Want to full time, and have some questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2011, 03:28 AM   #1
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Want to full time, and have some questions

Hey everyone, my wife and I are thinking about full timing as soon as I get out of the Navy. We just started looking at trailers, and I was going to go bigger but between my Tow Vehicle a 2010 Tacoma V-6 and where we want to travel" north and south America" I think smaller is better. So I'm curious is there any fiberglass trailers with a dedicated bed,besides the Escape 19 and if no is there a good layout that lends the dining area to be left as a full time bed? I think it might be a pain having to make a bed every night. Its just going to be me my wife and a 60# Lab. Also are there and recommendations on what I should look at in trailers that may be different from what a non full timer would need. We are going to look at a 17 ft casita spirit this morning. Well I appreciate any info you would be willing to share. Thanks Nate
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:34 AM   #2
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Many people leave their beds down, even in the smallest campers. In the 13', they often modify the front into a dinette and leave the bed set up. Most if not all the larger ones have a separate dinette. We have a dinette up front and leave our bed down in our 16' UHaul although the truth is, we tend to pile stuff on the dinette and eat outside in our screenhouse.

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Old 04-23-2011, 06:02 AM   #3
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Full Timing

I am envious of your plans for full timing, sounds like a great opportunity. I know there are numerous postings and perhaps more members will weigh in with their opinions but here is a single recommendation from me. Remember this will be your home, you will have many days to enjoy the outside, but you will also have days, when for whatever reason, you are going to spend time indoors.

Plan a residence that you can move around in and get comfortable with. The worst scenario is wanting to move locations inside the trailer and in the process making your significant other and the dog move with you. I guess this means having a floor plan with some open space.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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Nate

Check out the EggCamper. You can get a floorplan with a bed in the back and a dinette on the side. It has a lot more floor area and headroom than a Casita or Scamp and plenty of storage under the bed. You can check it out at eggcamper.com.

Although my wife and I don't full time in ours we have spent about 75% of our time living in it since I retired (for the second time) about a year ago.

The only downside I see is that Jim is currently only offering an all-electric model which isn't ideal if you want to camp in areas without hookups. Propane heat is a lot better than the electric heater, especially when the temp gets down below freezing. I would also recommend getting a better mattress if you want to full time in it. You can get one that is made for a camp trailer (53"x79") at places like Camping World.

BTW - Check out MWR. Some bases have Casitas or Scamps for rent. You could try one out that way to see if you like it and how your truck handles the towing duties.

If you have any more questions drop me a PM through this forum

73
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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And don't forget the Lil Snoozy! It has a permanent queen size bed.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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Check out Parkliner also ParkLiner Fiberglass Ultralight Travel Trailers -
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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Scamp also makes 16' trailers with side dinette, and the rear can be left as a bed full time. Take a look at their website for the various layouts.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
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My wife and I have spent 3 months in the winter camping/boondocking in the Southwest for the last three years and make up two beds every night (snoring is a problem, so being in separate beds and a ways away helps, so do ear plugs!) and find it no problem. It takes us about two minutes to make up a bed - and when camping we are not exactly rushed. My wife sewed together top and bottom sheets and individual pads which we role up for the day and store in the cabinet area above the gaucho - our version of a cowboy's bed-role.

What we particularly like is the choice of sitting at the dinette or on the gaucho with its adjustable slanting back. From our 20 years camping in a pop-up we knew we didn't want just a dinette to sit at all evening with its straight backs - very uncomfortable to my mind when trying to relax and read. We thought long and hard about a permanent bed and decided the gaucho/sofa was too important to give up in order to get a permanent bed. And we can leave either the dinette or the gaucho set up as a bed if and when we might choose to (we never have however).

Our Taylor Coach - Welcome trailer is the 17ft Nik Nat Side Door. Note the full range of options that you may or may not choose. Also note the 17ft and larger trailers have the option of an oven and the larger fridges (up to 6.5cuft, which we have and really like for long periods out in the boonies).

I can highly vouch for the quality of the construction. As a retired civil engineer and a carpenter I do appreciate the quality. I watched one being built before I decided to go with Taylor Coach.

One thing to be careful to note is that these trailers can come with many or no options and everything in between. So the problem is how to tell you how much they weigh. Brad, the owner has decided the only easy way for him is to give the weights of a trailer with no options, that is what he calls the standard model. That is not obvious on the web site, but he will be happy to give you an accurate estimate of weight based on options chosen. At first glance you will see what look like weights at 500 pounds lighter than anything else on the market. But again that is without any options. They are very light weight trailers, but simply about the same as other light weight trailers once you add the typical options.

