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.

Photos of Camping Trips and Special Places Visited

It’s a little sad that we don’t have a lot of photos from our travels and camping trips when we were younger. Digital photography is so wonderful. What a difference in just twenty years or so.

Before this millennium our photos were on film, what few we took. We didn’t have the money when raising our family to shoot and develop lots of photographs and only wish we had. The photos that we did take are precious to us. This must be true for almost everyone.

Here are a few old photos with the old tent.

Well as a result,  we don’t have pictures from many of our camping trips. We don’t have photos of vehicles and events that could be shared here either. These few excepted.

I suppose that the next generation will lament not having taken high definition videos as often as they will wish in their older age. What next – holograms? Perhaps. 

Well I got to thinking about this when looking for photos of us tent camping. That wasn’t so long ago.  But we have been camping since the 1970’s. Our old cotton duck Eureka tent was a big part of our recreation. Trucks came only in the 1980’s. At first we camped out of a  Volkswagen beetle.  Later we had a minivan.  I used trucks in my work, but we didn’t camp with them until about 2012 or so. By then it was just Beth and I once again.  Empty nesters. 

Photos from the Smokey Mountains. We were tent camping and had our bikes on a rake at the back of our 2009 F150 STX 4×4.

What I found though was that my old body didn’t still enjoy setup and knockdown of camp. I wasn’t thrilled with sleeping on a cot either. And I didn’t like getting out of the tent and to the campgrounds bathroom in the wee small hours of the night. I didn’t need to when I  was younger. 

So we evolved to trailer camping. Turns out we had a truck for towing. We could afford it, and having a bed, a bathroom, heat, and air conditioning turned out to be necessities not luxuries. Our truck made it possible to keep camping. 

Our first travel trailer. We did a lot to clean it up when we bought it on eBay. A 2008 FB189 Funfinder.

I actually wrote a short book about the experience. Here is a link to it at Amazon

And here is a link to a video that I did back then.

So we continue to enjoy the outdoors.  We take lots of digital pictures.  We have a good time. 

Camping Trailer Service Times

I recently wanted to have some service work done on our camping trailer. After calling a few RV dealerships I have found that wait times for service are months rather than days.

In this case I will do the work myself, but what does this tell us about the industry? It seems like there is a lot of opportunity for a new business with a sense for customer needs and wants.

Please post reasonable and respectful comments with your thoughts and service experiences.

Curating Stories and Posts About Trucks, Trailers and Accessories for Both

It is my intention to offer a variety of topics that relate to the truck owner and their towed accessories, including what they have in or on those trailers. I also want to include equipment both for towing, but also equipment that makes the truck more useful for work and play.

My own personal experiences and current truck and equipment are something to mention from time-to-time, but what I am doing isn’t remotely as inclusive of the possibilities available.

For that reason more needs to be added. Hopefully we will find a few writers out there who want to share their slant on the subjects we cover. It’s also my intention to add more content that hits the mark as research is done with the manufacturers, and where we can find articles and videos that match the subject of trucks and trailers.

Hopefully this will continue to be fun for me. I am looking for these topics anyway. It makes sense to share them here too.

Just like my recent infatuation with our new trailer furniture, it may seem like too much of a single subject as I explore. I will try to get a balance and if we can add another writer’s voice, that will really make a difference. Writers, are you out there?

So let’s have fun together. Please add comments. Thanks for being here with us.

A Short Trailer Camping Trip

Beth and I just returned from a short camping trip up into Georgia. We were attending an event and so we took the camper to make the trip easier and less stressful. The drive was only 2 1/2 hours one way. That’s just enough to be too much for me round trip and with a lot of hours in between.

Our New Theatre Recliners

So we relax, went to dinners, and tried out our new theater seating in the trailer watching a movie one night, and PBS Masterpiece Theatre the next.

I like reading in the morning on my iPad and drinking coffee. The recliner and the cup holder I can report pass the comfort test that matters most to me.

The TV arm that extends and allows the screen to tilt towards us needs to be swapped with a longer version. We sit at a right angle to the screen and need to bring it out further to reduce the strain on our necks. I have one already picked out and frankly expected this problem, but I wanted to be sure it was necessary. It’s debatable, but I am striving for perfection, or something like it. That’s still alluding me.

Goodyear Endurance Tires

New to this trip was a set of new tires as well. We invested in a new set of Goodyear Endurance tires. Our OEM tires were getting old, at three years, they had 15,000 miles on them, and one had some excessive wear from a slight alignment issue. I feel a lot better knowing they are new and safe. I’ve had new tires put on my truck, Beth’s car, and now the trailer. I am feeling a little bit tire poor at the moment.

My next trailer project is to grease the hubs. I have been watching YouTube videos and think I can do it. We’ll see.

Flagstaff Micro Lite 25FBLS

We fell in love with this particular trailer and layout while at the Florida RV SuperShow last week. If we ever upgrade, this is our choice.

It isn’t my intent to publish items that are just promotional in nature. But I did want to share this particular trailer with you because we just thought that it was perfect – at least for us. We are making refinements to our existing trailer that you’ll see elsewhere on the site as we install theatre seating into our 2016 Bullet Premier. So we’re probably not in the market for this trailer, at this time. We can dream though…

Check out these theatre seats and especially how they incorporated a small table that swivels or is removeable at each seat. If you look at the floor plan above, this seating is directly opposite the TV. That’s a big deal!