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Curating Articles and Videos to Add New Voices. New Writers are Welcome.

It’s best to have a variety of ideas and expressions about those topics. We plan to curate interesting posts related to our mission. We also want to encourage others to participate. You would be welcome.

While I enjoy writing about our exploits in our truck and camper it is important that more than my own voice be heard. I have mentioned before that I want to include stories and videos that I have enjoyed that seem relevant to our subjects here on I&N.

To be honest, we have hesitated. But no more. We will make an effort to add curated articles going forward. 

We have asked before and want to mention again that writers with an interest in our topics about trucks, trailers, tools and toys consider sharing with us on our site. Please get in touch. We would love to collaborate with you.

 

Watch “The First 5 F150 Parts You Should Buy Under $500 For Your 2015 – 2018 Ford F150 The Haul” on YouTube

Here are some ideas for making the truck your own. Add some personality and usability to your truck. Nice video from Americantrucks.com

State Park RV Camping with our Pickup Truck and Camping Trailer

We like our Florida State Parks. They are well maintained, have great locations and amenities, and they are very affordable for residence of the state. We camp in state parks often.

A lot of the state parks that we’ve visited were built in the middle of the last century. Most camping was done in smaller vehicles and in tents back at the time when those places were designed. What we’ve noticed is that a fair amount of the spaces that are now designated for trailers and other RV’s have limitations for length of the unit. Many seem to limit the trailer to 25′. There are a lot of exceptions to that rule, but what we find is that there are more opportunities to find a good site in the location that we desire if we limit our size. Since we really like camping in such locations it seems to work best for us to maintain an overall trailer length that is less than 25′. I am sure that there are many who will disagree with our logic. I am just explaining the thought – right or wrong.

It frankly is a combination of thoughts that go along with having an affordable solution and that is easier for me to tow and back in to the allotted spaces for the trailer. So the whole thought is what works for us. We’re comfortable with our current unit which is about 23’ including the tongue. The trailer would need to be quite a bite larger to add enough value for us to upgrade.

Admittedly, we are just a couple. A family would be constrained in a trailer unit sized like ours. But in that case I would be looking at a hybrid unit with fold out bed areas. They seem to be a good compromise and keep the overall trailer length reasonable for towing and backing into the tight camping locations talked about earlier.

Obviously, based upon the sale of fifth-wheel and appreciably longer trailer units many families see this differently. What works for you is what’s important. Trucks and trailers are always going to be a balancing act compared to home. We just thought to explain how we arrived at our own setup.

Enjoying our Camping Trailer

When we are traveling and camping we do our best to be comfortable and relaxed. Under our awning is were we live during the day. It’s our living room in good weather.

Our premise is that we need good beds to sleep well, we need a bathroom, so that we do not have to go out into the night, and because we enjoy having morning coffee, and lingering awhile in our PJ’s, we are glad for a kitchen area, however small, to prepare the morning coffee and a pastry or toast.

In pleasant weather we do our lounging outside of the trailer, under the awning, using nice fold up reclining chairs and a small table. We also will prepare our meals, when we cook at the camp, outside on a grill or using our Coleman Stove. That works best for us when we have already been to see the sights and are relaxing several days into the trip. It is especially enjoyable when we aren’t in too much of a hurry. We like to make a big breakfast on days like that.

We really don’t need more trailer to do all that. Not for the two of us. We only need a modest place to retreat at night, and when the weather turns wet and cold. When that happens we greatly enjoy having our TV and the DVD player to watch movies. Having our iPads and a Verizon hot spot for WiFi, along with our new reclining theater seating in the trailer lets us enjoy a bad weather day. It sure beats the days sitting under a dripping dining fly in our tent in our younger days.

Sometimes it’s nice to stop “Camping” and just be good to ourselves. A cold and wet day is a great time to do that. On those days we are also inclined to look for a place to have dinner out instead of cooking at all.

Getting a Good Nights Sleep in Your RV – Mattresses

In our first trailer we purchased a high quality inner spring mattress as part of the reconditioning process. It was great to sleep on, and we’ve never settled on an uncomfortable mattress ever since.