Cheers John
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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We've spent a lot time in last two years traveling the southwest in our 13' Scamp. There's a couple of tricks to make the bed thing a bit less trouble. We use sleeping bags and set up and take down is done in way less than 5 minutes. Others have done a sheets sown together. If thing about things like that to make it easier it should work for you.
We're not going to go full but we sure plan on being semi-fulltimers with 3 to 6 months out at a time, with some shorter trips in between.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:50 PM   #10
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Nate,
There are a number of people who have full-timed in Scamps, Casitas, and Olivers (and other small trailers) for years.
Any of the trailers with a convertible bed/dinette in the back and a side dinette will give you a full-time bed of some size... We don't full-time, but we leave the full-sized bed in the back made up when camping, and use the small side dinette in bad weather for relaxing and dining.
All these trailers live much bigger on the outside, than on the inside! The people that I know (two couples) who sold their 17s for bigger trailers workcamped a lot in areas where they had to be indoors for extended periods of time. A few rainy or snowy days in a tiny trailer is one thing; months at a time is quite another, for many people.

Leaving the big dinette converted to a bed also affords us a huge "storage cave" under the bed that for us, allows three large storage containers for clothes, gear, food, etc. It's great.

We don't full-time, but my husband and I have taken several trips of 2-3 months in our little trailer, and we're still married. You get used to defining "personal space" in a very small way when the weather is bad-- one gets the bed, the other the dinette, etc... In good weather, usually one or both of us is outside the trailer, enjoying the view or the new campground we traveled so far to experience. It also helps, I think, to have a pickup bed with a lockable cover, and a back seat, to store stuff that won't fit in the trailer, or would only fit by taking up space we'd rather leave available to ourselves...

Good luck! We'll look forward to reading about your decisions and your travels!

Sherry
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryNPaul View Post
Nate,
There are a number of people who have full-timed in Scamps, Casitas, and Olivers (and other small trailers) for years.
Any of the trailers with a convertible bed/dinette in the back and a side dinette will give you a full-time bed of some size... We don't full-time, but we leave the full-sized bed in the back made up when camping, and use the small side dinette in bad weather for relaxing and dining.
All these trailers live much bigger on the outside, than on the inside! The people that I know (two couples) who sold their 17s for bigger trailers workcamped a lot in areas where they had to be indoors for extended periods of time. A few rainy or snowy days in a tiny trailer is one thing; months at a time is quite another, for many people.

Leaving the big dinette converted to a bed also affords us a huge "storage cave" under the bed that for us, allows three large storage containers for clothes, gear, food, etc. It's great.

We don't full-time, but my husband and I have taken several trips of 2-3 months in our little trailer, and we're still married. You get used to defining "personal space" in a very small way when the weather is bad-- one gets the bed, the other the dinette, etc... In good weather, usually one or both of us is outside the trailer, enjoying the view or the new campground we traveled so far to experience. It also helps, I think, to have a pickup bed with a lockable cover, and a back seat, to store stuff that won't fit in the trailer, or would only fit by taking up space we'd rather leave available to ourselves...

Good luck! We'll look forward to reading about your decisions and your travels!

Sherry
I certainly agree on the pick up. Ours has the extended cab, (jump seats) where store some stuff including the stuff we might want while driving, cameras, drinkables, jackets, snacks, etc.
Inside the back of the truck (under the canopy) is all the stuff we use outside and extra clothes. We can manage about 10 days worth of food and clothes inside the trailer, then it's time for laundry and groceries.
We do switch the dinette to bed every day. If the weather is bad enough to keep us inside we try to find something else to do, indoor museums, driving tour, grocery store, laundry, wifi hot spot, etc. A Kindle is a good idea also if you like to read.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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Byron,
I totally agree on the "find something else to do on a rainy day" thing, if you're close to metropolitan area. If it's an occasional day, we'll use that day for laundry, shopping, touring, or whatever.
If the rain (or snow) hangs on for several days, and we've exhausted local indoor options (and patience), we just hook up and go.
That's why the trailer has wheels.

Sherry

edited to correct spelling
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:17 PM   #13
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Mrs. 2yax, here.

