Advice on which 13' - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-25-2010, 02:01 AM   #15
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I think Floyd covered it pretty well. Out all the 13' fiberglass trailers made over the years only three are being made that I know of. Casita, Scamp, and Trillium/Escape. Some might want to argue that 4, but Trillium and Escape are both partially made by Escape. At moment it appears the Reace has put the Escape 13 on hold for now.

Scamp is generally considered the best value. It's price is the lowest and many 30+ year old trailers are still out being used today.

That's my take.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I think Floyd covered it pretty well. Out all the 13' fiberglass trailers made over the years only three are being made that I know of. Casita, Scamp, and Trillium/Escape. Some might want to argue that 4, but Trillium and Escape are both partially made by Escape. At moment it appears the Reace has put the Escape 13 on hold for now.

Byron
Byron:

See Escape Trailer Ind & Trillium RV

It is no longer true that Trillium and Escape are both partially made by Escape.

Brian
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:20 AM   #17
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Yeah Byron, Escape quit making the 13 foot blanks for TrilliumRV more than a year ago and stopped producing 13' all Escape trailers this past late spring/early summer
"At this time, we have decided to suspend production of the 13' Escape. With the introduction of the 15' and its competitive pricing, interest in the 13' has dropped off. Due to the demand, we are focusing on the units that are generating the most interest. Any 13' units currently on order will be built as scheduled." as found here: Escape Trailer Industries > Home

That means (I think) only Casita, Scamp, TrilliumRV (with a different vendor than Escape) and perhaps Team Trillium are building the 13 footers. Here's the Team Trillium (Outback) website: http://www.trilliumtrailers.com/index.html
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:58 AM   #18
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I think the U-Haul has been given short shrift here. Consider the unquestionable advantages: double hull for strength, no through-rivets to break or leak, smooth bright molded interior for best light and feeling of roominess, no ratfur on walls to deteriorate, sealed bearings, substantial bumper, solar panel, FG sealed floor.

The U-Haul CT13 was designed to be exceptionally sturdy and renter-proof, and for minimal maintenance required of U-Haul dealers (and, ultimately, us lucky private owners).
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jack maloney View Post
I think the U-Haul has been given short shrift here.


Jack, I agree! I find it fitting to quote a great saying posted recently by DonnaD.
Quote:
Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.


I truly believe that every glass 13fter has things that make it great compared to another. If the opportunity came about to have them all side by side, it would still come down to what best fits the individuals camping needs. I personally would never have one that had an exposed underbelly (that's just me!) It's not to say that it's a bad trailer, it's just saying for me it wouldn't work.

I also think that many 14fter's in the used market might be getting over looked. Their are many of them that are just as wonderful as a 13fter.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:50 AM   #20
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(Dusty, if debating the merits/detriments of different brands for someone who asked sounds like bickering to you, please skip to the next post.)

But, like everyone is saying, there are plusses and minusses to them all. For the plus of the U-haul sealed bearings, you have the minus of proprietary wheels; for the plus of the fiberglass liner, you have the minus that if a leak or dirt or etc. get between the shells, it's hard to get to. For the less rounded front you have the 12" couch that is hard to sit on (if you want to use the couch back), etc.

Now, I like the U-haul a lot and I used to own one. I would not have bought it if I did not like them. But basically, they all have plusses and minusses. None of the older 13's were built by "craftsmen"; and they all have little weird spots here and there (one U-haul I looked at had the two shells glassed together off-kilter, and I could find similar issues with every brand).

These were all built to a price, and a fiberglass factory is a nasty place to work and is never going to attract Michealangelos or Einsteins. Nonetheless, all of the brands I can think of have some special, neat features; and likewise they all have their own little flaws and things that could have been done better.

Add to that 30 years of maintenance, neglect, wonderful owner upgrades, or shoddily done "improvements," and you have one, individual trailer for sale today.

So, if I were in your position (and I was, a few years ago), I would want to read up on the different brands and what their good points/bad points/features were (searching and reading FGRV is a great place to do that), decide what is important to you, look at some trailers (another decision; how far are you willing to travel to get one?), and then ultimately buy one.

If you are buying new, it's a slightly different story. There are only a few brands made now, and some of them are a better made than others (reflected in price, I imagine).

So, if you wouldn't mind, could you please take the time to clarify what you are looking for? If you do, then those of us who are putting in our time to answer you can better tailor our responses.

Raya
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:57 PM   #21
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I also think that many 14fter's in the used market might be getting over looked. Their are many of them that are just as wonderful as a 13fter.[/QUOTE]


As the owner of a 14 ft, I have to say that I love my trailer. That's just my opinion but I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:11 PM   #22
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Hi all, wow what great responses. Sorry about the delay, I did not expect so many fast responses. What I am hoping to find is a used 13' camper that is in pretty good condition. I am used to doing all the instalations and manitenance on our sailboat so fiberglass,electrical and plumbing is all ok. We are hoping to do a 3 month back packing trip to the National Parks next summer and having a camper would give us a great base. We also live on our sailboat so living in a camper would not be much of an issue for us.

These are the things we really want: cooktop, installed head (I could add this), 3 way fridge, 12v lights, light weight as the tow vehicle is a 4 cylinder truck

Nice to have:shower, hot water, heater

I am not sure if any but he newest trailers have showers, I see on the Casita website they have that option on the 13 now but I am not sure what year that started.

It would be great to be able to see some of these campers in person.

Thanks to everyone that has either emailed me or has responded. This stuff is very helpful.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:26 PM   #23
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Hiya Evergreen,

To maybe figure out some limitations in order to focus our suggestions:

1) What is the tow capacity of your truck, what is the allowable tongue weight of it, at what point (if so) does it require trailer brakes, and are you required to subtract any of your truck payload from that total.

