Need some education on FRV manufacturers - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
Trailer: Escape 19 ft
Posts: 35
Hi all-

My name is Bruce Wray. I retired in June, and my wife Jeanie and I have been working toward getting a travel trailer since then. I found out about and joined this group a week ago because we were leaning toward a fiberglass trailer. What I've read and learned since on this site has convinced us that a FRV is what we want. Further, we know that we want a 16'-17' model with complete shower/bathroom. We also have decided that we'd probably like to buy new, so as to get the trailer exactly the way we want it.

Now for the education part. We live in N. Cailf., about an hour east of Sacramento.
We really like the 16' Scamp and 17' Casita, but getting a new one apparently involves a very long drive or a very large shipping bill. On this website's home page over 50 FRV manufacturers are listed. I clicked on a few of the links but after some slow going, realized that the info I need is probably out there in in the membership. I'm hoping some wise, experienced heads out there can answer these questions:
1. Are any of the FRV manufacturers listed (who are still in business) on the West coast, or at least in the western half of the U.S.?
2. If there are any "yes" answers to #1, do they make what we want?

I did find the website for the Escape brand in British Columbia, but unless something major has happened to the exchange rate lately, they seem really pricey. Hopefully there are other options. If not, we'll drive to Texas or Minnesota if we have to.

Thanks in advance,
Bruce and Jeanie Wray

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Old 01-05-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
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Name: Alfred
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2010 Nissan Frontier
Posts: 3,815
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Hi: Bruce... I maybe a little biased but price is always a relative term..."It's all relative". I think the best fiberglass trailer is The Escape and right now I think the exchange rate is about 25 cents on the dollar in your favor.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie

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Old 01-05-2009, 10:15 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,433
to FiberglassRV Bruce. Here's a link from our Helpful-Links that lists all the currently known molded fiberglass trailer manufacturers (except BigFoot is still on it, and they're out of business): All Current Manufacturers

Right now the 17 foot Escape Factory Direct Price Plan A or B: $18,900.00 (Canadian), which works out to be $15,581 US. Seems like a GREAT deal to me on a new Escape
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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Name: Linda and Dale and Dallas the cat
Trailer: 1984 Fiber Stream
Posts: 700
I would suggest that you list some of the things that are important to you to have for a trip, ie full bath, head room, large refridgerator, large bed, separate beds, screen door, more windows, large tanks, counter space, an oven, or wideth of trailer. Are you looking for weeks at a time, then add storage of clothes, food, or tools. Is there room for your hobbies? your pets, your collections? What about storage? Will it need to fit in a garage or side yard? When you have these answeres you can put these towards which trailer you would like. Then come to a gathering and walk through several different kinds.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #5
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Trailer: Escape 17 ft
Posts: 12
Hello Bruce.

At least do yourself a favour and check out the Escape.
We have the 17 footer since 2005.
The 19 footer was not available or we would have bought that one.
The 17 fits into my backyard via the backlane so is a perfect fit for us.

It is big enough for us to wheel in and out of tight spaces.
Reace and his wife Tammy are fantastic people to deal with.Excellent after market service
they will do add ons as you go.Always listening to customer requests and open to changes
within reason.

Hope you find a unit that will serve you well whatever the brand.
Happy New Year.

Allan and Raili Bornestig
North Vancouver.BC.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:16 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1975 13 ft Trillium
Posts: 2,536
Although I am not YET an Escape owner, I 'echo' the above comments on the Escape line of r/v's.

One thing to consider (if it makes ANY difference), Escape trailers IS a Mom n Pop family owned n operated business. One other thing you may have failed to realize is that the overall price of any/all fiberglass r/v's is the fact that their (f/g rv's) cost is DIRECTLY proportionate to the rising (an sometimes falling) cost of the barrel of liquid gold.
Escape Trailers 'one on one' delivery plan (if you can get to their shop) is second to none. Either by phone or email, they can (and often DO) custom build in many cases, working mainly within the stock body shells. They are planning to attend an upcoming Oregon meet and I would HIGHLY recommend BEFORE you purchase anything else, (if you can take time) to drive up to that meet and check out some of their product line.
There WILL be other Escape owners there who can also help answer any of your other concerns.....
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:19 PM   #7
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19
Posts: 1,828

There is a very nice looking 17 Casita listed for sale in the referrals right by you.

Might be worth seeing since you are close. You can do a bunch of making it like you want for the difference in price from a new unit and you wouldn't have to go far to get it.

Just a thought.
Scamp Owners International
2015 Escape 19 & 1997 Scamp 19
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:46 AM   #8
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Name: Dave & Kathie
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21
Posts: 385
Bruce and Jeanie,

Give Casita a call, they will refer you to owners so you can have a 'look see'. Also, consider the floorplans that you might like. We love our Casita Freedom because it has captains chairs in the small side dinette. You may want to consider coming to the Oregon Gathering in Bandon in July (if you can wait that long) - you can see many different models there, they might even have the new 19ft Escape! Good Luck, we bought ours in 05 and are still having a blast!

