New to rv's - benefits of fiberglass? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-15-2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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Hi all, I'm looking to buy my first RV and while I know I want a small (under 20 feet) and lightweight RV with bathroom, shower and the ability to sleep 3, I don't really know where to begin researching the different options. What are the benefits of buying a fiberglass RV? Are they more soundproof than traditional RV's? I have a somewhat yappy dog...

I intend to use it for weekend getaways and maybe a month at a time during the summer. I live in Canada so it will be stored during the winter months. I don't have a tow vehicle yet - I plan on buying the trailer first.

Thanks for your help and advice!
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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Hi Sandy. Great question and you of course, are on the forum that will tell you all the reasons you should consider Molded Lightweight Fiberglass RVs.

Here's a topic for you to read in the meantime: Why I Went Glass
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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Hi Sandy and welcome to Fiberglass RV.

For years our family had a fold up camper, but the folding and drying out got very tiring after a while. Had a "stick built" trailer for a couple of years, but they can be a total disaster if any leaks strike! (experience knows) We then moved to a 13' used Trillium(moulded fiberglass) for about 13 or 14 years. It was a great experience, had a couple of small items which were very easily repaired and caused absolutely no issues of concern, no drying out the trailer after a rain storm and nothing rotting where we couldn't see the problem. Also had the advantage of pull into the park, open the door and you are set to go!

In 2004 we moved up to a Casita equipped in a fashion similar to what you are looking for, and again, moulded fiberglass is the only way to go. Fiberglass trailers fare well in outdoor storage in the Canadian climate, in 30 years I don't believe our Trillium was ever covered or stored inside in the winter, and with a good coat of wax every spring it still had a very nice patina to the exterior gel coat when we sold it. I think the only storage precaution other than a winter prep of the water systems, that needs to be taken is to wedge a 2x4 against the ceiling to protect against the possibility of a heavy snow load.

If you are looking for a new trailer, Escape, Casita, and Scamp are the most popular models that fit your described needs. A Bigfoot would also fill the bill, but the pricing is considerably higher. As for used trailers, you could add a 17' Boler or Trillium 5500 to the list above. The supply of used fiberglass trailers in Canada with bath is somewhat limited so you may have to look a little further to find what you want.

We bought our Casita in New York City and imported it into Canada through all the proper channels. It was not a particularly big deal, and only added about $250 to the total cost. If you go that route, there is lots of info on this forum as to what you need to do.

With the Canadian Dollar close to par with the US greenback, the price variances across the border are much easier to swallow than when I bought my trailer.

After over 30 years of owning various trailers, I am totally sold on moulded fiberglass construction. If we move to a larger trailer it will again be moulded fiberglass, likely a Bigfoot or a Vista if one is available. A lot of "stick built" trailers today do have flat "filon" fiberglass exterior panels, but do not confuse the construction style with moulded fiberglass. There is a big difference in how the 2 styles of construction tend to stand up.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask...someone on the forum will jump in with an answer of some kind!
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:01 AM   #4
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Hi Sandy! On this wonderful forum you will find terrific folks eager to share a wealth of knowledge about these wonderful trailers. Since we started our search for a light-weight trailer, we have received so much helpful info & encouragement from other members.

We have loved our 13ft Scamp for over 4 years, and have been full-timing in it for nearly 18 months. We love the "Keep It Simple Sweetie" aspect of our rolling home - we pull into a selected camping spot and in about 10 minutes we're ready to enjoy a sunset, go for a hike or whatever else we choose. During our recent travels we have sat out horrendous winds and rains (sometimes both uglies at the same time) and our Egg just stays snug, dry and cozy while the weather rages outside. Can you tell we LOVE our FGRV? You will not regret choosing a molded fiberglass trailer over the other alternatives ... they stand the test of time.

Hope you will soon find the 'just right for you' trailer and begin your egg-ventures! Happy hunting! L 'n D
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:16 AM   #5
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Are they more soundproof than traditional RV's? I have a somewhat yappy dog...
I can answer that!

I would give a qualified "Yes". I have a double walled insulated Burro and TWO Beagles. (One doesn't bark, his barker was removed by a previous evil owner) I have left mine in the trailer for short periods of time. The one that still has a barker is a mammas girl and if in a strange situation, she becomes the incessant stereotypical Beagle barker. I can hear her somewhat while in my campsite, but not beyond, and what I do hear is very muted and not annoying "to me in MY campsite".

That said, I give her limited opportunity to bark in the first place out of respect for my neighbors, should it be heard beyond my space.

I have also wandered by big motorhomes and stick built trailers with yapping poodles and slipper dogs, not to mention the giant WOOF of larger dogs at anyone walking past. I can not say I have ever been disturbed by distant dog barks from a glass trailer. Others may have a different experience.

A single shell trailer usually has some sort of soft inner lining, carpet or ensolite, that acts as an excellent acoustic treatment in most. It does little on it's own to stop the transference to the outside, but, as with most acoustic specific installations, it's a combination of materials that does the trick. The rule for building acoustic specific purposed rooms is "Crunchy on the outside, gooey in the middle"

Windows still open however, and with that, all bets are off. You probably will not be leaving pup pup inside on hot days without some sort of ventilation, stick built or glass, so.. thats where the qualification comes in. When my dog is in, the air is on. I would not leave her in if I had to open a window.

As far as noise from the outside coming in, I have found under normal circumstances, the eggs I have owned are great chambers for escape.. EXCEPT when it rains. When it rains, it's like trying to sleep inside a popcorn popper.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:23 AM   #6
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EXCEPT when it rains. When it rains, it's like trying to sleep inside a popcorn popper.
Ah, Gina, THAT is the most perfect description of "rain on the roof" of our Egg! Thanx, LdB
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:59 PM   #7
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"Now that you mention it, it does sound like th' patter of rain on a tin roof."

I once spent a night in the topper/canopy/camper shell of a pickup truck, stuck in a forest on a mud road with large raindrops (leaves dumping their rain load) falling on the aluminum roof. Had to chew up some paper to make earplugs so I could sleep. Fiberglass with carpet is a lot quieter!
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:02 PM   #8
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I can answer that!

I would give a qualified "Yes". I can hear her somewhat while in my campsite, but not beyond, and what I do hear is very muted and not annoying "to me in MY campsite".
Thank you so much for addressing this. My miniature schnauzer is a much loved member of the family and we look forward to taking her on our travels. However, she is vocal and I want to respect my fellow campers. On this issue alone, we might choose fiberglass over stick-built.
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