Would appreciate ideas about an RV - Completely new camper! - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-27-2016, 10:46 PM   #43
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I also wonder if you've checked out the Happier Camper, a new variation on the FGRV with a modular interior. As such, you can use their upholstered modular blocks to make a bed as large as you like! As a backpacker you can appreciate the versatility of this trailer. It can also be emptied and used as a cargo hauler. Shucks, you might even decide that you don't need a truck! The cost is on the higher range but might allow you to use a commuter sedan for daily use AND for towing! ...Just a thought.

Quote from the Happier Camper | Ultra-light Travel and Utility Trailers website. "For serious inquiries about purchasing an HC1, please contact Wil at sales@happiercamper.com or by phone at (310) 570-8864. Starting price for a base configuration is $15,950. For other questions please visit the FAQ or our contact page. Thank you!"

While we're dreaming you might be interested in the Lil' Snoozy at Small Travel Trailer: Camper: Smoakin Concepts Composites. Their video tells the whole story. Prices start at $23,000.

Note: I have absolutely no vested interest in any of these FGRVs. Personally, I love our 2011 13' Scamp towed with our 2008 Subaru Legacy. Of course, I and my husband are 5'4" and 5'9" respectively.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:48 PM   #44
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Correction: Lil' Snoozy starts at $21,500.
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Old 01-27-2016, 11:12 PM   #45
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OP, the Tacoma at 24 mpg highway is not far off from your current 26 mpg. Trucks have more wind drag than cars or minivans, so the only way to get better fuel economy right now is to opt for diesel fuel (which has more energy per gallon than gasoline)... but diesels are so heavily laden with government-mandated emissions equipment, I fear they will never be as reliable as they once were. Expect higher maintenance costs for diesels, too. So the Tacoma, or maybe the Ridgeline, would be the best choices out there.

Be aware that for a 5th wheel hitch, the Tacoma will need a bit of modification due to the composite bed. Not a problem, but figure a few hundred $ extra to get the secure attachment needed.

If you should need to switch to a medium size stick-built 5th wheel in order to accommodate the wife's needs, the Tacoma should enough towing capacity to handle it. But of course, check all the numbers on payload, pin weight when loaded, and loaded trailer weight before making the jump.
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:14 AM   #46
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I'm 6'1: tall and have lived comfortably in our Scamp 16, for a number of years typically on the road for 7 months a year. We also spent a year in a Casita 16, inside height 5'10", again with out a problem. It turns out you actually spend little time walking around in a trailer. That said, the reason we bought a Scamp over the Casita was the extra height.

Though people complain about the small bed size it's never been an issue for us and our extremely happy in our Scamp Bed.

Again my suggestion is to attendrallies. There's one in central FL next month.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:37 PM   #47
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I'm 6'1: tall and have lived comfortably in our Scamp 16, for a number of years typically on the road for 7 months a year. We also spent a year in a Casita 16, inside height 5'10", again with out a problem. It turns out you actually spend little time walking around in a trailer. That said, the reason we bought a Scamp over the Casita was the extra height.

Though people complain about the small bed size it's never been an issue for us and our extremely happy in our Scamp Bed.

Again my suggestion is to attendrallies. There's one in central FL next month.
Thanks for your comments. My original post is about trucks for towing and not campers. I unfortunately chose a poor and misleading thread title. I need a new truck to get to work in a few years and it needs to get good gas mileage due to my long commute distance every day. Someday I would like to use it to pull a 5th wheel so I don't want to buy less than I need.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:16 PM   #48
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Elizabeth EWA, I might suggest you seek professional reviews and not "opinions of strangers". If you review posts #24 and posts #36 in this topic you will read some facts as can be confirmed by reading "Comsumer Reports " and manufactures specs.

Toyota is ranked number one in this market segment.

GM products have poor reviews.

Ford does make a small truck..was called the Ranger but that name may have changed.

The original reason for this thread was a quest for a pickup truck for a 5th wheel that had good ratings and gas mileage. As always happens many responses covered tow vehicles other than trucks...hard to tow a 5th wheel without a truck.

Good information is often available from the manufacture's specifications found on their websites. Another good source of unbiased reports and test data can be obtained from consumer reports magazine. They do not accept advertising dollars from manufacturers and therefore do not have to be kind in return for revenue. They report what they find after much testing. Truck cost a lot of money and their reports can save you many dollars spent on the wrong truck.
It is your money...spend it wisely !!!

Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:43 PM   #49
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Elizabeth EWA, I might suggest you seek professional reviews and not "opinions of strangers". If you review posts #24 and posts #36 in this topic you will read some facts as can be confirmed by reading "Comsumer Reports " and manufactures specs.

Toyota is ranked number one in this market segment.

GM products have poor reviews.

Ford does make a small truck..was called the Ranger but that name may have changed.

The original reason for this thread was a quest for a pickup truck for a 5th wheel that had good ratings and gas mileage. As always happens many responses covered tow vehicles other than trucks...hard to tow a 5th wheel without a truck.

Good information is often available from the manufacture's specifications found on their websites. Another good source of unbiased reports and test data can be obtained from consumer reports magazine. They do not accept advertising dollars from manufacturers and therefore do not have to be kind in return for revenue. They report what they find after much testing. Truck cost a lot of money and their reports can save you many dollars spent on the wrong truck.
It is your money...spend it wisely !!!

Good luck in your search.
Exactly. I can pick out my own vehicle. I was just looking for some ideas on whats worked well for others. I did not express myself well but the actual reason for my question was to learn how to marry a pickup truck to 5th wheel if you don't own the 5th wheel yet and will probably buy a used trailer at least for the first one. For example there was a very nice, pretty old FG Bigfoot fifth wheel for sale in CA recently for about $5000. People with a used trailer for sale want to sell it and get it on down the road. I venture to guess that they dont want to wait for a month wile you get your truck ready and then drive cross country to pick it up. So say I've I've got my commuter Tacoma and its a 4x4 and the bed is too high and its also composite and I dont have the hitch for the trailer I just bought. I was trying to learn about how people deal with that. Buying a used 5th wheel seems like its not a smooth process since it has to be married to the truck.

Anyhow I've learned a few things. 1) I need to be more specific with the question next time and the thread title is very important 2) tacomas have a composite bed 3) some people only read the thread title 4) everyone wants to help, which is nice.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:13 PM   #50
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A lot depends on what you're planning to tow.

For modest towing (up to about 4000#) the Ridgeline would be my first choice: excellent reliability, compact size, and more car-like ride & handling. You should be able to find a low-mileage, old-style Ridgeline now, no wait.

For heavier trailers or fifth-wheels the Tacoma would be my first choice for reliability, but it's pricey, even used, and I might also consider a Frontier. I've owned both and had good experiences, but not recently.

I personally avoid new or redesigned models until they establish a track record, so I'd pass on the Colorado/Canyon and the redesigned Ridgeline for now. I believe the Ridgeline is now going to use the same cylinder cutoff system as the Odyssey and Pilot. There have been some problems reported, hard to say how widespread, but enough for Honda to offer a limited power train extension on VCM related repairs.

On further investigation, the Honda Ridgeline was only made as a crew cab with short (5 ft) bed. I'm looking for a truck with a 6 ft bed.

I think your advice about avoiding new models is good though... When was the Colorado/Canyon redesigned??
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:56 AM   #51
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Anyhow I've learned a few things. 1) I need to be more specific with the question next time and the thread title is very important 2) tacomas have a composite bed 3) some people only read the thread title 4) everyone wants to help, which is nice.
What you want is a vehicle that will tow the trailer of your choice, be your every day commuter, get high gas mileage, and not be expensive to purchase or maintain. Well, that's what everyone wants. Unfortunately you can't have it all. As such, folks have provided the alternatives. You might want to reread the responses to determine where you want to compromise. Good luck, Raz
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:28 AM   #52
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Unfortunately you can't have it all. As such, folks have provided the alternatives. You might want to reread the responses to determine where you want to compromise. Good luck, Raz
Actually you can optimize your choice in any major purchase. You can't have it all, but you can get much closer by doing some research and checking the alternatives. Many people buy on emotion without doing any research at all. For me that research includes asking other people who have solved the same problem what worked for them (or didn't) and why.

A Tacoma is probably the best choice for me on paper considering all of the alternatives. It would be nice if it got better gas mileage but it isn't that bad. Before I posted this thread I didn't know it had a composite bed. Now I do. Its not a deal killer for me but now I know.

I appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks or taking the time to provide some real world information.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:48 AM   #53
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Actually you can optimize your choice in any major purchase. You can't have it all, but you can get much closer by doing some research and checking the alternatives. Many people buy on emotion without doing any research at all. For me that research includes asking other people who have solved the same problem what worked for them (or didn't) and why.

A Tacoma is probably the best choice for me on paper considering all of the alternatives. It would be nice if it got better gas mileage but it isn't that bad. Before I posted this thread I didn't know it had a composite bed. Now I do. Its not a deal killer for me but now I know.

I appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks or taking the time to provide some real world information.
I'm in the process of doing the research on a new vehicle so this discussion was useful for me as well I did the research on the last vehicle I bought and have been happy as a result. In fact, what I really want is one just like it only newer. Too bad they don't make it any more.

As for gas mileage, you can get noticeably better mileage on a pickup by putting a shell or at least a bed cover on the back. Unfortunately, that's not likely to be compatible with having a 5th wheel hitch. Given the length of your commute, it might be worth the hassle of doing a change over. Yet another thing to research...
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:12 AM   #54
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Thanks for your comments. My original post is about trucks for towing and not campers. I unfortunately chose a poor and misleading thread title. I need a new truck to get to work in a few years and it needs to get good gas mileage due to my long commute distance every day. Someday I would like to use it to pull a 5th wheel so I don't want to buy less than I need.
Sorry I'm a little late to the party, but I have a little different perspective and I'll pass it along. Towing capacity and high gas mileage numbers are mutually exclusive goals in the same vehicle. Towing, you will get about 14 mpg =/- regardless of what you're towing with. Smaller tow vehicles max out their tow capacity and use more gas towing because they have to work so hard. Larger tow vehicles aren't stressed by towing, but natively just don't get high mileage.

You can have a vehicle that is a great commuter, or you can have a vehicle that is a great towing vehicle, but trying to find a competent tow vehicle that gets commuter mileage just isn't a good plan.

You are NOT going to find a tow vehicle that can tow a fifth wheel with that is a good commuter car. Obviously, since you're currently commuting in a Volvo, you don't need a pickup for your commute. Pickups are meant to haul. Small cars are meant to commute in.

The true cost of ownership of a tow vehicle and trailer isn't in the gas mileage, it's in the depreciation. Do what you can to buy your tow vehicle and trailer at the best price you can get, use the h*ll out of them, but limit the depreciation on them as much as you can.

So, here's my advice after owning a raft of RVs and tow vehicles over the years: find a good, used pickup that you like with a 7500 lb tow rating that gets ok mileage towing. That will give you wide latitude in finding a fifth wheel (or front bedroom fiberglass trailer; yes there are some like the Bigfoot 25FB.) Then find your trailer... take your time. Look at both used and new. There are several that will fit your 'wants.'

And in the meantime, find yourself a gas-sipper commuter car; a Civic, Prius, or whatever else suits your fancy. If you buy smartly, you won't break the bank, you'll have a tow rig you'll be happy with, you won't put a million miles on your lower-mileage tow vehicle commuting, and the fuel savings you'll realize over five years will nearly pay for your commuter car.

That formula has worked for me for years. I towed a '06 Bigfoot 25 with an '07 Nissan Titan 4WD King Cab for eight years... both mostly sat. I bought the year-old Titan used from a private party with 12k miles on it for well below market price and nearly half the new sticker price at $18.5. I sold both this past summer and bought a 32' motorhome. The Titan had 42k miles on it and I got almost $17k out of it. During the years I owned it, it only cost me the price of tires, insurance, and routine maintenance to own the truck. The trailer I bought new and it only depreciated about 1/3 of it's new cost in that time. Before that we had a 2000 4WD Excursion LTD and a 34' Airstream tri-axle that served the same duty. I lost very little on the Excursion as well, and made money on the Airstream when I sold it after using it four years. BTW, the Excursion got 17mpg highway, unloaded and about 12mpg towing the Airstream. The Titan NEVER got over 14 mpg any time.

My wife has a commute similar to yours, and she drives a '10 Prius. We bought it new, and plan on keeping it to 500k miles... it gets an honest 48mpg. She has a 130k miles on it so far... you do the math on the gas mileage savings over the life of 300k, 400k, and 500k miles. The higher gas prices go, the faster the car pays for itself. Before that, we had an '06 Civic that got an honest 38mpg.

That plan gives you safety and comfort when you're traveling with the trailer, and maximizes your commuting money as well... and maximizes the value of the tow vehicle and trailer when it comes time to buy something different.

Good luck, and happy shopping!
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:51 AM   #55
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As for gas mileage, you can get noticeably better mileage on a pickup by putting a shell or at least a bed cover on the back.
It's a myth that truck shell improves MPG. Usually MPG drops a little because of added weight.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:09 PM   #56
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I agree with sokhapkin on bed covers not improving gas mileage. I have run mine with and without a bed cover and I always check my mpg. There was no difference.
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