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Old 09-10-2017, 12:33 AM   #1
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17B wardrobe by dinette & top 3 options

Hello,

We are looking at buying a 17B and are in the planning and reconfiguring stage. I would like to put a few questions out there for possible feed back.

1. The dinnete is a 2 seater in the 17B. We were thinking of deleting the wardrobe beside the dinette and having a two seater bench on that side so our family of 3 could sit at the table together. Has anyone done this or have a better option to sit 3 at this particular dinette?

2. We are on a budget and unfortunately can't have every option for this build. For the 17B what would be the top 3 optional features?

Thanks in advance,

Scott.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:16 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,

We are looking at buying a 17B and are in the planning and reconfiguring stage. I would like to put a few questions out there for possible feed back.

1. The dinnete is a 2 seater in the 17B. We were thinking of deleting the wardrobe beside the dinette and having a two seater bench on that side so our family of 3 could sit at the table together. Has anyone done this or have a better option to sit 3 at this particular dinette?

2. We are on a budget and unfortunately can't have every option for this build. For the 17B what would be the top 3 optional features?

Thanks in advance,

Scott.
Scott, if you delete the wardrobe, you really lose valuable storage space, especially if there are three of you. In addition, you all have the issue that the table probably wouldn't be the same length as the bench. Also if you are watching your budget, there is probably a cost to this option. My advice is (as the owner of a 17B), I wouldn't, but you may be different.

You will need to decide what sort of camping you intend to do? If you are planning to hook up all the time, there are some options you could pass on. However, your daily camping fees will be more expensive. However, if you dry camp, there are some higher set-up costs (e.g. Solar Panel and the dual 6V batteries), but your per night charge could be significantly less or even free in some spots). We are currently planning a trip to Southern Utah and there are a whole bunch of free or cheap sites there. If you save say $20 per night, the savings quickly add up. Our top three (as a dry camper) would be:

1) Storage Box

2) Solar Panel

3) Dual 6V Batteries

Closely followed by:

4) Larger fridge.

Other options that we wouldn't be without are:

1) Exterior propane quick connect. We BBQ a lot and it saves bringing an extra propane tank.

2) Thermal windows. They look much nicer and for those days when it rains, they can stay open, whereas slider windows have to be closed.

The option I definitely wouldn't get would be AC. You probably don't need AC anywhere in BC, even in the hottest summer as typically the nights cool down enough to sleep in comfort. We wouldn't intend to travel south in the summer, but we are retired and we can go south in the winter when the AC is not necessary.

Happy to chat through with you at length what we did. You can PM me and we could chat by phone.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,

We are looking at buying a 17B and are in the planning and reconfiguring stage. I would like to put a few questions out there for possible feed back.

1. The dinnete is a 2 seater in the 17B. We were thinking of deleting the wardrobe beside the dinette and having a two seater bench on that side so our family of 3 could sit at the table together. Has anyone done this or have a better option to sit 3 at this particular dinette?

2. We are on a budget and unfortunately can't have every option for this build. For the 17B what would be the top 3 optional features?

Thanks in advance,

Scott.
Yes, we did this and love it. There is a pic here: 17B Small Dinette

I don't see the loss of storage space significant for us. It will sit 3 easily. This was a no-cost option.

Top 3 options for us would be:
- Extra insulation and frameless insulated windows
- Solar
- Dual 6V batteries

Why? Extra insulation is impossible to add later. I would want under spray foam, but you can always have it added later back at ETI. Thermal windows don't collect condensation when it's cold out. Solar and dual 6V batteries really go together and it's a great system for having power independence without a generator.

We didn't get the larger fridge because you lose some aisle space and it's already pretty cramped in there, but we do carry a Yeti cooler in the car for longer trips.

There are a couple we bought and probably shouldn't have. Although we have used our A/C, we could live without it. Our surge protector is rarely used since we don't plug in very often.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:30 AM   #4
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Since you have to convert the 2 person dinette into a bed every night anyway, why not convert the big bed every day instead? This will give you your storage needed, saves you money going with the standard configuration, and having a large dinette. For comfort sleeping just add a foam on top of the cushions.
Wouldn't go without insulation, thermal windows, storage box, solar panel, dual 6v batteries.
(Just my two cents worth...)
Best wishes for you and your family on the decisions for your build sheet, and many happy travels!!
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:24 PM   #5
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Thank you for your advice! As far as the four persons dinette we are turning it to a permanent bed for us. That is why we were thinking to modify the two dinette into three by adding the bench.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:26 PM   #6
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Chris and Patricia, Thank you for your input! I might take you up on your offer by phoning you so we could chat.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:30 PM   #7
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You might be able to squeeze an extra seat by removing the closet, but you'll still have a fairly small table since it's made for two people not three.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input and the picture! It gives us an idea what it would look like if we go with the option of extending the bench. Did you keep the four persons dinette on the other side? We are thinking about converting it to a permanent bed for more comfort.

