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Old 05-19-2020, 10:55 PM   #1
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Picking a trailer is like picking a wife! Mistakes are never forgotten!

Well having just accidentally erased a long diatribe fist post about how to help me finalize my choices and all the contemplation... I am still going to put up a long initial post. This is the pic that made me think small and rugged rather than the smaller 5th wheels with dual A/C I was considering. I want nature, and fishing on the beach, remotely if possible.


So I am looking for CRITICISM as much or more than anything. Here are the wants:
1) boon docking on the beach in Texas, so HOT, A/C is one of the big musts.
2) quality construction, and the more aluminum the better in construction
3) good ground clearance, suspension and durability for off road 4x4 access
4) Solar capability with inverter for computer for work without need for gennie.
5) Which Trailer might generate more rentals?
6) salt air survivability

So if the E/Geo Pro had a queen Murphy bed without a slide out like in this video, I would probably pulled the trigger on a 2020 model I saw on Craigslist last week. http://https://forestriverinc.com/rv...pro/G19FD/3574.

Despite all that love for the Murphy bed, a double is too small so the Geo/E Pro model we are considering the Queen Bed with a SMALL sort of pull out sofa, the G19FBS. https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=9i1sWsvsRpm I THINK this is the one I am leaning toward, despite my yearning for a Queen Murphy and another couch for visitors. From my research it seems that the Geo/ E Pro has a LOT of high end features standard that are options on comparable trailers. I love the solar with 1000 watt inverter, water filter, 37 gallon fresh tank, sealed bottom, light weight, independent suspension, roller window blind upgrade, all aluminum framing for frame as well as furniture framing, pocket screwed cabinets, shower hot water saving system, wifi booster and very cool keypad entry. Neg is the small fridge.

The NoBO 19.6 fits all my Murphy bed desires but it seems as if the construction and quality features seem to be a step below the Geo/E Pro? But what do I know? I found a video of a 2020-1/2 in the 19.6 that has NEW dual axles with independent suspension? More weight for sure but likely smoother towing. I like the interior better than the Geo/E Pro, with the nicer table, queen Murphy bed, second (real) convertible sofa, larger fridge with freeze. But pleated shades that will get damaged versus roller blinds, a LOT more wood, likely weaker cabinet construction, and no solar nor inverter leaves some quality gaps. Plus of better fridge and room has the wife leaning this way even though she thinks the Geo/E Pros look cooler.
So what do you guys suggest?

I don't want to spend a fortune but I know that in Austin you can rent smaller trailers on Outdoorsy fairly easily. So buying what I want for perhaps more could be offset by rentals, while the unit is still newer. Coronavirus won't make that an issue for a while but it's part of the consideration.

So help this newbie choose my new "mate" for the coast and beyond. Thanks in Advance for any replies.

PS - I will likely need to buy a cell signal booster to be able to access the internet at the National seashore. I am thinking about a model with a long extension pole to get clear the sand dunes at the beach to get a cell signal. Any thoughts here as well.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:53 AM   #2
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I will assume your beach camping means there are no AC shore power outlets for you to plug into.......which means you are going to need a generator to use ANY air conditioning. The more air conditioners, the bigger the generator required.

Do you currently have a generator (or the RV has one included), as it's size may dictate what you can (or cannot) use when boondocking on the beach......including any noise from said generator (they all aren't created equally)

Also in boondocking, fresh water tank, grey and black water tank sizes can come into consideration...depending on your length of stay.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:58 AM   #3
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One word, Airstream.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:08 AM   #4
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One word, Airstream.
Road Clearance and Salt Spray will rule Out a Airstream for Off Road Beach Camping! In regards to his Demands/Wishes! Youroo!!
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:12 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. Good luck on your search. Later RJD
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:17 AM   #6
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Welcome from SW Ohio , choose wisely !
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:34 AM   #7
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Apex by coachmen has an outfitter and off grid package that you can get.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:45 AM   #8
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need a generator for sure

Thanks for the quick replies guys. I KNOW that for A/C a generator is a must! At the coast a quieter gennie isn't really an issue as so many folks use loud frame units. I will probably link two 2200's as I want extra power. I have considered installing a soft start to be able to use a single generator, but I will likely opt for the extra power. I was looking at a 7500 watt dual fuel Firman at COSTCO for $699, when the dual A/C 5th wheel was in the sights.. But that is overkill for my current choices. Although the power to run the A/C for a few hours while powering some headlights shining into the surf to bring in the baitfish as a display of my generator "power" is also appealing. The firman could run like 8 hours at a lower capacity on a full tank. The smaller Hondas would require an auxiliary gas tank, and no option for Propane.

I will likely order from the dealer. I am very handy and installing solar after the fact on the NoBo is within my capabilities. However, having 200 watts installed with some warranty might be a better option?

So is the NoBo Construction comparable to the Geo Pro?
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:51 AM   #9
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one of the 'issues' with any HOT camping is the air conditioning that we all expect, even if we 'say' we want 'off-grid' camping and are 'just going fishing'... with HOT, and especially humid, weather, the air conditioner is going to be running all day, and probably even all NIGHT long.... that's a CONTINUOUS load for a generator - with very little stopping for a breath.

Is it doable? Sure, and it doesn't take any 'big' generator, but it will take some fuel. Maybe a propane conversion is in play, here, where you can more easily carry several 15lb propane tanks that you can then more easily 'trade' for full ones when needed - so many places now do this easily, and no 'gas' to haul around or have to make a 'smelly' refill.(or, just a propane generator to start with!)

