Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Which TT has the Best Kitchen and Why?
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 > Which TT has the Best Kitchen and Why?

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propchef

NORCAL

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello everyone. I've been lurking and reading for some time now and I appreciate the knowledge and helpfulness of this community. We're looking for our first TT and everyone has been most helpful.

Short background: I grew up tent camping and we evolved through several pop-up campers and spent an epic family vacation across the country in our Coleman. This was the early 70's. When I had my own family we bought a Jayco pop-up that we loved.

Now, kids are grown, we have grandkids, and Chef Luz and I are looking at retirement and a TT. She has NO camping experience AT ALL. None. We're looking for a TT that can be pulled by our X5 and, most importantly, it has to have a functional kitchen. We're both professional chefs, we still love to cook, and we almost always only eat our own food/cooking. We're avid gardeners as well.

This will be a trailer for trips to see the grandkids or to events like the F1 race in Austin or the 24 Hrs of Daytona. 5-day maximum stay with just the two of us. We're very good at mise (advance prep and planning of meals) so things that are important are cold storage, dry storage (pantry items and pots and pans) and a strong burner. I know many have three burners but if I can get just ONE high btu burner, anything beyond that is a bonus. I can always bring another burner. An oven would only be a nice addition if it was large enough to be useful.
I couldn't care any less for a microwave, but they all come with one. I'd rather use that space for storage. It will never get used.

One of my biggest concerns is the sink and water consumption. Everything has to be hand washed and if I can't fit a 10" cast iron skillet in the sink we'll be miserable. And scratch cooking is a very water-intensive act, although I doubt we'll spend any time off-grid, and if we do we can plan for it.

I really like the Airstream Bambi 22FB but I'll have to wait for the market to cool. I am OK without a slide. What else should I be looking at?

coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Generally a rear kitchen layout has the biggest kitchen. The living area and bathroom will be in the middle generally, and bedroom in the back.

Notice that all the Bambi floorplans have a bed where someone has to climb over the other to get out. That may be a deal breaker for you. There are not a lot of Airstream fans on this site, but there are lots of dedicated Airstreamers out there. I also doubt the Airstream market is going to cool off significantly.

If you want a really good cooktop, you may have to get one retrofitted. This would involve replacing the counter top to fit the shape of your cooktop. You will be hard-pressed to find anything other than a semi-useless gas oven in a RV, unless you go to a class A. The microwave can easily be removed, it's just plugged in.

One of your main considerations is what are you going to pull this with? Do you already have a vehicle in mind? In that case, check the tow rating, cargo capacity, etc. You don't want to buy a trailer and then not have enough vehicle to pull it.

The Lance 2075 and 2285 trailers have rear kitchens and are generally pretty nice looking. You can search on their site for a dealer and go look at some.


Single empty-nester in Middle TN, sometimes with a friend or grandchild on board

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is the towing capacity of your X5? That will be a good place to start.

propchef

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

coolmom42 wrote:

Generally a rear kitchen layout has the biggest kitchen. The living area and bathroom will be in the middle generally, and bedroom in the back.

Notice that all the Bambi floorplans have a bed where someone has to climb over the other to get out. That may be a deal breaker for you. There are not a lot of Airstream fans on this site, but there are lots of dedicated Airstreamers out there. I also doubt the Airstream market is going to cool off significantly.

If you want a really good cooktop, you may have to get one retrofitted. This would involve replacing the counter top to fit the shape of your cooktop. You will be hard-pressed to find anything other than a semi-useless gas oven in a RV, unless you go to a class A. The microwave can easily be removed, it's just plugged in.

One of your main considerations is what are you going to pull this with? Do you already have a vehicle in mind? In that case, check the tow rating, cargo capacity, etc. You don't want to buy a trailer and then not have enough vehicle to pull it.

The Lance 2075 and 2285 trailers have rear kitchens and are generally pretty nice looking. You can search on their site for a dealer and go look at some.


Thank you. You may have overlooked it but we'll be using a BMW X5.

Yes, I know the Airstream market won't cool significantly, but I'm betting that next Fall after things are returning back to somewhat "normal" that there will at least be more supply.

I am very handy and work on my own cars and most things around the house. We're remodeling the kitchen right now. My main concern about refitting aftermarket items into most trailers is the very poor QC and stories about joint spacing and crushed foam floors.

Thanks. I'll look again at the Lance.

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

propchef wrote:



We're looking for a TT that can be pulled by our X5 and, most importantly, it has to have a functional kitchen. We're both professional chefs, we still love to cook, and we almost always only eat our own food/cooking. We're avid gardeners as well.

