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Old 07-17-2017, 09:28 PM   #41
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Another old fart here. Not much left to add. I would say that families are much smaller than when I was young. It is rarer to see over three kids than it used to be. Some groups have more, but many have 1 or 2. As someone said, campers used to be more like rolling bunkhouses, but demand has changed that too.

There has been pressure on the middle class, as many haven't seen raises. That has added to the pressure to make light weight inexpensive RVs that can be towed by the family SUV or van.

Some of you would wonder if I was ok, if I didn't beat the drum for screened rooms like the wonderful CLAMs. While not inexpensive, owners love them and the 12x12' hexagonal model lets you add over 100sq ft of living space for just $2-3 per sq. ft. Screened rooms let you enjoy the great outdoors instead of the great indoors. CLAMs set up like an umbrella.

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Old 07-18-2017, 05:53 AM   #42
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Where Are the Fiberglass RVs for Families?

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Originally Posted by Tom 72 View Post
...There has been pressure on the middle class, as many haven't seen raises. That has added to the pressure to make light weight inexpensive RVs that can be towed by the family SUV or van...
Walking around campgrounds, I really don't see many lightweight, inexpensive RVs being used by families. A few tent trailers pulled by minivans and SUVs, but mostly larger conventional trailers pulled by trucks. Definitely nothing innovative.

As to how they afford it... I don't know, but I'm guessing cheap gas, low interest rates, and long loan terms have something to do with it. A large sticky is cheap next to any molded fiberglass trailer, and it justifies splurging for the truck he really wanted.

Families that embrace less-is-more are camping in tents. I see lots of tents at the beach, but not so many in bear country. Thanks to environmental protections there are more bears than ever, and thanks to the media, parents are more protective than ever. I was four years old in 1965 when we took our first trip to Yellowstone. We camped in a 10x10 canvas tent that attached to the back of our station wagon. As I recall, a bear did eat our lunch.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:23 AM   #43
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I'm fine with old fart because that is what I am.

Family friendly at a low initial cost = hybrid camper. You get a lot of bed space in a relatively small, light weight camper. Sure, no where near as durable as a molded trailer, but the sticker price of a new molded trailer (or many used ones for that matter) can be staggering. A young family may only camp for five or six years. So they buy a new hybrid, keep it for that time, sell it for half or less of what they originally paid, and move on. And take a look sometime at what comes standard on a hybrid, its most of the molded trailer "options" most of us debate.

Some friends of mine bought a used 40 foot motorcoach. Basically you are taking home with you on the road. It even has a bath and a half bath! Tip outs, you bet! Roomy, could have a party in it. TV, satellite dish, on and on it goes. Price? About the same as a new Oliver........

The thing about motor coaches, they depreciate fast, lightning fast. So you can get a lot of bang for the buck if you go used. Of course, they continue to depreciate, so that does not end. You don't see 40 year old motorhomes selling for 3 times what they sold for new.

But when it comes to space, tough to beat that motor coach.
Agree that the hybrids are the most cost-effective campers for families with young kids. We thought about them, but I'm not big on canvas, and we don't have young kids.

My point in starting this thread was to suggest that the MFG manufacturers might do well to consider that market. But they'd have to get the price down.

I know of a fellow who 'graduated' from a Casita to a motor coach like you describe, built on a Freightliner chassis. Don't know if he has a family. If we were going to live on the road, I'd consider it.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:18 AM   #44
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And while they are at it.....could they PLEASE add 3-4 more inches of height???

A 25RQ with 4 more inches of height would be PERFECT for retirement travels!!
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:05 AM   #45
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As I grow older, I want more comfort in a trailer. While the trailer is a means to spend time in scenic, outdoorsy locations, I do not anticipate spending most of my time outdoors. 1/3 of the time is spent sleeping in the trailer, so I want a comfy bed and regulated temperature in a quiet place (i.e., no roaring fans). The outdoors may be wonderfully pleasant at times, but at other times it is less (sometimes far less) than ideal, so I want a truly comfortable chair or sofa in the trailer; dinette benches with their upright seat backs do not meet this qualification for me. For those times of inhospitable weather or bugs, when I'm sitting inside the trailer, I'd also like a nice big window so I can look out and still enjoy the scenery. And I also want the trailer to have a refrigerator that actually keeps things cool, even when it's 95 degrees outside. Oh, and let's not forget some decent size water tanks and a shower for those boondock locations.

