Sleeping a family of 5? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1985 Bigfoot 17'
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Sleeping a family of 5?

We stopped in this summer in Chilliwack to visit Escape and tour all the models there (all the way up to the 21'!). We were very impressed with the trailers and all the thought put into the features.

What I wanted to ask of the community is does anyone have a set up that comfortably sleeps a family of 5? We currently have a 17' Bigfoot that I've modified to have a permanent bunk over the pull out double.

There isn't a current option in the Escape floorplans that is similar - however I see there is a cot option. I haven't seen a picture of it, but I think I would prefer a bunk over a cot. Has anyone custom ordered a fixed bunk option?

Our kids are 5, 7 and 11 and we hope to keep camping together for many years! There's nothing "wrong" with the set up in our Bigfoot - it's just that some more amenities would be nice (like a hot water heater, at least an outside shower, and larger holding tanks).

The escape 21' would be nice if there was a bunk over the front bed. Not sure if that's feasible or not.

Cheers,
Keith
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:47 PM   #2
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We're getting a 21' for our family. We've only got 2 children but still I've been putting a fair amount of thought into what would best serve our needs. I'm fairly certain that what we'll do most of the time is have the children sleep outside in a tent. They've grown up vacationing in tents and even when we're at family/friends' cabins, they prefer to sleep outside in tents with their friends.

However, I realize that there are times where a tent is impractical. It may be due to poor weather. I've also been turned away from campgrounds currently experiencing bear problems because we didn't have a hard-sided trailer to sleep in. In these circumstances, being able to fit the family inside the trailer would be great.

The dinette on the 21' model is 48" wide; only 6" narrower than the permanent bed, and 12" narrower than a queen. Can 2 kids fit on this? I think so. We'll have our kids sleep in sleeping bags rather than sheets for quick setup/teardown of the bed/dinette so hopefully they're able to sleep together on there for a few years to come. Nevertheless, for future peacekeeping (especially as they approach being fully grown) I plan on having the cot installed. In your case, if you could sleep two on the dinette and one in the cot that may well work.

Trouble is, I've got my option sheet for my 21' and the option for a cot is not on there. I've had mixed messages regarding the cot in the 21'. In Osoyoos I asked Tammy about a cot in the 21' and she said I could have a cot. A few weeks ago on the phone with Kim I asked about the cot not being on the option sheet and she said to just type it in. For some reason, in an email I fired off last week requesting clarification about some things I was unclear about, I asked again about the cot option, and this time Kim replied "This is not an option that we have for the 21'". This now has me concerned as I was counting on having the cot.

Another thought is one sleeping on a sleeping pad on the floor. Not an ideal solution, but would work in a pinch such as if they usually sleep in a tent but for some reason must sleep in the trailer one night.

As for a bunk above the front bed, that would certainly solve your concern for sleeping 5 in the RV, but only Escape could answer whether or not they'd be willing to do that for you; ask them.
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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My 19' had the cot option and it consists of 2 metal rails and some canvass material as a sling between the two rails. I believe there is a weight limit of 200 lbs?. Thus with 3 children, the 2 of the same sex can sleep in the dinette which is a double bed and the lone one in the cot overhead, a twin bed, or the parents can sleep in the double, let the children sleep in the queen bed? If you want the cot it must be ordered as there are production changes.
In the Escape 17, there is a gaucho bunk option that will sleep one up top and one on the bottom. The Escape website describes these options.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #4
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I understand, truly. But, let me give you a dose of reality based on my experience (YMMV). I purchased my trailer when my child was in elementary school expecting we'd spend years camping. Didn't happen.

As soon as my child went through puberty and became a teenager, it's like my reality was in a different dimension. She'd ask, will there be WiFI, how about cable? Will there be a pool and boys? Sigh. Gone were the days of trail hikes and dinner on a stick and looking skyward at the Milky Way and pointing out the International Space Station when it went overhead. Double-sigh. As soon as I told my daughter "No, there won't be any of that stuff," she'd say... can I stay with Dad? (we were divorced).

If all the stars align and you camp for a lot more years with ALL your kids, I'm happy for you. But, don't buy a trailer with that expectation... Kids are resilient. IF need be Dad, YOU plan on sleeping outside in a sleeping bag and cot under the awning and let the family sleep inside. It's a very brief time in the grand scheme of things.

I wish you well....
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:45 PM   #5
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I agree with Donna's observation. We have a Coleman pop-up trailer that sleeps 8 (in theory, according to the brochure). It worked well for our family, since there was a king bed at each end so it wasn't necessary to fold down the table or pull out the couch to shift into "sleep mode". My two sons slept in one end, my wife and I slept in the other end. We enjoyed a lot of family camping trips with this rig. By the time my sons reached the ages of 13 and 15, camping was on the bottom of their list.

Now that we are almost empty-nesters and haven't had any family camping trips for a few years, we are looking for a comfortable trailer for the two of us. My wife and I still use the Coleman, but are looking forward to purchasing a hard-sided trailer amenities such as AC and a real bathroom.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Well Leo.....we just purchased an Escape 5th wheel and are currently selling our 2005 17' Bigfoot which would be absolutely perfect for you and your wife I'm sure you are aware but just in case you are not familiar with Bigfoot's....Bigfoot trailers are a very high quality fibre glass trailer that are light weight and so well made they will last a life time. Ours has every bell and whistle you could order......my husband has just always wanted a 5th wheel so now we have two fiberglass trailers.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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For your young ones, I would ask Escape to add the bunk to your future 21' so that you will continue to have more options relative to sleeping arrangements. Maybe your kids will get tired of camping with you as the years go by, or maybe not. Don't assume that all teenagers and nearly grown/grown kids will have no interest in camping with you. I am pleased and somewhat surprised that all 4 of my kids have always been keenly interested in camping with us, whether it be wilderness trips from a canoe, car camping, or coming along with us in our Escape. Two of our kids (12 and 17) are still living at home and both still like to come with us whenever they get the opportunity. I just spent a great weekend in Jasper paddling and camping with my 22 year old son who has been living away for several years, but still loves to come and camp with us.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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Not sure if the 19' bunk that is over the dinette would fit the new 21' dinette area, something to ask Reace.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Bob and Linda,
Sent you a PM.
Leo
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:34 AM   #10
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Never know with teenagers. Took two grandkids (12 & 14) for three weeks the summer of 2012. had a wonderful time. Took our 18 year old grandson for 2 weeks this summer and all he did was text, pine for his girlfriend, and sulk. He used to be so sweet. Go figure.
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