Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Living in the Cameo

Backroads Product--Living in the Carriage Cameo

We have been on the road for over two months now and living in the Cameo that entire time.  Here are some of our impressions and comments on the 5th wheel.  For an initial impression here is the cameo link to the blog entry from last fall. 

The 5th wheel is 30.5 feet long by actual measurement.  It came with a closet across the front in the bedroom and two large recliners in the back.  Everything but the living area TV and four drawers in the bedroom are accessible when the slides are closed.

At first I thought the front closet would be a great storage area and we would use it a lot.  Turns out we hang clothes in ours.  We have plenty of empty storage throughout the trailer so we have not used the closet.  In fact, our solar panel which we were to store there turned out not to fit.  So what we originally thought to be a great feature is hardly used.

In the bedroom, the mattress rests on a thin sheet of 3/8 inch plywood.  This is starting to sag in the middle.  When we get back home, it will be replaced with a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood.   Not sure if Carriage was trying to save weight or what, but we like a firm, flat bed!

The other problem has been the sliding door between the living area and the bedroom.  It broke going down to Eugene, so we had it fixed in Benson.  Well, driving up to Cottonwood the door broke again.  Now this is on pavement driving 55 MPH.   We have not driven any washboard roads with the trailer, but that door does look like an issue.

The bathroom has the toilet in its own room, with the sink and shower outside.  We like this arrangement as it keep morning rush hour well separated.

The pantry was a very pleasant surprise.  It was nice to have item when we were looking at 5th wheels.  I think it really needs to move up into the must have category.

Previously in the tent trailer it was always a chore looking through the cabinets for cans and boxes of food.  The slide out pantry and having the refrigerator right next to it means that everything is there easily accessible and visible.

Fixing a meal consists of quickly taking out only the items you need at the moment.  It really does make a big difference in the ease of preparing meals.

This is a great design feature.  Every trailer needs to have a slide out pantry!!

The next feature was the TV area.  Originally, it housed a tube TV that was about 24 inches on the diagonal.  It was heavy, bolted down and took up lots of room.  It also was NOT digital.  So we got rid of it.  Now we are thinking about putting an IMAC in this area and using it for a computer worktable.  A TV tuner on a USB stick hopefully will make it function also as a high definition TV.

We thought that we would be using the slide-out keyboard area for our computers.  However, notice that this turned out to be Bugaboo's dinner area.  The keyboard area has turned out to be a handy storage area for books that we are reading and other such items. 

It would not take much too add a slide-out keyboard to an existing TV area and it would defintely increase the functionality of this area.  TV is not big on our list so we temporarily parked our 19 inch flat-panel in this area.

At the rear of the 5th wheel there were two LARGE recliners that we have replaced with a smaller recliner and a work table.  It has been handy to have an area where the laptop stays hooked-up and available all the time.  I am thinking that the table could be smaller by a foot or so thereby giving more room for the rear recliner.  We are still looking for a recliner where the foot-stool stores underneath the recliner when not in use.

The overhead compartment have been used for storing the laptop bag, books,  and other computer items when not traveling.  That has helped keep the area neater looking.  I think we will look for a desk that is more functional and slightly smaller for this area.

After two months plus of living in it we still have plenty of room available for storage.  Of course, that will be taken up with my fishing gear and telescopes!!

It is comfortable for living.  I wish I had just bought a trailer like this while I was in school.  Hell, in the long run it would have been much cheaper than all that apartment rent I paid!! 

The disadvantage is the 47 feet towing package.  I might have to buy a pop-up camper for those special trips into the back of the beyond on public lands and keep the 5th wheel for front country trips.   This makes the process of finding backcountry boondocks even more important.


Jim and Sandie said...

We traded our fiver for a motor home and the one thing I really really miss is the pantry. Definitely a plus.

Good review of how you've made your space accomodations work for you.

Linda said...

Here's a folding foot stool being used by many in a Class C:

You could fold it up and stash it under your recliner. If you can resist the urge to store stuff in it, that is. :)

Vladimir Steblina said...

Linda, your link just went to the JC Penny site? Is there a better link.