Which is best? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #15
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Hi, Frances. Welcome to FiberglassRV.com. We're glad you found us. I'm not personally aware of the RV Consumers Group, much less how they go about assigning their ratings. Perhaps someone else will chime in with an answer to your question.

We get the "which is best" question quite often. What everyone is trying to say is, "it depends."

The prevailing consensus is that by design, these fiberglass trailers are less prone to leaks than RV's built by other methods. That does not mean they are leak proof, just "better."

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Since I don't need anything bigger than what I had and towables allow one to unhitch and use the tow-vehicle to go wherever you always wanted to go, what is the smallest tow vehicle that would be appropriate to haul one of these lightweight fibreglas units. I have no experience or knowledge of these units, so whatever you pass along to me will help educate me on them. Thanks a heap! FrancesM
We pulled a 16 ft. Casita with a Ford Ranger (3.0L). Now we have a 17 ft. and pull it with either a Ford Ranger (4.0L) or a Ford F150. (The 17 ft. Casita is quite a bit heavier than the 16.) The Ranger does fine, but the F150 has a smoother ride, especially on bumpy roads and going over railroad tracks. We are also more comfortable with the F150 in the mountains, more because of its better ability to STOP with 3000 lbs. following along behind it. (We use electric trailer brakes with both trucks.)

People pull these kinds of trailers with somewhat smaller vehicles... but this is from my own experience.

Good luck with your search, and I hope you enjoy poking around our website, and learning more about the world of small, molded fiberglass RV/travel trailers.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:43 PM   #16
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I have had two 17 Casitas and would buy one again. I currently have a 25 Bigfoot and love it. I really like the Escape. Both the trailer and the factory owner.

There seems to be two current construction differences. Rivets and no rivets. Well actually there are other differences. Double wall and single wall.

Here is a list of all the current Brands. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/resources.html...un=fiberglassrv
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:02 PM   #17
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When I say the 'best'... I should have made myself clearer. I mean the BEST workmanship. You can look in any number of rigs, coaches, and such and some of the workmanship is abominable. Happily, my Winnebago Warrior was an '89 and the workmanship throughout was excellent and well made. The ONLY item (at that time) in their construction that I had to laugh at was the 45 deg bend in a pipe.. Instead of using the proper pipe turn, they simply BENT the pipe and my immediately thought was their cutting corners: 'bad workmanship'.. and that left 'a bad taste in my mouth'.

However, the rest of the unit was top notch. Meeting a woman at a rally with a fairly new Fleetwood, all the cabinets were coming undone from the walls... Similar to the Monaco wreck that that RV group was picturing on their site...they showed how the poor workmanship of the Monaco allowed it to disintegrate, instead of holding together, all for the lack of glue and screws that hold laminates together...again, cutting costs. Scary pictures. The front end, and all the above cabinets collapsed onto the driver, and to be sure, he's in heaven now. The framing was terrible.

So, when I say BEST, I do mean how well are they put together. Only owners who have these units know, since you live with them.

I noted that there are 50 manufacturers of these fibreglas rigs... My Goodness, that's a heap of little units to check out. That's why I turned to you all. -smile- Bye. FrancesM
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:10 PM   #18
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Alf: Noting where you live, Canada... has it stopped snowing there yet? I used to live in Oswego, NY and the year I was there we received 120" of snow during the winter season. Came up to 3" from the clothesline. Now I'm down in God's country: East TN and unfortunately, it was 100 degrees yesterday afternoon. Now, that's HOT. I'm not a heat lover, but I sure do like East TN. Wish we could mix up the temperatures in Canada and ETn and get a nice even 65-70 deg all summer long.
Frances: I'm writing from Toronto (not that far from Alf) and today's temperature was 31C/87F. But it was killer humid too. The humidex/"real feel" reading was 40C/104F !!! So much for the "Great White North"
I wouldn't have minded mixing our temperature with that in your neck of the woods. It would have been far more comfortable than what we had today. (and my sunburn might not be quite so bad either)
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:15 PM   #19
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When I say the 'best'... I should have made myself clearer. I mean the BEST workmanship.
So, when I say BEST, I do mean how well are they put together. Only owners who have these units know, since you live with them. .....

......I noted that there are 50 manufacturers of these fibreglas rigs... My Goodness, that's a heap of little units to check out. That's why I turned to you all. -smile- Bye. FrancesM
Take a look at the information under the avatars on this site. Many include the year of their trailer in that info. And a huge number of them are from the 1970s. I think THAT speaks to quality.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:16 PM   #20
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If you want to view that site about that wreck: The brakes gave out...
Here's the link: http://www.rv.org/p17809.htm
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:17 PM   #21
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I noted that there are 50 manufacturers of these fibreglas rigs... My Goodness, that's a heap of little units to check out. That's why I turned to you all. -smile- Bye. FrancesM
Past manufacturers Frances, most of the ones you noted on the home page listing are long gone. But the trailers live on! and that alone should tell you something about how well they were made to start with. Granted a lot has to do with owner maintenance too. If you're looking to buy new, then these are your choices:
Current Trailer Manufacturers of molded lightweight fiberglass rvs
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:42 PM   #22
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Have you had a chance to look in a fiberglass rig, to look at one up close? There's way less to go wrong. For instance, my cabinets will never fall on my head because they're part of the molded fiberglass, not separate and attached with screws. I suppose I don't have as much storage space as one of those big stick-builts, and I may not have all the comforts of home, but if I wanted ALL the comforts of home I'd stay there!

