Fiberglas Trailer Design. Manufacturers Are You Looking? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-07-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
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Fiberglas Trailer Design. Manufacturers Are You Looking?

I spend about three months of the year traveling in my 25' Bigfoot to do ATV riding, photography, hunting and gold prospecting. I love the trailer and the lifestyle. This is a summary of ideas that have occurred to me over the years:

For me I need a trailer with an 18 to 24 foot long living space. The tongue and outside accessories would add to overall length. Most of these would work on a smaller trailer. I do not want any slide outs. This trailer will be on the heavier and more expensive end of the fiberglass spectrum. I am thinking about function first.

The trailer should be molded fiberglass with aerodynamic shape with a minimum of flat areas or sharp edges to catch wind. Use a curved car or truck windshield for the front and rear window. Have a minimum of sharp edges and attachments on the rest of the trailer exterior. Those create air turbulence at highway speed. That turbulence originates as energy from the fuel tank.

A roof access ladder that is removable and storable.

Living area insulated for sub zero use.

Clear heavy duty automotive protection film installed on the front to protect from gravel damage.

Galvanized frame and running gears. Otherwise no matter what it is painted with you will eventually have rust.

Single heavy Dexter torsion axle with oil bath hub which would almost never need serviced (yes they make one with appropriate capacity wheels and tires). Much better than two lightweight trailer axles that bind when you turn. Also typical trailer axles frequently require expensive bearing service and are likely to fail anyway.

Axle placed farther back on body for more stability. Tanks and heavy items placed accordingly. If you have to put rollers under the back of your camper you have too much overhang.

Extendable / retractable or foldable tongue. Extended gives more stability and take weight off the hitch when towing. Retracted takes up less parking space. An extended tongue and properly placed axle would eliminate the need for expensive, cumbersome, dangerous sway control equalizer hitches.

Place the L P gas tank(s), batteries and a generator compartment at the back of the trailer separate from the living area. There they would be easily accessible and there would be no generator exhaust or battery fumes under or in the living space of the trailer. These compartments could be designed with an attractive shape to complement the body of the trailer. Remember the axle is closer to the rear for the extra weight.

Fully enclosed insulated and heated water and waste tanks centered over the axle long ways so trailer balance does not change when the water level changes. Baffles in the tanks to reduce trailer sway caused by sloshing water in half full tanks. Black tank rinse system. All hookups and drains easily accessable.


Water lines enclosed in a conduit that would allow the use of a hair dryer to blow warm air in the conduit and thaw in the event of freezing. Also the valves for draining and winterizing should be clearly marked, easily accessible and understandable.

Space for four deep cycle 6 volt golf cart batteries and a larger capacity LP tank that can be filled without removing from the trailer.

Easily accessible color coded wiring with a good diagram by the panel.

Good quality volt and ammeter for the 12 volt system built in the trailer.

Built in ground fault and low/high voltage warning lights for the 120 volt system.

Solar system with solar panels in a clear aerodynamic dome on the roof. The angle of the panels could be changeable inside the dome to track the sun. Also being inside the dome they would not catch tree branches and get damaged.

Air Conditioner.

Two thermostat controlled roof vents. One two way with inflow and exhaust.

Rain covers over roof vents. Forget the rain sensing type. Use Maxxair type and then you can leave them open.

Standard brackets on interior walls that allow the interior furniture to be rearranged, added or taken out by hooking it to different brackets. For instance a top bunk bracket for the grandkids or in case you don't want to sleep with your fishing buddy. Also, if there is any way, have the dinette area easily convertable to a couple of comfortable easy chairs.

A convection microwave or regular oven at eye level for ease of operation and cleaning.

A small broom and mop closet.

A storage compartment long enough to store fishing rods.

I am big on a good view of the outdoors. I prefer lots of (double pane)windows. Windows that open should have some sort of rain channel above them so rain water does not flow directly into the open window.

I don't like trailers that have a closed in feeling. There are good quality shades for when you want privacy.

