What do I want in a camper? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-03-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
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What do I want in a camper?

VERBOSITY ALERT!

I started out looking at teardrops to pull behind my van, and then I found you. In my search for a fgrv, I am finding out so much. And I am trying to sort out all the variations there are, besides length, layout, and amenities. I am not in a hurry, I'm enjoying the search. That being said, these are the current parameters for the trailer. (and keeping in mind that I do exercise my perogative to change my mind).

I suspect that the majority of our camping will be SP & NP, an occasional private cg, overnite boondock or serendipitous side path enroute. Not too much off-road. But, I don't need a full service resort.

My TV – 01 Sienna, tow weight capacity = 3500#

basic camper requirements:

Interior height >=6’2”
Toilet/Shower space
Separate dining space
~3000# loaded, TW<=300# (I would rather go light, not max out tow capacity.)

Keeping in mind that I have only seen a Scamp 5er, and project Scamp 16’, Casita 17’ and Playpac, I could be way off base with my thinking. I am not in a hurry (well at least in my head, my heart would have me chasing all over the country to get going!) And, we will be making some site visits—Parkliner and a post-2006 Scamp 16 in Feb/Mar and a trip to the Egg Rally in TN in April.

Active brands that I am aware of and that seem fairly readily available (and in NO particular order)— Bigfoot, Li Snoozy, Casita, Eggcamper, Escape, Parkliner, Trillium, Scamp, Boler, Burro, U-haul, Perris, Surfside (the last four seem pretty scarce, but you never know).
Any others I missed?

Based on weights reported here and weights on promotional materials for the various companies, I would have trouble towing Bigfoot, Escape 19’, Casita 17’ Sp & Lib, & Burro widebody, Boler 17' would be close and, of course, the 5er’s.
Sound reasonable? Anything I've overlooked?

Interior Height requirements seem to eliminate pre-2006 Scamp, Casita 15’ & 16’. I don’t have confirmed IH for Burro, Boler, Surfside, or Perris, and am not sure that the earlier Trilliums have the same IH as the new ones.
Anyone have practical information on IH for Trillium, Burro, Boler, Surfside, or Perris?

Composition:

Boler and Trillium appear to be 360 molded fiberglass, in other words, there is a layer of fiberglass on the floor (there may be others—I did see a totally gutted Playpac and stood on its fiberglass floor. The remainder of the pack have some type of wood—marine plywood, treated sob—with some type of sealant on the road side of the board (maybe?). Not sure how this plays into the equation.

Escape, Trillium, & Parkliner appear to be fused rather than riveted. Not sure how this plays into the equation. (started separate thread on this.)

I do like the look/potential for fiberglass surfaces on the interior. I think I will like a less wood look although I suppose you can always paint/replace wood.

Not sure how I feel about the various interior wall treatments. The marine headliner seems okay. I didn’t care for the sculptured carpet on the wall of the Casita, haven’t seen the foam/vinyl in the Boler, or the slick fiberglass in Egg and Burro. I can imagine pros and cons to all.
I have been following the threads regarding these items.

I prefer vinyl flooring over carpet although I might be tempted to put down cork (have leftovers from doing my kitchen floor. And, after 8 years, I still love it best of all my floors).

I would be fine with just a wc/portapot, but understand my DH’s desire for shower (maybe I can still convince him otherwise—get an inexpensive used w/o shower as a trial run. If he is still not happy, we could sell and get one with shower).

Auxiliary dining area is desired. Separate dinette is ideal, but maybe we can be creative. With a front gaucho, can create a dinette. Or, develop swing out table (maybe use a tv mount) that would fold out of the way when not being used? Or set up the bed area, so that you can fold the bedclothes over, raise a partial table and have the end closest to the aisle for dining? Need to see the inside to get a better idea if this is doable.

I have yet to be called toward the Lil Snoozy although I do like the rear door.

I am not looking for a project, but would not mind making minor repairs--change out tires, scrub, wash, wax. I have changed the oil in my car and learned how, through practice, to do a brake job.

Budget-wise, I started out figuring I’d like to spend about $5-6K for a used one. DH has gotten into the mix so I have ratcheted it up. I’d still like to stay under $10K. I'm aware that these $$ may be a pipedream, but ya gotta start somewhere and the prices I'm seeing seem to support this.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
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Name: Ruth
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Hi Lora,

I saw your thoughts on a trailer, and can see you have given it quite a lot of thought. You will have many choices for a trailer, it's amazing how many used trailers do come available on the market. I have had very good luck on Craigslist, and use Craig's helpers to look at many at the same time. Molded fiberglass trailers puts them all together also.

I have owned many trailers, and frequently buy and sell them, looking for the one that I want to keep longterm. I had a lil snoozy for a year, but got very frustrated with it. I have owned an rpod, but prefer fiberglass. I keep coming back to scamps, they are lower priced than casitas, and much more readily available on the east coast. I have my fifth scamp now. Hope to keep it for a very long time.

Whatever you decide to purchase, make sure it has air conditioning. Virginia sure can get hot in the summer.

I live in your neck of the woods, invite you to see my scamp deluxe and gab about trailers together.