This will be a trailer for trips to see the grandkids or to events like the F1 race in Austin or the 24 Hrs of Daytona. 5-day maximum stay with just the two of us.

We're very good at mise (advance prep and planning of meals) so things that are important are cold storage, dry storage (pantry items and pots and pans) and a strong burner. I know many have three burners but if I can get just ONE high btu burner, anything beyond that is a bonus. I can always bring another burner. An oven would only be a nice addition if it was large enough to be useful.
I couldn't care any less for a microwave, but they all come with one. I'd rather use that space for storage. It will never get used.

One of my biggest concerns is the sink and water consumption. Everything has to be hand washed and if I can't fit a 10" cast iron skillet in the sink we'll be miserable. And scratch cooking is a very water-intensive act, although I doubt we'll spend any time off-grid, and if we do we can plan for it.

I really like the Airstream Bambi 22FB but I'll have to wait for the market to cool. I am OK without a slide. What else should I be looking at?


Hi,

First off, you said you can pull it with an X5? Did you mean a BMW X5 SUV? sort of like this one? https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/x-models........overview.html?event=year-end-sales-event

If that is your tow vehicle, you first need to confirm that. Reasoning is, it will limit the size and weight of the camper you buy and we could be making a lot of suggestions that will not even be an option that will work with your tow vehicle.

The smaller the camper, the smaller the kitchen, sink, counterspace, water holding tanks etc.

While I am not a Chef, I really enjoy "cooking" at camp. Some folks like to have "quick meals" at camp and that is A OK for them. I myself really enjoys the art/skill of camp cooking and how to cook it. Our motto is, "Eat" well on a campout, and diet at home! Taking an hour or more cooking a good (to us) meal is not a problem.

That said, most all our cooking, I do outside. Gas stove, gas grill, Dutch oven with charcoal, foil pack dinners in coals, cast iron cookware etc. To me, this is enjoyment to be able to cook just about anything at the campground, outside. I can bake anything I want in a Dutch oven; biscuits, bread, cake, pork chops, stew you name it. I have 2 ovens with me all the time.

With a small camper that will align to your to tow vehicle, it will be harder to find a camper with a "good sized" counterspace "inside" the camper near the stove and sink. You have to think through how will your prepare what you are going to heat, inside the camper. And then, if you find that large size, what else in the small camper do you give up? The shower stall in the bathroom, the bed area, the dining table, etc.

Then comes the stove. Many small campers (single axle) may only have a 2 burner stove to save space and weight. That is not a bad thing, just a realization you may not fit a large skillet or large griddle on the burners. Those smaller stoves, use smaller pans.

The sink size, size of the on board fresh tank water supply, and grey water tank also falls in line with the size of the camper. If they can only fit in a 2 burner stove, the sink, tanks, countertops etc. gets smaller too.

I can suggest many floor plans with large open counter tops, large double sinks that are deep, large water and grey water tanks, 3 burner ranges with oven, but all those campers will be outside the range of a small SUV in both weight and length. The smaller the camper, the smaller everything inside.

Maybe be thinking about moving your cooking outside, and use outside dish washing tubs. That opens up a very large kitchen under an EZ pop up canopy. You can pic the size of the gas stove, it can have a 30,000 BTU cast iron burner that can handle anything you want on it. From boiling clean up water quickly, to fine heat control for cooking. By having an outside gourmet kitchen, you have a smaller camper inside, the camper fits your tow vehicle and can cook to your hearts content, just it is outside.

Hope this helps.

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


propchef

NORCAL

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

What is the towing capacity of your X5? That will be a good place to start.


It's a Class 3, so 6000 lbs GVW and 600 lb tongue. BMW forbids the use of load stabilizing hitches. I'd rather stay in the 20-22 ft range.

Again, just the two of us so we won't be loaded up.

propchef

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBarca wrote:

propchef wrote:



We're looking for a TT that can be pulled by our X5 and, most importantly, it has to have a functional kitchen. We're both professional chefs, we still love to cook, and we almost always only eat our own food/cooking. We're avid gardeners as well.

This will be a trailer for trips to see the grandkids or to events like the F1 race in Austin or the 24 Hrs of Daytona. 5-day maximum stay with just the two of us.

We're very good at mise (advance prep and planning of meals) so things that are important are cold storage, dry storage (pantry items and pots and pans) and a strong burner. I know many have three burners but if I can get just ONE high btu burner, anything beyond that is a bonus. I can always bring another burner. An oven would only be a nice addition if it was large enough to be useful.
I couldn't care any less for a microwave, but they all come with one. I'd rather use that space for storage. It will never get used.

One of my biggest concerns is the sink and water consumption. Everything has to be hand washed and if I can't fit a 10" cast iron skillet in the sink we'll be miserable. And scratch cooking is a very water-intensive act, although I doubt we'll spend any time off-grid, and if we do we can plan for it.

