suggestions for the "best" full time RV for remote camping - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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Name: Rick
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suggestions for the "best" full time RV for remote camping

On another thread I resurrected an old conversation regarding the ďbestĒ off road trailer. Thanks to everyone who joined in that conversation. But since I phrased that question a bit vaguely I thought it best to start a new thread, introduce myself after months of lurking and call upon the collective wisdom of this community for suggestions as to what Iím really looking for.

My intent is to start solo full timing in a few years. While I am new to the idea of a RV I have been an avid backpacker for most of my life and have hiked extensively in the western U.S. I enjoy the idea of living as simply as possible, leaving a small carbon footprint and spending as much time as possible in the backcountry that I love. Lots of hiking, summer in the mountains, winter in the desert, sounds like an ideal way to retire to me.

So my question is, what would you recommend for a full time rig that would allow me as much flexibility as possible? Iím looking for access to remote trailheads and F.S. roads and remote BLM campsites, insulated enough to allow me to push into some shoulder season camping, able to tow with a smaller 4wd vehicle, solar, and boondocking for at least a couple of weeks at a time. Really not interested in the RV park thing but I could see myself in some state or national parks from time to time. Also the idea of an occasional gig as a camp host might be fun. Total budget for tow vehicle and trailer would ideally be less than $30,000. I am open to new or used and might have some flexibility in this if a working solution is not possible for this amount.

I have looked at everything from van living to truck campers to class B and C Rvís. Obviously since I am posting this here I have some ideas and am leaning towards a FGRV, partly since I think this would allow me to drop the trailer and explore some with just the tow vehicle to make sure I can get up and turned around in more remote locations.

I have been devouring ever forum, website and blog that I can find and while I know a lot more than I did 6 months ago I realize that in reality I am probably still totally clueless as to real world RV living. Sorry for the long post but any suggestions (also tow vehicle suggestions) insights or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:52 AM   #2
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My first choose would be the Escape 17' with the extra lift and double pane windows and extra insulation, as you are only talking shoulder season camping and not deep winter camping. If you think you need more space then take a look at the 19'. Best to go and sit in both to decide which size feels right for you.

As far a tow vehicles go I recently switched to a Nissan Frontier and so far have not taken it out to the back country..... still ski season for me so have another two weeks before i can start camping season officially. Suspect though that it will do much better in regards to traveling on forest service roads and logging roads in regards to clearance issues than my previous tow a Subaru Outback which it towed lighter Scamp with and I still have...... but when that elusive nice used 17' Escape appears on the market that might change quickly ;-) Although I did manage to damage a heat shield on the Subaru on real rough back country trip (no trailer attached at the time) the clearance wasn't really the big issue its the smaller tires and the resulting close proximate to road side rocks to the tire pressure monitoring valves. All it takes is a good bump against a rock to one of them to result in the need to replace - gets pricey. My next trailer choose would be a Bigfoot Extreme that one of my friends has and its insulated a bit better allowing for much colder weather and it is really lifted. Real hard to find used though & a bit pricier.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
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Rick, sounds like your ideal set-up would be like what we had. You can click on our avatar and look at the albums. We now have a Lil Snoozy on order, and will be setting it up like McDenny (member here on FGRV) has done with his. We changed as the wife wanted a shower/bathroom, and I wanted a COMFORTABLE place to sit while partner is in bed. The most satisfactory changes that I had made to the Scamp was the Danfoss style compressor refrigerator, as it used very little electricity, could be left on continuously when paired with the 100 watt solar panel and a group 27 battery, and doesn't need to be level (works up to 30 degree angles). Food & water will be your limiting factors. Good luck in your search for the elusive allusion of the perfect vehicle.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #4
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Again, unless you want the entire apartment experience, something smaller might work better for 1 or 2 peeps getting around off-road. Here's a link to my Hunter Compact-II.
Hunter Compact II Photos by advocateone | Photobucket
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Again, unless you want the entire apartment experience, something smaller might work better for 1 or 2 peeps getting around off-road. Here's a link to my Hunter Compact-II.
Hunter Compact II Photos by advocateone | Photobucket
Very true but as the OP has indicated they are wishing to go full time in their set up they may find not having a full time bed and a space to sit and eat and read might get real old fast.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Very true but as the OP has indicated they are wishing to go full time in their set up they may find not having a full time bed and a space to sit and eat and read might get real old fast.
Thanks to everyone for the responses. This is why I think this place is the best RV forum on the net.
Carol, you make some very good points. From what I have read (understand it’s all just internet lernin’ so far) if I am going to live full time in a trailer I would want a full time bed, shower and bath, and a table I could sit at for eating, reading, map planning, computer work etc. You seem familiar with the 17B. Have you ever heard of anyone using the front dinette with a custom mattress as their bed and leaving the rear dinette up full time. Maybe even with the U shaped dinette in the back? It would only be 30" wide but that's equal to 1/2 of a queen which is how most people sleep. Remember I plan on doing this solo.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:55 PM   #7
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Rick, there's several folks on the EscapeForm with 17 footers that have "converted" the front dinette to a bed and use the "bed" area as a dinnete. Check out the archives.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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Rick, We'll be interested in hearing about what you've chosen for your full timing rig.
In addition to the archives, check out our "Fulltiming in a Molded Fiberglass Trailer" section and see what is working for other memebers.
Fulltiming in a Molded Fiberglass Trailer - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:34 PM   #9
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When I go fishing with my buddy, in my 17B, I give him the double bed in the rear and I take the single at the front. I'm perfectly happy sleeping there.
So, if you're solo, I don't think you'll have a problem.
Top of the wardrobe becomes my bedside table.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger View Post
Thanks to everyone for the responses. This is why I think this place is the best RV forum on the net.
Carol, you make some very good points. From what I have read (understand itís all just internet lerniní so far) if I am going to live full time in a trailer I would want a full time bed, shower and bath, and a table I could sit at for eating, reading, map planning, computer work etc. You seem familiar with the 17B. Have you ever heard of anyone using the front dinette with a
custom mattress as their bed and leaving the rear dinette up full time. Maybe even with the U shaped dinette in the back? It would only be 30" wide but that's equal to 1/2 of a queen which is how most people sleep. Remember I plan on doing this solo.
I don't actually know anyone personally with a 17 Escape who has done what you are thinking of doing as most seem to find the small table at the front fine for a single person or couple to eat at and do their computing. But I often travel on my own with my Scamp 16' that does not have the front dinette and if in poor weather I will often use the front bunk to sleep on and leave the larger dinette in the rear up.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:53 PM   #11
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Fulltime Casita blog, you can search in the bottom right Interstellar Orchard | Lessons on the journey to full time RVing
Jon, a member here, spends a heck of a lot of time in his Esscape 17 all across the country.
Jon's Journeys

Offroad specific forum, trailers in here, maybe a fiberglass search will turn up some
Expedition Portal Forum

Technomadia, members here, fulltimed in an Oliver 17 you can google them, they come right up.
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