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Old 05-08-2020, 06:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Gary
Trailer: Ventura
Posts: 4
Which appliances are necessity

My recently obtained 13 ft. Ventura has had all the appliances except the furnace removed. I think a water source and a small sink would be nice. What's opinions on a fixed cook stove? is it necessary or is a portable propane stove sufficient. What about a small fridge? Thanks
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:10 PM   #2
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,156
I wonder why they were all removed. Perhaps the original owner deemed them to be nonessential? There is some merit to the KISS principle.

Water source - required. But something as simple as bottled water or a Jerry can can suffice.
Sink.. not required.. a wash basin or tub is enough. But waste water must be dealt with and many places only allow dumping at designated places.
Fixed stove... not required, Many people just use a potable stove outdoors (but I would never give up my inside stove).
Fridge.. well, a fridge that can run for a long time while boondocking without electric power means an absorption fridge (running on propane). And they are built-ins. If you are installing one from scratch that can be a very involved project. But a Danfoss compressor type portable fridge running on 12 volts can be practical even while off grid with a good solar system. And if you have shore power then a "regular" fridge is a easy option.

But what is convenient to have, and what is essential to have, are not the same things. Just compare a tent camper to a Class A Motor-home RV. So its up to you what level of convenience you want. Just remember that more convenience when "camping" usually translates to more maintenance when not camping.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:21 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 857
You should do what is comfortable for you. Our Campster has a small sink and a 12 gallon water tank with a hand pump (currently not working). Our stove is a one burner butane "hot plate". Our fridge is a compressor type 12v refer that we keep in the SUV. We do have a microwave that we use when we have electric or with the generator. No heat, no facilities. We do have solar.

This works for us, but it is definitely minimalist and a fair-weather camper.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:50 PM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: Roamer 1
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,892
A portable propane camp stove works quite well and they are cheap. A two burner Coleman is a good example. Plus it can be used inside or out. A built in propane stove is better, but the portable one gets you going. Two burners are nice so you can make breakfast while making coffee. For a number of years, I used a two burner Dometic Origo 3000 stainless alcohol stove on one of my boats. They are very safe and work well. Stove alcohol is easily available in markets, hardware stores and probably walmart.

A fridge of some type is so nice. And so much better than ice, for general food storage. The 12 volt compressor type Dave mentioned is a great choice.

A built in tank, or jug of water with a hand pump and sink works well, at least until you decide you want a pressure system later. The drain can go to a second jug under the sink or with a hose to an outside jug. A solar shower that you hang up outside, will give you hot showers and requires no power. Jugs of drinking water can be used but they are not as convenient as a built in tank. Bottled water is good for cooking or making coffee.
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:33 AM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,138
Start with a tent. No appliances. Then go solid walls, like a utility trailer. Then add a bed, some lights, a place to sit (may be the bed at night). Then some storage. Then add heat. Then a stove. Then a refrigerator. Then AC. Then water. Then a sink. Then a toilet. Then holding tanks. Then a shower. Etc.

Everything above a tent is optional. (OK, technically a tent is optional too). How far you go above that depends on budget, planned use, family size, tow vehicle, etc. Camped in a tent for many years, took a 12,000 mile trip, all with a two person dome tent. Had a lot of fun! Just five years ago too, so not some distant, long time ago, when I was "young".

I have camping friends, their minimum requirement is TWO bathrooms. I'm not knocking it, that's what works for them.

If I were to prioritize, myself, propane appliances come first: refrigerator, stove top, and furnace.
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:17 AM   #6
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Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 1,704
Here's the BEST advice you can get at THIS point "Trapper":

Take your trailer AS-IS and go somewhere and camp 1 or 2 nights. You will VERY QUICKLY know what you want, need, or WILL have. I can WELL remember saying, I want this...or we dont need this.... After 10 yrs of camping in the Scamp, we STILL found a "mod" we insisted to try....a WIDER bed and we did it!

Ok...for us, we used the "built-in" stove top for years! Finally, I did NOT like the wife tr)ying to light the propane (it didnt have the electronic igniter) stove. PLUS, in a 13'er the humidity was TERRIBLE! So we used it as LITTLE as possible.

Finally, I pulled it out but still have it where I can put it back- in other words I left the bottom tray, hinged a wooden cutting board to it and made a NICE storage area for her kitchen towels/rags. We too, now use a "hot plate". Keep in mind, we're NOT boondockers nor want to be. So electricity is our game.

Of course our Scamp was ordered with a bathroom/shower and we wouldl NOT be without it. So therefore, I say any form of "water" for us (without the bathroom even) would be a MUST! A "porta potty" would ALSO have to be a must with no bathroom....try going out 3am on a rainy or cold morning to a bath room 1/4 mile away nearly... that one will become clear FAST!

We have a 3-way fridge I've used in ALL modes including 12V while pulling and YES it works regardless what the naysayers on here say about it.

We also have A/C....woulndt be without it either.

