Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Custom Built Travel Trailer
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Custom Built Travel Trailer

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Roadtech

Georgia

Senior Member

Joined: 10/09/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/12/22 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are there any custom floor plan builders of travel trailers under 20 feet? I'm looking for a simple layout, nothing radical. A company that builds custom small high end travel trailers, the way Advanced RV builds custom Class B vans. I cannot find any retail travel trailer manufacturer that comes close to what I'm looking for.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

Senior Member

Joined: 09/07/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/12/22 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good luck !

Likely you will have to employee at least 2 companies. One to build the frame/chassis and perhaps the body and another to build the interior. There are a lot of companies who build utility trailers, but they don't really know how to build something that does not look like a box !

Most of the interior can be done by a custom cabinet shop, but they may not want to touch plumbing or electrical.

Personally, I have been mulling this over in my head for several years. Here are my thoughts.
• No black tank. Use a cassette or composting toilet.
• Unless you plan to do a lot of boondocking, skip propane.
• Solar is always a good option.
• Spend the money upfront and install a inverter/charger/transfer switch.
• Also, bite the bullet and buy lithium batteries.

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 03/12/22 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Doubtful on commercial built custom 20ft RV trailers, the cost to build "one offs" is astronomical, leaving one to have to charge multiple times more than a commercial built cookie cutter trailer that flows down an assembly line.

You are going to have to contact some specialty builders like concession or horse trailer builders and pitch your idea.. Horse trailer builders often will build a a living quarters section on the horse trailer so they should be able to make something like you wanting.

Concession stand builders typically custom build the trailers to fit what the customers needs are.. The may be willing to adapt a bit to living quarters instead of commercial cooking..

But, honestly, you are camping, and you specified 20ft length, save money, time and lost hair and go find a normal travel trailer with a layout you can live with.. There is very little you can do with 20ft in terms of layout as there will be concessions you will have to make to fit it into that footprint..

Basically you will have only enough space for a small bathroom, front or back side door (unless you want a rear opening door), kitchenette, small dinette/twin bed and small couch/full size bed..

I had a 20ft TT, there is not much you can do with spicing that space up to a luxury hotel room..

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

Those pix are from my 20ft TT after I rebuilt it due to severe water damage and rot (I bought it water damaged)..

There is nothing magical with 20ft of space to make it worthwhile for a highly customized one off RV.. I lost a lot of money and personal time on that one although when I rebuilt it, I did a lot of customizing to us and didn't intend to sell it.. People liked it, but were not willing to part with a few thousand more.. Took a long time to sell and lost thousands..

lots2seeinmyrv

Neither Here nor There

Senior Member

Joined: 09/05/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 03/12/22 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

www.northamericanrvllc.com

Never used them, not sure if they will build a 20-footer.

You can inquire if they will.

Roadtech

Georgia

Senior Member

Joined: 10/09/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/12/22 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

But, honestly, you are camping, and you specified 20ft length, save money, time and lost hair and go find a normal travel trailer with a layout you can live with.. There is very little you can do with 20ft in terms of layout as there will be concessions you will have to make to fit it into that footprint..

Basically you will have only enough space for a small bathroom, front or back side door (unless you want a rear opening door), kitchenette, small dinette/twin bed and small couch/full size bed..

I had a 20ft TT, there is not much you can do with spicing that space up to a luxury hotel room..

There is nothing magical with 20ft of space to make it worthwhile for a highly customized one off RV.. I lost a lot of money and personal time on that one although when I rebuilt it, I did a lot of customizing to us and didn't intend to sell it.. People liked it, but were not willing to part with a few thousand more.. Took a long time to sell and lost thousands..


I'm looking for a relatively simple design...no built in tanks, dry flush toilet, outside shower tent, power queen bed lift, lithium batteries, sink, refrig, & microwave only kitchen, no cabinets, no dinette, 12 volt air conditioner. I can't find anything close to this retail. I have owned Airstream and other trailers...at this point in my life, I'm looking for simple and easy...

lots2seeinmyrv

Neither Here nor There

Senior Member

Joined: 09/05/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 03/12/22 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clicky:

Custom Built

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 03/12/22 11:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roadtech wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

But, honestly, you are camping, and you specified 20ft length, save money, time and lost hair and go find a normal travel trailer with a layout you can live with.. There is very little you can do with 20ft in terms of layout as there will be concessions you will have to make to fit it into that footprint..

Basically you will have only enough space for a small bathroom, front or back side door (unless you want a rear opening door), kitchenette, small dinette/twin bed and small couch/full size bed..

I had a 20ft TT, there is not much you can do with spicing that space up to a luxury hotel room..

There is nothing magical with 20ft of space to make it worthwhile for a highly customized one off RV.. I lost a lot of money and personal time on that one although when I rebuilt it, I did a lot of customizing to us and didn't intend to sell it.. People liked it, but were not willing to part with a few thousand more.. Took a long time to sell and lost thousands..


I'm looking for a relatively simple design...no built in tanks, dry flush toilet, outside shower tent, power queen bed lift, lithium batteries, sink, refrig, & microwave only kitchen, no cabinets, no dinette, 12 volt air conditioner. I can't find anything close to this retail. I have owned Airstream and other trailers...at this point in my life, I'm looking for simple and easy...


That is because they simply do not exist in 20ft, to get rid of the bath you will have to shrink your trailer size. Think sub 20ft sizes, Teardrop styles like TABs come to mind which are basically are the size of a bed..

You are not describing a normal 20ft RV Travel trailer but instead describing this with a cot inside..

[image]

A minimalist hotel on wheels.

$6K for a cargo trailer and you can go to town and configure as minimal as you wish.

