Questions concerning fiberglass 5th wheels - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Questions concerning fiberglass 5th wheels

I don't know anyone that has hauled around a Bigfoot or a Scamp 5th wheel. What are the + / - of this type of fiberglass trailer?

I have been looking at fiberglass bumper pull trailers for quite some time now and keep coming back to a small 5th wheel as having best space utilization. Am I missing something?

Bigfoot manufactured 19 and 20 footers and some larger ones. I think that a 19 - 20 ft would suit our purposes. Scamp still manufactures them.

I don't have a 1/2 ton but am considering a Dodge Dakota, quad cab, 4 wheel drive, 4.7, auto as a tow vehicle. Toyota and Nissans similiar to this are just to expensive for me. I seriously considered a diesel but have decided it's too much truck for my needs. Anyone tow a 5th with a Dakota?

We are planning on taking 2 - 4 week trips southbound, west coast and east coast. We have 2 Large dogs that travel with us. My plan would be to take out the rear seat and make it into their sleeping quarters.

Generally speaking do campgrounds allow well behaved, quiet dogs? Read German Shepherd and Airedale Terrier?

Wayne
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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The problem with 5th wheels is you lose the utilitarianism of the pick up, your storage become limited and exposed. Placing a cap and putting the dogs in cages in the back of the truck would give them more room. I trailed cross country with one lab in my backseat of my Dakota and and it was cramped, I then installed a cap and we both were happier.
Also the weight of 5th wheel is heavier on your tow than a trailer as is the general overall weight.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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But if you grew up in a two story home with upstairs bedrooms you will love it. Also as far as weight on the tow vehicle it may be more but it is over the rear axle instead of the rear bumper. I have a 31' 5th wheel in Texas and it tows unbelievably well.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
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I can answer the space utilization question having had both types of trailers.

The space inside a 5th wheel is wonderful, my favorite part it having a real full time bed. I really disliked having to make a dinette into a bed every night...and even then it was not big enough, long enough or comfortable enough. We have a twin bed set up with my "princess and the pea" bed and his "hard as a rock" bed. No climbing over each other to go to the bathroom is a real bonus!

Having a 5th you loose the use of most of the truck bed. We have a 5th wheel box bed in front of the hitch and can use some of the space around the side and back of the hitch. We have to be careful about that because we have a sliding rotating hitch. More stuff has to travel in the trailer..mostly dog stuff, crates and xpen, fluffy beds and out outdoor chairs.

Bigfoot only made one molded size 5th a 19-20 fter but it came in several different interior configurations , also single and dual axle. They made a much larger partially fiberglass model. They are all pretty heavy weighing in at between 4000-5000lbs in real use.

As for the dogs, in the US there are some pretty strange dog rules. Private campgrounds can be a problem because of their insurance regulations. One campground we had used for years, actually had a trailer there full time, changed insurance carriers and our dog that had been camping there for years was no longer allowed. We only camp where they allow all dogs to enter. I won't get on my breed specific rant right now.....

Good luck on figuring out what is right for you!
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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Also, have a look at the Escape 5th wheel (ESCAPE 5.0). Currently being manufactured in British Columbia, and it's a beaut.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Scamp5th, you have the bed up above and do not have to change the bed into the dinette and vice verse. I pulled ours with a 2003 V6, 2wd, Chevy S10, Automatic, V6 and you could barely tell you were pulling something.

Truck Bed: Still had plenty of room to put stuff in the bed.

Had a Class 3 hitch on the back and installed a platform and box for more stuff.

The more room you have the more stuff you carry. It's best to not carry all that crap in the first place.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #7
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We love our 5th wheel and would not go back to a bumper/pull type trailer...our 24 ft part fiber glass has a title weight of 3450# and pulls like a charm ,,and much easyer to hook up....Truck box Room?? we have plenty in a 6 1/2 ft F150,,,,Ron
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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Wayne,
We had a Casita 17 and now have an Escape fifth wheel. The difference in interior space is amazing. The box (living area) on the Casita was about 13 feet long. On the 19.5 foot Escape, the box is almost 19 feet. That Dakota would be an ideal tow vehicle. The Escape was designed for mid-size trucks. We have a truck tool box in the bed to carry valuable stuff. Along with space behind the seat, everything we want to carry seems to fit.

