Rear Door VS Side door - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2020, 06:15 PM   #1
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Rear Door VS Side door

I am working on a design layout for my camper build and am trying to decide if I should locate the door in the rear of the unit or the side. The only advantage of one over the other that I can think of is for towing a vehicle it would easier to have the door on the side so it is out of the way but I don't plan to tow anything so are their other factors to consider ?.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:26 PM   #2
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Since you are looking at designing/building, I would check this forum as they are dedicated to teardrops and tiny trailers: Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers • Index page I used to look at the videos for Taylor Coach (Canada) and I have seen a couple of fiberglass molded trailers with a backdoor, and I just always felt the space seemed large with a backdoor than a side door, not larger obviously, but better organized.

It really comes down the individual, how you'll use it and where. How it will work out for you when set-up, etc.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:38 PM   #3
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He posted earlier that he is wanting to build a truck camper.


Sorry guys, I should have mentioned that I am...

Sorry guys, I should have mentioned that I am looking for a pickup truck camper shell, not a trailer.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:52 PM   #4
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I used to have a trailer with a rear door, now have a side door, which has advantages. Most campsites are set up for a passenger side door. But when you want to bring bulky things into the trailer that rear door was nice! I felt it was not as good a layout but the trailers really aren't comparable in space anyway.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:21 PM   #5
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With a rear door you have to be a little creative as where to store your spare. Also limited size awning over the rear door. You usually do have larger bed options with a rear door.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:25 AM   #6
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The rear of a truck or trailer gathers a lot of dirt from the road. Air turbulence swirls around and picks up deposits road spray etc.
A side door can get dirty too, but will be cleaner than a rear door.
Lil-Snoozy trailers have rear doors.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:11 PM   #7
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Is anybody actually reading this thread?
It's not about where to place the door on a trailer. It's about where to place the door on a truck camper.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:20 PM   #8
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I'm sure it's my own problem of lack of imagination, but I don't see how you could reasonably put a side door in a slide-in camper. It would have to be a little hobbit door. Unless you're building a custom camper on a flatbed. Then it could work. I like being able to access from the sidewalk, rather than the street.

Aside from that, it's layout. In the size camper we're typically talking about on this site, putting a door in the rear is a huge limitation to how you can layout the interior. There are great examples of people making the most of this layout, so it can be done. The Lil Snoozy is a great example. It's just limiting. The benefit I see is only in what you can store for travel in the camper. I like to play music, and though I could get an upright bass through the side door of my Bigfoot, it was very close. Same with kayaks, surf boards/paddle boards etc.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:15 PM   #9
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There is one other way to get a side door on a slide-in truck camper, if that’s still what the OP is thinking. It involves a camper with a 20-24” overhang past the bed of the truck. There used to be a number built that way. They were all seriously heavy, and the overhang makes towing a very dicey proposition. Amerigo made a part-molded unit with that feature back in the 70s.
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It’s been many years- decades actually- since I’ve seen a new slide-in with a side entry. You certainly won’t find a recent fiberglass shell suitable for a side entry.

If it’s a truck camper we’re talking about, then rear entry for sure.

I have seen several custom porches at the rear doors of truck campers with side or rear stairs that fold up for travel. Typically mount to a receiver platform and double as cargo storage for BBQs and generators.

With a slide-in camper you’ve really got to mind the payload.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
I'm sure it's my own problem of lack of imagination, but I don't see how you could reasonably put a side door in a slide-in camper. It would have to be a little hobbit door. Unless you're building a custom camper on a flatbed. Then it could work. I like being able to access from the sidewalk, rather than the street..
There are plenty out there with a side door. They tend to be the biggest models, with enough extension beyond the truck bed they can fit a door on the side.

I don't see a molded FG pickup camper with a side door, but others make them (not molded).

Decades ago I was going to buy a Real-Lite branded pickup camper with a side door. At the time, I had a one ton dually pickup, pretty much a requirement for one of these.


https://familyrvingmag.com/2019/02/0...-truck-camper/
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:41 PM   #11
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OK, building a truck camper? I would use this reference, and they do have a forum, and although not as active as the boating portion, they have some comments made: https://www.glen-l.com/campers/campers.html

I think it is reasonable to be confused about what is being discussed since building a camper doesn't usually go along with molded fiberglass trailers.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:04 AM   #12
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A side door in a truck camper seems like it'd take up something like 3-4 square feet of "extra" room to make a path to the main "hallway" through the camper. That's a lot of limited space used up. I'd say rear door unless you've got a strong specific reason to put it on the side.
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