Best fiberglass campers for the money - Fiberglass RV



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Old 01-09-2019, 12:30 PM   #1
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Name: Snoma
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Best fiberglass campers for the money

If this has already been discussed, please forgive me and direct me to the correct thread. My husband and I are looking at getting a fiberglass camper, but I am wanting to buy the best for the money. I have looked at Oliver(very nice, but expensive), Casita (more in our price range), but noticed there are Parliners, Escapes and Bigfoot. I toured the Scamp plant and was not impressed with the craftsmanship. Which one would you suggest and why? Thank you in advance for your help.

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Old 01-09-2019, 12:49 PM   #2
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The best moulded fibreglass trailer is a pretty subjective thing. You are going to find that for the most part folks will suggest what they ended up with after their own searches. This is why I ended up with an Escape, a trailer I believe offers above average quality, at a reasonable cost (especially to those in the US).

I would first look at what your needs are for a trailer. How many you will sleep, cooking in or out or both, boondocking or hookups, need for multiple seasons, etc. Then look at which trailers offer you what you want and go from their.

The Oliver you toured is definitely one of the trailers near the top of the quality department, and for the price is not all that bad. You just have to accept you pay that price for the quality, AND you have to like the layouts and the stark white cabinets.

Bigfoot is another high quality trailer, a full four season unit. The build of their shells is some of the best in the market. Some of the appliances and components are average quality, but are easily dealt with should the need arise. They also offer the largest of the fibreglass trailers. If I was ever to move from my Escape, this is where I'd go. These too are quite expensive.

I really do think Escape is a great compromise. They offer two trailers with full 60x80 queen beds, even Bigfoot does not do this. They are of great quality but also offer more standard components and appliances. It was my choice, and we love our trailer.

There are lots of happy Casita owners. I know little of these trailers having never even been in one, but there sure have been lots of owners move to an Escape.

I really know nothing of Scamp as I never considered one, mostly because they are not a full moulded shell, having a plywood only floor.

Parkliner too I know little of, but I had heard they were not in business at this time. Not sure if that is true or not.

Lots of other options too, and hopefully some owner will chime in.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:02 PM   #3
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Each of the fiberglass brands is worth the price charged for them. If all things were equal, you would only have to decide how much you are willing to spend and choose a brand that has a price that matches your budget. But, of course, all things are not equal, as you will have to consider floorplans and is your tow vehicle up to the weight you will be pulling and is the size of your choice going to meet your needs. The best trailer for YOUR money is the one you can afford and best suits all your needs. Happy hunting...
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:48 PM   #4
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Agree with Jim and Steve. "Best" always means best for you. I'm actually very happy with our Scamp and have had only minor issues in terms of build quality. I know others feel differently, but I'd buy another without hesitation.

Start by making a list of your requirements, separated into "must-have" and "would-be-nice-to-have." Set a budget range and a size/weight range (if you have a particular tow vehicle in mind). Identify preferences: new or used, wood or fiberglass interior, electric or propane appliances...

There aren't that many manufacturers of all-molded trailers, so that should narrow it down pretty fast.

Best wishes in your search for the right one for you!
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:55 PM   #5
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Wink best FGTT???

We looked for all of 2017 and finally narrowed it down, We toured the nearby Ollie plant and looked at local FG TTS.
If I had unlimited funds it wd have been nice to order the 22' Ollie w all the accesories we wanted..but it cost ~~$85000+, and a $45000 4x4 truck to haul it. It is a fine 4 season camper

Ok..so we do not have unlimited funds and we don't winter camp..bks we go to FL for Feb and half of March Hmm..what to do?

We looked again at several locally-owned Casitas.... found them to be nice "3 season" TTs and they seemed to have offered about all the Ollie did except a ful time dinette and a pantry. Then we finally looked at the new 17' "Independence model" from Casita.

Now we were getting somewhere! There are only 2 of us.
OK, this new Casita layout had no full time dinette and no real dedicated pantry, but nearly every other accessory offered by Ollie that we had wanted was available on the Cassy:
LED lites, hard-wired solar power w 120W panels, propane furnace w blower, roof AC, 3-way powered-4 cuft frig, 10 spd roof vent fan w remote control, 3 burner stove w exhaust fan, MW , full bath inside [w shower, bathroom sink, power vent, dry storage and flush toilet], a cable wired TV, DVD, 6 gallon WH, +outside shower system and separate twin beds... so we do not have to climb over each other at night.
Also 4 extra 120 V outlets and 4 extra 12V outlets and an upgrade to 25 gallon water tank..plus it only ran us about $22K out the factory door:
WE also found that the Casita TT was easily towable by our midsize V6 dbl cab, long-bed truck, thus saving us another 15K+ over having to buy a new big truck.

WE bought the Casita Independence and have hauled her 6000+ happy miles since April 2018 . AS a bonus we found to our surprise that our little 17' Cassy has bigger twin beds than the Ollie..Ours are 83"x31" and Ollie's are 75"x30"...FWIW
Is she "best"?? I dunno, but we are happy...
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:51 PM   #6
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The December issue of Trailer Life has an article on different fiberglass trailers. I don't know if the article is at their website yet. That might be a good place for you to start to get familiar with the different companies.