This part of our story about camping and camping trailers is both a complaint and a wonder at the situation.

In our first camping trailer – our Funfinder – we had a single queen sized bed and also the dinette area that converted into a bed. The queen bed was designed so that it was cross ways in the camper, in the front of the trailer. You slept the width of the trailer. That configuration was a problem for us, and I’ll talk about that in a moment, but my thoughts at this moment have to do with the length of the bed.

In that first camping trailer the bed was a full queen size. That is, it was 80″ inches long (6′-8″). In our new trailer our bed is what is called a “Short Queen” and is 72″ in length (6′-0″). That reduction in inches matters.

I am not a very tall guy. I guess I am average at about 5′-10″ tall. This shorter bed length is a problem for me, and it is a minor annoyance. Part of the trouble has to do with the headboard being in the nose cone of the trailer and slanting inward into the coach so that the length of the mattress is at the deepest point of the wall. Sleeping on top of the mattress means losing a few inches in length as the wall slants inward. This isn’t a unique problem for my particular unit either, this layout occurs in most of the new camping trailers that I’ve looked at.

Now this isn’t a major deal for me. I was afraid that it would be at first, but not so in my case. I’ve grown accustomed to it over the last couple of extended trips we’ve had. How though does this work out for others who are taller than I am? Also, our trailer is modest and it doesn’t have the wall separating the bed area into its own separate room.

We talked to a couple in Florida while camping who had the same brand and model as we have, but in a lengthier version with an additional slide. Amazingly, they have the same short queen bed arrangement and it was an issue for them. Also, they had the walled version of the bed area and so couldn’t just let their legs extend over the edge of the foot of the bed. Sometimes I do that just to stretch out. If I couldn’t do that, I am not sure I’d be comfortable all night.

There are compromises while camping, even in the new luxuries of modern trailers, but I personally do not think that reducing the bed length is a good trade off, especially for those who are six foot tall, or taller. Today that is a lot of people. Also, the way that the bed is positioned matters since that can affect the practical length of the bed area. Pay attention to this issue while shopping for your own camper. A good night’s rest is a real joy when out in the woods or while visiting friends. Those are long and busy days. They are enhanced by being rested and ready for the challenges. A good sleep matters to your vacation or trip.

With all the bells and whistles that are added to the new trailers on the market today, it is my opinion that more attention should be placed on providing for this basic requirement. In some ways our trailers are like a movable hotel room. The hotels are finding that people really enjoy a very comfortable sleeping experience and have put a real emphasis on the mattress size and what people like in terms of sleeping comfort. The same thought ought to translate to the manufacturers and designers of our mobile camping trailer units. It’s all a compromise of course, but a challenge to find six inches or so in mattress length shouldn’t be so impossible.

Perhaps I am spending too much thought on the sleeping arrangement for our camping trailer. It may not be your primary focus. I realize that how we travel is likely much different than how a younger family might for example. Also, younger people are more able to endure marginal comforts just because they are more resilient and able, having younger bodies. Still, comfort is comfort, and everyone enjoys a good night’s sleep.

Having talked about the mattress length, I’d like to question the mattress quality as chosen for us by the RV manufacturer and indeed by the RV industry. Why is it so poor? There are better choices in the secondary market to be sure, but why can’t we buy one mattress only with the camper that matches our needs correctly? The mattress itself isn’t connected to the trailer after all. Why not allow the dealers to buy the units from the manufacturer without the mattress and allow them to sell the customer what they want to buy? I would personally want to upgrade from the standard (poor) quality that is offered by the manufacturers. I can’t imagine that they are making a great deal of profit on mattress inclusion on their trailers. So it just seems possible to have a better delivery system for this component. Look at the dealer installed options for a truck for example. Do you want a tonneau cover, mud flaps, or floor mats for example. All are provided in the transaction by the truck dealership.

We have added a 1 1/2″ foam mattress topper to our standard RV mattress. We ended up spending extra money for that anyway. Why not get a better mattress instead?

So enough. If you haven’t yet purchased your trailer it might be a good idea to check out the mattress and its length. It’s really important to your happiness while camping.