I really like the Airstream Bambi 22FB but I'll have to wait for the market to cool. I am OK without a slide. What else should I be looking at?


Hi,

First off, you said you can pull it with an X5? Did you mean a BMW X5 SUV? sort of like this one? https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/x-models........overview.html?event=year-end-sales-event

If that is your tow vehicle, you first need to confirm that. Reasoning is, it will limit the size and weight of the camper you buy and we could be making a lot of suggestions that will not even be an option that will work with your tow vehicle.

The smaller the camper, the smaller the kitchen, sink, counterspace, water holding tanks etc.

While I am not a Chef, I really enjoy "cooking" at camp. Some folks like to have "quick meals" at camp and that is A OK for them. I myself really enjoys the art/skill of camp cooking and how to cook it. Our motto is, "Eat" well on a campout, and diet at home! Taking an hour or more cooking a good (to us) meal is not a problem.

That said, most all our cooking, I do outside. Gas stove, gas grill, Dutch oven with charcoal, foil pack dinners in coals, cast iron cookware etc. To me, this is enjoyment to be able to cook just about anything at the campground, outside. I can bake anything I want in a Dutch oven; biscuits, bread, cake, pork chops, stew you name it. I have 2 ovens with me all the time.

With a small camper that will align to your to tow vehicle, it will be harder to find a camper with a "good sized" counterspace "inside" the camper near the stove and sink. You have to think through how will your prepare what you are going to heat, inside the camper. And then, if you find that large size, what else in the small camper do you give up? The shower stall in the bathroom, the bed area, the dining table, etc.

Then comes the stove. Many small campers (single axle) may only have a 2 burner stove to save space and weight. That is not a bad thing, just a realization you may not fit a large skillet or large griddle on the burners. Those smaller stoves, use smaller pans.

The sink size, size of the on board fresh tank water supply, and grey water tank also falls in line with the size of the camper. If they can only fit in a 2 burner stove, the sink, tanks, countertops etc. gets smaller too.

I can suggest many floor plans with large open counter tops, large double sinks that are deep, large water and grey water tanks, 3 burner ranges with oven, but all those campers will be outside the range of a small SUV in both weight and length. The smaller the camper, the smaller everything inside.

Maybe be thinking about moving your cooking outside, and use outside dish washing tubs. That opens up a very large kitchen under an EZ pop up canopy. You can pic the size of the gas stove, it can have a 30,000 BTU cast iron burner that can handle anything you want on it. From boiling clean up water quickly, to fine heat control for cooking. By having an outside gourmet kitchen, you have a smaller camper inside, the camper fits your tow vehicle and can cook to your hearts content, just it is outside.

Hope this helps.

John


Thanks.

Yes, everything will be preplanned. Counter are not a concern. I can always use the dining table for overflow.

As an aside, I used to train Navy cooks. The kitchens in an ocean-going tug is TINY but still feeds a crew size up to 24. I'm very good in small spaces and cooking. I met my wife during the same contract. She was also an instructor.

One burner is all I want. One good one. And a good sink. The Bambi has a residential style faucet and a twin bowl sink.

While off-grid water is a concern, mostly we'll have full shore power, so to speak. Again, I'll know and plan for it.

I will cook outside as much as possible, just like I do now. I use my Weber rain or shine year round. I have an amazing collection of cast iron. :-)

Thanks everyone. I'm really not looking for fancy or even spacious, but a 12 sq ft fridge would be nice. lol

Lwiddis

Death Valley NP

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Posted: 12/21/20 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ten percent tongue weight isn't enough IMO.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Lwiddis

Death Valley NP

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Posted: 12/21/20 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take a look at this one. Larger tanks, rear kitchen, under 6,000 pounds.

https://www.rvingplanet.com/mfg-coachmen-rv/freedom-express-pilot-travel-trailer/19rks

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 12/21/20 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Problem is you are looking at trailers in the 16-22ft range to fit your SUV. They won't have much storage, they will often skip the oven and water tanks will be small. Sinks are typically small.

Counter space is still an issue as even in a larger RV, you wind up using the dinette table a lot.

If you aren't willing to retrofit the kitchen, you might consider a portable outdoor kitchen. A good quality burner from a turkey fryer will put out a lot of BTU. Learn to cook on the campfire or bring a grill or small flattop (like a blackstone).

You can compensate water to a degree by staying at full hookup sites. That gives you essentially unlimited water. Away from full hookups, you need to learn to conserve water.

Basically, expect to be disappointed if you are expecting a commercial grade kitchen in a tiny travel trailer.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


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