Large Scale Central

Camping Trailers (Moved from TrainOps 2024)

Jon, What trailer are you looking at? We just bought a Forest River, Wildwood FSX 21 foot. Fancy long name for an expensive but cheaply built small trailer. Been spending a lot of free time remodeling the inside to make it more user friendly for our needs.

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The Wildwood FSX 163RDSK was on the short list for a while, but I’m not in love with walk-through bathroom layouts.

I have it narrowed down to two, I think. My favorite interior is the Forrest River Surveyor 19SSLE. Our other candidate that I can’t find local to look at is a Forrest River Coachmen Apex Nano 213RDS.

My requirements are Fiberglass/Aluminum, laminate, UVW Sub 4200#, Couch but NOT a Murphy Bed, RV Queen OK, but must be walk around (N-S). In Road Mode there must be access to the bathroom. There are other things I like and don’t like in both. The Apex Nano adds a two person dinette and is dual axle, lighter than the Surveyor and has great Road Mode. All of that is great. It has a center bath that looks like it might be too small which is one red flag. The Surveyor is only single axle and I really like dual. Road Mode access is tight, but everything else about it we love. That, and the leftover 2024’s have 400 Watts of solar!

I think next week we will finally bite the bullet and drive the 75 minutes to the dealer that has the Surveyor in stock and stop where we bought our 32 footer on the way home as they are a Coachmen dealer.

Jon, We may as well hijack this thread completely.
We wanted to way downsize after we sold Our Rockwood in 2021 and thought we were done with RV’ing.
But as it turned out we weren’t. Having sold our 2500 GMC and buying a 1500 Ford EcoBoost we were committed to something smaller. We went with the 179DBK, bunk house model, small but had all the necessaries. Especially like the 14 foot awning and the small out door kitchen. We have remodeled the bunk area and made it more useful with additional floor space. This unit is single axel and only 7.5 feet wide coming in at about 3200 dry . no wide mirrors necessary and the little Ford makes 17 MPG towing through the hills.

That one is little! Removing the rear bunks is a mod I considered on our current one, but It’s too heavy and I don’t trust the structural integrity for a cross country trip. It’s had lots of water intrusion in the rear corner bath over the years. I replaced that bathroom ceiling and floor. The laminated wall is dicey back there!

I kind of want a slide and no Murphy bed. The slide in the Surveyor has awesome windows on all three sides :smiley:

Im getting Stockholm syndrome on this hijacked thread, but I’m thinking I’m not in the same league as you guys. I’ve always wanted a t@b. T@B but they’ve stopped importing them here.

This is what an HO modeller must feel like when they stumble on to LSC. :sweat_smile:

we have had Murphey beds in the last 2 trailers and really like the extra floor space that is gained.
Yea, slides are great, had them on 3 trailers, but they have their downsides as well, like weight and mechanical problems.
Yes, the 179DBK is small but all we do inside is sleep and use the bathroom, all cooking, socializing, recreation and relaxing is done outdoors.

I’d say we have a successful thread jack. Sorry Bob!

@Hines My brother-in-law had a home-built teardrop nearly complete when both his wife and only at-home child both said they wouldn’t sleep in it. He abandoned the project and eventually all but the frame he bought went to the landfill.

Before we were married my neighbor had a little Scotty. Just a slight step above a teardrop. At 18 or so I borrowed it and towed behind an old Dodge Monoco with a U-haul bumper hitch from Buffalo, New York via Connecticut to pick up my then girl friend for a week on Cape Cod. We loved it, but were young and nimble!

@Rick_Marty I hear you. I’ll keep an open mind and look at a few as it certainly puts a large number of units back on our radar. The main reason we don’t want a Murphy bed is that just 1 year ago we invested $1K in a high end RV mattress. It’s flexible enough that you can open under-bed storage, but I think it’s too thick to fit in a Murphy bed spot.
Our current unit ('06 R-Vision Trail-Lite 8310S) has a shallow slide. Other than some leaks it’s given us no trouble. It has the kitchen and couch in it. Amazing how retracting it and adding about 18" to the floor makes it feel. Our unit sleeps a max of 8. We’ve had 4 adults in it and that was a crowd!

You have convinced me to at least look at the smaller units.

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@rmccown-admin Thanks for splitting the thread. Sorry we got so far off topic!!

I have been looking at trailers (on line). There is also all kinds of internet blather that dealers are way overstocked. And that seems true with all the dealers around me. There are thousands of them in just a 3 mile ride on Interstate 90 near me.
No one is buying right now due to the interest rate increase.
Anyway the prophets on UTube say get ready for big sales.

AND, since we have a dedicated thread, I’ll throw in some layout pics of the top two contenders. Both brands of Forrest River.

The dual axle 25’ Coachmen Apex Nano 213 RDS comes in at a UVW of 3826# and has both a couch and small dinette with a walk around queen bed. Road Mode is perfect with full access to everything. The downside is the bathroom/shower size…

The 221 RLS would be better as it has a full dinette in the slide and true theater seating at the rear, but alas at 4500# UVW it’s only shaving 4-500 pounds off what we tow now.

Coming in heavier than the Apex, but still under my target at 4128# UVW is the 24’ Surveyor Legend 19SSLE. This is a single axle trailer has a walk-around queen bed, tri-fold couch in a 3 window slide and a rear bath. Seems very roomy inside. This years model comes with 400 watts of solar. Downside is that Road Mode is tight for access to the bath and without mods to the wardrobe, the toilet area is tight…

We plan to go look at the Surveyor on Monday. They have one near Hartford, about 75 minutes away. No-one local has the Apex.

