Seven in four... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-08-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
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Seven in four...

I mentioned in another post about my rv history and it was suggested to make a thread on the subject. so here goes....


Seven in Four.....

Let the saga begin, when my significant other started cancer treatment in Fall, 2007, some of the side effects,as we all know is loss of hair. We had a tent, it is still up in the garage attic, actually it is a SUV tent that allows one to utilize their vehicle.
I also was an avid Harley rider and we have tented and camped out way in previous years to South Dakota with our Lab, Franklin.
Getting back to the story, tent camping was nice but I’m getting a little to old to sleep on the ground and Noelia was very self conscious of her appearance. In February, 2008, I found a small toy hauler,(#1)Hyperlite, in Indiana. Only 13’ long and 7’ wide, it was the cutest toy hauler I could fine. Compared to tents, it looked wonderful. We drove out in a blizzard in February, 2008 for 9 hours to pick it up. We were all excited to have a set of single beds, with a small table in between, a small sink with 3 gallon pump, small 2 burner stove, a tiny portable 3 way refer and a television!!.
We drove back to Ohio where I found a KOA open in the winter. We hooked up our electric, took showers and got into our sleeping bags. It must have gotten down to 20 that night, Franklin was shivering on the floor so I let him up inside my bag, Noelia had her head completely covered because she had no hair. Thhere was no heater in the trailer. I got up next am and found the closest WallyWorld and got ourselves a little ceramic heater and a carpet runner. That next night, in western Pa. we had heat, Franklin was curled up on carpet on the floor and we were happy campers.
We camped in that Hyperlite thru July 2008 when 2 big items were obvious. Although we could open the back and put up a nice screen room, without a/c at night it was uncomfortable. I tried using one of those 12v ice cooler fan set up, it worked for 3-4 hours but one needed a lot of ice. The other item was bathrooms, some campgrounds leave a lot to be desired. Since I had never put the bike inside the toyhauler, hauling the bike was not that important. So, I found a dealer that sold Hyperlite’s in Detroit that also sold conventional trailers.
We made a deal, over the phone to trade in the Hyperlite on a new (#2) 2009 RoadRunner. It was a 16’ trailer SOB, with a bath, air conditioning, double bed and a bunk overhead, front dinette. We drove out there in July, 2008 and made the switch. We used that unit until a trip to Adirondacks in Fall, 2008 when it became obvious that I did not have the proper w/d set up or there was something wrong with the suspension. The white knuckle trip got me thinking about aerodynamics. Towing a wooden upright box at 60 mph and being all over the road was not pleasant. The Dutchman T@da had made it’s debut and we saw one at a campground, only 5’7” inside, it was low and sleek instead of big and boxy. So I ordered one from a dealer in Delaware and traded in the Roadrunner in December 2008 for a 2009 T@da

The (#3)Tada was really nice, towed wonderful, had a cassette toilet. The only drawback was it’s interior was small now that Noelia’s teenage daughter was camping with us, we now had 2 dogs (Hershey came along) plus Dutchman stopped making theT@da in 2010. In the summer of 2009, while in Florida visiting my mother the decision was made for my mom to move back up north with us. If we ever took my mother camping, the T@da was too small. Upon return north, I sold the T@da on Ebay that October,2009 to someone who flew in from California.
In November, 2009 Lance campers started making travel trailers and they looked wonderful, So I ordered a (#4) 2010 Lance 1880 from a dealer in
Chicago, then the closest Lance dealer, That February,2010 we got over 20” snow and the Lance was delivered to the dealer located in Chicago, Il. This time I left Noelia and Franklin&Hershey at home with my mom and headed out to Chicago, 13 hours away on a Thursday afternoon. There was a 4 day window between storms and I stayed on Interstates. Arrived Friday 5 am, slept at dealer until they opened 8am, did a quick walk thru, hooked up Ram and left by 11 am because another storm was approaching. Made it to Indiana border and stopped around 4 pm dusk. Took a shower, ate some supper and went to bed. The Lance had a front sleep sofa, a dinette and a double bed with a single bunk over head, it slept 7 and was 19’ long, 22’ total. Although it weighed 3400# from factory the Ram handled it fine. Awoke the next am, it was snowing really hard, I had to use 4 wheel drive to get out of the campground and drove like a bat out of XXXX until it stopped snowing. Upon arrival home in York,Pa the next morning, I had to plow my alley to get it in close to my house where it sat until the snow melted in the spring, 2 months later. The Lance seemed so large compared to the T@da. We were happy campers, took the whole family camping in the Spring and summer 2010 several times, everyone had a bed and it was ideal.
Sometime in August 2010 I got on a ladder and went up to clean the roof and got a surprise. My roof had dozens of air bubbles all over the rubber roof, I was afraid to walk on it for fear of popping the roof membrane. I contacted the dealer in Illinois who contacted Lance. Never heard back from Lance but the dealer said it was ok to walk on, but I was not not buying that. I listed and sold it on Ebay in November 2010 that year. Took a loss financially.

