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Old 02-11-2024, 01:57 PM   #21
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Windows!

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Originally Posted by Kpal12 View Post
Mainly because that would cost about twice as much as buying the camper and removing the stuff I donít want. Also, utility trailers donít have the pop out bed that I want and donít have the window/ventilation I want because of the dogs.
Low-cost flange-mount ("new construction") windows are about $150 each. Just put a few screws and nuts on each flange. Here are some samples.
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Old 02-11-2024, 02:27 PM   #22
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Probably not any made by forest river but I have seen at our old dealer small single axle toyhaulers. They were probably about 12-14 feet long. (I doubt that they had slides though.)


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Old 02-11-2024, 04:14 PM   #23
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I understand you not wanting a utility trailer. They don't have the insulation of an rv and the cost of adding a/c and windows can be prohibitive. We have a friend who had a/c and windows professionally installed and it wasn't cheap.

That said, according to the Jayco website, a Featherlights weight is between
Weight 4,775 - 6,970 lbs.

I don't see how you could get that below 4,000 lbs without stripping that rig down to the walls and then adding the weight of everything you're going to haul, including water which weighs just slightly less than 8 lbs. a gallon. Plus you'd be changing the hitch weight.

If buying a new vehicle capable of towing the trailer isn't in the budget, perhaps you could rent a truck to tow it.
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Old 02-11-2024, 05:37 PM   #24
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I get that you'd like to do what you'd like to do.

So, other things that can go.
~ I don't think you mentioned the stereo and speakers...not a lot of weight, but every pound counts. And RV stereos suck. Get a decent bluetooth speaker (e.g. JBL) and use it. They last a long time, provide "near field" sound rather than blasting the RV stereo and its sucky sound. Speakers inside and out don't weigh a lot, but they are dead weight.
~ You're removing the propane tanks, so why not remove the furnace?
~ The fridge is a beast, and I don't think you mentioned it. I can see that it will be very handy, but if you have a two-way (120 volt/propane) absorption fridge, you'll need propane to run it in the boonies.
~ If you plan to run ANYTHING on propane, you'll need to be very attentive to the propane plumbing to be sure you don't have any leaks. This can be done by disconnecting propane runs to the range, hot water heater, furnace, etc., plugging the holes in the tees and manifolds distributing propane, then leaving, say, the fridge line intact.
~ You're buying used, but at all costs, DO NOT BUY A RIG THAT HAS A 12 VOLT COMPRESSOR FRIDGE if you plan to use the fridge at all. Why? They need LOTS of battery and LOTS of charging capacity to maintain the battery bank. 12 volt compressor fridges are power hogs. The absorption fridges sip propane and use next to no battery power to run.
~ Mattresses are heavy. If you don't plan to occupy the rig while camping, get rid of the mattress, or replace it with something lighter.
~ With an older rig, you may need to upgrade the converter/charger in the rig, but then you can switch to a LiFePo4 battery that will weigh about half of the lead acid battery, and it will hold lots more USABLE amp hours. This will set you back about $500 to $600 for the new converter and battery, but it will save weight and extend your stay.
~ You plan to keep the freshwater tank and pump. Fine. Bear in mind that water is heavy. A 30 gallon fresh tank will hold 250# of water when full. When you remove the hot water heater, the bypass valves (for winterizing) may be adequate to stop leaks, but double check for leaks.
~ You want to get rid of the shower. How about the toilet? If you plan to use the toilet, that means that the black tank will also add weight...especially if you are able to refill the fresh water tank while in camp.
~ You could remove the grey tank and lots of the drain plumbing from the sinks, and then setup the kitchen sink like a popup camper....direct the kitchen sink drain through the rig's side wall to dump into a 5 gallon bucket.
~ You can save lots of towing weight by filling the freshwater near where you will camp. Less likely but possible is that you could dump the black tank near where you camp so you don't need to tote the contents of the black tank all the way home. Research dump stations near where you camp.
~ You're keeping the AC. Unless you have shore power where you camp, you can't use it unless you have a good, powerful generator. I'd ditch the AC and patch in the roof with some 3/8" plywood, a scrap of EPDM and a healthy slather of Dicor Self Leveling sealant.
~ And then there's that generator I mentioned. Are you toting a generator? You absolutely have to if you plan to use the microwave. If so, many 2000 watt inverter generators can be had for about $600 or so. They weigh in at about 70 to 75 pounds "wet" (with gas and oil).
~ When shopping for a rig, things to guide your choice:
1. Single Axle - look for something factory "lifted" with off-road style tires...considering where you are likely to go.
2. NO SLIDE
3. NO Murphy Bed (heavier structure)

