Size does matter - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-08-2012, 08:45 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 5,892
Size does matter

Last weekend I took my son and his two daughter camping to Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas. We all slept in the trailer. Sleeping in the trailer together wasn't too hard, but getting to that point was not so easy! I found myself wishing for a considerably larger trailer.

We arrived at the park mid-afternoon, set up camp, and then went to explore BEAR CAVE (the girls were fascinated with the idea of a bear in a cave) and the Bear Cave Trail.
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We also went to one of the high overlooks, and of course the playground area. Sophia is 7 (will be 8 in Aug.) and Ruby is 6, so playgrounds are a big deal.

But then, before suppertime, it started raining lightly off and on (mostly on, though), so instead of sitting at the picnic table to eat, we had to stay inside. It was kind of crazy trying to organize dinner with 3 other people in there with me, and the girls are always trying to get my attention besides. For eating, Ruby sat on the bed and used the kitchen counter as a table. My son and Sophia sat on sofa, and Sophia used the little homemade table I'd built. I held my plate and sat on the bed, too.

After doing the dishes, we taught the girls Stratego and we all rotated through a few games. At dusk it had stopped raining and I saw people walking all in the same direction, so I knew it was time for the rangers' program at the amphitheater to start. We headed over there and found on arrival that the program had already started, so we quietly seated ourselves on the wet concrete benches. 15 seconds later, it started raining again! People were getting up and leaving, and the ranger was trying to find something to cover the projector so she could continue her talk on local birds and butterflies. We decided to take our newly wetted butts back to the trailer before the rest of us became likewise.

So it was back to Stratego, and then bedtime. Bedtime: talk about a 3 ring circus! Everyone is dodging everyone else in the aisle as we use the bathroom, brush our teeth at the kitchen sink, and try to get changed. I'm trying to get Ruby's sleeping bag and pillow off the bed to make up her spot on the sofa. Next the extra foam comes off the bed and into the aisle space (floor) for Sophia's sleeping bag and pillow. Then John (my son) finally has room to get himself situated on the bed. Finally I work my way between the girls and join him on the bed, too. What a tight fit!!!

The next day was better, with sun most of the time. We went to several overlooks and walked several trails.
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Sophia is a regular mountain goat! I could hardly keep up with her. In fact, my son and I got so tired out, we decided to head back late that afternoon instead of staying another night. We were out of energy, out of new places to explore, and out of ways to keep the girls occupied for another night. More Strategoooo.... nah, had enough!

All in all, we had a good time. But I really didn't want to go through another setup and teardown of beds with the attendant overcrowding and difficulties.

If we all go camping again, I just don't know yet what we're going to do, but we aren't doing it the same way! Either I need a bigger trailer (not likely to happen), or John and the girls are going to get a tent, or something! A 16 footer for 4 people frazzles me too much. (And I think it got to my son, too.)

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Old 06-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Sharon G's Avatar
Name: Sharon
Trailer: 2005 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 528
Mike, loved reading about your adventures with the girls. But you are right.... a 16' is way too small for two adults and two kids!

Bet the girls would love the tent idea.

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Old 06-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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Name: Vickie
Trailer: 1988 Perris Pacer ('Bean') / 2015 Ford F-150, 2017 Winnebago UltraLite 27BHSS
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Mike---that was priceless! and you are a trooper! Hey!---you could buy my Perris Pacer for the girl's very own place to stay!! Love your title--- thought about naming my new Jayco that very name!!
1988 Perris Pacer
2010 Honda Ridgeline
2013 Winnebago Minnie 2101FBS
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Modified Trillium Jubilee
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IMHO what you are lacking is not the sleeping area but a living area and this is easily solved. A pop-up canopy that sets up in minutes, keeps you out of elements, gives the extra living space. May not work for you but, for us the trailer is mostly sleeping area. Canopy is where we spend most of the time when in the camp. In but still out...
I wish to be one day at least half as good as I think I am today. Andrew Kalinowski
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:52 PM   #5
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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I couple of thoughts for you Mike. I have camped with two adults and two children & two large dogs in the pouring rain in my 16' Scamp on the wet coast so I can relate. Children on the bunks and adults share the double bed and dogs on the floor.

