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Old 03-13-2019, 08:20 PM   #1
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Basecamp for +2 Kids ?

I am new to RVing and looking to buy a lightweight and compact travel trailer to get started. I have two little boys and want to make camping fun for them and easy for my wife and I! I really like the Basecamp, but it only sleeps 2. Does anyone have a set up they recommend to accommodate two kids plus two adults with a Basecamp? I was thinking that I buy the rear tent attachment and throw down an air mattress for my wife and I and then the kids can sleep on the benches. Would the Basecamp be able to pump some heat in the tent if we are camping in the fall?

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Old 03-13-2019, 08:36 PM   #2
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It really depends on the type of camping versus RV'ing you like to do.

A basecamp, if used as a support RV for a family that really enjoys lots of time outdoors (outside the RV), and to have extra room and capacity for gear, a fallback toilet, and fridge, etc., could work great.

If used like an RV where one wants to be in it, use its facilities regularly, shower, and cook inside, won't be enough RV for a family of 4. Especially as your kids grow older.

What type of vehicle is your tow vehicle? I have often camped with my extended family of 6. 4 in the RV, and 2 in the tow vehicle to sleep. Works out pretty darn good. You could do the same with 2 +2. Or 2 inside and 2 outside in a tent.

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Old 03-13-2019, 08:38 PM   #3
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There are ages when kids want to sleep with you and ages when not, we started camping with tents and moved to a tent trailer to a truck camper to a travel trailer....
Squeeze in and make it work or get kids there own tents, which they love, and go camping, which kids love.
The worst camping trip of my life with roaring winds in a tent the kids dont even remember.
Go Camping.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:40 PM   #4
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I don’t think a Basecamp will provide you with a long term solution. Those boys will grow.
Dept of “OverKill”
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips! I do want to spend more time outside than inside the trailer, so don’t need something big. I liked how the Basecamp was comfortable for 4 people to to site and socialize. Like haveing the bathroom and fridge too. Enough convenience comfort if we have to get out the elements.

They will grow, yes! Maybe I need to to just save for something bigger. I am going to tow with a 4 dr Jeep Wrangler - max row capacity of 3500 lbs, so was trying for something smaller for my first go at it.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:05 PM   #6
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Basecamp for +2 Kids ?

Raised three Eagle Scouts, the youngest of which had camping experiences when he was only 8 months old. They started in family tent camping, moved on to heavy hiking and backcountry travel. As a family, we went from tents to a home-made van conversion, then fell into Airstreaming much later in life.

Point is your needs will change. We managed to sleep 2 adults and three kids plus a dog in our home-converted van, but the boys preferred tents even then when the weather was decent. With little kids, safety against the environmental which includes critters, is a good idea. As you see what your family likes and can tolerate, you will see your needs change.

My DW and I used to be able to handle sleeping on the ground, etc, but as we both aged, a bit more (ok, a LOT) glamping was better. Now-youngest Daughter also prefers more comfortable travel. For us, our 22 footer is tight with three adults and 5-6 little dogs aboard, but daughter is moving out soon and launching her career, and we’re down (sadly) to just 4 pups. We’ll make do, and have managed to avoid too much overkill on the Airstream size.

Plan and experiment carefully, but be sure that if you get out into the outdoors with your kids, they will build skills and memories that will last their lifetime.
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AdamMoore1 View Post
I am new to RVing and looking to buy a lightweight and compact travel trailer to get started.
. . .
Welcome to the forum!

Good advice so far. It all depends on your style and flexibility IMO. It might be good to buy a lightly used Airstream, rather than a new one, so that you will be able to go bigger [or smaller] as you learn more.

The Basecamp has had its share of flaws, notably the fridge in hot weather and direct sunlight, so used Basecamps may be easier to find this year IMO.

I assume you have read these threads in order to appreciate the mixed performance of the Basecamp?

Simple Survey:
BC Issues:

If you "go up" to this sub-forum's list of threads:

. . . you will see many other threads of a critical nature. Lots of reading, but a good investment of your time, in order to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Like many other "new models" the BC has had its share of growing pains. If you can accept its limitations, picking up a decent used one could work out just fine IMO. "Eyes wide open" basically.

Good luck, and happy trails!

