"ideal" trailer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-21-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Name: Hazel
Trailer: Trillium
Saskatchewan
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"ideal" trailer?

If you had the money and the contacts how would your ideal 13' trailer be designed?

For us the WANT list includes -
Double bed we can both get in and out of easily - or two single beds
Fridge (3 way)
Furnace
No stove burners
No oven
No sink or water tanks
A spot for jackets dry or wet
A spot for shoes/boots
A porta potti (not plumbed in)
Outside access hatches in logical places
Comfortable seats for the two of us
Table
Generous lighting and plug in spots
Lots of windows that open - but don't let rain in
Adaptable storage
Minimal weight

We like to camp. For us that means cooking outside (we have a free standing canopy). Living in bear country suggests strongly that cooking odours in the trailer are a BAD idea - besides neither of us find anything fascinating about cooking in our bedroom! For safety reasons most of our food/pots etc are kept in the car.

Campsite conversations lead us to think that (for this area anyway) we are pretty typical.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
New Mexico
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I believe Scamp will build to suit, might get all you are asking for in one. ????
Except for the Outside access hatches in logical places....this seems a hard to find & get the others.

Not sure how willing Casita is in doing special orders????

Lil Snoozy will also build to suit, but not in the 13' size. Small Travel Trailer: Camper: Smoakin Concepts Composites

Little Joe might fill the bill, not quite 13', but close. Little Joe Lightweight Trailer - Compact Camper Trailer for 2 by Weiscraft Trailers

You might do a mod for the bed in the Little Joe to get it off the floor, if it would matter.

The Roughneck might work, but not sure about the port'a'potty. Roughneck Adventure Trailer - Compact Expedition Trailer - Outdoor Sports Cargo Camper
But lacking in:
Outside access hatches in logical places
Comfortable seats for the two of us
Table
Generous lighting and plug in spots
Lots of windows that open - but don't let rain in
Adaptable storage

An Escape 15' might have all you are asking (not sure if can be order without the stove) & not 13'. http://escapetrailer.com/Products/15FootEscape.aspx

Not sure if one with all this can be found, may have to get as much as you can in say a Scamp, then build the rest as mods.

Good luck.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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hi hazel----i agree with all of the points you listed---with the exception of the stove burners. i only boil water occasionally, mostly cooking outside, but i can honestly say that i would want to keep them because when i boondock, i want to have the opportunity to warm something up or boil water if need be.
but definitely, the rest of your list is identical to what i would want. our outback has alot of those features, but not all.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Escape 13 ft 2010 ('Ladybug') / 2003 Subaru Forester/ 2012 Toyota Highlander
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Hazel:

I think Escape Trailer Industries will custom build a 13 foot trailer the way you want. When we ordered our 13 foot trailer they added many features we wanted. It should be easy for them to subtract features. We have a sink and stove top. While we do most of our smelly cooking outside, either with a propane stove or with an electric frying pan or toaster oven, it is nice to be able to make tea or soup inside when it is cold. We have a porta potti with its own compartment. Shoes go into the porta potti compartment during the night. We use the back bed/table as our eating area and sleeping for one and the front bed/table as a sleeping area for one. With practice it is pretty easy and quick to convert the back table to a bed and back. We installed some 3M Command hooks inside the trailer for drying wet jackets. We use a plug-in Ott Light to give good lighting when we have the table up. We have some comfortable folding chairs which are set up outside in nice weather. We have two large windows with screens in the sides which give good ventilation and have never let water in even when it rains.

The 13 foot Escape trailer is no longer routinely made, but the company will build one on request. I've posted pictures of our trailer here:
Ladybug our Escape 13 - a set on Flickr

Brian
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:17 AM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 316
I'm in the process of building my ideal trailer, but it is on a 16" platform. One reason I chose the 16 over the 13 was because I wanted the 3500 lb axle. I ordered a custom Scamp trailer and got some of what I wanted, but it still takes a lot of personal work. I spend long stretches living in mine in often bad conditions, off the grid. That said, here are my wishes:

3500 pound axle
14" wheels
swing up tongue jack
porta potti and storage compartment
all LED lighting, properly designed to illuminate your work
a quiet efficient furnace
fresh water tank and sink with foot pump
automotive type seats, not square benches
2 burner stove with exhaust hood.
Lots of well concieved storage

The biggest problem that I see is that no one builds these trailers for fulltimers or uses "professional grade" components. My scamp is a good solid trailer though. The ideal situation for me would be to buy an empty solid shell and design / build my own interior based on simplicity, efficiency, and my personal requirements.

David
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:17 AM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 19
Arizona
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You might try a Snoozy trailer. When I visited their factory, there was a trailer in the shop that was just the shell with cargo back doors. I would think since they sell a cargo model, that you could get the same model with the travel trailer backdoor, and some windows as you wanted. Then you could finish the interior as you wished.

Something worth noting is the Snoozy has no rivits-hence it should not have little leaks like amny other trailers
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
The ideal situation for me would be to buy an empty solid shell and design / build my own interior based on simplicity, efficiency, and my personal requirements.
This is the goal for my Compact Jr's second rebuild. I got it back somewhat damaged, but I now realize all of the mistakes I made the 1st time around and have an opportunity to correct them. It now weighs 1420 pounds.

