Newbie Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-13-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
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I have been around RV's all my life and have owned a 32 ft. Coachman for the last 16 years. After rebuilding most of the rear end of the Coachman because of an undetected leak that ran inside the wall, I have decided there is no way I will own a stick built trailer ever again.

Now that both of our kids are in college and rarely hang out with us, we are considering going to a smaller easier to tow trailer. So far the one that seems to appeal to us the best is a 16 ft. Scamp with the wood interior option.

I have been checking out the manufactures online and called a few to get more information, but have yet to really get a good look at one.

I have some basic questions.

1: I understand the internal cabinets, etc are riveted thru the fiberglass walls for attachment and strength. To me this sounds like it could lead to leaks down the road. What is the experience with this?

2: How is the trailer to heat and cool without insulation?

3: How well does outside noise stay outside without insulation?

4: I really like the looks of the wood interior of the Scamp. Is there a downside other than cost? Strength and durability compared to fiberglass?
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
1: I understand the internal cabinets, etc are riveted thru the fiberglass walls for attachment and strength. To me this sounds like it could lead to leaks down the road. [b]What is the experience with this?

2: How is the trailer to heat and cool [b]without insulation?

3: How well does outside noise stay outside [b]without insulation?

4: I really like the looks of the wood interior of the Scamp. [b]Is there a downside other than cost? Strength and durability compared to fiberglass?
1: Through-hull attachments have been leak sources for those of us who bought our trailers used from Previous Owners (PO's) [b]who neglected to inspect and reseal them at regular intervals. Factory sealing of these fittings does not last forever. If you are buying a new unit from the factory, it is wise to regularly inspect the snap-caps for deterioration or caulk dryness and or cracking.

2 and 3: [b]Scamps ARE insulated. So are all of the new units being built today, usually with one or two layers of reflectix beneath the "headliner" or "rat fur" interior surface. My 1978 Fiber Stream is not insulated; it only has paint on the interior surface of the fiberglass shell, and I can tell the difference. You'll be satisfied with the heating/cooling/noise attenuating qualities of Scamp.

4: Deluxe wood interiors are a little heavier than molded fiberglass interiors. Wood finished surfaces may deteriorate slightly faster and be more difficult to keep clean than gel-coated fiberglass.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:57 AM   #3
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Denny, Welcome! Having grew up with every type of rv from overhead campers, bumper pulls, class A,C,B.


I am sure you realize that yes even a "glass" travel trailer can leak. But less likely than a stickie. And maintence is far less on our Casita than any Rv my Dh and I have ever owned. That being said they are not perfect just as close to as you can get for the type of rv they are. I would also like to suggest anything Bigfoot (since your use to larger) or the EggCamper and of coures all the other brand options. And would suggest trying to get to any of the rallys being held this spring and summer.




Scamps are insulated, as well as Casitas, bigfoots, ect. As far as outside noise not any worse than any other rv. Heating and cooling, I don't notice any huge difference in cooling other than it's way faster to cool down our Casita than it was to ever cool down on of our Class A's. But believe that is due to the size! I truly recommend looking at as many options as you can. I know it's hard due to availablity in your area but in my opinion worth it! Can't help you with the wood option other than to say, I have been in a few older Scamps that had it and it's a beautiful look. Well again Welcome, have fun finding just the right trailer.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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Denny K -

Ahhhh... welcome to another convert to Glass.

Consider also the Scamp 19' 5er.

THO IT DOES need a truck, Michele and I love the extra room.

We use a Wally cube heater (if on shore power) and it stays just nice inside. Noise is not an issue.

Scamp SHOULD be able to refer you to an owner in your area for a look see.

Enjoy...... Alan
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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Not entirely immune to leaks but pretty darn good, the uhaul 13 and 16 ft. and the Burro trailers do not have rivets in the outside hull. They may however, be too spartan in the deluxe cabinet work for your tastes.

On the up side, they excell in low maintenance issues.

And of course you have to buy used as they are no longer manufactured.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #6
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Wink

Also check the Escape trailer website. No rivets, there's insulation available, as well as thermal windows and etc. Not cheap, but very well built. They'll last a lifetime.
cheers
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:36 PM   #7
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Thank you for the replies.

I am awaitng some literature from a few companes and am on the lookout to see if any showup on the local used market. From what I can tell, they seem to hold their value.

I am also going to take a look at the R-Pod, however I don't think it is for me.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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No rivets on the EggCamper either. It also has a thin layer of insulation between the shells, but I don't think it amounts to a very high R-value.

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Old 03-15-2010, 05:00 PM   #9
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Bigfoot is reinventing itself and you may want to wait and see what they come out with.

The bigfoots do not have external rivets but as mentioned there are other places they can leak and
need regular inspection.

The R value in my 25 foot is good enough to keep the lines upfrozen down to around -10 to -15 Centigrate. The insulated
walls keep the trailer very quiet and I have to listen carefully to hear if my free standing generator is working. We have camped in it at -25 Centigrate (without water) and have been very comfortable. In summer with ceiling fans and open windows creating a cross current we find it quite pleasant.

With regard to a wood interior. Ours has full wood and yet somehow Bigfoot has been able to keep the weight down on these units.

Good luck with whatever you decide on!
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:28 PM   #10
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The bigfoots do not have external rivets but as mentioned there are other places they can leak and
need regular inspection.
Hey Tamid...what areas of the Big Foot body would you suggest I examine regularly? I owned a 17 for many years without problems or leak maintenance, but we've only had the 25er for 2 years and curious about where to be vigilant on that....

Thanks for anything you can share..
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:27 AM   #11
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Hey Tamid...what areas of the Big Foot body would you suggest I examine regularly? I owned a 17 for many years without problems or leak maintenance, but we've only had the 25er for 2 years and curious about where to be vigilant on that....

Thanks for anything you can share..
Bigfoot used a leveling compound to seal the fridge vent, air-con, grey and black water vents, fantastic fans and skylight on the roof. The compound is fairly rigid and wears with age. Every spring I look at all the seals and add a bit of compound if required. (Aside from that I keep getting reminders from the RV dealer that I bought it from to check the seals yearly) I also wash the rubber seals around my windows and doors. I've found that over the years the seals get packed with dust and dirt and are often a major cause for leaks in all trailers.

Cheers,
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #12
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as some have said, the Scamp do have insulation and it seems to work very well. Keeps heat out pretty good we have found and for sound, it is very quiet inside we have also found. It seems the Scamp has much more insulation than Casita, which is just carpet on the walls as far as I can tell. We have an insulation material cut to cover the windows on our as well and it really keeps cool on hot days. But then the A/C can knock off any build up at the end of a hot day.

Marine Fabric and Astrofoil:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...l=marine+fabric

I am not sure of the other fiberglass TTs if or how they are insulated.

So far we have not had any rivits to break, nor leak. But it has only been 4 years we have had our Scamp.

However, it seems rivits breaking is the rule, not as we have experenced it.

Lot of small TT out there: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseacti.../1.cfm#23262145
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