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Old 09-27-2017, 09:57 PM   #1
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Longer RV or tow a trailer with shorter RV?

My wife and I are exploring possibilities. Maybe not full-time, but longer trips where we are working out of the RV. I often read advice that a shorter class A is more practical than a longer RV if you plan to do a lot of boondocking. But we both work remotely, and we're oil painters, so we need a bit of extra room. A toy hauler would be great, but they're long. So I was wondering... would there be any benefit to getting a 30' class A and towing a car trailer that we could use as our office/studio? Or would that make us long and defeat the purpose?

Thanks for any advice.

Ė Jim
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:31 PM   #2
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Pulling a car trailer/studio makes you even longer, plus it eliminates towing a small car for side trips unless the trailer is long enough to haul a car and double as a studio. Most campgrounds might balk at parking the trailer on the same site as the motorhome.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimandJanie View Post
My wife and I are exploring possibilities. Maybe not full-time, but longer trips where we are working out of the RV. I often read advice that a shorter class A is more practical than a longer RV if you plan to do a lot of boondocking. But we both work remotely, and we're oil painters, so we need a bit of extra room. A toy hauler would be great, but they're long. So I was wondering... would there be any benefit to getting a 30' class A and towing a car trailer that we could use as our office/studio? Or would that make us long and defeat the purpose?

Thanks for any advice.

Ė Jim
You can get all sorts of sizes of toy haulers, both trailers and 5th wheels. Some have a separate door leading into the garage portion, in your case the studio, from either outside or from the living area. That's the bigger ones. The smaller ones have the garage/living space all as one. If you're going to be boon docking alot, usually the bigger the better. More tank space, more roof space to solar if you want, etc.

If you want a car trailer that has a studio in it, it will be a pretty long trailer I would think (assuming you're putting a car in it along with the studio). Pulling that with a 30' class A may be a challenge.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:10 AM   #4
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There are some outside the box option here, like towing a small enclosed cargo trailer with a rear ramp door, maybe a 6x10 or 6x12 and carry a Smart Car in it. Ideally you would get one also with a side door so you could easily get in and out of the smart car. Pull the smart car out and you have open space for a studio.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:52 AM   #5
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Could also consider a Class C toy hauler. (THOR OUTLAW 29J, has an outdoor raised patio and drop down queen bed, and they FINALLY made it where the front seats swivel to the rear)


How long is "too long"? For me "too long" is 40'+. There should be something in the 36'-38' range for a Class A TH.


Class C TH would be 5'-6' shorter.


Having a secure studio inside the RV would be nice.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:02 AM   #6
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Will you need a.c. or heat in the trailer?

How about a big tent as a studio?
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:58 AM   #7
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Thanks everybody! I guess I didn't think about heat or ac in the trailer. I've thought about a tent. I'll take a look at the 29J. Wish I could afford a custom built Super C. RVs all have everything built-in, Dinet booths and couches where I'd like more open flexible space. In a small apartment you could move the table out of the way and put up an easel.
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:45 AM   #8
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Jim-

1) Is your "studio" mainly for storage of in-progress work and materials, or do you want to use it as an enclosed space for painting?

2) Do you mind the smell/clutter inside your living space?

3) Would you want to leave everything set up between painting sessions?

4) How much space and what kind of furniture are you looking for for a studio? For the office?

5) Do you require space for guests to enter the studio to visit?

6) Do you own or would you buy a medium-sized pickup truck if that was needed (trailer or fifth-wheel)?

7) Would you have problems getting into or out of a Class C cabover bed (I know I would, at my age)?

8) Are big windows important in your living and/or studio areas?

9) As "1stMH" asked, do you need heat and air conditioning in the studio?

10) Any pets? If yes, is it necessary they be kept out of the studio? Is it necessary that they ride with you when moving between locations?

12) Is it important that you have a dedicated bed space, or are you amenable to converting the bed to a couch (or similar) during the day?

13) How important is it for you to be able to take your art materials away from the RV when the RV is parked? That is, do you want to be able to park the RV, then take the easels and paints to remote locations?

14) How important is a separate vehicle to you, for any reason (shopping, sightseeing, etc.)?

15) Are you handy with tools (I'm thinking of trailer conversions here)?

16) How much do your art supplies/materials/office equipment/etc. weigh?

17) Do you have experience driving and parking with trailers? If not, do you want to get that experience?

Your answers should narrow down the choices:

Truck/SUV w/ toyhauler trailer (bumper pull or fifth-wheel)
Class A toyhauler (with or without toad)
Class C toyhauler (with or without toad)
Class A with converted trailer (cargo or travel)
Class C with converted trailer (cargo or travel)
Class A with interior conversion (with or without toad)
Class C with interior conversion (with or without toad)

If you wanted a small trailer but no toad, a Class B would suffice. I prefer the extra room in a Class C.

