the idea of being foot loose and fancy free, going where the wind takes us and sleeping wherever we happen to find ourselves that evening.

I am not a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination. I tend to take anything and everything with us that I think I will ever need. But I want a place for everything to be. Not just thrown about willy-nilly so I can understand your trepidation in coming from a trailer that was significantly larger than your new Oliver will be.

The simple matter is that the Oliver, while it probably is one of the largest molded fiberglass trailers, is still not a large unit when compared to the vast majority of SOB stickyís out there. About 5 good steps and Iíve traveled from the bath to the rear of our trailer. Itís close inside but the fact is that on most trips a major portion of your time is spent outside and itís mainly to sleep that you find yourself inside.

I believe most will find that a trailer of this size is easily large enough for two people, in fact it's quite comfortable.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:00 PM   #8
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Name: Ron
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Tim,

I've also been starting to think about my big house and downsizing that before I get to retirement age. I used to be of the mindset that having a large impressive and finely appointed home was what all this working in far flung places was about. Now, not so much.

Someday, when I decide to go traveling full-time, I still want a traditional home to return to, but I want something more sustainable, and of course, mortgage free.

But that is a longer term project.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Merritt View Post
Someday, when I decide to go traveling full-time, I still want a traditional home to return to, but I want something more sustainable, and of course, mortgage free. But that is a longer term project.
Amen. I'm thinking largish metal building I can pull the egg inside, with a nice efficiency apartment in one end.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:20 PM   #10
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Transitions

Before we retired we had downsized from a very large house to our small beach cottage sited on a 1/6th of an acre.

We still that house and only use it at best 4 months a year. It allows us to keep many things we have accumulated over the years, like paintings and pictures, a gathering place in the summer for family.

That said we have gotten rid of closets of clothes and a lot of furniture. Not much fancy stuff left.

As to the trailer, ours is about 60% of the volume of your Oliver. We are religious about organization compared to our previous life. Everything has a place and none of this stuffing things into a duffle and having to hunt for it.

As well we don't carry chests, chairs or the like in our trailer, nothing not in a place. We have added a lot of storage space to our trailer without taking away from it's openness.

We are jean and shorts centric. We typically carry one dress outfit, no suits no dress jackets. Actually we're going to my 50th college reunion, the dinner dance is black tie optional (most are wearing business suits). Not me I'm wearing a blue blazer and a pair of slacks (we never carry the blue blazer).

I know so many people that find fiberglass trailers small. For some it's how they think. All fine.

We have been in a Oliver 17 and it did not feel as large as our Scamp. I believe there's a lot to how you set up your trailer and the recognition of what you need in that volume.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:39 PM   #11
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Name: Ron
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Typically on the job, I get home each weekend (either by car or air). With my new trailer, I'm thinking I'm going to change that plan to every 2 weeks or so. So cutting down the clothes, linens and supplies for 2 weeks should save me a colossal amount of room.

My biggest struggle may be the "outside" stuff. I'll need to find a place for:

Toolbox - this may end up being a bag instead of a box.
2 outside folding chairs & side table
small grill & folding table - I've already purchased a couple of small grills to try out
awning rug
wash bucket & cleaning supplies
wash brush and hose
fresh water hose
folding ladder
sewer hose
lantern
fire tools

I'm thinking most all this stuff will fit in the outside compartment, in the bumper, and maybe in the enclosure around the gas bottles. I hope anyways. I hate to store outside stuff inside the trailer.

Stuff I've already jettisoned:

Vacuum cleaner
Big gas grill
redundant hoses
lots of clothes and shoes
extra linens and towels
redundant pots, pans, dishes, glasses, etc.
service for 8 has gone to service for 4
huge toolbox
cordless tools
2 ladders
cube freezer
books, magazines, dvd's. - everything going on laptop, I think
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:00 PM   #12
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Some humor on the subject of "downsizing" and Steve, I have seen your "just in case I may need it" collection, enjoy
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:21 PM   #13
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Ron

We have 8 outside storage compartments. One on the rear bumper contains a hose, (spare hose under dinette) blocks, Hefty power cord, various power adapters, a small tool kit. Under the rear bumper box are two white plastic fence posts. One contains a long sewer hose and the other a rear bumper, mounting clothes line.

Under the floor of our trailer we have 5 storage containers, two on slides. They contain rarely used items like a couple of socket sets, a long construction extension cord (useful when at people's homes), some screw kits and the like. We also carry a set of outside mirrors should the trailer rear view camera fail.

On the front of the trailer (Scamp standard) is a short plastic tube with a short sewer hose, usually enough.

We do carry an LED lantern behind the dinette drawers, next to the wine storage containers.

As to fire tools. we do carry a small shovel in an underneath box and a fire extinguisher attached to the wall.

We were gifted with a nice Volcano bag grill that we carry in the back of the Odyssey. We also carry a bin of auto fluids, wax and cleaning supplies under the rear floor of the Odyssey along with a few not normally worn items like rain jackets, scarfs, and a pair of gloves. We also have our walking sticks, a small backpack and a case of water in the tow vehicle plus an assortment of travel snacks.

Is your floor carpeted? Our is and we use a crumb brush to vacuum it. We have one in the car as well.

Shoes we each carry two pair, this trip we've added a dress reunion pair. We both mostly wear Keens everywhere and you can throw then in a washer. We carry two towels, a bath towel and a beach towel that can be interchangeable. We carry service for eight (if they like paper plates) we do have 4 plastic plates.

I carry an electric drill, socket set and a small tools set. Ginny has two plastic clothes bins in the center of the couch. Behind that I built a shelf for three plastic boxes of misc. tools.

On occasion we have carried a short ladder but now I borrow one from the big rigs on the rare occasion I need one. Generally I go out after a morning dew and wipe the trailer down with a chamois.

We carry four aluminum chairs behind the third row of seats so visitors have a place to sit. Two of our chairs have fold up trays on them.

We do not carry an awning rug. Some places do not allow them and they are a pain. We have a small outside the door rug.

We learned to live without ice, the English do it. No DVDs, only the Escapee magazine and a 2 lb laptop (Chromebook). Practically all magazines are available on line (I can access my Library's mags over the internet or directly at the mag for a fee. Netfix is a replacement for DVDs and better.

Just some things we do.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Some humor on the subject of "downsizing" and Steve, I have seen your "just in case I may need it" collection, enjoy
Now, Jim you know that I didn't have anything with me that was not useful. I even left my fourth grade arithmetic papers at home.

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