Dinette and Bedding - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-07-2016, 05:20 PM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: Oliver
Utah
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Dinette and Bedding

Hi,

We are longtime tent campers, and we are now ready to get our first trailer. My sister visited recently with her 17 foot Casita, and after seeing it we are looking for something a little bit larger, probably 19 to 23 feet.

This forum has been very helpful in for us to learn information about trailers, but we have a couple of questions, and we hope the group can help us.

Many units have a dinette that can convert into a bed, and also have a smaller table and chairs. It appears that many people always have the dinette set up as a bed, and use the other small table for eating. Others use the large dinette, and convert it to a bed each evening.

Question 1. How did you decide whether or not to have a permanent bed, or to change over daily? For those who convert, how much work is involved in the nightly conversions? It appears that many people with the full time bed arrangement get a regular mattress or have a memory foam topper. It also sounds like many people who do the nightly conversions often get a mattress topper, such as egg crate foam, but these mattress toppers must by necessity be lighter in weight than memory foam.

Question 2. What type of bedding do people use? From this forum, it appears that many people with full time mattresses use regular sheets and blankets. For people making the nightly conversions, I have read about Travasaks and RVSuperbags. They sound like good solutions, if a little pricey. For people who turn the bed into a dinette each morning, a related question is where do you store the bedding, especially if you have some kind of foam topper.

Thank you all in advance for your advice. This forum is great, and we are looking forward to our first trailer.

David and Susan
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DavidJS View Post
Hi,

We are longtime tent campers, and we are now ready to get our first trailer. My sister visited recently with her 17 foot Casita, and after seeing it we are looking for something a little bit larger, probably 19 to 23 feet.

This forum has been very helpful in for us to learn information about trailers, but we have a couple of questions, and we hope the group can help us.

Many units have a dinette that can convert into a bed, and also have a smaller table and chairs. It appears that many people always have the dinette set up as a bed, and use the other small table for eating. Others use the large dinette, and convert it to a bed each evening.

Question 1. How did you decide whether or not to have a permanent bed, or to change over daily? For those who convert, how much work is involved in the nightly conversions? It appears that many people with the full time bed arrangement get a regular mattress or have a memory foam topper. It also sounds like many people who do the nightly conversions often get a mattress topper, such as egg crate foam, but these mattress toppers must by necessity be lighter in weight than memory foam.

Question 2. What type of bedding do people use? From this forum, it appears that many people with full time mattresses use regular sheets and blankets. For people making the nightly conversions, I have read about Travasaks and RVSuperbags. They sound like good solutions, if a little pricey. For people who turn the bed into a dinette each morning, a related question is where do you store the bedding, especially if you have some kind of foam topper.

Thank you all in advance for your advice. This forum is great, and we are looking forward to our first trailer.

David and Susan

There's ways to make the switch over easier and easier to store bedding. Sleeping bags can make the whole process simpler.
In really warm weather where we eat outside all meals the bed stays as a bed, otherwise it has be switched twice a day.
It's about 2 minute job each time.
Evening -- During the process of turning the dinette to a bed remove the sleeping bags from the driver's side compartment. Once the cushions are in place lay out the sleeping bags. Time for bed.
Morning -- Stuff the sleeping bags in their stuff sacks, put the bags back in driver's side compartment. Swing the table up and put the back cushions in place. Time for breakfast.

Your trailer is a hard sided tent, it's not a house.
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:46 PM   #3
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Welcome to FiberglassRV, David and Susan!

There are exceptions, Byron being one, but my impression is that the majority of folks who travel for weeks or months at a time, typically set up a permanent bed, often with some kind of upgraded mattress. Weekenders and vacationers, including myself, often do exactly what Byron describes. It takes us more like ten minutes, since there are four of us and we have to convert both the rear dinette and front bunks. We use sleeping bags and store them in the tow vehicle in duffle bags (easier than the teeny-tiny stuff sacks that came with the sleeping bags). We only convert if we are going to be inside for an extended time due to inclement weather, a rare event. Otherwise, they stay as beds.

Some people view a trailer as a rolling tent; others as a rolling apartment. We're more the former and also cook outside most of the time, using a Coleman stove, charcoal grill, or wood campfire. Different strokes…

The size range you describe is at the larger end for molded fiberglass, and many do have permanent beds AND 2- or 4-person dinettes. You might want to look at an Escape 19. They will build it with the permanent bed at the back, as shown in the floor plan, or with a second U-shaped dinette if you want more lounge/entertaining space and don't mind doing the conversion. They also make a 21' model.

Best wishes finding the trailer that fits your needs!
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:41 PM   #4
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
Pennsylvania
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I do the sleeping bag shuffle. I like the tables up, lot more counter space for stuff. If I want to take a nap, down goes the side dinette and I have my couch to relax. A few minutes to clear table and they are beds again. However, I am only out 4 days at a time and maybe a few 2 weekers in the year. If you full time or out months at a time thats another story. Good luck with your search. Carl
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:09 PM   #5
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If it's nice outside, we leave the beds set up and cook and eat outside. If it rains (it rained once last summer, our inaugural season) we put everything away so we can sit at the table and on the sofa. We use sleeping bags, but have an egg crate topper. They all get rolled up and stuffed under the drivers side dinette. The sleeping bags for the bunks go under the sofa bunk. It's a really quick thing to do!
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:30 PM   #6
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We own a 17' Bigfoot that has 2 beds; the dinette (44" x 80") and gaucho (46" x 76"). We make both beds each night and return to dinette and couch each morning. The transition takes about 10 minutes each time. Both beds consist of seat cushions covered with fiber-filled mattress toppers, 2 full flat sheets, and a full blanket. All bedding is stored above the gaucho. We sleep as well when on the road as we do at home. We very much enjoy our 8' wide interior space and chose not to compromise it with a permanent bed.