And now to contradict myself and suggest things to keep:

I think you must have a 20 gallon tank of propane to make the fridge work. And you need a decent battery for boondocking. But if you start with the right rig...single axle, off-road, no slide, bare bones, it can easily meet your 4000# target without going crazy with the gutting. Your mods will be more focused on accommodating the dogs and bikes than hacking out huge chunks of weight.

Finally, take a look at the smaller two-bed hybrids. You don't need to alter them in any way to make weight. You might take out the dinette and replace it with your dog kennel, and remove the sofa to setup a spot for your bike racks. After that, leave well enough alone, because the rig only weighs 3500# soaking wet (max GVWR). You get to keep the creature comforts, have room to sleep 4, and you just close the beds when you leave for the day...for security and to keep the pups from tearing up the tent ends.
Here's what I'm talking about. One of your comments led me to believe you are thinking along these lines.

On the dog kennel replacing the dinette. Your water pump is likely to be in one of the dinette benches. Your hot water heater...that you now get to keep...will be in the other bench (many times). Install your dog kennel in such a way as to be easily removed to service these items. Leave the drop down table in place in its travel position to fill the void, and use the space under the table for dog bowls and other dog support equipment (perhaps a cable to string between trees, and so on. If you have guests (two nice big beds), they can secure and transport their own bikes. A good Kryptonite bike lock around your rear bumper will secure visitors' bikes...and they'll be under the cover of the rear bed overnight.

FYI, we travel with pups. I have an outdoor pen for them that's 4' high and 8' on a side. It weighs about 100 pounds. It collapses for travel. A kennel to hold two shepherds is likely to be as heavy. You'll need a plan to be able to collapse and handle that kennel if (and only if) you need to get into those bench areas to service your utilities...and when you winterize. No big deal.

Hope you have a blast.
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Old 02-11-2024, 06:28 PM   #25
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Some thoughts related to revising a cargo trailer.

Use a cargo trailer. If you have to, buy a used one from U-Haul or someplace, This one is plenty good sized and only $500.

Get a propane refrigerator from an RV salvage yard. Hundreds around. Be sure to get the outside cover and frame and the roof vent. Measure the heat column (chimney) so you can reproduce that. Use butyl tape between the outside frame/chimney cap and the trailer siding, and Eternabond tape over the flanges after mounting.

Get windows similar to the ones I identified. Sometimes you can find used ones, or the smaller ones made for demonstration. Mount them the same way as the refrigerator and chimney.

Get two RV fans with 14" square mounting, and mount them on the roof, the same way. These could also come from the RV salvage yard. Don't worry if the outside covers are cracked. They are not UV-stable. You can get new covers from Amazon or eBay pretty cheaply. If they don't have a reversing switch, install a DC-rated DPDT switch for each one. For ideal quick and continuous cooling, you want one fan set to intake fresh air and the other set to exhaust air. Otherwise you're just stirring the hot air around on the inside. Mount them on the roof, pretty close to each end.

