A-liner or Pop up - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-01-2010, 09:23 AM   #15
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Mike Magee's Avatar
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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Lexi, are you looking for new or used?

I'll add to what has been previously mentioned. Sleeping 4, ok. If you are ordering new, it would be easy to get a Casita Spirit built with bunk beds in place of the side dinette. That's in additon to the larger rear bed. Their factory is in Texas.

The Scamp is built in Minnesota, and like Joe said you can get them with a front sofa that converts to bunks... for smaller kids, though.

Although far from you (British Columbia), the Escape (see www.escapetrailers.com) 17' floorplan A has 2 large beds. That is if the kids are willing to sleep together.

Another relatively small trailer (non-fiberglass) you could look at is the R-Pod. It has floorplans with 2 large beds, as well as a plan with 2 bunk beds in front and a large one in rear. Weight is around 2500 lb.

I would suggest looking at a Trailmanor, but the problem there is the hitch weight. They are light enough overall and will tow easily when folded, but they are too heavy on the hitch for the minivans.

If you are wanting something really affordable and buying used, between the two you initially mentioned I'd have to say the popup will be the greater bargain. It will probably cost less than an A frame, it expands much more with the end sections that come out, and it will feel more roomy. But in a couple years you will probably want to trade up for a better hardside trailer. If you have more money to spend, just jump right to the hardsides, that would be my advice.

Hope you find something you like and get out there, camping.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:37 AM   #16
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Trailer: 2007 Casita
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Lexi, not the wrong area, just not enough info in the question to help you.

Honestly, a pop up will give you the most room for the money.

A-liner, I can't comment on since I have never camped in one. But they are probably the most squished to me.

Egg, there are options for you out there. Yes maybe not in your area (today) That being said if you chose to purchase an egg it will most likely not be a purchase made tomorrow but you can find just the right one, with a little determination. Unfortunately the egg hunt in the used market tends to be a searching game. Of course there are those who fall into a egg purchase. It happens, but more often it's a matter of determination finding just the right one. So if your bound and determined to have one for camping in next week, I would say most likely a pop up would fit the bill for your camping needs. They're not without issues as others have told you, but they are readily available in both the new and used market.

Your tow capacity is good for most of the trailer types mentioned. But a heads up on a new egg purchase as they tend to weight more (our 2007 Casita FD weighted in at 2800 pounds empty). So for you with a 3500 tow cap, with kids, camping gear, food, etc. You would be pushing your tow cap. But the older eggs tend to weigh in less which would give you a safer towing experience. And there are some beautiful used eggs out there which would fit your families camping needs. You didn't say, do you want a bathroom? Air conditioner?

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Old 07-01-2010, 10:51 AM   #17
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014

As you can see, there are many people here who would love to help you out. We enjoy talking about our trailers and camping, and like to help out a fellow camper.

But we can't do that if we don't know "where you are coming from."

So, we now know you have a mini-van that is rated to tow 3500#
We know you would like to sleep four
I didn't understand about the sleeping one part (edited: Oh, I see, you meant "or one [camper] in my area")

Can you tell us if it would be four adults? Two adults and two kids? Are the adults super tall or etc.? Can some sleep together or is it adult friends who want to sleep separately? Can you use a tent for some sleepers?

Are you looking for all the luxuries or more of a "hard-sided tent" effect?

Do you have a budget? Do you want new or used? (not that you have to tell us your finances, but give us an idea of what you are looking for in that area)

Are you willing to travel to find a camper or does it have to be right where you are? How much work are you inclined to put into "the hunt"?

Do you need it soon or just whenever it crops up?

If you can give us a little direction here, and not make us pry the info out bit by bit, we would love to help you. We enjoy talking about the plusses - and minusses - of our campers. And many here have had pop-ups, and probably A-liners as well.

But we are terrible mind readers

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Old 07-01-2010, 11:44 AM   #18
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Name: Marina
Trailer: 1978 Biggar / 2007 Toyota Tundra V8 2wd
British Columbia
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Lexi, On our forum under trailers for sale is a 16 ft scamp in NY. Good luck.
Life would be a million times better if there were Pinatas strategically placed throughout the day.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:22 PM   #19
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Amerigo & Trailmanor (popupish)
Posts: 459
OK, my 2-cents:

Questions: I see that the original poster is trying to sleep 4. A further question I would have would be about the size of the 4 and what you are used to or prefer in terms of bed size. We used to have a 13' Boler (similar in most respects to the 13' Scamp). I'm just a hair over 6' tall. The height of the trailer itself was fine for me - but when sleeping in the bed, the length was a bit cramped for me. Also - my wife and I were used to a queen size bed at home and the width was a little cozier than we wanted.

