Downsizing from a Sticky - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #1
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Just wondering who on here has downsized from a bigger camper to a fiberglass camper?
Why did you do so and what are the plus and minus sides of things?
I am asking because hubby wants a bigger camper. What did you find as advantages and disadvantages of either type of camper?. We are thinking 21 foot, or something that a mid size SUV can still pull.
I don't even know I have the Casita behind me because it pulls so nice going down the road. What about those 8 foot wide bigger 21 to 23 foot campers? Are they hard to pull? What did you dislike about them? I am trying to talk myself out of spending the money on one, but at the same time liking the idea of more room in my little cabin on wheels.
Anyone here care to give me an idea of what is was like camping in them compared to the eggs.
Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:17 PM   #2
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Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
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Yes, we down sized from a C-class motor home to our Scamp. This is a short history of our RVing:
Our first RV trip, well this would have been in 1971. It was a camper shell on the back of my dad's farm pick-up (1970 Chevy) with a butane tank in back. My wife & I drove from Harlingen, TX to Las Cruces, NM for a job interview. We had two fold up cots (old army style, canvas, take apart to fold), a borrowed Coleman camp stove. The camp stove's leather pump was dry, therefore we had a time getting it to work. Corn oil on the leather to get it going. First time to sleep in it was a KOA in Las Cruces. Got the job, found a small house to rent, spent another night at the KOA. Went to Carlsbad. Can't remember others stops. No real problem. Fell in love with RVing & New Mexico and have been at it for 38 years.

Bought a '71 Chevy Pickup for the camper shell, added build in bunks, storage. It was a neat set up for us. We also bought a new Coleman stove in Las Cruces before we left. Ha!

Traded this set-up on a '85 Scamp II, slept in the back with the tailgate down, or in a tent. Then got an old TC for the old '70 pick up after I got it from my mom. Then bought a TT in '86 (a '83 Komfort Lite) which we took on a trip to Yellowstone, Glacier, Baniff in Canada to Victoria, BC then down the west coast to SoCal & back home towed with the '70 Chevy farm truck. After several new to us tows, we went to a '96 Coachman Catalina C-class MH in '97. We went to Canada again for our first trip with it. This time to LA area then up the west coast to Victoria, BC area to Jasper, to Baniff, Watertown, Glacier, then back home via Idaho Falls area. Then down sized to the 16' Scamp in 2005.
For a more detailed version see http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=37439 .

Why? you ask. Wanted less to haul around, less to park, less fuel to move it from point A to point B, easier to park, less insurance cost, and did not have to buy a bigger tow vehicle at the time. I also reasoned by being molded fiberglass it would be less likely to develope leaks in the roof and would last a long, long time.

What do I miss? The bed, ours is a little cramped in the Scamp.

Some of the non-molded fiberglass trailers are pretty nice, I must admit. Not sure if I could call the ones built with welded aluminum and a composite siding, often a type of fiberglass a sticky. The ones I had were stickies. You mentioned 21', which is not toooo huge, but there are some really nice shorter ones out there as well:

The 19'10" Bullet by Keystone is one example. http://keystonerv-bullet.com/index.php?pag...mp;model=180FBS The Lance the new one at 20'9" looks good also. IMHO. I like the compact ones. There may be some shorter as well.
Escape has a 19 Foot they're buidling. And Oliver also have plans for a 22 Foot.
Also the small 5th wheels would be nice, 19' Scamp http://www.scamptrailers.com/Showroom/19Fi...FloorPlans.aspx and the 5.0 Escape makes very nice ones. http://www.escapetrailer.com/Index.aspx?Page=Layout50 But not for a SUV of course.

Trailer length, instead of getting one as long as possible, IMHO should be based on how are you going to use it, what kind of camping, in private RV Resorts with full hook-up or in public campgrounds in forest settings, or national parks. Longer wider will limit the campsites in alot of campgrounds. No matter how good a driver. And of course how many are going to be using the trailer, a couple alone or with kids, how old, how many. How often it will be used, how far is it going to be towed, where it is use, mountains or plains, high country or flat land, low lands.

Another factor I'll mention again, compact lighter units should take less fuel to get from one place to the other. But it comes down to what you are looking for, need, want to have plus the tow's capabilities.

Even when I was in larger units compared to our Scamp, they were never really huge. The height of the C-class always bothered me more than it's length. Plus it's weight. Some of our units were smaller than the Scamp as well.

As for being different camping in them, none, except having more room in them. Did not have to wipe the shower down as we do in the Scamp. Easier to shower, larger water tanks and holding tanks, which makes it a little more convenient. No rivets to break (but have had none break yet in the Scamp). Very roomy bed, a long queen sized in the MH. Could have quests in them much easier & more than one extra. But it has been easier to set up the Scamp once it is in camp, to level, etc. than the other two, the Komfort Lite & the C-class. They were wider as well as a little longer which gives a lot more space, especially the bed sizes. There seems to be more difference than I first realized. The Scamp makes it more like camping, less like RVing. Ha!