There are several easy way to do cots. You can do fold-up, standalone camp cots. Or you can get army style bunks; they have an angle-iron frame around the edge. The flexible mesh center is supported with an array of coil springs around all four edges. You hinge the outboard side of each frame to the trailer and provide a chain at each end to support the inboard sides. You also provide a latch so that during the day you could simply flip them up against the trailer sides. These are a typical sample. You would throw away the ends. (I didn't see a seller that just sold the frames.) This particular set is 80" long. They are usually 75". If you're tall, these are the ones.
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Old 02-11-2024, 06:37 PM   #26
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I am purchasing a Jayco Jay Feather and I will need to drop the weight and I DO NOT care about resale value. It will primarily be used to house our dogs and expensive bicycles during camping trips. My thoughts are to remove the oven/stove and range hood, shower, propane tanks and all associated equipment, water heater, couch, dining table, and dining benches. The shelves will be replaced with metal racks (lots lighter than wood) and cupboard doors will be removed and replaced with netting. The heating units, ac, microwave, sink, and cold water tanks will stay.

Is there anything else I can remove?
Happier Camper HC1 has a modular interior that unloads in cubes down to a toy hauler with an open hatch door in the rear. I don't know if it will hold 6 bikes, but its Gross weight is 3500 lbs. Its worth a look.

https://happiercamper.com/
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Old 02-11-2024, 06:52 PM   #27
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Modify a Utility trailer...
carries the bikes in the rear . + multi person TENT + and camping sleeping/cooking gear.

you can pack a lot into a smallish trailer.. including the bikes

In theory you could make a hybrid tent ... one wall is actually the trailer
look at these ........ for IDEAS
Annex https://www.xtendoutdoors.com.au/col...aravan-annexes

Plenty shade / room for dogs in the tent

Windows and side door are easy to cut into utility trailer walls if you decide you need them
Careful planning you can have some local wood shop build /install storage cupboards etc
Canvas shop can possibly modify an existing TENT to act as a annex
electricity can be added by just a converter / battery maybe an inverter
Include outside outlet... run some power to tent

fans and maybe some sort of window air conditioner Hillbilly style .... blowing into the tent area if you really need cool air

Bears may be a problem with dogs in a tent!
If you go out in bear country .... more thought will be required!
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Old 02-11-2024, 09:47 PM   #28
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Wow so many things to consider. Thank you!
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Old 02-12-2024, 08:17 AM   #29
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Larry-NC just an FYI, the trailer you posted has a 500 dollar starting bid not purchase price.
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Old 02-12-2024, 09:01 AM   #30
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Some thoughts related to revising a cargo trailer.

Use a cargo trailer. If you have to, buy a used one from U-Haul or someplace, This one is plenty good sized and only $500.
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Larry-NC just an FYI, the trailer you posted has a 500 dollar starting bid not purchase price.
And an auction reserve price of $??,???.
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:05 AM   #31
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we have a 2018 17RP toy hauler that would fit your needs perfectly with only minor modifications. it has a full time front bed, bunk above that could (and should) be removed. the couch folds up, but for you it should be removed. its large enough for two folding dog crates and will hold your bikes no problem. its a single axle with a max GVWR of 5500 lbs, but comes in under that by a considerable margin. the cargo capacity is around 2500lbs. just an option to consider. we camp with a 100lbs dog and toddler and myself and wife.
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Old 02-15-2024, 08:24 PM   #32
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Buy a bigger tow vehicle

I thought about your project and concluded it might not be a great idea. Stripping the RV might shed the weight but it could affect the balance. If your vehicle can only tow 4K, it's not a big machine. The pooches, another human and yourself would be about 500 pounds of cargo capacity without hitch weight, fuel, gear etc. My bet is your vehicle would be overloaded. I have towed pop up campers with vehicles with a 3500 pound rating. It's far from ideal.
The other consideration is that stripped trailer is rather limiting. My wife and I used to tent with 2 German shepherds. As you get older the conveniences become more important. We still RV with dogs but now have heat, AC, toilet, sink, shower etc. Even the dogs enjoy these conveniences!

If you can swing it, buy a half ton and tow what you want. You will be far happier.
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Old 02-15-2024, 08:32 PM   #33
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Problem solved!

