What to beware of... - Fiberglass RV

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-17-2009, 01:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 28
So I'm semi-shopping semi-casually for an egg.

I race a small sailboat, and my wife comes along as shore crew. She would like a home away from home where she can stay while I'm out sailing. She wants a pop-up trailer, but I think an egg would be better. Her thought is that a pop-up is easy to pull and set up. I think an egg weighs less, takes less maintenance, and is easier to set up. Just level it, hook up the propane, and move in.

I think it would do her well to see what is out there in these trailers. If there a meet or whatever anytime soon in our area I'd love to know (An hour north of Toronto).

I have locted a Surf-Side nearby that is for sale at a reasonable price at an RV dealer. Supposing I take SWMBO to look at it, what are common failures in these, or what are things to look for? I've read about doors and frames having issues, is there much else to beware of? On boats I know that FG blistering, delamination, and gel-coat crazing can bring value down, and be very difficult to repair - does this hold true with the trailers? Are the trailers usually wood-cored FG, or is it just solid FG?

Thanks for your help, sorry about all the questions. I may take a drive to Burlington and look at the damaged trailer for sale there just to get a feel for their construction...

Chrs P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
Chester Taje's Avatar
Name: Ches
Trailer: 1992 Kustom Koach 17 FT
British Columbia
Posts: 4,896
All i can say is that I would buy a FG unit before buying a pop up. They are easy to pull and set up.
Look at this buyers check list.

Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
Chester Taje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 45
We also spent lots of time hashing over the merits of tenting, pop-ups and small trailers. Just recently bought a 13' Scamp and have had two short trips and LOVED IT. We are pulling with our Honda van and it tows great not to mention the wonderful gas milage. The past few years have traveled with a large 5th wheel & truck so this year our 4 month trip will be quite an experience. Can't wait and parking should be a dream..... I hope. Good luck.
karen lm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
Name: Patty
Trailer: Casita 13 ft
Posts: 91

There are a number of things to think about regarding a pop-up trailer. First of all if you are going that route there are tons of them on ebay and craigslist so you won't have any trouble finding one in the size and for the price you are looking for.

However, in these times and considering your wife will be in the trailer alone at times, there is no way I would go that route. Security is a big reason. I read on one of these forums that a man was sleeping in the pull out part one night and an arm came in through the screen....yep. Also, everytime you want to leave the trailer to go out to eat or shopping, you have to consider whether you should pull in the side beds to protect your stuff. Just too dang much trouble in my book. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there are a bunch of unsavory people out camping, but certainly you need to always be aware and thinking about security issues. Will you be using your camper in bear country? Yikes! Not saying that a fiberglass camper will protect you from a bear attack....just sayin' to think about a number of things before you decide which one to get.

These little fiberglass campers can last well into 40+ years if they are well taken care of. Pop-ups with canvas being a huge part of the construction, just not going to last as long.

Security, ease of set up, the fact that they are lightweight and last a long time, all make the fiberglass the perfect camper in my book. I may be a tad prejudice since we own two of them....LOL.

Good luck with your research and happy trails with whatever you get.

Patty C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
Junior Member
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 28
Thanks for the thoughts guys!

Is there a spot where brand specific "things to watch for" can be found? I know that doors not closing right is more of an issue on some brands than others, and I know that floor pans rot out in some of the trailers but are better designed in others, etc...
Chrs P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 04:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
peterh's Avatar
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,519
Thinking about pop-up vs fiberglass trailers:
  • Setup: Whether you buy up a fiberglass trailer or pop-up your first set-up steps are the same. You back it in, un-hitch, get your trailer level, turn on the propane and connect the water, electric, and waste lines (if both your trailer and the site you park in have those connections). Once these things are done you can go inside a fiberglass trailer, but with a pop-up there's lots of cranking, pulling, and pushing that still has to be done before you can come in from the rain. Don't enjoy camping in the rain? Well, remember there's even more cranking, pulling, and pushing to do when you decide to go home because it starts raining.
  • Towing: Before we bought our "big" Scamp 5th wheel we looked at pop-up trailers, and one thing that surprised me was that pop-up trailers with similar equipment weigh more. The biggest difference when you're towing is you can see through your rear-view mirror and over the top of a pop-up, but not so well that you can depend on seeing what's behind your trailer. You can see a truck, but lower-profile vehicles, like a sedans, can hide in your trailer's blind spot.
  • Something else to consider when you're towing: when you pull in to a rest stop with a fiberglass trailer you can hop out of the car and into the trailer, sit down at the dinette, have a bite to eat, take a nap, use the pot, and grab a cold soda out of the 'fridge when you get under way again. Not so with a pop-up.
  • One more advantage of an egg is there are lots of easily accessible places to put things. A pop-up trailer might have a little under-the-counter storage space and some harder to access storage areas under the dinette, but fiberglass trailers usually have easy-to-access, eye-level upper cabinets that ring the ceiling, small vertical closets with hang space and space under the counters and dinette benches, all of which is accessible without raising the lid and sliding out the beds.
As for maintainance, it sounds like you already have a pretty good idea of what's involved and what to look for. As with boats, some used trailers are ready to take out the first day you own them, others are neglected hulls that leak. Take a look at the Buyer's Checklist for some good ideas on what to look for.

peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
Posts: 8,125
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson

Is there a spot where [b]brand specific "things to watch for" can be found?
Um, Every molded fiberglass trailer out there has potential for failures in one system or another. These trailers are more alike than different.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 05:33 PM   #8
Senior Member
Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe / Infiniti SUV
Posts: 123
Because they're difficult to heat and keep warm, a pop-up has a substantially shorter camping season than a FGRV or---heaven forbid---a conventional RV.
George Cathcart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 06:49 PM   #9
Senior Member
Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,914
Think of it this way maybe... if you buy a fiberglass trailer and don't like it or it doesn't suite your needs... you can sell it and pretty quickly because they're in demand. If you buy a popup and don't like it or it doesn't suite your needs... how long is it going to take to sell?

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2009, 07:51 PM   #10
Senior Member
james kent's Avatar
Name: james
Trailer: Boler 1984
Posts: 2,909
Look to the left hand column at the side of the page, under "Document Center", and print off the "Buyers Check List". Take it with you when you look at a trailer.
james kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2009, 08:03 AM   #11
Junior Member
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 28
WOW! Thanks for all the info guys!

On the way to work today I checked the owners manual in my car and was pleasantly surprised to see that it has a tow rating of 3300 lbs, and a transmission cooler as standard equipment (Volvo C-70). Our other vehicles are an Astro van (which can pull 5500 lbs - and has! - Its my work truck) and a Chev Montanna. I think the montanna may be the weakest of the 3, but thats what SWMBO drives, so I'll have to look into its tow rating, and let her decide if she'd be comfortable towing with it.

The buyer's checklist looks pretty comprehensive. Thanks for that info!


Chrs P is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Its a scam. Men beware. Vic&Kathy Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 7 07-12-2010 07:16 AM
Beware Kevin K Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 8 02-25-2009 08:22 PM
Beware of new Craigslist scam Russ & Marian McLean Classified Archives 9 11-24-2008 01:32 PM
U-Haul hitches- Beware John Perry General Chat 6 04-06-2008 01:32 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.