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Old 08-29-2017, 01:01 AM   #1
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New to the RV world

Hello,

We are a family of 3 and have made a decision to make the jump from tenting to an RV. Our daughter is 11 and we are active outside normally all day. So the RV would be used for sleeping, meals and if we run into poor weather - shelter.

Our budget and tow vehicle (2008 Sienna) leave us with two options. The 17a or 17b. Obviously the smaller units there will always be a compromise but does anyone have an opinion on how useful the washroom is or is it better to have the larger dinette. If we went with 17b the four piece would be changed to permanent bed leaving us with small dinette but a washroom for the 2am nature calls. I guess the 17a could be outfitted with a portapotti leaving us a larger dinette. Just having a hard time deciding which is more beneficial

Thanks in advance,

Scott
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:14 AM   #2
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If you have been tenting all along as I had been doing, going without a bathroom in a trailer should not be too difficult for you. I went that route (15A) knowing that I would truly appreciate the large dining table, too. But it all depends on where and how you plan to camp in the future. Your needs might evolve as your daughter "outgrows" camping with you (and that will happen sooner than you think). The bathroom unit takes up a huge amount of space in a trailer but some folks simply cannot do without them. Just give a lot of thought as to how you expect to use the trailer and where you expect to be camping.

Edited: Oh, and welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:42 AM   #3
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17A or B

I agree with Karen. We have an almost 11 year old son and have found that having the larger area in our 15A has been great. We are close enough to the bathrooms when we camp, so that's not been an issue. The 17 gives even more room. Just consider what works if a friend comes along as well. For us, everyone ended up in the trailer!
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:11 AM   #4
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I on the other hand couldn't live without the bathroom!
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:12 AM   #5
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As Karen stated, it all depends and then there are "Depends".....
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:24 AM   #6
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"You can never miss what you've never had."

When I was shopping for my first all-molded towable, I thought I'd buy the smallest one I could get and no bathroom. Well fate said otherwise and I ended up buying one size larger and it came with a fully functional bathroom.

Like so many on this forum, my camping background includes a lot of "roughing" it.

I'm now on my second trailer and it also has a fully functional bathroom. I'll never own a TT without one! I would miss it.

More importantly, I don't want to be restricted to where I camp or how I camp or what sites I should choose because it's close to a bathroom. I'd rather choose a site based on the view or size of site, etc.

But, this is about you... not me. Choose well.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
More importantly, I don't want to be restricted to where I camp or how I camp or what sites I should choose because it's close to a bathroom. I'd rather choose a site based on the view or size of site, etc.
Completely agree. The more you explore and travel, the more you will likely enjoy having a bathroom. Yes, it comes with having to dump the tanks and it takes up room in the trailer, but it puts you in position to expand your horizons and enjoy your adventures by having a home base to resolve basic human needs.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:13 AM   #8
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Am enjoying this conversation, particularly the thought that one must haul a bathroom around in order to expand one's horizons and not be restricted in the choice of camp sites or camping styles. But the mere task of hauling an RV restricts one's choice of camp sites and limits one's activities. Tenters and backpackers can go anywhere and do anything. I've never heard of anyone doing the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail towing an RV--with or without a bathroom.

As with almost every option available with Escape trailers it all boils down to the buyer's personal camping style and needs.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:26 AM   #9
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It IS about the individual and how he or she camps. The interesting thing for me, is I know how I camped/traveled in the past, but have zero clue about my future. How many are travelers... going from point A to point B and spend the night in (for instance) a Walmart parking lot? Better have something in mind for a bathroom, if the store is not open 24 hours a day.

I know the Quartzite gathering is on my bucket list. Literally close to 200 all-molded towable trailers camping in the dirt out in the desert. Closest bathroom is 5 miles away. No vault toilets nearby either. It's conditions such as this, you need to at least plan for an alternative. Maybe a pop-up shower/port-a-potty tent would work? Although I don't think Walmart would like that...
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Am enjoying this conversation, particularly the thought that one must haul a bathroom around in order to expand one's horizons and not be restricted in the choice of camp sites or camping styles. But the mere task of hauling an RV restricts one's choice of camp sites and limits one's activities. Tenters and backpackers can go anywhere and do anything. I've never heard of anyone doing the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail towing an RV--with or without a bathroom.