This started my fiberglass ownership when I found the(#5) 2007NestEgg and this forum. No roof problems, bigger inside than T@da and with my mother now unable to camp anymore, a lot smaller than the Lance, seemed to fit the ideal set up. As we used it with our 2 dogs, we found a lot of state parks put the pet owners in non electric sites. I installed a catalytic heater and dual batteries to try and overcome that in an all electric unit. I was thinking of replacing the windows with insulated ones when the window manufacturer said I was waisting my money. A single fiberglass shell was not equipped to keep winter out. Hhmmm, another unforeseen issue. We love to winter camp and the T@da was cozy, it had dual windows and a cassette toilet that
worked in the winter. But now we had an issue with using the Eggcamper in the winter unless we had electric.

In November 2011,Lance came out with a new small trailer that was 100% fiberglass, no roof problems, had double windows, and a slideout that made it huge inside. Plus Lance now had a dealer 90 miles away. Sold the Eggcamper and ordered the new Lance (#6) which arrived in late 2011. We went winter camping and down to Myrtle Beach and Townsend, Tn and all was fine until, the slide motor stopped working. Never buy a first year model, the bugs are still there. I do not know about you, but when you have issues with something new, albeit fixed under warranty, it does not seem still new. There was a major design flaw in the Lance slide. What would happen if it broke on the road? So I sold the Lance in May 2011 via rv.net.


So now I have my(#7) 2012 Escape19’ in July 2012 and I’m tickled pink.
I was lucky enough to get a cancellation slot at Escape Industries therefore I only had a 90 day turn around. The Escape has all my other issues resolved and practically 100% ready from the factory. I did not have to spend hours like I did on the other units making them better (switching to leds, adding solar and lights and moving outlets) I had the Escape made the way I wanted with everything planned out (God knows I had experience as to what were shortfalls in other trailers) solar, small draw propane furnace, heated tanks, extra insulation, double windows. I’m now a happy camper. Noelia is happy, Franklin and Hershey are happy also. I hope to use this one for a long while. They have a pool at the local pub as to when I’m going to sell it since I have had so many in so little time and I keep saying never.
Seven in four...

as a side note, the persons at the local PennDot office know me by my first name now!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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Interesting history, and thanks for sharing, Jim. I hear so much positive about the Escapes from all owners. What's your favorite feature about it?
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam Garlow View Post
Interesting history, and thanks for sharing, Jim. I hear so much positive about the Escapes from all owners. What's your favorite feature about it?
It is assembled or built the way I would have have if I had built it myself!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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A good, well written story that illustrates many of the pit falls out there in the RV camping world. Sure to help some and confirm to others that the fiberglass camper decision that they made is the correct one. Thanks for sharing. I know our move from tent (still tent camp with my Harley riding buddies) to pop up to Trilliium was a progression that needs only one more step-from a 13' to a 15 or 16' so there is more room for the dog and a bit bigger bed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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What a great story!
I really enjoyed that read.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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Wow...I hope you broke even on most of them...seems alot of money going out on camping lol. But I can relate in a way, haveing built 2, someone told me we aren't building trailers, we are building prototypes...since each is a learning lesson from the last... but how many does it take lol. Im hopeing 3 in my case lol.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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pictures of hyperlite,roadrunner,t@da, lance1,egg,lance2,escape
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:27 PM   #10
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #11
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Ive never seen that version of the tada! Ive seen the teardrop looking one and I was considering it except, no bathroom. I boondock at friends land and they have an outhouse... uh got stung on the nose by a wasp this year cause I happened to be the first person to use it this last spring. I figured I would be building another gypsy vardo and I swore the next one would be standup height and have a porta pottie in it. The shower will be nice to wash off the grime... and I will park further back then my friends cause I want a generator to power the ac if its ungodly hot... I usually had a 12 volt fan blowing down on me when I sleep but sometimes its just not enough.

I agree the aero dynamic shape makes it easier to tow.... the wind would ome over the roof of my rav4 and slam into the flat wall of my vardo and get hung up on the overhanged roof. I thought the next one the door would be on the back and put a "bay window" in to try to spread the drag lol. I think I just want a scamp and keep it simple.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:52 PM   #12
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"I want a generator to power the ac if its ungodly hot."

Make sure you look into it. Small quiet generators like the Honda 2000 won't run a/c. I had a 3000 and it did fine but weighed close to 120 lbs.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #13
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Really Steve, I thought I read here somewhere that they will and was suggested getting a hard start capacitor to help when the ac first turns on.... hmmm

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #14
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I want an old burro. Oh look; I have one. Lucky me! But I did like "Nest Egg" and know as a result of that episode that there is a waiting list of folks ready to buy trailers from this man before he takes delivery.

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