Help me day dream about our next camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2018, 11:07 AM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Scamp
Colorado
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Help me day dream about our next camper

Hello all,

We currently have a 13’ scamp and we love it, it was our first foray into the RV world from camping and we purchased it knowing that if we enjoyed it and used it enough we would likely move up to a larger unit in a few years but this allowed us to dip our toes into the lifestyle without breaking the bank.

We are happy with everything in the scamp but a few areas stand out that we would want to improve / upgrade if moving up.

1. Having a dedicated bed and a separate seating area. Currently we have to tear down the bed if we want to use the dinette since we also have a bathroom. Not a huge deal as 90% of the time we just leave it as a bed but if we are stepping up in size this would be on the wish list

2. We have the big bed option (54” wide) and it works for us but having a little more length would be nice since my head or feet are always against the wall and I have a hard time getting comfortable. Queen size where we did not have to climb over each other would get lots of extra points!

3. More storage, for its size it has a good amount of storage but it would be nice to have some extra as well as possibly and outside storage area.

Currently we have a 2016 Nissan Frontier crewcab SV with the shortbed and that will likely be our tow vehicle for the next ~5 years at that time we will hopefully be retiring and chasing the nice weather and would look at upgrading our tow vehicle.

Maximum capacity 6,100
Tongue Load 610
GCWR 11,230
GVWR 5,816
Max payload 1,368
Curb weight 4,447

I would like to stay with the molded fiberglass because they hold their value better and seem to have less water issues.

While we have not looked at them in person yet the following have caught our eye

Escape 5.0 and 5.0TA:
Would likely be at the top of the list for us and one that would work for us in early retirement to travel part of the year. I am guessing the 5.0 TA would be better long term for us due to the increased size but my concern is can we make it work for 2.5 – 3 years with the frontier until we retire and upgrade trucks. The 5.0 single axle seems to have a great history being matched up to the frontier so we could always look for a used one but if the 5.0 TA would work we would likely opt for it over the single axle.

Escape 19
Nice size bed and a dinette pretty much has everything we want

Escape 21 bed seems small but might be worth a look??

Escape 17 Bed is not really an upgrade not really worth spending the money IMO to go from the scamp.

Oliver Legacy Elite bed is smaller than our 13’ scamp not really an upgrade

Oliver Legacy Elite II
Nice quality and configuration. I believe this is within the capacity of the frontier but might be pushing it a bit. Dry 4,600 tongue 460

Casita looks like there are several with a 54” wide bed but it is only 1” longer so not really worth it but maybe I am wrong?

Scamp 5er….. I think it has the same size bed that you sleep across the trailer, it is nice to have the bed separate but I think I would be up against the same issue with head and feet touching the sides?

Any others that I should consider? Any thoughts, corrections or things I looked over?

We are still 1 – 2 years out from buying but thought it was good to start the process of elimination
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:20 PM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
North Carolina
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This is what got us to our Escape 19. Big 60 inch wide bed plus 44 inch wide dinette. Many trailers come with just a 24 inch wide dinette.

You will likely run out of payload with either the 5.0 fifth wheel or the 21 foot Escape. Whether that bothers you is a personal decision.

We moved from a Casita Liberty to an Escape to get the more useful dinette. The other benefit is we have at least twice the storage on the Escape compared to the Casita. Realize a lot of the lower cabinets on the Casita are not storage, they are full with water tank, water pump, electrical panel, battery, furnace, hot water heater, electrical cord, etc. Escape water tank is below the floor, and the battery on ours is up front in the optional storage box.

Climb over is the rule of the day until you get to the Escape 21. One thing about climb over, only one person has to climb over. So if one is more apt to get up at night, give that person the non-climb over spot.

Sounds like you have bed length issues too! That can eliminate a lot of options including the Escape 19.

Don't use dry weights for comparisons. They are worthless, and actually misleading IMHO. First, you never will tow your trailer "dry". Second, dry weight rarely includes any options. Third, manufacturers conveniently omit a lot of stuff in their dry weight calculations. Some don't include battery weights for example. Weights in the real world are much more meaningful.

