16' travel trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2006, 12:34 AM   #1
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hello - does anyone have an opinion or information on jayco feathers - and how they rate vs the scamp or casita 16'ers? feedback appreciated - i do see that the jayco is a bit heavier, but i am not sure if that matters too much - thanks - doug
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:30 AM   #2
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Well, you're on a site that is dedicated to molded fiberglass trailers, not anything like the Jayco. Don't think you're going to get an objective discussion going...but I could be wrong and it wouldn't be the first time.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:11 AM   #3
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--><div class='quotemain'>
hello - does anyone have an opinion or information on jayco feathers - and how they rate vs the scamp or casita 16'ers? feedback appreciated - i do see that the jayco is a bit heavier, but i am not sure if that matters too much - thanks - doug
[/quote]


Hi Doug,
We are previous owners of non-fgrv's and we have to say that we will never go back to anything other than fg. Not only are they usually lighter in weight to pull, but there is a certain something you feel when you own one of these. They are somewhat unique in their own way, we have owned a Trillium 13ft and now a Scamp 16ft and love them both. We have found that many people are interested in our little trailer and love to have a chance to peek inside. The comments vary but we most often hear "wow! this is all you need, it has everything the larger trailers have and more." I will mention that we are a family of four and and can honestly say that our Scamp has more than enough space for us. We can tow it easily with our family van and park easily into any camping space we like. It is perfect!! Good luck with your decision making process.
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
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hello - does anyone have an opinion or information on jayco feathers - and how they rate vs the scamp or casita 16'ers? feedback appreciated - i do see that the jayco is a bit heavier, but i am not sure if that matters too much - thanks - doug
Hi Doug,
We are previous owners of non-fgrv's and we have to say that we will never go back to anything other than fg. Not only are they usually lighter in weight to pull, but there is a certain something you feel when you own one of these. They are somewhat unique in their own way, we have owned a Trillium 13ft and now a Scamp 16ft and love them both. We have found that many people are interested in our little trailer and love to have a chance to peek inside. The comments vary but we most often hear "wow! this is all you need, it has everything the larger trailers have and more." I will mention that we are a family of four and and can honestly say that our Scamp has more than enough space for us. We can tow it easily with our family van and park easily into any camping space we like. It is perfect!! Good luck with your decision making process.

thank you both and donna for replying - as i am still very much in the education process of what the differences of all these brands are - can any of you explain just what the practical differences are in the molded vs partial fg makes? i appreciate the aesthetics and appeal of the mfgs - and personally prefer them - but, beyond weight and marginal height differences, what is advantage of the mfgs?
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:34 AM   #5
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Doug, I moved this topic to the Care and Feeding forum, because of the general Q&A you're looking for. I didn't want to move it to General Chat as you're looking for specific answers to your questions regarding slab-sided fiberglass vs molded fiberglass. We have a number of members who only peruse the forums under "All About Our Unique Little Trailers." This should make for good information for the archives
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:39 PM   #6
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--><div class='quotemain'>
can any of you explain just what the practical differences are in the molded vs partial fg makes?
but, beyond weight and marginal height differences, what is advantage of the mfgs?
[/quote]



Jayco Feather Sport vs. Casita

"Stick-built" panel over frame vs. Molded Frameless Shell
Square Box vs. Contoured Curves
almost 18' (smallest Feather) vs. 17' (largest Casita)
Dealer Network vs. Factory Direct
Standard Pole Leg RV Awning vs. Smaller Lighter "Case" Awning

could anyone add to this?
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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I'm not familiar with the Feather -- I know Jayco has made some fine products and some not-so-fine products -- I was the owner of a Jayco 16' Songbird, which was light fiberglass panels on a wooden stickbuilt wall with foam insulation and paneling inside -- There were seams between the roof and sidewalls that came to the bottom at front and rear -- At one time or another, every corner of the trailer had leaked (that constuction model came to be known as "The Leaker") -- I left the rig stored in Florida with the water heater filled (my newbie mistake), not knowing the overpressure fitting had a slow leak -- The result of six gallons of water dripping on the floor and frame over time caused a lot of rot in structural wood and attracted carpenter ants who ate more wood,ncluding some of the sticks in the wall.

That sort of thing doesn't happen in a molded FG trailer -- There are no overhead seams to leak, nor wooden structural members to rot. With a water heater or other appliance leak, it is possible to rot out flooring, but that's relatively easy to repair -- Some folks have actually removed the FG shell from the frame and totally replaced the floor.

I was really happy to find a Scamp 13 to replace that Songbird.

Here's a thought -- This group has plenty of owners with trailers from the 70s and 80s still going fine and selling for more than they cost new -- I wonder if the same is true for Jaycos from that period.
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:20 PM   #8
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can any of you explain just what the [b]practical differences are in the molded vs partial fg makes?
but, beyond weight and marginal height differences, what is advantage of the mfgs?

Jayco Feather Sport [b]vs. Casita

"Stick-built" panel over frame [b]vs. Molded Frameless Shell
Square Box [b]vs. Contoured Curves
almost 18' (smallest Feather) [b]vs. 17' (largest Casita)
Dealer Network [b]vs. Factory Direct
Standard Pole Leg RV Awning [b]vs. Smaller Lighter "Case" Awning

could anyone add to this?
Along the same lines.