If I simply "wanted to spend time outdoors," I would not need a trailer; a tent would do just fine. Or maybe just an open sided tarp! No, I'm not that outdoorsy.

Well anyway, the point is that there are as many different ideas about the 'perfect' trailer as there are different buyers of trailers. Variety in production is good.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:15 AM   #46
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I think so much just depends on how much space one "needs" and there seems to be a market for all those differences. We've got friends with 30 foot travel trailers, that will not allow more than 4-5 people to sleep or sit at the table. One has a slide out, the other doesn't and they are just as cramped as our 13 foot egg, which will seat three on the sofa and four at the table in bad weather. In their larger camper, the "bedroom" and the "bunkroom" and the full bath take up all the space.

We are looking at upsizing to a 16 foot with a large dinette bed, small dinette and sofa bunks and we will then have even MORE sitting space and equal sleeping space to the bigger camper. We have five years til our youngest graduates. At that point we feel like having a permanent bed, permanent table and sofa will be spacious for our travel adventures as we near retirement. Kids can still come along, eventually room for grandkids, too.

When we called Scamp to schedule a tour and asked specifically about seeing the layout 7 on the 16 foot Scamp, he said they wouldn't have one to show us because almost no one orders them. Everyone wants a bathroom inside so they are rare. Our friends cannot believe we've camped a family of 4 in our little Scamp nor can they believe we are okay upsizing but without a bathroom. We all have different requirements and I think if the market was there for a bigger egg camper with all the amenities, and ability to sleep so many, it would exist (and in fact, does exist in the Scamp 19, which can sleep 6 with a bathroom). People who want larger, want larger. Those who don't will find the size that they want as well.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:17 AM   #47
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We sleep 3 in our Boler (13 ft) with a custom front wet bath and side bunk, and during a lightning storm we managed to get our 2 nieces in there too as they were in a tent under a tree. Nieces and our son shared the double bed, wife had the bunk and I made a pallet in the floor. Not roomy for 5 but we made it work.
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:07 AM   #48
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Families with multiples of kids need bargains and they need space as they not only have their kids but often a couple of other kids too. Any family of 4 or more already have SUV's so they already have a rig to tow with. Pop-up tent trailers were made for these folks. They are more easily priced and sleep a large number of people without making a big fuss of it. They are far easier to set-up than four tents and all the dirt and grime that go with it. They are easily bought on the used market too. Most larger families that I know that go out camping need to take multiple cars. one rig towing the trailer and the other rig as support vehicle. One of those 2 rigs will have a BBQ and a crap load of bicycles and other amenities.

In our case we do a family camp out once a year at the Beach for a week. Me and the boss stay in our Scamp 13 footer. In the truck is the 3 family tents a couple of bikes, 5 air mattresses folding tables a canopy and 8 or so camping chairs and is a good 800 lbs of stuff. We sometimes end up with 7 adults and 5 grand kids and a couple of girl or boy friends. Even if we had a bigger trailer it wouldn't be enough. We are blessed with just having the 13 footer as it doesnt become a gathering place all the time for everyone. When we get family overload it becomes our retreat an oasis from family overload. Bigger trailer no way. Well maybe when or if we get a chance to retire and really want to do some long distance traveling. Pretty sure both of us will be working until noon on the day we move on.
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:07 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
the wild animals in motels are the bed bugs....
Unless you are allergic to pet dander and the motel doesn't segregate or inform the public which rooms are "pet friendly".
My granddaughter had to start her trip to 6 flags with her eyes swollen shut.
They asked about a clean room and were told that they don't have rooms which exclude pets, only smokers.
They then showed up at her room about ten minutes later with a package of Benedryl. It was at least "comped"
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:13 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post

