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Old 02-17-2023, 09:00 AM   #21
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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I had always been a tent camper, but age and lower back issues reduced its appeal over time. The Scamp is a nice compromise. We still cook, eat, and spend most of our time outdoors, but having a warm, snug retreat at night and in bad weather sold my non-camping wife on the idea. I like the easier set-up and tear-down, as well as the idea of extra sleeping quarters at home.

I'm wondering if the OP has considered a 13'er. You get just as much bed space (and the option of a larger main bed). It would be an easier tow with a Sienna Hybrid. It depends on how you intend to camp. If boondocking is anticipated, a 16'er with full hot and cold water, flush toilet, and shower makes sense, and a raised-clearance SUV is a better tow vehicle choice. If you'll stay in developed campgrounds, the Sienna Hybrid and a 13' bunk model might do just as well (with a porta-potty for emergencies).
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Old 02-18-2023, 07:40 AM   #22
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Name: Justus
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I had always been a tent camper, but age and lower back issues reduced its appeal over time. The Scamp is a nice compromise. We still cook, eat, and spend most of our time outdoors, but having a warm, snug retreat at night and in bad weather sold my non-camping wife on the idea. I like the easier set-up and tear-down, as well as the idea of extra sleeping quarters at home.

I'm wondering if the OP has considered a 13'er. You get just as much bed space (and the option of a larger main bed). It would be an easier tow with a Sienna Hybrid. It depends on how you intend to camp. If boondocking is anticipated, a 16'er with full hot and cold water, flush toilet, and shower makes sense, and a raised-clearance SUV is a better tow vehicle choice. If you'll stay in developed campgrounds, the Sienna Hybrid and a 13' bunk model might do just as well (with a porta-potty for emergencies).
One member of the family considers a private bathroom of utmost importance, so I've ruled out the 13'. But guess who always got to dump the cassette when we owned a trailer before!

Jon, thanks to your original comment about how much gas I could buy, I went through and revised my spreadsheet to account for interest on the amount financed in addition to fuel, which gives a better picture of 10-yr cost of ownership. In any scenario, keeping the Highlander we have for another 5 years makes financial sense, but the difference isn't as drastic as I'd thought. So it comes down to "How much is our comfort worth?" Perusing the used market for an Odyssey, it is a much better deal than I initially thought compared to a brand new Sienna, even the lower trims. There's no rush right now, so we may sit on it and decide if a new vehicle is even in the cards this year.

I didn't realize that the 2.5L in the Sienna hybrid is shared with the current Highlander Hybrid and Crown. Once I discovered that I went down a rabbit hole. In the HiHy, it makes only 175 lb-ft torque as compared to 310 lb-ft from the 2.4L turbo. (The current Odyssey makes 262 lb-ft.) Torque is not listed for the Sienna but probably somewhere in the 175 or lower range. I found enough negative feedback on towing with the current gen 2.5L HiHy to convince me that it's not suitable as a TV for a Scamp 16'; therefore the Sienna hybrid is also not suitable.

My initial excitement over the Grand Highlander has been tempered by reality and research. The most efficient GH will use the 2.5L, giving 34mpg but not 5,000 lbs tow rating. The most capable GH Hybrid MAX will use the 2.4L turbo, giving 5,000 lbs tow rating but not 34mpg. The 2.5L returns about 25% better fuel economy vs the 2.4L turbo in the Toyota Crown, so I'd peg the GH MAX in the upper mid-20s. The GH MAX also comes only in Limited and Platinum trims, so the upfront cost is considerable. But the final nail in the coffin: the middle row has a fixed cup holder tray over the differential hump. I am really fixated on a pass-through middle row to make it easy for kids and guests to scramble into the back seat. While it may be a good choice for some, I don't see it in our future.
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Old 02-18-2023, 01:17 PM   #23
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Name: Ray
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One member of the family considers a private bathroom of utmost importance, so I've ruled out the 13'. But guess who always got to dump the cassette when we owned a trailer before!

I have thought of designing and implementing an electric "valve" for this. The problem I have is in trying to get low enough to work it without getting "dirty". I can hook it up and stay clean pretty easy, and even unhooking it should not be a problem. Trying to move the valve just makes be get a lot lower.
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Old 02-18-2023, 06:59 PM   #24
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Name: Justus
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I have thought of designing and implementing an electric "valve" for this. The problem I have is in trying to get low enough to work it without getting "dirty". I can hook it up and stay clean pretty easy, and even unhooking it should not be a problem. Trying to move the valve just makes be get a lot lower.
We had a 5 gal Thetford cassette toilet, and it was convenient for short trips. With the two of us, it lasted a weekend. It was easy to dump at the dump station or any flush toilet, and very, very clean. The only issue I had with it was that the plastic gear on the toilet that controlled the blade valve would unseat during travel, so every time we set up, before somebody used it, I had to reseat the casette or the valve would get stuck open.

When it comes to black water, simpler is better IMO.
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