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Old 06-29-2017, 06:55 PM   #1
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Sleeps 5 in a 17 ft

Hello,

We are seriously considering to buy an Escape trailer 17ft (Plan A). The problem we are facing is that we have 3 kids... :-)

We've asked Escape about possibles modifications they could made to accomodate us but they answers us there is nothing they can do. And that we have to buy a 19ft with a cot in option.

As we do not want a 19ft (too heavy), we are trying to find a way to add a fifth bed by ourselves after by. The possibility we see is to add a single bunk to the front permanent bed.

We would like to know if it's something that seems realistic ? Is there enough room between the mattress and the window?

We are open to any suggestion...

Thanks a lot!!
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:00 PM   #2
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Welcome.
When I had my 17B I built a bunk bed out of 3/4" PVC pipe for my second child. While not a 17A the concepts should work to give you the possibilities. It took about four hours to build the bunk bed with a chop saw and pvc cement. When it came time to sell, the PVC bunk bed was removed in 30 minutes and left no signs it was ever there.
https://www.scampowners.com/forums/pvc-pipe-bunk-bed
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:23 PM   #3
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You don't say how old the kids are. Once they reach their teens, or even sooner, they're not going to want to sleep in the trailer with you. They'll want a tent, and sometimes even individual tents.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:29 PM   #4
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Thing is, the 17 sleeps 3, and a max of 4 even if you add a bunk. That's the nature of the layout due to the size of the front dinette.

A 19 could sleep 5 but only with the gaucho bunk added.

Turn the front dinette into a permanent bed by removing the closet, and you'll have a tapered bed that can sleep 2 kids. Add your own bunk of some kind and perhaps you could sleep 5.


Edit: just noticed you're talking about the 17A, not B. So sure, if you can add a bunk over the double bed in front, that's 5, but I hope your kids are small.

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Old 06-29-2017, 09:06 PM   #5
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So what's wrong with 2 in the front permanent bed (52" wide), two in the rear dinette made into a bed (52" wide) and one on an air mattress and sleeping bag on the floor with their feet slid up under the dinette bed? Just don't anyone step on the head of the one in the sleeping bag in the middle of the night!
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:37 PM   #6
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I have no experience trying to add an extra bunk in a 17. But, I do have around 50 nights in a 19 with two small children (and the cot option).

I would be careful not to let sleeping capacity alone guide your decision here. Sure, you might be able to sleep five, but if you are doing anything other than just sleeping in the trailer, the 17 is going to be very, very tight. Cooking, eating, clothes/gear/food storage, moving around to convert the dinette to a bed, hanging out in bad weather, etc. will all be limited with five people.

Also, why is the 19 "too heavy"? If it's because of your vehicle's tow capacity, I question whether that tow capacity will be enough to comfortably tow a loaded-up 17, plus five people in the vehicle and the associated amount of food and gear.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonrider View Post
I have no experience trying to add an extra bunk in a 17. But, I do have around 50 nights in a 19 with two small children (and the cot option).

I would be careful not to let sleeping capacity alone guide your decision here. Sure, you might be able to sleep five, but if you are doing anything other than just sleeping in the trailer, the 17 is going to be very, very tight. Cooking, eating, clothes/gear/food storage, moving around to convert the dinette to a bed, hanging out in bad weather, etc. will all be limited with five people.

Also, why is the 19 "too heavy"? If it's because of your vehicle's tow capacity, I question whether that tow capacity will be enough to comfortably tow a loaded-up 17, plus five people in the vehicle and the associated amount of food and gear.
All very good points.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:05 AM   #8
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First of all, thanks for all the answers.

I'll try to answer to most of you.

Our kids now are 8, 5 and 2. We sold our Trillium 13 ft recently. My daughter was sleeping on a mattress on the floor but it was really tight.

Of course, we know the kids won't follow us forever but we do think we have few years to travel with them...

And that's the point, we want to travel, not to stay on the same campground for weeks.

We tow with a minivan (towing capacity 3500 lb). We estimate to 2700-2800 lbs the weight of the Escape 17 plan A full of stock (if we pay attention to what we bring). We guess it will be confortable to tow. (?)

For the comfort in the trailer... I guess it depends between people. For me, the alternative is tent traveling so for sure the trailer is big comfort, even if it's small :-).

Greg A : thanks! Your idea will help. We will look for a "flip" bed but at least what you did let us believe that it's possible to add a bed easily. We just try to figure how is the access to the space under the permanent bed...
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:18 AM   #9
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It's been A while since we had our 17B , but seems to me with everything in it, it weighed about 3150lbs, so I'm not sure about the 2800, if that's doable or not?
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:44 AM   #10
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It's been A while since we had our 17B , but seems to me with everything in it, it weighed about 3150lbs, so I'm not sure about the 2800, if that's doable or not?
It's possible. The plan B is 200 lbs heavier than plan A.

I refer to a post on fiberglassrv.com
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...rld-43010.html

Most of the plan b are in the 2800-3200 lbs.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:00 AM   #11
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Celia,
With your Escape lasting such a long time, you may want to get the one that you will keep for a long while. Your tow vehicles will change over the life of your trailer. You may not like the experience of towing so close to your capacity and obtain another tug, so to speak, something that can easily tow the 17 or even a 19. Tandem axles tow so much better.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:07 AM   #12
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Welcome Celia.