Maybe one day we will see an "Egg" manufacturer start to build "Bigger Eggs" however "I" think that will only happen when this "Bubble" that is the RV industry today once again BURST'S and the manufacturer's have to once again re-evaluate their product offerings. Given the optimism over the economy in the USA today I'd say that will be long after the Baby Boomers have gotten to old the do the RV thing and the younger people will still be used to their lifestyle which by comparison the the "Boomers" will be TINY!!!!
Where have you been? The trend in molded fiberglass has been bigger, then bigger yet, for the last couple of decades.
So much so that I'm beginning to fear the loss of 13 footers across the industry should the trend continue. Remember the Ford Ranger?

BTW; while "Old Fart" is certainly in poor taste, it still is a LOT less offensive than "Baby Boomer"!

I have a Scamp13D (not exactly huge) which I have had for 14 years now, and which I saved for (along with my retirement) through times of 27% inflation and 12-16% home loans, when wages were way down in the single digits.
A dollar earned in 1971 is worth less than a dime today and interest rates have been held low by design in recent years... Pass book savings now APR... 0.0045%. All of that, and I feel that I have been BLESSED every day of my life!

Your generation has at least as much opportunity as we did, if you will just seek it out and remain optimistic.

Labels, of course, can be terms of endearment or contempt but,I sense the former here?
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:19 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
If I simply "wanted to spend time outdoors," I would not need a trailer; a tent would do just fine. Or maybe just an open sided tarp! No, I'm not that outdoorsy.
Amen Mike.

When someone suggests I go back to tent camping, I just point to the back of my trailer.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-19-2017, 06:10 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
It was at least "comped"
I hope you are referring to the room
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:27 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Mary F View Post
A few years ago, FiberglassRV.com member, Thane started a thread/discussion called Family Friendly Floor Plans. Maybe there are some ideas there that are still useful?
Thanks for that link, Mary. Interesting thread.

BCDave there added another wrinkle: compared to the largest MFG trailers, the sticky manufacturers make a much greater effort to design 'family-friendly' floorplans:

Quote:
. . . They [MFG trailers] don't even need to be all that big! I have seen stickies in the 23 foot range that make very good use of the space and can accommodate an entire family, yet every F/G one that I see has many,many,many, many closets, a fridge the size of an average home fridge a huge amount of "open space"and sleeping for only 4 at the very most. The larger glass ones seem to be full of storage space for everything except people, while other makers seem to be able to get everything in, with no feeling of being cramped or crowded. Take a look at the 25 foot Bigfoots - then go look at a Dutchmen 25. (yes the D'men will fall apart in a few years - I am NOT recommending a sticky! ) but my initial questions is still the same: Why is it that some makers seem to get a really efficient floorplan, while other use the same amount of space to result in a unit that is NOT so family-friendly? And why do the fiberglass ones seem to be among the worst offenders, when they are so good at packing so much into such small spaces with the small ones?
One factor may be width. Our Casita is only 7' wide. Even the smaller stickies tend to be 8', and that additional 100-200 square feet adds a lot of flexibility.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:52 AM   #54
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I think they are simply catering to their likely buyers. Let's say a company like Escape were to add a bunkhouse layout in the 21' model. It'll cost around $30K(US). Bigfoot 21' or 25'- more like $50K. Most larger families will look at the size versus cost and simply decide there are better options among conventional RV offerings

MFG manufacturers have to weigh potential sales against development costs.

I wonder how many people posting in either thread have more than 2 kids? For the record, I have 2, so a Scamp 13.1 constitutes a family-friendly layout for us.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:05 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Mr Lynn View Post
One factor may be width. Our Casita is only 7' wide. Even the smaller stickies tend to be 8', and that additional 100-200 square feet adds a lot of flexibility.