Andrew's suggestion of an easy up canopy is a big plus. I have one and only bring it along for occasions when there is going to be a crowd - otherwise my awning is good enough. The pop up fits well over a table at a camp ground and at night while playing games I put my small propane fire pit on under it and all is good - especially if you get a pop up with removable sides. Bring along a number of different board games to play.

A small tent is an option for at least one of the adults which would reduce the night crowding. Trust me in a couple of years the children are the ones who are going to be wanting to be in the tent on their own.

In so far as everyone bumping into each other while getting ready for bed the simple rule is everyone take a seat and let one person at a time get ready. Although I admit with children that doesnt always happen.... LOL

I also take all the extra sleeping bags and pillows & stick them in the back of the car each morning and dont put them back in the trailer until bed time - that way they are out of the way until needed.

Mike I am sure you will do it all again even though it is exhausting! The girls will have lots of good memories of the trips with you.

Edit: Forgot to mention that if you have power at the site a laptop with a couple of good children moves is always a big plus to have in the rain! Besides its the only way I actually got to see all the Harry Potter movies!
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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Name: Arlon
Trailer: 2002 Casita Bunk Delux
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Glad that was you! Petit jean is a great park though, love it in the fall. We just got a Casita with the bunk bed option, it's made for that kind of situation but I still couldn't imagine doing a trip with us and 2 kids. I guess if we ever end up with grandkids that want to go camping we'll be looking for an additional trailer.

I'm glad your taking them out like that, they'll remember that trip for ever.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:37 AM   #7
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Name: john
Trailer: scamp 13
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nope,,,you do not need a bigger trailer,,or a tent.

a nice popup awning like an easyup, or swissgear might help. but those girls will rmember that trip for the rest of their lives. if they were in a giant motorhome with 4 slideouts,,,they wouldn't remember it as well.
you have had an adventure together. sometimes adventures have some discomfort,,, but they always have joy as long as you remember what your goal is. fun time with those kids.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:47 AM   #8
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Name: john
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oh as for the popup,,, check them out to see that you can get insect screens and wind panels for them. my swiss gear i got the screen and wind panels. nice to sit outside to play cards or games and not get eaten, and windpanels make it into basicly a 10x10 tent, a shower room for a portable shower, a changing room for getting into swimwear and such , a kitchen for cooking, a party room for guests, a workshop for hobbies and repairs to bicycles ,a garage for said bicycles, a classroom for teaching those little ones about nature, rainbows, and chipmonks. a viewing room for watching movies on the laptop,a hospital for bandaging scraped knees and removal of sand burs. i can go on and on, the only thing i wish i could add would be the courage to allow my grand daughters to decorate it with waterproof magic markers, lol. and i may just do that if they get bored on our next trip.
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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Thanks folks, those are some interesting thoughts. I can see how a shelter canopy with removable wind panels would have been a real asset. And everyone can still sleep together. If they start begging for another camping trip, I'll have to look around for something like that. And yes, we should have had more variety of stuff to keep the kids occupied in the off times.

Vickie, maybe I could tow your golden egg behind my Escape... anybody know if I would need a CDL with "doubles" endorsement for that?

By the way, here are a couple more pictures from the trip. These are called the "Turtle Rocks".
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This was another, larger cave at the park. Near here was an overlook near the top of Cedar Falls, but this year the falls were just a trickle. Very dry May!
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
Posts: 1,148
You have just found the thing I discovered a LONG time ago - there ain't no such thing as too big a trailer! (says the guy who has had a couple of Boler 13's, a 15 foot sticky, a 17 foot Boler and now a Bigfoot 21 footer. If I could afford it - I'd be heading for Salmon Arm today to buy that Bigfoot 28 foot Silver Cloud that is listed in the "for Sale section!)
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #11
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Name: Hazel
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 577
As a couple who aren't really in a postion to buy a bigger camper I can only add to the good advice already shared.

We have a Ventura (13 ft) which works reasonably well for the two of us. We always take along a 10'x10' canopy, complete with additional wind walls and bug screens. A picnic table fits inside nicely so we can cook outside in some degree of comfort.

When we have a couple of grandkids along too we have them sleep in a tent (they love it!) We still have the one we used to use ourselves before the Ventura was purchased. I would suggest getting a GOOD tent if you have to buy one - cheap ones don't last long in wind and often develop leaks in rain.

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