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:42 AM   #9
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If I lived in Canada and couldn't afford or didn't wish to buy an Escape 5th wheel, I'd seriously be looking for a Bigfoot 5th wheel. There are certainly more available in Canada than the U.S.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:02 AM   #10
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We have pulled the Scamp 5er for some 90,000 miles with the Dakota quad 4.7 and it has preformed great. 14 mpg average on a good day and level at 55 will get 16.Strong headwinds 13. I find lots of room in the box for stuff when packed low behind hitch and a large storage box in front .This unit seems very popular in a recent gathering we had 6 rigs with the Dakota as a tug.Wouldn't do a thing different.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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About the dogs...

Hi Wayne. We tend to camp in public camp grounds: state parks, national parks, national forests ect.. In terms of state parks each state has it's own rules. In general, the further east, the less dog friendly. Some states don't allow dogs at all in there state parks, N.J. comes to mind. Others allow dogs in some parks and not in others. Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. In Pennsylvania the parks that allow dogs have designated sites. Once they are full that's it. They also have a pet fee. $2/ dog as I recall. Vt.'s fee is $1 and Virginia $5. As attendance is down, states are becoming a little less restrictive so you could find changes.

The National Parks we have been to allowed pets in the camp grounds but not on the hiking trails or at the attractions. You can see Old Faithful but not with your dog. National Forests are the friendliest. No BLM in the east. Here are two sites I have found useful. Have fun, Raz
Campground Directory and National Forest Campgrounds

DogFriendly.com® - Pet Travel Guides and City Guides for Dog/Pet Owners
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #12
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Thanks all for the comments,

I have an opportunity to buy 1 or 2 Dodge Dakotas, quad cabs, 4 x 4, auto but both are 3.7 V6s.
Would this motor be too small to pull a used Bigfoot 5th? (19 - 20 ) or would the 4.7 be an all round better choice? I've heard that the V6 is harder on fluel than the V8?

The only 5th that I've been in has been towed by a diesel - which I thought was too much truck for a Bigfoot 5th of this size.

Do you get "2 ft" iteis when using trailers? as in ... If only I just had a little more space for......(I have noticed advertised at a dealer a very nice 24 ft Columbia (Big foot).



Wayne
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #13
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I had to get rid of my Nissan due to rust issues.

I now own a 2006 4 dr 4x4 Short Box (6.5) Duramax Diesel Top of bed height is approx 55".- which is pretty much stock for this type of vehicle. It appears to me that if I was to get a 19 - 20 ft Bigfoot 5th wheel that I would have to do a spring over conversion on the trailer in order to have the necessary 6" clearance between the trailer and truck box.
Has anyone done this on an 85 or 86 5th whl?
For slightly more money I can buy a 1991 Oakland (top of the line Bigfoot ) fiberglass 26 ft trailer.
This trailer is apparently 8 ft wide inside.
In the pictures, it looks as big as a house to me. The bed area is slightly deeper ( higher?) than the 20' Bigfoots. Did they make different heights of trailers over the hitch area? It's not stand up, looks tlike a sort of a big sit up with a N/S queen sized bed.
How much bigger a trailer is this? I've looked at both sizes in the so called stick built world and really don't see much difference other than length and of course space.
Does anyone see any restrictions in camping at various locations?
It's quite a distance away. My plan , if I decide that I'm interested, is have a local RV store tech go out and give me an assessment of it.
It also comes with a dual pivoting hitch - not a slider- I suspect.
Would I need a slider for a 6 1.2 ft box?
The trailer looks pretty square in front - not rounded.
I can't find any information on the net concerning these - does anyone have any knowledge concerning them?

Thanks
Wayne
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wayne Hill View Post
Does anyone see any restrictions in camping at various locations?
Thanks
Wayne
Wayne, the bigger the trailer the more restrictive you become when it comes to sites. I just got back from camping with several dozen all molded trailer owners and about 1/4 would not have been able to fit, if their trailers were any bigger than 17 feet. So, that's a decision you need to make based on where you want to go...

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