Not cute [b]vs Cute
Depreciates in value [b]vs sometimes acutally appreciates in value.

I'm sure there's other points to be made. For me the "leak" factor and dry rot makes a lot of difference. I'd much rather spend my time using my trailer than fixing it.
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:47 PM   #9
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Our trailers are often informally called "eggs", referring to the classic moulded fiberglass trailers with a thin shell in a very rounded shape. Some of the typical characteristics of eggs do not apply to all moulded fiberglass designs, and thus do not always apply in a moulded fiberglass versus stick-built comparison, even though they do apply to the Scamp and Casita models about which Doug is asking:
  • While no current eggs are over 17' long, every current Bigfoot moulded FG trailer is at least that long, and they go to 25'
  • Bigfoot 2500-series trailers are also quite square, not egg-shaped at all; that likely affects assessments like "cute", as well. On the other end of the size scale, Compacts are virtually rectangular boxes, and there were several other hard-edged designs as well.
  • While the moulded FG trailers all primarily use the shell for structure, rather than an internal frame, they also use interior fittings to some extent, and have varying levels of internal wall structure. Bigfoot interiors are panelled, over rigid foam, with a substantial plywood layer in the roof. The Biggar apparently had interior wall panels backed up by framing.
  • Although both Scamp and Casita are distributed directly from the factory, I think this more to do with the volume of business in a specialty market than with anything else. Both Trillium (Outback) and Bigfoot are distributed through dealers, and the Escape has been as well. All of the Boler brochures and manuals which I have seen have dealership information on them; mine was sold new by a car dealership.
I think the classic Boler design (now used by Scamp and Casita) and the Trillium design (used by Escape, and back as two Trillium companies) survive, as well as the factory-direct distribution, because they are the ones which are most distinctive from the stick-built hordes.

Edit note: added "current" to size comment to correct it.
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:09 PM   #10
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I have both a 26 ft Avion and a 16 ft Scamp.

We use the Scamp. The Avion stays home.

I keep the Avion because now that we are pretty much retired, we may decide to start taking vacations in terms of months rather than weeks. The Avion would fit into that scheme better. But we plan to try it with the Scamp a time or two before we dispose of the Avion.

With either rig, depreciation is not an issue. It has already occurred. In fact either one would sell for quite a bit more than what I paid for them originally.

I doubt anyone could say this about a Jayco of any vintage. But sometimes strange things happen.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:18 AM   #11
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[*]While no eggs are [b]over 17' long, every current Bigfoot moulded FG trailer is at least that long, and they go to 25'[*]Bigfoot 2500-series trailers are also quite [b]square, not egg-shaped at all; that likely affects assessments like "cute", as well. On the other end of the size scale,
A couple of corrections here Brian...

The Love Bug II is 18' long and retains the classic "egg" design.

The Bigfoot 1500 series (the one I have) is a more "square" design but is smaller (and lighter) than the 17.5' newer offering. Even though I've only had it a couple of months I've been stopped more times with it than I was my Scamp 16 to tell me how "cute" it is, so even though it's not a classic "egg" design it still turns heads.

The only useful tidbit I can offer on the thread is that you can always sell your fiberglass egg for about the same as you bought it for because they're always in demand. Stick built trailers depreciate at a much more signficant rate.

Roger
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:21 AM   #12
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Good points, Roger. I was thinking of only current products in my egg-size comment, but forgot to say that. That's why I didn't mention the Trillium 5500, or the size of the Biggar. I didn't know the Lovebug II was that large - interesting!

While boxes can also be thought of as "cute", the point is that the shape is part of the appeal, and the shape is not nearly as closely tied to the material as we sometimes assume.

For Doug's purposes (comparing a Jayco with a Scamp or Casita), it seems to me that the recurring theme is the retention of value: since the construction ages well, the trailer maintains its value. Essentially the same logic (and the appealing shape) applies to the Airstream and similar aluminum trailers, although they usually have not been available in the size (including width) of the current 16'/17' eggs, so they're not a reasonable part of the current comparison.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:38 PM   #13
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I was at an RV show today and looked at a Jayco Feather 165 -- I wasn't impressed.

The GVWR is 3,500 (torsion axle rated at 3,500) and the UVW (unloaded vehicle weight aka dry weight) was over 2,800 lbs -- When you get all the water and propane aboard, according to the sticker you have 353 lbs left for all your cargo and stuf -- It only had one propane tank for the furnace and large fridge, so likely a second would be added, bringing cargo down to about 300 lbs.

It didn't have much ventilation.

There were seams all over it, running up the side edges, along side the roof and then down the front edges, just like my old 'leaker' Jayco, plus it had seams across the ends of the roof -- Jayco put a LOT of silicone on the seams, esp at the four corners.

On the plus side, the 'sticks' are aluminum, not wood.

The small round table in front had already been broken at the pedestal.

List price was over $17K with an RV show price of over $13K.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:42 PM   #14
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but, beyond weight and marginal height differences, what is advantage of the mfgs?

I sold my 1970 13' Trails West Campster for over twice what I was offered for my 1979 mint condition fully self-contained 17 ft Prowler. Resale is a big plus and the fact that most are a one piece moulded shells with no seams in the roof mean minimal to no chances for leaks.
You will also appreciate the weight factor if you are planning any mountain travel.

John
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