Thanks for all the input I really appreciate it. We have solved our problem! The 2018-2021 NoBo 10.6 hauler is PERFECT for our for our purposes! We are purchasing one with the tent option for the roof (for the tagalong teenagers). Perfect for for the bikes and crates and paddle boards and then just the right size for sleeping. The kids can even go boondocking when they want and with a dry weight of 1600-1700 lbs (depending on the manufacture year) it is WAY UNDER our tow capacity.

Now to find oneÖ
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Old 02-15-2024, 08:34 PM   #34
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Thanks for all the input I really appreciate it. We have solved our problem! The 2018-2021 NoBo 10.6 hauler is PERFECT for our for our purposes! We are purchasing one with the tent option for the roof (for the tagalong teenagers). Perfect for for the bikes and crates and paddle boards and then just the right size for sleeping. The kids can even go boondocking when they want and with a dry weight of 1600-1700 lbs (depending on the manufacture year) it is WAY UNDER our tow capacity.

Now to find oneÖ
Now youíre talkiní. Good luck with search.
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Old 02-15-2024, 11:18 PM   #35
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Why would you not buy a utility trailer for less money and put the things you need in? Iíve seen a number of people do it. trying to get my head around the logic.
Ditto that one.
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Old 02-15-2024, 11:30 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the input I really appreciate it. We have solved our problem! The 2018-2021 NoBo 10.6 hauler is PERFECT for our for our purposes! We are purchasing one with the tent option for the roof (for the tagalong teenagers). Perfect for for the bikes and crates and paddle boards and then just the right size for sleeping. The kids can even go boondocking when they want and with a dry weight of 1600-1700 lbs (depending on the manufacture year) it is WAY UNDER our tow capacity.

Now to find oneÖ
RVtrader.com has/had several.
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Old 02-15-2024, 11:49 PM   #37
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Thanks for all the input I really appreciate it. We have solved our problem! The 2018-2021 NoBo 10.6 hauler is PERFECT for our for our purposes! We are purchasing one with the tent option for the roof (for the tagalong teenagers). Perfect for for the bikes and crates and paddle boards and then just the right size for sleeping. The kids can even go boondocking when they want and with a dry weight of 1600-1700 lbs (depending on the manufacture year) it is WAY UNDER our tow capacity.

Now to find oneÖ
That does look like the solution to all your needs.

Looking on RV Trader, it looks like the price between new and used units aren't that great. So if you can't find a used one, a new one might be available.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 02-16-2024, 10:55 AM   #38
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Old 02-16-2024, 11:18 AM   #39
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We still RV with dogs but now have heat, AC, toilet, sink, shower etc. Even the dogs enjoy these conveniences!
The dogs enjoy the toilet, sink, and shower too?

Sorry, couldn't help myself


As for modifying a cargo trailer, my Son has one that's basically a hard-sided tent on wheels. OK but not all that comfortable ----------AND---------very few RV Parks allow cargo trailers and there are times that one wants to stay in one during their travels even if mostly boondocking. Showers, Laundry, etc. can come in handy for long trips.
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Old 02-16-2024, 02:06 PM   #40
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The dogs enjoy the toilet, sink, and shower too?

Sorry, couldn't help myself


As for modifying a cargo trailer, my Son has one that's basically a hard-sided tent on wheels. OK but not all that comfortable ----------AND---------very few RV Parks allow cargo trailers and there are times that one wants to stay in one during their travels even if mostly boondocking. Showers, Laundry, etc. can come in handy for long trips.
Interesting. I have never encountered any discrimination against my cargo trailer based RV, but then I have never camped in it at what one might call an RV Park. I have to wonder what defines a cargo trailer camper, and in that grey area between it and an RV, what makes it one or the other? My state recognizes my trailer as an RV for licensing because is has the required minimum of traits to make it an RV by their definition, although to a casual observer it may look more like a cargo trailer. Maybe all it needs is some swoopy stickers on the sides.
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