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Old 03-14-2019, 04:05 AM   #8
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Sharon Springs , NY
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I think there are places that you could rent a BC or for that matter an SOB around the same size to see it works for actually camping in. If your going to "trailer hop" anyway, why not buy used as most folks can't tell (or care) what year your AS is. Good luck and safe travels...
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:28 AM   #9
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As previous poster said, if you plan to spend your days outside of your RV, the BC will be fine for you +2 kids with the obvious caveat that my wife and I plan to follow:

Adults sleep in the BC. Kids do not. And honestly this is the way we like it. It's part of the reason we bought a BC. I slept in a tent when I was younger and I always enjoyed it. Let the kids grow up with that feeling while we enjoy our minimal creature comforts.

As to where the kids sleep, we have an aftermarket roof rack on our tow vehicle that allows us to put a roof top tent on it. We also could purchase the tent additions for the BC. I know the roof top tent would be much easier to deal with in terms of setup/takedown than the BC tents. We'll let the kids decide when they get to the age where they'll join us on our trips, but I think we'll end up landing on the roof top tent for ease of storage, setup, and takedown compared to our other options (BC tents or separate tents). I use a Front Runner roof rack which does offer a roof rack for Jeep Wrangler 4DR as well as a roof top tent. I would highly recommend Front Runner for the rack, but do your own research if you think about going this route.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AdamMoore1 View Post
Would the Basecamp be able to pump some heat in the tent if we are camping in the fall?
I'd say yeah, definitely. The BC can pump out some serious heat, so if you leave the back or side door open and leave the furnace on, you'll definitely get some heat.

Here's another idea... there are two vents, one by the rear door and one by the side door. Pop the vent cover off and inside they're just the silver-looking tubes similar to those connected to laundry dryer. Buy a small tube of similar material that fits, pop the vent cap off, extend the tube into your tent and voila you have your own dedicated furnace vent while the BC keeps the other one.

Other idea... the Truma furnace in the BC is designed for four vents, but only uses two... research how to tap the third or fourth vent and create an additional tube that you can pull out into your tent for a true dedicated vent without sacrificing the two in the BC.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:59 AM   #11
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If your intent is to have everyone sleep inside, I don’t think there is anything in Airstream’s lineup that you could tow with your jeep that would be comfortable but everyone’s idea of comfort is different. Perhaps start out with something like a r.pod from Forest River for your first trailer and then, when you get a bigger tow vehicle, trade to an Airstream as trailer #2? An r.pod would be cheaper than a Basecamp and I think you could just pull it it with your current vehicle.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:45 AM   #12
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Also, something else we learned with our first, smaller trailer, is to not underestimate the amount of “churn” involved with converting from “living mode” to “sleeping mode” in some trailers. In our 16’ Camplite this became pretty wearing with just the two of us. I can’t imagine the commotion involved with four people in a Basecamp trying to do that conversion! Plus Basecamp’s have very limited storage so there’s just the clutter involved.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:23 AM   #13
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I traveled over 9000 miles in my BC last year; taking table down to put up the bed every day got to be a bother; family of 4, I wouldn’t even try. If you want to tent, then tent. I upgraded to. Sport 22. No regrets
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:25 AM   #14
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I would think the constant hassle of dealing with a tent extension will get real old, real fast..... Messy when raining, and without heat or AC. Refrigerator space will be nill ... As you know, kids eat a bunch, the last thing you want are daily trips for chow.
Eventually you'll need way more space.
We travel full-time, 8 years now. 4 kids and 3 dogs in a 34' AS. We make do with a minimum of "stuff". We live outside mostly, but having big tanks, big refrigeration, big storage, and normal comforts of home are very important to everyone's sanity and comfort.
Our experience is different than most families, we educate through travel.. this lifestyle requires us to be a hyper efficient, a well oiled machine. We're not camping, but living mobile. Anything is doable, but I might suggest a little bigger AS.
Here's a thought....
Normally our 55 gallon black tank lasts us about 9 days of use. If and when we are sick (flu, /belly bug) with both ends purging, that drops to 3 days. How big is the tank in a BC? Capacity makes a world of difference. Our kids have been taught frugal living so they are used to teeth brushing with a thimble of water!

Best of luck! Here's to hoping your experience is just awesome! Travel is life's best educator!

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