Preliminary questions, (Newbie variety) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-07-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
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Greetings!

I've been lurking a while and have been very impressed by the hospitality and knowledge of the posters at this site. My wife and I are veteran tent campers, and graduated to a (Very) used pop-up this year. We are wanting to move up to a small hard side camper, mostly for local weekend trips, but we have dreamed of taking a long trip out west, or to Alaska, as well. I really hadn't considered the fiberglass egg campers much, as one doesn't see them a lot in our neck of the woods; I was looking at the T@B, along with a few smaller conventional campers, such as the Aliner Cabin A.

Weight is not an issue, as I have full size truck as tow vehicle, but I prefer smaller, more efficient, designs. Our kid is grown, so it will just be the two of us. In reading reviews of the T@B, etc., I was really surprised, and turned off, by some of the quality issues I saw; in fact that is one of the primary reasons for considering a fiberglass unit.

At this point I am looking at buying new. What opinions are out there about the various companies? I have requested information from several,--Trillium, (CA), Trillium, (CDN), Escape, Casitas, Bigfoot, and Scamp. Any opinions on either the T@B or Aliner Cabin A would also be appreciated.

My philosophy of camping is: The simpler the better. I have gotten along for years without a shower, toilet, etc. and I would like to apply that philosophy to our new camper. My thought at this time is a porta-potti in a tent outhouse, no inside shower, but would have A/C for those unbearable hot humid east tennessee nights. We generally camp with hook-ups, but I am kind of intriqued with going solar and having the ability to boondock or camp in the winter when many campgrounds around here turn off the hook-ups.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated! As we refine our decision-making process I will be able to ask more specific, (And hopefully more intelligent), questions. Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:37 PM   #2
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For what it's worth here my opinion.

1. Molded fiberglass trailers last a very long time. Even if abused as long as the shell is intact they can be revived.

2. Molded fiberglass also has less leak points.

3. Aliner appears to be just a hard sided pop-up. I've seen a couple and wasn't impressed. Also there's stories about the wind damage jamming them up.

4. Set up with my fiberglass 13' trailer is about 5 minutes, unless the site is very unlevel, than it could take 10 minutes.

As for which brand of fiberglass trailers, that's almost a personel choice. Most my comparisions were between Scamp and Casita and I wanted a 13'. The 13' Scamp has about 3" more head room than the 13' Casita. Therefore Scamp won.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:01 PM   #3
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You can't go wrong with a molded fiberglass trailer. I have looked at almost all of the major manufacturers' models. The great things about them are that they hold up so well and are so light. If you don't want a bath model, then you're not going to have any problem at all finding one you like. You can go with a 13' model on up to a 17' model. And Scamp and Escape are both producing a fifth wheel model.

I'm partial to Casita, but all of the new companies who make fiberglass RVs are excellent.

Also, if you don't want a model with a bath, then you should have no trouble locating a used one in your general part of the country.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
we have dreamed of taking a long trip out west, or to Alaska, as well.
Hey, Brad, check out this thread about an Alaskan trip:

Joy A's Alaska Trip

And the homepage photo:

Fiberglass RV Home Page

And, welcome to the forum!
Nancy
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
I was looking at the T@B, along with ... the Aliner Cabin A.

Weight is not an issue
I prefer smaller, more efficient, designs.
I was really surprised, and turned off, by some of the quality issues I saw.
At this point I am looking at buying new.
Trillium, (CA), Trillium, (CDN), Escape, Casitas, Bigfoot, and Scamp.
T@B or Aliner Cabin A.

My philosophy of camping is: The simpler the better.
We generally camp with hook-ups, but I am kind of intriqued with going solar and having the ability to boondock or camp in the winter when many campgrounds around here turn off the hook-ups.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!
All I have is free advice, and it's worth everything you paid for it!
First, I have friends who have a T@B. They're very happy with it. The biggest negative I saw on T@B was the Dealer's [b]$MSRP[b]$. Not enough value for the price. My friends bought theirs used, directly from the previous owner at a great discount. The Cabin A version of the Aliner does not fold up, and would be the only Aliner model that I would consider, also.

I personally chose to restore an old Fiber Stream. But I do understand your preference to buy new. I went that route with my tow vehicle. That said, most of the units out there are more alike than different. My 16' Fiber Stream is most closely comparable with a 17' Casita Liberty. The floorplan is a mirror image from front to back. My own bathroom in the unit, and a 4 cu. ft. (read larger) fridge, were the deciding factors, after availability and [b]price. Buying a nearly 30 year old unit was CONSIDERABLY cheaper than new, and besides, I like to tinker.

Scamp & Casita & Escape are factory direct. Bigfoot and Trillium (US) have Dealers. (I think I got that right, I will be corrected by others, if not.) How willing are you going to be to wait for delivery? Casita's factory would be the closest to you. Scamp's factory is recovering from a big fire, and they are presently only building 16' models. The other models will become available as they complete their rebuilding efforts.