We went with the Escape for multiple reasons. One of which was the floorplan for the 21'. If you don't like the floorplan, regardless of price, you're not going to enjoy camping in it. If need be, measure out the spaces for the trailers you're interested in and figure out if there's enough aisle room, dinette room, bed room, etc. We set up a fake u-shaped dinette in our living room with the couch and boxes so I could make sure there was enough room for me to feel comfortable with it. (We did tour the trailers at the factory, but they didn't have any u-shape dinettes on display at the time.)


When you narrow it down, see if there are any owners in your area that will let you tour their trailer - seeing it in person is far better than admiring it via your computer.


Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:34 PM   #7
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+10 All of the molded trailers are fairly priced IMHO. Its not about the price, its what works for you AND what fits within your budget. Maybe an Oliver fits in your budget. Great, that's a fine trailer and I am sure you will love it.

As a retired person on a fixed income, I have to be more frugal with my discretionary spending (and any RV is surely discretionary). So I have what I have.

I am also limited in size on my parking. I'm just about maxed out now. But I won't throw stones at other brands. They all have devoted owners that love them.

Bigfoot and Oliver are pretty similar in price (high) and both are four season capable. I personally like the Oliver better, but both are over our budget. And I don't need a four season trailer either, so I have an Escape.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:09 AM   #8
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Best fiberglass campers for the money

Thank you everyone for your advice and comments. I did find the article in Trailer Life about the fiberglass trailers and it was a big help. I am leaning toward the Casita since I live in Oklahoma, but really like the Escape, just not sure about the picking it up or the money exchange. I have never done anything like that. My husband and I have decided to go to Casita headquarters in May to tour and ask questions. Thank you again.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:19 AM   #9
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The best way to help with the purchasing decision is to physically see every possible trailer brand (and size). You don't need to go to the factory when wishing to view builds. Get in touch with the manufacturers. They have lists of people who are willing to show off their trailers. You may find just about all the ones you wish to see within a reasonable driving distance of your home.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:41 AM   #10
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Look carefully at the floor plan.

I have a Casita, and it is marginal for two people, we now want to be able to sometime have room for four people to eat and sleep, especially during bad weather.

Did I mention floor plan?

We have been a number of mfg plants, Oliver, Casita, Escape, Airstream (AS), and Scamp. These are not really manufacturers at the same level as an automobile mfg: Not state of the art, high employee turnover, lots of unskilled labor, not very good mfg processes, etc.

Quality for each of the above is reflected in the price, except for the AS, which is overpriced.

If you are on the young side of retirement and have a few good years left, then go for a larger unit. If not, then buy a Casita.

Two things. One is floorplan(!) and second, I am NOT biased toward Casita. Just being honest, Casita is the best for the money. I would put a winking smiley face here if I could figure out how to that...
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:56 AM   #11
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Easier to define what is "the worst for the money"

1. A trailer that is more than your budget allows. Putting a family's budget at risk for a luxury item like a camping trailer is a bad move.

2. A project trailer unless you have the time/tools/aptitude/patience/covered workspace. Its fun to read the remarkable work some have done on project trailers. But it takes a special person to do it!

3. A trailer too big for your tow vehicle, unless you have a replacement vehicle included in your plan.

4. A floorplan that does not work for you. This is where we made our mistake. A good deal on a trailer that doesn't work for you is not really a good deal, unless you want to get in the trailer flipping business (no thanks).


Escape works best when you make a vacation out of it. Go pick up your new trailer, then have a fun return trip hitting all of the nice places in the Pacific Northwest. You will not be the first US citizen to buy an Escape, they sell them all the time to people in the US, call them to discuss.

In the end, an Escape 19 worked the best for us. Whether or not it is the best for you, I have no idea.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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Another Approach

Molded fiberglass generally has very low depreciation, especially after the first few years.

Rather that try to nail the “perfect” trailer on the first try (hard to do unless you have previous RV experience), another approach is to purchase a late model used trailer, try it for a season or two and then sell and spring for the “perfect” new one with some experience to guide you. If you time the buying and selling well, you can often nearly break even, having enjoyed a low cost “rental” trial unit.

Casitas are far and away the most plentiful used units in your region and a good place to start. During your trial period try to attend a few molded fiberglass rallies and visit with owners of other makes and models.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SJ Headrick View Post
but really like the Escape, just not sure about the picking it up or the money exchange. I have never done anything like that.

Escape is well used to selling trailers to US customers. We paid most of it via personal check. They took the current exchange rate at the bank for the day it was deposited, which will vary all the time. We had a little bit owing when I went to pick it up, so I flung a credit card their way and that took care of it. They only allow you to put so much on a credit card, though.


Yeah, making the trip up there would take quite a bit of time, but if it's the trailer you like the best and feel will work the best for your needs, I'm sure you can work something out. They also do deliveries, which could work out better for you.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:34 PM   #14
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Do you want only the sole capability of lumbering down a paved highway from one over-priced RV slum to another or would you prefer boondocking capability? Buy accordingly. Will you care about the three month loss of use and winterizing expense? If so, buy only four-season capability.
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