The very 1st thing I will do after stripping out the interior will be to weigh it. I want to see if it is possible to build it under 1000 pounds.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:25 AM   #8
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You can add all of the lights and electrical plugs you want to any trailer, it's very basic electrical work.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:05 PM   #9
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
This is the goal for my Compact Jr's second rebuild. I got it back somewhat damaged, but I now realize all of the mistakes I made the 1st time around and have an opportunity to correct them. It now weighs 1420 pounds.

The very 1st thing I will do after stripping out the interior will be to weigh it. I want to see if it is possible to build it under 1000 pounds.
Frederick, it does take once through to figure how to do it right. I'm also very weight conscious. Dropping weight often means exotic materials and time intensive building practices. Good luck with yours! I'm hoping to drop some pounds for next year, but the tradeoff is always whether the utility of an item is worth carrying it. Fortunately for me the answer is usually NO

My loaded 16' is 2350 on the axle and 220+/- on the hitch

David
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:57 PM   #10
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You could buy a cargo trailer and make it your own. I was going to say a Genesis, but I see that the bed is not what you want.

CindyL
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #11
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Trailer Weight

This is all a wild guess about weight.

My trailer weighs 2400 lbs, 2200 on the axle and 200 on the ball. About 1/3rd is stuff we carry. Most of the weight of a trailer is in the structure. Eliminating load, appliances, tanks and the like, does not effect 2/3rds of the trailers weight.

Steel weighs about 500 lbs per cubic foot, fiberglass weighs about 120 lbs per cubic foot.

The typical trailer has at least a cubic foot of steel (500 lbs), probably 2 cubic feet of fiber glass (240 lbs), 3 tires (100 lbs), 8 windows (50 lbs) wooden floor, (200 lbs).

The stuff we carry weighs about 700-800 lbs. (Fridge (46), AC (32), Microwave (30), Stove (20), Small appliances and electronics (60), water heater (25), water (100), propane (40), food (100), Supplies (30), Clothing (100), Tools (30), Tanks (30).....

To attack trailer weight one needs to begin with the frame. At the Florida egg rally their was a women who had converted her steel frame to aluminum. I have never found an aluminum axle.

Just for fun,
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:28 PM   #12
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Red face The weight you add in remodelling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
I'm also very weight conscious. Dropping weight often means exotic materials and time intensive building practices. Good luck with yours!
I was a complete novice when I first bought my Compact Jr. I wasn't even a member here then, and the 1st time around I made every mistake in the book.

It originally had a thin lightweight "Bumper" that must have been only for show; it was really bent up badly. I cut that off and had a piece of thick 4" C-channel welded on with big 1" all-thread stabilizer jacks at the ends. Extra weight. I replaced the 1/2" plywood floor that only ran down the center walkway with 3/4" plywood that extended fully to the side walls all around. Extra weight. I built the interior furniture out of prefab bathroom cabinets and finished shelving that was solid particle board. Extra weight. The interior walls were originally just paint on the fiberglass shell; like my Fiber Stream is now. I added reflectix insulation and cotton backed vinyl material on all interior walls. Extra weight.

I want to remove ALL of my "improvements" and start over from scratch. This time I plan to keep track of what everything weighs as I add stuff... Stay Tuned.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:14 AM   #13
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
This is the goal for my Compact Jr's second rebuild. I got it back somewhat damaged, but I now realize all of the mistakes I made the 1st time around and have an opportunity to correct them. It now weighs 1420 pounds.

The very 1st thing I will do after stripping out the interior will be to weigh it. I want to see if it is possible to build it under 1000 pounds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
I was a complete novice when I first bought my Compact Jr. I wasn't even a member here then, and the 1st time around I made every mistake in the book.

It originally had a thin lightweight "Bumper" that must have been only for show; it was really bent up badly. I cut that off and had a piece of thick 4" C-channel welded on with big 1" all-thread stabilizer jacks at the ends. Extra weight. I replaced the 1/2" plywood floor that only ran down the center walkway with 3/4" plywood that extended fully to the side walls all around. Extra weight. I built the interior furniture out of prefab bathroom cabinets and finished shelving that was solid particle board. Extra weight. The interior walls were originally just paint on the fiberglass shell; like my Fiber Stream is now. I added reflectix insulation and cotton backed vinyl material on all interior walls. Extra weight.

I want to remove ALL of my "improvements" and start over from scratch. This time I plan to keep track of what everything weighs as I add stuff... Stay Tuned.
Well, you damn sure want that particale board gone! I would build aluminum tube bumpers. When it comes to any kind of sheeting, like your plywood, it is always better to add supports if needed than to increase the sheet thickness. Increasing the sheet thickness is the least bang for your buck when it comes to strength to weight ratio. Besides, that 1/2 will put the spring back in your step .

Norm, I suspect some trailers have even more fiberglass than your estimate. I've cut through mine enough to see that it is THICK. It all depends on how hard the guy is leaning on the resin gun. I don't have a frig, AC, bathroom, or water heater and my trailer still weighs as much yours I've got road hogging weight!
David
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:52 AM   #14
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Hi: Hazel in Sk... The only trailer that will come close to fulfilling your list is an Escape IMHO! At least Reace& Tammy will try to accommodate, within reason, all your wishes. We certainly love our 5.0 but we have adapted to the trailer as we were lucky to find a nearly new one with the options we wanted.
A lot has changed in the 4 yrs. we've owned "Our Escape Hatch" both in the new options available and in "US TOO!!! The full 3pc. bath has become a #1 priority and the for and aft sleeping, but for that extra measure of comfort... we take along our 0Gravity chairs.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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