Forgot to look where you live, but see if there's a rally in your area where you can see a few different types of FGRV's. Also, call the manufacturers and they will give you names of people in your area who will let you have a look-see at their trailers. Then you can see what works for you. Personally, my 1998 Casita Spirit DLX is PERFECT for me and my needs, but that isn't true for everyone. Good luck to you!
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:02 AM   #23
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Thanks for that clarification, Frances.

The problem with someone declaring one brand better quality-wise than the rest of them is that you never know what "quality" means to them. Is quality fit? Finish? Longevity? Value for the dollar? "Value" is as, if not more important, than "quality".

I've had at least six fiberglass units in the past five years, and six Airstreams in the past twenty. What I've learned is that "quality" is in direct proportion to price. The construction of my Born Free moho is fabulous. It should be. A new '08 will set you back $100k. Mine is an '01 that I bought last year with 65k miles on it. My folks bought an '02 Coachman Leprechaun last month with 23k miles on it in very good condition for $5k less than I paid for my '01 23'. My cabinets are all solid oak, and the furniture is ultraleather. My coach has dual thermopane windows and lots of cool goodies. I have three steel bars that make a roll cage, and the exterior is all molded fiberglass panels with a molded fiberglass roof.

Their Coachman cabinets are laminate material with wood doors and the moho has a cloth interior, single pane windows and sandwich wall construction with a rubber roof. They have HWH jacks I don't have, but not the heated power mirrors. They have the queen, I have a cab over bed.

Which is better? It depends. Their's is newer, a 31' with a rear queen. It also has less than 1/3 the miles and was less expensive. It will last them as long or longer than mine will last me. It won't depreciate much more over the life of the coach. Mine will lose at least another $10k in the next few years. They're both good quality. Value for the dollar, though, is a personal decision.

FG trailers are much the same, but there are few differences in quality among the current crop of new trailer manufacturers. They're all really good, and some are a little better, but you pay for that. Casita makes a very nice coach. Scamp builds custom oak and birch interiors which are gorgeous. While I've not seen an Escape in person, our members rave about the quality. Eggcamper seems to be of high quality. Oliver just began producing very high quality trailers at half again to twice the cost of one of the other current brands.

Really, you can't go wrong with any of them quality-wise. Value, on the other hand, is in the eye of the beholder.

Roger
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:06 AM   #24
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As you value great workmanship and live in Tennessee, you might drive over to Lewis County and take the Oliver factory tour.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:09 AM   #25
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Frances,

There is a new company making fiberglass travel trailers about 50 miles WSW of Nashville. You might give them a call and tour their factory.

Oliver web site

Oliver discussion

I know nothing about them, but I have heard good reports about their quality. They are apparently costly.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:36 AM   #26
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Frances, I'll go even a little further in my comparisons.

If you want a custom wood cabinet interior, your only choice is from the Scamp custom shop. Scamp produces 13', 16', and 19' goose-neck "fifth wheels".

Bigfoot offers a the only true four-seasons trailer on the market. Dual thermopane windows, enclosed and heated tanks, and excellent insulation. They are also one of the most expensive fiberglass trailers, but the interior isn't all wood, nor could most of their clients afford to buy the trailers if they did an all-wood interior. The interiors are nice, but not the quality of the Scamp custom shop. If you want a 21 or 25' molded fiberglass trailer today, Bigfoot is your only option. They also produce a 17'. Because of the four-season option, Bigfoot is one of the heavier FG trailers out there per linear foot.

If you want an aluminum frame, LED taillights, bright paint job, custom themed interior, and bells and whistles, Oliver is the trailer for you, again at twice to three times the price of a standard Scamp or Casita. They only produce a 17' trailer.

Casita offers value and high quality construction and produces the most trailers. They produce 13', 16' and 17' trailers.

Eggcamper is recent entry into the market, and is a high quality 17' camper that features a full fiberglass interior and double wall construction.

Escape is a high quality camper, also from Canada, that offers service that is second to none and in addition to their 17' trailers offers the only true fifth wheel in current construction in the Fiberglass trailer market.

Lil' Joe is probably the smallest and lightest FG trailer available for folks who have a limited towing capacity.

I know I've left some players out, but I'm only listing some to make a point. So... once again, they aren't apples compared to apples. Each has a niche that they've found to market to, and they're all of high quality.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:04 AM   #27
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Quote:
If you want to view that site about that wreck: The brakes gave out...
Here's the link: http://www.rv.org/p17809.htm
Hi: Frances...We were as hot if not hotter 'n you yesterday. Our humidity is because of the Great Lakes. We're 1 1/2 hrs. E. of Detroit & 2 1/2 hrs. W. of Buffalo surrounded by water... and sometimes it even falls from the sky...and turns white n hard!!! We just sold a '77 Boler in excellent shape and bought "Our Escape Hatch" '07 5th. wheel. Does that say something for Fiberglass!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:22 AM   #28
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I checked out the Oliver website, but apparently they are shy about posting the prices.
Any idea where I can find them? Maybe I didn't look in the right place. FrancesM
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