Happy Trails

(Dave) & Kathie
"I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to." M K Rawlings

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
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Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,519
Hi Bruce and Jeanie,

Lynne and I were in the same general place that you're in a few years ago. We thought we knew what we wanted (a 16' Casita), and headed off to a fiberglass trailer gathering to get a look-see at the various Casitia floorplans and options that people at the gathering had.

We came away from the gathering with plans to buy a Scamp 5th wheel.

The point is that, like buying a car, a trailer is a big investment. It's very worth your while to tour a few trailers before you plunk money down.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #10
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Name: Orlen
Trailer: Eggcamper 2007 ('Wolf's Lair')
Posts: 312

Hi Bruce and Jeanie

First comment is that I highly recommend picking up your new rv at the manufacturer even if it does involve a long drive. Meeting with the builders and getting the new owner briefing will go a long way toward understanding how everything works and, I think, will add to the enjoyment of ownership.

I've heard from several sources that Reace and Tammy at Escape are very good at working with prospective owners and providing an outstanding presentation when you pick up a new Escape.

If you haven't done so already, sit down and write down all of your requirements. Will you be camping year 'round or just in the summer? Will you be full timing? Is a requirement for a weight distributing hitch a deal breaker? Will you be boondocking or using full hookups in a campground? What are your absolute necessities and what do you consider nice but could be considered optional? After you have the list make arrangements to visit someone who has a unit that meets at least most of your specs. Casita and Scamp have referral programs where a local owner will give you a tour of their camper. I don't know if Trillium or Escape has such a plan but I would bet you could find one in your area with a little searching.

For me a critical issue was headroom, not just in the center of the unit but in the shower and bed. Some units I examined listed a reasonable headroom but that was only in a small area and the bed was so short that I'd be banging my head and feet against the sides. Also check if any options you want will project into the headroom. Many roof mount air conditioners and some roof vents significantly decrease headroom. (those vent cranks hurt when you bang into them)

Don't expect to get everything exactly as you want it. Manufacturers have a list of options and a few floor plans and they don't seem to be interested in making modification so you might have to get something that's close, then add or modify to meet your needs. From what I've heard and seen on this forum the folks at Escape seem to be the best at considering unique modifications or options.

I spent about 6 months of investigating before I decided on the EggCamper as the best fit for my requirements, then bought an empty unit and configured it myself. That path is not for everybody but it enabled me to build out a unit to my specifications. As I discovered recently this is no longer possible since EggCamper isn't selling the kit (empty hull) any more and other manufacturers were not interested in selling one at all.

73 and best of luck in your search.

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Old 01-06-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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Trailer: 2008 19 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe 5th Wheel
Posts: 134
Concur with Dave - remember with a 16'er that is BUMPER TO BALL - the "box" is about 13'... whereas on a 19'er it is all usable. We will be taking g'kids with us and liked the idea of the separate bedroom for us, and if "one of us" (she) gets up earlier than the other, she can sit at the table or whatever w/out disturbing 'ole grump-pa.

DOWNSIDE to the fith, is that you HAVE to have the truck. and w/ g'kids that meant a quad cab.

Sigh - it is NEVER easy

Bruce and Jeanie,

Give Casita a call, they will refer you to owners so you can have a 'look see'. Also, consider the floorplans that you might like. We love our Casita Freedom because it has captains chairs in the small side dinette. You may want to consider coming to the Oregon Gathering in Bandon in July (if you can wait that long) - you can see many different models there, they might even have the new 19ft Escape! Good Luck, we bought ours in 05 and are still having a blast!

Happy Trails

(Dave) & Kathie
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2008 19 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe 5th Wheel
Posts: 134
Two more thoughts (WHY do they ALWAYS come **AFTER** clicking SEND.... )

1). there is a meet in Oregon in the summer - if you are wililng ot wait that long, where you could see a wide variety of makes and models. Click here for the Oregon Gathering

2). we viewed the trip to Backus as the chance for a nice "shake-down" cruise, and have ZERO regrets
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:38 PM   #13
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Name: Ken
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
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escape lists their prices so you can go Here to convert from canadian to US dollars. The rate does seem to be in your favor right now. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #14
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Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Make sure U can stand up and walk around without bumping your head and then make sure you can sleep without your head and toes being pressed up against each side. This is really important if U R 5ft 11 or above.

If you are a wide body and want a 5th wheel, makke sure you can get up the stairs to the bed.

Check the demisions of the various campers. Go and look at them. Most People on this site just love to show their campers so take advantage of that.


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