Advice on fiberglass RV ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-19-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
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Name: nick
Trailer: in the market
Ohio
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Advice on fiberglass RV ?

Dear Members:

The wife and I will be retiring next year and are looking to do a bit of traveling and see some of the sights of this great country that we were never able to see, when working 65hr weeks at our jobs. We would like to purchase a small manageable camper that could be used for 4-6week trips across country. We are looking for something with the following attributes:

1. easily manageable by a couple in their mid 60s
2. towable with a minivan or small truck (3500lbs tow capacity -preferably under 2400lbs)
3. self contained, ( with reasonable holding tanks), as we would be dry camping for some of our trips
4. a shower is a must (indoor preferred, but external might work also)
5. DC roof fan (e.g fantastic fan) for off grid use - AC & furnace for when hooked up
6. Queen size bed (or adaptability for such)

Could anyone make suggestions I had been initially looking at older casita or scamp campers as possibilities but I am not sure of such thing as - 2 way or 3 way fridges showers - in these older units or roof mounted DC fans etc. Its it possible to fairly easily retrofit one of these with newer appliances? Is it also possible to attach roof mounted solar panels to these. I have never seen one in person but I am guessing that mounting anything to the walls or roof requires drilling through the fiberglass shell and this would seem to be problematic from a water leak prospective. I was also looking at Boler and Burros, but these might be a bit small for our needs.

Any comments, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2001 Scamp 13'
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by nchiaia View Post
Dear Members:

The wife and I will be retiring next year and are looking to do a bit of traveling and see some of the sights of this great country that we were never able to see, when working 65hr weeks at our jobs. We would like to purchase a small manageable camper that could be used for 4-6week trips across country. We are looking for something with the following attributes:

1. easily manageable by a couple in their mid 60s
2. towable with a minivan or small truck (3500lbs tow capacity -preferably under 2400lbs)
3. self contained, ( with reasonable holding tanks), as we would be dry camping for some of our trips
4. a shower is a must (indoor preferred, but external might work also)
5. DC roof fan (e.g fantastic fan) for off grid use - AC & furnace for when hooked up
6. Queen size bed (or adaptability for such)

Could anyone make suggestions I had been initially looking at older casita or scamp campers as possibilities but I am not sure of such thing as - 2 way or 3 way fridges showers - in these older units or roof mounted DC fans etc. Its it possible to fairly easily retrofit one of these with newer appliances? Is it also possible to attach roof mounted solar panels to these. I have never seen one in person but I am guessing that mounting anything to the walls or roof requires drilling through the fiberglass shell and this would seem to be problematic from a water leak prospective. I was also looking at Boler and Burros, but these might be a bit small for our needs.

Any comments, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
I think a 16' Scamp or Casita might work well. 13' footers with a shower will leave little room for 2 people in my opinion. Yes you can put on solar panels, some have even done it without drilling, there are flexible ones you can tape to the roof. Appliances generally can be swapped out with newer/different ones, but how hard that is is certainly a matter appliance selection and especially of perspective. What is easy for an experienced DIYer might be impossible for someone not used to working with their hands, doing wiring, etc. Some older appliances well maintained can still work great. My 11 year old 3 way fridge works wonderfully. Not sure how the previous owner maintained it. Fans are pretty universal and most trailers come with a standard sized 14" fan or at least simple vent, moving to a newer model isn't too hard, but will probably mean drilling out rivets, scraping sealants and re-riveting/bolting, re-caulking etc. A good RV shop should be able to swap fans/vents without charging too much.

Good luck and welcome!
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Updating an old trailer

I think it's easy to replace virtually every appliance in a trailer. The only one of concern is the refridgerator, primarily becuse it's expensive.

Our Scamp 16 was 20 years old when we purchased it last year. Most people who see it believe it's virtually new.

We have not had to replace anything in our trailer except the light bulbs and some exterior plastic pieces.

We replaced the light bulbs with LEDs to make boondocking more possible. We also added a solar panel (80 watts) to our roof. Ours are simply taped to the roof with Scotch Exterior Very High Bond strength tape. After 19,000 miles the panel is solidly in place.