2) Older 13's with plumbed in heads and showers are rare, and typically a bit heavier, especially on the tongue (may not matter, depending on #1). As you say, you could add something.

3) 3-way fridges can be found in quite a few of the older 13s. This is a plus as they are rather expensive to buy new, and also there are no new ones made that fit under the typical 13-er kitchen counter (they are deeper now, so they project into the camper a few inches more than the counter, and you need to make a surround or etc.).

4) What is your budget? This may be something you don't want to share, but it would help us to make recommendations, rule out (or in) a new camper, etc.

5) Which Charlestown? (Aha, looked at your profile, must be Boston area.)

5) Your plan sounds great, by the way

Raya
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:29 AM   #24
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HI Raya,
1. Tow capacity 3500lbs, tounge I think 350lbs. Not sure about the brakes and we need to subtract the payload. I know it will be tight.

4. Our budget is a little flexible, we just did not want to buy a new camper if it was not needed (actually our plan is a little more complex, after the 3 month trip in the camper we plan on taking our sailboat to the South Pacific so money is important).

5. Yes Charlestown MA is Boston. We are from Vermont though and spend a lot of time there.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:47 AM   #25
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Evergreen,

You shouldn't need to buy a new camper, as there are thousands of used 13-footers out there. And your tow capacity sounds fine. Even though most 13-ers are quite a bit heavier than the oft-touted 995#, it's not likely that you will top 3000# with any of them (although, as we always say, you have to weigh to know for sure, most 13-ers going down the road would proabably fall in the 1500# - 2500# range).

You may find that you need trailer brakes over 2000#, but those are addable if that is the case and the trailer you find does not have them.

One good thing is that there is an active market for these (as you will find out when you are looking for one), so if you wanted to sell again to top up the cruising kitty before heading across the Pacific, you would likely not have too much trouble. 13-ers especially, as they are the most flexible in towing requirements.

If you are not planning to drive a long distance to pick one up, then the brand may somewhat decide itself since there are not typically too many for sale in the NE (or in my area.... I drove ). But then you only need one

One thing you may re-consider is the plumbed in bathroom/shower. They are out there in the 13-ers, but much less common and also that takes away some from the open charm and simplicity of a small 13-er (that last is obviously just my opinion).

Most 13-ers, however, will have a niche for stowing a Porta Potti. WAG bags (which have changed their name to some clever pun now.... maybe it's Go Anywhere) are another option. Being on land opens up the options some as compared to being on the water (i.e. a lot more campgrounds and other stopping places have bathrooms/options than do anchorages!)

I don't mean to discourage you from finding a 13 with a bathroom, if you really want one; just sharing some of my thoughts.

Raya
(Also from snow country, originally)
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:24 AM   #26
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You can find a few ideas for adding a bathroom on this forum. Several people have done it. We did it to our 13' Burro when we had it, suspended shower curtains from pvc piping in the trailer and used one of the shower dodads that you can get at your camping store.

There are a couple of UHauls on ebay right now. They are both in the Midwest. The proprietary issue Raya brought up is there, but most of us have worked this out.

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Old 09-26-2010, 11:44 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Yeah Byron, Escape quit making the 13 foot blanks for TrilliumRV more than a year ago and stopped producing 13' all Escape trailers this past late spring/early summer
"At this time, we have decided to suspend production of the 13' Escape. With the introduction of the 15' and its competitive pricing, interest in the 13' has dropped off. Due to the demand, we are focusing on the units that are generating the most interest. Any 13' units currently on order will be built as scheduled." as found here: Escape Trailer Industries > Home

That means (I think) only Casita, Scamp, TrilliumRV (with a different vendor than Escape) and perhaps Team Trillium are building the 13 footers. Here's the Team Trillium (Outback) website: Trillium Trailers - Compact lightweight fiberglass OutBack travel trailers Calgary
Thanks for the update Donna D. I haven't been keeping up with Escape or Trillium these days.

Byron
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:58 PM   #28
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Hi Cindy,

Just to be clear, I was not singling out U-haul or their proprietary parts as a "special" problem (and I was hoping that would show in the context of my earlier reply). I think they are nice trailers.

Quite a few people have added parts of bathrooms, and I'm sure that some have added (and some come with) "full" bathrooms, but that's getting to be a lot for a 13-er that someone is trying to keep reasonably light/simple (which maybe I'm reading into a little bit because as a sailor I like to keep things simple; and also considering the mission that Evergreen proposed).

The reason I say that is that, presuming somone is starting with a basic 13-er with the Porta Potti niche, well, then you are adding more water supply piping, grey water drain (and maybe holding tank) for the shower-drain water; black water tank for the toilet drain, and then perhaps more tankage (since a 10 +/- gallon supply is fairly meager for a "real" toilet and shower plus the kitchen sink.

Of course it's possible to rig up much simpler "showers," but I had got the idea from the earlier post(s) that Evergreen was wanting a real shower plus plumbed in toilet. I'll have to go back and confirm that.

At any rate, it's certainly doable. I was just chiming in with my thoughts and opinions considering things like finding a trailer in the NE, towing for a single three-month trip to the opposite coast (potentially with some weight limit if moving luggage/boat supplies and having to subtract cargo weight from towing cap + 4-cylinder + mountains), being on a budget, and then maybe (?) re-selling at the end of that time. Some of this I'm inferring from what we do know.

As is probably obvious - given the parameters we know - I would stick with the Porta-Potti/WAG bags,and Navy baths plus my garden sprayer shower, except when at campgrounds and able to use their showers. But part of the beauty of it is that we can all do our own thing. OTOH, since Evergreen asked for opinions, I figure seems okay to give them, too, as long as I'm not posing them as fact.

Raya
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