Misconceptions about traveling (And living) alone - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:42 AM   #1
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
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Another thread spurred me to ponder this, as, I am often baffled at reasonably smart people thinking that "Alone" means significant cost savings and hassle savings. In the trailer world, some translate that to weight.

As far as the supplies in trailer, there is a slight truth to that, but when looking at supplies, for the most part, I carry as much weight as those traveling in multiples.

When talking strictly ADULT needs, where I have less weight is in clothing and in multiple personal goods (Shampoos, soaps, personal entertainment choices and the like) but thats about all. A few pounds at best? Those traveling with children will have significant differences.

Also, I may consume less, but in reality, I have to carry the same weight in food and water even if I am using it less frequently or in smaller amounts at one sitting.. I just replenish it less. I still tug a full fridge. My cupboards are still full and still have full cans of chili, and full boxes of sugar and cans of coffee and spices and all the stuff one needs to make a meal, whether one person is eating or 2 or even 3. The weight of these items is the same from the get go, a gallon of water weighs 8 and some odd pounds, that doesn't change based on its future use. The volume all these things consume is the same, our space is limited.

My propane tanks are full, and just because I am 1, it doesn't mean I use significantly less. It takes the same amount of propane to heat the trailer, or water tank or cook a meal with one person in it as it does two, for the most part. The thermo doesn't count bodies before it kicks in. The sink is the same size and capacity as it is with 5 or 1. It takes X gallons to fill it to wash dishes for the first load, whether I am washing 1 dish or 2 or 10. Those that do more loads will see a difference in consumption, but most of us only do 1 or 2. The hot water for showers is consumed less, but I can't regulate the weight of the propane in the tank, it gets filled and carried just like everyone else does.

My TV and computer weigh X amount whether 1 or 12 are using it. So do my lantern, tables and other misc side goodies. True, two chairs weigh more than 1.

I have to carry the same size dish soap, roll of TP and misc. cans and bottles of cleaning supplies. A pound of rice weighs a pound when it goes into the cupboard, and whether I consume half and stash the rest, or if it's eaten by two and completely consumed, it still weighs a pound when it went into the cupboard.

You can only carry so many beers and sodas, I fill to avoid frequent runs to the store, just like everyone else.

Buying smaller qtys and weights is not cost effective. The world is geared towards "More" and the pricing of stuff reflects it. I have to go with the flow. Sometimes buying the smaller unit results in twice the cost.. I don't have that kind of moolah to throw away.

1 person or 12, the trailer set up to tow is the same, and tho I recognize that less people in the car and some of their stuff will result in different gas mileage, for the most part, it is in Nths and not significant enough to warrant "Oh my gawd, it costs so much less for you". The trailer and rigging is the same and tugging it all alone is still going to be as spendy as if I had 3 folks with me.

The point here is the newbie may not recognize all of this and underestimate weight when predicting what they will be tugging. My opinion, and thats just what it is, an opinion, is when judging, only give a slight and very minor discount for *average* personal "stuff" and assume everything else will be the same. Remember, socks and undies don't weigh much.

All bets are off when considering Ches' wifes shoe collection.
(Your day is coming Gina)
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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West Coast USA
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and to add ONE more thing...

It dumbfounds me when folks say "Well, you don't need a heavy battery, you are just one, you could get away with a group 24 or less"

A light bulb consumes the same current and uses the same voltage when it is on with 1 or 4 people present in the room it's lighting. Same with the heater fan. Water pump usage will indeed be less, but not that much, they whack all size batteries pretty hard. Just like everyone else, I like to go as far between charges as possible.

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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You've got a lot of good points there.
In our case, I think I might actually have more weight if it was just me. I would still have at least 2 plates, 2 coffee cups, etc. All the other stuff except Anne's clothes, a small bag of stuff she carries, and a sleeping bag. Total weight probably less than 40 lbs. But by myself, there would be a few more books, maybe a Television with DVD player (that's just a maybe), a few more carving tools and more wood to carve. There would be a few things that Anne uses some logical restraint on me that without her would be added.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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Almost gives new meaning to: "Two can live as cheaply as One." Except in this case: "Two can travel (almost) as lightly as One."
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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Gina D:
you said a light draws the same if theres noone around or 4 people are using it.
Believe it or not I had a plant manager when he was figuring man-hours for a job counted the lighting cost for each man ie: 1 man working lights cost $2.00 per hour 2 men working lights cost $4.00 per hour. sure ran up our cost of producing a product.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:35 PM   #6
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If Full Timing, then clothes for all seasons must be carried, from parkas to swim suits, and appropriate footgear -- Two sets for two people. Two people reading need two lights and two books. Food storage is a tradeoff between space and fuel to get to the store. Two people use twice as much water (if you are carrying it) and produce twice as much waste (if you are storing it).
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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Gina, You are sooooo right!!!! Pretty much with exception of clothes we solos carry the same weight in our trailers.

Except, as for me, little do they know that in addition to having the same staples, dishes, water, batteriy, propane, etc as two, I have room in my cupboards for more toys. My toys are in the spaces that a second persons clothes might be. There is no doubt that my toys weight more than additional clothes. It's no wonder people often say when they are looking for something, "I bet Joy's got it"

The trailer is definitely up to the job of handling all I put in it. As long as my tug, if it can get up my driveway I'm in business.
Joy A. & Olive
and "Puff", too
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:51 PM   #8
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Keep in mind, I am only speaking of the average camp out, which is what most of us do. Fulltiming with the addition of two persons comforts would certainly add quite a bit. Books weigh a ton, as would the addition of individual sporting gear such as bikes or fishing gear (Which most of us don't carry)

I am speaking of the basics it takes to get the trailer on the road and to maintain the basic human comforts we bought our rigs for. Just because I am only one doesn't mean I am going to fill my propane or water tanks half full. It's the process that takes the time, and not the volume. Why would I go thru a process twice to get the same amount that I will eventually use anyway? An example in everyday life...I doubt anyone here would only fill their car gas take based on what their trip was for that day..you fill and replenish when needed.