As with almost every option available with Escape trailers it all boils down to the buyer's personal camping style and needs.
One doesn't have to haul a bathroom around. Though, our experience has found that having one does improve the comfort of our travels. Having tent camped in the back country for years, having a bathroom available is option that opens the door for convenience for the things we value as a couple. It's certainly not a necessity. You likely can't haul a trailer where you would tent camp in back country anyway. As you noted, it's all about personal preferences and travel style. There is no right or wrong way, only an adventure to be experienced.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:14 PM   #11
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As the others mentioned, it depends on how you were "doing it" before..

If you are tent camping already, you won't miss not having a bathroom in the trailer.. The 17A is what we originally wanted too. Living in California we seldom encounter raining days (wind we usually just put up with anyway) we eat outside at picnic table or table we brought, we cook outside.. etc. the 17A would do just fine for sleeping and offer a shelter when in bad weather...

Before we have the 19 (had it less than a week!) we have a roof top tent sitting on an offroad trailer (about 14'), and before that trailer we were tent camping.. the tent on the offroad trailer got a little crowded as the little one grew up (she is 6 now). I can think of several camping lifestyle change with regard to these changes -

with a trailer we can have a quick overnight stay.. but probably not with a "popup" trailer, so having 4 walls decides that (think walmart parking lot, rest stop, roadside pullouts)

with a trailer we can't go to some of the campsites (even established campground), we are not talking about overnight backpacking trips, but some sites are walk in or way in there on narrow roads that are impossible to back in or turn around.. we camp in some of that during our tent days and are not able to go back in our offroad trailer.

then there's some of those dispersed site that our offroad trailer can get to but not the Escape trailer..

The way I see it is trailer moves you a different "direction" on where you camp, whether or not it's a limit or an advantage depends on how you envision camping is.

for me having bathroom is nice, but it's just nice, it's not essential. There are a lot of alternatives, even for overnight bathroom runs (and by the way getting up at 2am to go to the bathroom in the trailer is still a pain... !)

We camped in Death Valley for about week every year, usually setup base camp in back country locations.. we used those toilet kit bags over 5 gallon bucket/seat as toilet and carry the trash out when we fueled up or get supplies.. sure those bags are a bit expensive but you can probably buy a lifetime worth of them on the price of 17.. we tent camp about the same way and the only real difference is the amount of stuff we can carry in (for example the offroad trailer has 11 gallon water tank).. or towed in (pretty sure we can't tow the Escape trailer in some of those locations).
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:13 PM   #12
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If you buy a used Escape you may not have a choice.

We where looking for a 17A but a 17B came along and we like it just as much.

We actually use the shower more than the toilet.

Ah well...

And we eat outside, at least we must because I can only remember sitting at the table once.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:50 PM   #13
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While it's certainly not necessary to haul a bathroom around, when your driving the Big Sur with a family of 4 and 3 have to go to the bathroom immediately, it's sure nice to know that you are hauling a bathroom around.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:57 PM   #14
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We have had a 17A for about two years now. We came from tent camping, then tent camping with 2 tents when our 3 kids got bigger, then added a portapotty. Then we went to popup tent trailer, with the portapotty. Now, it's the 17A, with a cabinet under the bed for the portapotty.
We are in the trailer basically only for sleeping, or cooking & eating in inclement weather, so the 17A is perfect for us. The front is a permanent queen-size(almost) bed w/wonderful 8" mattress. In the back is the 4-person dinette that we've made into a bed a few times, as necessary. It is perfect for our style of camping.
Here is our evaluation of our choices; you may find some useful info:
17 Build-one year later
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:39 PM   #15
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I had a tent and pop-up camper with no bathroom. I have had three trailers with bathrooms and I'll never have a camper without one again. If you get an Escape, you are likely to still have it after your daughter is grown and out on her own. As you age, you'll be needing to have a bathroom close by for trips during the night. My favorite thing about having the bathroom is for pulling over almost any place and having my own potty to use instead of having to find and use a public one.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:44 PM   #16
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Would like to thank everyone for all the great advice!

Thank you all!

Scott
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
We have had a 17A for about two years now. We came from tent camping, then tent camping with 2 tents when our 3 kids got bigger, then added a portapotty. Then we went to popup tent trailer, with the portapotty. Now, it's the 17A, with a cabinet under the bed for the portapotty.
We are in the trailer basically only for sleeping, or cooking & eating in inclement weather, so the 17A is perfect for us. The front is a permanent queen-size(almost) bed w/wonderful 8" mattress. In the back is the 4-person dinette that we've made into a bed a few times, as necessary. It is perfect for our style of camping.
Here is our evaluation of our choices; you may find some useful info:
17 Build-one year later
Thank you! That is a great summary list you have made. Great information.

Scott
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