Newbie's first experience - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
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Name: Mimi
Trailer: Parkliner
Florida
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Newbie's first experience

We picked up our trailer last weekend and spent two days on the road to get it back home. We had to put it away in a storage facility as HOAs do not approve of them in the driveway. But we will be taking it out for a short overnighter this weekend.

Since there is quite a bit of interest in this is a newer brand, I thought it could be useful to others to debrief on our initial experiences. I will preface that though we have tent camped this is a first of many
1.) First time towing
2.) First time camping in a trailer
3.) First time camping with kids

The presale was really easy and nice experience. Chandler, the owner, was great to deal with and answered any questions openly, thoroughly and in detail. Very personable and nice to talk to. Our communications were via phone and email. We had a couple of special requests (bath sink and LED lights) and he was very accommodating. As referenced in other posts, we asked for a sink, which he did custom for us, and it came out really lovely. We went with the full options package and choose the mango dulce color scheme. It came out bright and fun! (Pics are in my album)

We drove up to pick up the trailer, Chandler was there to personally great us, give us a factory tour and a couple LL Bean hats with the ParkLiner logo, and walk through of the trailer. My preschooler had lots of questions and it was great for him to learn about the process.

When we saw the trailer pulling up we were almost shocked how compact it looked from outside. Then we stepped inside and was shocked how expansive it felt inside, and amazed how the interior is even better seen in person.

We got an overview of the systems and instructions on how to use everything. The customized sink was done so well – better than I was even imagining it to be. It was already a beautiful design and I couldn’t have been any happier with how it all came out. During the walk through Chandler noticed a couple of very minor items that he wanted to address from a QA standpoint. I appreciated his honesty and integrity in terms of the reality of ramping up with a new production hires and quickly addressed those items on the spot.

Soon enough it was time to hitch up and be on our way.
Hitching up was a breeze thanks to rear view camera in the tow vehicle. Towing was almost a non-event. We drove a couple hours drive to Stone Mountain SP in NC and had no reason to be nervous -- until it was time to back up into our campsite. It took a while but eventually we were in. Hooking up was a breeze. Inside the trailer we setup the bunks, tested all the systems and had a great time in it.

The pump in the bath was new to us and took some getting use to. I think the kiddies were startled by the suctioning sounds coming below the drain and I suspect were nervous about getting sucked in themselves. It sounded like a slurping noise to me so that was the joke I told them to ease them. I also forgot a few times to turn on the pump when using the sink until I was aware of standing water on the floor. But it was great to have that sink in the washroom with four of us, and know that our kitchen sink was staying hygienic for food prep.

The waste water tank is 30 gal and we are a foursome, so day 1 we were very conservative with water usage. WE cooked/wash dishes for a dinner, breakfast, showers for 4, PM/AM washing up + toileting. First ever dumping experience was almost a non-event really to our (very pleasant) surprise. The military shower was so uncomfortable for the kids, I knew that was not going to work if I wanted willing happy campers in the future. At our second stop, we were not at all conservative-- and we filled the capacity (4 showers, dinner prep and cleanup) before night’s end. We knew this when trying to rinse out a cup in the kitchen sink the water woudn’t drain. We had to dump first thing in the morning upon waking before anyone could use any water. We will have to find a middle ground on water usage.

The beds are really very roomy. We slept all four shortways on the back queen bed, just until we have railings installed to keep the tykes from falling out. The bunks extended the bed on the right side, so Mr. @ 6’2” had plenty of extended room for his long legs. Puppy slept in front of the door. Our joke was that we could actually get two more ppl in the trailer since the bunks were empty. The foam was nice and supportive, though the seams were the cushions joined up were not that comfortable. A thin pad would probably take care of that, as I only felt it when I escaped my sleeping bag.

There is a lot of room for storage. Tons of cabinets and a closet up front, two compartments in the bath. The kitchen drawer is huge and has a lot of capacity. We traded some closet space for the bath sink but honestly I did not feel wanting of space.

I cooked in the space and twice set off the smoke detector while cooking eggs. The fan and window open was not enough, so we have to try to have maybe the door and vent open as well. Probably a newbie mistake on my part.

The one thing that was a little disappointing on the trip had nothing to do with the trailer, was that during the drive, Mr. waved at all the RVs and trailers we passed on the road, maybe 6-7. Not a single soul waved back. We didn’t encounter any eggs though, I’m sure it would have been different. But we were stopped at a Chick Fil A in SC buy a gentleman who wanted to inquire about our trailer and was interested in one for himself. I hope he goes for it.

I realize this is getting lengthly, thanks for reading if you are still with me. Hopefully this is helpful somehow to others. Just wanted to give back as the forum was a big resource to me during my research stage. Overall, we were really delighted with our purchase and excited to take it out again. We’ve already captured some priceless snaps of the little ones, and created memories that we get to keep forever.

Happy Camping!
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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Name: Lew
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Loved your write up!

What a great job in describing your experience. Sounds like another quality camper from Chandler.
Would you be kind enough to share some photos?
Lew
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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Michigan
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Your experience at the Parkliner factory mirrors our experience at the Egg Camper factory. Welcome to the club. Be sure to attend a fiberglass rally as soon as you can. Lots of fun and more good food than you could possibly eat.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have a lot of fun fiber-camping ahead!