Last and certainly not least for me is a nice large bathroom. Make the trailer a foot longer and give me the extra 8 square feet in the bathroom with elbow room in the shower and a sink that I can actually lean over and wash my face in and shave without dripping water on the floor.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good list. I think you are going to need a couple more feet than 18-24 to get all this in place. I guess this is why so many mods are done!
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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Stone Protection

Bruce H.

Clear heavy duty automotive protection film installed on the front to protect from gravel damage.

It sounds like you want my motorhoome with four wheel drive.

Clear heavy duty automtive protective film is readily available. I bought some on ebay. Put it on and it stays as well it comes off if you take it off within a few years. It's a very good solution and I'll use some for our next trip to Labrador. I'll probably just get white.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
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Not so sure I agree with "axle placed farther back on body for more stability"... mfrs are already setting the trailers up with excessive tongue weight, so I don't want to see the axle moved back farther. If they set it so the dry tongue weight is about 7%-8%, the added LP, water, battery, and cargo will bring it up to the usual 10% of total weight. Too many lightweight trailers have heavyweight tongues when loaded for camping.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
... mfrs are already setting the trailers up with excessive tongue weight, so I don't want to see the axle moved back farther.
...
Too many lightweight trailers have heavyweight tongues when loaded for camping.
Bruce has a point for double axle trailers. My Fiber Stream has a 7% tongue weight FULLY LOADED, and I know of another 25' Bigfoot RQ that was similar until the owner lengthened his tongue. I've heard that there is a design practice called the 2/3 rule. The sweet spot is to place the center of the axle at 2/3 of the length of the trailer measured from the coupler for single axle and the midpoint BETWEEN the axles for a double axle trailer. Most double axle trailer manufacturers place the center of the REAR axle at the sweet spot instead which causes the underweight tongue.

I have noticed that many 17' Casitas (a single axle trailer) have excessive tongue weight.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
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You forgot the hot tub.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
Bruce has a point for double axle trailers. My Fiber Stream has a 7% tongue weight FULLY LOADED, and I know of another 25' Bigfoot RQ that was similar until the owner lengthened his tongue. I've heard that there is a design practice called the 2/3 rule. The sweet spot is to place the center of the axle at 2/3 of the length of the trailer measured from the coupler for single axle and the midpoint BETWEEN the axles for a double axle trailer. Most double axle trailer manufacturers place the center of the REAR axle at the sweet spot instead which causes the underweight tongue.

.
Once upon a time I was a dealer for flatdeck and cargo trailers. Our for that type of trailer rule was that the FRONT axle should be at the balance point, with rear axle spaced behind according to mounting hardware. This resulted in a trailer having a sufficient load on the tongue when loaded (unless it was operated by a less than careful operator) With that type of trailer, you can assess how well it will tow by removing the rear wheels and you should be able to lift the tongue (with some effort). (In fact this MAY be about the same as placing the center of the two axles at about the 2/3 spot!)

For a travel trailer, a similar system might apply - IF (and only if) you tested with a typical load in it. Tanks full, propane tanks full, batteries installed, etc. The upward spring pressure of the rear axle suspension would then apply a downward force on the tongue allowing it to trail nicely.

However, I do not know if this is 100% applicable to travel trailers, but it sure works for cargo units!
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:34 AM   #9
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Hi: All... Another most important point to ponder is that with a dual axle trailer, when hooked up, the frame should remain parallel to the pavement in all of its length. That way equal weight is distributed on both axles.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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Interesting list. About half of the items you've mentioned, I have zero interest in... but, I do like Byron's suggestion of a hot tub!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:47 AM   #11
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Hi: All...I believe KZ RV in Indana builds the trailer that fits 99% of this list. Downside is it's a 56' long triple axle and requires a Freightliner type tractor to pull it!!!
Alas...no hot tub.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #12
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The one thing Bruce left out was how much he would be willing to pay for a trailer like that. Maybe $50k or $60k? It's sure not going to arrive for much less than that.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #13
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Hey Bruce,

When you find that trailer, let me know.....because I'd be interested in your 25ft. rear queen Bigfoot. I'd be most happy with it not the super large trailer you are talking about.
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