I think weight wise you will end up pushing it, especially taking into account the weight of 5 people, especially seeing those young ones are only going to grow.

If at all possible, I am always of the mind to first plan the trailer that will best suit your needs, and then match that with a tow vehicle, as the trailer will outlast many a tow vehicle. I am sure you realize how long these moulded fibreglass trailer will last now owning a Trillium.

I have no other advice beyond what others have offered, and wish you the best in this travel planning.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:42 AM   #13
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Many years ago when building our lake home , I built a little 8' x 12' cabin and an outhouse to use during construction. My wife and I plus our 5 kids and the dog all stayed in that little cabin on weekends.
It was fine for sleeping but on rainy or cold days it was a PITA and as the kids got older the problems grew exponentially.
We now have a 17 ft trailer for the two of us and our dog and are still facing the same issues.
Teenagers need their space and your kids all to soon will be there.
I would buy the trailer that accommodates your family and not one that accomodates your vehicle.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:17 AM   #14
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I would buy the trailer that accommodates your family and not one that accomodates your vehicle.
Yes sir. Tow vehicles come and go. Trailers, not so much.


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Old 06-30-2017, 09:45 AM   #15
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When I owned a hybrid I saw an awful lot of folks buy a 3500 lb hybrid cause that's what their minivan could tow, didn't want to have to get a new car. Shortly after they'd buy a bigger vehicle cause a van can't really pull a 3500 lb trailer.

Wouldn't be long after that that they would trade in the hybrid for a bigger regular travel trailer, cause the vehicle could handle it and the hybrid was just too small anyway.

I'm on my 4th vehicle and 2nd trailer in 11 years, camping gets expensive.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:08 AM   #16
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Hi Celia, here another suggestion. When we had our children young, we had two of them sleeping in the van and the rest of the family in the trailer. This might be another option till they get older, and want to sleep in a tent. Your trailer will be your home away from home for a long time. And will last longer then your tow vehicle. Imagine yourself how you will be camping ten years from now, where you will go, what you will need, who will still be coming along, etc. Would you wish you had a bathroom, not to have to turn dining tables into beds every day?
Time flies, kids gonna be teenagers in no time, adults not much later and out the door...
We have a 19. Love it! Nice big bed in the back, room enough at the dining area, bathroom that doesn't limit us parking wherever, solar so we don't need hookups, no air conditioning as the fibre glass keeps it cool enough for us, insulation for the colder Canada nights. Nothing fancy, but o so well working for us.
All I want to advice: think ahead! And pick the trailer you will love now and down the road!
Best wishes!!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:00 AM   #17
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from my experience, you don't even have to look that far out now, just look at 2-3 years from now (you'd have to wait close to a year to get the trailer anyway) the kids will be older, and the sleeping dynamics will be different already... especially for the 2 years old.

We have the same camping setup for 10+ years until we have "the kid", try to fit the kid into our camping arrangement didn't work too well so we got a small trailer which works well for camping + the kid for 3 or so years and noticed while it worked most of the time it will not work much longer.. thus begin our process of getting the 19 (was planning for a 17)... and then somewhere in the middle of waiting for the 19 we have an involuntary tow vehicle change...
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
So what's wrong with 2 in the front permanent bed (52" wide), two in the rear dinette made into a bed (52" wide) and one on an air mattress and sleeping bag on the floor with their feet slid up under the dinette bed? Just don't anyone step on the head of the one in the sleeping bag in the middle of the night!
That's just what we did to sleep five in our 13ft. sticky we camped in for years. Our youngest actually preferred sleeping under our dinette bed, and before long the other two, our boys, were into a tent.

For us now without kids along our 5.0 Escape feels luxurious compared to that 13.

Adrian
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:40 PM   #19
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We've had our 17B for about 3 years. The gaucho/bunk bed option was important for us, as we sometimes take our "children" with us (22 & 18 yrs. old). Our Escape is not an escape for them, only a place to sleep and store food. For more than 4 people, I really can't see a lot of options other than having 2 people sleep in one bed.

A 17A or B would be a temporary solution for you, just as your tow vehicle is a temporary vehicle and will be replaced in the future. If I had a family of 5 such as yours, I would do one of the following:
1) Get a 17 with the plan to sell and go larger in the not too distant future as the kids grow
OR
2) Get a 19 or larger with the plan to keep it long term, that it will fit your needs for many years.

Just my two bits!

PS: And we DO get along REALLY well with our kids!
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:29 PM   #20
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Despite agreeing with what others have said about upsizing your vehicle and trailer choices, I think you can do this. Your kids aren't big right now, and since you've camped in a 13 ft, you surely know you can deploy a screen house (with side panels) to increase your living space, even during inclement weather. (Sure, if it's a thunderstorm, all 5 of you will hunker down in either the trailer or the car; but how long do t-storms last, and if it's just a little rain, a "tented" outdoor/picnic table is a decent respite from the confines of the small trailer.) Greg's PVC bed solution seems doable, too. Good luck with it - and keep an eye on your tongue weight.
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