Everyone has a different feel and attitude when it comes to what's 'comfortable', even husbands and wives disagree on what that 'means'... I like a BREEZE, which makes me happy. My wife likes COLD AIR from an air conditioner, even though she'll be under two covers while 'enjoying' it! Crazy. True.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:32 AM   #10
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one of the 'issues' with any HOT camping is the air conditioning that we all expect, even if we 'say' we want 'off-grid' camping and are 'just going fishing'... with HOT, and especially humid, weather, the air conditioner is going to be running all day, and probably even all NIGHT long.... that's a CONTINUOUS load for a generator - with very little stopping for a breath.

Is it doable? Sure, and it doesn't take any 'big' generator, but it will take some fuel. Maybe a propane conversion is in play, here, where you can more easily carry several 15lb propane tanks that you can then more easily 'trade' for full ones when needed - so many places now do this easily, and no 'gas' to haul around or have to make a 'smelly' refill.(or, just a propane generator to start with!)

Everyone has a different feel and attitude when it comes to what's 'comfortable', even husbands and wives disagree on what that 'means'... I like a BREEZE, which makes me happy. My wife likes COLD AIR from an air conditioner, even though she'll be under two covers while 'enjoying' it! Crazy. True.
Do you think the upgrade to the 15.5 A/C unit is smart? Since I am likely to order the upgrade probably would not cost too much. The last line about the cold air and covers is spot on. I wanted the Propane option for the reasons you mentioned, ease of transportation, and portability for replacement.

Most of our truly boondock camping would likely be for a few days, then a day in the park to flush tanks, take long real showers, wash some laundry and park the trailer while we go grab some grub and restock the cabinets. In Summertime, Port Aransas beach camping is more like an endless Nascar race on the weekends. The trailer is simply a portable hotel in the middle of "fun in the sun" in Port A. We will do most of our beach time in the Spring and Fall, and/or during the weekdays to avoid the large crowds.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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A couple of thoughts (worth exactly what you're paying for them, BTW!! ):

If you have the rental option available, that's a HUGE advantage. Do a couple of weekend trips renting a couple different units that you think you might be interested in. Nothing like actually getting out into the boondocking experience to let you know what you do actually need (and don't need/use).
Also, you said you were reasonably handy with regards to solar. In that case, ignore the solar that comes with any unit you're looking at (i.e., don't make it part of the purchasing decisions). You're going to be upgrading it anyway, so if you can start with a clean slate (and pay for a "clean slate" instead of stuff that's going to be pulled off and stuck on a garage shelf), so much the better.
On the generator, beware the "open frame" models. If you need AC all day and night, you need a generator. All. Day. And. Night. Even boondocking away from everyone else, I can't imagine listening to a contractor's generator for that period of time. But, if you enjoy being in the middle of a NASCAR race, maybe you'll even enjoy it - to each their own.
Enjoy and good luck!
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:35 AM   #12
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Welcome .................... I finally learned after 35 years of camping let the wife pick out the layout...................



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Old 05-20-2020, 09:38 AM   #13
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BTW, a full disclaimer - I just read the rest of your post title - I want to make clear that there is NO analogy to be drawn between picking a camper and a wife in terms of taking a rental out for a couple of weekends before making a final decision!!!!!
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:47 AM   #14
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:03 AM   #15
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Road Clearance and Salt Spray will rule Out a Airstream for Off Road Beach Camping! In regards to his Demands/Wishes! Youroo!!

Yes but the salt air will eat just about everything out there anyway. How long do you think a Lippert frame is going to last on the beach? The only real solution to what he wants is a custom built RV with a seal coated frame, stainless, and aluminum components. Composite sidewalls won't save you.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:09 AM   #16
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Considered a lot of this before purchasing the NoBo 19.6. Shower is big, sink is big, storage under murphy is solid, stow away murphy with bar setup for working. Slide out is additional space, double axle is key for stability, centerline husky distribution hitch went for with 5K towing for colorado zr2 so was at tow limit.

Didn't go with pre-install solar but wires are there. May or may not use them. Likely going with Titan Generator Solar setup 500 watts to start and can always add on with panels and battery expansion pack:

https://poweredportablesolar.com/pro...xx-kit/ref/21/

Have a Predator 2200 watt with hard start capacitor I'm trying to install now. I have a separate thread going on with that here: https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...-205382-4.html

If it doesn't work I'll rotate the 2200 to 3500 or get another 2200 and do parallel run.
2200 does work for low and high fan settings but ac currently no without hard cap install. however I did find a start cap there already in that unit.

I have gone 2 weekends with it thus far and couldn't be happier. Independent suspension is key on this rig and bottom of the trailer is sealed.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:11 AM   #17
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:17 AM   #18
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I agree. That salt air is going to eventually eat anything you buy. Just look at the roofs of cars on Galveston Island. Rust everywhere unless the car is washed and waxed frequently.

None of the reasonably priced rvs is going to do what you want. You might be better off with a tent, a portable a/c and a generator.

If you really want an rv....The pop up is probably your best choice because it is a lightweight vehicle capable of going offroad without getting stuck or being shaken to pieces. Some of them even come with a/c. Your chance of renting it is unknown.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:22 AM   #19
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Be a handy man, because soooo much 'stuff' will break or 'come loose'. AC and no shore power, good luck with that.... (see above). Beach front and boondocking.... learn to really down size and then Enjoy the great outdoors....
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:31 AM   #20
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Yes but the salt air will eat just about everything out there anyway. How long do you think a Lippert frame is going to last on the beach?

This. It doesn't matter that the bottom of the NOBO is 'sealed' (it really isn't sealed per se) salt spray is invasive and it will get into every nook and cranny and start the corrosion process. Your best bet is to hit the local pressure washer BEFORE you leave the beach town, concentrating on the frame, axles, and tongue, and then do a thorough washing at home.

Even with that, I'd plan to sell the trailer as-is with disclosure after a couple years and get a new one.


Say - wasn't there a security problem camping on the beaches down there, criminals and such?
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