This subject actually touchs a special point for me, and maybe other folks will be able to relate here.
I was a tent camper for my whole life. But several years ago I decided that it was time to 'upgrade'. I knew I didn't want a 100 foot long rig that's more luxurious than my regular home, but I knew I wanted something with a few more creature comforts. AND I knew it needed to be within the tow capacity of my one vehicle, my 2001 Honda CRV, because I sure couldn't afford to have a second vehicle who's only job was to tow an RV. I actually felt I had some pretty simple desires/requirements in a travel trailer. I was looking for:
1. Gross vehicle weight
of under 1500lbs (My CRV's capacity)
2. Has a refrigerator
3. Has a bathroom or at least a place for a porta-potty.
4. Has someplace for me to sleep comfortably, and NOT on the ground! hehe
5. HAD to be a fairly low purchase price, $5000 or less. There's no room in this starving college student's budget for a MILLION dollar RV!
The first thing that I heard about/looked at were Teardrop trailers. It had a lot of what I was looking for in a travel trailer, low weight
, sleeping area, and SOME actually had a fridge
of some sort in the kitchen area. But that low height in the interior made even a porta-potty darn near impossible. Your choice for a teardrop seems to find a vintage one, build one, or buy a brand new manufactured one. None of those seemed very attractive to me. And for some reason, I just felt I wanted more space inside.
Then I saw a CRV like mine on the freeway towing a tent trailer, hey, now there's an idea! So I started researching tent trailers. Sure enough, there are some models that are within my CRV's tow capacity. Some only have a bed on one end, vs the usual slide out at both ends of the rig. Some high end small rigs had fridges. There's almost always room for a porta-potty somewhere. And used prices seemed pretty reasonable. But then I started seeing how the lift mechanisms seem kind of fragile, how leaks
weren't that uncommon, how water damage could be catastrophic for the canvas and the wood inside, and on upclose inspection on some rigs just how flimsy the construction was. NOT what I wanted after all...
Then somebody told me about fiberglass trailers... I started exploring the various company websites, then there were enthusiast websites (Like this EXCELLENT one!), Ray Horner's UHaul
site, the Shaw's website, there are just some really great sites out there! I learned more and more about the many fiberglass rigs out there, and the more I learned, the more I LIKED!
Through some of the various websites I was able to talk with some other CRV owners, to see who has towed and what we can tow. That was very reassuring. Then when I looked at my first FBRV for sale
, the owner was actually nice enough to let me take it for a 'test tow' so I could experience just how easily it would tow. THAT really impressed me! It didn't turn out to be the rig for me, but I learned even more from that experience. So I kept looking, hunting for the right trailer for me. Then I found my little Compact II, wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I wanted a rig BAD so I went for it! Actually it has grown on my more and more, and I've done a few mods, and it's really a great little rig. PLUS unlike a lot of our FBRVs its short enough (with the poptop down) to fit in my garage, YAY! hehe
Okay, so that was a long story, but that's how I got from a tent to my FBRV!