Our Home on the Road : The Creekside 20FQ

Lots of folks have asked  - so here it is, a page on our old home. From November of 2015 until May of 2017 we lived and traveled in a Creekside 20FQ which is manufactured by OutdoorsRV of La Grande, Oregon.

General Description

The living space of the 20 FQ measures 8'x20'. 160 sq ft, plenty of space for two people. It is compact, and really comfortable. Luxurious even. The bedroom is just big enough for a fluffy queen bed and adequate space to walk around it. Over, beside and under the bed are various storage spots. Enough for clothes, hiking and biking equipment. There are even bedside tables on each side, each with a 110 electrical outlet. Although these outlets won't work unless we're in an RV park.  Day-to-day life off the grid is strictly 12 volt.

The bathroom is also compact, but more than adequate. The Creekside facilities are similar to a yacht "head" (bathroom), with a foot-pedal-flush toilet angled in next to the sink, and just 20" from the mini tub/shower. The medicine cabinet, vanity and small shelves nestled in next to the toilet provide just enough space for toiletries and cleaning supplies.

The kitchen is bigger than a lot of kitchens we saw in similar sized RVs, and it's layout is even more efficient. Along with a gas oven and three burner stove there is an almost full-sized refrigerator, a microwave, pantry, two bowl sink, spice rack, three drawers, two large cabinets, counter space and an-over-the-sink window.

Then there is the rear dinette! Taking up the entire back of the RV, measuring 8'x 6', is the perfect living, dining, wildlife viewing area. The three surrounding windows are so big that sitting on the big bench seat is not only comfortable it's the next best thing to actually being outside.

But wait, there's more. Because the 20FQ is so compact we can go more places, and with a very small environmental impact. Being only twenty feet long allows the RV to be towed with a relatively small truck. It also allows us to camp in most of the National State Parks, close to all kinds of great hikes. The RV is also well insulated and has thermal pane windows, saving energy usage. Right now it's 25 degrees outside and with very little heat, it is very toastie inside. The lights are all LEDs which are more than bright enough and also use very little energy. But there's also a solar panel that helps keep the batteries charged.

General Impressions 

We've put approximately 10,000 miles on the Creekside. Driving from Utah to Nevada to Oregon, up and around Alaska and now back down to the states and have had no issues at all.  Only maintenance we've done is tightened and greased the wheel bearings.

Modifications 

When purchasing the Creekside we swapped out the single 12 volt battery for 2 6 volt golf cart batteries. We then added 2 160 watt solar panels and a MPPT controller.  This allowed us to boondock all summer in Alaska. We haven't charged the batteries since, the solar takes care of everything.  We also added a 4 gallon pressure tank on the water system and little stuff like hanging a full length mirror, etc.

Our Truck

We are pulling it with a Ram 1500 with the small diesel. This combination gets surprising mileage, up tp 31 MPG with out the trailer, usually 14-15 MPG (although it has been as low as 12 and as high as 20 mpg) pulling the 20 FQ. Averaging 14-15 at 65 on interstates, although we try to stay off the interstates as much as possible.

Outdoors RV

The factory has been very responsive when I've requested information sending me plans, wiring diagrams, etc. We also did the factory tour when they were building the 20FQ, I would recommend that if you're near La Grande OR. It was very informative.  There is an active forum for Outdoors RV owners at the IR2 forum website the URL is : http://www.irv2.com/forums/f282/


 Pages on Our Blog about the 20FQ

Our New Home 
South-East to Jacksonville - see comments

6 comments:

Slo Mo said...

Hello. I've enjoyed reading about your travels. I am considering the exact trailer and tow vehicle as you guys purchased. Would you mind if I corresponded with questions about the Creekide 20FQ and your Ram 1500?

da said...

Hi Slo Mo,
Sure, ask away and we'll be glad to try to answer any questions you have. We're on the road and don't always have internet so please be patient, it might take a week or so for us to answer.

Slo Mo said...

Thank you!

I'm mostly curious about the choice of tow vehicle. Why did you chose the 3L diesel over the V8? Also, what type of hitch setup did you go with and did you purchase it from the dealer or after market? Did you add engine and/or transmission cooling systems? How about the rear end gear ratio?

Additional questions to come, if you don't mind.

Thanks again!
Tim

da said...

Hi Tim,

The diesel was an easy choice if you tow all the time, as we do. Diesels are more efficient when under load than an gas engine. For example, we have never gotten less than 12 MPG when towing the 20 FQ and have gotten as high as 21 MPG. Usually we are in the 14-16 MPG range. It all depends on speed, head or tail wind, hills, etc. I spoke with a guy towing a 20 FQ with an F150 with the V6 turbo gas engine, he averaged 8 MPG. If you work the numbers out 8 vs 12 MPG, the diesel pays for its self in 36,000 miles, assuming $3.00 a gallon fuel. Now if we were't towing all the time, and we compared 20 vs 30 MPG, it would take 90,000 miles to break even. Plus out west diesel is less expensive than gas.

We have a weight distribution hitch that we bought from the RV dealer, a fastway e2. It seems to work well. The truck manufactor recommends a weight distribution hitch with a trailer over 5,000 lbs. The 20 FQ weighs in around 5,800 lbs fully loaded when we weighed it. The truk did come with a factory receiver that was sufficient for the weights we are talking about, I forget what class.

The truck, a Tradesman, came with the tow package which included a transmission and an oil cooler. I wouldn't tow without them in any vehicle. Towing puts a lot of strain on a vehicle. I've has oil analysis for the last two oil changes, the oil still has life in it after 9,000 miles of mostly towing. The oil cooler helps a lot.

The rear ration is a 3.55. You get a greater towing capacity with the lower ratio, but as we wanted a regular cab truck we took what we could find. It works fine, I've never neaded a lower ratio and the fuel milage is better. The only thing I would like to have but didn't get was the limited slip rear end. But I've never needed it so far so I guess I didn't really neeed it.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions, I'm glad to help in any way I can.

Regards
SD

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