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Old 09-10-2017, 05:58 PM   #9
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We had a 17b and you can still keep the full dinette as is, but we left it down all the time, had a foam topper on it. We stayed in it for a month or so at a time, and we felt it was fairly comfortable. That way you still have the full dinette if need be.
We had the closet by the door, although it was handy, we always felt the front dinette to be a bit tight, but we did have the gaucho bunk, which makes it even smaller. With the longer bench you would have more room to sit- and also put on your shoes. You would have the extra space under the bench, and could always put a door on the face or side.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:06 PM   #10
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We had a 17b and you can still keep the full dinette as is, but we left it down all the time, had a foam topper on it. We stayed in it for a month or so at a time, and we felt it was fairly comfortable. That way you still have the full dinette if need be.
We had the closet by the door, although it was handy, we always felt the front dinette to be a bit tight, but we did have the gaucho bunk, which makes it even smaller. With the longer bench you would have more room to sit- and also put on your shoes. You would have the extra space under the bench, and could always put a door on the face or side.
I will say that we always regretted not getting the 19foot, we really liked the 17, but it was fairly tight at times.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:12 PM   #11
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What we sometimes do in our 19' when we wanted to seat five people at our four person front dinette is to place a folding chair at the head of the table for the extra person. You may be able to use a folding chair at the head of the table in the 17' to seat three at the two person dinette table. Many lawn chairs are a bit too low to sit comfortably at the table so you may want to choose carefully.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:34 AM   #12
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Well ... I don't know .... Dave Walter ...depends on what you are serving. I'd be willing to bet it would be really good ... :-}

Tom
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,

We are looking at buying a 17B and are in the planning and reconfiguring stage. I would like to put a few questions out there for possible feed back.

1. The dinnete is a 2 seater in the 17B. We were thinking of deleting the wardrobe beside the dinette and having a two seater bench on that side so our family of 3 could sit at the table together. Has anyone done this or have a better option to sit 3 at this particular dinette?

2. We are on a budget and unfortunately can't have every option for this build. For the 17B what would be the top 3 optional features?

Thanks in advance,

Scott.
Some options depend on the tow vehicle you plan to use. For instance, a pick up truck will offer all the storage you will need in most cases. (so go ahead on your wardrobe idea.
The twin 6 volt battery can be eliminated by the trucks ability to recharge the battery if your solar panel is in the shade. This is not the best fuel economy for charging but it is efficient and quiet and reliable and works in the rain. I've found that our new (1 only) 12 volt battery had plenty of reserve for water pump, fans, fridge and LED lights. Twin 6 Volt batteries cost more, weigh more, and not needed with our style of camping.
The propane quick connect can be eliminated if you have 2 propane tanks on tour hitch. Use one Lp tank for the fridge and hot water and use/keep your BBQ connect handy for the 2nd Lp tank.
We only camp in the summer season so we are happy to have not spent money on dual pane windows and foam insulation. We do, however have a 2008 model and those options may not have been available at that time.
The 17b model come stock with almost everything you need to start having fun. Don't sweat the options or build sheet. Instead realize most everything can be added or done without. Do a couple trips first and feel out what you wish you could change at a later time. Escape Trailers is only about 3 hours away from your posted address.
My option list would include, a portable or roof top solar panel, outside shower (for dishes and muddy feet), a couple extra 12 volt receptacles for phones, iPads etc. although those too can be charged by your tow vehicle.
Save your money for BBQ, portable tables (to put outdoor cooking stuff on), folding chairs, outdoor carpet/mat, lantern, ice chests (coolers), camp water (5 gal blue tote) and books and toys.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:05 AM   #14
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I believe the dual battery option needs to have the frame extended in rear, so it can not be added later.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:08 AM   #15
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I believe the dual battery option needs to have the frame extended in rear, so it can not be added later.
Sure it can! Everything can be added later. The 17' starts out with an extended frame because the stock battery in already on the bumper.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:23 PM   #16
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Sure it can! Everything can be added later.
Not everything! Insulation is one of them.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:43 PM   #17
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Not everything! Insulation is one of them.
Sure it can! Why couldn't it (insulation) be sprayed on the undercarriage later?
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:50 PM   #18
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Not everything! Insulation is one of them.
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Why can't that (insulation) be sprayed on the undercarriage later?
Marry is likely referring to the added insulation on the walls, that would be extremely tough to do later.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:11 PM   #19
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I think adding a complete ETI bathroom is a no-go too. You might be able to DIY that works however.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:37 PM   #20
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We also have the bench in our 17B. Love it.
We have the big dinette as a bed all the time and throw our two duffle bags under it.
There is a ton of storage under that longer bench seat.
When inside, my wife tends to be reading on the big bed and I can sit on the end of the bench where the wardrobe would have been and talk to her. Actually if anyone just steps in the door they have somewhere to sit and talk.
We bought our 17 used and didn't expect the wardrobe to be missing but within minutes of seeing it we thought it was a great idea.
I'm in Fraser valley as well but the trailer is parked out between Mission and Harrison if you want to take the drive to see the seat.
My must haves are solar, two 6 volts, insulation and storage box. My wife's must haves are the stainless sink, stove and stove cover.
This summer the A/C was fantastic to have when parked in the driveway and being used as a bunkie and running an extension cord to it.


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