It seems hard to find one now without a slide out or two. They do give a lot of room, but I see them as just something else to go wrong and break down. Ha! My son has one in his Cougar 5th Wheel. Photo shows the difference in size of his rig & ours.

Good luck! I can understand going a little larger. But overall, I am very please with the Scamp. I really would not want to go to much larger than what we now have. It is really nice having one which is not much wider than our Ford F-150. I've done towing a wide load, not as easy at times. Oh, yes, longer trailer are easier to back up than the shorties. I also liked having two axles, yep, a plus for sure, tandem axles. Loose one tire, there is another to help.

But to be honest answering your question (What about those 8 foot wide bigger 21 to 23 foot campers? Are they hard to pull?); No, not hard to pull, just takes longer mirrors to be able to see around them. And a wider spot to park them, but that is not related to pulling them. No, I would not say they are harder. But now that I am thinking about it, I may have not towed a 8' wide one. The Komfort Lite was not as tall or as wide as a regular trailer. But I do not remember how wide it was at this time. Maybe someone else will answer this as well. See if anyone agrees or disagrees with my answer. I believe I am correct. They will be heavier, however, which will make them less easy to tow. Will take more of a tow vehicle to do the work, as I mentioned before. It is the weight, more than the length & width. Navigating them into parking lots, gas stations and around traffic, they will not be any where as easy as a Scamp or a Casita. Therefore, the answer would be yes, they will be harder towing. How is that for an answer? Or I could have said, they are not hard to pull, but they are harder to navigate, harder towing. Not as easy to stop, at least somewhat.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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We had a 25 ft 5th wheel for about 4 years. Last year we sold it and the tow vehicle, primarly because the tow vehicle (a 1 ton diesel truck) had become too unreliable to keep. When we emptied the RV when we sold it we found items stored in the RV that we had never used during the the time we camped. We also realized that because of its size and what was required for towing we did not go camping as often as we would like. The biggest disadvantages we see to it was: need more space for storage between trips, parking, and larger site for camping. I was not going to drive and tow that large trailer so that left my husband to do all the driving.
We bought a 72 Boler this summer. We are doing a complete renovation. We see a lot of advantages to the 13 ft camper. We feel that we will camp more as it will be easier and less work to set up and break down when camping. With the size it is easier to tow and our smaller vehicle will have no problems towing as well as I will be able to do some on the driving. When we camp we spend all of our time except for sleeping outside the camper so the kitchen and all the living space inside the larger camper was wasted space for us. We can't wait until we get our renovations completed and take our little camper on its first trip. I am sure that this will prove to be the better fit for us.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:54 PM   #4
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We bought a 72 Boler this summer. We are doing a complete renovation. We see a lot of advantages to the 13 ft camper.
This is really funny, to me at least. I keep exploring the idea of moving up to 16' (without upsizing our tow vehicel) so we can have an on-board shower, and you're going the other way! One thing that holds me back is that I think I might eventually miss the simplicity of our 13' Scamp. So after all the comforts of a fifth-wheel, you're content with the idea of a porta-potty and campground showers (or wherever you find them)? Maybe it's just too easy to think that (a little) bigger is (a little) better. I look forward to hearing about your downsizing adventure!

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Old 09-27-2009, 10:07 PM   #5
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Maybe it's just too easy to think that (a little) bigger is (a little) better.
I think you hit the nail on the head.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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Our renovation of the 72 Boler is not to restore to original but to our own interior design. We will keep the table/benches to make our bed, athough making it a bit wider for comfort. The front bunks are removed and we are putting in a bathroom in its place. Its layout will be simular to the layout of the 13 ft Scamp with the front bathroom. We have removed the kitchen and will use the space for cabinets for storage. We always cooked outside when camping with the 5th wheel and never used any of the interior kitchen so for us it made sense to have only an outdoor kitchen which we purchased from Cabellas. We have a First Up screened in awning that we used to cover our outdoor space. We feel that this layout will work best for us as that is basically what we did with the 5th wheel but now we will have it on a smaller scale. We hope to be ready for the first trip with it next spring.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:25 PM   #7
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I've driven the larger wider ones and in certain situations they give me "White Knuckles".... that little "Egg" back there bein' about the same width as my tow.... I wouldn't trade it for Nothing (well maybe a 19' Escape) I like bein able to pull into mc donalds and not have to worry, setup, ease of use, relatives little driveways, campsites that largers can't get into, etc.
Can't take it away "Larger Ones" are great for the extras you get..... Whatever decision you make it will still be fun that your getting out there.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:15 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. That 21 foot camper weighing over 4300 lb lb actual weight is looking to me less inviting after hearing from you all. I would be the one driving it, parking it, etc (not hubby). I am sure I could do it, but do I want to, that is the question.
We are very crowded in the Casita but it is doable most of the time. I would love to be able to hook up that sticky and take it down the road for a test drive before even considering one. It has room for us both to sleep, a living room area and even a place to put the puppies if I have a mom with pups. (now I have to stay close to home when raising those puppies. It is money from the puppy sales that gives me the $$ to afford to camp). I could camp with tiny pups in a bigger camper, but you are most likely right in that I would not go often if having to haul it. I would most likely want to park it someplace instead.
I did NOT call the salesman to put $$ down on it today. :-) I am rethinking the "need" for a bigger camper.
Thanks for your input folks!
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:50 AM   #9
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Well we went from a Casita to a 21' foot bigfoot. As we are thinking we might need to live in it for a while we opted for the larger size. However I thought I would have more trouble driving parking somrthing a little wider and in fact I find it easier. I did make some adjustments to my tow vehicle, but nothing major and we love our new/old trailer. We go out in it at least once a month! I am sure that I would not go much bigger really for us but we are happy and have no regrets with upsizing, and we are still in the FG community.