Other thoughts:

Never had a conventional pop-up, look like a hassle - but to be honest would the design really have persisted as long as it has if people weren't happy with them? Mice ants and other pests? Keep food out of the trailer when you're not using it and the hardware store is well stocked with nasty poisons. We've usually kept some in out of the way places in our trailers and not had problems.

Aliner: Haven't had one - but we DID have an Esterel (French built hard sided pop-up). Not an A-frame - had a flat roof. Our Esterel was pretty simple to set up. I liked that it was VERY lightweight and had hard walls around the portapotty area (pop-ups usually just have curtains). I remember looking at the A-liners and Chalet (another Aframe) trailers before we bought. My recollection is that none of them REALLY sleep 4 decently either. They DO have a "bunk" option but I think the lower bunk is basically the floor (yippie!). Aliner has (as I recall) some floor plans that are similar to the Esterel we had (double dinette which let you go perminant bed in back and two-person dinette in front). WONDERFUL 2 or 3 person trailers (as the Esterel was) 4 is a real squeeze.

TrailManor (since someone mentioned them): That's what we just got. Upsides: Plenty of sleeping capacity (we have a teeny tiny one and it will sleep 6 pretty easy). Floorplan-wise it's fairly similar to the regular pop-ups (big floor with two pull-out bunks). All hardsided (no tenting to rot, get nibbled, leak etc), hard walled bathroom. Beds are decently long for tall monkey people (like me). Downside: Heavy as all freakin' hell. I was used to trailers I could shove around in the driveway by hand with ease (have to spin it around in order to roll into garage). This one? I bought a heavy duty trailer dolly to do the job and it's still hard as hell. I have no plans to pull this beast with our Minivan. Full size van only. If we have to get a new tow vehicle - it'll be an even bigger beast if we're still pulling this bad boy. Once you're parked though? It's really nice. We just got it late last summer so we haven't really gotten out in it yet. I'm doing some fixing up first and some medical problems have gotten in the way too.

Other items of note:
Don't know if it's been mentioned in the thread yet - fiberglass doesn't rot - wood framed (regardless of the exterior sheathing) rots. If they are stored out in the weather - water WILL intrude at seams, dampen wood framing elements and encourage rot. Both the Esterel and Trailmanor needed some repairs for that. Fixed the trailmanor's upper door just last night - light fading - 3-yr olds were promised a backyard camping adventure... What fun!

Anyway - make a list of features you need and those you want and prioritize those. I guarantee you will not find anything that satisfies EVERYTHING, it's all a trade off. Hardwalled is great in terms of weather/security etc. But it comes at the cost of weight/size/sleeping capacity.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #20
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Name: Roger
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Lexi, a couple more quick thoughts... my Scamp 16' is pretty basic, but has the side dinette with the front bunk setup, and actually sleeps five. The Trillium 4500 also had a bunk bed option that, with the front bunk setup allowed for a six sleeper.

Happy Hunting!

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:02 PM   #21
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Trailer: 2005 17 ft Escape ('Turtle')
Posts: 367
There is a similiar post, another person wanting to sleep four..... two of us who have replied thus far suggested Escape. You might want to read it.

If you could design your own trailer

If you decide to go with a fiberglass trailer (obviously on this forum it is going to be the #1 recommendation!) it is not unusual to not find one for sale close to where you live, as they are not as common as other camper trailers. It takes a bit of patience and usually a bit of travel to get what you want, and sometimes that is a deciding factor in what you get. Keep looking in the "for sale" section of this forum to see if something comes along in the size and price range you are looking for, there are many used ones for sale. You could easily tow many different models, and even some of the small 13' trailers sleep four if you are talking about 2 adults and 2 kids, as there are bunk beds, as already mentioned.

good luck

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Enjoy our travel photos at: Turtle Travels
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:58 PM   #22
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
A couple of topics worth reading: Large Family Question


Family Friendly Floor Plans, A discussion of trailer models suitable for 3 or more people
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #23
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 310
I guess part of your decision will be how often you plan to use a camper? No sense to invest much money into something that will be seldom used.