I do not in any way think that a fiberglass trailer is too much for people with normal health. If anything traveling about in an RV has made us both physically and mentally healthier.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Lil Snoozy / Jeep Cherokee
Pennsylvania
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A Lil Snoozy meets all of the criteria you mentioned. I do not know where in Ohio you reside, but Pittsburgh is a mere 3.5 hrs. from Columbus. You are welcome to come and see our Lil Snoozy. No camper is perfect and they all have there strong points and shortfalls (which may vary for different people), but I never hesitate to recommend Lil Snoozy. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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A Scamp or Escape 5th wheel would suit your requirements. (Queen Bed, shower + small truck).
You don't say where in Ohio you are but there are a few meets coming up that you could drive to, see a lot of trailers and ask lots of questions.
Rally map link
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Scamp 13
Michigan
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The point on your list that jumped out at me was the queen size bed. Most trailers (scamp, casita...) have a 48 or 54" bed which is small, but doable for us. Eggcamper and Snoozy have bigger beds. This is not a complete list. I would encourage you to figure out what you really need. My wife and I were worried about a 48" bed, but it turned out to work pretty well for us.

As far as modifications for appliances, etc... we have done several of these modifications and I think it is doable for most people who are moderately handy with tools.

In general, we got a fiberglass RV to try out the lifestyle you are discussing right down to the minivan etc.... We love it and I hope it works out for you as well.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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You came to the right place to find out about small FGRV's. Best bet is to try to read a few thousand (?) posts and ask questions before you start looking (not buying) at rigs for sale. Buying tips also include: a) Look at a lot before deciding what brand & floorplan features you want. b) If possible, rent one for a few days and try out the life style it offers. c) Know that prices peak in the late spring and summer, try to buy in early winter when prices bottom out each year. d) Having to have more than minor repairs done by a shop can get very expensive. Buy the best rig you can afford.
Good Luck and ask lots of questions...
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #8
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Most any lightweght trailer will have relatively small tanks. Water is heavy! But you can supplement by carrying extra fresh water in your tow vehicle. Just pour into tank as needed.

My fresh tank is only 10 gal. Alone and drinking bottled water, it lasts me 3 days. Not much.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nchiaia View Post
Dear Members:

1. easily manageable by a couple in their mid 60s

Most fiberglass trailers are managebale even by solo's. So you guys should be fine.........

2. towable with a minivan or small truck (3500lbs tow capacity -preferably under 2400lbs)

This is where your going to be limited. Of course there are those who will disagree with that statement , my suggestions is, follow your vehicle manufacture guide lines. The point of rv-ing is to enjoy your selfs, so doing it the right way makes it all the better...... And my suggestion would be to weigh anything your thinking of purchasing to know exactly what it weighs........





Any comments, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Welcome to fiberglass rv! Wishing you and your wife fun in your retirment, hope you find your perfect trailer! Enjoy the journey! I would really recommend attending a rally near you, perhaps, http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ing-51313.html




Ewww, now you guys can all Pm him and tell him I don't know what I am talking about....... Good luck with that way of thinking!
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:21 AM   #10
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Name: nick
Trailer: in the market
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Thanks to all

Thanks to all of you for you helpful replies to my post. As I am in the very beginning stages of my search I will have many questions. This forum seems very friendly. I think I will try to arrange a visit to the Fall Rally in southern Ohio. This is about 4 hrs from Toledo, but seems like it might be well worth the trip.
Again- Thank you all for your suggestions
Nick & Margie
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
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My wife & I are both in our 70s. We have an Egg Camper which we have towed with our Chrysler minivan and with our Chevy pickup. We prefer the Chevy because the seats are way more comfortable than the Chrysler seats. The Chrysler did a good job towing. The Egg Camper has a toilet/shower combination, a dinette suitable for two persons and will make into a one person bed. We had the choice of a convertible couch or permanent bed in the back. We chose the permanent bed. It can be had as an all electric trailer (ours is) or with propane. Either way, the fridge is a compressor fridge (like a home fridge) so it doesn't have to be level. It's a bit wider & taller than some of the others so it will accommodate taller people if that's an issue for you. More storage space than we can use. No rivets through to the outside as in Casita & Scamp. LIGHTWEIGHT FIBERGLASS TRAVEL TRAILER.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #12
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Nick the Algonac meet in Marine city is about 1/2 the distance and the one in Niagara falls is about 5.5 hours.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by nchiaia View Post
I think I will try to arrange a visit to the Fall Rally in southern Ohio. This is about 4 hrs from Toledo, but seems like it might be well worth the trip.
Nick & Margie
It would be a great fact finding mission. Hopefully lot's of brands will be there for you to look at. Enjoy! Good luck to you......






Quote:
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My wife & I are both in our 70s. We have an Egg Camper.
Totally second that opinion. Would be a great option to look at.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:26 PM   #14
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Name: nick
Trailer: in the market
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traveling with pets

Hi All:

I have another question unrelated to fiberglass campers. We are planning on traveling (at least the initial few years) with 2 small dogs. Probably for starters for only 3-4 weeks stretches at the most. I am wondering how constraining having pets along will be in terms of places to stay e.g campgrounds, state/national parks etc. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Nick & Margie
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