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Old 02-16-2016, 09:28 AM   #1
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2 adults, 2 kids- 176 vs 176T vs 178?

We have two boys 3 and 5. This will be our first RV, so we're not sure what layout would work best.

176- we sleep on dinette (not too appealing) but the kids get bunks- yay!
176T- pop out tent if the weather is nice. If it's bad outside or too noisy- leave tent in and sleep on dinette. Kids get bunks. Not sure if I want to deal with canvas and we lose the window.
178- We get a permanent queen bed (yay), but boys sleep on converted dinette side by side.

We're only going off imagination right now- but I'm assuming converting the dinette for the boys would be easier than for the adults- they can sleep in sleeping bags- easier to clear for breakfast.

But the bunks do seem perfect for kids...

I wish they had bunks and a queen bed layout....
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:40 AM   #2
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There are other travel trailer models that carry a queen bed, bunk bed and a separate dinette but I'm guessing you are limited to size/weight of the camper. We liked some of the vibe layouts. They have a slide that includes the bunks 6504 model. I don't believe these are made anymore but just a thought.


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Old 02-16-2016, 10:01 AM   #3
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Yes, weight limited. 2015 Jeep wrangler. 3500# max, 400# tongue weight max.

I was looking into fiberglass like a scamp or casita 16, they have bunks and dinette to sleep on. Rpod is bigger for the same weight, larger holding tanks, bigger fridge, more storage, etc. If there are other models around 2700# dry, that would be good to look into.
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
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Clipper 16b weighs 2,400 lbs dry
Clipper 17bh 2,800 lbs dry
Coachmen apex nano also makes a 185bh at 2,800 lbs dry

The last 2 have bunks, QB and a dinette. Not sure how they will feel with a jeep as a tow vehicle. I would only do it for short trips. I moved up from a i6 GMC envoy pulling my current camper because we wanted to go on longer trips and hit the pa mountains.


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Old 02-16-2016, 11:56 AM   #5
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Personally, I would not buy anything where everyone does not have a dedicated bed. Besides the hassle of converting bed space to living space, what happens if someone is feeling under the weather and wants to lay down in the day time? Do you convert the bed or they have to sleep in someone else's bed?

There are some Jaycos that are under your weight limit and have a queen bed with bunks.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:33 PM   #6
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We camped in a tent trailer (aka pop-up) for many years with our 3 boys. They get along well and the younger 2 can sleep on the same bed no problem - even now at 16 and 18. If your 2 boys can sleep in the same bed you should have no problems having them sleep on a converted dinette. It will be a lot more comfortable for them than for adults! IMO, having a full 60" wide queen bed for you and the u-shaped dinette for the boys would be a better choice since the RP-176 with the bunks means you have to setup the dinette anyways and its a bit more narrow.

I really don't care for camper bunks. IMO they are too narrow for any children under 5 or 6. And your boys will outgrow them quickly if you hang onto the trailer for a few years.

Sleeping bags are a good idea for the converted dinette. We used to, and still do, use 2 sleeping bags for the kids - both opened, one as a mattress cover and the other as a comforter, plus we bring along extra blankets.

With a max. tow rating of 3500# you'll be fairly limited in your choices if you aren't interested in sleeping under canvas. If you don't mind it, you'll have much more selection in pop-ups with a dedicated bed on both ends for everyone. The only negatives are having to close up the camper when its wet/raining and a smaller refrigerator but we always took a couple extra coolers - one being a 12V cooler. Having four solid walls is nice but it comes with extra weight that you don't have a lot of capacity to tow, and an R-Pod type camper will not feel as open as a pop-up.

Advertised UVWs (unloaded vehicle weights) are notoriously optimistic. On FR's R-Pod website, they say the models range from 2200# to 2500#. I highly recommend that you find some at a dealership and look at the stickers on the campers to see what they ACTUALLY weigh.

These are just my opinions. You may feel differently. Good luck with your search. It's an exciting time.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:16 PM   #7
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We have a Vibe 6504 that has the queen bed in the rear and bunks in the slide as mentioned earlier. Also as mentioned they have been discontinued! I'm afraid you may have a challenge pulling most small trailers with your Jeep. I used my Wrangler to pull a very small 8ft box Coleman pop-up for several years and it was a bear! If you venture into pulling with your Wrangler guarantee you have a good setup with trailer brakes. I can move my Vibe around my yard with the Wrangler but unfortunately it would absolutely be too much to actually put on the highway. Dealers will be glad to sell you anything on their lot and you can pull it but stopping safely is another thing. Good luck in your search and keep asking questions here as there are many great folks here with vast knowledge!


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Old 02-16-2016, 03:45 PM   #8
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With your weight limitations, I would suggest you try to rent a popup for a weekend. Many dealers offer rentals. Then see how you like sleeping under canvas. We had 2 popups through the years , bringing 2,3,4 kids along and creating many great memories along the way. Our oldest son now has our last pup. We moved to a hybrid 2 years ago mainly for the ease of set up and the extra room but even the smallest roo would be too much for your tv.
Consider a popup. They have everything you need for weekends and short vacations, and you and the kids each have beds.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:01 PM   #9
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R-Pod floor Plan

Two items to consider: First, the 182-G will meet your needs with two bunk beds for either the kids or you and the large dinette converts easily to a queen size bed (your idea of using sleeping bags works well in either location). Additionally, you have an outside kitchen to entertain and keep the kids out of the trailer plus it has an entertainment center that can handle up to a 32" TV. it's great as a makeshift summer drive-in!
Secondly, your Tv in underpowered for this type of trailer! It weighs 3,000# empty so with the additions of food clothing, suitcases, kids in the back seat you will be woefully underpowered. you need at least a half ton pick-up with 6-7000# tow rating. The tail will be wagging the dog with your set-up!
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:29 PM   #10
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You need to stop using fictional "dry" weights.
You need to look at trailers with a GVWR of 3500lbs or less.
Nearly all in this weight range, have VERY poor cargo capacities.

Bottom line- what you want, with a GVWR of 3500lbs, will be very few.

And remember, the Wrangler's 3500lbs towing capacity is rated with only a 150lbs driver in it.
So, anything in it over that, reduces that 3500 number.
For example, your wife weighs 150lbs and you and the kids weigh 250lbs. Then you have 50lbs of stuff in the Jeep and the WDH weighs 100lbs.

Now your towing capacity is now only 3100lbs.
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