Looking for guidance from people who know - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Kristen
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 21
Looking for guidance from people who know

Hello, All. Not sure if this is the right place for this question or not… I am still looking but seriously considering buying new. My question is what do I need, what’s totally not necessary and what can always be added at a later date? I guess these questions apply if I actually find a used trailer also. But I was reading the Parkliner site yesterday and I am so confused by all the optional features. I know what I decide I need is personal and no one can really answer that for me. But if anyone would please provide their opinions, I’d really appreciate it. If I were to order a Parkliner, I know for sure we want bunks and the screen door. After that, I’m confused. Is the flush toilet worth $995? Can a keyed deadbolt be added later for less than $135? If we plan to use the shower, is a hot water heater something we’d be totally sorry we didn’t have? Or can that be added more economically later? It just comes with an ice-box… is an ice-box just fine for a week’s trip or do most people decide they are better off with a refrigerator? Is the magic table worth $455? It’s such a big investment. I don’t want to end up deciding to do it, but then cut corners and always wish I had just gone with a little more. But also don’t need to spend more money than necessary for a comfortable and usable home away from home. Thanks for any wisdom you can share.

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Old 06-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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carlkeigley's Avatar
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,361
Here's my back yard photo shoot after getting home from the factory.

Backyard Photo Shoot

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Been there done that.
I was thinking I could get a Fantastic Fan cheaper. But then when I searched them, they weren't as cheap as I thought and then I would have to have it installed. So I opted to get it up front. I asked them to add a outside shower which was not an option but they did it for me.

It is a big investment and that was a reason I opted for a few things I didn't really need. Looking ahead when I might want to sell or trade up. This is all part of the shopping agony. $700 for awnings I thought was a bit much. Then I found the price wasn't that bad compared to what's out there.

I feel for you Kristen. In fact I think I'm having agonizing empathy with you.

Only you can actually decide what you really need. But what you may want we can all pile on for you. lol.

And to the Forum. Glad you joined us.

I'm glad in hind sight I opted for what I got.
For the Parkliner items, Parkites will have to answer that.
They'll be along shortly.

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Old 06-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,701
Originally Posted by Kristen in MO View Post
what can always be added at a later date?<Cut> Or can that be added more economically later?
Some items especially items that involve running new plumbing or adding tanks etc are harder to add than others after the fact, sometimes impossible. There is a pretty popular brand of trailer here that it not uncommon to see one listed for sale used that the original owner decided not to order a toilet or perhaps a shower into the bathroom but lots of people considering buying it want to know if its possible to add the toilet or shower and you will see potential purchasers asking the original trailers manufacture if it can be done - often the answer is no or if it can be done the price of doing it is *much* higher than had it been done when the trailer was being built.

Even if the item can be adding the cost of adding optional items after the fact is often higher as you will need to order the item and have it shipped to you - that can be costly.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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Name: Gilda
Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
Posts: 1,142
Perhaps you could start your dream list by answering the question "What Type of Camper Are You?
Camping Personality- What Type of Camper Are You?

My husband and I are basically "adventure campers." We are very satisfied and comfortable in our 13' Scamp, towed by a sedan, with mostly the basics although, I confess, I love to "glamp" it up a bit with themed curtains, pillows, tablecloth, stuffed animals and spare tire cover. Following is a list of our option choices and the reasons for them.
  • Kitchen drawer - It is very handy to open the drawer, which we customized with 3 partitions, to easily access our flatware, butane lighter, matches, scissors, large knife, small ceramic knife with protective sleeve, wooden spoon, spatula, manual can opener and few other things.
  • Icebox - We did not want to fool around with the electric, gas or battery options to keep the thing running. We did not know if they make a sound that would keep us awake at night. Yes, we need to refresh ice about every 3-4 days but we need to purchase fresh items about as frequently. We always carry extra meals that do not require cooling. A refrigerator, however, provides more room for food because there is not a block of ice taking up room.
  • Back overhead cabinet - This adds support to the fiberglass shell, provides space for pillows, bedtime supplies, reading material and games. It also provides a mounting surface for the dome light (included) in the middle and the tilting lights (optional) on each side. We read in bed by the light of one of the tilting lights.
  • Tilting lights - see above
  • Heater - One advantage of having a trailer is you are not totally exposed to the elements as you are in a tent. Bring on the heat when it's cold!
  • 2 propane tanks - This turned out to be overkill. We have never used a full tank on one trip. Our longest trip, so far, has been 3 weeks. We are now, however, confident we will never run out of fuel.
  • Screen door - Best decision, ever! Keeps out the bugs! Provides a little bit of privacy when you want air flowing.
  • Porta-pottie and no shower - You'll see lots of threads on this issue. We are fine with using the public toilet and shower facilities. Sometimes the big RV campgrounds have luxurious facilities that NO ONE USES 'cause they have their own in their RV bus. That's great for us! Even rustic campground outhouses are WAY BETTER today than I remember, back when. They are clean and have little odor. The porta-pottie allows us to stay indoors when nature calls at night. We limit it's use to #1 for easier cleaning unless we boondock. It's really not as bad as some people make out. Frankly, I'd rather empty a small, hand-held tank at the toilet stall than to deal with a huge blackwater tank at the dump station.
These choices have added significantly to the comfort of our trailer. It's small but cozy, comfortable and cute.