Ruth
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:23 AM   #3
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"I would be fine with just a wc/portapot, but understand my DH’s desire for shower (maybe I can still convince him otherwise—get an inexpensive used w/o shower as a trial run. If he is still not happy, we could sell and get one with shower)."

Earlier you stated that most of the time you will be in campgrounds. Most of the campgrounds I go to have wash rooms and showers. I've owned trailers for many many years and have only showered in a camper twice. However I do prefer a private bathroom to save on those dark walks in the middle of the night.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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Hi Lora. Looks like you're doing your homework. Other things to consider, bed size, 13' or 16' ( with the 13' it's bath or dinette), and type of windows come to mind. Also, I think all fiberglass trailers have some wood in the floor. In some cases, Uhaul, Trillium, etc. it's a fiberglass sandwich. I suspect you know that but just incase. Enjoy your search and do let us know what you get. Raz
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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It's hard to over-estimate the importance of bed size. If you can't sleep comfortably, you won't use the trailer for long. When you're looking at trailers, make sure you lay down on the bed. If you plan on camping with a partner, have both people lay down. Roll around. Have the inside person get up. It's not length, but the lack of width at issue. Some couples compromise a lack of adequate bedsize by sleeping separately.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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Ruth, That is good information about the a/c. Which of the layouts do you have?
I would love to get together. I will PM you with my number.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
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Hmmmm... Just a thought or two....

Looking for what almost has to be a late model, 15'+ FGRV, with hot water, a higher interior height, and needing nothing more than tires and a wax job, might be real tough even with your increased budget numbers. And in your area they are even fewer and further between than out west.

I suggest that the time to buy with those limititations is right now, before the prices for FGRV's and gasoline go Up, up, up (as they always do) for the summer.

Prices and inventory you are seeing this past month are at the years low point, demand and prices will take off in March/April to top out in July/August.

Last year we sold our 2004 SCAMP 13', with a front bath (no inside shower), hot water, outside shower, new tires and wax job, but no a/c, for slightly north of $10k at the very end of the season in early September, in less than 10 days.

As oft mentioned, act now, you snooze you looze......

Bob Miller
(ex Springfield , VA)
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
. . . In some cases, Uhaul, Trillium, etc. it's a fiberglass sandwich. I suspect you know that but just incase. Enjoy your search and do let us know what you get. Raz
Raz, That is very interesting information about the fiberglass sandwich. I did not know that. I have picked up a lot about the construction of these trailers, but some of it is in bits and pieces and it is hard to get them all sorted out and put together into a whole. So, is it a wood, fg, wood sandwich? Or, is it more of a burrito configuration, with the fg wrapped around a wood core?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam A View Post
If you can't sleep comfortably, you won't use the trailer for long. It's not length, but the lack of width at issue.
Width is another issue that is hard to gauge in my head. We have a queen size at home (~60" wide). It's easy to think that a foot wouldn't make a big difference, but it might. Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #10
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Lora,
I believe pre-2006 Scamp. 16s are the same height as post-2006 16s. We have a 1997 scamp 16 and its tall enough for my 6'1"
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #11
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Steve, you say "I've owned trailers for many many years and have only showered in a camper twice. However I do prefer a private bathroom to save on those dark walks in the middle of the night."
I am with you on that. Even on those occasions when we've had indoor plumbing (camper or boat), I would opt for the roominess of the cg facilities. But, it is what it is. I'm hoping that maybe there will be a great deal on a trailer and I can convince him that it is not a necessity. Maybe it's a guy thing and your facilities are not as posh as those for us ladies?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
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About Beds, Length Matters.....

It's not about the width of the bed, it's about the length, especially the side against the front wall of the trailer. If you need a 6'2" inside height, you will find many of the rigs you mentioned to be a bit cramped for bed length. Be sure to test drive the bed size before buying.....

BTW: Adding a roof A/c will cut about 3" off of the inside height.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hmmmm... Just a thought or two....a late model, 15'+ FGRV, with hot water, a higher interior height, and needing nothing more than tires and a wax job,
I suggest that the time to buy with those limititations is right now,
Prices and inventory you are seeing this past month are at the years low point, demand and prices will take off in March/April to top out in July/August.
Last year we sold our 2004 SCAMP 13', with a front bath (no inside shower), hot water, outside shower, new tires and wax job, but no a/c, for slightly north of $10k at the very end of the season in early September, in less than 10 days.


As oft mentioned, act now, you snooze you looze......

Bob Miller
(ex Springfield , VA)
I could go with an older model, as long as the IH is sufficient, and as for fixing up--I would want something I could start camping in without worrying about the floor falling out from under me, Niagara Falls at the windows, and serviceable gas and electric.

Good info about buying soon. I have been watching the ads. Part of the problem of course is not having much experience with fgrv to have a feel for what will work.

Glad to hear that you sold yours so quickly. Even more motivation (along with Ruth G's comments) to go ahead and get something not quite perfect although not so bad that it makes DH hate camping and be willing to change it out.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Lora,
I believe pre-2006 Scamp. 16s are the same height as post-2006 16s. We have a 1997 scamp 16 and its tall enough for my 6'1"
I was not aware of that. Thanks for pointing it out. The one 16' we saw was a project and we daren't step inside. The floor would most probably have fallen out from under us!
So, I will throw that into the mix.
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