Some couples sleep in separate beds, but most don't. I had double bedding in my 13. It weighed the same as it would if two persons were under it. I only use the twin bed option in the 17 because it is better for my floor plan, but if I was motivated to make a bed daily, I would use the quasi queen and all the bedding in the back.

I could also spend the time to cut supplies bought in larger volume or qty in half for individual trips, but that takes time and defeats the "get on the road with minimal fuss" factor. I don't like to go to the store anymore than couples or families do. Note that because I am one, it means I actually spend more time as an individual to get on the road. I don't have anyone to split the chores with... my time is worth something.

A short list of "Fixed" items that are basic (Tho some may not call a few requirements) that are a constant in weight regardless of the size of the traveling party.. this excludes food, which I have noted above.

Electrical cords and supplies
Basic Tool Box and tools
Propane tank(s)
On Board and portable Batterys
Space heating items (I have a cube heater as most do, as well as a portable propane one)
cleaning supplies
toilet chemicals and paper
water hoses (both kinds) and supplies
leveling and chocks and other trailer support type items
Towing things (Sway bars, WDHs etc)
battery charging items, either a generator or solar panels
Kitchen things, pots, pans, cutlery, dishes (But one could arguably carry less of those)
Most folks carry at least two chairs, as do I.
Basic multiples in consideration of guests is common.

As far as lighting, a factory, even a small one would indeed require more, but is far different than the requirements for a 17 foot trailer. Also, just because it is only me doesn't mean I don't sometimes enjoy "stewpid awning lights" and I put them up if I am more than a day or two in one spot and have the 120v to run them.

Certainly, clothing, medications and individual toiletries are a consideration for additional weight based on qty of travelers. Fred and Robert have a similar set up as far as "fixed" basic equipment to mine, I would be curios to weigh all their personal items against mine to see how much different it actually is.

Fred, wanna bring a scale to Quartzsite?
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:15 PM   #9
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Now that I'm almost full timing and alone, I have to agree the trailer is still full, just differant STUFF. Carrying 4 seasons of clothes, same amount of food just differant kinds(not quite as healthy), a few more spare parts and tools, and a few more toys! But to save weight, trade off old books at most campgrounds and get books on CD (got a couple for Christmas and they're great for boring drives). Can't comment on beer vs diet drinks on weight....
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:49 PM   #10
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Also, just because it is only me doesn't mean I don't sometimes enjoy "stewpid awning lights" and I put them up if I am more than a day or two in one spot and have the 120v to run them.
I knew there was something I haven't bought yet.
Scamp Owners International
2015 Escape 19 & 1997 Scamp 19
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:59 PM   #11
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Take your pick!

I have the dumb bass, Cokacola Polar Bears and bottles and the string of various liquid libations in their appropriate glasses and mugs
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:59 PM   #12
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I agree with you Gina.

It dumfounds me the math a lot of people use to figure out that because I am single it should cost me more or less (depending on who is calculating) to own a trailer, a house or a car than it costs a multi-member family. The mortgage does not know that it should go up or down with the number of people in residence. The outlay is fixed. IF there are additional contributors the economics change, yes. But if you are the only one paying the freight the pounds don't necessaily go up or down because you are or are not dating.

It was all the vacation "price based upon double occupancy" deals that helped encourage me to get a trailer. I came ot the conclusion that there is no economical way for singles to travel. If I put all my nieces and nephews in the trailer, the gas costs the same, the site costs the same. My groceries cost me the same because their parents pay for theirs. Otherwise the trip cost doesn't modulate on a per body basis.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:27 PM   #13
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,015
IF there are additional contributors the economics change, yes.
If looking at economic factors, it actually is less of a "burden" for multiples than individuals. I must carry the financial burden of all the fixed costs (When trailering, gas, supplies etc) on my own. With multiples, the individuals split the costs, in theory. Assuming the average household has two or more incomes, the individuals within the multiples bear a lower burden for the same benefit AND have double the financial resources.

EX: A tank of gas costs 50 bones. When traveling alone, as an individual, I pay the full 50 and go 300 miles.
If traveling with a partner and all things are equal, I pay 25 and still travel 300 miles, as does my travel mate.

But this isn't about economics, per se'. I am aware my choice of lifestyle has many benefits and I must pay to keep them.
I am certainly not complaining, just explaining some of the facts about it that a lot of folks don't understand, or have never considered because their direct experience is different.

I am sure those that have married young and find themselves single and unencumbered again in mid life have discovered that no, in fact, being single is NOT cheaper than being married and all that disposable income they perceived to be a benefit is just as quickly disposed in day to day needs as it was when married. With only half the resources available to feed the basic costs.

Same with trailering and weight. The certain and unvariable fixed items will not change or lessen based on the qty of folks traveling.

I have also found that in my research on "workamping", that couples have more opportunity than singles, because part of compensation is usually space rent. For the same square footage of space laid out, they get two workers instead of just one. Lots of places offer singles positions, but they are required to work more hours as individuals than couples are. It sort of makes sense, 20 man hours work is 20 man hours, regardless of how many folks it's split between.

Often as individuals, if the park requires 10 hours from each person in a couple, they will require 15 from a single person, because they know there is not much difference in basic resource consumption (Propane, water, electric etc) The extra 5 is to balance the costs for amount of hours they get per worker. This only seems fair to me. Others complain about it.

But still thats 5 less hours of free time I have as an individual as individuals in a couple do. The amount of hours we have individually in a week is fixed, and now I have less of them for the same benefit, so to speak.
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