Fitting family of 4 + huge dog - upsizing from a Casita. - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:42 PM   #1
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Name: Greg
Trailer: Researching. Sold Casita.
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Fitting family of 4 + huge dog - upsizing from a Casita.

We outgrew our 17' Casita bunk bed model and sold it. We're currently stationed overseas. Looking to get into a new RV when we return and we have plenty of time to research and even order one to be ready for us.

I love fiberglass campers, but every layout I'm finding, the kids (who will be 11 and 13) will need to make the dinette every evening for their bed. Plus we now have an 85 pound Weimaraner dog. I'm also imagining them trying to sleep in while my wife and I are trying to have breakfast.

I've been looking at Escape 21, 5.0TA, Bigfoot 25, etc. There's no weight limit as I don't have a truck yet and can buy whatever we need (F150 or F350 depending on what we get).

I've read about folks saying "make them sleep in a tent", but I don't like that idea. Especially if the weather is bad.

My other idea, which I don't like the thought of, is a "stick built" trailer. At least outdoorsRV has a decent reputation and 4 season build. They have 2 models that have bunks plus a slide out dinette. The boys get their own space and we can eat when we want. Dry bath is a nice feature too. There's a 23' model which is bunks plus dinette, then a 28' that adds a 2 person couch and more main room space. But that would require leaving the fiberglass family at least until the boys are grown up and off to college, then we can downsize.

Thoughts from anyone who's gone down this route before?
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Old 01-27-2022, 09:49 PM   #2
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Another approach is to divide and conquer. When we started to outgrow our little Scamp, a second RV came into our lives unexpectedly, which gave us a honeymoon suite and a teen dorm.
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You wouldn’t necessarily need a fully self contained camper van, assuming your trailer has all that, maybe just a passenger van with some back seats removed and a bed built in.

If you want to stick with a single molded fiberglass RV, I’d personally lean toward the Escape 19. Reason is you can have two convertible dinettes (queen in back, double in front), making two separate living spaces if you’re stuck inside on a rainy day. With the right bedding, converting is easy, but we usually cook and eat outside, so we tend to leave beds made up except when we’re stuck inside during inclement weather.
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Old 01-27-2022, 09:56 PM   #3
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That is a good point. We could do a Casita or Escape and a truck camper. If it's just me or me and the kids, the truck camper would work. Hitch up the Casita for the whole family. Another bonus is my Jeep can pull a Casita too. Downside is double the maintenance and storage having 2 campers. Plus keeping track of all the gear. Something to ponder.
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:05 AM   #4
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You have to watch payload with a truck camper, but it’s possible with the right combination.

I hear you about two separate campers. With one teen in college and the other following soon, we’re already giving serious though to whether we really need to keep both. Market right now is such that either would be an easy sell. Small campers of all types are in demand.

Whatever you do, keep the long view- you’ll be empty nesters before you know it.
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Old 01-28-2022, 08:38 AM   #5
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You don't want the headaches that come with a stick built trailer.
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:50 AM   #6
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Scamp 19 ft. is set up like a 5th wheel. large bed over the tow vehicle and rear dinette bed. You will still have to roll up bedding from rear dinette each day. but the upper queen size bed has a degree of privacy. Could be where the sleeping bags get stowed during times the table is set up.

There is a deluxe layout but this standard provides a couch for the dog.
https://www.scamptrailers.com/showro...ndard-trailers

Me thinks you are generous in allowing kids to sleep in. My mom made breakfast and if you didn't come eat it then you waited until lunch. She wanted the meal done and cleaned up so she could enjoy her and dads morning. Might find a snack and glass of orange juice but us kids had to get up for breakfast if we wanted to eat it. We usually cooked outside when I was a kid and still do.

Have made hot water and coffee in the camper, eaten inside but cooking is an outdoor thing. Pizza or fast food picked up when arriving late is eaten inside as a rule. We found setting up the awning and having a kitchen outside was ideal. We store food in the car not the camper so outside is spacious and convenient to food boxes and coolers in the vehicle. Might be different with a truck rather than an SUV.

Something to consider is while a tent isn't ideal if weather is bad or one is pulling in after a long day driving for an overnight stay which makes set up and tear down an extra hassle but a tent does offer an option that teen aged kids may well enjoy as long as there is a spot in the camper for them if weather or circumstances warrant it. Maybe a 4 person back packing tent to give them some room and allow for a friend or even two to come along. Although that would be very cozy in the camper if the weather was bad but sleeping in a tent that stays up in a storm is sort of cool.

