Aluminum RV equitable to Fiberglass RV? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2015, 12:14 AM   #1
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Aluminum RV equitable to Fiberglass RV?

I was looking at the "LivinLite" trailers, and trying to compare them to the fiberglass ones. It seems they have many of the same advantages: light-weight, water/rot-resistant, rust-proof, durable, etc. Do FGRV people think of them as generally equitable to FGRVs, or is there some major difference that separates them? (other than the fact one is FG and the other is AL).
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:22 AM   #2
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Seams. period. Eventually it will leak a lot more than a molded FGRV.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:27 AM   #3
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Seams. period. Eventually it will leak a lot more than a molded FGRV.
Ah, that makes sense. Since I plan to keep mine for a very long time (once I get one), I think not having seams is a better plan. Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:32 AM   #4
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Ah, that makes sense. Since I plan to keep mine for a very long time (once I get one), I think not having seams is a better plan. Thanks!
I don't think you'll get any all molded towable owner to disagree with your statement
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:34 AM   #5
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Living Lite Trailers are not so lite. We considered one before buying our first small trailer. They have significantly higher dry weights than an equivalent Scamp. Their advantage is they are a box trailer providing more storage space in the same length; their disadvantage is their shape is not aerodynamic with higher fuel operating costs.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:17 AM   #6
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Resale value. Resale value. Resale value.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:48 AM   #7
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In fairness, they are comparable in weight to fiberglass. What creates confusion is that their model numbers designate cabin length, not overall length.

The Livin Lite 13 models have an overall length of 16'6", which places them between a Casita 16' and 17' for comparison. They have dry weights of 2250-2350 pounds, which is about midway between a Casita 16 SD at 2185 pounds and a 17 SD at 2480 pounds. (I chose Casita rather than Scamp because Scamp's dry weights do not include a lot of equipment that Casita and Livin Lite include as standard equipment.) It appears the true lightweight choice in that size/feature class is the Escape 17B, at 17'8" overall length and 2180 pounds dry.

Nevertheless, they are a bit wider, taller, and boxier than the fiberglass alternatives, so they will require more power and fuel to tow. They're pretty expensive, too, especially since there isn't much of a used market yet.

And, of course, there are those pesky seams.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
In fairness, they are comparable in weight to fiberglass. What creates confusion is that their model numbers designate cabin length, not overall length.

The Livin Lite 13 models have an overall length of 16'6", which places them between a Casita 16' and 17' for comparison. They have dry weights of 2250-2350 pounds, which is about midway between a Casita 16 SD at 2185 pounds and a 17 SD at 2480 pounds. (I chose Casita rather than Scamp because Scamp's dry weights do not include a lot of equipment that Casita and Livin Lite include as standard equipment.) It appears the true lightweight choice in that size/feature class is the Escape 17B, at 17'8" overall length and 2180 pounds dry.

And, of course, there are those pesky seams.
Jon,

An un-optioned 13BHB Ultralight, is equivalent to a Scamp 16 in overall length, weighs EMPTY, 2250 lbs and a 285 lb tongue. That is without AC, and awning. As well it is capable of a potential 67 gallons (522 lbs) of fluids.

Our Scamp fully loaded weighs 2400 lbs with a 200 lb tongue including a half tank of water and an anti-sway bar.

Also we towed a fully loaded Casita 16 with AC, 1/2 tank of water and awning, it weighed 2600 lbs with a 260 lb tongue. The weights for the Casita and Scamp were both scale weights.

Discounting the poor areodynamic shape of the ultralight, it is both taller and wider than the Scamp 16 and Casita 16.

It surprised me that a trailer than is heavier than either the Scamp 16 and Casita 16 uses 13" tires.

Though the length is listed as 16' 6" the Ultra light's inside length is 13' I believe the same as a Scamp 16.