The simplest models are the 13' ones. Without a bathroom, winterizing and winter camping could be easier, from a maintenance point-of-view. However, if weight is NOT an issue, then a "Deluxe" version of Scamp, with custom wood interior instead of fiberglass cabinetry could be designed more to your needs, even if you wanted to re-arrange the layout. I think Scamp is the most accomodating in this possibility. The others tend to not want to stray from their standard sizes and arrangements.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
And, welcome to the forum!
Thank you, Nancy! [b]Welcome Brad!
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:40 PM   #7
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brad,
i am a chronic lurker and very infrequent poster but i love this board and i have to say, though my only experience has been with a 2005 17' casita, i have been extremely thrilled with the quality of the manufacture of it, and most of it goes back to the fact it is fiberglass with very few spots it could leak at.. i have actually been living in it for 6 months now(divorce, glad i bought it now haha) , and i still love it.. nice and simple and cheap to live in(and admittedly small, but goes back to simple).. broke a coat hook, and a slight crack in the plastic frame around the door window. that's it.. get one, any of the models listed on this site, and you will probably be thrilled.

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Old 08-08-2006, 07:52 PM   #8
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More FREE advice. Used = More Value.

But then.... "new" now, means more "used" available later!

Partial to Trillium.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:29 PM   #9
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hello brad, welcome!

there is one thing you did not mention and that is your height and size. you might find one brand fits (literally) better than the others. check out the size of the bed, two in a typical 13 foot camper might get a little too cosy. the measurements and all kind of discussions are here, the only trouble is that you cannot search on a word as small as bed though that would be the most logical one to use.

tab seems impractical, i saw several in florida at a dealer and they do not make sense, remind me of the containers mc donalds puts their burgers in. if i had money for a new one i would check out those bigfoots. (don't let the diehard casitans hear that!)
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:32 AM   #10
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Yesterday I stopped at a rest area because I spotted a Casita and wanted to say Hi!. The couple were just bringing a new 17' back from Texas. She mentioned that the new Casita's have a higher ceiling than the older ones. I don't remember the exact height, but know for some of you taller types that might make a difference.
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:01 AM   #11
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my 2005 17' casita has 6'3" height on the inside, so yes that should be a consideration.

Quote:
Yesterday I stopped at a rest area because I spotted a Casita and wanted to say Hi!. The couple were just bringing a new 17' back from Texas. She mentioned that the new Casita's have a higher ceiling than the older ones. I don't remember the exact height, but know for some of you taller types that might make a difference.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:56 PM   #12
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Hello everyone,

My husband and I are tenting and I'm always afraid of bears or intruders. We are looking into buying our first trailer but we don't know any brands and so we could be very gullible. We have an SUV and are concerned about gas, especially me because I don't want him to tell me "no, we're not hauling that thing out there for just one night!"
I've looked online at Aliners and Chalets but I have no idea what they mean by "axle weight", "hitch weight", etc.
We don't need a bathroom, water, or even electricity. He wants a stove, a table, and a bed.

I've read your comments here and I don't know what you all are talking about when you mention "molded fiberglass". Is that a good thing? Does the Aliner or Chalet have it?
Frederick, what is MSRP?

Does anyone have any ideas on what would fit our needs?
Thank you!
Charlene
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
(1) I've read your comments here and I don't know what you all are talking about when you mention "molded fiberglass".

(2a) Is that a good thing? (2b) Does the Aliner or Chalet have it?

(3) Frederick, what is MSRP?

(4) Does anyone have any ideas on what would fit our needs?
(1) Molded Fiberglass is a construction method. Like pouring Jello into Tupperware, or Clay Slip into a plaster Mold, wet Fiberglass is applied to the inside of a wooden Mold. It is then set aside to cure, and then the solidified Fiberglass Body is removed from the mold and finished as a trailer.

(2a) A continuous surface, without multiple seams where panel pieces are joined, means fewer leak points. There is no wood stick frame buried within the wall structure to rot. The molded surface stands on it's own, without the need for a framework within the walls which are thinner than conventional construction.
(2b) These are conventionally built trailers, wood stick frame, aluminum sheet on the outside and plywood paneling on the inside.

(3) [b]MSRP is the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. $$$$$$$$$$$$$ Scamp & Casita sell factory direct, kind of like buying wholesale.

(4) If you and your husband could consider that a 44" x 75" bed is a double, then a Standard Scamp or Casita might suit your needs.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:17 PM   #14
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Wow! Thanks Frederick! I appreciate all the good info.

Just one more question. Here's a hypothetical:
2 trailers of equal size and weight.
One is a pop-up version (low profile), and the other is a conventional (high profile).

How much difference in gas-mileage between the two? Any idea?
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