Originally Posted by Brown
I’m looking for feedback on pros & cons between the 16 and 19 ft Caravel
. Been waffling back and forth for almost two years - it’s time to decide.
….. but mostly about the wet bath and one grey/black tank.
We LOVE our 2021 16’ Caravel
. My wife can feel claustrophobic in confined spaces and needed the panoramic bed window. We (she) books camp sites based upon the view and privacy. We DO NOT stay in cramped open sites. Looking up at the stars, waking to incredible sunrises (warm in bed), and the added openness while sitting at the dinette eating meals are all great pluses.
We are VERY frugal with our water usage, and we almost always dry camp or boondock. Hook up sites are a luxury we rarely go for. We’ve gone 10 days before black combo tank had to be dumped and fresh water tank was empty. We usually go 4-5 days EASILY with black around 50%. Just saying, you can make it work. We capture water in the galley sink in a bowl and use that gray water in the toilet. We added a custom counter and sink in the bathroom and capture that water in a 1 gallon jug, and again use that in the toilet. We use body wipes instead of using the wet-bath shower (used twice, using about 8 gallons), or book camp sites that have showers available (much easier, has worked great).
We park our 16’ in our driveway, with our truck, with just enough space to walk behind trailer to load and clean (19’ would be a problem). This saves paying for a storage facility, or parking truck on the street. I love the ability to easily maneuver the 16’ into ANY camp site.
Negatives of 16’:
1) no bathroom sink (we fixed that with custom counter and stainless steel sink). 2) under bed storage is very difficult to access (I fixed with trays on 24” sliders, modified doors, and added motion sensor lights).
3) hood vent motor/squirrel cage extremely noisey and poor air flow (repaired, modified, still noisey but working now, mostly).
4) HATE the light switch/dimmer for ceiling lights over dinette & bedroom (place electrical tap over the hole inside cover to block annoying white light, and have built custom covers to prevent accidental activation while leaning back at dinette, or hitting the switch when in bed - VERY BAD). Same switches in 19’.
5) Getting fitted sheets on the bed is a pain, but doubt 19’ would be much better.
6) Bathroom is tight but manageable. We have teak floor which adds another 2”. I have to duck my head a bit. I would prefer another light fixture all together, and more convenient switch location, but we rarely turn this light on (too bright, ugly yellowish stripes, too massive for location).
We (wife and I) have put almost 5,000 miles on our 16’, just finishing a six week trip, ready to go out again. For us: Plenty of storage, easy to tow, tanks not limiting at all, windows are GREAT! Removed microwave and replaced with a drawer. 180w solar on roof, replaced AGMs with lithium Po4.
Other small modifications:
1) shelf under dinette table, between bench seating.
2) removed bottom curtain rail at dinette and bedroom (hated them).
3) two 4” deep shelves in bedroom for convenient places to put our stuff (glasses, phone/watch charging, hang keys), etc.
4) removed Blu-ray player and shortened box.
5) added shelves in all cabinets to increase capacity.
6) rebuilt silverware drawer and drawer under dinette bench to maximize storage capacity.
7) added USB charging port at dinette, since we DO NEED to charge devices there too, not just in the bedroom which is a difficult location to use as designed.
Your usage may vary, of course, but I hope this helps with your decision.