Unless you are going to cram things into a small space, you're probably looking at over 40 feet overall, in any case. Our rig (with car) is about 48 feet, which is small enough to fit most parks. If you're looking at just having a place to store your materials, consider towing a used AWD Honda Element with the seats removed. It's not exactly a Jeep, but it can ferry a couple and their equipment far enough off the beaten path.

My experience with artist painters is that they like big windows, lots of light, harmony in form and color and the option of being outside if they can. House painters, not so much.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:57 PM   #9
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Wow! Thanks for putting all this thought into our dilemma. I think I can answer these questions pretty quickly – I'm not sure if you were really asking or encouraging us to think about these things... but here goes.

1) Is your "studio" mainly for storage of in-progress work and materials, or do you want to use it as an enclosed space for painting?

–*Janie mostly paints outside, but I need an indoor space to paint.

2) Do you mind the smell/clutter inside your living space?

–*Um, I don't think so?

3) Would you want to leave everything set up between painting sessions?

–*Well, Janie has to put all hers away, so I guess I could too. But I sure don't want to if I don't have to! Questions like that make me think I should stay in a house that doesn't move.

4) How much space and what kind of furniture are you looking for for a studio? For the office?

– Office: Janie she's a freelance writer, so just needs a place to put her laptop – actually she uses a monitor too, so she's not bent over. I use a wacom tablet to draw on –*I storyboard for animated feature films. We could potentially just work on either side of a dinette booth, but we'd probably want to take it out if we could and put a custom desk in there.

Studio: I need enough space to take a few steps back from the canvas. I was painting at home in the garage, but there wasn't enough space with all the bicycles and laundry stuff, so I rented a real studio –* it's 20 ft by 20 ft, so it's awesome! I don't think there's an RV quite like that. Sigh. Sometimes I think I could set up an easel at one end of the living space in an RV and use the central aisle to step back and it would be okay. Sometimes I think the only real solution is a dedicated trailer space or a toy hauler.

5) Do you require space for guests to enter the studio to visit?

No.

6) Do you own or would you buy a medium-sized pickup truck if that was needed (trailer or fifth-wheel)?

– We could get one. But every time I look at that option it never seems to be saving much money – trailer + truck starts to cost just as much. And you have to get a pretty big truck in order to pull much. Then again, if the truck was separate we wouldn't need to tow a car. Sometimes I see trailers swaying down the road and that looks a little unnerving, but then I read about hitches that can fix that. We've been to RV shows but haven't been to a dealer yet – I wonder if there's somewhere we could go and test drive a trailer, just to see what it's like.

7) Would you have problems getting into or out of a Class C cabover bed (I know I would, at my age)?

–*Not yet!

8) Are big windows important in your living and/or studio areas?

–*Kind of. I think it would be pretty neat to open up the back of one of those toy haulers and let the light in –*although that's always a two edged sword, the sun moving across the sky can really mess you up! Janie paints outside and thinks that's just part of the deal.

9) As "1stMH" asked, do you need heat and air conditioning in the studio?

–*Probably. It would be neat if we could organize our lives to always be in perfect weather, and I think we would try to make that happen, but it would be sort of dumb to have it be too cold to paint.

10) Any pets? If yes, is it necessary they be kept out of the studio? Is it necessary that they ride with you when moving between locations?

–*I let our kids get 2 cats... now they are off at college and I have 2 cats. Sigh. I figure they're going with us. Can't wait to see how that will work out.

12) Is it important that you have a dedicated bed space, or are you amenable to converting the bed to a couch (or similar) during the day?

–*One of those cabover beds or one of those that raises up and down over the drivers seat would be fine. I don't think I'd want to mess with unfolding a couch over and over if I didn't have to.

13) How important is it for you to be able to take your art materials away from the RV when the RV is parked? That is, do you want to be able to park the RV, then take the easels and paints to remote locations?

Pretty important.

14) How important is a separate vehicle to you, for any reason (shopping, sightseeing, etc.)?

Sometimes I think we could make do with e-bikes, sometimes I think a smart car or something like that would be necessary, sometimes I think using the truck that tows the house would be most practical. Hah! IDK.

15) Are you handy with tools (I'm thinking of trailer conversions here)?

I'm handy with tools – sort of. I would enjoy ripping stuff out and building some custom set-up, I guess, but I don't want to be fixing stuff all the time. I want to be painting, not handy manning. If thats a word. I read a lot of stories on here about how everybody is fixing stuff all the time and I get filled with doubt.

16) How much do your art supplies/materials/office equipment/etc. weigh?

We've taken the whole shebang – work stuff plus paints – on airplanes before, so... I guess not more than 200 lbs? Really, I have no idea. As you continue making paintings, pretty soon you have a lot of lumber wrapped in cloth. And where the hell will we put it? Hopefully in a gallery somewhere!

17) Do you have experience driving and parking with trailers? If not, do you want to get that experience?

No. Are you suggesting there's a way I could get that experience?
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