So, again, go camping and you will VERY QUICKLY see what you want, need, dont need etc. Get that all taken care of then take care of the MOST important part- ENJOYING camping!!
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:48 AM   #7
Senior Member
Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 211

As for me i lke all the stuff .a trailer wthout fridge stove furnace for me is a box.i cook outside and insde when outside sucks. was a gut and redo
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:21 AM   #8
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Name: George
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 215
I think that it depends on your age, camping experience and tow vehicle capacity. I believe in the kiss principle. I bought a T4500 about 5 years ago and it had no appliances or interior amenities. I decided to buy a used tent trailer that had no tent and was in my price range and had the needed cushions, curtains, sink, stove, fridge and furnace. The important thing is that the appliances should fit the holes in your trailer. My frig did not and was a bit of work. I did not install the furnace as I don't plan on rough winter camping. It has a queen bed which works well for me. But I miss the bathroom but use a porta potti.
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:31 AM   #9
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Trillium Outback
British Columbia
Posts: 7
The less the better

When we ordered our 2009 Trillium, in Calgary, my wife's instruction regarding customization was "I don't want anything icky, sticky, breaky or stinky". What we wanted was our own bedroom on wheels. So... no stove, sink, fridge, toilet, furnace. The galley became a storage chest of drawers like area. The propane tank was replaced with a Delta trailer tongue box for extra storage.

We are "urban campers" (KOA, Good Sam, Passport America, State Park) so always stay somewhere with electricity, water and washrooms. Along with several 2 to 3 month trips, we have made two six month trips covering every state in the continental USA (and every Major League Baseball park and most Civil War sites) and are still happily married.

We keep two coolers which we just top up with ice every few days or so depending on the weather. We cook outside on a two burner hot plate or a hibachi; wash dishes outside in a basin; use a small ceramic heater (even kept us warm in 15 degree (F) in Montana late March one year). We have a cable hook up and our small TV also plays DVD so lots of entertainment options; and most parks have WIFI although we usually use our iPhone as a hot spot for better service (just get a plan that gives good data). We do eat inside sometimes but in inclement weather we usually find restaurants or take out food delis fairly close by.

That said, as others have suggested.... get out there and see what you like or don't like and go from there.

Happy camping...
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:54 PM   #10
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 211

I am on the other side the more remote the better.going out next week, nearst town 80 miles by air.no cell service.ham towers +plus side gold paning..and pree scout for hunting season. / camping with guns .lol As for Montana love it, lots of friends .real nice people .cant get across the border yet from Alberta.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:32 PM   #11
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,775
Originally Posted by Retired Brian View Post
That said, as others have suggested.... get out there and see what you like or don't like and go from there.
Happy camping...
Brian, I liked this story - a lot!

Originally Posted by Trapper44 View Post
My recently obtained 13 ft. Ventura has had all the appliances except the furnace removed. I think a water source and a small sink would be nice. What's opinions on a fixed cook stove? is it necessary or is a portable propane stove sufficient. What about a small fridge? Thanks
Personally, I started out backpacking five decades ago. I enjoyed the simplicity and immersion in my environment. Much later, a couple years shy of 60, we acquired a teardrop trailer. It was basically a bed on wheels with some storage, and a small battery which powered lights and a roof fan; nothing more. In fact, I told Momma that I didn't want any of those consarned appliances. But then over time I gradually came to see things her way. We bought a Casita, and then an Escape.

However, I'm noticing that we tend to closet ourselves in the trailer with all those "conveniences" more and more, which is a bit contrary to my idea of immersing ourselves in our surroundings. I still lust after Compact Jr trailers and imagine a life free from so many of these complications in our Escape 21 that we currently employ to to make our life on the road "simpler".

If I were to go the Compact Jr route, however, I'd seriously considering having a 12-volt compressor refrigerator. Other than that, I think I would substantially limit my extravagences to a portable propane camp stove and a largish water jug.

What people consider essential encompasses a broad range. Ultimately you'll have to find what works for you.
~ “It’s absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde ~
~ “What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.” Warren Buffett ~

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Old 05-24-2020, 12:23 PM   #12
Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 63
We boondock mostly
We use the heck out of the propane fridge and the stove top.
We use the furnace sometimes
We use the kitchen sink often
We have a wet bath and we use the toilet but never the sink or the shower inside and We have and outdoor shower.
We have two fantastic fans.
We only use the water heater for showers. For dishwashing we just heat water on the stove. We could easily skip the water heater and go with solar showers

We don’t have don’t use a microwave or air conditioner.
We have lived in the camper frequently for two weeks at a time and have lived in it for a month at a time.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:49 PM   #13
Senior Member
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escape— 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,500
I guess a lot depends on if your goal is to save money or to have some creature comforts
We own an Escape 21 with almost every available option / appliance and we use / enjoy everyone .
At 70+ years of age the lure of roughing it has lost its charm !.
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:05 AM   #14
Name: Dave
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Trapper, I renovated a 79 Surfside and decided to eliminate the stovetop burner, and furnace. I decided to cook outside since our use is usually April to October. The 35 year old furnace occupied too much space and it was noisy. We use an electric ceramic heater or a Mr Heater when we are dry camping. (recognizing all safety practices)
We moved the fridge down from its original position to the floor, which provides a lot more counter space. The upper vent for the fridge was the original vent for the furnace, I added a lower fridge vent and a fan to circulate the hot air from the fridge. I have photos if that would help.

Also helpful is a 12 volt water pump to pump water from the holding tank to the sink via the hand pump faucet. This allows you to run the pump, fill the sink and not have one hand on the hand pump. The hand pump still works if you need only a little water. in fact the hand pump works better since the electric pump primes the system quickly.
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