Our goal is to become mostly fulltimers or extended parttimers when I'm done giving the man his due. We also started out looking @ larger stickies thinking we would need the breathing space...I even turned my nose up at the glassers. (I know....my bad). We will likely begin with both the 30 something pounder Boykin and the 70 something pounder Shep/chow mix in our 16' Li'l Scamp. Once we decided that we really wanted to head out West and cross the Rockies, hauling the house behind us with a monster truck just didn't seem financially feasible for us. The used Dodge Durango V-8 should pull 16 footer anywhere the wind blows.

Now, granted, we've only made 2 trips at this point; but, for what it's worth here are a few of my observations:

1) Rear bed - side dinette: I like being able to leave the bed down and the storage underneath keeps at least some of the stuff from under foot particularly when the dog(s) are inside....though we've not take both at the same time yet. And we always have a place to sit with the little dinette on the sidewall.

2) Side dinette - I wish it could be a little wider, but there's not the floor space. Since I'm just a shade over 5' the floor of the dinette being above the wheel wells make for a small stool being an easier climb to the seat. Prolly notta problem for someone taller.

3) Front bath - We haven't used it yet and are not necessarily dead set on doing so...itza storage bin right now and I can foresee Himself building some kind of removable shelving unit in there to add more usable storage space. Howsumever, that said, because the shower floor is dropped Mr. 2yax who is almost 6 feet tall, can stand up to shower if he so desires...I, oth, have no issue except I will have to climb onto the potty if he doesn't figure me a step.

In regard to the bath, I could see buying a rig without one and using a cassette or port-a-pot as we really don't envision doing a lot of boondocking. We already have "necessary bottles" we use for those wee hour requirements when the biffy is more of a hike than we'd like. Without the bath one could have a front dinette and more storage on the side or have more storage up front. I can see that paring down will be an absolut when Gypsy Time comes along. You could also fashion a bed unit with storage above.

4) Windows and awnings - Jalousied (or louvered) windows would be nice...you can open them in a drizzle and not get drizzled on. Second choice would be to figure out how to attach removable awnings on the windows that would have the same effect. The downside to that occurred to me as I was lazing in the bed looking out the window at the stars or how the sun played through the leaves in the trees....the view would be hampered...something clear or slatted might work. Needs thinking, that one. I'd also love larger windows so that more light comes in on those days light is sparse.

5) Floor space - we do a lot of waltz turns around each other, still a mite clumsily, but we'll get the hang of it. (although the slow segue around each other is...welll...nice ) The dogs could be problematic. The Boykin likes to be where EVER we are. The shep/chow fortunately likes to spend most of her time out of doors and typically will be inside only to sleep unless the weather is bad and we all need to be inside...we'll make that work, too.

I have to add that we are used to small space camping. We started in a small tent, graduated to a small pop-up and until this season have spent 2 in a Viking Express/Coachman Clipper tent on wheels (they only made these for 2 years). The majority of our time is spent out of doors making use of the canopy and a screen room even in relatively cool/cold weather. (clear shower curtains around the screen room and a ceramic heater work pretty well.)

So, there you have it...one woman's opinion after 2 camping trips and growing to love her wee egg.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 2yax2go View Post
Mrs. 2yax, here.

Our goal is to become mostly fulltimers or extended parttimers when I'm done giving the man his due. We also started out looking @ larger stickies thinking we would need the breathing space...I even turned my nose up at the glassers. (I know....my bad). We will likely begin with both the 30 something pounder Boykin and the 70 something pounder Shep/chow mix in our 16' Li'l Scamp. Once we decided that we really wanted to head out West and cross the Rockies, hauling the house behind us with a monster truck just didn't seem financially feasible for us. The used Dodge Durango V-8 should pull 16 footer anywhere the wind blows.

Now, granted, we've only made 2 trips at this point; but, for what it's worth here are a few of my observations:

1) Rear bed - side dinette: I like being able to leave the bed down and the storage underneath keeps at least some of the stuff from under foot particularly when the dog(s) are inside....though we've not take both at the same time yet. And we always have a place to sit with the little dinette on the sidewall.

2) Side dinette - I wish it could be a little wider, but there's not the floor space. Since I'm just a shade over 5' the floor of the dinette being above the wheel wells make for a small stool being an easier climb to the seat. Prolly notta problem for someone taller.

3) Front bath - We haven't used it yet and are not necessarily dead set on doing so...itza storage bin right now and I can foresee Himself building some kind of removable shelving unit in there to add more usable storage space. Howsumever, that said, because the shower floor is dropped Mr. 2yax who is almost 6 feet tall, can stand up to shower if he so desires...I, oth, have no issue except I will have to climb onto the potty if he doesn't figure me a step.