My sister-in-law has a pop-up-type camper (hard top flips onto the ground and a tent litterally pulls into positon). Cute and tiny! So tiny that ALL gear must be hauled in her car. But she tows it behind a small Honda and pushes it by hand into a corner of the garage. She camps just one two-day event per year though, so it fits her needs.

If you're planning regular camping, I'm thinking you'll want more conveniences (like built-in storage!). If you're not an experienced camper, maybe renting a variety of campers would help you know what your camping style is and therefore what kind of camper you need.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:46 PM   #24
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I will try to find an egg or a scamp. I would like to find a used one. My kids are small so I might be ok. I don't really want a popup. I have also looked at a Fun finder. I just want something that's easy to tow. Thank you for all the advice.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:29 PM   #25
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
New Mexico
Posts: 1,185
Red face

Lexi, We have just gotten back from a 15 day camping trip to Yellowstone starting from Tucson, AZ. My daughter & son-in-law rented a 2001 Aliner from D-M Air Force Base Rec' office. 9 yrs old and having been rented I assume all those years to Air Force personnel, it showed those years. However, I was impressed with the easy of setting up and the head room in the unit. It was not the largest of the units Aliner makes, nor was it the smallest. They had no problems towing the Aliner with a Hyundai Santa Fe with a V-6.

It did have gapes where the rubber seals had gone bad, but the way the pieces fit and fold together; there was not leaks in rain.

A month or so ago, I got to see a travel trailer also made by Aliner at a dealer in Tucson. It was very light weight and had good head room. It was a nice sound trailer from what I could see.

A couple camping in a new Aliner at Bonita Campground near Sunset Crater Nat'l Mon't near Flagstaff, AZ told me he had found some structural problems with the tongue on it. He said the Chalet trailers were a better made unit. http://www.chaletrv.com/

I did get to see a Chalet in Tucson right after I saw the Aliner Trailer. It was a very nice trailer.

Good luck with your search.
DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
2015 Lance 1985 ~ Casita de Campo ~23' 4"
~Previously ~ 2005 16' Scamp
2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab Longbed ARE Topper
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:21 PM   #26
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Trailer: Trillium 2010
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Hello Lexi. We have a Chalet (up for sale) and a new 13 ft Trillium. The chalet seems larger inside because of the peak but in fact they have about the same floor space. Both claim you can sleep 4, but even two adults and two small children would be cozy. Four adults, I don't think so. The egg is lighter. The chalet or an Aliner will weigh in over 2000 lb. Both egg and A frame draw a crowd at the camp ground. The it's so cute factor. My wife, being somewhat vertically challenged, finds it difficult to reach the roof vents in the Chalet and also has a hard time setting it up, hence the switch. There are two very good A frame forums at Yahoo. Good luck, Raz
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:55 AM   #27
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Trailer: 1997 Scamp 13 ft
Posts: 24
The limitation of an egg is space, which is the advantage of a pop up or hybrid. The disadvantage of a pop up or hybrid is the very clear potential for water damage and the lack of longevity. Essentially, pop ups are disposable, whereas fiberglass eggs are rebuildable.

Before we bought our egg, we test camped popups, and thouigh we loved the space and airiness, the combination of quality, water issues, cost, weight, etc... set on us on a path to a closed trailer.

We now have a Scamp 13, which just did a three week, 7000 mile trip, sleeping two large adults and two large teens and two large dogs. The bunks worked just fine, the dinette stayed as a bed the whole trip, we ate and cooked outside, no issues with storage as we had a hitch box and a cargo box on the T.V.

Another issues with pop ups is that they do not work for storage of gear and they don't provide temp shelter at rest stops, etc... We spent our vacation hiking, biking, and backcountry skiing. Often we stopped to change clothes, get out gear, etc... and having a box trailer for changing was a nice deal.

If you must have the space, get a bigger box, so in our case we are now looking at upgrading to a 15-17' Escape, Trillium, or Bigfoot. Keep in mind that bigger is heavier and harder to maneuver...

BTW, those A Frames are junk, like most trailers and pop ups
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:55 AM   #28
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Name: Ken
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in response to ben above, "Essentially, pop ups are disposable, whereas fiberglass eggs are rebuildable."

Many aframes have been rebuilt on the aframe forums, but I dont think lexi is looks for a rebuild. Lexi, if you are looking to buy new, camp-lite made by livin-lite is an interesting looking sturdy trailer that might might compete to a small funfinder. Cheers.

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