What manufacturers are still in business? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-07-2006, 04:57 AM   #1
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Hello!
My wife and I are in the midst of a disagreement over campers. Our tow vehicle is a minivan that has a maximum of around 2000 lbs. She was crushed when she found out how heavy today's pop-ups are. After finding out that even a basic pop-up was out (unless I want to buy a truck) I was considering building a teardrop. She nixed that idea faster than a ........ you get the picture!!!
On the teardrop forum, many of the users mentioned copying electric plans from Scamp in their designs. Funny, being from Minnesota, the idea of Scamp never crossed my mind. Good idea, I thought. Weighs just right, sleeps 4, made locally--- factory burned down!!
My disgust with the current mainstream rv industry keeps growing-- pop-ups that weigh over 2500 lbs-- rv dealers that what to oversell you -- blah blah blah
So my big questions in deciding if this is the way to go are as follows:
1. Who is still manufacturing these new other than scamp (if they come back) and casita?
2. What is the average price (new) of a 13 foot basic model?
and now for a fun question:
3. Has anyone else been in the same situation as I am -- looking for the best thing to tow without having to buy a truck and a monster 4000 lbs pop-up?

Thank you for all your help,
E Varga
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:29 AM   #2
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Good morning and welcome to FiberglassRV! It's amazing how many folks are figuring out exactly what you have, and are reaching the same conclusions!

First, recognize that even a 13' Scamp/Casita/Trillium is going to weigh close to your 2,000 lb max when loaded. And, that your 2,000 lb max may be reduced by the loading of folks and cargo in your minivan. That said, they're also the closest match for you.

Scamp is recovering from their fire, but living in Scamp country you'll likely be able to find a late model used one in the neighborhood before they're building new 13' trailers again. Their initial production run after the fire is gearing up to be the 16' model.

Casita still builds 13' new as well, but the production is quite limited as demand for the 13' trailers is substantially lower than for the 17'.

Trillium is once again building a 13' trailer in Canada called the "Outback". The first 13' Trilliums were known as the "1300".

Bigfoot also produced a 13' in the same style that is in great demand, however they haven't been available new for several years.

There is no one else, to my knowledge, currently producing 13' trailers; however you will find a great variety of used 13' brands out there and all of them are from good to excellent quality. Actually condition and options are significantly more important than age or brand when buying one. All of the features are off-the-shelf, garden variety RV equipment with parts, service and replacements available at most RV dealers.

Press the "Albums" button at the top of the screen and see the various trailers that we have in our "collection" here at FGRV! You'll be amazed at what's been offered over the years. You'll also be amazed at how inexpensively you can buy some of these if you have cash in hand, know what you're looking for, and are willing to drop everything and travel a ways to pick up what you want.

Happy hunting!

Roger
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:56 AM   #3
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I think we ALL have asked these questions before.

I have a Honda Element, and tow a 13 foot Burro. It weighs in, fully loaded at 1450. My limit by spec is 1500, but there is some debate over this particulat car being under rated for it's limits.. long story.

If you put in brakes, have a decent tranny cooler (Assuming you are an automatic) and be painfully aware of the bulk behind you, a 13 should do nicely for you. Especially if you can live without the extras such as A/C and water heater etc.

Changing, or in your case, not developing, certain habits can work yo your benefit. Don't tow witth anything in your tanks, be frugal in the amount of junk you carry etc.

Trillium (Not Outback) is actually BACK in bidnez as Trillium, in the States. Built near San Fran, they are now called Trillium RV

It looks like they have just birthed the first New Old style Trill!

I am excited, I sure would love to see one!

I know your tent trailer dilema. I had the same problem when I was looking. I could not believe how much so much nothing weighed! (It's gotta be the canvas)

All the dealers told me how I could never pull an egg, they weighed more than thier tent in a boxes did. Either unknowledgable, or.. slightly dishonest.

Aliners might also be an option for you, tho they are spendy for what you get. I had one in the running and would have written the check if my Burro had not come along. There is something to be said for NOT giving into instant gratification.. it turned out SO much better.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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When it's time to seriously start looking to purchase a molded lightweight FiberglassRV...don't forget to check ALL the online classifieds.

From our Helpful-Links page: RV Website Classifieds

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Old 04-07-2006, 09:59 AM   #5
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The last time I weighed my 06S13 (13' Scamp) it was 1350. It's pretty easy to stay under that 2,000 pound limit. Because the axels of the 13' Scamp are rated at 2200 lbs, staying under that is a good idea.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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I seem to recollect that several minivans have tow ratings depending primarily on tranny cooler installation (mine goes to 3500lbs). Can we assume that yours can not be cheaply upgraded with a "tow package?"
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:41 PM   #7
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Alberta
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Quote:
...and now for a fun question:
3. Has anyone else been in the same situation as I am -- looking for the best thing to tow without having to buy a truck and a monster 4000 lbs pop-up?...
Yes, I believe that this is a common situation; that's how we ended up with a Boler.

