Leaving Home - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-19-2015, 11:13 AM   #1
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,070
Leaving Home

Leaving home to get married or go to college is a big adjustment, for some living in a small trailer is similar. It’s probably easier for those who move up from tent camping than those who move down from a traditional home.

Last night when we returned to our Scamp 16 we drove by a camp site with a small tear drop, of the ‘sit-up only’ variety. When we reached our site we found a small T@B, probably 13 feet long parked beside us bedecked in bright orange, The T@B was definitely the ‘stand-up variety’ of tear drop but of much less volume than our Scamp.

It got me thinking about our camping lifestyle, more so for the heavier travelers, for those of use it for more than a week or two at a time.

Before I began writing I read a (maybe tongue in cheek) justification for buying an Escape 19 over an Escape 21, ‘two people can pass in the aisle’. There are all kinds of little statements like this that justify buying larger trailers and Escape has done a very good job capturing a niche virtually abandoned by other fiberglass manufacturers. They definitely deserve the 2footitis logo, going from 15, 17, 19, 21. How far off can the 23 be?. Kudos to them.

For those making the transition from a home to a closer to home-like RV, probably the easier the transition.

What do you consider necessary for extended travel?

Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:21 PM   #2
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,706
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post

For those making the transition from a home to a closer to home-like RV, probably the easier the transition.

What do you consider necessary for extended travel?
I am looking forward to the day I will be able to take off and follow the folks I know who already go down to Mexico & park at the beach for 3-4 months a year & having already done a few winter trips to the south for a month or two myself, I have a pretty good handle on what the next trailer I purchase will have that my current Scamp does not:

1) 4' to 5' more feet of house space!

2) A separate dinning table that does not require the bed I sleep in to be taken apart each day. The table will be large enough that 4 people can play cards or eat at it in poor weather.

3) A larger bed.

4) Larger bathroom and shower area. Does not need to be really big just big enough that I don't need to actually stay sitting on the toilet in order to shower!

5) Lots of storage space inside that is easy to get at - again without having to take the bed apart - including more hanging space.

6) Outside hatches that allow me to retrieve items from under the front and rear benches from outside the trailer.

7) A slightly larger freezer compartment than I currently have and it has to be able to keep ice cream well frozen.

8) An onboard awning that is EASY to put up and take down unlike the case awning currently on my Scamp.

9) Roof AC

10) A 12 Volt roof fan/vet that has a rain sensor!

11) A bit larger solar panel than what I currently have.

12) A tank monitoring system.

13) Better TV antenna system.

Yes I know I could add/change some of items 6 to 13 on the current trailer to make it better suited but items 1 to 5 can not happen with foot print/size of current trailer. Would rather save up my pennies that 6 to 13 would cost to modify current trailer and spend them on a trailer I know I will be buying sooner rather than later.

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Old 04-19-2015, 12:26 PM   #3
Name: Ron
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 36
First let me say I enjoy your post.
I dont think there is an answer to your question, there are to many factors that govern what we would feel comfortable in for extended stays.
The first is money,how much the unit cost and cost to maintain and to move.
2 what you expect from a unit ,personaly that means a bathroom , kitchen, and a comfortable bed. Those I have to have.
3 is protection from insects storms and staying warm or cool.
4 low maintenance
5 Where you want to camp ,the smaller the rig the more places are available.
I could add to this list but these are the main thing for me.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 3,703
We have 4 campers, teardrop, pop-up, 13' Uhaul and 17' Casita. We take whichever one will work best for where we are going. The Casita is of course best for longer term trips. We recently worked at a RV show so got to browse through many larger trailers, 5th wheelers, and motor homes. Those big units would be really nice to spend the winter in as snowbirds. But do I want to spend that much money or pull something that big, that answer is NO. We have no intention of selling our house, and the longest time we are out is around 3 months, so the Casita works fine for that amount of time. But wait, we did see a nice custom built Airstream, if only the owners could be talked into selling !!
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:33 PM   #5
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,070
Almost Heaven

Our first trailer, though not fiberglass was about the size of our Scamp 16. It was a Sunlight 15.5. If it didn't leak and have rot, it would still be the trailer we use.

The trailer had 7 jalousie windows. One large window across the front and one across the rear. On the door side it had 3 windows, one near the front, one over the sink and one near the rear. On the other side it had one near the front and one near the rear. Absolutely great cross ventilation in every direction that any normal rain could not penetrate. As well there front and rear roof vents. The front window had a hinged rock shield with adjustable arms.

It's gaucho couch in the rear was set up as a full time bed with an additional 4 inches of foam. There was full trailer width storage cabinets above and below the couch, The bed was 10% wider than our Scamp and longer. The trailer was 4" wider than the Scamp.

On the door side there was a 4 burner stove with a powered hood over the stove. The sink was beside the stove. Above the stove were cabinets; below the stove were cabinets and the water tank. The 20 gallon water tank was right over the axle. Filling the tank had virtually no effect on tongue weight.

On the other wall across from the sink, about 3 feet off the floor was the fridge, a 4 cubic footer. Immediately below the fridge was a pull out shelf for more kitchen working space. Below that shelf was the utensil drawer and other drawers.