Very few people wish to have a outdoor tent shower or deal with composting or cassette toilets or a complete lack of on board water systems.. Very few people want barebones minimalist accommodations for one or two people, in other words RVs are typically built for family use and will have things that make the family comfortable while out camping. Minimalist camping isn't what mainstream public wants and the big manufacturers understand that and they tend to concentrate on broader market appeal which will sell more and at a faster rate.

There are some niche companies that do make smaller trailers which may appeal to more minimalist campers..

Here is layout of a 17ft Casita Spirit Basic..

[image]

No bath, but you will not get a Queen bed in that trailer. Queen beds generally are put in larger trailers than 20ft, typically find that in 26+ lengths unless it has a slide..

Roadtech

Georgia

Senior Member

Joined: 10/09/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/12/22 03:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:


Very few people wish to have a outdoor tent shower or deal with composting or cassette toilets or a complete lack of on board water systems.. Very few people want barebones minimalist accommodations for one or two people, in other words RVs are typically built for family use and will have things that make the family comfortable while out camping. Minimalist camping isn't what mainstream public wants and the big manufacturers understand that and they tend to concentrate on broader market appeal which will sell more and at a faster rate.

My design has all of the comforts and amenities of my previous 27' Airstream International Serenity, just in a smaller package with some very innovative ideas learned over a lifetime of RV'ing. The shower is connected to the trailer in a unique way so as to provide a dry bath without taking up the space of a separate bath and shower. I think a lot of folks would love a dry bath/shower arrangement in a sub 20 foot trailer without sacrificing the square footage to get it. There are no composting or cassette toilets in my plan (Google dry flush toilets). I have an on board water system to supply and collect water to/from the sinks and shower (hot and cold), just without permanent mounted tanks. I think I have some really great, innovative ideas learned over a lifetime to help lessen the negatives with camping in a trailer but retaining the great advantage of un-hitching and having access to your full size tow vehicle for transportation (no other RV system has this advantage in a sub 20 foot configuration). All I need is a company to build it for me...

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 03/12/22 04:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roadtech wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:


Very few people wish to have a outdoor tent shower or deal with composting or cassette toilets or a complete lack of on board water systems.. Very few people want barebones minimalist accommodations for one or two people, in other words RVs are typically built for family use and will have things that make the family comfortable while out camping. Minimalist camping isn't what mainstream public wants and the big manufacturers understand that and they tend to concentrate on broader market appeal which will sell more and at a faster rate.

My design has all of the comforts and amenities of my previous 27' Airstream International Serenity, just in a smaller package with some very innovative ideas learned over a lifetime of RV'ing. The shower is connected to the trailer in a unique way so as to provide a dry bath without taking up the space of a separate bath and shower. I think a lot of folks would love a dry bath/shower arrangement in a sub 20 foot trailer without sacrificing the square footage to get it. There are no composting or cassette toilets in my plan (Google dry flush toilets). I have an on board water system to supply and collect water to/from the sinks and shower (hot and cold), just without permanent mounted tanks. I think I have some really great, innovative ideas learned over a lifetime to help lessen the negatives with camping in a trailer but retaining the great advantage of un-hitching and having access to your full size tow vehicle for transportation (no other RV system has this advantage in a sub 20 foot configuration). All I need is a company to build it for me...


As I see it, you are attempting to reinvent the wheel, popups often have a sink that has no tank, drain goes to a fitting on outside of the trailer and you use a bucket or portable tank..

Not sure what you think as negative about having on board tanks, they are not a negative but a positive since you do not have to come up with some external tote, tank or bucket to mess around with.

Your list sounds like someone that would rather "tent" camp but still have a hard sided place off the ground to sleep in.

Build it yourself, that is basically and ultimately you will end up doing and I would recommend that will be the most effective way to go about getting your entire wish list.

Buy a small cargo trailer, build a shelf or two, place your microwave on the shelf, place a small sink in a shelf and plumb it to the outside for collection, install your adjustable queen bed base, some batteries, charger and some lights.. That IS what you "want".

You might get a custom builder to build it from scratch to finish but most custom builders that may still exist only make a few builds per yr which most likely will result in several yrs waiting list.. But many "custom builders" have thrown in the towel and gone out of business in the last 15 yrs. Used to be a couple near me, down to one now and that one specializes in building high end horse trailers with luxury living quarters to the tune of $100K+

Since it is done as a "one off" build they will not have templates to make cutting and assembly cost quick effective adding hundreds of hrs worth of additional labor to the project. They will be buying materials in very small quantities specifically for your build which results in much higher materials costs which then gets passed on to you..

I suspect to get someone to build it the way you want it is going to be double the cost of a new Airstream at a minimum and you will have a "one off" design that absolutely no one else in the world would want so if you are forced to sell it down the road you will have a difficult time unloading it for pennies on the dollar.

Your not the first person to "think up" new ideas for RVs so what you think is new and unique most likely has been done and eventually canned. When I was a kid, my Dad found a 1960's slide in TC, had a ice box, furnace with no fan, a sink with a galley siphon pump and the sink water went to a port on the side and had a toilet with 5 gallon holding tank.. Get to campsite, lift the TC off the truck and now the truck is free to go places, no worse than unhitching a trailer..

Lwiddis

Southern California :(

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 03/12/22 04:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are hundreds of layouts for trailers in the 20 foot range. A custom build isn’t practical from a cost standpoint. From a build time viewpoint, a year if not two. Wouldn’t you rather be camping? Look until you find an acceptable layout IMO.

* This post was edited 03/12/22 05:12pm by Lwiddis *


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Custom Built Travel Trailer
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2022 CWI, Inc. © 2022 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.