Many molded trailers end up with a lot of options that aren't included in dry weight. For example, on our Escape 19 we have an awning, A/C, front storage box. thermopane windows, list goes on and on really.

An Escape 17A (no bath) is pretty similar in size to the 19. Add a bath and everything gets smaller. So if you can live without a bath, the Escape 17A is a fine choice.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2016 Escape 19
Tennessee
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We love our Escape 19, it has everything we need, and we bought it thinking it would be our last camper. That is, until we saw our friends new 5.0TA. Now, in about 5 years, when we upgrade to a pickup from our current Pathfinder, we may have a decision to make.

But even when we do change our TV, we may just stay with what we have, because it really is a great layout for our needs.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:46 PM   #4
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As always bigger is better and the more expensive the better.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:46 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Casita and Scamp (all models), and the Escape 17 are the same width: 6'8". (That just happens to be the maximum width to avoid extra clearance lights as a "wide" vehicle.) That means unless you have a model with longways sleeping (Casita Liberty/Independence), you'll get about the same bed length as what you have now.

The Scamp 19 standard can be modified for a longways loft bed by cantilevering a mattress over the front sofa. Nice galley space, but you have to accept its tiny, "emergency use only" side bath. The mod won't work in deluxe models due to the front bath.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:46 PM   #6
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Trailer: Scamp
Colorado
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@ thrift bill

Thanks for the feedback on the 19 we will have to check one out as it sounds like it might be a good fit.

RE payload it sounds tight and several people have posted their numbers and from what I can tell we would only have 1 - 2 hundred pounds for extra stuff in the truck / bed. There are just 2 of us and we tend to not carry too much stuff so maybe we could make it work for a year or two.

@ gregandteresa

Great vote of confidence and certainly bumps the 19 up the list.

@ byron kinnaman

Such an insightful and detailed response I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your response. Deep really deep thanks


@ Jon in AZ

I guess that makes sense always wondered why they bed let gth was so short in many of the trailers.

Thanks for the reminder that you can put a longer bed in the 19ft scamp, I will have to wait for one to pop-up on Craig's list and see how I feel about it.
______________

Any others that we should check out? I was looking at the parkliner site and the layout is really confusing.

Airstream Nest technically fits the bill with a queen bed but it is pretty heave and expensive for what it is so not on the list.

Bigfoot? I am not seeing one that would fit out needs and work with our current truck but maybe there we're different models that I am not aware of from the past?
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:51 PM   #7
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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If it turns out you want an Escape 19, you'll have much better luck looking on the Escape Forum than on Craig's List.
It's a sister to this site. Go here: Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:56 PM   #8
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Thanks Glen, been a member for a while and check it daily
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:03 PM   #9
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Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Don't use dry weights for comparisons. They are worthless, and actually misleading IMHO. First, you never will tow your trailer "dry". Second, dry weight rarely includes any options. Third, manufacturers conveniently omit a lot of stuff in their dry weight calculations. Some don't include battery weights for example. Weights in the real world are much more meaningful.
I'm with you Bill in getting away from using dry weights. In fact, I'm more inclined now to simply work from the trailer's gross weight rating, 5,000 lbs in the case of our Escape 21.

The options brought it in at 3,735 lbs, 525 over the published dry weight of 3,210. With the front storage box, propane, and the large storage area under the bed, the tongue weight can easily increase 100 lbs or more above the published figure per my quick checks with a Sherline scale. In fact, with options, it started out at around 400 lbs versus the published 360 lbs.

It's interesting how often we find ourselves speaking of wanting more storage and space while proclaiming in practically the next breath that we really won't be packing much extra weight.

