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Old 05-19-2024, 05:11 AM   #1
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Name: SeasideJess
Trailer: TrailsWest Campster
California
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Thumbs down shopping advice needed

Hi all,
My current camper is a 1970 TrailsWest Campster. It's in pretty decent condition and it tows like a dream, but we are now looking for a trailer with a shower.

We also want it to have:
  • A north-south queen bed, or twin beds would be ok. The main thing is not to have to climb over eachother to get in and out of bed (that rules out those airstream corner beds too).
  • Somewhere to put our duffles that is near the bed, or two cabinets or drawers big enough to hold a week's clothes.
  • Minimum 6' interior height, but another poptop would be fine.
  • No longer than 22' long and ideally closer to 7' wide than 8.
  • no slides.
  • Capacity to carry our 12x12 quick-up, our folding camp chairs and tables, and ground mats, stove, and our plastic tubs with our pots and pans. (We cook outside.)
  • Non fall-apart construction. We aren't that handy and when things need fixing we take them to the shop, so it is important that the stuff we buy be durable so we can use it instead of taking it back and forth to the shop all the time.
Nice-to-have would be external hot water sprayer for the outside camp kitchen.


Our tow vehicle is rated for 5K lbs trailer weight, and 500lbs tongue weight.

So far I have found the Safari Condo Alto 17 and 21, the Intech Sol Dusk and Eclipse, The Casita 19 Independence, and the SylvanSport Go. Do you guys know of any others? It seems like twin bed layouts are getting more popular, but it's not a term I can search on.


Thank you in advance! -Jess
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Old 05-19-2024, 06:09 AM   #2
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Old 05-19-2024, 10:36 AM   #3
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Name: SeasideJess
Trailer: TrailsWest Campster
California
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corner bed

Hi Jon, thanks for the reply! I did look at those but it seems like whoever is against the exterior wall needs to climb over the other person's feet to get out of bed. Am I missing something?
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Old 05-19-2024, 02:30 PM   #4
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Name: Michelle
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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We have a 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe. It's our first fiberglass, and I've not been in other fiberglass brands, so this is basically specific Casita info.



If your "12x12 quick up" is a Clam, you won't be able to get it into just about any fiberglass camper that I can think of. We have the Clam and live in it in camp, but it's not bendable. Like you, we do all our cooking either in the Clam or outside.


We put the Clam in the back of our Tundra pickup, it just barely fits the 6' bed, along with everything else: folding chairs, cookbox, stove, etc. We have an ARE 'contractor's cap' on the back of the Tundra that keeps everything dry.
I can only speak for the Casita, but as most FG campers these days all seem to be variations of the same floor plan, meaning, the doorway is up close to the front of the camper. So you have to make an immediate left turn to get into the living area of the casita. Which is why I said the clam won't bend to fit.



My first camper was a 24' stickbuilt Dutchman. It had a 'north south (I'm assuming you mean bow-aft direction) 'camper queen bed that allowed one to exit the bed without having to climb over one's partner. It was wider than 7', I'm sure of it, although I never measured it.



I know that Casitas do come with twin beds, but we chose comfort over convenience and converted the sleeping area to a Southern Mattress. There is no room whatsoever on any side other than that on the center aisle to the bathroom. So we do the crawl over at night. However it does provide with a lot of storage space under the bed, as long as one of you is nimble enough to get down on hands and knees to drag the bags and stuff from under the mattress.



When you consider the weight that you'll be carrying in a fiberglass camper like the Casita, those things already installed add much weight. I mean a full wter tank, the refrigerator, the galley sink, the closet, the propane furnace...all those are on the passenger side of the Casita. Adding to it: for instance, your 'stuph' like duffle bags, clothing, cookware, aperhaps your 12x12 quick up is bendable: if you're putting that all inside the camper, you're coming very close to maximum advisable weight. You don't want to overload it, adding weight to the camper, especially without balancing the load, can sometimes...I'm not saying always, but sometimes results in swaying at higher speeds. Once you've seen a camper/trailer whiplashing on a busy interstate, because the driver was going much too fast, you will never forget it. the tail wagging the dog wins unless the driver can regain control in time. Again, it's why we load ALL that stuph on our tow vehicle rather than in the camper itself.


So I hope this is somewhat helpful if rather negative.
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Old 05-19-2024, 09:32 PM   #5
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Louisiana
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FYI, there is a common mod for the Casita Spirit floor plan that eliminates the crawl-over bed and yields twin beds with a dinette between them. There is a rear twin across the back of the trailer that is approximately 76x 30 and a side twin that is approximately 72x 24. This mod is common enough that both Southern Mattress and Love My Casita offer standardized mattresses in these sizes.