Dinette Bed Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:35 AM   #7
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I leave the bed made up and make it as comfortable as possible.

But as you are looking for a larger trailer in the 19 to 23' range I think you will find most of those have one permeant large bed and a seperate dinning table.

Take a look of the very popular Escape 19' and 21' floor plans.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:32 AM   #8
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We leave the beds set up permanently. The back dinette is mine and the upper front bunk my daughter's. I built a fixed but removable framework to hold the front bunk up all the time and we use the lower bunk for storage. We have TV trays we use with folding chairs if we need to sit inside to eat or play games before bedtime. I camp to get away and relax, and setting up and taking down beds is not relaxing for me. Too, I have been known to take a nap during the day (I come from a long line of nappers) and I want a bed ready when the mood strikes. We try and be outside as much as we can, when not asleep. I bought a trailer just to have a good bed, if not for that I would just tent camp.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:02 AM   #9
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Name: Patrick
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New York
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After you have camped a few times you will decide what is best.

The main reason we decided to purchase a travel trailer (for 2) that had space enough to avoid the dinette conversion hassle was simple. One member can sleep in while the other can enjoy coffee or breakfast at the dinette...also the effort evolved every evening and every morning detracts from the lifestyle .

Sleep bag vs. sheets and blankets ...you'll decide.
Travasaks are way overpriced!

Happy Camping!
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
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We primarily cook outdoors so I removed our dinette (we did not like converting it to bed and back) and built a permanent bed allowing full storage underneath. In the event of inclement weather we can sit on the side of the bed and use small tv tray type tables to eat on if need be or we will eat outside under our canopy. Also note we removed the original kitchenette to turn the front bunks 90 degrees to add a permanent shower & porta pottie toilet and built a cabinet in place of the closet to hold a refrigerator and toaster oven. I am sure there is not another Boler like ours, it is a very unique floorplan.
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:38 PM   #11
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
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Not sure how many people involved. If just 2 -3 of you check out Small Travel Trailer: Camper: Smoakin Concepts Composites. the underside of the dedicated queensize bed is all storage, with inside and outside access and the option of a 3rd access on the driver side. I don't like the table that comes with, I plan to ditch for folding tray tables. Happy transitions from a lomgterm tent camper here!
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:19 PM   #12
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Great topic for us today! If we go with a 30" wide bed (permanent) for Paul, it will leave us 19-21" to create two permanent seats, making a rear, u-shaped area for sitting and using a small pop-up table without converting the bed at all. I'm just not sure, even using only a sleeping bag, that Paul can manage on a 30" bed. He says he can. For a while, we'll use our current twin innerspring mattress, planning to replace it with 30" wide foam mattress eventually.

For me, the front settee area will make a fine "sit up to sleep" area; just working on what to do with my legs/feet at night as I usually sleep on the opposite side of the living room loveseat. I don't want to lean against the windows.

It's comforting beyond what I expected to read that so many have opted NOT to do the traditional dinette into double bed conversion every night. We simply cannot sleep in the same bed, Paul has RA and I have fibro, so when either one moves, the other is disturbed.

Hence our choice of the 73 amerigo configuration, two bed areas separated by a full-height closet so with a little judicious curtaining, one can be awake reading and the other still have some shadowing.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:56 PM   #13
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good points all...

as the comic said "you can't have everything...where would you put it?"

your Amerigo 16 is probably 14 foot inside....much like my BF 17....to get a permanent bed in that you have to give up something else (except for a few select models that get pretty close)

you get good at deploying/storing your preferred bedding....only by doing is that going to get easy...you'll come up with solutions

my BF comes with two storage compartments up high, street side that are closed off from everything else and the far end the spaces is difficult to access (???)....after a while I came to the realization that they were specific/perfect for bedding storage for the two beds just below them....genius really

in my 97 the beds are only 41" wide.....I did a wide bed conversion at the back and stored the bedding all rolled up in the rear overhead compartment after removing the center panel...worked quite well...one sleeping bag under,two flat sheets, another sleeping bag on top and two pillows fit just perfect up there....

travelling alone now I use the rear sofa and store the bedding in the streetside overhead mentioned earlier ( high door just left of fridge in first picture...space is closed off and goes all the way to the back of trailer)
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topfridge1.jpg   bedsto4.jpg  

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Old 05-08-2016, 10:35 PM   #14
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Having a Scamp with a side dinette and there being just the 2 of us, we leave our bed set up in the rear dinette except when we have "company" joining us inside for a meal. The side dinette works just fine for meals for just us.
Our bed is made up of the dinette cushions topped with 1.5" memory foam enclosed between 2 mattress pads sewn together to create a
"pocket" of protection for it, and then a travasak for our bedding. Travasak is pricey and the sheets are a little scratcher than I'd like, but the whole works can be rolled up pretty easily and secured with a couple bungee cords and stored in the tow vehicle when we need the big dinette. The bed is pretty comfy except for width but we've learned to sleep on our sides and do synchronized rolling quite well. Works for us!
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