Good luck with your choices.
Happy Camping!
Gilda (Jill-da)
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2007 casita freedom deluxe-2013 tacoma
New Hampshire
Posts: 297
i'm pretty new so you should listen to others more than me but i know i dont like the propane heater in my casita. i'm not that comfortable with propane anyway...and the safety features often drive me nuts...and i have heard others say it is loud. i found a little elec heater works really well because the camper is so well insulated. i do love my fridge. if it is plugged in it keeps everything cold and then when i travel everyghing stays cold for a long time. oh and i love the fantastic fan too.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2011 Escape 17B
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1,274
As long as everywhere you camp has electricity, going without a furnace is practical, although it may reduce the resale value of the trailer. I have both & use the electric when possible. As you stated, it is quieter, and for most campgrounds, cheaper. On the other hand, I often camp on non electric sites. While I don't do much winter camping, I was in Leadville, CO last August. It is at 10,000' and most mornings were in the low 30's. I really appreciated being able to warm up the trailer before climbing out of bed to make breakfast!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
Posts: 1,652
The answer is "42". (obscure reference to the meaning of life, the universe and everything.)

I suggest you buy a trailer.

No penalty if you don't get it right the first time. Trade up. Trade down. Used trailers hold their resale if not abused. Buy the new trailer after a couple years trailer camping.

Go to a rally. Not everyone's ready to write an epistle on their theories of camping but most are more than willing to bend your ear at the campsite. You'll get good input from more than the usual suspects.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
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Name: deryk
Trailer: 2012 Parkliner 2010 V6 Nissan Frontier 4x4
New Jersey
Posts: 2,086
Well everyone has an opinion...

I love my ParkLiner, and go away almost every weekend from aprilApril to novNovember just to not be sitting at home on the weekends lol. I also boondock so heat and refrigeration is important to me. I prefer the port a potty to the flush toilet for simplicity as well as having a grey water tank that can be emptied anywhere. The port a potty can easily be dumped in a toilet/outhouse/port a john etc.

I would order the water hheater now because later you would have some fiberglass work to do. I didn't want the magic table because its expensive and the big dinette stays down as a queen sized bed

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Name: Kristen
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 21
Thank you, everyone. I appreciate all the comments, especially the item specific ones. I am enjoying the search but so ready to be able to just pack up and go. Again, thank you and look forward to reading more. I would love to go to rally, but don't see any near me. I've got to see some of these in person soon!
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #10
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Posts: 1,719
Kristen I am in STL,where are you?

You are certainly welcome to take a look at mine if you need a walk around and one mans opinion on what has made sense for me.

I am with Steve though in general here,buy one used and get to know yourself and what makes sense to you and then either Mod yours or sell it and find a better one.

They are not so common around these parts and sell quickly in my experience.

The last 2 that I have sold were not even for sale when I sold them!

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Old 06-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
Junior Member
Name: Kristen
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 21
I am just South of St Louis and would love to see a Casita in person. I have noticed they are rare here and figure buying new might be my only option. I can't see investing money to travel to a used one. But I do have family in other states so thought I could ask them to help me. But yes, please, I would very much like to take you up on your offer to see a trailer in person and talk to you more.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:44 PM   #12
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,850
Many here will go check out a trailer for you with the buyers check list in hand if it is close to them. Sometimes we already know the trailer in question.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 971
Originally Posted by Kristen in MO View Post
I am just South of St Louis and would love to see a Casita in person. I have noticed they are rare here and figure buying new might be my only option. I can't see investing money to travel to a used one. But I do have family in other states so thought I could ask them to help me. But yes, please, I would very much like to take you up on your offer to see a trailer in person and talk to you more.
If you call Casita they will refer you to a nearby owner who signed up for their tour program. The owners submit a contact postcard when you visit and if you buy a new Casita they get a cash reward/kickback from Casita for hosting you.

Charlie Y
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: http://RVWidgetWorks.com
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:48 PM   #14
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 2,866
I say buy with the features YOU consider important. More so than resale value. You are the only one that you know what features it needs to meet the owners needs.

If you have a shower you need a water heater, and that is one item that even if you only use it once in awhile is worth having. And as noted by another hard to add. In my old motor home I only turned H2O heater on to shower but it allowed me to convince wife to spend a week at a time in rustic campgrounds.

My sister has only done one thing with her outside shower, fix a leak. Ask yourself will you have a need or desire to wash up with a shower outside? Quick rinse off of the kids (or grand kids) a need you have? Or a lot of salt water swimming where it would be useful to be able to do a quick rinse? If not it's just a gizmo to fix if it breaks.

Bathroom and shower is personal choice but that is something that will probably not hurt resale when you go to sell. And not having it may be a deal breaker for many. I don't mind not having a bathroom but would still have purchased my camper if it did have a bathroom. Do you need the closet, counter or open space more, or a bathroom?

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