I chose to fabricate upholstered cushions, along with an articulating dinette table and a small dog crate under the rear twin.
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Old 05-19-2024, 10:11 PM   #6
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Name: SeasideJess
Trailer: TrailsWest Campster
California
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Hi Michelle, thank you for your helpful response! I have been wondering how/if it will work to put the quick-up into one of these side-door trailers.

With the Campster rear door, the canopy and floor mats just slide straight under the bed, the tables, chairs, stove, friends-and-relations tents, sleeping bags go on top of the bed, and there's still room to stack two coolers in the galley.
Even though it's a tiny trailer it's great for hauling our gear. The cabinets hold plastic boxes with our pots and pans and hoses and electrical cords, the drawers hold plastic boxes with our dishes, and utensils, and it"s all easy to bring out and put away. It even has a closet we use to hold tablecloths, blankets, and tarps.

There's no room in our tow vehicle for gear because that's where the acoustic bass, the guitars, the fiddle, and mandolin, ride, along with whom ever else we are bringing along, like a college kid or my mom.

The Campster is kind of perfect as a cargo hauler with a queen bed. But there's no bathroom of course, and only one of us can be out of bed at a time so we have to take turns.

I noticed that the Snoozy has a rear entry door. Maybe that one is the unicorn.
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Old 05-19-2024, 10:15 PM   #7
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Name: SeasideJess
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Hi Philip, thank you! Your trailer looks awesome. Do you think there's an advantage to modify a Spirit vs getting an Independence that already has the twin/king layout?
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Old 05-20-2024, 01:01 AM   #8
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Trailer: Casita
Louisiana
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Jess,
Thank you for the compliment. For us and the way we camp, the modified Spirit works better than the Liberty we previously owned. The Liberty is similar to the Independence floor plan. It has narrower beds and a wider aisle.

What Did Not Work For Us In The Liberty
Its my wife and I and a small dog, who is crate trained. In the Liberty, there was no room for the crate except in the aisle. To allow the crate door to open, the small dinette table had to go in the most forward floor socket, which blocked the remaining aisle space. We usually ended up just using the top of the crate for a table, which was too low. Also, there was no place to put the dogs water dish but in front of the crate in the aisle. I lost count of the number of times that I stepped in the bowl, kicked it over or had a blanket/sheet slide off the bed into the bowl.

In the Liberty, it also seemed like we did everything in the same spot: eating, sleeping, lounging, playing games, etc. The bedding always seemed disheveled and contained crumbs or some such from the days meals.

Lastly, my wife and I have different sleep schedules. In the Liberty, we were right next to each other. There was not much that I could do without disturbing her.

Why The Spirit Mod Works For Us
In the modified Spirit, the dogs crate is under the rear twin and out of the aisle (he loves it) and his water dish is beside the crate, also under the bed and out of the aisle. The additional space beside the crate holds his food, treats, meds, etc.

The mod also provides a U-shaped lounging/dinette area that is easily accessible with the articulating table mount (inspired by a number of van camper YouTube videos). We can also rotate the table such that it extends the galley counter.

My wife sleeps on the side twin and the wall partition provides just enough of a barrier to allow me to work on an iPad, read a book, or let morning light in the back without disturbing her.

I made the cushions from a combination of firm and soft foam to yield a cushion that is comfortable for sitting, lounging and sleeping. I upholstered them with a high end faux leather material that has a very high abrasion resistance and feels great. Everything easily wipes right off. I use rollout bedding on top of the cushions.
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Old 05-20-2024, 07:30 AM   #9
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Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
Ohio
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An Oliver twin bed, big money but might be too heavy. Seems like your tow limitations will be a deciding factor and you may not get what you want with limitations. Airstream Bambi 22 night work (we looked at one while waiting for the Bigfoot 25. We had a 21c for 4 years hated making the bed and the climb, it was a nice trailer otherwise. The 25 RQ has a great bed room but it’s 8 feet wide and requires a 3/4 truck to really be comfortable towing in the mountains. What was the old adage about thin and rich ?
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Old 05-20-2024, 08:21 AM   #10
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Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldwave View Post
The 25 RQ has a great bed room but its 8 feet wide and requires a 3/4 truck to really be comfortable towing in the mountains. What was the old adage about thin and rich ?
Required is an absolute.