I’ve looked at a few other brands as well, but these two seem to always make it to the top of the list. My short list to date also includes:

Rockwood Geo Pro G19FBS 20’ 2" - Has an E-W bed which is a deal breaker.
Ozark 1800QS 23’ 0" - Has an odd Chaise Lounge couch.
Ibex 19QBS 23’ 0" - On the heavy side of my target.

Plus a few more that push the UVW beyond what I’m comfortable with.

I’m really leaning toward the Surveyor, but after experiencing tire issues on my current dual axle unit, I’m a little leery of single axle models.

FYI - This is what we currently tow. A 2007 31’ Trail Lite 8310S. Original UVW was 4700# before we started upgrading. Added two Fantastic Fans, an electric tongue jack, TV, stereo & speakers, some extra floor supports plus that heavy Wilderness mattress. I would guess UVW today is well over 5000#, but it tows great using a Hensly Arrow hitch system. Shown here set up in our backyard campsite…

I agree. COVID created a huge market. Manufacturers geared up for that volume. But now that a basic campsite costs way more than a room at Super 8 or Motel 6, lots of folks are ditching their campers. The used market has tanked, but thankfully there are deals to be had on new due to overstocks.

Our 5 night stay near Bob’s for TrainOps will run us just under $500. There are rooms little further away for around $75/night. Not a lot of financial incentive to camp unless you are set up to do state parks. In CT, no dogs at state CGs, so we go commercial.

Thanks Bob, one would think we were old enough to know better :grinning:

Jon, ya gotta love those Hensley’s/ProPride hitches, we had one for our 26’ Cougar a few years back. But they do present their own set of problems hooking and unhooking if misaligned slightly and I was good at that.

Looks like some nice units you are looking at, the Surveyor’s are very good, we looked at them several times.

Later I will post a few picts of our mods.

We are leaving next Wednesday for another N. Idaho camp and ride. We got full hook-ups on the N Fork for 70.00 a night. 40.00 a night at another campground spot, but no sewer dump. We haven’t boon-docked for several years. My wife would rather have creature comforts. Me, I don’t care one way or another.

Well, after 17 years, I’m getting pretty good at it. Rarely had issues unhooking, and I’ve learned a few tricks for hooking up. A lot depends on how you unhooked! Backup cameras really help as well.

In 17 years I have never once had any sway problems and when getting passed by a big bus or 18 wheeler, if there is a bow wave it effects the entire rig, not just the trailer, so is easy to compensate for. The drawback is the “Hensly Bump” when slowing fast, especially if the tow brakes are set too light. But once you’ve experienced it, it’s not that big of a deal.

I prefer full hookups only because I hate being “that guy” at the dump station who has to rinse his tanks 4 or 5 times until they drain clear! Lately I’m not so picky since we had a dump port installed at home. Now after we dump and do a quick rinse at the CG, I put in a quart or so of liquid detergent and a few gallons of water. That sloshing while traveling does a great job of getting the stuck on stuff loose. We do a dump and rise cycle at home where I can take my time.

I really hope you didn’t mean a whole quart of dish soap :smiley:
We have always used dry laundry detergent and Calgon bath beads, couple spoons of each and 3-4 gallons of water and the bouncy ride home does the rest. Have never used chemicals and never had a smell issue and especially that nasty chemical smell.

Mom says that if the site doesn’t have everything up to and including WiFi we are Boon docking, and she doesn’t do that anymore. Probably goes back to our early days and hunting/fishing trips when the gear was an ice chest, camp stove, and a sleeping bag in the truck bed, she was a good sport for quite a few years.

Our latest trailer the Wildwood FSK, 179DBK and our mods.
A screen shot of how the bunk area looked from the factory, I didn’t take before pictures because I wasn’t planning a build log around this project :smiley:

Our modifications to the area.
The top bunk turned into an 18 inch wide wrap around shelf and the bottom bunk was cut back to 28 inches wide for the dogs bed. We have a Mini Aussie and a Border Collie that love camping. The wardrobe on the right has a cubby hole under for a step stool to be stored. The stool makes it easy for the little dog to jump to the bunk and gives us better access to the storage bins on the top shelf.

The cabinet we added to expand the kitchen, where it sits was just dead wasted space.

At least a dozen other small modifications and additions have been put in place, the last major one I am working on now is pullout drawers for the storage spaces under the dinette seats, instead of having to lift the cushions and the plywood sheets to access things.

Wow! $500 +petrol to get there!
Rumours here are you can O/N at Walmarts. Or is that an urban myth?

Nice work Rick!

The detergent is usually Simple Green or Fabuloso if I can’t find the Simple Green.

Like I said earlier, I wanted to convert the 1 twin over 1 double bunk to an office area with a desk. That idea was killed when I used the area under the lower bunk to run new duct work for the furnace. Mice got in the heating system one year. I had to completely tear down the furnace to get the smell out and I sealed up and abandoned the under floor ducts that they used as tunnels.

You can say it’s had a few issues :smiley:

You can, but a lot of them are in sketchy areas. Cracker Barrel restaurants are a better choice if available. They have great breakfasts too!

The petrol (gasoline) isn’t too bad and prices here have been relaxing. I get over 15mpg towing the camper and its only 160 miles door to door.

We stayed at the Cabela’s in PA during our recent trip. Felt very secure, and both times there were only about four other rigs there. The area for RVs is gigantic, and they have a dump station and potable water, which a couple dozen rigs used while we were there.