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Old 11-09-2017, 09:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Placerville, California
Trailer: currently chalet aspen. shopping for escape 17A.
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Seeking info/opinions on beds in 17A

I camp solo about 75 % of the time--the rest of the time I have two or three others, usually daughter/granddaughters. I have contacted ETI and they can put a second four-person dinette in the front, replacing the permanent bed.

Here's one of the things i'm considering: Ask that the backrest cushions of the front dinette be split (or do it later myself). Use wood pieces (1x10 alder?)the thickness of the table for the support of a narrower bed...say, 30 inches total, up against the front wall. I'd use those split backrest cushions for the bed to fill in the center for when I'm solo. The remaining backrest sections can be used as backrest for the 22 inch part of the seats that remain on both sides. The table would be removed and saved.This would open things up at the front of the trailer.

If I needed sleeping for four I could remove my slats and take the table, likely leaving that front dinette made up as a bed because four can sit at the back table, or just get a couple more slats to fill in the bed, and leave the table.

I would appreciate any opinions, problems I'm not seeing, etc. One question I have is would there be a ledge on which the front bed is built (a slight step up like in the back dinette) ? It doesn't look like that from pictures, especially of the slide in/out of a porta potty under the far right of the permanent bed as there is an opening under that door.

A corollary question would be a location for a porta potty--this would leave as options 1) the door side end of the front dinette, but requires a door there (like in the original floor plan of the A). 2) one of the lower cupboards under the sink or wardrobe, or under the refrig--bringing up size of cupboard issues, or 3) under the left back bench of the front dinette, which would require access under the bench...another door installed there... but is also the best sort of out of the way location and I could easily use it in the night.

Many thanks for any and all responses.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:38 PM   #2
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Have you ruled out the gaucho bunkbed option?
I go it in my 17B and find it quite comfortable - 30" wide by 70" I think. Can't sit all the way up, but can easily turn over and easily get in and out - more like berths, but quite adequate.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:04 AM   #3
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H2omn,
I did similar mod to the bed/dinette of my 15b and the results are great. 30 inches is a good size for a single bunk. Splitting the back cushions gives you the filler cushions and seat backs you need.

If the 17 has under seat storage I also recommend cutting the access lids in half and adding more hinges and cutting the long seat cushions in half to match so that you can easily get at the storage without having to move big cushions.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:05 AM   #4
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H2omn,
I did similar mod to the bed/dinette of my 15b and the results are great. 30 inches is a good size for a single bunk. Splitting the back cushions gives you the filler cushions and seat backs you need.

If the 17 has under seat storage I also recommend cutting the access lids in half and adding more hinges and cutting the long seat cushions in half to match so that you can easily get at the storage without having to move big cushions.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
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Thanks to you both! It's nice to have confirmation of this plan. I think I won't need the gaucho...my plan can sleep four, and if we have more than that, we'll tent some outside. I also appreciate the heads up on the underbench storage. The 17A will have so much more storage than my fold up that I'm struggling to see how I'll use it all.

Am I correct in my observation that the floor in the front is flat all the way from the kitchen edge of the back dinette to the front large window? Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:39 PM   #6
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Barbara,
You have a great idea, there. Since it has that 'innovative' element, I'm betting that when Reace hears of it, he'll say 'yes.' There are so few "A" models, that they're all special anyway!

The floor is indeed flat from the front edge of the rear dinette to the front wall of the trailer. The raised portion in the rear is to accommodate the fresh water tank directly underneath the floor. The trailer frame itself actually steps up just behind the axle.

My thought on the porta-potty: the current location, adjacent to the door, is convenient, and when pulled out, is in the doorway, and not in the main aisle. (Once we pull it out at night, we leave it there until morning, and it isn't in the way of any other activity within the trailer.)
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:53 PM   #7
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Thanks, Viajante and Don/Teresa. I did the 30 inch bed in my first trailer the same way, which was an 8.5x6.5 ft box. That sure made a difference in the floor space, and I think using this plan in the 17A will be palatial when i'm by myself.! I found that the 30 inch bed was fine for me, and the 22 inch seats on both sides were the only other seating, so it worked out great.

I have already received the OK from ETI for the front dinette. And I think you're right, at the end of the bench is the best location for the potty--I hadn't thought about it being out of the aisleway when deployed in that location. I hope they will do the door for the potty as well, but if not, I can do it myself. It would be nice to have it match all the other doors, though.

This is bringing back all the fun I had dreaming and configuring that little trailer, ten years ago.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:04 PM   #8
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Hi Barbara,
We just put an order in for 17a (ready June 2018) and I would say your plan is spot on for sleeping up to 4 and tucking the porta-potty away. (Also may be handy when you need a rest stop while driving. I have seen some dodgy outhouses in our travels!) For us the 17a felt massive compared to the tiny t@b trailer we used to own. The Escape we are excited about gives us just enough comforts without letting us forget that the main thing is being out in nature. Good luck with your decision, let us all know what happens.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:44 PM   #9
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17A-Listers:
I just took the cover off our 17A, getting ready for a trip, so I thought I'd take a photo showing exactly what we have for a porta-potty home. We had sent the overall dimensions to ETI to ensure that it would fit, but I believe they're pretty standard.
The cabinet, door, and the lack of a base piece below the door are all ETI's doing. Inside they put some 4 inch high pieces around the back and sides of the compartment so the potty wouldn't slide anywhere. They only thing we added was the base under the porta-potty, made out of an old kitchen cutting board. It has 8 or 9 furniture glides under it for easy movement.
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File Type: jpg portapotty home.jpg (151.8 KB, 4 views)
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
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I'd go for the 5 gallon porta myself. Photos Not mine but kwikee 350LB slides are a neat idea
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File Type: jpg Kwikee heavy-duty slide.jpg (127.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Kwikee heavy-duty slide 350lb.jpg (141.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Kwikee heavy-duty slide 350lb 2.jpg (123.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Kwikee heavy-duty slide 350lb 3.jpg (112.1 KB, 5 views)
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