We have no problem traveling with our 25RQ pulled with our Max Tow F150 Quad Cab, 3.5 EcoBoost, and yes we're under our capacity (could actually haul more weight). We're far from being the only one pulling with a properly configured 1/2 ton, so required is not correct.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 05-20-2024, 10:19 AM   #11
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Ohio
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Perry has a point however I have the extended tongue version which is much heavier on the tongue. It is possible to spec an F 150 to pull it but 90 percent of the on lot trucks have inadequate payload to handle the extended box version. Without the box it’s more feasible
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:19 AM   #12
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I have no problem getting our folded 10x10 EZ-Up canopy in and out of our 13 Scamp. Where to store it is mainly a matter of the trailer layout and what other stuff you have inside. Set it on the floor along the aisle, stand it in the bathroom, lay it on a bench or bed. The higher it is, the more likely to shift in transit, and it might need to be secured to prevent damage.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:07 PM   #13
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Name: Michelle
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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Wow, Egg White, those cushions look professional as all get out. You have a talent for sure!!
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:10 PM   #14
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Name: SeasideJess
Trailer: TrailsWest Campster
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I have no problem getting our folded 10x10 EZ-Up canopy in and out of our 13 Scamp. Where to store it is mainly a matter of the trailer layout and what other stuff you have inside. Set it on the floor along the aisle, stand it in the bathroom, lay it on a bench or bed. The higher it is, the more likely to shift in transit, and it might need to be secured to prevent damage.
Good to know! I am going to try to arrange some viewing dates with local Casita owners soon. I'm sure that will help get a better feel for how they would work for us.

After what Philip/egg white said I will be looking a lot more closely at the Spirit and Liberty. Since we would prize being able to sit in it and play music with friends, the Liberty might be a good fit. With all the tables out that's a pretty good sized u-shaped couch.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeasideJess View Post
After what Philip/egg white said I will be looking a lot more closely at the Spirit and Liberty. Since we would prize being able to sit in it and play music with friends, the Liberty might be a good fit. With all the tables out that's a pretty good sized u-shaped couch.
The side bench in the Spirit and the two parallel side benches in the Liberty are really narrow, about 23" IIRC. We sleep separately in our Scamp. My wife gets the 44" dinette bed at the back, which we found just a bit too cramped for both of us. I get the 26" front bench, just big enough for my average male frame. Not sure I could sleep comfortably on only 23".

A Class B we previously owned had an unconventional bed configuration that worked surprisingly well. The head end was full width, so plenty of room for pillows, shoulders, arms, and the intimacy of a shared bed. But the foot end had a notch in the center that allowed you to swing your feet down and exit without disturbing your partner. I'd describe it as a "half-queen, half-twin." Standard bedding won’t work, of course. We used separate sleeping bags with washable liners, same as our Scamp and easy to stow for daytime seating.
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I mention it because the Liberty can be set up the same way, full width at the back and separate benches toward the front. It solves the problem of the narrow twin beds without modifications. This is a stock photo from the Casita website. Remove the table for nighttime access. Upper cabinets would be more convenient for clothes. And yes, you can reconfigure to make a U-shaped seating group for day use.
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:07 AM   #16
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Name: Michelle
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Jon, my cat is saying, whoa, bucko, that space at the end of the bed is where I sleep...
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:58 AM   #17
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The whole Liberty bed space is oversized both in length and width (84”x76”), so I’m sure kitty will figure it out, with or without the center aisle bridge!
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:36 PM   #18
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Name: Philip
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Louisiana
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Originally Posted by SeasideJess View Post
Good to know! I am going to try to arrange some viewing dates with local Casita owners soon. I'm sure that will help get a better feel for how they would work for us.

After what Philip/egg white said I will be looking a lot more closely at the Spirit and Liberty. Since we would prize being able to sit in it and play music with friends, the Liberty might be a good fit. With all the tables out that's a pretty good sized u-shaped couch.
Jess,
You mentioned the Casita Independence earlier. If you plan on inside gatherings, I would caution against the Independence because of it’s extremely narrow aisle width.

Jon’s right that the Liberty beds and the Spirit’s side twin are narrow. Folks with Liberties have several different mods to widen the beds, but retain the aisle floor width. Others simply slide the mattress out a few inches from the wall at night just to provide more shoulder width and that suits them.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:49 PM   #19
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Wow, Egg White, those cushions look professional as all get out. You have a talent for sure!!
Michelle,
Thank you for the compliments on my cushions.

Sewing is really a means to enjoy the sewing machines that I restore. You may find it interesting to know that I actually did all the upholstery for the Casita on a 1919 Singer foot operated treadle.

Philip
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:21 PM   #20
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Name: SeasideJess
Trailer: TrailsWest Campster
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Jess,
You mentioned the Casita Independence earlier. If you plan on inside gatherings, I would caution against the Independence because of its extremely narrow aisle width.

Jons right that the Liberty beds and the Spirits side twin are narrow. Folks with Liberties have several different mods to widen the beds, but retain the aisle floor width. Others simply slide the mattress out a few inches from the wall at night just to provide more shoulder width and that suits them.
Yes, after realizing how much more flexible and configurable the Spirit and Liberty are, we have eliminated the independence.

Am I correct that neither of them has a bench/storage box at the rear center, in bed-mode, the mattress/cushion sits on a lowered table?

I wish the manufacturer would post photos of the interiors with the cushions removed so we could get a feel for the storage spaces. And some measurements of the interior spaces wouldn't do any harm.
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