Monday, January 5, 2015

What We Are Looking for in a Small Trailer

So, after reading about my objections to Casitas and Trail Manors, you may be wondering just what we looking for in a small trailer?

We want to keep the total trailer length less than 28 feet or so. In fact, we'd like to be somewhere in the 23 to 25 foot range. The longest Casita is 17 feet in comparison. We also hope to keep the weight in the 4,000 pound range, with lighter being better. By comparison, the heaviest Casita comes in at just over 2,000 pounds. We may have to go a bit above 4,000 pounds to get what we want in a floor plan, though.

We have several features that we really aren't willing to compromise on.
  1. There must be what I call a full bath; we do not want a marine or "wet" bath. There should be a shower, toilet, and sink, each operating independently of the others. If the shower has a bit of a tub, that would be a plus. The bathroom should have a little storage.
  2. The refrigerator should be 8 cubic feet or larger, not the smaller 6 cubic feet fridges that you find in folding trailers or smaller trailers.
  3. The bed needs to be a permanent queen size bed, with access on both sides; this is often called a "walk around" bed in the literature. We don't want anything that folds up or down for our bed. And we don't want to crawl over each other to get in or out of bed. There should be room on both sides of the bed for each of us to get in and out (to "walk around").
  4. We need a comfortable place to sit at the end of the day or for those times when we are confined to the trailer, such as during bad weather. To us, sitting at a dinette is not comfortable, so we want something more. A sofa would do fine; two comfortable chairs would be even better.
  5. There should be adequate storage inside and out. For outside, we need a place to store a grill, lantern, and other traditional camping gear. We also need to store hoses, wheel chocks, tools, and supplies for the trailer. I like to take plenty of electrical cords and hoses, for some campsites have hookups spread all over the place. We also need a place for fishing gear and hiking gear. Inside storage needs to be sufficient for hanging clothes, pots and pans, and canned goods among other things.
  6. And we like our television and radio/DVD player. The television should be situated where we can look at it head on from where we sit. The TV should have a booster/antennae as well as a cable hookup. Even when we are traveling, we do like to keep up with the news and be aware of the weather. And at the end of a day, it is nice to be able to sit back and watch a few programs before turning in.
We really do not require a dinette. Some models we are currently considering have a collapsible table that sets up in front of a sofa. When you don't need the table, it folds up and stores behind the sofa, giving more floor space. We rather like this idea. In our Rockwood, we mainly used the dinette for working on  the computer. We rarely ate at the table unless our oldest grandson was with us. Most of the time, we'd eat while sitting in our chairs watching television or we'd eat outside. Eating outside is our preference.

So, these are the features we have in mind as we look at trailers. In the next entry, I'll share some floor plans that we are interested in.

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