Quote:
I seem to recollect that several minivans have tow ratings depending primarily on tranny cooler installation (mine goes to 3500lbs). Can we assume that yours can not be cheaply upgraded with a "tow package?"
I agree that this is a common situation. Usually, the base rating is 2000 lb and the "when properly equipped" rating is 3500 lb. That's the case with Per's Odyssey and my Sienna, for instance.

Even if the current van cannot economically be upgraded, it may make sense to trade for a van with the higher capacity - which may even be the same make, model, and year - because the equipment for higher towing capacity normally has no disadvantages. You can have a vehicle better suited to a trailer that is around 2000 lb loaded, while not compromising anything you like about the minivan or resorting to a truck.

By the way, I believe that there are tent trailers (pop-ups) in the under 2000 lb class, but RV dealers don't like to stock or sell them. It's like trying to buy a basic car or truck, when the dealerships have the highly optioned (and more profitable) versions on the lot. The first ones I found in a quick search were the Starcraft 1700 series, Fleetwood Element or maybe the Fleetwood Destiny Yuma, but naturally here at FiberglassRV we would rather have a 'glass trailer!
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:25 PM   #8
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Hi & Welcome to this amazing forum. There is a wealth of experience here, and great 'eggers!

We tow a 13ft. Scamp with a Mazda MPV minivan. We have few 'bells & whistles' and are very careful about what we pack, but we have no illusions about being able to tow anything larger/heavier. Would recommend Scamp to anyone - we found ours on eBay, but the forum classifieds often have good pre-loved eggs from all mfg's.

Gina beat me to the mention of the A-frame foldups - we had checked out "Chalet" built in Oregon and were about to buy one of the LTW models made for small vans when we found our Scamp. You might check out there website - we found local dealers willing to show us the rigs & answer questions (ahem ... take answers with that grain of salt).

Good luck in your egg-hunt - you won't be sorry! Hope to see ya down the road! L 'n D
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:06 PM   #9
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What is wrong with RV industry marketing standards? Skewed just a big bit, I think.

I heard about a big RV show being held 50 miles from me, just across the border in NY State, in Sufferin. Yes, that's the town's name. It's near Mahwah. So I went, eager to see the latest stuff, and paid my 12 bucks. Held in the monster gymnasium of a community college in Sufferin. What a disapointment. Nothing there but bumper to bumper monster RV's. Not a single egg. Everything was geared toward high end celebrity busses just fine for John Madden and people with seven figure incomes. Couldn't believe I got sucked into wasting my time and money.

Caught an RV show on cable TV that promised to highlight all the great new RV's now being produced, so I sat down with my bag of peanuts to see and learn. What I got was flashy, zip-through-it, jumping-2-second shots of even more of the same expensive RV stuff. Plus, again, no eggs, though did see some interesting van conversions I wanted to learn more about. They just wouldn't let the viewer study and ponder what they were showing. The producers evidently think a good "show" beats a good "tell."

Also guess they think we're all millionaires.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
...Also guess they think we're all millionaires.
I think they just don't care about us unless we are millionaires - and I can't really blame them. There's a lot more profit in a $200,000 Class A than a $20,000 trailer, so guess where the marketing effort goes? It's the same at car dealerships and shows, for the same reason.

Here in Alberta, lots of people drive much larger vehicles than they need, so it's particularly easy to sell them a bigger trailer than they need.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:59 PM   #11
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Trailer: 78 Scamp 13 ft
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Hi!! We are brand new Scamp 13ft owners. Hoping to begin camping VERY soon now!! I have a little snag in my plan to redecorate and polish up the camper because our poor little Scamp is sitting in my son's driveway- our very long driveway has THE biggest frost boil mudpit in it- we don't dare drive thru it yet.

And today my son said- Boy- two of my friends already said- "THIS IS THE COOLEST Camper I've seen- sell it to me!" Just like me 4 months ago- I've never seen a Scamp before. It was love at first sight when I did.

We don't have to have all the comforts of home with us to CAMP! LOL Just something a lot better than a tent.
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Old 04-09-2006, 05:19 AM   #12
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Trailer: Palomino Pop-up
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Thank you all for these wonderful replies. My wife has me now looking into more about the wonderful world of fiberglass campers! I may still build a teardrop for my personal fishing trips but having a rv that sleeps at least the four of us without weighing a ton is my current battle.
Thank you,
E Varga
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