Don't worry about the drivers of other traditional campers not waving. They haven't acknowledged us for 6 years on the road. Conversely, almost every fiberglass owner waves back or gives a head nod. The same thing is true for VW Eurovan owners. We all see each other!
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Florida
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Lew, I have some trailer pics in my album. Nothing trip specific though we head out again shortly so will post some more upon our return.

Thanks for the welcome rgrugg. We would love to get to a rally. This group seems so nice I think it would be loads of fun!

Kevin, thanks for sharing. It'll be nice when we see other eggs! Hopefully soon, maybe this weekend if we're lucky.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 2000 13' Scamp
Alabama
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My husband and I both loved reading your post about your new Parkliner. We are also new to towing and trailers. The backing up you mentioned is s little scary for us but I am sure we will be ok. We hope to be able to purchase a Parkliner in a year or so. Husband took early retirement and his monthly insurance is $700.00 a month and it will be a little over a year before he turns 65. In the meantime we love reading and looking at all the pictures people post about them. Your trailer is so nice and I love your colors. We have a 13' Scamp we have never used because of health issues but all that is behind us now and we are ready to go camping. We have a V8 4Runner 4WD so I think we will be fine towing s Parkliner when we buy one. The one thing I wonder about is the air located under the dinette chair. Our Scamp has the air in the side closet. We have had it running this summer and the molded plastic dinette seat bed area got really warm which concerned us. We were wondering if this happened in the Parkliner.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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I stayed with the story from beginning to end! And a great first time story it was . Yes, you've made a memory that you get to keep forever.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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Patricia,

Thanks for reading my post and sharing your story. Congrats to your husband and and you on early retirement. I think you will really enjoy the parkliner. And having own a Scamp already have good experience and know how in ownership and maintenance.

We too are towing with a v8, 4x4 . It is more than adequate even as we were exploring Blue Ridge. At one point i think Mr. forgot we were towing and was even speeding unknowingly. I was holding onto my seat one hand, the overhead handle, heart racing, while he has cruising as merrily as can be! But you do have to feed the beast!

As for ac, we took it out this past weekend. It was in the upper 80's, hear index mid 90's. I checked the fiberglass seats and didn't notice it heating. We were running at max cold and it was enough to moderate the temperature, but it's a really small unit and didn't get the air as cool as I imagined. The position under the seat is advantageous for streamlining the external trailer but doesn't seem to be an advantage in terms of operating efficiency. I think will be adding an additional fan to help circulate the air around the cabin. Of course as the weather cools that'll make a difference too!

Enjoy the anticipation on getting a new trailer. That can be nearly as much fun. I waffled on the fabric choices for weeks. But it was fun to imagine how to set up home. You can have a longer planning time to do that while you wait out this year. . Good luck and keep me posted when you order yours!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D.
I stayed with the story from beginning to end! And a great first time story it was . Yes, you've made a memory that you get to keep forever.
Donna, You make everyone feel so welcome with your warmth on this board. .
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 2000 13' Scamp
Alabama
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Mimi thanks for letting us know about your experience with the air. It concerns us a little it did not cool better but it is probably because of where it is located. We live in the South and it gets very hot and humid and you need good air conditioning. My husband wondered why it could not have been put in a cabinet so it would be at a higher level so it might cool better. Our air in the 13'Scamp which is in the side closet is really cool and cools the trailer very well but it is a smaller area.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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Great story. It sounds like you're pretty excited about your new traveling companion (the trailer).
Everybody will get used to the "military" showers. The more fun the locations and travels is the more inconvenience can be tolerated.

People not waving, there's millions of stick built RVs on the road so they're not as likely to wave unless you're in a campground. Molded fiberglass people almost always wave.

I firmly believe that more you can get your children outside the better. We started our children backpacking when the youngest was 4. They got dirty, they explored the world around them, learned the names of flowers, patted trees, watched wildlife. Today they have kids of their and I'm thanked every once in a while for taking the time to expose them to this wonderful world we live in. The memories are priceless.

You're nice post now has my feet itching. Three more months until we take off for our winter trip. At least one short one first.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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Name: Ken
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Great write up thanks for taking the time to share


You know how a window ac draws fresh air from the side, then hot air exhausted out back through the radiator. I wonder if the Parkliner ac is the same? Being mounted in a cubby I wonder how it gets fresh air or if the hot exhaust is just getting sucked back into the fresh intake? That might be one way it wont get colder. Is there a fresh air intake? I have never seen a Parkliner in person.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #13
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Ken, thanks for this pic illustation. This is very helpful to know what to look for. I was out there last night taking snaps of the various systems but I didn't take one of the ac unit. So I'm gonna run out and take a look before it goes to the storage facility this evening.

I think because we are a foursome plus a dog, we probably generate more body heat too so that has an affect. I also will note that it was during the peak heat of the late afternoon when we set up and were trying to cool down. Mr. actually turned the unit lower in the middle of the night because he got cold-- only with me waking at some point later dying of heat and suffocating in the think humid air the four of us + dog where emitting. We had windows and vent closed thinking it would be better for the AC.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:41 PM   #14
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Looking from the perspective of the AC unit in your pic Ken, there is very limited space on the sides as the unit sits within the under seat cubby. There is a nice foam frame around the back that I think could be to contain and direct the hot air to the external vents. But with a very limited clearance on the sides, it is not obvious to me where it could be getting fresh air access. So that could be a constraint on it getting colder, not so much that it is on the floor. We'll made some adjustments with the directional louvers and adding a fan to see if we can get more air circulation to help out the little unit.
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