/Mr Lynn
Width absolutely makes a difference. Bigfoot is not only 8' wide, but also doesn't taper like the egg-shaped fiberglass campers, so you get full use of all that 8'. I spend a lot of time in my camper during early spring and late fall, so at times I'm inside quite a bit. Even with just me and the dog, that space makes a huge difference. In any of the egg campers, a dog on the floor is taking up basically all the floor space. You can't really move around without being in the way.

Compared to:

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Old 07-19-2017, 08:09 AM   #56
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I too prefer 'Old Fart' to senior citizen.
Stressing over a couple of words leads to high blood pressure and an early death.
Hi: Glenn Baglo... I'll take all the "Senior" discounts I can get. You can never trust a "*art".
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:45 AM   #57
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Width absolutely makes a difference. Bigfoot is not only 8' wide, but also doesn't taper like the egg-shaped fiberglass campers, so you get full use of all that 8'. I spend a lot of time in my camper during early spring and late fall, so at times I'm inside quite a bit. Even with just me and the dog, that space makes a huge difference. In any of the egg campers, a dog on the floor is taking up basically all the floor space. You can't really move around without being in the way.
Yep, when we have our old dog Ali with us, those nighttime trips to the other end of the Casita require gingerly trying to tiptoe around the dark shape on the floor, illuminated only by my green battery-status meter. Even an extra 6" would be a boon!

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Old 07-19-2017, 09:28 AM   #58
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I hope you are referring to the room
No, just the Benedryl, which was declined.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:46 PM   #59
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My wife Jane and I are like the majority, I think, of the folks on this forum: older, empty-nesters, comfortable traveling and camping with just the two of us. For us the MFG (Molded FiberGlass) trailers seem well-suited, which is why we ended up with a Casita last year (see my essay on "The Molded Fiberglass Obsession," linked in my signature).

But there are times when even we might like something larger. When we started looking last spring, I heard from a fellow in New Hampshire who had just sold his Casita and was buying a Lance (a well-regarded stick-built trailer), because, he said, "We can take our grandkids with us."

Members of this Forum often lament how few MFG 'eggs' they see in on their travels. In point of fact, most of the folks you see at campgrounds are families, with kids. And when you think about it, few of the MFGs are large enough for them. The therapist at the Physical Therapy place I was going to recently (for an as-yet-unresolved plantar fasciitis) has three young children, and they like to camp at a state park in Central Massachusetts. They have a pop-out trailer, with canvas-covered wings that open into bedrooms, probably a Jayco. There is no way they could have as much space in the MFGs, even the substantial BigFoots or Escapes, both of which would cost a lot more, too.

Now I know that the mechanics of molding fiberglass-trailer shells militate against larger sizes. But surely the technique is more scalable, at modest cost, than has been attempted so far. And the 'stickies' are so notorious for leaking, disintegration, and poor resale value that you would think there would be a natural market for a line of MFGs aimed at families.

Our daughter and husband have a vintage 1963 Avion, an aluminum-clad imitator of the Airstream, overall length c. 24', which when they bought it needed a lot of work. They took out the bathroom and installed bunks for their three boys. This trailer is not huge, but it's 8' wide. We had our whole family at three campsites in Mass. recently, and during an afternoon of violent thunderstorms, all of us piled into the Avion (five adults and seven kids). It was crowded, but possible; we could not have gotten that mob into our Casita.

This led me to wonder whether, down the road, if we wanted to take any of our grandkids on a camping trip, a Lance or some other stickie might be in our future, too. Or is there a boat manufacturer just itchin' to get into the MFG trailer business with something for families?

/Mr Lynn
Because of this my wife and I sold our Casita and bought an Escape Trailer 5.0 TA. A 21 foot 5th wheel fiberglass camper that will sleep at least 4; maybemore. And has already been mentioned, bring a tent for the overflow.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:53 PM   #60
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Well, I'm reminded that a 13' Scamp, without bath, sleeps 4. That's room enough for grandparents and two grandkids.
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