Deciding Which Camper Layout

Options, Options, Options...                    Credit Photo:

My priorities are somewhat specialized as I have been traveling around on and off for quite some time. I know what I want and do not want out of my dream camper experience.

Storage space was a priority for me. I wanted to be able to keep ALL my stuff in the camper. Clothes, cookware, everything. Last winter I kept an Engel cooler in the back seat of the truck which took up space.

Its nice to have all that space in the back of the truck to use if I have to, that’s why I got the four door to begin with, but I want to maintain a really clean rear seat area of the truck. I will have passengers regularly going off-road with me, and I would like to not have to pull stuff in and out of the back seat all the time.

After living the “coconut through the window” lifestyle choice of some of the local thieves in Hawaii, out of site out of mind is a good philosophy to follow.

Second priority was stealth camping. The eastern side of the country can be quite a challenge finding free camping. There are no public lands with all that amazing BLM country like they have out west.

I don’t want to setup camp everywhere I go. Sometimes I just want to pull over and crash till morning. After extensive research and watching countless videos, I determined that the Front Dinette setup had the most storage and the ability to sleep with the pop top down.

I’m guessing I can reach the fridge for a snack also. We will see how watching movies goes, but it should be interesting to try all this.

The dinette area folds down to allow sleeping with top down, priority one for stealth.
I promise to do a video tour of my own, because to this day I still have not found a YouTube video of someone actually laying down on the downstairs bed setup with the top down. Plenty of dog shots, but every time someone demos these campers they NEVER lie down on the bed to show how much room there is.

So these are my options and reasons:

  • Front Dinette – most storage space and the ability to sleep with top down, also adds indoor shower option ability.
  • Flush Mount Sink and Stove – I figure I can squeeze storage containers on top of this with the top down if I’m careful not to break the glass top obviously.
  • 2-way 85 Liter Fridge – seems like most folks choose this one, it will be interesting to see how I do. I have used an iced cooler my entire life while traveling.
  • 6 Gallon Hot Water Heater, With Indoor/Outdoor Shower – everyone said not to get the indoor shower. I’m getting it. I spend half my life in the bathtub in the north east chill. Something tells me I’m making the right decision here, we will see.
  • 160 watt solar panel on roof – This keeps the batteries charged, I’m actually very psyched to see how these modern day systems hold up.
  • 6 Volt Dual Batteries – no one complained about this upgrade, they all pretty much raved about it. More capacity (runtime/amps) on batteries, more weight though.

Flush Mount Sink and Stove – leaves more room to pack on top with top down.

Those are the options that really jack up the price, but I have one life to live, and as I said, I don’t own a home, this is my tiny house. How much? I’m embarrassed to say, so go to their website and do the math.

“Man I Wish I Didn’t Have All These Cool Options…”

– Said No One Ever

--- UPDATE ---

I have only used the shower 3 times. I am still transitioning to warmer temperatures, so I had drained the water system when temps were averaging freezing both night and day to avoid blowing out the system often. I had kind of over looked this in that I cannot take a hot shower when its freezing cold outside. (unless of course I'm plugged in 24/7 heat on etc.)

So I will update when I get water back in the system. I do like the shower, I need to come up with a better curtain option and a longer shower wand. I'll do a future post on that.

Flush Mount Sink:
This has been a great upgrade that I do not regret. The stove is an upgrade in that it has an automatic shut off should the flame go out, so as to shut off the gas.

The room that is available with the top down is fantastic as I have been sleeping with the top down in colder temps the majority of the time. I can get to the sink for storage or water when temps permit, and I can store all kinds of things when I go to bed. Makes a great night table.