It's kind of like the way I talk about having "just a little more pie", and the consequent results on my beltline!
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:07 PM   #10
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I beg to argue.
Don't hear anybody complaining about the tare weight on a propane tank ( what it weighs when empty ) so why are people suggesting that dry weight is deceptive? Dry weight is what it is.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:28 PM   #11
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Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I beg to argue.
Don't hear anybody complaining about the tare weight on a propane tank ( what it weighs when empty ) so why are people suggesting that dry weight is deceptive? Dry weight is what it is.
Well for instance, some manufacturers don't even include the weight of the batteries in dry weight. I would call that deceptive. Others, not so much manufacturers but the sales reps, rely on dry weights too much and don't mention real weight. For example I have friends that just bought a camper at Camping World CW). CW touted dry weight for working with their limited TV. I mentioned what about the weight of options, like the oven they got, the air conditioner, the TV, awning, microwave, spare tire, etc. Trailer is loaded with options. None of them are included in dry weight. Camping World salesman just kept repeating dry weight as far as whether their TV could pull it. The tow capacity of their TV is about 100 pounds over the dry weight. And they are very likely out of payload.


Our first trailer purchase, over 30 years ago, we were just as gullible and sales rep told us our TV was more than adequate. First big grade we went up at 29 MPH...... Lesson learned.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I beg to argue.
Don't hear anybody complaining about the tare weight on a propane tank ( what it weighs when empty ) so why are people suggesting that dry weight is deceptive? Dry weight is what it is.
Glenn,

I don't know who "people" refers to, as I only said that I was with Bill in getting away from using dry weights.

I spent several years counting (or estimating) "up" from dry weights. I am now more inclined to start with the trailer's published gross weight rating, and also to mentally calculate a tongue weight at 12 to 15% of same.

This approach allows me to start with a "worst case" scenario rather than what might end up as mere wishful thinking. It's also served to better highlight the differences in cargo carrying capacity of various trailers, (just in case I ever start a cargo-hauling business as a sideline).

But just for the immense fun no doubt to be had thereby, I'll go ahead and argue. Can we agree on the definition from this link?

http://www.rveducation101.com/articl...cleTrailer.pdf

Unloaded Vehicle Weight or Dry Weight (UVW) or (DW): is the actual weight of the tow vehicle or trailer as built at the factory. The UVW does not include passengers, cargo, dealer installed options, personal belongings, water, or LP gas.

From that I'd say it's deceptive to leave battery weights out of a trailer's "dry weight". It's arguably also deceptive to bury vague references in "fine print" that options will add some unspecified amount to the published dry weights; AC runs about 100 lbs, an awning about 50, a second battery another 50. These are all fairly common options, and not insignificant in weight.

Escape provides some information in their FAQs under "What tow vehicle is needed to pull an Escape?", starting with "On average, most Escape customers carry about 800lbs – 1,000lbs of cargo with them when they travel and add about 200lbs – 300lbs of options to their Escape Travel Trailer." then adding specific figures for each model. That's always stood out in my mind, and I don't recall other manufacturers doing similarly.

To expand, many trucks are (as Steve Dunham among others has amply illustrated) limited by their CCC to something far-below their published rated towing capacity, I'd argue there is more deception going on that side of the hitch too.

It seems a that common punch line on these trailer forums is "oh yeah, you can tow that with that". It speaks to the role that disingenuous and deceptive practices play in the sale of both towables and tow vehicles.

No QED here, but I'm interested in what you think.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:03 PM   #13
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Scamp
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It always gets so confusing and it makes my head hurt, you have the auto manufacturers rating of the vehicle

The trailer manufacturers dry rating

The real world rating that includes accessories

The loaded ready to camp weight

Then you have several rules of thumb and opinions on how much each should be inflated or reduced by to come up with some magic number.

Looking at Civilguy's example I would think that would be well within the limits of the auto manufacturers rating I posted above but I am guessing most people would deem it unwise to tow the 21 with the frontier.

How in the world is someone supposed to figure out what is ok if you can not trust the published numbers?
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:09 PM   #14
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Deceptive sales people are not unusual.
I still contend that you have to start somewhere, and that is dry weight. And, buyers need to inform themselves or they'll find themselves towing 17-foot Casitas with a Honda Element.
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