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Old 09-29-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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Our renovation of the 72 Boler is not to restore to original but to our own interior Its layout will be simular to the layout of the 13 ft Scamp with the front bathroom.
I am considering scaling down from my Scamp 16 with bath to my "project" Perris Pacer 13. Your bathroom and floor plan mod sound very interesting. Please post your progress.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:19 AM   #11
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Hola, again!

Quote:
......We are very crowded in the Casita but it is doable most of the time. I would love to be able to hook up that sticky and take it down the road for a test drive before even considering one. It has room for us both to sleep, a living room area and even a place to put the puppies if I have a mom with pups. (now I have to stay close to home when raising those puppies. It is money from the puppy sales that gives me the $$ to afford to camp). I could camp with tiny pups in a bigger camper, but you are most likely right in that I would not go often if having to haul it. I would most likely want to park it someplace instead.
I did NOT call the salesman to put $$ down on it today. :-) I am rethinking the "need" for a bigger camper.
Karalyn, I have unlined the points you now have added which would make me think, you would use a larger unit as much if not more than the Casita. All I was trying to or wanting to say, it would be a little harder in some ways, in others it will be easier. Maybe more so than harder. Yes! of course you can tow it. Without much of a learning curve to do so and without any problems.

The way I see it now days, get what we need to make life as easy as possible, we will not be taking it with us, by n' by.

Maybe you should go for it! See if they will let you take it around the block so to speak. I'd hate to be part of discouraging you on this.

Remember, longer trailers are easier to back up than the shorties and having two axles is a plus for sure, tandem axles loose one tire, there is another to help. Just going down the Hwy, with good mirrors, not much of a difference. Find gas stations with room for your rig, no problemo. Drive low and slow as the Low Riders Say, just forget about the low.

Best of Luck.

By the way, My son-in-law is from the Orono, Long Lake, Lake Minnetonka area west of Minneapolis. Living in Tucson now.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:40 AM   #12
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.... and having two axles is a plus for sure, tandem axles loose one tire, there is another to help.
AND when it's time to buy trailer tires, you buy four instead of two.

There's been some discussion on one of the other forums about towing a tandem axle trailer and the individual feels it's a rougher ride towing. Which makes sense, as when hitting a bump... another tire is hitting it also. Driving concrete roadways, with expansion joints, instead of six tires going over the joints, you now have eight.

Just wanted to point out these issues.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:30 AM   #13
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I found some 7' wide trailers http://www.cikirarv.com/index.php?id=11

The doggies could have there own apartment tent area http://www.cikirarv.com/index.php?eID=tx_c...486aa8fb01479ed


I have had to replace tires on the Scamp every 2 yrs now, maybe if it had four they would still be going without being replaced. The ones on our '83 trailer were at least 10 yrs old before one got destroyed when I didn't notice it was flat until too late. Maybe 13 yrs old, but I do not believe they make them as well now. Not radial as well then. I do not remember having a rougher ride towing my old tandem trailer, but it was a "lite", and not as wide, maybe 7'. 20' Komfort Lite 1983. Even with bias tires. Never had stuff jumping around on a dirt road, etc. inside the unit. Which will happen in the Scamp, or has.

However, perhaps all you need is a MOD: have the rear window removed and a fiberglass "box" fabricated to cover the opening on the outside and attached to the Casita. The window could be re-installed to the extension. Something like a Bay Window affair over the spare tire. A puppy nusery.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:39 AM   #14
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John and Jackie,


All of what you said goes for us. I think we only had the 24 foot because of the kids. I now hav 13 and a 16 foot. More than big enough and does not require a seperate tow vehicle.

PS: I like your taste in dogs too!

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