For a family friendly floor plan, what is the consideration - sleeping locations/separation, cooking/eating location, storage necessity, etc.? What is nice about a camper, not only protection from outside heavy weather elements, but you can actually layer certain locations - such as sleeping and storage. Can't do much for cooking/eating, but basically that is usually performed outside just like the tent, so why change that and bring it in the camper and take a lot of valuable space. Pop-ups are now getting slideout configurations for seating and cooking, and these would probably be a great way to 'expand' the confinements of any camper, even the fiberglass campers if more seating and cooking area becomes a requirement for owners.
Amentities are to each his own, but with tenting, it's what you brought. A camper only adds to the amentities to a point. Basecamp showering is simple, easy and effective with warm water and a wash cloth. Outside cooking and eating is performed at the picnic table. Same for card games, etc. that a family would do together. Campfires are the biggest draw for family camping, even with several other families around one.
I would guess a step up from tenting is not the pop-up but a teardrop. Yah, not a family of 4 type of rig, but you get the idea of space requirements. If you skip that, a step forward, or side step, then the light weight
fiberglass camper is the next option for a family of 4, but most go towards a pop-up. Pop-ups have grown in size as well as amentities, yet have also grown into other areas of marketing (ATV haulers, etc). They get heavier and bigger, though there are still small units. The fiberglass camper niche is a niche of its own. Specific purpose to meet the various needs of the customers caught in the whirlwind of decisions of life. Bigger is better, more is good,
Choices affecting buyers is usually how much apartment is there in the camper and for what cost. But recently, it's been the type of toter they have to pull the camper. Some even consider the cost of vehicle maintenance, fuel usage, insurance, etc. Being at the KC RV show last week, I heard a lot of families of 3-5 discuss how many tvs there were in the camper, how big the toilet was, how much room there was in the 'kitchen'. Forget about talking about the true RVers. Anyways, I wonder how much time a family actually spends in an apartment type camper.
My best configuration for a family of 4 camping up to 7 days in a camper would hold 3-4 separate sleeping areas (same/different sexes) and storage for duffle bags and food, and have floor storage for coolers, fire wood, and other large stuff. The bedding would be big enough for twin size for a single 'small' person, and double for a single 'large' person or 'queen' for a couple. If ac is added and is not roof mounted, the unit should not be near the door but opposite it. There is a lot of hot air coming from it. Rather than have large windows
for natural light
in/out, I'd like to see a roof window, designed similar to tractor trailer boxes. The window is plexiglass and is not clear but will provide natural lighting
In a new fiberglass camper, the Escape
Camper Figure A would be great if there was capability for bunks front and rear. Not only storage space but actual sleeping areas. Lighten up the camper with replacing the wood cabinets with fiberglass cabinetry, have the cook space removable to connect on the outside like pop-ups, gain access to underseat storage through slide doors inside and outside access doors, move the refrigerator
to under the sink/cooking area, get the overall height smaller with a popup center section design like that of the Compact camper (Aussies campers still have this configuration). One of the benefits of a center popup would be the natural lighting
without the need for curtains and airflow. Privacy would not be a concern.
Scamp has the 16' and 13'ers which are setup for a family of 4. Choices of which is more of a personal use and choice of amentities. Same for Casita.
For the Escape
camper, I would like to see it a little smaller overall length version with less 'between' cabinetry space, sort of a 13' to a 16', single bunks over the double beds. Or to get the camper to be smaller, on Figure B, remove the toilet and wardrode closet, but I'll guess that the toiler and closet walls support the bunk configuration. Get all this to be near the 1100-1400# mark, sell for $5-6kUS and I would think this would market very well even competitively. I know the price is way under, but due to long-lasting design of the fiberglass and parking/storage capabilities of small campers, I would think owners will retain them longer now anticipating the economy of the future.
For those new double-occu campers, ie Little Joe
, they are very expensive for what they actually are. In the old days, these campers were a niche of their own. In competitive markets, think of these as walk-in tear drops. For crossing markets from the tear drop, they are also getting bigger and have seating capabilities inside. The markets are blending together and there is really no exstinct separation.
Another campers to look at are the 16'ers of Cikira Cikira RV
, Shadow Cruiser,and Road Runner. These have rear side bunks and eating/sleeping area and a top bunk up front. Though the weight
is near 2200# and too heavy for most communter vehicles.
What about Taylor Coach campers Taylor Coach
? They list them as lightweight. I really like the 12' Bobbie but it's for basically 3 people, but the 14' Codester works out well for 4.
I have a 16' Scamp with front bunks, no bathroom, heater, ac and that's about it. The eating/sleeping in the back is just sleeping. There is only 1 upper cabinet and this has limited space for food. Within the camper, there is a lot of room not being utilized. I still have the water tank in there, but it's not in use. The sink (not in use) is only a handpump and discharge is through a hose (no grey tank). So we just use a water container. Heater uses a lot of battery
energy. I'm not sure if the camper heater works now as it killed my battery
one time and after recharge couldn't get the heater to work again. Refrigerator
has broken door (that's how I got it) and is used only as a dish/glass storage. Pans are underneath the sink. Ac is in the closet next to the door (thus my comment on hot air). Where the bathroom would be is a storage closet. I've added a new propane
tank and battery
on the tongue. I've redone the tongue for height adjustability. I'll be removing the propane
tank as it's heavy and not really being used. Cooking is done on the picnic table or tables I bring. Awning
was added as well as Easy-up awning
. I've added a power converter for campground electrical
I'm now using a 4cyl/auto Jeep TJ for camping use with trailriding. The Scamp, @2100#s, is a little heavy for the TJ. The Taylor Coach 12' would work great especially at #1000 and my 2 kids with me.
My cents worth, I guess.....