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Old 04-10-2016, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Travel Trailer Base Camp for Class B Touring

Travel Trailer Base Camp for Class B Touring

I thought we could share thoughts, ideas & experiences re: using a Class B van as a tow vehicle. My thought is to use a Travel Trailer on extended trips. It'll become a comfortable home away home but still permit touring around in the Class B. For some trips the trailer will stay home. It will be parked next to our deck so, it will be fun using it at home as a casita when bbq'ing etc.; maybe even guest accommodation.

We're going to try this.

Here are some other related links with good info:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...anks-1962.html

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...ject-2806.html

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...b-rv-1958.html

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...tion-3486.html

Weight of the trailer would be the first thing to consider. An upfitted B van can't tow as much as an empty cargo van. This calculator could be the first stop when considering this idea:

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator

We've settled on a used Travel Trailer that just fits into those guidelines. I've had to guess at some final weights but will visit the scales with the units. We'd have to not carry much water and make sure the waste tanks are emptied for example. The most limiting factor with our particular van as a tow vehicle is the rear axle ratio - the difference between the 3.73 and 4.10 gearing is a whopping 1,500 lbs! (our van has the 3.73 rear)
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:35 PM   #2
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Finding something light, but big enough is the key. A Tab or an R-Pod might be good choices. 3.73 is not really a bad grear ratio for towing - that's what's in my Silverado and it tows fine - I've pulled 15,000 lbs with it without concern.
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:43 PM   #3
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Extended trips to me mean a lot of frequent travel and I would not tow anything under any circumstance driving daily or any times less than a week. Class B means go anywhere mobility and I have spent a good deal of time also trying to make it livable over an extended period of time so as not to wear our mentally as in cabin fever.

If extended trips mean snowbirding in one place for an extended period of time then to me a Class B would be self-punishment, inconvenience and defeat the idea and advantages of having a Class B. Trailering essentially another RV that most likely would be also too small (assuming 5,000 lbs limit of most) makes no sense. In that case it would make greater sense to me to pull a larger trailer with a conventional vehicle that has greater mobility than a Class B (pickup truck or SUV) or drive a Class A with great base camp comfort and pull a smaller much more mobile and convenient car.

There is also logistics such as outfitting two RVs with duplication, and if not, then the same issues, of what you take or keep in each, what you forget to transfer if you try to avoid duplication, etc. Then there is the issue if you camp in both separately then you always have to return to pick up your trailer. In essence backtrack your route. That is probably repetitive and more miles and most likely will require a great deal of logistical planning and additional cost to pay for two simultaneously occupied campsites.

As for guest accommodation at home. Our Class B has served that function. For a very brief period we had both our first Class B and our Airstream trailer parked in our yard. The idea of the Airstream being kept around as the previous owner of it did for a backyard cabin went away very quickly once we had both together.

What am I missing?
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
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I have thought along those line but only as a space for kids. We have a big class A but would like to get rid of it. Will probably keep Ol' Bertha until the kids are completely out and consider a small trailer after. Would not take it if just us.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:17 PM   #5
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All good points.

If a long trip means being on the move often then a larger B of even a small C would likely be better. If snowbirding & say utilizing monthly site rates then both are likely too small.

I dislike the idea of a Class A or C just sitting unsused for a great portion of the year. I've had a C that didn't get used much. It was great when traveling across the country though.

Monthly trailer site rates would make paid B site overnights more bearable. It's easier to camp for no or low cost with the B van.

Outfitting two units does present challenges. The B van needs to be kept in a functional & ready state so a fair bit of duplication will be unavoidable. Otherwise, as you point out, it's too easy to forget some needed item.

The relatively low cost of a travel trailer is attractive. Fairly new trailers can be had for less than just the taxes on a new Sprinter B in this part of the world! (13% NB, 15% NS, 14% PEI)
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:07 PM   #6
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We have discussed this quite a few time in the past, and there always seems to be the the "why" folks who are the class b users who move all the time, maybe no more than 2 days in a spot. While many of us may travel that way part of the time, we also like to plop for 1-3 weeks at a time in a nice spot (usually that we have found in our short stay travels). On those occasions having a small put behind could be a very nice option. We have thought about it a lot, and almost bought a Safari Condo Alto to do the task. Unfortunately, they would not back off a fully loaded trailer for us, so we couldn't justify the extreme $40K+ price tag.

We had hoped to address the duplication issue by getting a trailer that would just be a mobile "family room". Dinette, couch, tv, frig, micro, heat, no bed or big kitchen. Kind of like a 4 season screen tent, only more versatile.

We were very close to bidding on a Crankyape Airstream Basecamp that was in our town recently, but didn't need another project right now. It could have been made into just what we wanted, albeit a bit heavier that we would like.

I think Marko has a very nice setup put together at this point, and am looking forward to hearing how it all works out for them.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:02 AM   #7
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check out Serro Scotty. Sportmans or lite might work. Came across these a few years ago.

SerroScotty
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:49 AM   #8
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My comments were in regard to Marko stating extended trips. My much more spacious 25 foot Airstream trailer I mentioned couldn't be pulled by my Class B.
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:27 AM   #9
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How are you going to use the trailer? Does it need a bathroom and kitchen since you have that in your B? You can get a really small/light trailer without those features.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:26 AM   #10
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Default Class B & Trailer

I have a little 13' Fiberglass trailer, AKA the Boy's bedroom, that we pull when we do the 'Family' Camp, and if just us 2 we take the Van. The trailer has it's own solar setup so they have their own power to watch TV or play Video games, removed the sink and stove and turned that area into a large desk top for the TV etc...kept the fridge and furnace, works fantastic.
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