Dogs make it unlikely that activities around your camper are not going to get noticed and commented on by the dog. If the boys can handle the dog it can sleep with them in tent for "security" or in camper where they are more likely to alert you of unexpected visitors.

Bears make me think everyone inside is better. Dogs will protect the pups in a pack against animals way too big for them to handle and dogs really annoy bears. Some areas bears are hunted using dogs to follow and tree the bear.

Dogs make for cozy sleeping. Wife at 5'7 and 105 pounds and myself 6'1" 230 lbs. plus two dogs (35 -43 lbs.) in the smaller rear dinette bed of the pre-fire scamp 13 ft. it was cozy but always seemed to get a good nights sleep as long as it wasn't too hot. Dogs wake up to pant hard for a few minutes to cool down throughout the night. Seemed to favor panting in ones ear. They would favor the front couch and its big window if it was hot. Or while activities were taking place since there really isn't much floor space in a 13 ft. Not for two adults and two dogs.

The 16 ft. body of the 19 ft. 5ver has more floor space than a 13 but a dog and two people would crowd it. We have a 16 ft. now and there is more space but a couple of dogs or a bigger dog will really need to get parked and stay if people are making a bed or preparing food.
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Old 01-28-2022, 02:21 PM   #7
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Think about how you are going to camp. We met a couple in Washington State that said they never went more than 150 miles from their home, we were 2500 miles from home that day. Fit follows form and function.
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Old 01-28-2022, 05:35 PM   #8
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I showed my wife a bunch of YouTube videos and we're still anti-stick trailer, so no big bunk monster. She also didn't like the slide in camper idea, even a lightweight pop up like a Four Wheel Project M.

So for us it'll likely be an escape so we have a bed and not have to break down the dinette for meals. I need to get her to stop looking at the shiny Airstreams...
19 or 21.

For the kids, I'm now thinking about a RTT (Roof Top Tent) possibly mounted to removable bed rails or rack over the bed of the truck. My brother and his wife use one on their Tacoma and love it. Then it can store in the garage when not needed. Also I have a "someday" project of an adventure camping trailer for my Jeep, I could use it on that too.

Another bonus to this plan is I can get another (had to sell mine) max tow rated F150 and be within limits rather than jumping to an F350. My last F150 had a 1750lb payload rating.
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Old 02-02-2022, 11:41 AM   #9
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We have the deluxe 2018 Scamp 19, and two teenagers who are now freshmen in college.

We TRIED to make it work. My son is 6’4” and my daughter is 5’8”. They got the more spacious loft and we took the dinette. No one slept well.

My son ended up in a tent cot next to the camper or in the Clam. Daughter got the dinette and we got the loft. He didn’t like being separated- just a personality thing. As a kid, I would have loved it.

In the blink of an eye, those days are over.

Bottom line- don’t buy the deluxe. The standard layout would have been better, but then the bathroom wouldn’t fit my son’s feet!

Our local state park closes at the end of September, which is lame since October is peak leaf season. We ended up “camping” in my parents’ 25’ stick-built 5th wheel camper with one slide, which is parked and full-hookuped on our property in Maine.

I loved the extra space. It made all the difference in enjoying a cold, rainy weekend.

I wish we had bought a used larger stick built camper for while the kids were home. Then, we could have sold it when they left for college, and then bought the fiberglass dream.
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Old 02-02-2022, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Camper View Post
I wish we had bought a used larger stick built camper for while the kids were home. Then, we could have sold it when they left for college, and then bought the fiberglass dream.
Given how much more expensive the fiberglass dream has become, you might be better off having bought when you did!
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Old 02-02-2022, 12:06 PM   #11
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I've owned several trailers over the years.....never had a stick built trailer that eventually didn't leak.....even with proper maintenence. I'll never own one again.
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Old 02-02-2022, 03:31 PM   #12
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IMO, getting a comfortable stick built wouldn't be such a horrible idea. You are probably handy enough to deal with potential leaks. You've got maybe 5-6 years max to camp with the kids. Fixing up and older Airstream might be a cool project. Our Casita is fine for two old folks but I can't imagine having a couple of teenagers bouncing around inside.
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