The Living lite belongs listed in under light trailers but it's not really ultra light. AN optioned Ultralight, loaded for travel will easily weigh more than a Scamp or Casita 16 and be a more significant tow load.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:07 AM   #9
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A small impact or scrape will permanently damage aluminum and repairs are difficult an expensive. Fiberglass is much more forgiving .
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:08 AM   #10
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I had the 2..0 popup by Living Lite. It was a pain in the rear just to set up and take down. It weighed three hundred and eighty five pounds. I towed behind a small 4 cylinder 2. O Ford Focus. It had plenty of room. but the canvas and marine vinyl was always cold and freezing in cool weather. luckily I sold it when I bought my 1982 burro. I was lucky to get rid of it. I paid way too much for it.over $4,000 new and sold it for $2000 after having just two years. No resale value at all. I love my burro. I'm now 66 years old hopefully it will be the only camper I willever own the rest of my life. by the way, my burro 13 foot only weighs 13 hundred and twenty-five pounds loaded with all my gear and a propane tank.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:32 PM   #11
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I think the Camplites look pretty nice and they should be durable. When (not if) the seams leak, it should not do serious damage before it's found and resealed. To be fair, FG trailers can leak also eventually, at window and door openings or if plumbing springs a leak.

Figure on about 2-3 mpg less, and working the drive train correspondingly harder, with a Camplite. And I've heard that they are not as cozy in colder weather, especially the aluminum floor.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:35 PM   #12
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A small impact or scrape will permanently damage aluminum and repairs are difficult an expensive. Fiberglass is much more forgiving .
FG repairs are expensive also. I got a quote recently to fix two cracks above the door on my Lil Hauley... a pro FG shop wanted over $800. The folks at Snoozy said that's about in line with what they'd expect, too.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:14 PM   #13
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Aluminum RV equitable to Fiberglass RV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Jon,

An un-optioned 13BHB Ultralight, is equivalent to a Scamp 16 in overall length, weighs EMPTY, 2250 lbs and a 285 lb tongue. That is without AC, and awning. As well it is capable of a potential 67 gallons (522 lbs) of fluids.

Our Scamp fully loaded weighs 2400 lbs with a 200 lb tongue including a half tank of water and an anti-sway bar.

Also we towed a fully loaded Casita 16 with AC, 1/2 tank of water and awning, it weighed 2600 lbs with a 260 lb tongue. The weights for the Casita and Scamp were both scale weights.

Discounting the poor areodynamic shape of the ultralight, it is both taller and wider than the Scamp 16 and Casita 16.

It surprised me that a trailer than is heavier than either the Scamp 16 and Casita 16 uses 13" tires.

Though the length is listed as 16' 6" the Ultra light's inside length is 13' I believe the same as a Scamp 16.

The Living lite belongs listed in under light trailers but it's not really ultra light. AN optioned Ultralight, loaded for travel will easily weigh more than a Scamp or Casita 16 and be a more significant tow load.
From "Trailer Weights in the Real World":
Average loaded weight of a 16' fiberglass trailer: 2764 pounds
Average tongue weight of a 16' fiberglass trailer: 273 pounds
Average loaded weight of a 17' fiberglass trailer: 3221 pounds*
Average tongue weight of a 17' fiberglass trailer: 399 pounds*
*Oliver excluded as an outlier @ 3900 pounds

Norm, I think you are an outlier, too… in a good way! You have learned to travel lighter than most.

Loaded to the full GVWR of 3000 pounds (that's 650 or 750 pounds of options, gear & fluids, depending on model) the Livin Lite 13 models run midway between 16' and 17' fiberglass models. In terms of space inside, they are probably more equivalent to a 17'er than a 16'er due to the boxy shape and about 6" of additional width, but I couldn't find complete interior dimensions to back up that claim.

I stand by my statement that, weight-wise, they are in the same ballpark.

It is interesting that they have chosen to go with a less-robust axle and smaller tires. Looks like it would be fairly easy to overload a Livin Lite, especially if you travel with full tanks (not that any sensible person would do that ). On the other hand, larger tanks would be an advantage if staying in one place for an extended time without full hook-ups. Just make sure to dump before heading home!

I still think fiberglass is the better all-around choice for the many other reasons already mentioned: lack of seams, smaller and more aerodynamic towing profile, proven durability, repairability, and resale value.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:33 PM   #14
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