In regard to the bath, I could see buying a rig without one and using a cassette or port-a-pot as we really don't envision doing a lot of boondocking. We already have "necessary bottles" we use for those wee hour requirements when the biffy is more of a hike than we'd like. Without the bath one could have a front dinette and more storage on the side or have more storage up front. I can see that paring down will be an absolut when Gypsy Time comes along. You could also fashion a bed unit with storage above.

4) Windows and awnings - Jalousied (or louvered) windows would be nice...you can open them in a drizzle and not get drizzled on. Second choice would be to figure out how to attach removable awnings on the windows that would have the same effect. The downside to that occurred to me as I was lazing in the bed looking out the window at the stars or how the sun played through the leaves in the trees....the view would be hampered...something clear or slatted might work. Needs thinking, that one. I'd also love larger windows so that more light comes in on those days light is sparse.

5) Floor space - we do a lot of waltz turns around each other, still a mite clumsily, but we'll get the hang of it. (although the slow segue around each other is...welll...nice ) The dogs could be problematic. The Boykin likes to be where EVER we are. The shep/chow fortunately likes to spend most of her time out of doors and typically will be inside only to sleep unless the weather is bad and we all need to be inside...we'll make that work, too.

I have to add that we are used to small space camping. We started in a small tent, graduated to a small pop-up and until this season have spent 2 in a Viking Express/Coachman Clipper tent on wheels (they only made these for 2 years). The majority of our time is spent out of doors making use of the canopy and a screen room even in relatively cool/cold weather. (clear shower curtains around the screen room and a ceramic heater work pretty well.)

So, there you have it...one woman's opinion after 2 camping trips and growing to love her wee egg.
Hey thanks for the info we went and looked at a 17 ft. Casita and it was a great little trailer, going to look at the Takena and the Escape here in 3 weeks. I'm going to be on the west coast for leave to see my parents. And we're going to stay in the San Juan's for a few days and then drive into canada to see the escapes. So thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:37 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone

Hey I just wanted to thank everyone for the helpful comments, I'm haven't been on for awhile because I'm working on Checking out of the command I'm with and heading back to a sea command. I went and looked at a Casita last weekend at its a great little trailer, definitely on my short list, now just have to see the takena and the Escape. Well I'm sure I will have more questions. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #16
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I only have one complaint about MOST of these terrific small trailers and that's a really comfortable place to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Being outside in a Lafuma lounge chair is only workable in half-way decent weather. When it's time for me to buy my next trailer, I will want a full-time bed and a nice place to sit. Living in the Pacific NorthWET, loving to read, put together puzzles and being "on" the computer.... I'm going to figure out a way to shoe-horn a really comfortable chair into my living space. Maybe a dinette (only I want mine in the rear) like this: Per Walthinsen's solution.

YMMV
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:47 PM   #17
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You go girl. lol
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:28 PM   #18
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Once you see the 19 Escape and talk to Reace and Tammy you will be hooked....
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:52 PM   #19
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I only have one complaint about MOST of these terrific small trailers and that's a really comfortable place to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Being outside in a Lafuma lounge chair is only workable in half-way decent weather. When it's time for me to buy my next trailer, I will want a full-time bed and a nice place to sit. Living in the Pacific NorthWET, loving to read, put together puzzles and being "on" the computer.... I'm going to figure out a way to shoe-horn a really comfortable chair into my living space. Maybe a dinette (only I want mine in the rear) like this: Per Walthinsen's solution.

YMMV
I will miss my recliner for sure but since I now sit for hours on end at my computer on a wood straight back chair I may be okay. Hmmm.... Nah. I'll still miss my reclliner. Maybe I'll have to rethink this full-timing bit.... Nah, can't do that either. I'll suffer through and find a suitable alternative.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:21 AM   #20
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I only have one complaint about MOST of these terrific small trailers and that's a really comfortable place to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time.
YMMV

I agree. That is why when we decided we were going to "1/3 time" in the winter we decided on the gaucho instead of a permanent bed. The great thing about the gaucho (which becomes a bed) is that you can pull out the seat however much you want to angle the back however much you want to suit your comfort. Making up the beds each night is no problem for us as we use our homemade "cowboy-bed-roles" which role out and role up and store in a couple of minutes. The Taylor Coaches from 14 ft on up come with a gaucho and dinette. We found no other small trailer with this floor plan combination.

Cheers John
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