Under the fridge towards the wall was the black tank. (Normally toilets go straight down to the black tank drain. This toilet had it's drain at the rear of the black tank away from the toilet. allowing the bulk of the black tank to sit over the axle.)

The gray tank was about 6 inches high but wide. It sat under the floor between the axle and the bottom of the floor. It was unique in that it had a drain from the sink on one side and a drain from the bathroom sink and shower on the other side eliminating drain pipes running under the trailer. Above the Sunline's sink was a small medicine cabinet. The Sunline came with a wet shower like the Scamp, something I changed.

The bathroom wall next to the fridge had a floor to ceiling 'can' closet, one can thick, again focusing weight near the axle. I added this,

Note that all water tanks, fresh, grey and black are all over the axle, where weight belongs. As well the fridge is over the axle and the stove is close to the axle.

The front of the trailer had a four person dinette convertible to a bed (we never used it as a bed). There was a full width over head cabinet across the front of the trailer. There was storage under the door side dinette. There was also storage under the other dinette, this storage area was accessible from outside via a pull out drawer.

Behind the door side dinette was a clothes hamper, about four feet wide and 8" deep. The front of the trailer contained our battery and one propane tank. The roof had a 120 watt solar panel and a satellite dish. The rear bumper had our present Bumper box, except the spare tire was mounted out side the bumper box on Sunline's standard swing arm spare mount. The bumper box sat on a steel bumper that was square in cross section and contained our sewer hose.

We had made a number of mods to the Sunline. One was to add a small dry shower. To do this we took a portion of the non-door side dinette, basically making it a 3 person dinette, though we could seat a fourth on the end. Over the shower was a plastic hemisphere to allow really tall people to take a standing shower.

Amazingly the Sunline loaded for travel weighed 2200 pounds with a tongue weight less than 200 pounds. Though lighter than our Scamp it got about 10% worse mileage probably because it wasn't streamlined and was slightly wider. As well the roof contained more stuff, a sat dish, solar panel and shower dome.

It had thin aluminum siding and batt insulated walls. It was a 1982 and would be 33 years old this year. The new price was under $3000. Truly a great little trailer that took us many places...though it could get wet inside in a downpour..the reason we no longer own it.

The axle was a traditional leaf spring axle.

For a little trailer it used it's space well, the best small trailer layout I've seen. I would have given up the front dinette for a couple of comfortable chairs, certainly if we had kept it.

It did have an awning, one of those slide it in the grove type...

Key advantages,

a bigger bed,
a full time bed and dinette.
a wet shower,
better windows.
bigger fresh, grey and black tanks.
batt insulation,
more ceiling vents,
a real door lock,
weight over the axle,
More storage (than Scamp)

Little can be enough.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:09 PM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 3,703
Only thing that Sunline was missing was an oven. We were tempted to buy a larger trailer than the Uhaul and leave it stored in the south until we returned for the winter but didn't want to be committed to staying in one place plus heard horror stories of mold problems leaving a trailer there. And then along came the Casita for sale so bought it.
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:57 PM   #7
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,070

We did have an oven in our Bounder and did use it. However we find that our travelinga ll the time pretty much negates the requirement for an oven.

For the things we like to bake we have found work arounds, meatloaf and prime rib. We try to avoid desserts and bread so no oven helps us avoid those things. It doesn't stop us from eating the occasional dessert or outstanding bread, but we never buy too much.

By the way there's Sunline space for an oven as an option but I would not opt for it. We have a home style electric oven in our park model. We used it a lot when entertaining. We often had dessert gatherings and Ginny would bake, hoping they would eat it all.. most of it disappeared by the end of the evening.

We did do a couple of turkeys and hams for dinners in the club house. By the way, for those that don't have ovens (and even those with ovens since RV ovens are not that great), our Escapee park allows anyone to use the club house's professional ovens along with kitchen equipment.

We had our trailer sitting for 6 months in storage at our park this year, no inside mold build up. We did get some green mold on the belly band where water collects. It quickly washed off and a little black on the flats of the roof.

In our park a number of people leave their trailers, mostly 5th wheels, for the summer. Most people close them up with out any issues, usually leaving them un-powered. Some install that humidity absorbing compound.

In our park model we have left the AC on at 85 F and 50% humidity. It costs about $25 a month and seems worth it as a precaution since we're first timers.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:53 AM   #8
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
Posts: 1,259
Size isn't the only thing in choosing a trailer. In June I'm going to British Columbia to get my Escape 19. The 21s are nice and I would have ordered one of those but the bed is in a rear corner with the bath in the other rear corner jammed right up against the bed. Also the bed in it is smaller, I think. In the 19 I'm getting a queen bed and the dinette will make a bed suitable for an adult. My current EggCamper is really nice (it will not be mine anymore after Friday) but the dinette made into a bed is not long enough for an adult. My unmarried adult son sometimes goes with me and has to sleep on the floor in the EggCamper. In the Escape he won't have to do that. Floor plan is hugely important.

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